Yume Kōjō: Doki Doki Panic (literally "Dream Factory: Heart-Pounding Panic") is a platform game made by Shigeru Miyamoto in 1987 for the Family Computer Disk System. It started development as a Mario-style tech demo by Miyamoto and company, and was dolled-up as Super Mario Bros. 2 after its initial release.
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 and Imajin's girlfriend Lina 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.
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. (The enemies were owned by Nintendo, which is why they could appear in other titles.)
After being made into a Mario title, it was marketed in the North American and PAL release as "Super Mario Bros. 2". This was done because the original Super Mario Bros. 2, now known outside of Japan as Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels, was deemed too hard for American gamers, and too similar. Afterwards, it was released in Japan as Super Mario U.S.A.
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 Super Mario Bros. 3 and go on to become a series staple. Pokeys and Ponkeys (Pansers/Volcano Plants) would appear in Super Mario World (albeit with changed appearances), as would Ninjis and Pidgits. Shy Guys, Snifits and souped-up Porcupos (known as Harry Hedgehogs) would appear in Super Mario World 2: 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 Wario's Woods and has appeared in practically every Mario sports title since the N64 version of Mario Tennis in 2000. Phanto became a surprise addition to Super Mario Maker 2 by way of a post-release update in April 2020. Also, Super Smash Bros. Melee reintroduces many abilities from this game as part of Princess Peach's moveset, 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).
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 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 the third 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 Shrunken Head.
- Masks exist in place of the SMB2 mushroom blocks. These masks were a reoccurring motif throughout the game and Yume Kōjō '87.
- Bombs that went off went "BOM"note instead of "BOMB" like in SMB2.
- The 1 UP items you can dig up are represented by 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 human-like 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.
- Enemies made a louder screeching sound. The sound for picking them up and plucking things off the ground is also different.
- 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 ending(s) 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 one 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 or mask.
- 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 encounternote . 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. note
- 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, one of the few playable nuclear families in gaming to this day.note
- Bare Your Midriff: Lina in her sprites, though not in artwork.
- Blackface: Big Face, which became the turtle shell (presumably of a red Koopa Troopa). Apparently intended as a Shrunken Head.
- Meaningful Name: Imajin (from Imagination): He was originally the mascot of the Dream Factory festival in 1987.
- Portal Book: The plot begins when Poki and Piki are sucked into a book.
- Shout-Out: Before it became part of the Mario franchise proper, it already had the POW block from the original Mario Bros., plus the star from Super Mario Bros..note The electric Sparks made their first appearance in Donkey Kong Junior. It's possible that these items were leftover from when Doki Doki Panic was closer to a Mario title in development.
- Trapped in TV Land: The plot involves Imajin and his family being trapped within a book.
- Unnamed Parent: Imajin's parents are only called "Mama" and "Papa".