one fc 10

3

Mario Bros. (Nintendo, 1983)

Mario Bros. was one of just 10 FC games published in 1983, all by Nintendo. These games did not feature cartridge art, but instead had the now-characteristic “pulse line” design. Most of these early games were adaptations of Nintendo arcade games, like Donkey Kong, Donkey Kong Jr., and Popeye. The days of Mario’s dominance of the world were still far off.

Many of the “pulse line” games were released in America under the “black box” series, which is one of the more characteristic package designs for NES games. For these, Nintendo memorably chose to use representations of actual in-game graphics - apparently because gamers of the previous console generation had become jaded from package artwork looking nothing like the actual game. 

The pulse line carts stand as an interesting contrast to their U.S. counterparts - they’re colorful, like toys, which is what they were - while Nintendo of America wanted a gray/black monotone to make buyers feel more like they were buying appliances.