The All-Star treatment | Like day and night | Key rooms | Saving | Title screen | Story | Character select | Lives | Level intro | Game over | Bonus Chance | Warping | World 5-2 | World 6-1 | World 6-2 | World 6-3 | World 7-1 | Ending
The All-Star treatment
The solid-color backgrounds of Super Mario Bros. 2 were filled in with detailed background designs.
Easily seen in the screenshot above, the dark red hexagons making up the energy meter were changed to hearts outlined in white.
In light areas, all holes in the walls were replaced with doors. However, the dark areas on the other side still have holes with light shining in.
The boss rooms were brightened up with red, green, and blue blocks.
Mushroom Blocks can no longer sit on light beams. Enemies can now pass through the light as well, so be careful!
When Albatoss is hit, his upside-down sprite that falls off-screen isn't animated in All-Stars.
The Birdos boldly hold their Crystal Balls while battling the Mario crew on the NES. In All-Stars, the same Birdos hide the Crystal Balls in their bellies, spitting them out when defeated. The same goes for the Birdo with a Key in World 7-2.
Many of the character and item sprites underwent slight redesigns, and some color variations were replaced. The NES version has lighter-colored sprites for dark areas, but only Pidgit has a similar variation in All-Stars.
The good guys
Like day and night
Several levels were changed from nighttime to daytime, or vice versa. No doubt the change to the first section of World 1-1 shocked many SMB2 veterans:
The new background for the Key rooms features a huge, metallic Phanto.
When you grab the Key inside these rooms, a humming noise accompanies the big Phanto's glowing eyes.
Like the other three games included in All-Stars, you have four save slots, where only the world is saved. For example, if you save and quit in World 6-3, you will start up again in World 6-1.
You can save at any time via the pause screen.
The All-Stars version has an updated copyright, colorized characters, and centered frame decorations on the bottom and sides. The Shy Guy was moved to the left along with the bottom frame decoration. Even though they now have color, the grass and vegetable are colored differently from how they look in the game.
On the second story screen, the word "button" was removed.
In the All-Stars version, you start with five lives instead of three (the NES version lets you play with zero lives in reserve). Interestingly, an ellipsis now comes after the words "Extra Life," reminiscent of the character select screen in the SMB2 NES prototype. Whereas the NES version only lets you select a character before starting each stage, the All-Stars version takes you to back the character select screen when you lose a life.
Though you start out with more lives in All-Stars (see above), you max out at 99 lives, well short of the 255 allowed by the NES version. For extra lives over 99, the NES version replaces the tens digit with letters. For example, A0 = 100, A1 = 101, B0 = 110, and P4 = 254 extra lives.
The level intro screens now have colorized scenes with animated grass. All of the scenes have small changes to platform size and grass placement. World 1's intro is reused for Worlds 3 and 5.
When restarting a level after losing a life, All-Stars doesn't show the lives remaining because it's shown on the character select screen, which appears before this screen.
The desert scenes of Worlds 2 and 6 have a pyramid instead of a platform.
The World 4 scene has changes similar to the World 1 scene.
World 7's scene has a much bigger platform.
The original SMB2 shows two screens when you lose all your lives, and you are limited to two continues. The two screens were combined into one for the All-Stars version, which lets you continue (and save) as many times as you want. The newer Game Over screen reuses the title screen border design and has a picture of Birdo.
The Bonus Chance in All-Stars has larger slot machine graphics with new art. The instructions changed from "Push (A) Button" to "Push Button"in the NES version, you press the A button to stop the spinning panels, but the All-Stars version lets you press either Y, X, B, or A. If you match the first two panels in All-Stars, a drumroll will play.
In All-Stars, the prize for matching three non-cherries was increased from 1UP to 2UP.
Matching three cherries rewards you with 5UP in the original, but only 3UP in All-Stars.
The All-Stars version gives you a chance for 10UP with new "7" panels.
In All-Stars, the coin counter doesn't have to use letters for totals greater than nine. Also, the weird grass under Mario was fixed.
After going down a warp vase in the All-Stars version, the screen becomes distorted and new music plays as it transitions to the Warp announcement screen. Similar to the Game Over screen's new look, the title screen border design and another picture of Birdo decorate the new Warp screen.
In the NES version, the spike section of World 5-2 has the underground theme for its background music. In All-Stars, the overworld theme continues playing when you enter this section.
Platforms were added inside the sand vases in World 6-1 so that you're not trapped at the bottom if you dig up too much sand.
Inside Phanto's vase, the sand was removed behind Phanto and the Key.
At the end of World 6-2, the wall goes to the top of the screen in the All-Stars version.
In World 6-3, the cave entrance was changed from a creepy face to a metal Bob-omb door. When you stand in front of the door and press Up, it will rise and then close in front of you.
These four ladders in World 7-1 were extended to overlap the cloud platform, which makes it a bit easier to grab onto them. It also makes it possible to drop back down to this section if you're not careful.
With its new background that includes stained-glass windows, the room where you release the Subcons looks a lot fancier in All-Stars.
The heroes stand on a larger platform with columns that are now visible behind the Subcons, and the background has slightly smaller windows. Perhaps a bit tired from all the grass-pulling, Toad waves with only one hand in the All-Stars version. Wart's white belly and the jewel in his crown, which mysteriously were missing in this scene, were added for All-Stars.
In the All-Stars version, a colorized Mario dreams about two fewer Subcons. Although Toad was waving one hand on the previous screen, he is back to waving with both hands as he did in the NES version.
When Mario's dream (nightmare?) ends, All-Stars lets you save your game after pushing Start.