Dr. Mario

From Gamehiker Wiki

Dr. Mario
Developer Nintendo R&D 1
Publisher Nintendo
System NES, Game Boy, Arcade, Super NES, Game Boy Advance, 3DS Virtual Console, Wii U Virtual Console
Release Date NES
JP July 27, 1990
US October 1990
EU June 27, 1991
Game Boy
JP July 27, 1990
US December 1990
EU April 30, 1991
JP June 1, 1998
JP May 21, 2004
US October 25, 2004
EU January 7, 2005
3DS Virtual Console (GB)
JP July 27, 2011
EU March 22, 2012
US October 4, 2012
Wii U Virtual Console
EU February 13, 2014
JP February 26, 2014
US March 27, 2014
Genre Puzzle
Gallery GH Gallery
Rating ESRB: E

Dr. Mario is a puzzle game featuring Mario in the role of a doctor eliminating viruses. It was released simultaneously for the NES and Game Boy in 1990. Since then, Dr. Mario has been ported to nearly every Nintendo system.



Dr. Mario, after going on several wild adventures, has begun working at the Mushroom Kingdom Hospital's virus research lab with Princess Peach as his nurse. However, an experiment gone wrong causes several viruses to replicate quickly. Luckily Dr. Mario has invented a new vitamin that he thinks can destroy the viruses.


Similar to Tetris, Dr. Mario tosses several vitamins into a jar that takes up most of the screen. The jar is filled with viruses, each being one of three colors (red, blue or yellow). Each vitamin also has two colored segments. The point is to align and move the vitamins as they fall so that four vitamins and viruses of the same color are aligned, destroying all four. The game advances to the next level when all viruses are destroyed.


Several more Mario-based puzzlers such as Tetris Attack and Yoshi's Cookie were made over the years. However, none became as popular as Dr. Mario. Dr. Mario is well-known for its addictiveness and catchy music that rivals even Tetris itself. This has led to the game being frequently rereleased.

In addition to the rereleases, Dr. Mario has been featured as a playable fighter in Super Smash Bros. Melee and Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS/Wii U, and the Smash games also use music from the game. The NES version of Dr. Mario was also among the games featured in NES Remix 2 and Ultimate NES Remix 2, games in which snippets of classic Nintendo games could be played with unique challenges, and elements of the different games could be mixed together.

Ports and Rereleases

  • In 1990, an arcade version was released as part of the Vs. Multisystem. It was the last game in the Vs. Multisystem line.
  • A Super NES version was released packaged with Tetris as Tetris & Dr. Mario in 1994. This was only released in America and Europe.
  • In 1998, Dr. Mario was released for the Super NES in Japan as part of the Nintendo Power system.
  • Dr. Mario 64 was released for the Nintendo 64 in 2001, in America only. Dr. Mario 64 contained the original game as well as a new four-player mode and a Story Mode with appearances by Wario and various characters from Wario Land 3.
  • A version of Dr. Mario appeared as an unlockable in 2003's WarioWare, Inc.: Mega Microgame$ in 2003. This version was called Dr. Wario and replaced the Dr. Mario sprite with one of Wario.
  • Dr. Mario was released for the Game Boy Advance as part of the Classic NES Series.
  • In 2005 it was again released for the Game Boy Advance, this time packaged with Puzzle League (a character-less version of Panel de Pon) as Dr. Mario & Puzzle League.
  • In 2007, Dr. Mario was included in Brain Age 2: More Training in Minutes a Day! under the name Germ Buster.
  • In 2008 a remake was made for WiiWare known as Dr. Mario Online RX. The game features an online multiplayer mode where characters can play as their Miis.
  • In 2009, a similar remake to the above was released as DSiWare, called Dr. Mario Express.
  • In 2011, the Game Boy version was released for download through the 3DS's eShop as part of the 3DS Virtual Console.
  • In 2014, Dr. Luigi was released for download through the Wii U's eshop as part of the special "Year of Luigi" promotion. This version replaced Dr. Mario with a doctor version of Luigi and also featured L-shaped Megavitamin blocks.
  • In 2014, the NES version was released for download through the Wii U's eShop as part of the Wii U Virtual Console.
  • In 2015, another updated remake called Dr. Mario: Miracle Cure was released for download through the Nintendo 3DS's eshop. This version introduced a new gameplay feature known as the Miracle Cure and also featured a Dr. Luigi mode incorporating the gamplay from Dr. Luigi.
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