||Famicom / NES
||Action / Platformer
The original sequel to Super Mario Bros. was released exclusively in Japan on the Famicom Disk System in 1986. The game's extremely high difficulty level and its late consideration for the US market meant that a different Super Mario Bros. 2 was released in its place.
The Lost Levels features almost exactly the same gameplay mechanics, level structure and graphics as Super Mario Bros., and was even given an identical story. As in the first game, the goal is to clear each stage by reaching the flagpole. The difficulty of the stages has dramatically increased, and this game is widely considered to be one of the most difficult games in the Super Mario Bros. series.
The first release of the game outside Japan was in the Super Mario All-Stars remake compilation on the SNES in 1993. The game was given a few changes, including a stage-by-stage save option and the ability to play Worlds A-D by beating World 9-4.
The game was later an unlockable in Super Mario Bros. Deluxe on the Game Boy Color, where it was given the title Super Mario Bros. For Super Players, which also happens to be the advertising tagline used for the original Famicom Disk System release in Japan.
A rare cartridge version of Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels is rumored to have been planned but never commercially released. Alleged copies of the game have been auctioned online for several hundred thousand Yen.
Gameplay Differences to Super Mario Bros.
Mario vs. Luigi
In Super Mario Bros., Mario and Luigi were identical characters for Player I and Player II respectively. The Lost Levels is a 1-Player game, and you choose whether you want to play as Mario or Luigi from the title screen.
Luigi can jump higher than Mario, but he has very little traction, meaning he will slide much farther when changing direction or landing after a jump.
New elements not in SMB
A new item that appears from ? Blocks. The Poison Mushroom looks very similar to a Super Mushroom, but it damages Mario in the same way as touching an enemy.
Reverse Warp Zone
Warp Zones appeared in Super Mario Bros. as a way of skipping stages in the game to reach later worlds. In The Lost Levels, several Warp Zones will send you back to an earlier level (3-1 to 1-1 and 8-1 to 5-1).
Green Jump Boards appear that make Mario or Luigi jump completely off the screen and not fall for a few seconds. They are mainly used to clear large pits.
From World 5-1, strong winds start blowing, pushing Mario or Luigi backwards and making it difficult to jump across gaps.
There are no totally new enemies in the game, but several returning enemies reappear in different forms. The Red Piranha Plant will appear out of pipes even if you are stood next to or on top of them, while Upside-Down Piranha Plants appear from World 5-1. Sky Blooper acts the same as a regular Blooper but it appears in the sky (and can be defeated by jumping on it). There is also a Fake Bowser who appears in the later stages, blocking your way to the real Bowser.
Additional Jump Height when Jumping on an Enemy
A technique that has been used in every Mario game since, jumping on an enemy and then hitting the Jump button just as you land on top of it will give Mario or Luigi extra jumping height, allowing them to clear large pits. A number of stages can't be cleared without mastering this technique.
A new Continue feature allows you to begin from the first stage in that World, even if you get a Game Over.
Invisible Power-Up Blocks
While invisible blocks appeared in Super Mario Bros., they contained Coins or 1-Up Mushrooms. In The Lost Levels, you can also collect Power-Ups from invisible blocks (including Poison Mushrooms).
As in Super Mario Bros., you beat the game if you clear 8 Worlds. However, The Lost Levels features five hidden worlds that only appear by meeting certain conditions.
Clear World 8-4 without using the Warp Zone (including Reverse-Warp Zones). When you begin World 9-1 your lives are reduced to 1. After clearing World 9-4, you start again back at World 9-1. On stage 9-4, the word "Arigato" (Thank You) is written in blocks - a message from the designers.
Each time you beat World 8-4, a Star appears on the title screen. After beating the game 8 times (8 Stars), you will go on to World A-1. Clear the four stages in each world to move on to the next.