In Super Mario Bros., the player takes on the role of Mario, the protagonist of the series. Mario’s younger brother, Luigi, is controlled by the second player in the game’s multiplayer mode and assumes the same plot role and functionality as Mario.
The objective is to race through the Mushroom Kingdom, survive the main antagonist Bowser’s forces, and save Princess Toadstool. The game is a side-scrolling platformer; the player moves from the left side of the screen to the right side in order to reach the flag pole at the end of each level.
The first ever platform adventure for the Mario Brothers has the player exploring level after level, with Bowser to contend with as the end of level boss. Power-ups include the Super Mushroom, which increases Mario’s size and power, the fire flower, allowing him to shoot fireballs at enemies, and the ever important starman for a short burst of invincibility.
Each level includes a bonus section filled with coins plus a shortcut through the level, plenty of bad buys and obstacles to get past, and an end of level flag, in which the higher the player grabs it, the more points are awarded to them. Certain levels also include warp points, which takes the player to higher levels.
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