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Thread: Hudson's other two Mario games

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    Peach (Level 3)
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    Default Hudson's other two Mario games

    I was reading the "Hardest Mario Game" thread, and it occured to me most people probably haven't seen or even heard of the the three Mario games that Hudson developed for a few early 80's computer systems in Japan. Super Mario
    Bros. Special is somewhat well known, but Mario Bros Special and Punch Ball Mario are still quite obscure even
    among classic gamers. So here are some screenshots of the two games, as well as a little summary of the gameplay.



    Here are the two boxes and the cassettes the games are on. I'm not sure how many computers the games were released for, but these are the Sharp X1 versions. I know there's versions on the PC-6001, but I bet there's versions for the FM-7 and PC-8801. It looks like the cover art was modified from the original Mario Bros.



    The title screen for Punch Ball Mario. As you can see, there are one and two player modes.

    Basically, in Punch Ball Mario you chuck this red ball at enemies rather than bumping them from below like in the original. Throwing the ball at an enemy knocks him over, and running into him kills him off just like in the original. After throwing the ball, you have to run into it to pick it up before you can throw it again. The game only uses one button, pressing it while moving makes you jump, and pressing it while standing still makes you throw the ball.





    The first couple of levels look like this. The first one just has turtles, the second one has crabs to. Unlike the original, there's really no difference between the two enemies. Both die after just one shot.




    On the third level, you have the coin collecting bonus stage, just like the original. The only difference is that the coins move up and down. There's no ball on this stage since there's nothing to throw it at.



    The next couple of stages are like this. Just like the first stage, except the platforms move back and forth.

    This game sort of sucks. The whole "tossing the ball around" gameplay lacks the strategy of the original, and it gets boring real quick. Having to come to a complete stop to throw the ball is frustrating as well.

    Mario Bros. Special, on the other hand, is a bit better.




    There's no dumb ball gimmick in this one, it's more or less just the original game with different levels and more dumb gimmicks.

    The first level has platforms with moving holes in them, but no enemies of any sort. Your goal is to make it to the top and flip all the switches so the exit doors open. You flip them on by bumping them when you jump, but they slowly move back to the off position so you've got to quickly set all of them before they revert to off.



    Next level has these trampoline platforms, and your standard turtle enemies. To kill them, you've got to jump on the platform while a turtle is standing on it, thus flipping them over. After killing a fistful of them, you go on to the third level.



    Nothing too interesting about level three except for the moving conveyor belts and the little platform moving up and down. Turtles come at you as usual, but this time the only way to kill them is to jump over them when there's a platform directly above you. If you just leap over a turtle
    with nothing above you, you don't kill them. For whatever reason, you've got to bump your head on something or they won't die. Little dollar signs show up in random spots in the upper half of the screen, and touching them gives you bonus points. Once you kill all the baddies, it's back to level 1!

    Unlike Punch Ball, this game is actually fun! Neither is half as good as the original Mario Bros., but enjoyable none the less. Not only is the gameplay more enjoyable, it's technically superior to Punch Ball. The graphics look more like the original, and the animation and gameplay is much more smooth. For all their flaws, both are far more playable than Super Mario Bros. Special. That game was just broken. There's nothing particularly wrong with these two games, they're just not as good as the original.


    Here's some links with pictures of the PC-6001 version of Punch Ball Mario and Mario Bros. Sepcia, which looks like more of the same: http://www.retropc.net/hashi/emupmario.html and http://www.retropc.net/hashi/emumario.html. I believe Hudson also made a version of Excite Bike for some home computers, but I've never seen any screenshots or gameplay descriptions. Who knows if it's just a port of if there's changes to it.

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    Strawberry (Level 2) Moo Cow's Avatar
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    Cool.
    I saw something on this I believe on X-Play.
    Thanks for the info, I'd like to play it just to give it a shot.

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    Interesting. I've never heard of any of these games. Are there any screenshots of Super Mario Bros. Special?

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    Any idea what episode of X-Play it was? I'd be seriously suprised if those dopes have even heard of any of the computers it was released on.

    There's already a pretty good page on Super Mario Bros. Special, which you can see here: http://worldofstuart.excellentcontent.com/special.htm. I downloaded the disk image, put it on a real disk and played it on my PC-88, and boy does it suck.

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    Bell (Level 8) whoisKeel's Avatar
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    Cool I never knew about those.

    By some off-chance does anybody know if there is a rom hack out there for SMB1 (NES) that has the level design of Super Mario Bros. Special. What I mean is play SMBS levels but on the NES SMB1 rom. The original SMBS is unplayable (IMO).

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    Brilliant!!! Man, we can always count on you to get the poop and then some on obscure titles, blue lander

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    Peach (Level 3)
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    I'm glad you guys find it interesting! Hudson released a bunch of really weird stuff in the early 80's, especially for NEC's computer line. Has anybody seen the first person Bomberman game they made for the PC-6001 in the early 80's? It's nearly impossible to find any information on it.

    I found a link with some screenshots of Hudson's version of Excite Bike. It looks like it was only released for the PC-8801, and that there are no interesting enhancements or changes. Seems like the same game except using the ugly blue/yellow pallette all PC-88 games seem to have.

    http://www2.licorp.co.jp/pugly/index...GAMEINFO&id=30


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    Quote Originally Posted by blue lander
    Any idea what episode of X-Play it was? I'd be seriously suprised if those dopes have even heard of any of the computers it was released on.
    Hey, don't diss the Sess, it's not his fault that G4 makes him downplay his knowledge of the industry. If you remember the old episodes of Gamespot TV or Extended Play or ran into him at the Metreon then you'd have a totally different view.

    Great information by the way!

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    I had quite a few conversations with him and some other Extended Play writers back on the old TechTV boards, and my impression was that while they know more than the average gamer, they're not exactly classic gaming afficianados. Some of them were pretty sharp and nice guys, though. Particularly Greg Bemis and Adam Urbanek.

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    Nice post man! Those games look pretty cool and fun.
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    That's pretty cool to hear of, probably pretty collectable. It's cool to hear about obscure stuff that no one's heard of.
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    Tonight I'm going to try to make a tap file of it so people can play it via emulator.

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    SMBS would be so damn har dif I could use a game pad. I'm relatively good with the directional arrows on a keyboard, but man what a pain in the ass!

    Anyway, I jumped on a turtle in level 1-1 and he kept bouncing off the pipe ala 3-1 in smb1...I do believe that with a little practice the infinite lives trick can be done anywhere there is a turtle and a wall. Anyone care to prove me right?

    -Rob
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    Thank you so much for sharing these -- I'd never even heard of them before!

    There's a joke in there somewhere about Mario having some big red balls but I won't go there.

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    I never knew anyone besides Nintendo put out SMB games. I'll have to try them out. It seems like they would be rather collectible.

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    That's a cool link. Thanx, I never knew these existed. I would love to own these one day.
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    That's actually really really cool. I've never even heard of these games until you mentioned them, and now (being the huge Mario fan that I am) I really want to go out and buy them. Both of those games look like they would be really fun to play, especially that trampoline level. Damn, I want to play that.

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    Insert Coin (Level 0)
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    Thanks for posting this, and doing some great research!

    I also never knew about these games, and have always liked what Hudson had come out with. Good job.

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    Cherry (Level 1) FullCircle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcalder8
    I never knew anyone besides Nintendo put out SMB games. I'll have to try them out. It seems like they would be rather collectible.
    Software Toolworks also released two Mario franchise games for the NES; Mario is Missing! and Mario's Time Machine. Then you've got Hotel Mario produced by Philips Fantasy Factory.

    The Mario Punch Ball game was redone Virtual Boy style in Mario Clash, where you threw objects from the background and hit your enemies in the foreground. This was also a mini game in at least one Wario Ware.

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    I've tried a hundred times to get that turtle trick to work correctly to rack up my lives...I can almost do it. I bounced off the turtle four or five times in a row, but I can't get the timing right. The play control is just so damn tough....it's so "off" from the original SMB game. ARROW KEYS SUCK!!!

    I know it'll work if I could just get it right. This game really wouldn't be bad at all other than the scrolling issue if I could only use a gamepad. With a hundred lives, this game could actually be beatable!

    -Rob
    The moral is, don't **** with Uncle Tim when he's been drinking!

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