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Super Mario Bros. Special for NES

Hack of Super Mario Bros.


This started off as a palette restoration of Messatu’s X1 hack. It is a combination of Messatu’s enjoyable new minor features and lovely title screen, but with how Levi “Karatorian” Aho and frantik’s hack actually looked like a NES game. Once the palettes and flash effect cycles were restored to that of their version, sprites were then also restored and a few small tweaks made.

SMB Special should be… special. So, inspiration was taken from All Night Nippon SMB. That game had a mix of tiles from SMB and SMB2j. So, the same was applied here. There are some tiles here from SMB2j as a result, but not all of them are. The intention was to make SMB Special feel like an in-between-quel for SMB and SMB2j and this seemed like a solution.

The beta ground tile from SMB2j is used here for the same purpose as well.

The end-game text was also modified to remove the Hudson thanks Messatu added and changed it be more like a traditional Mario ending. Starman also smiles now like he does in the actual SMB Special game by Hudson.

This has been play-tested. Applies to a bare SMB rom.

The archive contains multiple versions of the patch:

- v20170114, is the original release

- v20170325, is contains a few minor additional tiles from “All Night Nippon Super Mario Bros.” and “Super Mario Maker”

- v03-04-2020, is the current release. Redone from scratch, it is more conservative with its tileset changes for a hopefully more authentic look.

ROM / ISO Information:

  • Super Mario Bros. (World) (HVC-SM).nes
  • MD5: b6fa79abf0aa1bce8831c7c5ad8ab1f2




ContributorType of contributionListed credit
Levi “Karatorian” AhoOriginal HackingOriginal Release: Engine Hacking, Tool Programming, Packaging
frantikOriginal HackingOriginal Release: Engine Hacking, Level Editing, Graphic Design
MessatuOriginal HackingX1 Release
TRIFORCE89HackingNES visual restoration and improvement

User Review Information

The Best Version of Super Mario Bros Special

Reviewed By: PowerPanda on 15 Oct 2020

I have written before about how.. well… SPECIAL “Super Mario Bros. Special” is. Developed by Hudsonsoft for Sharp Computers, it shows a dedication to great level design and fun twists on the concepts used in SMB1. Why not have an underground castle? What about a special stage in a castle? How about a path that you can only take as small Mario, with no enemy in sight that you can hit to shrink yourself? SMBS throws in all of those and more. The difficulty remains moderate too, being harder than SMB, but easier than The Lost Levels. While some of the extra powerups from the original computer game did not make the transition to the NES version, the tradeoff is that you can play the game with sidescrolling and a consistent framerate.

There are currently 3 versions of “Super Mario Bros. Special” on I don’t know how I missed this version the first time I played through the game, but it is easily the best. TRIFORCE89 used some tiles from SMB1, some from SMB2j (including unused beta tiles), some from All Night Nippon Mario Bros., and even some from Super Mario Maker. This gives the game its own identity, and the feel that it’s truly the halfway point between SMB1 and SMB2j… SMB1.5 if you will. I would recommend this to anyone.

Version v03-04-202 Recommended - Yes

User Reviews
The Best Version of Super Mario Bros SpecialPowerPanda15 Oct 2020v03-04-202Yes
Great slight improvements... but not fullyEden.GT15 Jan 20172017114Yes