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SMB Special - 35th Anniversary Edition

Hack of Super Mario Bros.


Super Mario Bros. Special is a follow-up to Super Mario Bros, originally released in Japan in 1986 for the home computer market. The game features 32 all new levels, 5 new enemies and 5 new power-ups. Due to limitations of the PC hardware, the game engine was quite poor in comparison to the Famicom/NES original. Most notable was the lack of scrolling; the PC version would instead show each screen one at a time.

This port brings the levels, new enemies and power-ups back to the Famicom/NES engine. Also included are most of the unique background changes and other features not possible with the original SMB engine. The end result is a much more playable game that feels like a legitimate sequel.

ROM / ISO Information:

  • Database match: Super Mario Bros. (World)
  • Database: No-Intro: Nintendo Entertainment System (v. 20210216-231042)
  • File SHA-1: EA343F4E445A9050D4B4FBAC2C77D0693B1D0922
  • File CRC32: 3337EC46
  • ROM SHA-1: FACEE9C577A5262DBE33AC4930BB0B58C8C037F7
  • ROM CRC32: D445F698




ContributorType of contributionListed credit
frantikHackingLead programmer
Levi “Karatorian” AhoHackingAdditional programming

User Review Information

A hack many of us had hoped for for a very long time

Reviewed By: hdofu on 30 Jul 2021

I can be said there were a number of rom hacks to recreate the game on the NES over the year and while they were able to for better or worse capture the level design what they were missing was what made Super Mario Bros Special… well special and it was clear that wasn’t going to be a simple task. Special coding would be needed to include the new enemies, the new items and powerups would require special programming, an achievement that can’t be understated.

In similar efforts attempts to recreate Super Mario Bros the lost levels in the Super Mario Bros with similar pitfalls due to its special things too, and even though most of those were overcome ultimately the best solution considered by most people who wanted to play the lost levels on an nes without a disk system was an mmc3 conversion. That couldn’t work for Super Mario Bros Special though as Special was made with completely different hardware in mind.

That’s the background for this hack… a hack that’s been in development for over a decade… and what makes SMB Special 35th anniversary so very special. It takes the levels and reworks them into the Super Mario Bros game engine, adds behavior to allow for the new enemies, new powerups, and game mechanics, and makes it work. As a result, this allows this game to be played in a way it could never be played back in the day, and if there is one downside of this, it somewhat exposes the strange level design choices that were made with a screen to screen transition in mind, but that is neither the Author of this hack or Hudson Team’s fault as it, on the one hand, is preserving the accuracy of the hack, and on the other a hardware limit of the time.

There can be no doubt that if you want to play through Super Mario Special, this is the way to do it. It gives you options to play both with the traditional NES look or if you prefer an altered pallete simillar to the original game.

Definetly give this hack a try, it’s a love letter to classic Super Mario Bros. Maybe someday Mario Bros Special and Punch Mario Bros Special and Donkey Kong 3: Dai Gyakushū may see simillar NES Love, wouldn’t have thought so before seeing this hack, but now I see a determined rom hacker can really achieve the apparent impossible.

Version 1.3 Recommended - Yes

User Reviews
Just an absolute pleasure to playbrianoblivion07 Jun 20221.3Yes
Absolutely great ! Finally a faithful enhanced remake of the lost SMB.Ligeia07 Jan 20221.3Yes
Best version of SMB special out thererhinofinger30 Oct 20211.3Yes
Press Up+Select On the Title ScreenPowerPanda08 Aug 20211.3Yes
Lost, No MoreEldrethor03 Aug 20211.3Yes
A hack many of us had hoped for for a very long timehdofu30 Jul 20211.3Yes
Awesome port!iruden30 Jul 20211.3Yes
Official level of quality for the port of this amazing game!BlueYoshi30 Jul 20211.3Yes
It's like going back to the past. A good pastdiablo66629 Jul 20211.3Yes
Never would have played SMB Special without this port/hackSupergamerguy24 Jul 20211.2Yes
This is the best SMB Special Hack yetzstandig22 Jul 20211.2Yes
Miyamoto GoldPolargames21 Jul 20211.2Yes
I never imagined this oddity in an NES game.Vallenatero201520 Jul 20211.2Yes
A new SMB experiencepleasejust20 Jul 20211.2Yes
Definative version of SMB Special•.~°♪ BEEBO •.~°♪22 Aug 20211.1Yes
Incredible port of this obscure gem!ShadowOne33319 Jul 20211.1Yes