Dr. Mario was released on July 27, 1990 in Japan. It was the first non-action 'Mario game' in which the Mario character was neither controllable nor playable. Today the game is widely remembered by many people for the 'Fever' music. Initially some fans called the game 'Mario 4', as it was the first Mario game to be released after "Super Mario Bros. 3
". The resulting debate over 'what counts as a Mario game' may have resulted in the decision to name the next Mario action game simply "Super Mario World
U.S. Patent 5,265,888 covers Dr. Mario, here is the abstract of this Patent : A player initially sets the degree of difficulty of a display type game, and if desired, more than one player may participate with each player selecting an associated level of difficulty. First and second objects having different shapes, e.g. capsules and viruses, and different characteristics, e.g. different colors or shadings, are displayed in a predefined display area. First objects are generated based on random number data stored in a ROM and displayed as 'falling' in a vertical direction across the predefined display area. Coordinate positions of the first objects on the display are changed by a player operating a controller. Second objects are displayed at arbitrary positions in the display area based on random number data. If a prescribed number of at least a portion of first objects and/or second objects having the same type characteristics are detected as being continuously aligned in a vertical or lateral direction, those continuously aligned objects are erased. Remaining portions of first objects (or remaining first objects) previously supported by erased objects are displayed as falling in the vertical direction to the lower region of the prescribed displayed area. When all second objects are erased, the game is successfully completed.
The famous Capsule from Dr. Mario appears as an item in Super Smash Bros.
Dr. Mario (as in Mario himself, not the game mind you) appears as an unlockable character in the Nintendo GameCube sequel to Super Smash Bros. called Super Smash Bros. Melee.
Known export releases:
"Dr. Mario [Model NES-VU-USA]
"Dr. Mario [Model NES-VU-NOE]
"Dr. Mario [Model NES-VU-ESP]
"Dr. Mario [Model NES-VU-SCN]