Hey Pisanos! We have a brand new pinball machine in residence at our store - Super Mario Bros! This humble little pinball machine holds a special place in Nintendo, Mario Bros, and pinball history!
This game was released on April 25, 1992 with 4,200 units produced. Manufactured by Gottlieb and designed by Jon Norris, with artwork by David Moore and Constantino Mitchell, this is the only time Nintendo licensed their properties to a pinball machine.
Well, that's not COMPLETELY true. This is the "older" sibling to another Gottlieb Super Mario pinball machine called Super Mario Bros. Mushroom World. Mushroom World released two months later, and was designed with a smaller playfield and could be adjusted to different heights.
This pinball machine contains a little Nintendo history. Charles Martinet has been the official voice actor of Mario for decades. It was widely believed that the first game that Martinet appeared as Mario in was Mario's Game Gallery in 1995, but Martinet's voice work can also be found in this pinball machine! The Super Mario Bros. pinball machine predates Mario's Game Gallery by three years, making it the first "game" with Martinet as Mario! Unfortunately, Martinet was never compensated for this voice work, and he is uncredited on the game.
This was the first Gottlieb pinball machine with a Dot Matrix Display (the little screen in the backbox with your score info). This allowed Gottlieb to produce animations in the game, like a video mode with a side-scrolling Mario platformer.
The main goal of the game is to rescue Princess Toadstool by destroying seven castles. Super Mario Bros. pinball uses many of the assets from Super Mario World, released in North America less than a year earlier; including music, character design, and artwork. However, there are subtle references to other Mario games around the playfield and artwork. While the cabinet and playfield feature Mario staples like Yoshi, Koopas, Bullet Bills, Boos, and Goombas (or Galoombas as this type later came to be known), the translite (artwork on the backbox) shows Bowser as he appeared in the DIC Entertainment Super Mario Bros. cartoons, and a rare appearance of Wart, the main antagonist from Super Mario Bros. 2. The sides of the cabinet feature Ninjis, an enemy first seen in Super Mario Bros. 2 and only used in two Super Mario World courses. There is a slots mode in the game similar to Super Mario Bros. 2.
WHAT'S UNIQUE TO OURS
Mario Bros. Figures: To add some character to the playfield, we have added figurines of Mario and Luigi to the center pop bumper cap. The figurines were part of a set sold exclusively at the Nintendo World store in New York City! Before amiibos and before the World of Nintendo toy line, these figures were some of the best quality for their size - and now they supervise over the world under glass in Super Mario Bros. pinball!
Pipes: We added warp pipes to the flasher light caps to help add some more color to the playfield and make it look like Mario's world. Additionally, we changed the pipe left ramp from yellow to the more iconic green. We also changed out some of the rubber around the playfield to match the colors in the artwork.
Mario and Luigi sides: This game is called Super Mario Bros. right!? In the flipper area, we made a "Mario side" and a "Luigi side" with red rubber around the right slingshot and flipper bat, and green rubber on the left side. We even coordinated the flipper buttons, one for Mario and one for Luigi, with extra lighting.
Lighting: We replaced the original incandescent lights underneath the playfield with all new super-bright LED lighting. There are even lights in the flipper buttons. Now it's so bright, you might need sunglasses to play this game!
Autographed by Charles Martinet: Our machine helped uncover a lost piece of Nintendo history. The owner had a chance to meet Charles Martinet at a recent convention and asked him to sign the translite that currently resides in the backbox. During their conversation, Martinet confirmed that he voiced this pinball machine, making it the first Nintendo game with Martinet's voice as Mario, and upending the widely-held belief that his first game was much later. Now, Martinet's original signature appears on our machine to go alongside this piece of gaming history.
HOW TO PLAY AND TIPS
- Spell S-U-P-E-R using the upper right ramp to become Super Mario and destroy castles! The upper right ramp will spell S-U-P-E, spell the "R" by hitting the holes on the left or right of the playfield.
- Don't forget about that Upper Flipper. It is vital to spelling SUPER and can help hit shots to increase your end-of-ball bonus.
- When you spell SUPER, you become Super Mario! Shoot the castle before your ball drains or hits the left outlane. There is a shield that pops up between the flippers to protect you from a center drain. If the ball hits the shield, it may save the ball from draining but Super Mario mode will end, and you will have to spell SUPER again.
- If you do not earn Multiball during gameplay in Balls 1 or 2, it will be lit for you automatically on Ball 3. Start Multiball at the hole on the left side of the playfield!
- In Multiball, shoot for the castle for jackpot! Each jackpot increases in value until it hits 40 million points.
- Mystery can award cool things like Extra Ball, automatically spelling SUPER, modes, and more! Light Mystery by shooting the right orbit, and then right hole. But beware, sometimes Mystery will award "Zilch", zero, nada, goose egg, nothing - and Mario will burp and laugh at you!
- Go for a Quick Shot for big points! A Quick Shot is triggered when the ball hits the right inlane. Your next shot must go up the left ramp to score a Quick Shot. Using the upper flipper, you may be able to loop the Quick Shot as the upper right ramp feeds the ball back to the right inlane. See how many times you can loop it for big scores!
- Save the Princess! Each castle you destroy will be marked on the apron with a red light, as well as on the backglass. Castle progress carries over from game to game, so you might get lucky and walk up to the machine with a few castles already destroyed for you. When you destroy Castle 7, you get a free game and get to put your initials on the machine!
This article was written by Level Up Contributor Harry Jackson with minor edits performed by Level Up Entertainment staff.