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In 1986, Nintendo released Vs. Super Mario Bros., an arcade version of its popular Super Mario Bros. game for the Nintendo Entertainment System. The two versions are largely identical, the biggest difference being that six of the game's 32 level maps were replaced. Smaller differences include the arcade operator's ability to adjust the number of starting lives, the number of coins required for a bonus life, and the speed of the countdown timer. There were also various minor changes to the remaining 26 level maps.

Some (but not all) of these minor differences in the level maps are discussed in prose in the Super Mario Wiki. Is there an illustrated guide showing all the differences, including their precise locations, for those levels that appear in both the arcade and console versions? I'm particularly interested in seeing which coin boxes, power-ups, and 1-ups were moved, changed, or removed altogether.

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A comprehensive collection of maps for every level of Vs. Super Mario Brothers can be found on the TheMushroomKingdom's Vs. SMB Map Page. The maps detail every last inch of every single level including enemy positions and also list the location and contents of every item block both visible and hidden. Other tidbits of info are given on the individual map pages such as whether the level was only altered slightly from the regular SMB game or replaced entirely.

The levels that were replaced from the regular version of the game were actually pulled from the Japanese SMB2 which wasn't sold in the west because it was considered too difficult for non-Japanese kids. (Although it was eventually released in the west as as "The Lost Levels"). Funny enough, they were still altered slightly to make them a bit easier because the Japanese levels were considered too hard even for a a game designed to munch quarters. The maps of the replaced levels found at the link given state which level from the Japanese game it corresponds to, and the site also offers an equally comprehensive collection of maps for both Super Mario Bros. and the Japanese Super Mario Bros 2 making it easy to compare the details and differences side-by-side.

Some of the other differences between Vs. SMB and 'regular' SMB according to that site are are: More enemies added in most levels, bug fixes/prevention, no warp to World 7 or 8, new required paths in "maze levels", and less power-up and 1-Up chances.

  • While the maps on that website are indeed incredibly detailed, the individual differences with the NES version are not given. At best it mentions only whether the level has been modified (or replaced entirely), not where and how the level has been modified. As you say, it's possible to view the maps side by side, which if not terribly convenient is at least better than nothing. – Psychonaut Apr 27 '16 at 14:52
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There are slight differences but they are largely the same. You would have thought the arcade version would have had spruced up graphics compared to the NES version but I think the screen resolution is identical, the sprites look exactly the same and the game speed seems to also be the same.

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