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Video Game / New Super Mario Bros.

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New Super Mario Bros. is a series of platformers in the Mario franchise. They are 2D platformers in the vein of the classic 8-bit and 16-bit Mario platformers, in which Mario and Luigi go through levels jumping from platform to platform and on top of enemies to defeat them on their way to Save the Princess, but updated with a few elements from the 3D games, primarily the Wall Jump and Ground Pound. The graphical style is also done with polygonal models, putting it line with the 3D games. Each of the games have the same gameplay, mainly changing in terms of the power-ups given in each of the games.

The sub-series itself can be sub-divided into handheld games and console games. The handheld games have more of a single-player focus, with multiplayer either being a side feature or more of an afterthought, and the levels being more compact and the camera focused on one player but fairly static. The console games all have co-op multiplayer, with the default playable characters being Mario, Luigi, a Yellow Toad and a Blue Toad (with U adding the ability to play as Miis, and New Super Luigi U replacing Mario with Nabbit). The levels are more expansive, and the camera zooms in and out freely depending on how far apart the players are or if there are certain sections that require a wider camera. Yoshis are rideable in the console games, though they are only level-specific and unable to follow the playable character after completing a level with them, unlike Super Mario World.


Games in the series:



See also Super Mario Run, which uses the same graphics and mechanics as this series, but with a different control style and exclusivity to mobile devices. The engine and visuals of New Super Mario Bros. U are also present in Super Mario Maker as one of the four selectable game styles for level creation.note 


Series-wide tropes include:

  • A Day in the Limelight: While Bowser may be the final boss in all games, it is Bowser Jr. and the Koopalings that serve as the biggest threat. Special mention to New Super Mario Bros. 2, where the Koopalings appear as the main antagonists, but not Bowser Jr.
  • Artifact Title: New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe. Considering that it's a port, it's not "New", it's for the Nintendo Switch, not the Wii "U", and unlike the prior Compilation Re-release of NSMBU and New Super Luigi U, this game's title neglects to mention NSLU at all.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: Mega Mario in New Super Mario Bros. and New Super Mario Bros. 2 (and Mega Goomba in the former), the final bosses of New Super Mario Bros. Wii and New Super Mario Bros. 2.
  • Auto-Scrolling Level: As a staple of the classic games, this is present in this series.
  • Big Bad: Naturally, Bowser; though Bowser Jr. and the Koopalings appear far more often.
  • Breakable Power-Up: As in previous games in the series, getting hit as Super Mario reverts Mario to regular Mario and removes the ability to break bricks, while getting hit as most other versions of Mario reverts him to Super Mario. The Mini Mushroom falls under the "Power-Up loss on loss of a life" variant, as unlike most other Power Ups in the series, it does not act as a Single-Use Shield.
  • The Bus Came Back:
    • The Koopalings and Kamek in New Super Mario Bros. Wii, Reznor in New Super Mario Bros. 2.
    • The power-ups; notably the Super Mushroom, the Fire Flower, and the Star Man, all of which had not appeared in a new Mario platformer since Super Mario Land 2 in 1992.
  • Can't Drop the Hero: Zig-zagged.
    • In the handheld games, you can play as Mario or Luigi (although for NSMB2, you have to beat Bowser on that file first to unlock Luigi).
    • In New Super Mario Bros. Wii and New Super Mario Bros. U this is played straight, with Mario being the only playable character for first player. However, New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe openly lets you play as any character in a single-player game.
    • In New Super Luigi U, Player 1 can't select Yellow Toad or Blue Toad, but they can play as Nabbit in single player, but not multiplayer, by holding ZL/ZR (or B on a Wii Remote) when selecting a level, and they can also play as their Mii if they do the same input on the final level of the game. As mentioned above with NSMBUDX, in NSLUDX you can play as any character for the first player, with the exception of Mario, who is still verboten from being in the game.
  • The Chase: In New Super Mario Bros. and New Super Mario Bros. 2, the Worlds start out with Bowser Jr. or the Koopalings (New Super Mario Bros. and New Super Mario Bros. 2, respectively) running away into a Castle or Tower/Fortress, dragging Princess Peach. A lesser extent is in New Super Mario Bros. Wii where you chase the Airship that drops off the Koopalings to the Towers. New Super Mario Bros. U averts this, simply being a journey back to Peach's Castle.
  • Demoted to Extra: Luigi in the console games, except for Luigi U and U Deluxe, if you're playing with only one player, since the first player can only play as Mario.
  • Developers' Foresight: The developers knew of an old trick many players used during the old days of Super Mario Bros. where they would have a powered up Mario get hit by Bowser to initiate Mercy Invincibility and clip through him to reach the axe on the other side for an easy victory, so this time around, trying the same trick again gets Mario flung backwards by Bowser no matter what state Mario is in. However, the dev team did NOT think that players could use the Mega Mushroom against Bowser to instantly squash him. New Super Mario Bros. Wii has the same Bowser safeguard and excludes the Mega Mushroom, which forces players to fight Bowser the right way.
  • Everything Dances: In the games, all enemies do some sort of action whenever the "bah!" noise plays. While some are harmless like Dry Bones' heads spinning around, some can be beneficial (Pokeys temporarily turn into oranges, which Yoshis can then eat all at once) and some can really mess up your timing (Goombas hop, Koopas pause their walk).
  • Excuse Plot: It just wouldn't be Mario if it didn't have it. However, this doesn't quite tell the full story: each game does have its own original twist on the usual plot, with the original coming from Junior catching Mario off guard to steal the princess, Wii being a result of the Koopalings and Junior sneaking in on Princess Peach's birthday and stealing her by cake, 2 because the Koopalings stole Peach while the Mario Bros were off on a coin hunt, and U changing everything up by making Bowser throw the Bros and co out of Peach's Castle, forcing them to race back there.
  • Fragile Speedster: Mini Mario in every installment, which makes you a One-Hit Point Wonder but increases speed, jump height and jump span.
  • Genre Throwback: To Mario's original 2D platformers.
  • Giant Mook: Giant-sized Goombas and Koopas, most of the time.
  • Guide Dang It!: The games have a different general habit for hiding a few of the Star Coins in ways that are difficult to figure out. The first had pipes that were actually Warp Pipes, but without that much of an indication that they could warp. Wii and U have false walls — parts of the level that look like walls, but can be passed through and reveal a section — that have little to no clues that they are fake. 2 has a number of invisible vine blocks, including one that's hidden in an area that already required another invisible vine block to reach.
  • Invincibility Power-Up: The Starman power-up in every installment, Mega Mario in New Super Mario Bros. 1 and 2, and the White Raccoon Suit in New Super Mario Bros. 2.
  • Kid-Appeal Character: Aside from the Mario series' recurring kid-appeal roster (Toads, Koopalings, and Bowser Jr.), there is also a kid-appeal power-up: The Mini Mushroomnote 
  • Mickey Mousing: Inverted: The enemies and powerups (and Yoshi in the Wii and Wii U games) hop and/or dance to the music. Also, Bowser Jr.'s footsteps have musical punctuation in the opening cutscene.
  • Mini-Dungeon: The Towers and the Ghost Houses, always placed in the middle of the worlds' maps.
  • Mission-Pack Sequel: It hasn't gone unnoticed that the games reuse assets from past Mario games and the same assets from each other. Even the covers themselves tend to reuse slightly altered artwork.
  • Neutral Female: Princess Peach.
  • The New Adventures: Now running for about seven/eight years, compared to the original's five (not counting Super Mario Land 2 or Yoshi's Island).
  • Projectile Pocketing: An added feature to this series. Throwing certain things like shells at coins will collect them for you. Occasionally enforced in rooms with trails of coins lined up at floor level with only a Koopa shell for you to work with, and certain Star Coins that seem out of reach until you find a way to toss something at it.
  • Quirky Miniboss Squad: The Koopalings, who have appeared in every NSMB game after the first.
  • Recycled Soundtrack: Both New Super Mario Bros. 2 and New Super Mario Bros. U have grown notorious in this regard, having reused New Super Mario Bros. Wii's soundtrack with little to no replacements or additions.
  • Revisiting the Roots: After 10 years of collecting Stars and Shine Sprites, New Super Mario Bros and New Super Mario Bros Wii went back to the original Super Mario Bros. premise of having to reach the end of the stage, flagpole at the end and everything. This idea was so successful that Super Mario 3D Land and Super Mario 3D World wound up having the exact game design style transferred to 3-D.
  • Sprite/Polygon Mix: Level terrain is made of sprites, but character and enemy models are polygonal. Background scenery can be either of the two.
  • Stock Subtitle: "New"
  • Super Title 64 Advance: Both console installments so far.
  • Tagalong Kid: Yellow Toad and Blue Toad in Wii and U.
  • Video Game Settings: The games seem to have a set pattern in which they appear:
  • Video Game Sliding: New Super Mario Bros. Wii and New Super Mario Bros. U introduce the Penguin Suit, which allows you to slide across ice and water, breaking blocks and defeating enemies along the way.
  • Villain: Exit, Stage Left: In 1, Wii, and 2 after defeating the tower boss, your character does the victory animation... then just stands there watching the boss get up and leap away.
  • Walk on Water: When Mini Mario, and in New Super Mario Bros. U, on the sides of water spouts.


Video Example(s):


Dry Bowser

The lava burns off all of Bowser's skin and reduces him to bones.

How well does it match the trope?

4.9 (10 votes)

Example of:

Main / StrippedToTheBone

Media sources:

Main / StrippedToTheBone