Video Game / Doki Doki Panic

Made by Shigeru Miyamoto in 1987 for the Family Computer Disk System, Yume Kōjō: Doki Doki Panic (or "Dream Factory: Heart-Pounding Panic") is the game that would later become Super Mario Bros. 2. Shigeru Miyamoto was involved heavily in the game's development. Interestingly, it was originally a Licensed Game starring the Mascots of Fuji Television's Yume Kōjō '87 (Dream Factory '87) event, which promoted several of Fuji Television's shows and other products.note  It was marketed in the PAL and North American release as "Super Mario Bros. 2" because Japan's SMB2, now known as Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels, was either deemed too hard for non-Japanese gamers, or too much of a clone.

This put Nintendo of America in a bit of a bind, because they couldn't just sit and wait for Japan to develop another SMB2, especially since by 1988 Nintendo HQ had already released Super Mario Bros. 3 in Japan. Further helping matters was the Yume Kōjō event itself falling somewhat flat in Japan; it didn't attract a lot of interest and Fuji TV never held another one past its 1987 inauguration, which meant that an otherwise excellent platformer and its characters would be completely orphaned... unless Nintendo repurposed the game and the assets it did own into another franchise.

The story starts with twin children, Poki & Piki, reading a storybook when a hand suddenly grabs them and sucks them inside the book. The family of the twins discovered what happened thanks to their pet monkey Rūsa, and rush inside to save them. Sucked into the world of the storybook, the family has to fight off several monsters across seven chapters: Imajin, the balanced one; Lina, who can float for a few seconds; Mama, a very high jumper; and Papa, who has the strongest throw.

Quite a few enemies from this game went on to be integrated into later Mario games and the wider franchise. In fact, Bob-Ombs would appear in the very next game and go on to become a series staple. Pokeys would appear in Super Mario World, albeit with a changed appearance. Shy Guys would appear in Yoshi's Island, which chronologically takes place at the beginning of the Mario series, and also made regular appearances in the Super Mario Bros. installments of the Nintendo Comics System before that. Birdo would reappear in a Wario game and has appeared in practically every Mario sports title since the N64 version of Mario Tennis in 2000. Also, as late as Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Princess Peach uses many abilities from this game, and this game is the Trope Codifier for Luigi's signature high jump and low traction (even though he had these things in The Lost Levels), as well as Peach's ability to "float-jump", which returned for Super Princess Peach and Super Mario 3D World, and Toad's "short jumps, incredible run-speed, massive throws" playstyle (natch, SM3DW).

In a 2011 interview, Nintendo revealed that although Doki Doki Panic was released as a non-Mario game, it started development as Mario-style tech demo. by Miyamoto and company. In other words, it turns out Doki Doki Panic was intended to be a Mario game all along.

Major differences between this game and Super Mario Bros. 2:


  • Overall, the game had an Arabian theme, as Imajin and Lina were originally designed with an Arabian "1001 Nights"-esque theming for the event (i.e., lots of dreams, lot of stories for Fuji TV to share, etc.) This still remains in SMB2 to a slightly lesser extent.
  • The title screen in this game was a bit more lively, with balloons rising and popping the logo out. It even played a cutscene to show the story.
  • The worlds were called "chapters". This explains why the last world is missing a stage — it's actually a missing page from the final chapter, which was ripped when the twins fought over the book and accidentally removed the ending.
  • The character select, stage start and pause screens are different, noticeably having a book border.
  • The Magic Potion in SMB2 was originally a Magic Lamp; both produce a door to Subspace.
  • The Mushroom that grants you an extra hit point was originally a Heart.
  • Very few sprites in this game (including, but not limited to, the cherries and POW blocks) are animated compared to those in SMB2, and even those that were didn't have as many frames of animation as the American version (for example, Albatoss only has a two-frame "flap" in DDP).
  • The slot machine at the end of each level was very bland looking, but the vegetable icon changed to match the level's theme. Also, if the player had more than nine bonus coins, it was replaced with a letter (i.e. A for 10, B for 11, et cetera).
  • The tufts of grass were black. They're red in SMB2, but when you pull out a vegetable, it still has black leaves in the original NES.
  • Waterfalls rushed down much faster.
  • The Turtle Shell was originally "Big Face", which appears to be a blackface head.
  • Masks exist in place of the SMB2 Mushroom Blocks.
  • Bombs that went off went "BOM"note  instead of "BOMB" like in SMB2.
  • The 1-UP items you can dig up represented the head of the character. Additionally, while SMB2 uses (some form of) the 1-UP jingle, this game uses the same one that plays when you pick up the Crystal Ball that opens the door, or when you get an extra life in the slot game.
  • The mask gates that represent the level goal were tribal masks compared to the hawk heads in SMB2.
  • Phanto's sprite wasn't the Nightmare Face it was given in SMB2: instead of a Slasher Smile, it had a very solemn open-mouthed expression.


  • Being on the Family Computer Disk System, the DDP sound effects are generally more detailed than SMB2.
  • The character selection track has an extended second half in SMB2.
  • Subspace plays an Arabian-esque theme instead of the iconic Super Mario Bros. theme. Picking up a Star also plays an Arabian theme.
  • At least two level themes were altered in SMB2; the "overworld" theme has an additional section not found in DDP, and the "underworld" theme was slowed slightly and given an additional "drum" part in SMB2.
  • The title screen and endings are different in DDP. It was remixed into the SMB2 cast roll.


  • You can save in DDP.note 
  • Once you selected your character, you had to commit to that character for the entire game. Each character represented a save file.
  • Getting down to 1 HP doesn't shrink you like in SMB2.
  • The B button cannot be held to run; the only way to move faster is to have Papa carry an enemy.
  • When you get the key from Phanto's room, it doesn't pursue you until after you leave the room with the key.
  • Chapter 5-3 in this game features a third Mouser encounter.note  He was replaced with Clawgrip in SMB2.
  • Chapters 7-1 and 7-2 have a slightly different design.
  • Mamu/Wart has less HP in DDP.
  • The game had to be completed with all four characters in order to see the true ending.note 
  • The credits are displayed instead of the cast, and the ending has a few differences such as awarding prize money rather than announcing the top contributor.

This video game uses the following tropes:

Since this game and Super Mario Bros. 2 are so similar, see that article. Any tropes listed below are exclusive to this game.
  • Action Mom: Mama, the Luigi Distaff Counterpart. MAMA? MAMA LUIGI?
  • All There in the Manual: The Dream Machine's purpose is only explained in the manual and other supplemental media, which is to provide Mu with good dreams. Wart (or rather "Mamu") used it for nightmares in order to take over the dream world. He was actually defeated before the events of the game, but the two kids that read the book accidentally tore off the page containing the ending, causing his defeat to have never happened and allowing him to capture the children. The torn page is also the reason why Chapter 7 has two levels instead of three like the rest of the worlds. Players who didn't read the manual (or have it at all) would only know about the capture of the two kids.
    • The reason why the seventh world had only two levels wasn't explained in SMB2, which caused confusion for many people.
  • Badass Family: Imajin's family, of course.
  • Blackface: Big Face, which became the Turtle Shell (presumably of a red Koopa Troopa). Apparently intended as a Shrunken Head.
  • Evil Albino: There is an albino version of Mouser in Chapter 5. When the game was dolled-up as Super Mario Bros. 2, it was replaced by the Giant Enemy Crab Clawgrip.
  • Meaningful Name: Imajin.
  • Portal Book
  • Shout-Out: Before it became a Mario game, it already had the POW Block from the original Mario Bros., plus the Star from Super Mario Bros.note  The electric Sparks may also be a reference to the enemy of the same name from Donkey Kong Junior.
    • It's possible that these items were leftover from when Doki Doki Panic was still a Mario prototype.
  • Trapped in Book Land