Super Mario Bros Z - The Game

A 1 on 1, fan-made fighting game based off of "Super Mario Bros Z" (SMBZ)

Community Hub Discord Server. Created with Unity


A second go at creating a game for Super Mario Bros Z. Updates will be irregular, but this time, I'm getting it done.

Super Mario Bros Z (SMBZ) is a Mario/Sonic/DBZ crossover parody created by Mark Haynes (AKA: Alvin-Earthworm). Since its initial release in 2006, SMBZ's fans have always wanted a game for it and since I, a kid at the time, was just getting into game development and looking for a game idea to work on, I decided accept the challenge. I eventually dropped the project a few years later, however, to focus on college. During that time, Alvin announced he, with the help of a friend, was going to create a game for SMBZ as well, however, they dropped their project too...

Ever since, no one seemed to want to create an SMBZ game, leaving fans sad and longing.

So, now that I've finished college and am a much better developer than ever, I've decided to, once again, attempt to create the SMBZ fighting game all the fans of the series have been dying for. And this time, it won't be dropped.

Once the game is completed it should have:

  • Arcade Mode
  • Versus Mode
  • 9 Characters: Mario, Luigi, Yoshi, Sonic, Shadow, Mecha Sonic, Axem Rangers X, Koopa Bros and Basilisx
  • At least 3 Stages, including: Super Mario World, Yoshi's Island and Bowser's Flying Fortress

Tips and Tricks

General Fundamentals:

  • In the Options menu or the Pause Menu, you may find, view and edit your controls at your leisure.
  • The Attack button can be used with a direction for 3 options: Up, Down and Neutral (i.e. no direction), as well as with Z-Trigger to do heavier attacks for 3 more options.
  • The Guard button will block attacks, negating all damage but only from the front. Some attacks are unblockable.
  • The Jump button can be tapped to light-hop or held for a full jump.
  • The Z-Trigger button will amplify some of your actions:
    • Z-Trigger + Attack = Z-Attack.
    • Z-Trigger + Jump = Pursue (aka Hyperdash or Z-Dash). It is a special attack used to quickly dash to opponents and strike them, at the cost of 1 bar of energy. This attack can be used while attacking as a cancel to extend combos. It is typically chargeable. Every character's Pursue is unique.
    • (Typically) Z-Trigger + Guard + Attack + Direction = Super Special. Inputs, conditions, and the actual super will vary between characters.
  • Double-tapping left or right will make some characters sprint or dash, but generally it instantly accelerates your speed to max.
  • Intensity rises as you fight and is represented by the red diamond in the top-center of the screen. Once full:
    • light attacks that collide will start a Burst, rather than simply clashing.
    • both fighters will gain access to their Critical Strike (typically Down Z-Attack).
  • A Burst is a rapid-punching struggle between the two fighters. To win a burst, be the first to press the correct action button after it appears. If both fighters press the correct button at the same time, or press the incorrect button, the Burst ends in a draw.
  • A Rush is a cinematic, high damage combo. Pressing the correct buttons at the right times during the rush will increase its damage. To trigger a rush, you must either hit an opponent with a Critical Strike, or a Full Stun Strike.
  • A Full Stun Strike is a special follow-up to one of your regular moves (typically Neutral Z-Attack) that only occurs after successfully hitting the opponent while they have full stun, represented by the small yellow bar under their health.


Mario isn't as strong as other characters but he has a powerful transformation in his pocket to turn the tide for a limited time. When you use this powerup, your current energy becomes the transformation's time limit. Once you run out of energy, the next hit you take will revert you back to normal. Choose when you transform carefully; you only get one powerup per match.

  • Pursue: A ground-only chargeable dash punch. Full charge is unblockable.
  • Transform by Holding Guard and Z-Trigger, then pressing Attack. You only get one Fire Flower per match, with one exception... for every additional 150 health, Mario gains an additional Fire Flower, to aid him in longer fights.
  • Fire Mario:
    • Fireball Volley: Hold Z-Trigger and press Attack on the ground. Rapidly tap to shoot a volley of fireballs. Hold the Attack button to charge the fireball. While charging or volleying, hold up to aim the fireballs upward. Mind your usage, as each fireball takes a bit of energy.
    • Fundamental Improvements: Fire Mario shares a lot of base Mario's moveset, however, the damage, hitstun and knockback of some of the moves are different. Experiment, as these changes grant you more combo options than before.
      • Pursue will charge twice as fast.


Sonic's primary objective is to launch his opponent with either Flash Kick (Down Z-Attack) or Blast Hop (Up Z-Attack). Once in the air, hit them with a couple neutral attacks into a spike kick (Neutral Z-Attack). String together combo after combo and go for a Power Dash (Neutral Z-Attack) at full stun for a full stun strike.

  • Sonic doesn't have any easy-access unblockables. Use his speed to get around your opponents guard.
  • Sonic's best damage comes from his air-combos. Use Sonic's many launchers to get and keep your opponent in the air.
  • Pursue: Air-OK. Use to extend your combos.
  • Light Speed Dash: Hold Z-Trigger + Attack while you have 2 bars. Consumes 2 bars.


Use Shadow's rapid jabs to bully your opponent. Keep them at bay and oppress them at a range with your Chaos Rifts (various Z-Attacks; the snaps). Always look for an opportunity to hit them with an unblockable Chaos Spear for solid damage. Hit them with a Rift at full stun for a Full Stun Strike. Use Chaos Blast to protect yourself against unblockable attacks or setups, like a Critical Strike or Koopa Bro swarming.

  • Chaos Spear: Hold Guard and Z-Trigger. Then press Attack. Consumes 1 bar. Hold Attack to charge it and significantly increase its damage. Unblockable.
  • Chaos Blast: Hold Guard, Z-Trigger and either Up or Down. Then press Attack. Consumes 1 bar.
  • Pursue: Teleports to and attacks the opponent from anywhere on the map. Holding away from your opponent as you pursue to teleport and attack them from behind.


Yoshi has a simple battle plan: tongue grab. Mix up your opponent with light jabs and when you see the opportunity, hit them with one of his unblockable tongue grabs for decent damage. At full stun, the grounded forward tongue grab (Neutral Z-Attack) will transition into a Rush.

  • Double Jump Cancel: Unlike the rest of the roster, Yoshi can Double Jump. Additionally, the Double Jump cancels any attack Yoshi is doing, allowing Yoshi to do things like, for example, cancel Ground Pound (Down + Z-Trigger + Attack) into Ground Pound again.
  • Super Tackle: To perform, fully charge Yoshi's pursue. It will be a high priority, high damage move that rips through its target(s).

Koopa Bros:

By himself, Koopa Red cannot do much. Use his brothers to swarm your opponent. Aim to attack both sides of your opponent at the same time for unblockable setups. Be mindful of your brothers' HP though. After about 10 damage, they will get knocked out for a while. Be careful if your opponent is doing sweeping moves that can wipe out your squad.

  • Team Attack: Pursuing (Z-Trigger + Jump) will launch you, as well as your brothers at your target in succession. The longer you charge, the more brothers will join in on the attack. It is most effective to do when you have Koopas on both sides of your opponent.
  • "Super Special Technique": Hold Guard and Z-Trigger. Then press Attack. Consumes 3 bars.
    • This move revives all fallen bros.
    • You can change direction before they blast off.
    • All the Koopas are invincible during the entire attack.
    • To avoid this move, you have to find a way to get above it or use a powerful move to clash with it. While some characters will have an easier time than others, note that every character has some means of avoiding this attack.

Mecha Sonic:

Unlike the rest of the roster, Mecha Sonic doesn't have any jab attacks. All of his strikes launch, so get in the mind set of throwing your opponent around, rather than sticking on them with rapid attacks. Use his rollout (Neutral Z-Attack) into his Air Grab (Up Z-Attack) as a standard bread and butter. Look for any opportunity to grab your opponent with down Z-Attack for a high damage attack, which will transition into a Full Stun Strike. Use your Counter (Down Attack) to shake off attackers who are all over you.

  • Chaos Sphere: Hold Guard and Z-Trigger, then press Attack. Consumes 1 bar. Air-OK. While the sphere itself is unblockable, its explosion is not.
  • Light Speed Dash: Hold Z-Trigger + Attack while you have 2 bars. Consumes 2 bars. Functions like Sonic's Light Speed Dash, except it charges less quickly.
  • Jet Dash: Double tap either left or right to perform a gravity defying dash. Air-OK. Has a 1 second cooldown and is only usable once in the air. Jump during Jet Dash to soar into the air.
  • Power Crash: (Air Down Z-Attack) Hitting the opponent precisely with this move will do significantly extra damage.
  • Counter: While grounded, hold down and then press Attack. Getting hit during the beginning of the move will ignore its damage and trigger a counter attack. Hold away from the opponent during the counter attack to do an alternate move. It won't work against powerful attacks, like Critical Strikes.
  • Chaos Sphere and Rocket Fire (Air Neutral Z-Attack) levitates Mecha Sonic during the attack and allows you to steer left and right to line up the shot.

Axem Rangers X

While more formidable on his own that Koopa Red, Axem Red's attacks are long and can leave him open if he misses any of his attacks. Use your squad wisely to cover you. Squadmates have cooldowns to their use, which are extended if they are damaged.

  • Axem Pink: (Neutral Z-Attack) Summons Pink behind you and on the ground, even when summoned from the air. Use her to launch your opponent into the air and follow up solid combo damage. At full stun, she converts into a full stun strike.
  • Axem Yellow: (Down Z-Attack) Summons Yellow behind you, even when summoned in the air. Break your opponent's guard with Yellows hammer slam. At full intensity, summoning Yellow will have him do a Critical Strike, even if he is on cooldown. It is slower than other character's Critical Strike, but covers a much larger range.
  • Axem Green: (Up Z-Attack on ground) Summons Green to sweep across the sky with a spinning blade. Use Green to deny aerial opponents or follow up to launchers.
  • Axem Black: (Up Z-Attack in air) Summons Black in front of you to protect you with his spinning blade. Black's blade has high priority, able to reflect most light projectiles and nullify most close range light attacks.

Development Notice

[October 6th 2019] Axem Rangers X is now available. I will be going on another hiatus until next year. When I return, Luigi will begin development.

[September 28th 2019] Axem Rangers X is nearly complete in development. Expect their release in October, along with many balance changes and bug fixes.

[August 9th 2019] Axem Rangers X has begun development. Expect their release in September or October.

[December 1st 2018] Mecha Sonic has been released. Look forward to a couple more updates later this month. Afterwards, note that I will be taking a break from SMBZ-G for the first few months of 2019 to focus on other projects. When I return, the Axem Rangers will begin development.

[November 19th 2018] Mecha Sonic nearly complete. Expect his release in December.

[August 5th 2018] Mecha Sonic is being developed. He will take longer than usual due to his sprite situation (many of his moves will need to be puppet animated, instead of using frame-by-frame sprites like the rest of the cast) on top of his large moveset. Additionally, my free time is being taken up by my pursuit of a game development career. I will be working on different projects and will have to neglect SMBZ from time to time. Thus, production will slow down, but rest assured, it will not stop.

Patch Notes

[December 6th 2019] Bug fixes: Sonic's Rush damage now scales with the correct inputs, instead of always doing full damage even if you get a couple wrong. Mecha Sonic can no longer pursue out of a landed Critical Strike, which would otherwise break the fight, requiring a restart. Also, for some users, a shader problem, preventing you from seeing Koopa Bros sprites and seeing purple textures, may now be resolved.

[November 9th 2019] Bug fix: Sonic and Mecha Sonic's Light Speed Dash wasn't working if you did it in slow motion.

[October 11th 2019] A few bug fixes and minor changes: Yoshi's upward tongue no longer occasionally extends in the opposite direction. Axem Pink's Full Stun Strike, if whiffed, now more gracefully fails (instead of her flying into the heavens). Shadow's jabs no longer occasionally fail to connect (subsequently his jab combo is slower than before, but on par with the rest of the roster). Shadow's alternative pursue no longer blasts targets away, allowing you to follow up, and also no longer has a chance to leave Shadow completely unresponsive. Shadow's Chaos Spear, when reflected, now launches opponents in the correct direction. Chaos Spear's knockback and hitstun adjusted. Some small color corrections were made to Mario and Fire Mario's sprites.

[October 6th 2019] Axem Rangers X is now available, along with many balance changes, bug fixes and new options!

    • Intensity now increases with damage, instead of per-hit, resulting in more consistent intensity gain. Intensity gain is now, overall, slower than in previous versions though, meaning less Critical Strikes.
    • New options added to modify Intensity and Energy gain and change Resolution.
    • New option added to show the health of players as a number on their health bar.
    • Fire Mario's fireballs damage reduced and 3rd level fireball is no longer unblockable. Rush damage increased.
    • Yoshi's tongue grab now full stun strikes easier.
    • Shadow can no longer immediately pursue after firing a chaos spear and landing chaos spear no longer refunded as much energy on hit. His AI is now a little smarter.
    • Mecha Sonic's moveset is now more consistent, overall doing more reliable damage. The grounded grab does more damage. Counter Attack more intelligently tracks its target and has higher priority. Air grab's stun and throw speed is now variable with height, resulting in more consistent follow-up options. Chaos sphere no longer refunds as much energy on hit.
    • Sonic's launchers now knockup their target more intelligently, resulting in more consistent follow-up options. Launchers now have lower hitstun after back-to-back use to prevent infinites. Sonic should be easier to play with little to no abusable infinites now. Sonic's rush does more damage now.
    • New "white flash" special effect added to some explosive attacks, such as Chaos Spear. An option has also been added to disable this feature.
    • Adjustments made to the main menu to reduce the frequency of (and potentially fix) the game sometimes soft locking at "Press any key".

[December 4th 2018] Arcade Mode is now available, and with it, Rounds and 2 new stages! Set the battle to end when a fighter reaches 1 - 5 wins ("Endless" is still preserved as an option). Yoshi Island's Green Hills and the Secret Underground Maze have been added as stages. All characters' AI have been improved to better handle Fire Mario's fireball volleys. Yoshi AI now full charges his tackle more often. Shadow now has a voice line when he dies. Fixed bug with Mecha Sonic when bursting off of his Light Speed Dash. Fixed bug where Shadow could have Full Stun Strike off of his Chaos Sphere. Fixed bug where Koopa Bros would slide out of formation during their Super Special Technique.

[December 1st 2018] Mecha Sonic is finally playable! Additionally, a few bug fixes were made.

[July 16th 2018] Small bug fix with bursting.

[July 15th 2018] The Koopa Bros now have their "Super Special Technique". While grounded and with 3 bars, Hold Guard and Z-Trigger, then press attack, to perform it. Fire Mario's pursue now charges up twice as fast. Shadow's alternate pursue now locks on to its target better. Sonic's AI now jumps more to avoid projectiles. More bug fixes, such as Shadow being able to pursue during his Full Stun Strike, and some cases that would otherwise cause the game to lock up.

[July 1st 2018] Sonic now has a super special: Light Speed Dash. Grounded Neutral Z-Attack, "Power Dash", reworked to be chargeable, which extends the distance of the attack. Fully charging the attack with full energy performs Light Speed Dash. Fixed a bug that caused Power Dash to sometimes hit the opponent from behind while dashing through them, making it seemingly unblockable.

[June 11th 2018] CPU Mario now uses Fire Flowers to become Fire Mario. More bug fixes regarding Fire Mario's transformation. Polished Shadow's Burst Victory Strike. Adjusted all AI to be a little more tactical while being assaulted by projectiles and to be aggressive when they win a Burst.

[June 4th 2018] Bug fixes regarding Fire Mario's transformation.

[June 3rd 2018] Mario now comes with a Fire Flower - Fire Mario is now playable! Base Mario's damage nerfed. Sonic's maximum energy has been reduced to 2 bars and his blur dash no longer crosses-up the opponent if he is right in front of them. Koopa Bros and Shadow's rushes now do more damage. Everyone's rush no longer builds Intensity during the cinematic. Most of Yoshi's attacks have been reworked and polished to fix a ton of problems with his kit, including removing a few infinites, making his pursue a bit easier to dodge, his tongue grab more punishable and his critical tongue grab less ridiculous (added startup delay so you can actually react to it). A new button has been added "Z-Attack", which is a convenience button that provides an alternative way to perform heavy attacks.

[May 6th 2018] Quality of Life Updates!

  1. Input settings are now available in the Options Menu and will now save your changes for the next time you open the game.
  2. Health Settings added to the Options Menu and Character Select scene, allowing you to set the HP of Player 1 and Player 2 to any number between 1 and 1,000 (150 by default).
  3. Added a "Reset all to Default" to the Options Menu.
  4. Yoshi's tackle now bounces him off the victim, making it more canon to the show.
  5. Shadow's teleport now tracks the target better, making him land the hit far more reliably
  6. Shadow's Chaos Spear no longer has minimum range. It will no longer whiff targets who are directly in front of you.
  7. The Koopa Bros final strike of their rush now correctly positions everyone consistently.
  8. AI controlled players now have a chance to turn to face you if you attack them from behind.

[April 23rd 2018] Added credits for Yoshi's sprites. Adjusted Yoshi's size in the menus.

[April 22nd 2018] New Character: Yoshi! His AI is unrefined, however. I will come back to it later. Shadow's Chaos spear damage increased and some of his animations have been polished. Added a frame rate counter.

[March 4th 2018] Adjusted Shadow's rush cinematic to fix an occasional bug that would otherwise softlock the game. Fixed the transition of Yoshi's Forest's music.

[February 27th 2018] Shadow the hedgehog is now playable! Sonic's AI has been improved to better suit his air-combo playstyle. Sonic's hitboxes for his "blur dash" and critical strike have been widened. Koopa Bros now rack up more stun with their shell attacks. Koopa Red's double barrel punch now holds the target in place for more combo options, instead of sending them flying.

With the release of Shadow, a new input is available for Supers (Guard + Z-Trigger + Attack + Direction). Currently, only Shadow has his supers. More to come in later updates.

[December 31st 2017] Fixed major bug where supporting Koopa Bro breaks if he is knocked out while trying to jump back to the background.

[December 30th 2017] Added new option to change the size and position of Hit Counters. Fixed bug were Koopa Bros slide along the ground during a rush, if they are stunned.

[December 26th 2017] Some bug fixes.

[December 25th 2017] Merry Christmas! Koopa Bros are here! Sonic has also received a few buffs - his Neutral and Down Z-Trigger Attacks now come out faster. As for the UI, the combo and damage counter's font sizes have been reduced and have been positioned more to the sides of the screen. Some bug fixes as well, such as your character's jab combos not starting from the first swing if they have been interrupted by a hit or pursue and not being able to guard if you were moving at running pace.

[December 9th 2017] Fixed a major bug where players were sometimes able to attack freely during a Burst. Fixed the impact freeze on attacks so it starts on the same frame, instead of on the next frame. Also made some UI improvements.

[December 7th 2017] Fixed a major bug where attacks were hitting more times than it should at lower FPSs.

[November 30th 2017] New character: Sonic! Options Menu: change Sfx and BGM volume. Battle HUD improved. Energy regeneration reduced but now builds up by landing hits.

[September 4th 2017] 3 new stages have been added, each with their own music. A few tiny bug fixes and UI tweaks here and there.

[August 27th 2017] Polished Clashing and Bursting. Clashes now feel a lot better and increase Intensity. Likewise with Bursts. Winning a Burst now performs a victory strike. CPU now has multiple difficulties (Easy/Normal/Hard). Mario's Hyper Dash has been reworked to be ground-only with a new animation.

[August 25th 2017] Improved input manager: you can now fully interact with the game using a gamepad from the very start. Key remap wizard and quick input device switching has been added to the "Rebind Keys" options page. Also, the game now checks if there are any new updates and alerts you if it finds any.

[July 16th 2017] Added Input Manager (Remapping controls and Gamepad compatibility). Added music and sound effects. Gameplay improvements, as usual.

[July 8th 2017] Added CPU AI.

[June 13th 2017] Main Menu. Character Select Menu. Pause Menu. Restarting the game on K.O.

(Started: October 2014)

Between 2014 and Q1 of 2017, I was working on it here and there and have ran through a few prototypes as I conceptualized and experimented with various fighting systems and mechanics. It wasn't until June 2017 that I finally struck gold and solidified the full gameplay concept. From then on out, I've been building and polishing the engine's foundation. Following that will be content, such as Characters and Stages.