[[quoteright:240: http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Super_Mario_Bros__2_005_8914.png]]
[[caption-width-right:256:''[-[[WelcomeToHell People have hope because they don't see Death standing behind them]]-]''.]]

-> ''It's like [[VideoGame/SuperMarioBros1 Super Mario Brothers 1]], except you '''[[PlatformHell die.]]''' ''
-->-- [[http://www.youtube.com/user/SolarisParadox Solaris Paradox]] of '''BrainScratchCommentaries'''

The second game in the ''Franchise/SuperMarioBros'' series. Following the success of ''VideoGame/SuperMarioBros1'', Creator/{{Nintendo}} decided to follow it up with a MissionPackSequel, titled ''Super Mario Bros 2''. There were four main differences between the original and the sequel: the two-player mode was replaced by the option to play the game as either Mario or Luigi, Luigi was given higher jumps but inferior traction, some of the graphics were updated, and the game was about as close to PlatformHell as one gets short of a romhack.

The game came into existence when [[Creator/ShigeruMiyamoto Miyamoto]] and his crew were working on ''Vs. Super Mario Bros.'' (an arcade version of the first ''Super Mario'') and were modifying the game to make it suitable for the arcade's pay-per-play model (i.e. the game was made harder and many bugs and infinite lives exploits were removed). Among the changes made to ''Vs. Super Mario'' was replacing some of the HardModeFiller stages from the latter half of the game by making the earlier versions of these stages hard from the get-go and replacing the later versions with new stages (that would later be integrated into ''Lost Levels'' itself). Miyamoto decided to create an alternate home version of ''Super Mario Bros'' composed entirely of new stages aimed specifically at hardcore fans of the original, resulting in the production of ''Super Mario Bros. 2'' for the Disk System.

Even though this was back when every game - including the first installment - was NintendoHard, the insane difficulty of this game infuriated many players, making Nintendo decide [[NoExportForYou not to release it in America nor Europe]]. Still, the game sold well in Japan, it sold 2.5 million units, and was the all-time best-selling on the Family Computer Disk System. However, Nintendo of America needed a Western Mario sequel in record time, so Nintendo put Mario sprites into another Nintendo game, ''VideoGame/DokiDokiPanic'', and called it ''VideoGame/SuperMarioBros2'' (''Super Mario USA'' in Japan so the Japanese wouldn't be confused when that game got released over there). When the original ''Super Mario Bros. 2'' was finally released in America and Europe as part of the ''Super Mario All-Stars'' CompilationRerelease, it was instead titled ''Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels''. It was also included in the GameBoyColor remake of the first game, ''Super Mario Bros. Deluxe'' (though in both ''All-Stars'' and ''Deluxe'', it shares the same graphics as its predecessor, losing some of its uniqueness).
!!Tropes differing from the first game:
* AWinnerIsYou: Reach World 9-4 and you get a message made of blocks that reads "アリガトウ!" (''Arigatou!'', or "Thank you!")
* ArtEvolution
** While the Mario Bros. and enemy sprites remain unchanged, the backgrounds now look different: the ground is now made from rock instead of brick, the clouds and bushes now have faces, mountains now look more jagged in appearance, trees are now drawn more realistically, the fence posts are replaced with mushrooms, lifts are now made of mushrooms instead of metal, bricks now have shading, the giant mushroom platforms are now replaced with cloud platforms, mushroom powerups now have eyes for the first time, and Princess Peach now has a redesigned sprite. Drop shadows were also added to the text so they are easier to read against the bright blue backgrounds.
** This also applies to the [[http://disk-kun.com/node/85 promotional art]], which depicted the characters (particularly Bowser and Peach) much closer to their now standard designs (here's [[http://imaikami.sakura.ne.jp/mario2/mario02f.html a comparison between the manuals for this game and the original]]), although Mario still has his red overalls/blue shirt design from the first game instead of the now iconic blue overalls/red shirt design.
* AscendedGlitch: World 9 was inspired by a glitch in the Famicom version of the first ''Super Mario'' (that is impossible to reproduce on the NES version due to hardware design differences) reported by ''Family Computer Magazine'' (a Japanese magazine). The glitch involved removing the ''Super Mario'' cartridge during mid-play and switching with a copy of ''Tennis'', playing a few rounds after resetting the game and then switching back to ''Super Mario'' (resetting the game again) and using the continue code. All of this is done without turning off the system. The World 9 in question is an underwater versions of World 6-2 and World 1-4 with random enemies and random crashes.
* BrutalBonusLevel: The game itself is hard enough but worlds A to D take it to a whole other level.
* BubblyClouds: In addition to the "Coin Heaven" bonus areas from the first game, a few levels (the end of 8-2, 8-3, and A-3) take place in the clouds.
* ColorCodedForYourConvenience: In addition to red and green Koopas, this game also introduced red Piranha Plants, which pop in and out of pipes faster than the original green ones and emerge even if you're standing next to their pipe.
** Also applies to the PoisonMushroom. Its color palette matches the background in the 8-bit versions (brown in overworld levels, blue underground, gray in castles). The All-Stars version went even farther to distinguish it, making it purple with a large skull on it.
* DivergentCharacterEvolution: Luigi gets his distinctive abilities here (higher jumps, doesn't stop on a dime), [[OlderThanTheyThink predating the]] [[VideoGame/SuperMarioBros2 US/EU sequel]]. This was the original TropeNamer.
* EasterEgg: Like in the original ''SMB'', if you wait long enough on the title screen, then a [[AttractMode brief demo]] will start to play. It also explains why you shouldn't touch Poisonous Mushrooms in the first place.
* EndlessGame: In the original, if you beat the game without warping, you can play World 9. But when you play through World 9 it just continues to loop, until you die or give up. However, in ''All-Stars'', beating world 9-4 leads to world A-1 instead of looping.
* GameBreakingBug: An important springboard in world D-2 can sometimes fail to spawn, making it impossible to jump across the wide gap to the flagpole.
** Ditto world C-3, where the fifth green spring (after the first three Piranha Plants) won't appear at times, and you need it to cross a very long gap.
* GameMod: An ''official'' one, ''All Night Nippon Super Mario Bros.''. Here, some of the enemy characters and all of the Mushroom Retainers were changed into Japanese celebrities. It was given out as a raffle prize on the Japanese radio show "All Night Nippon".
* GoombaSpringboard: This play mechanic makes its debut in the ''Mario'' series here. Also the TropeNamer.
* GuideDangIt: Worlds 2-2 and 8-2. Because of the large gap that Mario cannot jump across by himself, World 2-2 is the first level that requires hitting an invisible block to win. World 8-2 will repeat itself if a player tries to beat it like they would any other level. The only way to beat this level is to hit a block which spawns a Piranha Plant vine to climb up to the flagpole in the sky.
* HardModeFiller: Several levels are almost identical, such as [[http://vgmaps.com/Atlas/NES/SuperMarioBros2(J)-World7-4.png 7-4]] and [[http://vgmaps.com/Atlas/NES/SuperMarioBros2(J)-WorldC-4.png C-4]].
** Also [[http://www.vgmaps.com/Atlas/NES/SuperMarioBros2(J)-World7-3.png 7-3]] and [[http://www.vgmaps.com/Atlas/NES/SuperMarioBros2(J)-WorldC-3.png C-3]]. The former is just a level where you have to use several springboards to get across long gaps; C-3 literally does nothing but add a Lakitu (but just that single addition makes the level much, ''much'' more frustrating).
* InvisibleBlock: Sure, the first game had them, but ''Lost Levels'' places them with the express intention to kill you. Good luck trying to jump past the Hammer Brothers in world 8-3 without hitting invisible blocks and dying on your [[TrialAndErrorGameplay first few attempts.]] Oh, and many of them contain a PoisonMushroom.
* JackOfAllStats: The first time that Mario does this -- he manages to average out from only ''one'' other character.
** LightningBruiser: Luigi was this for the first time.
* LostForever: In the SNES remake, your save file is permanently locked out of World 9 if you used a warp zone prior to when you would start World 9, ''even if you warped backwards''. Not only that, but if you ever use a warp zone ''after'' getting World 9, you retroactively lose it for that save file. If you're unfortunate enough to save, that is.
* MeaninglessLives: The All-Stars edition (see "Nintendo Hard" below).
* MindScrew: [[spoiler: In the FDS version of World D-4, killing Bowser with fireballs will turn him into a Spiny, yet you still end up saving the Princess. This was corrected in the SNES remake.]]
* MinusWorld: World 9 uses mismatched tile sets similar to the minus world in the FDS UpdatedRerelease of ''SMB 1'', and infinitely loops like the original World -1 (except in the ''Allstars'' version).
* MissionPackSequel: Most of the game is reusing sprites and tilesets from the first game, with just a few extra ones. This and the difficulty were the two biggest factors as to why Nintendo choose not to release it overseas until the ''All-Stars'' remake.
* MoodWhiplash: The fortress in D-4. Halfway through, you're outside in grassland again, then down in a coin-filled bonus room before returning to the fortress. Even more so in the ''All Stars'' version, where cheery bonus music is played in bonus rooms.
* MythologyGag[=/=]{{Metagame}}: Several points in the game qualify. Consider the first set of ? blocks in World 1-1, where the mushroom is instead a poison mushroom, to be the first of many.
* NintendoHard: Okay, the first one had this too... but this one is ''far'' harder.
** Notably, every remake of the game has done something to make it slightly easier. Even the Super Mario All-Stars version saves the game on a per level basis, rather than a per world basis as is the case with every other game it includes. It also removed a number of {{Invisible Block}}s specifically designed to cause unintended player deaths (although many were still left in), particularly in later stages, then added invisible blocks containing power-ups elsewhere. It ''also'' made Worlds 9 and A-D much easier to get to.
** However, playing the game on Super Mario Bros DX arguably makes it ''even harder'' via FakeDifficulty; since the Game Boy has a smaller screen, you can hardly see what's ahead. Sometimes you can't even tell if there's a pit or solid ground below you. This version also removes the wind mechanic, making some jumps extremely difficult. On the flipside, the wind jumps had their platforms re-arranged to be closer than the original, and since there are several levels where the wind isn't required to make jumps and is just there to mess with you as you attempt to keep your footing on small platforms and avoid hazards, these levels tend to be a lot simpler on DX, somewhat making up for the small screen.
** In ''VideoGame/NesRemix 2'', most of the challenges either involve the easiest levels in the game, or are very short.
* [[DoubleUnlock Octuple Unlock]]: In the Famicom version of the game, to get access to worlds A to D, you had to beat the game ''eight times in a row''. Thankfully, this was changed in the All-Stars port where you just have to beat the game once to play the rest of the worlds.
* PlatformHell: One of the few commercial releases.
* PoisonMushroom:
** The TropeNamer and its first appearance in the series. Even worse, in its original incarnation, they were ''almost indistinguishable from normal mushrooms''. It is very easy to die at the start of 1-1 if you aren't expecting it. Which, considering that Poison Mushrooms hadn't been seen before this game, most players weren't. However, if you stick around to watch the game demo, you can clearly see Mario trying to get the Poison Mushroom and dying, allowing this type of death to be averted by patient players. This says nothing, however, about Poison Mushrooms in Underground and Castle levels, since [[GoodBadBugs the mushrooms' colors change]] and thus may lead a less GenreSavvy player to conclude that it's a different kind of mushroom.\\
The SNES release made the Poison Mushrooms a completely and totally unmistakable solid purple with a skull on the cap of the mushroom and gave them angry eyes. If you still picked one of these up, [[YetAnotherStupidDeath you deserved it]].
** ''The Lost Levels'' also has backwards {{warp zone}}s.
* RecycledSoundtrack: Most of Koji Kondo's classic compositions from the last game were recycled here. In addition, a "Burning Rubber" sound (later recycled in ''Super Mario Bros. 3'') was added, as was a "Wind blowing" sound. The ending theme was also given a complete makeover, similar to the Vs. arcade version, only with an extended bridge, and octave change.
* SecretLevel: Worlds 9, A, B, C, and D. Some bordering on BrutalBonusLevel (even in relation to the rest of the game).
** Interestingly, there are 3 general routes through the game (to an "end"): Worlds 1-9, Worlds 1-8 (with warps), Worlds A-D (unlocked after beating the game 8 times). ''All-Stars'' changes this to having Worlds A-D accessible the first time you complete the game.
* SequelDifficultySpike
* SoundtrackDissonance: in ''Super Mario All-Stars''. Of course they'd give the hardest Mario game in history a title screen with gentle harp and string music.
** [[FridgeBrilliance Makes sense in context, you're dying and going to heaven a lot!]]
* ThisWasHisTrueForm: Just like in the first game, all the Bowsers but the last one will reveal themselves to be minor enemies in disguise if defeated with fireballs. The ''All-Stars'' version adds new enemies for World A-C and makes the Bowser in World D the real one.
* UndergroundMonkey: The new red piranha plants pop out of their pipes even if Mario is standing on or next to them.
* UnwinnableByMistake (or is it?...): If you go to an underground bonus room in World 3-1, you'll come out of a pipe below some blocks that you must break to continue. Since only Super or Fire Mario (or Luigi) can break blocks, there's a hidden block with a power-up. However, if you pick up the power-up and then get hurt by the nearby Piranha Plant, you're screwed. Thankfully, you can restart the level once you die.
* WarpZone: Just like in the first game, except there's some which send you backwards. Using any of them prevents you from getting to World 9.
** In many instances of reaching backwards Warp Zones, [[AntiFrustrationFeatures there's a conveniently-placed pit where you can kill yourself to avoid warping back.]] If it doesn't, such as the one in 8-1, you can always just wait for the [[TimedMission timer]] to expire.