Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels is a 1986 side-scrolling, platformer action game developed and published by Nintendo as the sequel to the 1985 Super Mario Bros. The games are similar in style and gameplay apart from a large increase in difficulty. Like the original, Mario or Luigi venture to rescue the Princess from Bowser. Unlike the original, the game has no two-player option and Luigi is differentiated from his twin plumber brother by having less ground friction and higher jump height. The Lost Levels also introduces setbacks like poison mushroom power-ups, counterproductive level warps, and mid-air wind gusts. The game has 32 levels across eight worlds, and five bonus worlds.
As in the original, Mario (or Luigi) venture to rescue the Princess from Bowser. The player jumps between platforms, avoids enemy and inanimate obstacles, finds hidden secrets (like the warp zone and vertical vines), and collects power-ups like the Mushroom (which makes Mario grow), the Fire Flower (which lets Mario throw fireballs), and the Invincibility Star. Unlike the original, there is no two-player mode and the player chooses between the twin plumbers, who are differentiated for the first time, at the title screen. Luigi, designed for skilled players, has less ground friction and higher jump height. Mario is faster.
The game's difficulty picks up from near the end of the original and progressively increases. The Lost Levels introduces annoyances including poison mushrooms, level warps that set the player farther back in the game, and wind gusts that redirect the player's course mid-air. Some of the game's levels require 'split-second' precision. There were also some graphical changes, though the soundtrack is identical. After each boss fight, Toad tells Mario that 'our princess is in another castle!' The main game has 32 levels across eight worlds and five bonus worlds. A hidden World 9 is accessible if the player does not use a warp zone. Bonus worlds A through D are accessible when the player plays through the game eight times, for a total of 52 levels.
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