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Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels

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Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels, known in Japan as Super Mario Bros. 2 (スーパーマリオブラザーズ2, Sūpā Mario Burazāzu Tsū), is a video game produced by Nintendo, first released in Japan on June 3, 1986 for the Famicom Disk System. It is the direct sequel to the second best-selling video game of all time, Super Mario Bros. and is very similar to the predecessor, both graphically and in terms of gameplay.

The Storyline of Super Mario Bros: The Lost Levels is no different to the generic storyline used in practically every Mario game: King Bowser has abducted Princess Peach and is holding her captive in one of his castles. Either Mario or Luigi must navigate through the Mushroom Kingdom, overcome Bowser's henchmen, and rescue the Princess. The main differences to Super Mario Bros. come in the form of new obstacles, such as poison mushrooms, hazardous wind currents, and negative warp zones; all of which have been put in place to hinder their quest. Unlike the previous title, Super Mario Bros. 2 is strictly a single-player game. It uses the same game engine as its predecessor and is identical to it in visual style. However, the level of difficulty in the sequel is substantially higher. It is intended to challenge players who have mastered the original Super Mario Bros.

Withdrawal from International Markets[edit]

A NES version of The Lost Levels was never created by Nintendo; and due to the Famicom Disk System never receiving a released outside of Japan, the game did not see release outside of Japan until 1993. However exactly why Nintendo never released the game internationally was never officially stated by the company. The most commonly believed reason for the game's withdrawal from international markets is that Nintendo feared the high difficulty of the game would frustrate Western audiences. However, Super Mario Bros. Deluxe, a Game Boy Color remake of The Lost Levels and the original Super Mario Bros. released in 1999, was found to have been made easier for the Japanese audience.

There is a less commonly believed, but slightly more logical excuse for the game being held back. When the final Japanese version of the game was demonstrated to Nintendo of America, it is believed that the staff there expressed disapproval at the game and decided against developing and releasing a version for American audiences. Indeed, the president of Nintendo of America, Howard Lincoln, is reported to have disliked the game, believing that it did little to innovate the franchise.