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Rare Mario games

Hidden treasures you may never have played

Mario has appeared in over 200 games. However, not all of them are as well-known or as enjoyable as the likes of Super Mario Galaxy Super Mario Bros. 3 and Super Mario 64. Although when we think of Mario we tend to think of the top-class, big budget titles, there have also been a heap of videogames that for whatever reason never became popular because they were either released on an obscure console, were cheap PC education titles or were simply a pile of garbage.

So, just to make sure that we've covered every nook and cranny of Mario's long and distinguished career, here's a selection of the rarest Mario games in existence, the majority of which never saw the light of day here in the UK. Which, in some cases, is no bad thing...

Wrecking Crew (NES, 1985)

Perhaps not as rare as the rest of the games here, Wrecking Crew has been included for the simple reason that not many people realise it's a Mario game. Yes, many people tend to list off Donkey Kong, Mario Bros. and Super Mario Bros. as Mario's early games but they tend to miss out Wrecking Crew. Actually released a few months before Super Mario Bros., Wrecking Crew sees Mario and Luigi (who's strangely decked in purple) going round building sites and destroying ladders, columns and blocks in a particular order to clear the level. It was later remade for the SNES in Japan.

Super Mario Bros. Special (NEC PC-8801)

Did you know that a version of Super Mario Bros. exists that wasn't programmed by Nintendo? See, Nintendo used to license the

rights to their games to other developers so they could reproduce Nintendo games on other systems (case in point: Donkey Kong on the Atari systems). One such game was Super Mario Bros. Special, a version of Super Mario Bros. that was developed by Hudson and released on the NEC PC-8801 (the Japanese equivalent of the ZX Spectrum or Commodore 64). The system was so weak however that it couldn't handle the NES game's side-scrolling action, so the game was played over a number of still screens. We've played it and while we think it's a pretty impressive technical achievement considering how the PC-8801 was much less powerful, it's still pretty awful.

All Night Nippon Super Mario Bros. (Famicom Disk System, 1986)

The radio show All Night Nippon is extremely popular in Japan, and continues to run to this day. Think Chris Moyles, only at night, with Japanese people, and with an actual presence of natural talent. In 1986 a special version of Super Mario Bros. was released in which all the enemies and Toads in the game were based on famous music stars and All Night Nippon DJs. The game's levels were a mixture of those from Super Mario Bros. and Super Mario Bros. 2 (aka The Lost Levels). Only given away in raffles on the All Night Nippon show, this is one of the rarest Mario games out there.

Kaettekita Mario Bros. (Famicom Disk System, 1986)

Translated as Mario Bros. Returns, this is an enhanced version of the original Mario Bros. game (not the Super one, mind), released for the Famicom Disk System add-on for the Japanese NES. As well as improved graphics, levels that were more faithful to the arcade original and the ability to change your direction mid-jump (woo-hoo), the game was also sponsored by Japanese food company Nagatanien, meaning players were 'treated' to adverts for Mario curry in between each level. One of the first occurrences of video game advertising, we reckon.

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  1. YAYFORNINTENDO Friday 10th Apr 2009 at 08:26

    Wow, Mario sucks when Nintendo don't do his games.
    I played Wrecking Crew at my mates house a few times, gets quite hard in the later levels.

  2. Adam the Odd Friday 10th Apr 2009 at 08:28

    Woo first post!
    It's true you learn something new everyday-I never knew the original Playstation was made using research from the SNES. But I don't think that was the aim of the article...

  3. Adam the Odd Friday 10th Apr 2009 at 08:29

    aww beaten by 2 minutes

  4. zack and mario Friday 10th Apr 2009 at 08:50

    Curse you ONM for reminding me of Mario hotel!!!!

  5. Flash7 Friday 10th Apr 2009 at 08:52

    Of cours, Hotel Mario is actually a really good game. After all, where would Youtube Poop be without it?

  6. KrikenKing Friday 10th Apr 2009 at 09:01

    I had both Mario is Missing and Mario's Time Machine on the PC a few years back. I was disappointed that there was no jumping action.

  7. koopamaster Friday 10th Apr 2009 at 09:16

    ONM recognizes that it is meme time.
    http://images.encyclopediadramatica.com/images/8/8a/MariosezNO.jpg

  8. LuigiWare Friday 10th Apr 2009 at 10:54

    Hotel Mario was cancelled? Then how is it that I, as well as many other people own it.

  9. Bugpy Friday 10th Apr 2009 at 11:05

    I think we did this at school (Mario Teaches Typing) I remember a little bit, and my nan taught it too. For Computer Club....

  10. City Of Delusion Friday 10th Apr 2009 at 12:10

    And now, for a round of Spot the Mistake:

    You've labeled the Mario's Time Machine as Mario's Early Years Games.

  11. Dooby Friday 10th Apr 2009 at 12:23

    Tha MAri Excite bike ooks awesme, please release that on VCit looks so cool !!!! I WANT IT ! :twisted:

  12. Poltergust 3000 Friday 10th Apr 2009 at 12:37

    Hidden Gems? Hidden Rubbish more like. Also regarding Mario Hotel - even Nintendo made some bad Mario games but this game shows you just how bad they can get when Nintendo aren't involved. Truly abysmal.

  13. Random-Hero Friday 10th Apr 2009 at 13:01

    Lack of Mario Music and Paint Disappoints... XD

  14. Mama Luigi Friday 10th Apr 2009 at 13:13

    I've managed to get hold of and play a good few of these games and I have to say, the only good ones are All Night Nippon and Excitebike. Hotel Mario isn't as bad as everyone makes it out to be. "NICE OF THE PRINCESS TO INVITE US OVER FOR A PICNIC, GAY LUIGI?"

  15. GuyWhoLikesBlue2 Friday 10th Apr 2009 at 14:21

    Hey! Don't dis Chris Moyles! He can't be that bad, seeing as his breakfast show is in it's 5th year

  16. SuperMarioFan886 Friday 10th Apr 2009 at 14:23

    I have Mario teaches typing. Got it off eBay for pretty cheap.

  17. Oxo64 Friday 10th Apr 2009 at 15:39

    A lot of these games are...wierd.

    Tha MAri Excite bike ooks awesme, please release that on VCit looks so cool !!!! I WANT IT ! :twisted:

    I gotta agree with Dooby on this one, Mario Excitebike looks ace. To not put it on VC would be insane.

  18. markdean2012 Friday 10th Apr 2009 at 18:27

    A lot of these games are...wierd.

    Tha MAri Excite bike ooks awesme, please release that on VCit looks so cool !!!! I WANT IT ! :twisted:

    I gotta agree with Dooby on this one, Mario Excitebike looks ace. To not put it on VC would be insane.

    same
    anyway, i have mario is missing and it's pretty poor

  19. catscan93 Friday 10th Apr 2009 at 19:20

    So they had downloadable content in the mid-ninties?

    I remember our school making us play mario teaches typing in 2000....such a waste of mario... :(

  20. punkmario Friday 10th Apr 2009 at 21:47

    i got mario clash, its fun, a nice tech demo for the virtual boy, but red alert is the best vb game,

    mario is missing is pooooo!

    and not youtube poop like hotel mario,....god i hate hotel mario, never played it, but i despise internet meme's especially youtube poop and over 9000

  21. koopamaster Friday 10th Apr 2009 at 22:34

    i despise internet meme's especially youtube poop and over 9000


    http://img252.imageshack.us/img252/9359/vegeta9000tj3.jpg

  22. The Arbiter Friday 10th Apr 2009 at 22:55

    "NICE OF THE PRINCESS TO INVITE US OVER FOR A PICNIC, GAY LUIGI?"

    HEY YOU, GET OFF OUR CLOUD!

    *turns on giant fan on cloud. wtf-age ensues*

  23. D.J Saturday 11th Apr 2009 at 07:37

    Hotel Mario was not cancelled, i actually saw it in the shops at the time of release.

  24. maximus005 Saturday 11th Apr 2009 at 16:10

    Mario excitebike?! mental. why isn't the virtual console cashing in on these - even if they aren't the best games there are surely a lot of people who'd buy them...

  25. Vortex099 Saturday 11th Apr 2009 at 20:41

    Hotel Mario isn't a good game - but I like it in one sense for the cutscenes - they're a great source for YouTube Poops.

  26. punkmario Saturday 11th Apr 2009 at 22:29

    i despise internet meme's especially youtube poop and over 9000


    http://img252.imageshack.us/img252/9359/vegeta9000tj3.jpg

    hahaha okay i lied i liek that one ...... **cough** mudkipz

  27. Nitrotrike64 Sunday 12th Apr 2009 at 10:40

    Oh man that mario excitebike looks awesome. Shame it was downloadable content and not a real game cos im sure this would have sold really well. I know i would have bought it and i still would. *hint hint*. Ninty should relese this for the VC or actually it would work really well on the DSi. Please release this!!!

  28. Mr Resettio Sunday 12th Apr 2009 at 15:36

    "NICE OF THE PRINCESS TO INVITE US OVER FOR A PICNIC, GAY LUIGI?"

    HEY YOU, GET OFF OUR CLOUD!

    *turns on giant fan on cloud. wtf-age ensues*

    I HOPE SHE MADE LOTSA SPAGHETTI!!!!!

  29. The Jam Sunday 12th Apr 2009 at 16:51

    What? I remember ONM doing this back in September '07 in the Mario issue. :roll:

  30. mariofan97 Monday 13th Apr 2009 at 07:11

    grown up smb or whatever looks TERRIBLE!what the hell do ya do in it!WHAT!

  31. noodle link Monday 13th Apr 2009 at 14:22

    you got it wrong, they were going to make super mario's wacky worlds but they didn't, and made hotel mario instead.
    and it ended up a pile of ****

  32. crazyrockboy Tuesday 14th Apr 2009 at 20:36

    *groan* we don't need to be reminded about Hotel Mario... It's pretty much a religion on youtube.
    I mean, If I have to hear that toasters mean toast one more time, I'll write a formal letter of complaint to myself discussing the issues. =P

  33. Darklord m.b Wednesday 15th Apr 2009 at 17:14

    These games look quite good I hope they will be on wii virtiual console :D

  34. Darkxaur Thursday 16th Apr 2009 at 09:01

    I'd say there's a few gems in that list, But I would'nt go so far as to call the CD-i and typing teaching Mario games as being treasures. Bizarre freaks of gaming that need to be put on display in jars of formaldihyde, maybe. :)

  35. alienjesus Thursday 16th Apr 2009 at 21:38

    i actually own hotel mario and mario clash.

    hotel mario was most definitely not cancelled. shame though.

  36. Luigibro606 Monday 20th Apr 2009 at 07:51

    Everyone who used Mario Teaches Typing, is lucky cause its Mario and even if its not gold award stuff, its better than learning normally.

  37. Wiilmer Monday 11th May 2009 at 11:26

    Ha, I've played "All Night Nippon Super Mario Bros."!
    It's pretty weird though... :S

  38. wilrc6 Wednesday 1st Jul 2009 at 23:00

    I have the PC version of Marios Time Machine. Is it worth anything?

  39. gameslobby Tuesday 5th Oct 2010 at 05:07

    Mario is such a best game in the video game world.

  40. bobwarner01 Wednesday 16th Feb 2011 at 08:06

    I like the game related to my hero .I also like simulation games.Mario is the best animated character.

  41. funkybabeone Tuesday 7th Jun 2011 at 05:04

    Mario is my favorite character and i love to play mario a lot.. From childhood its my favorite game

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