Mario Bros! (the game this time)

On July 14th of 1983, Nintendo struck gold, again. They'd already had massive success with Donkey Kong, and had a decent follow-up in the form of Donkey Kong Jr, but this time they decided to give Mario and his up-to-that-point unnamed clone a game of their own, free of the Donkey Kong label.

Speaking of Luigi, this was his first playable outing. He received his name from the pizza joint "Mario & Luigi's" near NoA. I looked up the place once, as I live in the area. Looks like a pretty shway place.

The Arcade game consists of phases (maps) that represent various areas of the sewers (the brothers are plumbers today, as opposed to carpenters or animal tamers) . Mario and/or Luigi must clear the area of the turtles, flies, and crabs that scuttle out of the large pipes up top, and can bonus points by collecting coins. Their primary method of attack is punching up from beneath their enemies, and then clearing them out while they are incapacitated. The bros must also avoiding falling icicles, freezies, and the occasional fireball. The POW block provides a limited use full-screen hit that will affect all enemies currently on the screen. It's a fun game, and provided the basic template for the later Super Mario Bros games.

Let's take a bit of a more in depth look at the enemies, as, like many other aspects of the title, they leave a lasting impression.

The Shellcreeper is the quintessential urKoopa, going largely unchanged in their re-invention into your bog-standard Troopa in later games.

While not as ubiquitus as the Koopa Troopa Shellcreeper, Sisesteppers still pop up throughout the series in odd places, like kart-racing tracks, or as bosses in subspace (I'm lookin at you, Claw Grip!). They're also possibly the inspiration for the Scurvy Crew crabs in DOnkey Kong Country Returns, given their similar designs and methods of being defeated.

Fighter Flies have made the fewest re-appearances of the original enemies, having a presence in Super Mario Land of all things, but not a whole lot else besides.

Remakes (or damn near) of the game have appeared as battle modes in SMB3, all the Mario Advance titles, and the first Mario & Luigi game. Ports of the NES version of the game have been released on many systems, and are currently available on the various Virtual Consoles.

In August of 1984, Hudson Soft released their first licensed Mario game for various PC engines in the form of Punch Ball Mario Bros.

The game is very similar to the original arcade release with one major exception, in order to stun enemies to make them defeatable, the bros must make use of a Punch Ball and throw it at enemies instead of jumping up and punching them from below. It's a small change, but pretty much redefines how the game plays.

Later, in December of the same year, Hudson released a second PC Mario game, Mario Bros. Special.

This game changes it up. This time, instead of clearing a level of all enemies, the goal is to progress to one of the warp pipes at the top of the stage in order to progress to the next phase. Phases can contain, in addition to the Mario Bros enemies, conveyor belts and collapsing platforms, among other things. Hudson made use of some Donkey Kong graphics and concepts while implementing the new stuff, ripping the conveyors and using girder tilesets for the collapsing platforms. It's a fun little change up, and feels much more like it's own thing than the previous Punch Ball outing.

In November of 1988, The Return of Mario Bros. was released for the Famicom Disk System in Japan. It was basically an updated port of the original arcade game, but with some new features. It featured some new levels, and upon death players could play a little slots game to see if they could win more continues.

In September of 1995, Mario Clash was released for the Nintendo Virtual Boy.

The game started life as the battle mode of the in-production Mario Land game for Virtual Boy, which would have featured Wario as the main villain. As the decision came down that the system was to be scrapped, production halted on Mario Land, and the more or less finished battle mode, essentially a spruced-up 3D version of Mario Bros, was released as Mario Clash (instead of the beta name of VB Mario Bros). Interestingly, it borrows the Punch Ball idea in the form of being able to throw koopa shells around as the primary form of attack.

I thought the game was fun, but I am unfortunately red color-blind, so I can't really play that system without giving myself splitting headaches from eyestrain (which totally didn't stop me from beating VB Wario Land. Represent!)

In November of 2013, Nintendo released, as part of the Year of Luigi, Luigi Bros as a bonus game in Super Mario 3D World. The game switch Luigi to player 1, and has a different colored Luigi as player 2. There are also variants on enemies as well as some other minor changeups.

Lastly, in December of the same year, Mario Bros. was one of the main 16 titles featured in the first NES Remix.

Aside from all of the obvious follow-ups, there's also Wrecking Crew, which I covered in depth a few mega-posts back. Just because I'm a sucker for completionism, though, here's the VS. Wrecking Crew video again, just so you can compare it to its predecessor in the same post.

Outside of its various sequels and remakes, the original arcade game has been referenced in numerous other Mario titles.

In October of 2004, WarioWare: Twisted! featured a minigame Mario Brothers in which the player must rotate the stage to get the giant enemy back right-side-up before it is defeated.

Slightly later in October of 2004, Mario Power Tennis featured the Mario Classic Court.

In 2008, Super Smash Bros Brawl included the Mario Bros stage which recreated Phase 1 of the classic.

And in 2009, WarioWare: D.I.Y. Showcase featured the Mario Bros micro-game in which players must make Mario jump-punch enemies by tapping on him at opportune times.

I think that's everything, though given the game in question I'm sure I've missed something.

As always, comments and feedback are welcome.