Super Mario Bros. Specialreleased in 1986
PC-98 version Rating: ❔ UNKNOWN
Not to be confused with Mario Bros. Special.
Super Mario Bros. Special
For alternate box art, see the game's gallery.
Developer Hudson Soft
Publisher Hudson Soft (Japan)
Caroline Software (South Korea)
Release date 1986
Media 5.25-inch floppy, Tape
Super Mario Bros. Special (スーパーマリオブラザーズ スペシャル) was developed by Hudson Soft and released in 1986 for the PC-8801 and Sharp X1 series of Japanese computers, and later for the Samsung SPC-1500 in South Korea. Super Mario Bros. Special was the second Nintendo-licensed follow-up to Super Mario Bros., released around two months after Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels. Two years prior, Hudson Soft had released Punch Ball Mario Bros. and Mario Bros. Special, which were both based on the original Mario Bros.
While superficially very similar to the original Super Mario Bros., the game features original new levels and has a screen-by-screen scrolling mechanism. The latter is implemented more smoothly in the X1 version, which features Zelda-style scrolling, where the screen visually slides to the next lock point (with some overlap between screens), whereas the PC-8801 version simply turns black for a moment while loading the next screen.
Jumping and dashing physics also differ from the original NES, providing a more challenging experience than Super Mario Bros. Adding difficulty is the fact that the stage time is slightly faster than in the original NES game. Mario's Hammer from Donkey Kong makes a re-appearance as a rare item, alongside a variety of past foes from earlier arcade Mario titles and new exclusive items.
Due to the PC-8801 and X1's technology being inferior to that of the NES/Famicom, the graphics and audio differ slightly from the original game as well, although they are closely replicated. Additionally, the game does not include Luigi nor does it contain a multiplayer mode. The X1 version contains partial scrolling and slightly more colorful graphics, featuring all eight colors possible with 100% and 0% RGB, including lime-green, cyan, magenta and white. While the PC-88 is able to produce eight colors, Super Mario Bros. Special only uses half of the PC-88's hardware palette, restricted to only black, red, yellow, and blue, including dithered results with those four colors. Further, sprites exclude the use of blue to allow transparency in the sprites.