"The Game That Surpassed Super Mario" Is Available In The West For The First Time 1
Image: Sunsoft

Nintendo recently updated its Nintendo Switch Online library with a handful of new titles, one of which is making its Western debut for the first time ever.

Released alongside Urban Champion, Golf, Donkey Kong Jr. Math, Mach Rider, Solar Jetman and Cobra Triangle is Atlantis no Nazo (The Mystery of Atlantis), a Sunsoft platformer released in Japan in 1986.

Launched in the wake of Super Mario Bros., Atlantis no Nazo was famously compared to Nintendo's game in Japan, although there's some confusion as to whether or not Sunsoft actually included the cheeky line "Ano Super Mario wo koeta!!" ("The game that surpassed Super Mario!!") in its promotional material. It seems that it might have originated from a guide in a 1986 issue of Japanese magazine Famimaga.

This boast was apparently based not on the game's overall quality but the fact that it had more levels than Super Mario Bros. – a rather underhanded claim, but one that was factually correct, at least. Over the years, Atlantis no Nazo has been labelled "kusoge" ("crap game") by some sectors of the gaming community.

Despite this, Atlantis no Nazo is still held in moderate esteem in Japan and was included on the Classic Mini: Family Computer micro-console (the Japanese version of the NES Classic) in 2016. At one point, the game almost became part of the Pitfall series when Activision began localisation work, but Super Pitfall II (as it would have been named) never saw release.