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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 and its sequel as one of the four selectable game styles for level creation.note 


Series-wide tropes include:

  • 100% Completion: The games have Star Coins hidden in the levels (three apiece). Collecting all of them will net you one of the completion stars that decorate your save file.
  • 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.
  • Always Night: The ghost house levels show you it's night for about five seconds in the outdoors parts at the very end of the levels.
  • 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 Rerelease 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.
  • Big Boo's Haunt: The subseries not only features Ghost Houses, but also occasionally has map areas themed around spooky landscapes. In the first New Super Mario Bros., the first half of World 8 is set in an eerie, desolate biome whose levels are infested with Crowbers (crows) and Scuttlebugs (spiders). New Super Mario Bros. U and New Super Luigi U have the shrouded toxic portion of Soda Jungle, whose levels can only be properly completed through the secret exits (as the normal ones lead to useless loops).
  • Boss Corridor: One of these corridors precedes each of the world-end bosses in the games. And in the final (Bowser) levels, the Koopa King sends fireballs that reach these corridors, giving Mario and the other playable characters the signal that a decisive battle awaits them.
  • 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.
  • Build Like an Egyptian: As a whole, the subseries features pyramids in the Shifting Sand Land worlds. The exception is New Super Mario Bros. U (and by extension New Super Luigi U), where the pyramids are replaced with sand structures modeled after desserts. The desert worlds have an Ancient Egypt feel, so it's justified.
  • 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: 6 Golden Coins 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.
  • Checkpoint: Most levels in the first game have an invisible checkpoint similar to those of the original Super Mario Bros., though a white flag in the Nintendo DS's touch screen will appear to indicate the moment when the checkpoint has been reached. In the following games, the checkpoint has the form of a flag (physically placed in the level) that turns from a Bowser icon to a Mario/Mushroom one when activated (and acts as a Super Mushroom if Mario is small). New Super Luigi U doesn't have any checkpoints, since most levels are short and the time limit is only 100 seconds in each of them anyway.
  • Death Mountain: The sub-series features World 6 in all games (being called Rock-Candy Mines in New Super Mario Bros. U) except New Super Mario Bros. 2 (in which World 5 is only mountain-themed in part, being otherwise a Level in the Clouds). The most common feature in these worlds, aside from the mountains being spiral-shaped (except in U), is that in certain parts Mario has to walk carefully (or move from beneath with his hands) through rocky ledges. Bullet Bill Cannons and Monty Moles are very common as well.
  • 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.
  • Flash of Pain: All bosses in the subseries have this effect after receiving a hit. With the Koopalings, this is combined with Retaliation Mode to prevent the player from attempting a stunlock (though they can be hit again right before they prepare the next attack). The flash's color is red.
  • Fragile Speedster: Mini Mario in every installment, which makes you a One-Hit-Point Wonder but increases speed, jump height and jump span.
  • Genre Relaunch: The sub-series revived interest in 2D platformers. NSMB would go on to spawn a subseries of titles that were very successful for Nintendo, and would be followed by numerous other 2D platform games from both major publishers and especially indie developers.
  • Giant Mook: Giant-sized Goombas and Koopas, most of the time.
  • Green Hill Zone: The subseries has this in all of its games as World 1, known as Acorn Plains in New Super Mario Bros. U and by extension New Super Luigi U. Features include slopes, rolling terrain, calcified peaks in the background and some high-altitude areas filled with mushroom platforms.
  • Ground Pound: In these games, it's possible for Mario and his friends to perform this move and break blocks from above as long as they're big thanks to a powerup. In comparison, the NES, SNES and GB Super Mario games lacked this move, as it wasn't introduced to the franchise until Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island (and it was first seen in the mainline series via the 3D games).
  • 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.
  • Human Cannonball: In all games of the subseries minus the fourth (which also excludes its Luigi-based Mission-Pack Sequel), cannons are used as a Warp Zone to later worlds. You have to unlock them by reaching secret exits in nearby levels.
  • Inconveniently Placed Conveyor Belt: All games have fortresses and castles with conveyor belts (and in New Super Mario Bros. 2 the castle of World Flower has switches that allow them to change their orientation). Sometimes it's not the conveyors themselves which provide the inconvenience, but the steel boxes being transported on them (as jumping over them is harder this way than if they were on the static floor). Also, in New Super Mario Bros. Wii, several ground pieces spin, and usually hide pipes from rushing players.
  • 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.
  • Jungle Japes: All games have a jungle world that borrows elements from Bubblegloop Swamp (such as the toxic water and some mushrooms in the background). The enemies seen here include Wigglers, Scuttlebugs, and the debuting Bramballs (creatures with Pokey heads that move with legs made of bramble). There are also vines that can be seen and used in some levels, as well as spiderwebs to latch onto (though these only appear temporarily. It receives the name of Soda Jungle in New Super Mario Bros. U and New Super Luigi U, and includes a section based on The Lost Woods setting, as well as levels with Macro Zone elements (such as giant blocks and enemies).
  • 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 
  • Kishotenketsu: This structure has been adapted over time to the level design of the series from the Wii game onward, despite not having the input of the developer who proposed it (Koichi Hayashida, who at the time was working on the Galaxy and 3D games instead). Most levels feature unique assets that are exploited in different phases, allowing the player to tackle them in different ways (introduction, development, twist and conclusion). See this Game Maker's Toolkit video for more visual examples.
  • Lethal Lava Land: World 8 in all games in the subseries are lava-themed, except New Super Mario Bros. 2 (in which the lava world is the sixth). A recurring feature is lava tides that slowly flow to the left, and they're lethal upon contact. In some levels, volcanic debris falls down as well, which is harmful but survivable.
  • Level in the Clouds: The sub-series has World 7 in all games except New Super Mario Bros. 2 (where it's the fifth world, and comes along with a smidgen of Death Mountain). The sub-series introduces a type of white fog that hides items (they can be dispelled with an aerial spin, however). The Wii and U also have levels with floating bodies of water.
  • 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-Boss: The series has usually one miniboss per game, guarding the Tower levels, but variations have also occured. Bowser Jr. fits the role in the original New Super Mario Bros. for Nintendo DS, Reznor does in New Super Mario Bros. 2, Boom Boom does in New Super Mario Bros. U and New Super Luigi U (he's replaced by Sumo Bro in one case, and by Kamek in another), and the Koopalings themselves in New Super Mario Bros. Wii are fought in this fashion in the Tower levels (facing them a second time in the Castles, with a tougher battlefield and/or improved attacks, counts as proper boss battles; as a final side note, Kamek is fought this way in the Tower level of World 8).
  • Mini-Dungeon: The Towers and the Ghost Houses, always placed in the middle of the worlds' maps. Completing a Tower will also give the player the chance to save their progress. And many of the Ghost Houses feature secret exits leading to cannons (or, in U, natural shortcuts) leading to later worlds.
  • 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).
  • One-Hit Kill: The sub-series has an enemy called Cheep Chomp that resembles a purple Boss Bass (of Super Mario Bros. 3 fame). The main difference is that it will try to eat you regardless of whether you're underwater or close to the water's surface, and if it succeeds you'll lose a life even if you have a powerup (unless it's the Starman).
  • Palmtree Panic: World 3 in New Super Mario Bros., New Super Mario Bros. 2 (a combination of this and Jungle Japes) and New Super Mario Bros. U (and by extension New Super Luigi U). New Super Mario Bros. Wii has it a bit later by using the setting in World 4 instead. Features include Huckits (red crabs which throw rocks at Mario and his friends), large-sized Urchins, and thick water geysers.
  • 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.
  • Recurring Boss: Bowser Jr. is fought in all Tower levels in the original New Super Mario Bros. (as well as alongside Bowser in the final battle), and in all Airship levels in New Super Mario Bros. Wii and New Super Mario Bros. U; his tactics do change in the majority of cases, keeping things fresh. The Koopalings are fought twice each in Wii (the first time as minibosses in the Towers, and the second as actual bosses in the Castles), Reznor recurs in all Tower levels in New Super Mario Bros. 2, and Boom Boom is in the majority of Tower levels in U. Bowser himself is only fought more than once in the original New game (and one instance as Dry Bowser).
  • 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.
  • Shifting Sand Land: World 2 in all games in the subseries (called Layer-Cake Desert in New Super Mario Bros. U). Besides bringing back features seen in previous games' desert levels, these worlds also introduce geyser-like streams of sand that elevate Mario and his friends towards higher spots, including Star Coins that would be unreachable otherwise.
  • Slippy-Slidey Ice World: Snow landscapes make up for a recurring world in the subseries. A type of hazard seen in these worlds is dense snowy terrain, which not only messes with Mario's motion but also makes dodging the snowballs from the Snow Spikes more difficult. In the cave levels, icicles will fall when Mario and his friends are right under them. Unlike most other settings seen in the subseries, this one does vary its placement from game to game: It's World 5 in New Super Mario Bros., World 3 in New Super Mario Bros. Wii (its earlier placement is justified for the sake of showcasing the Penguin suit power-up earlier, since it's useful both there and in World 4, which is water-themed), World 4 in New Super Mario Bros. 2, and either the third or fourth world in New Super Mario Bros. U (known as Frosted Glacier; its order of placement is interchangeable with the aquatic Sparkling Waters; this is done once again due to the Penguin Suit's importance in both worlds).
  • Spikes of Doom: Spikes are common in the sub-series, which also introduce some platforms whose adjacent sides are spiked. Since these platforms move periodically, Mario and the other available playable characters have to move quickly through the current level before these things wreck them.
  • Springy Spores: Some of the aerial Athletic levels have bouncy pink mushroom platforms, accompaining the traditional ones.
  • Sprite/Polygon Mix: Level terrain is made of sprites, but character and enemy models are polygonal. Background scenery can be either of the two.
  • The Very Definitely Final Dungeon: In all games, Bowser's Castle is hidden off the edge of the world map, when you get to it, the map extends to reveal a castle that fills the entire screen. New Super Mario Bros. U changes it up; the final dungeon is Peach's Castle this time, but you can't see what it has become until you enter World 8. And it's two stages long.
  • 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: