Super Mario Bros. 2 was the black sheep of the original NES Mario trilogy. The gameplay, style, look, and mechanics varied vastly from the original game, and for a perfectly sensible reason. The game we played as Super Mario Bros. 2 was originally developed and released as Yume Kōjō: Doki Doki Panic. The game was originally released for the Nintendo’s Famicom Disk System. Shigaro Miyamoto did indeed have a hand in developing Doki Doki Panic, so it only made sense to switch out the original character sprites, add some pow blocks, and rebrand the game for international release. This rebranded version was later released in Japan under the name Super Mario USA. so what in the hell happened to the version of Super Mario 2 that Japan got?
The REAL Super Mario Bros. 2 was released as a launch title for the Famicom Disk System. The game was basically an extension of the original Super Mario game with eight new world to explore and some new items such as the poison mushroom. The game was significantly more challenging (IE balls out harder) then the first game, and used the same game engine and sprites. North America did eventually see this game on the SNES compilation Super Mario All Stars as “The Lost Levels”. All Stars even features the games original square Disk System cover art in the game select screen.
“But what the hell does this have to do with Famicom Pirates?!!!” you may be asking. Well, one of the main reasons that the rest of the world never saw the Famicom Disk System was because the system was plagued by rampant piracy. The games were just too easy to copy.
Many Disk System games found their way illegally ported over to Famicom cartridges. Such is the case with my pirate cart copy of Super Mario 2.
The title screen has been hacked, removing the game’s name altogether. Other then that slight tweak, and all of the missing Disk System sound-effects, the game is exactly the same as it’s source disk.
I actually found this game at a flea market about 8 years ago, before I was into collecting import stuff. The cart sat around in drawers and boxes until i eventually dug into the 8-bit Nintendo import collecting and discovered that it is actually a highly sought and relatively valuable pirate.
A definite plus to this pirate is that I am able to play the original Mario 2 in all it’s 8-bit glory without having to suffer through a bout of melting-Disk System-drive belt anxiety.