Remember Super Mario Bros for Original NES? Here’s the inside scoop on making Level 1-1

If you grew up in the 80’s there’s a good chance that Super Mario Bros hold a special place in your heart. Not only did this iconic Nintendo game come with the console (and often bundled with Duckhunt) but it also got many of us hooked on Mario. While you might not be able to remember the whole game level-by-level, and heck let’s be honest, you probably never won because the game gets exceptionally hard towards the end. But either way, Level 1-1 and the music to go with it is etched our heads.


What made this Mario Bros different from Mario’s of the past was the fact that Mario moved into an entirely new magical world. Remember, Mario started as a character called “Jump Man” in Donkey Kong, his mission, as it continued to be forever was to rescue the princess. One fact you also might not know about Donkey Kong is that Shigeru Miyamoto, Mario’s creator actually wanted to make it a platformer initially.

Miyamoto’s early ideas for Donkey Kong also saw the action scroll from left to right as the player avoided the rolling barrels. The technical limitations of the hardware Miyamoto was forced to work with meant that the action had to take place on a static screen. With this in mind, Miyamoto took the elements he originally intended to sprinkle around his scrolling platform game – conveyor belts, elevators, springs – and reworked them as four separate levels. Miyamoto would finally get to make his scrolling platform game years later, of course, with Super Mario Bros. (Source – Mental Floss)

While you might think that Super Mario Bros came right after Donkey Kong, there was an original Mario Bros game that you might remember which also introduced the concept of Luigi. If you don’t remember this game, it looked like this and in many ways, it helped to define modern platform games.


With Super Mario Bros the creators wanted to get away from the black background and move Mario into a fantasy land that would truly captivate the player. The first introduction to this world was none other than Level 1-1, it also introduced you to music that will stay in your head for the rest of your life.

If you ever wanted to know what went through Shigeru Miyamoto’s head when he first made Super Mario Bros, here it is.

Morgan Linton

Morgan Linton