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Retro Vault: Super Mario Bros, Resident Evil Gaiden

Plus: Craig Charles introduces Super Mario All-Stars

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September 1987: Super Mario Bros. player's guide (CVG issue 71)

Today we take the internet for granted - if we're stuck at a certain part of a game the answer is always mere seconds away - but it obviously wasn't always like this.

It was even trickier in the very early days of console gaming, when the NES was still a niche product in the UK. Spare a thought, then, for the CVG staff back in 1987 when they decided to write a guide for Super Mario Bros. even though they themselves hadn't been able to beat the game.

It's strange to think of a time when the secrets of Super Mario Bros. were still secret, but that was the case back then. "The reason why you get fireworks at the end of a level is still a mystery," the guide despairs. "The instruction manual is frustratingly vague about everything."

To give them credit, the guide writer did actually make it to the final level, World 8-4, but because they hadn't finished it they couldn't give advice on how to beat Bowser. "The last level is a maze of tubes you must climb down - they must be in the correct order or you'll wander around forever - and you'll encounter a swimming level," it explains. "And that's as far as we've reached. Can you beat it?"

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