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Leeroy ST

Were there scrolling platformers before Super Mario Bros with decent graphics?

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On 9/13/2021 at 2:16 PM, TheCoolDave said:

Moon Patrol (2600 ?).... Smurf on the Colecovision  

Already mentioned before, but the latter doesn't scroll.

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12 hours ago, Leeroy ST said:

Already mentioned before, but the latter doesn't scroll.

Good thing you corrected that.  He was clearly in the wrong and needed your guidance on the matter.  Well done!

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35 minutes ago, frankodragon said:

Lupin III (For some reason, this text refused to show above the video)

 

 

Bongo 1983

 

 

 

Bongo seems to scroll only during transitions.

 

Lupin the III however does consistent scrolling, and looks pretty neat to play actually. Getting CGA vibes from the color scheme and title screen.

 

Btw, I see the text over the video. Maybe it was just a hiccup on your end?

 

 

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Bongo kind of reminds me of Snokie in the way it scrolls in one screen at a time.

 

I think the question we should ask ourselves is which games roughly resembling Super Mario Bros were already out by 1984 and reasonably well known so Shigeru Miyamoto could copy and refine it? The idea here is that Miyamoto on his own would not be able to come up with a game like SMB, he must've had some inspiration from previous work to copy and build upon.

 

Say what you want about Moon Patrol, Jungle Hunt or Smurf, but neither of those games strongly resemble Super Mario Bros even if some of those have scrolling. We already mentioned Pac-Land as a major inspiration for Super Mario Bros, and perhaps that is the answer to the question - Miyamoto copied Pac-Land and made it his own. On the home computer and console side, the selection may have been less, but then again he didn't really need a plethora of games to get inspired by if there was one good enough to clone and enhance.

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You're right this whole thing has gone into the weeds.  Also keep in mind where he was in his career at that rate.  He got lucky and hit a jackpot with Donkey Kong and follow ups, he wasn't much of a video game or arcade guy at the time then, the dude wasn't into computers at all, he was an artist if I remember correctly.  Not to say he wasn't familiar, he has brought up Space Invaders before as an inspiration.  Which makes sense as Radar Scope is kind of like that, it was his first developed game, and it bombed which we know got many cabs turned into Donkey Kong.  DK was inspired by a mix of Popeye, King Kong, and Beauty and the Beast.  Following DK was DKjr which was more of the same kind of, then DK3 pops up and he's back to his radar scope roots.

 

He does admit the idea for SMB and its scrolling was because of his own projects, especially the endlessly scrolling/stopping left to right only Excitebike and the port of IREMs Kung Fu to Famicom.  He combined that mechanic with what happens/style of the DK, Devil World, and Mario Bros, etc to get to SMB1.  So I don't even think the speculation is even fair on 90% any of the guesses here where the idea could have been taken from, Pac-Land would be the only slighty plausible one, unless through decades of interviews we're just assuming the smiling little guy is a sham or a habitual liar.

 

Think about it.  He works on and designs a left to right stop/go scrolling Excitebike, then in 1984 followed it up with the porting of Kung Fu which does the same (and right to left too alternating stages.)  That's your screens keep going mechanic.  Then he resurrects his fat little buddy who kicked DKs ass to get his girly back as the star.  Realizing you need more, he pulls from the whole King Kong Popeye and Beauty mythology/style for the whole evil king/bad big grunt rescue the princess angle and went with it.  Take his childhood of being an outdoorsy type into the gardens nature creeks and the animals plants and bugs there, you can get the idea of weird walking mushrooms, turtles, fish, etc.  I think that probably right there is the answer... life experience growing up outdoors and in the office.

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6 hours ago, Tanooki said:

Which makes sense as Radar Scope is kind of like that, it was his first developed game

I think Sheriff was the first game he worked on. He worked on Radar Scope too though, but his role is not really known (either in game graphics or cabinet art).

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2 hours ago, roots.genoa said:

I think Sheriff was the first game he worked on. He worked on Radar Scope too though, but his role is not really known (either in game graphics or cabinet art).

He did some art for Sheriff, the other was developmental level or at least there's some debate over it he never was asked or cleared up.  Either way, it doesn't change really much of where the inspiration for SMB came from as you can see a progression of work from exterior cabinet art, to game art, etc.  I do think it's pretty interesting that it appears that Excitebike and Irems game port of Kung Fu to the NES laid the bones down for the required motion for the platformer that became Super Mario Bros.

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Yes. One of the problems is that the Japanese used to call artists "designers" and game designers "planners", so there's a lot of confusion on whether people like Miyamoto designed games or just created art for them. I think Donkey Kong really was the first game he designed.

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On 9/17/2021 at 3:53 AM, carlsson said:

and reasonably well known so Shigeru Miyamoto could copy and refine it? 

Well technically this is something extra that was added as a side. 

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