Yume Koujou: Doki Doki Panic
When the original Super Mario Bros. 2 was deemed too difficult for the West to be released as a sequel, Nintendo scrambled to find a replacement. Luckily Yume Koujou: Doki Doki Panic was sitting right there. With some tweaks, it became a new Super Mario Bros. game. In 1987, Fuji Television held an event to celebrate their upcoming lineup called “Yume Koujou ‘87” (“Dream Factory ‘87”). They had Arabian-themed mascot characters for the event, the main ones being Papa, Mama, Imajin, and Lina. The network then asked Nintendo to create a game with them for them, so they dug up a previously unused prototype from Kensuke Tanabe about a Mario-like game, featuring block tossing and vertically scrolling levels, and began reworking it. The Yume Koujou ‘87 mascots were added in, as well as various Arabian elements. Nintendo then included its own characters, like the Shy Guys, Pokeys, and Birdo, who later became part of the greater Mario canon. The story focuses on a book about the land of Mu, where dreams determine the weather. The citizens made a machine that allowed them to have only good dreams, but the evil Mamu (Wart) invaded and broke it, so it only generated nightmares. The citizens found his weakness was eating vegetables, and defeated him. This book finds its way to Mama and Papa's twins, Poki and Piki, who accidentally rip out the last page, erasing the ending. This frees Mamu, who kidnaps the twins and re- conquers Mu. The rest of the family then jumps into the book. The biggest difference between Super Mario Bros 2 (SMB2) and Doki Doki Panic (DDP) is the fact that you have to beat the entire game with all four characters in order to see the real ending, while in SMB2, you can beat it with just one. You can also save your game in DDP to aid this long quest, but not in SMB2. The four main characters are different, with Imajin becoming Mario, Lina becoming Princess Toadstool, Mama becoming Luigi, and Papa becoming Toad. SMB2 has a new boss in the fifth level, a crab named Clawgrip, which is just another Mouser in DDP. There are many graphical tweaks in SMB2, like the lamps being turned into potions, and the gates being masks instead of a bird head. There are some audio differences, too, including the addition of the SMB underground theme. A few other changes were made to make it more Mario-like – you can hold the B button to run, the characters all shrink when hurt, and mushrooms restore health. Due to the tweaks and improvements, it's hard not to consider the NES Super Mario Bros. 2 as the superior version, and it was even released in Japan later as Super Mario Bros. USA.