Super Mario Bros is one of the most iconic and popular video games of all time. Released in 1985 for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES), it helped define the platform gaming genre.
In Super Mario Bros, you control the titular Italian plumber, Mario, as he travels through the Mushroom Kingdom to rescue Princess Toadstool from the evil Bowser.
With its bright colors, charming world, catchy music and accessible but challenging gameplay, Super Mario Bros quickly became a classic.
Thanks to emulators, you can now easily play the original Super Mario Bros on your home computer. An emulator is a software program that mimics the hardware of older game systems, allowing you to play their games on your PC.
This guide will walk you through everything you need to know to start playing this legendary platformer on your computer.
Getting a Super Mario Bros ROM
As Super Mario Bros is still under copyright, you will need to provide your own copy of the game’s data files in order to play it legally through an emulator.
This game data, called a ROM, contains the graphics, sounds, levels and rules for playing Super Mario Bros.
Some helpful tips for finding a Super Mario Bros ROM:
- Check your old NES cartridge collection if you still have one from the 80s or 90s – the ROM chip can often be carefully removed.
- Search online auction sites for used Super Mario Bros game cartridges. Make sure their condition is good and complete.
- There are some websites that provide game ROMs legally. However, downloading copyrighted games may be illegal in your area, so research your local laws first.
Once obtained, save the Super Mario Bros ROM file onto your computer in an easy to access location. Popular ROM formats include .nes .smc and .zip.
Emulator Installation and Setup
Now that you have your Super Mario Bros ROM ready, the next step is setting up a NES emulator on your computer.
An emulator is required because your PC does not natively support playing games from Nintendo’s 1980s console hardware.
Here is how to install and configure a good NES emulator:
- Download the free NES emulator application called RetroArch onto your Windows, Mac or Linux computer. Make sure your operating system meets the program’s minimum requirements.
- Open the RetroArch app and go to Settings > Directory and setup a directory path for where your downloaded ROMs are stored.
- Within RetroArch’s main menu interface, select Import Content and navigate to your Super Mario Bros ROM file to load it.
- Go to Settings > Input and map your keyboard, gamepad or other controller to match an original NES controller’s layout. For example, bind the A button to your controller’s main action button.
- Adjust any other relevant settings like graphics rendering quality or sound effects volume to your preference.
- Return to the main menu, select Load Content and launch your imported Super Mario Bros ROM file. If setup properly, the iconic starting screen with Mario jumping over barrels will load!
Gameplay and Controls
If everything went smoothly, Super Mario Bros should now be running through RetroArch emulator on your computer!
Here are some tips on how to play:
- Use your keyboard’s arrow or WASD keys to move Mario left and right. Make him jump by pressing Shift, Spacebar or a controller button mapped to the A button.
- Scroll Mario through the Mushroom Kingdom, navigating platforms and obstacles to reach the flag pole at the end of each stage. Break bricks and hit mystery blocks to gain helpful power-ups and items.
- Defeat enemies like Goombas, Koopa Troopas, Piranha Plants and Bowser’s forces by jumping on them or shooting fireballs if powered-up. Rescue Princess Toadstool in World 8!
- Enter secret warp pipes and vine-covered tunnels to access bonus coin rooms or warp ahead to later worlds. Discover hidden 1-Up mushrooms to gain extra lives.
Take your time to get accustomed to the controls. Part of the appeal is gradually mastering Mario’s simple but precise jumping physics.
With practice, even the game’s more complex later levels will fill you with nostalgia and satisfaction. Have fun revisiting this classic game from Nintendo’s 8-bit era!
Tips for New Players
Just getting started with this genre-defining retro platformer? Here are some helpful Super Mario Bros tips:
- Take it slowly at first and focus on precision in your movement over speed or recklessly plowing forward – mastering Mario’s jump physics is key.
- Time your jumps carefully, both to avoid enemies and reach platforms properly. Hold B while jumping to descend slower if needed.
- Pay attention to each level’s terrain and pattern – try to think a platform or two ahead of Mario’s current position. Watch out for pits!
- Power-ups like Super Mushrooms, Fire Flowers and even the tricky-to-obtain Invincibility Stars can make challenging sections much more manageable.
- 1-Up mushrooms slowly regenerate over time from hit ? Blocks – return to previously cleared areas if running low on lives.
- Warp zones provide useful shortcuts to later worlds – they are accessible via secret pipes and vines hidden in bricks.
Game Genie Codes and Cheats
Struggling with some of Super Mario Bros’ more fiendishly difficult levels? For those looking to bend the rules, you can optionally enable some cheats:Game Genie Codes and Cheats
- Game Genie codes modify values in the game’s programming to grant effects like infinite lives, invincibility, weird glitches and more. These can be activated from RetroArch’s Game Genie menu option.
- The RetroArch emulator also includes other cheat functions to jump ahead levels or slow down the game speed. Just be careful not to entirely ruin the classic NES challenge!
We hope this guide covered everything you need to start playing the original SMB on a modern Windows, Mac or Linux computer.
From locating a Super Mario Bros ROM to configuring RetroArch emulator settings to mastering gameplay, let us know if you have any other questions!
With some practice, we are confident Mario’s debut adventure will provide hours of entertainment. So get ready to stomp some Goombas and have some 8-bit fun!