Super Mario Bros. Special was made by Hudson Soft in 1986 for the NEC-PC8801 and Sharp X1 series of Japanese PCs. SMB Special was the first Nintendo-licensed sequel to Super Mario Bros., released shortly before Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels. Two years earlier, Hudson Soft had released a similar follow-up game for Mario Bros., entitled Mario Bros. Special.
While superficially very similar to the original Super Mario Bros., the game features original levels and lacks a screen-scrolling mechanism. Jumping and running physics also differ from the original, providing a more challenging experience than Super Mario Bros.. Adding to the difficulty is the fact that the level timer runs much faster than in the NES/Famicom game.
Due to the PC88's technology being slightly inferior to that of the NES/Famicom, the graphics and audio differ somewhat from the original NES game as well. However, they are closely emulated and does not include Luigi or a multiplayer mode.
The Sharp X1 version does contain partial scrolling and better graphics but gives Mario a slightly shorter jump.
Hudson's staff took these enemies from earlier Mario games, none of which can be stomped, and provided them with new names:
- Tarusar (Barrel) - Originally from Donkey Kong. Can be defeated with a hammer or a bump from below.
- Sigebou (Fire) - Originally from Donkey Kong.
- Chokichoki (Sidestepper) - Originally from Mario Bros. Can be defeated with a fireball or a bump.
- Nakaji (Fighter Fly) - Originally from Mario Bros. Can be defeated with a fireball or a bump.
- Tsurara (Icicle) - Originally from Mario Bros. Can be defeated with a fireball.
- Hachisuke (a.k.a. Hu-Bee) - The bee from the Hudson Soft logo. If Mario finds this item, he will be awarded 8,000 points.
- Hammer - The same power-up from Donkey Kong. It even behaves similarly.
- + Clock - Upon picking this up, Mario will get a "Time 100 Up" for the level's timer.
- Wing - Collecting this causes Mario to briefly act as if he is swimming in the air.
- Lucky Star - Found only in World 4-1, it has the appearance of an atom. If Mario collects it, all the enemies on-screen will be killed.
- Strange and Wonderful NEC PC-8801 Games (various games covered, including Super Mario Bros. Special)
- Universal Game List entry for Super Mario Bros. Special
- More information on Super Mario Bros. Special
- More information on Sharp X1 version