Well it sort of started out as one
Posted by Jack on 7/1/2017, 12:25 am, in reply to "Re: There's one difference with 2"
It only was not originally a Mario game because Fuji TV asked Nintendo to make a game based on the mascots for the upcoming 1987 Yume Kojo festival. Since they had an old prototype for a potential Mario game that was incomplete lying around, they finished it with Fuji's characters. Since Nintendo didn't own the rights the characters, they released the game in the west as a Mario game which it basically kind of was already.
This isn't even exclusive to Mario, some licenced NES games like Yo Noid originally had completely different characters and stories.
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