Vs Super Mario Bros for the arcade is that nightmare you have when you’ve been up all night playing Super Mario Bros on your NES.
At first you’re just running along 1-1 grabbing various mushrooms, hitting warp zones without a care in the world. But then suddenly the world transforms into a horror of nigh uncrossable gaps, bullet bills appearing mid-jump, and dark castles full of spinning flames and oddly placed gaps in the floor.
Then you run out of quarters and you wake up.
Or if you’re playing on the Switch or MAME, the nightmare continues for as long as your patience can suffer repeated failure. You have the advantage of using the emulator’s save feature though, and eventually may triumph, in the cheesiest way possible.
That’s how it feels at first anyway. Once you complete world 6, the highest level accessible by Warp Zone, the game isn’t too much more difficult than the NES version, if at all. World 8 is pretty much identical. I could find no discernible difference.
Like all Mario games, the obstacles are consistent and predictable. Practice long enough, and perfect the timings, and you can theoretically beat the whole in with one quarter. I wouldn’t know though. My best run brought me to 6-4 Bowser on my last life. I made the mistake of going high instead of low, and got a hammer to the face.
I did reach the end eventually using save states at the beginning of each level. It has actually gotten to the point that the “Lost Level” portions are not too hard for me. By speeding through as fast as possible it ensures that the timings remain consistent. If you go slowly and carefully the koopas and troopas will be in different positions each time you reach them.
On the Switch (or MAME) it is easy enough to pick up the game whenever to try a run. My goal is still to reach the end in a single quarter, and hopefully someday I will have the chance to do that on a legit arcade cabinet.
That’s the dream.