Super Mario Bros. 2 (known in Japan as Super Mario USA) is a 2D sidescrolling platformer developed and published by Nintendo for the Nintendo Entertainment System on October 1988. It is both the American sequel to Super Mario Bros. (not to be confused with the Japanese sequel of the same name, later known as Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels) and a re-skinned version of Nintendo's 1987 Japan-exclusive platformer Yume Kōjō: Doki Doki Panic.
The game begins as some inhabitants of the Mushroom Kingdom (hero plumber Mario, his brother Luigi, the kingdom's princess, and the princess's attendant Toad) were going on a picnic before finding a magical door in a nearby cave. Through the door, they enter the mysterious world of Sub-Con, where its inhabitants (the Subcons) are under siege by monsters ruled by the maniacal toad king Wart. Players control the four heroes as they venture through Sub-Con, defeating Wart's minions and navigating dangerous obstacles.
Because the game is a re-skin of a different game, Super Mario Bros. 2 is different from traditional Super Mario platformers. For example, jumping on the heads of enemies do not affect them, and players can carry enemies by standing on them and picking them up. Enemies are defeated by either throwing them off the screen, throwing them at other enemies, or by throwing a special POW block. Several enemies (such as the mischievous Shy Guys and the unusual Birdo) and concepts (such as Luigi's tall, thin appearance and the exploding Bob-ombs) have carried over to other games in the Mario franchise.
A 16-bit remake was created for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System in 1993 as part of Super Mario All-Stars. This remake adds some enhancements, such as allowing players to switch characters after losing a life and increasing the amount of lives given. This version was further re-made for the Game Boy Advance on June 11, 2001 as Super Mario Advance, adding a variety of new features (including the "Yoshi Challenge", in which players re-visit stages to find hidden Yoshi eggs, and a new point-scoring system). The original re-make was also released in weekly parts (as BS Super Mario USA: Power Challenge) for the Japan-exclusive Stellaview satellite modem add-on from March 1996 to April 1996. The original game was released for the Wii (via Wii Virtual Console) on July 2, 2007.
Super Mario Bros. 2 is a standard side-scrolling platformer where players must traverse through 20 stages (split into seven unique areas, called Worlds), defeating various enemies and navigating dangerous obstacles in order to find mystical orbs (which trigger special doorways, called Hawkmouths, that lead to the next stage). Before a new stage is played (or after a continue from losing all lives), players can switch between four characters (each with their own unique abilities and attributes):
- Mario - The titular hero and red-suited plumber, Mario is the most balanced character of the four.
- Luigi - Mario's brother and a green-suited plumber, Luigi is not as fast as Mario (and does not pick up items as fast), but he has the highest jumping power in the game.
- Toad - The princess's attendant, Toad has the weakest jumping ability in the game, but is the fastest character (in both movement and picking up items).
- Princess - The princess of the Mushroom Kingdom is the slowest character in the game (in terms of both movement and picking up items) and does not jump as high as Mario, but she has the ability to temporarily float in the air (by holding down the jump button while in the air).
Players use the "A" button to jump and the "B" button to run, pick up objects/enemies, and throw held objects/enemies. Holding down the Jump button, rather than tapping it, causes the character to jump higher. Holding the down direction on the d-pad causes the character to charge up a "super jump", in which the next jump will be even higher than usual.
Unlike traditional Mario games, where the hero defeats enemies by jumping on them, Super Mario Bros. 2 requires players to dispose enemies by either throwing them off the screen, throwing them at other enemies, or by throwing other objects (such as vegetables) at them.
Sub-Space and Warping
In each level, the player can find a special flask (the Magic Potion) which, when thrown, summons a door to a unique parallel area called Sub-Space. In Sub-Space, the screen does not scroll, there are no enemies, and players can find special items (including coins for the slot machine minigame and mushrooms to extend the life gauge for the rest of the level). After a short amount of time, the player is automatically brought back to Sub-Con.
In addition, carrying the Magic Potion to one of four unique areas in the game, then entering a mystical and hidden Warp Jar, causes the player to warp to a further World (in similar fashion to hidden Warp Zones in Super Mario Bros.):
- From a hidden jar in World 1-3, players can warp to World 4-1.
- From a hidden jar in World 3-1, players can warp to World 5-1.
- From a hidden jar in World 4-2, players can warp to World 6-1.
- From a hidden jar in World 5-3, players can warp to World 7-1.