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Season 5 Week 1 - Super Mario Bros. (1985)


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Welcome to week 1 of the 5th season of what is now the Atari Age NES High Score League!


This season is only going to be 10 weeks long, and will feature one game released each year between 1985 and 1994.


I am starting the first week early, since many people will not immediately notice that the NES HSC is up and running again. Without further ado, let's get things started.


This week's game and the 1985 entry is going to be Super Mario Bros. Yes, it is a common game that we have all burned countless hours playing, but with the league starting anew, let's play the game that started it all on the NES. Many of us who play through this game simply plow through it to beat it, but how often do we play for high score? Time to remember the technique used to maximize the number of fireworks that go off at the end of each stage!


Title: Super Mario Bros.

Developer: Nintendo

Publisher: Nintendo

Released: March, 1986 (US)

Twin Galaxies High Score: 1,201,350 (Patrick Scott Patterson)





Warp zones are not your friend. You want to try and play through the entire game.


The time bonus that you get at the end of levels is less than the points you can accrue by making sure to pick up most items and kill most foes. It is not however worth your time to break every brick. The time bonus given is 50 points for every second remaining.


Fireworks at the end of each level are worth 500 points each, and the most you can get is six. To do this, hit the flagpole with six as the last digit on the clock. It takes about three and a half seconds from the time you start to run and jump until the time you hit the flagpole, so when the clock reads "XX0", start your run. Hit the top of the flagpole and get all of the fireworks for a total bonus of 8000 points.


Remember that coins help you get extra lives, but are also worth 200 points each.


Kick an empty turtle shell and then follow it as it kills other enemies, as the points rack up quickly. If you kill a turtle, kick it's shell, and kill 8 enemies in a row you will get a total of about 17,500 points. Each additional enemy after that will give you 1 extra life.




I realize that it can be hard to find a working Super Mario Bros. ROM online. If you do not have this game, PM me and I will point you in the right direction. This game is DMCA protected so I can't post a link to a ROM.


To really get things kicked off right, I am going to present the first single-week prize. Remember that prizes will not be given out every week, but you will always be told beforehand when there is a prize up for grabs. This weeks prize is a NIB Super Mario Bros. LCD keychain game from the "Mini Classics" series, officially licensed by Nintendo. It needs a new battery but otherwise is in awesome condition.




Week 1 will end on Monday, January 18th at which time week 2's 1986 entry will be posted. Final scores must be posted by Tuesday the 19th in order to be counted. Good luck!








Last modified 01/20/10 @ 8:15AM PST


starcry	        861,250	100%
atari2600land	833,400	97%
Jibbajaba	754,250	88%
arjak	        646,600	75%
darthkur	585,350	68%
doubleminor	434,950	51%
roadrunner	424,900	49%
4Ks	        220,350	26%

Edited by Jibbajaba
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Cool one of my favorite NES games


as for trusting YES the other HSC's do just that, its an honor system

and screen shots are good but yes they can be edited but for the most part what joy is there winning or coming in the top 10 or whatever if all ya did was lie

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Arrgh! I just beat this (and every other Mario game for that matter) last week! Too bad I can't remember the score now... :)


There are quite a few spots where one can rack up ridiculous amounts of points using turtle tricks. Those are forbidden, I assume?

Do you actually get points for doing that after it starts awarding 1-UPs?



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No, but you can just restart it, netting something like 20,000 points each time.


A friend and I took a run at rolling SMB sometime around 1991, and got about halfway to 1M before I dropped some books on the floor, crashing the cart. :dunce: Oooooops. I don't remember whether we used the turtle trick or what. I think TG only allows you to go through 5 lives, or something like that?

Edited by thegoldenband
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First, there is no hard evidence of scores. Yes you can lie, and yes you can Photoshop screen shots, but to what end? Just so that you can say that you won the AA NES High Score League? This is supposed to be about fun, so I don't see why someone would go to the trouble of cheating in that manner. Like I said in the rules thread, we are all on our honor.


As has always been the case with the NES HSC, one should not exploit bugs, camp in one spot killing enemies, etc. in order to achieve a higher score. For example, one could just sit in the middle of the screen in Ghosts N' Goblins killing zombies all day until time runs out. But this is not playing the game in the spirit in which it was intended. When playing Super Mario Bros., you should be playing through the game with the intention of beating it, while compiling as many points as possible through normal means. So using the turtle on the stairs trick would be, if not straight-up cheating, at least exploiting an unintended source of points.


Tricks/exploits aside, you may go through as many lives as you can collect from getting green mushrooms or 100X coins. The only two things that should stop you from continuing to play are getting "Game Over", or finishing the game.


Glad to see that there is already some interest in this week's game! By the way, I am going to be playing along with you guys and will list myself in the standings just for fun, but will not occupy one of the ranked spots (so if I had the third highest aggregate score, the guy ahead of me would be second and the guy behind me would be third) and I will obviously not be eligible to win any prizes.



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I went ahead and posted a table with the scores so far at the bottom of the initial post. I will update it as new scores are posted, and if anyone who has already posted a score posts a better one, then I will replace the old one with the new one in the table. If you post an updated score, please create a new post instead of editing an old one, so that I will be sure to see it.


I also posted some tips in the initial post. If anyone has any others, post them and I'll add them to the list.





Edited by Jibbajaba
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Those are good images, those are better then snapping a shot from the screen.


If you are referring to my score screen shot, then it's because I adjust my camera settings to give me the best screen shot possible. No lights on in the room, 1 second shutter speed (gotta keep your hands steady!), high aperture setting (I use F8.0), pointed straight at the screen, and of course no flash. Also my NES is RGB modded which improves the picture dramatically.


If you are referring to the shots in the initial post or roadrunner's shot, those are obviously taken with an emulator.



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582650 for my first try.


I got this score at the end of 4-1 where I died out. Some hints are as follows

1. Remember guys every block you break is 50 points.

2. Stars are NOT your friends in some cases, you only get 100 points for each enemy hit with a star compared to at least 200 without.

3. Fireballs are fine for gombas but stomp turtles, its worth more points, and even better if you can hit a few other enemys with it.

4. Try to kill bowser with fireballs at the end of each stage! you get 5000 points for doing this and your time does not add to your score in a castle.

5. Watch your time if it takes more than one tick of the clock to collect 50 points then you are losing points!


Thats it for now ill try to get more info soon.


oh and im new here I adore the idea. I dont have a cam so screen shots are not going to happen unless im emulating and in all cases I enjoy the real thing first!

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