I happened to receive an old NES with Super Mario Bros. My kids pointed out that there's a two-player mode where both Mario and Luigi play at the same time. Does anybody know how to get it going?

FWIW, the cartridge says "European Version":

NES cartridge with picture of Mario, Peach, Bowser, and others

1 Answer 1


"Select" should highlight 2-player and then "Start" should begin the game. I believe that 2 players at the same time is a 2018 ROM hack, so it won't work on your cartridge.

  • 16
    "2 players" in these games meant when one player died as Mario (or possibly cleared a stage?) their turns was up, and the other one started playing as Luigi, and vice versa. That's how it was at least with Super Mario Bros 1 and 3, and with Super Mario World. Presumably other mainline games as well.
    – Arthur
    Jan 2 at 22:49
  • 5
    @Arthur The original Mario Bros was two player simultaneously. SMB was play until death, SMB3 and SMW was play one level (death or completion), and most of the games starting on Wii went back to simultaneous play.
    – phyrfox
    Jan 3 at 15:23
  • 3
    SMB3 did have a minigame where both players played at once in a fixed-size arena, but it didn't have support for actually progressing through levels with both at once.
    – Bobson
    Jan 3 at 15:56
  • 1
    What's confusing about this is that there's "Super Mario Bros" (the iconic game) and the original Mario Bros (no "Super") which was a VERY different game that had no definite end. SMB3 included it as a mini-game in 2-player mode (triggered by moving over the other player on the map and selecting them). The mini-game would be random, but included all of the OMB modes.
    – Machavity
    Jan 5 at 13:38

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