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Warped Pipes: Let's Talk About The Game & Watch Mario Bros.

Welcome back to Warped Pipes, the series where I build a fictional timeline for the Super Mario franchise, game by game. This time around, I’m looking at the Game & Watch version of...

Mario Bros.

Image: Nintendo Wikia

Actually released a few months before the arcade Mario Bros. (oops), the Game & Watch version is an entirely different game from the plumbing adventure most of us are familiar with. The original manual, shown below, lays out the scenario quite well.

Original manual.
Image: In The Attic

However, before we go any further, let’s talk about...

Different Versions

The Mario Bros. Game & Watch has seen two re-releases in the form of Game & Watch Gallery 3 and 4 for the GBC and GBA, respectively. While these galleries contain faithful recreations of the original game that can be considered to be the same entry, each also includes a “modern” version of the game that features new graphics, characters, and gameplay elements. Because of these differences, I will be evaluating the modern versions in Game & Watch Gallery games as separate entries and will discuss them further into the series.


Events of the Game

Image: Super Mario Wiki

Mario and Luigi are positioned on opposite sides of a conveyor system in a bottle factory. Mario receives packages of bottles and places them onto the convener. The brothers must then climb ladders in order to pass the packages back and forth across the conveyors to get the bottles to the top without them falling. When the packages reach the top, they are sealed and Luigi tosses them into a waiting truck with another factory employee. When the truck is filled, it drives off and is replaced with another truck.

Whenever Mario or Luigi mess up, as they inevitably will at this break-neck pace, a foreman appears on either side to chew them out for a few moments.


And that’s it! There’s no ending or greater story at play to try to interpret. It appears to just be a normal day at work in a bottle factory.

World Building

This game further solidifies what previous games have suggested: this is a heavily industrialized world. Furthermore, it appears that these brothers live in a society where they must commit themselves to grueling labor in order to get by. Based on the presence of coins in the arcade Mario Bros., this is most likely due to them living in highly capitalistic society.


The Timeline So Far

The game bears little connection to the other games we have discussed besides the characters of Mario and Luigi. My best guess is that the game takes place at a time when Mario and Luigi started working together but before they started the Mario Bros. company, as evidenced by the presence of angry bosses here. This also fits within the release order. Based on this, I will put the game just before the arcade Mario Bros. in our timeline, as shown below:


Next Up

Next time I’ll look into another Game & Watch title: Mario’s Cement Factory.

Click here to view all entries in the Warped Pipes series.

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