I’m remembering a lot as we talk. (laughs) Super Mario had a lot of bugs, which gave rise to a lot of talk about secret tricks, so when we remade it for the Super Famicom, we wanted to leave in those glitches that didn’t have a negative effect. We did, however, fix the bugs that we thought might interfere with the progress of the game. Some were of the opinion, though, that it handled slightly differently in places.
I remember that, too. Some people said it controlled a little differently.
That’s probably because we fixed something at those places.
So many people played Super Mario, and the players found out and shared all those secrets, and in the end there were even rumours of a whole world that wasn’t supposed to exist.
A lot of the tricks involved moving around the map in ways we never intended.
That’s right. For the Super Famicom, we left in infinite 1-Ups , but actually set a limit of about 128.
So it wasn’t infinite, but 128.
Yeah, some players might have been disappointed. (laughs)
Some might not have been fully satisfied by the first Super Mario, so we made The Lost Levels for advanced players.
That was a really difficult game. I doubt less-skilled players could easily get a grip on it. Did you somehow manage while you were making the game?
No...I left it to others. (laughs)
Me, too! (laughs)
We did all the debugging back then, so I remember it well.
We didn’t have a staff dedicated to debugging then, so the developers had to check the games that they had made themselves.
Yeah. And Super Mario All-Stars had four games, so we had to decide who would do the debugging. Right at the start, I declared I couldn’t do The Lost Levels. (laughs)
Luckily, a few of the developers were good at video games, so I asked them to do The Lost Levels and I did Mario 2.
The Lost Levels really is a tough game, so I think it would be great if people who are confident in their video game skills use this opportunity to challenge themselves.
I just remembered that we wanted to relieve that toughness a bit, so we changed the number of turns from three in the original to five in Mario All-Stars.
But that doesn’t help much!
Well, a little... (laughs)
Well, I suppose the probability of clearing it might improve a bit, but...nah, I don’t think so. (laughs)
Yeah, I guess not. (laughs)
It could be a big change for advanced players, though.
We also added a save function.
Oh, the original Super Mario Bros. came out before it was possible to save.
The battery backup7 cartridge was a revolutionary invention back then. 7Battery backup: A way to save games using a battery built into the game cartridge. It was used for the first time in a Famicom cartridge for a Japanese chess (shogi) game released in 1987.
That made it possible to save after each level in The Lost Levels. The intention was to offer some significant help.
I see. I imagine that would have much more of an effect than increasing the number of players!
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