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The creators of Super Mario Bros. look back at the very first level

Learn about the simple ideas that birthed a legend.


Dennis Scimeca


Posted on Sep 8, 2015   Updated on May 28, 2021, 12:35 am CDT

Nintendo game developers Shigeru Miyamoto and Takashi Tezuka recently pulled back the curtain on the original Super Mario Bros., offering insight into the design of the very first level through which Mario ever sauntered.

The two developers talked to Eurogamer about the design of World 1-1, the first stage of the iconic and popularly acclaimed game, which debuted in 1985 on the Nintendo Entertainment System.

Miyamoto is the better known developer of the pair, but Tezuka is no less responsible for the way the Mario and Legend of Zelda games looked on the NES. World 1-1 was the closest thing to a tutorial in Super Mario Bros., so it was important for them to make sure that players understood the game mechanics, from question blocks and mushrooms to jumping on enemies.

In the video, Miyamoto and Tezuka discussed how seriously they took even the smallest details, including whether to make the player’s first enemy on World 1-1 a mushroom-like Goomba or a Koopa Troopa turtle. 

In the years since Super Mario Bros., Goombas, Koopa Troopas, and the game’s other elements have become iconic parts of gaming culture. So when you design and publish your own courses in Super Mario Maker, which will be released on Sept. 11, you can take it for granted that other players who download your levels will instantly understand them.

H/T Eurogamer | Screengrab via Eurogamer/YouTube

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*First Published: Sep 8, 2015, 6:18 pm CDT