The Tanooki suit has become one of the most well-recognized power-ups in the Mario franchise since its debut nearly 30 years ago, but history almost played out very differently. When Super Mario Bros. 3 was early in development, long before anyone had dreamed of a Tanooki-based power-up, the development team was considering an item that would transform Mario into a centaur.
This little-known tidbit is one of many fun facts in Did You Know Gaming’s new episode on Super Mario Bros. 3. Did you know that the game was originally going to have a top-down perspective or that Chain Chomps were inspired by a mean dog that chased Shigeru Miyamoto as a child? You can catch all the Mario trivia by clicking the video above!
In just two days, Nintendo is going retro with the launch of the NES Classic Edition. This new plug-and-play console is a miniature replica of Nintendo’s classic console that comes pre-loaded with thirty games for $60. If you’re curious to see how close the experience is to playing on an original Nintendo Entertainment System, GameXplain has released a comparison video showing footage of Super Mario Bros. 3 running on both systems side by side. You can check it out by clicking above!
Nintendo has recently been re-publishing older interviews (many of which were never previously translated into English) on a variety of topics, and one of them contained a rather interesting look into the development of Super Mario Bros. 3. The recently-released Wii U game Paper Mario: Color Splash features a Super Mario Bros. 3 inspired level with an overhead view, and as it turns out, this was actually Nintendo’s original plan for the classic NES game. Shigeru Miyamoto and Takashi Tezuka experimented with a top-down style during development, but they couldn’t quite get it right.
What sorts of things did you have trouble getting right?
Tezuka: When we first began development, we wanted the game to have an overhead perspective, rather than a horizontal one.
So instead of having a horizontal view of the game like in Super Mario Bros, you wanted something like an isometric view.
Tezuka: That’s right. But, we just couldn’t make it work.
Miyamoto: He said “I want the game to be viewed from a little bit above.” But having a clear indication of where you’re going to land after jumping was a key part of the original Super Mario. Viewing everything from above made it very difficult to tell how far you were from the ground, so I told Mr. Tezuka “This will take forever.”
Tezuka: …He did (dry laugh). In fact, there are still remnants of the top-down view in the final game, from before we switched to the horizontal view…
Miyamoto: Yes, there are.
For example, things like the black and white checkered floor?
Tezuka: That’s right.
While they ended up ditching the idea (or one of the most iconic games in history would have been quite different), it’s interesting that the idea lives on in Color Splash.
Last week, Nintendo accidentally releasedPaper Mario: Color Splash early on the Wii U eShop, which led to over twenty hours of gameplay being leaked online. In one of the recent trailers for the game, Nintendo showed a sneak peek of the Super Mario Bros. 3 stage. Now, a fan has uploaded a video of the stage in its entirety, showing off some of the battles and hidden areas you will encounter. The stage is almost an exact replica of Super Mario Bros. 3, but by using the 3D feature, you can discover some new areas.
If you’re not afraid of spoilers, check out the video and let us know what you think in the comments!
Summer Games Done Quick was held at the start of the month, and one speedrunner in particular managed to set an impressive new record. A tool-assisted speedrunner who goes by the name of ais523 managed to beat Super Mario Bros. 3 in just two seconds. In order to achieve this, he had to use a Nintendo robot called TASBot to press buttons on the NES controller 6,000 times a second. This allowed the player to insert a new code into the game, which gave him the opportunity to jump to the final screen in two seconds.
Even though the player is essentially exploiting a glitch, tool assisted speed runs are allowed, so this was recorded as an official speedrun. If you’re interested in the more technical side of how the glitch works, you can check out this explanation from ais523 on Reddit.
What do you think of the speedrun? Let us know in the comments!
Mitch Fowler is the world’s fastest speedrunner for the NES classic Super Mario Bros. 3, but there’s one challenge the game has surely never presented him: a three-way race between himself, a team of professional relay runners, and Stephen Colbert with a Hot Pocket. But this is exactly what he faced when he appeared on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert last night on CBS.
In the seven-minute video, Fowler competed in a three-way race as he tried to complete Super Mario Bros. 3 before Columbia University’s men’s relay team could complete a race and Stephen Colbert could cook and eat a Hot Pocket.
Will Fowler come out on top? Find out in the intense, very-high-stakes competition, which can be seen above.
An obscure character animation has been found in Super Mario Bros. 3, 28 years after the game was first released. The animation appears when Mario dons the Hammer Suit while already sliding down a slope, as you can see below.
The animation is so rare because normally a player cannot slide down a slope while wearing the suit, since this would simply trigger the suit’s shell. However, Nintendo included the animation in case Mario gets the Hammer Suit powerup while he is already sliding, a scenario which has only now been brought to light.
There has been a lot of speculation over the years that each Koopaling in Super Mario Bros. 3 was named after a famous musician. One of the seven was Lemmy Koopa, who was supposedly inspired by rock legend and Motörhead front man, Lemmy Kilmister. Unfortunately, Kilmister passed away earlier this week after battling cancer. In order to get to the bottom of the Koopa’s names, Kotaku’s Patrick Klepek spoke to Dayvv Brooks, who worked at Nintendo as a product analyst over 20 years ago. Brooks explained that the each Koopaling was named after a famous musician because of his love of music.
“Music has always been a big part of my life. I’ve been a DJ for years and have been a music collector for even longer. When I first saw the group of seven Koopalings, music was on my mind.
“The hairstyle on one of them reminded me of Ludwig von Beethoven for some reason and Ludwig von Koopa was born. Next was the one with the glasses—that has to be Roy Koopa in homage to Roy Orbison, who almost always wore glasses. Then Wendy O. Koopa (Wendy O. Williams) [and] Iggy Koopa (Iggy Pop). One looked like a loudmouth, so he was Morton Koopa Jr. from [the] loud-mouthed talk show host Morton Downey Jr. And then there was Larry. There’s no real-world equivalent—he’s not Larry Mullen Jr. from U2 or Larry King—he just looked like a Larry.
“That brings us to Lemmy. In addition to being a great name, it’s perfect for a video game character. This Koopaling struck me as being the kind of character who would do his own thing, no matter what anyone else thought. I think it was those crazy eyes. Lemmy Koopa was in the crew.” — Dayvv Brooks
While Brooks had to get all his names approved by Nintendo, they were all given the thumbs up.
Back in 2003, Super Mario Bros. 3 was re-released for Game Boy Advance as Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros. 3. This classic game is headed to Wii U Virtual Console in Japan on December 29th for ¥702, or around $5.80. Interestingly, Nintendo has announced that it will support e-Reader levels. When the game originally launched, you could use the e-Reader peripheral to scan cards and add extra content (including levels) into the game. The device itself is not compatible with Wii U, but e-Reader levels will be accessible from a data select screen. So far there is no word on a Virtual Console release for the game outside of Japan.
Back in 1990, Doom creator iD Software wanted to work on bringing smooth, sidescrolling gameplay to PCs, and they started out by recreating World 1-1 of Super Mario Bros. 3. The sprite for Mario was replaced by Dangerous Dave from the game of the same name by John Romero, and the recreation was lovingly dubbed “Dangerous Dave In Copyright Infringement.”
What started out as a joke became an aspiration, as iD Software would eventually create a demo for Super Mario Bros. 3 on PC, this time not as a parody, but as a pitch to Nintendo. The demo was presented to Nintendo later that year, but Nintendo decided not to approve the project. 25 years later, John Romero has released footage of the actual demo that was pitched to Nintendo. You can check it out by clicking below!
No ChannelImages Our Verdict
Happy 25th Birthday, Commander Keen! In honor I'm sharing a video of our SMB3 demo we made for Nintendo on 9/28/1990.https://t.co/R2GlSYCoBM
We gaming fans always have a blast talking about our favorite experiences in the lovely worlds of Nintendo. On this week’s episode of Nintendo Week, our Nintendo-themed podcast here at Gamnesia, we sat down to talk about our favorite Nintendo games and what makes them just so special.
The discussion was a whopping forty minutes long, so we’re breaking it down into two pieces for YouTube, one for the bona fide top five, and one for our honorable mentions—the games that didn’t quite crack our lists, but we love too much to ignore.
The following lists are our individual honorable mentions that we wanted to shout out towards and provide some insight on before digging into our top five games. If you don’t have time to watch the full discussion, you can glimpse over this list to see what kinds of content you might fancy, and come back later to watch the video and hear our full thoughts on these games. And be sure to check out the second part of the discussion, where we dedicate a ton of time to reflect on outstanding games like Zelda, Pokémon GSC, and more.
Alex Plant, Senior Editor
Super Mario Bros. 3
Super Smash Bros. (series)
The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask
Fire Emblem Awakening
Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze
Ben Lamoreux, Managing Editor
Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker
Super Smash Bros. for Wii U
Star Fox 64 3D
Colin McIsaac, Editor-in-Chief
Super Smash Bros. (series)
Mario Kart (series)
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy’s Kong Quest
Now that our honorable mentions are out of the way, tune in tomorrow to check out our top fives! But the question remains: what are your honorable mentions for your favorite Nintendo games?
Kjetil Nordin, a Norwegian programmer and skydiver, has spent the past six years of his life crafting something extremely impressive and comfy. He recently revealed his hand-made crochet of the World 1 map from Super Mario Bros. 3. Impressive, but Nordin took it upon himself to really go the extra mile with this project.
Nordin took extra time to research the exact yarn colors he would need to perfectly duplicate the World 1 map. You may have noticed it isn’t the original Super Mario Bros. 3 map; rather, it is the version of Super Mario Bros. 3 on the Super Mario All-Stars pack for SNES. Nordin was so set on getting the map correct that he undid a huge section after thinking the water surrounding the castle looked too purple.
You can check out more photos of the finished piece below!
Koji Kondo, the man responsible for writing pretty much all of the music for both Mario and The Legend of Zelda, sat down for a Q&A with USgamer last week while he was visiting the U.S. for The Game Awards. During the brief interview, USgamer asked Mr. Kondo what soundtrack or individual piece of music had given him the most difficulty to date and why.
Mr. Kondo replied that his greatest challenge came with composing the 8-bit soundtrack for Super Mario Bros. 3. He noted that it was especially difficult coming up with a theme which could improve upon the original Super Mario Bros. theme. Being different enough from the original while still matching the game was an arduous task for the music producer.
“The most challenging [piece] was the main theme for Super Mario Bros. 3. The [original] Super Mario theme itself was almost a little too empowering. That indelible impression it left in the user’s mind with how it matched up with what Mario was doing on the screen—that was a big mountain to climb when we started working on the music to Super Mario 3. I remember creating lots of different music in different styles, trying to come up with something that would match that game and be different enough from the original Super Mario theme. It was tough. It took me a long time to come up with something I thought would work, and it was really me and Mr. Miyamoto and Mr. Tezuka—the three of us—right up until the very last stages of development, listening to all of these different music pieces that I created, before we finally settled on what we ended up using.
“Any time you’re working off of existing music, and you’re revamping it for the next title, that’s just always a tough gig. And that’s true for every title, starting from the first [one]. It’s tough for me, of course, but maybe even more so for the people on my staff, who are working on different arrangements of music they didn’t even compose. They’re working on music that I composed, and now they’re having to go back and do some rearranging to match [music from] current games. So if it’s tough for me, I think it’s even tougher for them.” — Koji Kondo
The interviewer then asked Mr. Kondo a question that I, myself, had always wondered: why is there no music on the title screen of Super Mario Bros. 3? Was this an intentional omission or an unfinished detail?
“For us, it wasn’t an omission; it was a choice. We just didn’t feel there needed to be music on the title screen. I believe, if memory serves, there might have been some sound effects that occurred there, but I don’t recall, off the top of my head. At that point, we thought that, until the game started, it wasn’t necessary to have music on the title screen. So we just didn’t have anything prepared for that.” — Koji Kondo
Now we know! The lack of music on the title screen was deliberate and was most likely very well thought-out, given the amount of work that was put into the theme and soundtrack. If you want to read the original interview in its entirety, check out the source below!
The Game Awards kicked off with a wonderful Mario-themed piano piece from famed Nintendo composer Koji Kondo, followed by a new look at an upcoming Nintendo title. Mario Maker, which lets you design your own custom Mario levels, launches next year.
We already knew it would let players use assets from Super Mario Bros. and New Super Mario Bros., but Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto has revealed that it will also let players use assets from Super Mario Bros. 3 and Super Mario World. Kondo himself is the game’s composer and sound director.
Here at Gamnesia we have a weekly segment every Monday called Game Clash where we match up two games and let you choose the winner. The good folks at Nintendo who run the Nintendo Minute videos have just kicked off a series that does something similar. Called “Nintendo Minute DEBATE!!,” the debut episode poses the question, “Which game was more influential: Super Mario World or Super Mario Bros. 3?” Click above to watch the video and join the debate!
Super Mario Bros. 3 is coming to Virtual Console on both the Wii U and 3DS! Said to be the best of the series by many gamers, this will surely be a game to add to your Virtual Console collection! Below is Nintendo’s Game Overview:
Remember when no one had ever heard of a Tanooki Suit or knew that Bowser had a clan of Koopalings? The game that made these things common knowledge is also considered by many to be one of the best ever made. Bowser and the Koopalings are causing chaos yet again, but this time they’re going beyond the Mushroom Kingdom into the seven worlds that neighbor it. Now Mario and Luigi must battle new enemies, returning favorites, and a new Koopaling in each unique and distinctive world on their way to ultimately taking on Bowser himself. Lucky for the brothers, they have more power-ups available than ever before.
Fly above the action using the Super Leaf, swim faster by donning the Frog Suit, or defeat enemies using the Hammer Bros. Suit. Use the brand-new overworld map to take the chance to play a minigame in hopes of gaining extra lives or to find a Toad’s House where you can pick up additional items. All this (and more) combines into one of gaming’s most well-known and beloved titles—are you ready to experience gaming bliss? — Nintendo
Nintendo does a good job at describing the fun features of the game. I know that even if I had never played it before, the overview would want to make me play it. I’ll be getting it when it comes to the Virtual Console—will you? Tell us in the comments below!