Super Mario Bros. 3

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This article is about the NES game. For information about the game watch, see Super Mario Bros. 3 (game watch). For the animated series, see The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3. For the microgame from WarioWare: Twisted!, see Super Mario Bros. 3 (microgame).
Super Mario Bros. 3
SMB3 Boxart.PNG
Developer(s) Nintendo EAD
Publisher(s) Nintendo
Platform(s) Famicom/NES, Super Famicom/Super Nintendo, Game Boy Advance, Virtual Console
Release date Famicom/NES
Japan October 23, 1988
USA February 9, 1990
Europe August 29, 1991
Australia August 29, 1991[1]
Virtual Console (Wii)
USA November 5, 2007
Europe November 9, 2007
Australia November 9, 2007
Japan December 11, 2007
South Korea May 26, 2008[2]
Virtual Console (3DS)
Japan January 1, 2013
Europe December 26, 2013
Australia December 26, 2013
USA April 17, 2014
South Korea April 6, 2016
Virtual Console (Wii U)
Japan December 25, 2013
Europe December 26, 2013
Australia December 26, 2013
USA April 17, 2014
Genre 2D Platformer, Action-adventure
ESRB:ESRB E.svg - Everyone
PEGI:PEGI 3.svg - Three years and older
CERO:CERO A.png - All ages
ACB:ACB G.svg - General
Mode(s) Single player, multiplayer
Media NES icon.png Cartridge
Media DL icon.svg Digital download
Wii U:
Media DL icon.svg Digital download
Nintendo 3DS:
Media DL icon.svg Digital download
Wiimote Sideways.png Wii Remote (Sideways)
Wii U:
Wiimote Sideways.png Wii Remote (Sideways)
Nintendo 3DS:

Super Mario Bros. 3 is a platform action-adventure game for the Famicom and NES and is officially the third installment in the Super Mario series. It was released in Japan on October 23, 1988; in North America on February 9, 1990; and in Europe and Australia on August 29, 1991. It was later released in the US on the Wii's Virtual Console on November 5, 2007 and the 3DS and Wii U Virtual Console on April 17, 2014. It was also remade for the 1993 SNES compilation game Super Mario All-Stars, and for the Game Boy Advance in 2003 as Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros. 3, the final installment of the Super Mario Advance series. It was also released as a reward that Club Nintendo users could purchase with their coins for the Wii Virtual Console on June 3, 2013.

Super Mario Bros. 3 has been considered as one of the greatest games of all time. Its complexity and challenging levels made it a huge success. In addition to new power ups, it features new moves, items and enemies. It also features special non-level parts of each world, including Toad Houses, where items can be obtained, and Spade Panels, where lives can be obtained, as well as some secret parts, such as the White Mushroom House and the Treasure Ship. The game introduces six new power-ups, the Super Leaf, the Tanooki Suit, the P-Wing, the Frog Suit, the Hammer Suit, and Goomba's Shoe.

Shortly after the release of the game, a cartoon named The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3 was made. The cartoon was based on the game, but with a different plot. In the cartoons, King Koopa and the Koopalings tried to take over the real world as well as the Mushroom Kingdom. The cartoon series was produced by DIC Entertainment Productions in association with Nintendo.


Peace has returned to the Mushroom Kingdom thanks to the efforts of Mario and Luigi; however, Bowser sent his own seven children (Larry, Morton, Wendy, Iggy, Roy, Lemmy, and Ludwig) to the other countries of the Mushroom World. The Mushroom Kingdom forms a gateway to these lands, and the Koopalings have stolen the respective royal magic wands of the seven kings, using them to transform the kings into various helpless creatures. Mario and Luigi vow to go and stop the Koopalings' mischief, and change the kings back into their normal form. At the end of each world, Mario and Luigi fight one of the Koopalings, and after the match is over, retrieve the wand from the Koopaling to turn the king back to normal. While the brothers are out in their adventure, Bowser kidnaps Princess Toadstool and takes her to his lair in Dark Land. The brothers go to Dark Land and fight Bowser. After defeating Bowser, they save the princess and restore peace once again.

In September 2015, Shigeru Miyamoto jokingly confirmed a fan theory that the NES version of the game was, in fact, a stage play put on by the Mario cast.[3]


The map of the Mushroom World in Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros. 3.

Unlike Super Mario Bros. and Super Mario Bros. 2, this game has a world map, a feature that has been carried over into every subsequent title in the series. Like Super Mario Bros., the game features eight total worlds spread out across eight different maps, each one featuring a different name, theme, and boss; the inclusion of thematic worlds would also be carried over into future titles in the series. However, the world map was not interactive until the release of Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros. 3.

World Image Information
World 1
Grass Land
Grass Land.PNG Grass Land is the first world of the game. It was attacked by Larry Koopa, who stole the wand of the Grass Land king and turned him into a dog (or a Cobrat from Super Mario Bros. 2 in the remake). The landscape itself is mainly composed of plains, surrounded by hills and even some cliffs in the south. A fortress can be found in the middle of Grass Land, and the king's castle lies to the southeast, surrounded by a moat. The enemies Mario encounters here are regular ones, like Goombas, Koopa Troopas and Piranha Plants. The world features a Spade Panel, two Toad Houses and six levels, of which four have to be cleared to reach the king's castle.
World 2
Desert Land
World2SMB3.PNG Desert Land is the second world of the game. It is a region within a vast desert, filled with sand, palm trees and some pyramids. A fortress is located in the west part of the desert, and a quicksand field can also be found, as well as a great pyramid that the player needs to traverse in order to reach the king's castle. The king was attacked by Morton Koopa Jr., who turned him into a spider (or a Hoopster from Super Mario Bros. 2 in the remake). The world features two Spade Panels and three Toad Houses, of which one lies in a secret area behind a rock that needs to be crushed by a Hammer. The boulder also hides two Fire Brothers which stole the last Warp Whistle. Four of the five levels need to be cleared to get to the great pyramid and the castle. Desert Land houses many desert-related creatures like Fire Snakes and the extremely rare Angry Sun.
World 3
Water Land
Sea Side.PNG Water Land is a water-themed region that was raided by Wendy O. Koopa, who turned the king into a kappa (or a Dino-Rhino from Super Mario World in the remake). While some levels take place on solid ground, most of the levels and even one of the worlds two fortresses involve water in a certain way. At the northern part of the world map, Mario will encounter drawbridges that open and close in a set pattern. The world's castle is located far to the east on a small, remote island that is only accessible through a Warp Pipe. A boat can be unlocked by using a Hammer on a rock in the south. Through it, the player can reach some bonus Spade Panels and Toad Houses. Water Land contains nine levels in total, of which one can be skipped if a certain drawbridge is closed, and houses several water creatures like Bloopers, Cheep Cheeps, and Big Berthas. The world also introduces a very rare Boo known as a Stretch.
World 4
Giant Land
SMAS-Big Island Map.PNG Giant Land is mainly composed of an island in the vague shape of a Koopa. It is a relatively green island with plants growing on it that resemble Fire Flowers. The castle at the west coast of the island was attacked by Iggy Koopa, who transformed the king into an orange dinosaur (or Donkey Kong Jr. in the remake). The world has two fortresses, one on the east side and one on a small island in a lake in the world's center. The most prominent feature of Giant Land, which gives this world its name, is the fact that many enlarged versions of regular enemies, blocks, and environmental features can be found here. The world features four Toad Houses, two Spade Panels and six levels, of which five need to be cleared to reach the king's castle.
World 5
Sky Land
Sky world.PNG Sky Land is the world that has been conquered by Roy Koopa, who has turned its king into a condor (Albatoss in the remake). It is divided into two parts: a ground part and a sky part. The player begins on the ground. The most notable feature of this area is the possibility to gain the Goomba's Shoe, an item that can be obtained in level 5-3. After clearing the levels on the ground, the player can reach a spiraling tower that reaches up to the sky. The main part of the level is located here, and there are also some creatures exclusively to this realm, namely the Para-Beetle. After clearing the tower that serves as a link between the two areas, the player can go back to the ground, but they will have to clear the tower again on their way up. If the Koopaling isn't defeated at the first try, his Airship will be able to move freely between sky and ground. There are nine levels in total, three Spade Panels, three Toad Houses and two fortresses. The castle is on the southwest part of the sky part.
World 6
Ice Land
SMB36.PNG Ice Land is an area covered in snow and ice. The castle was attacked by Lemmy Koopa - who has turned its king into a fur seal (Monty Mole in the remake) and Mario has to venture there and reclaim the magic wand just like in the previous worlds. Before he can reach the castle however, the player has to navigate Mario through the levels of Ice Land. These levels feature frozen ground which makes movement more difficult, as Mario has poor footing on them and is likely to slip off into a bottomless pit. In some levels, the player can find ice blocks that contain coins or enemies. These blocks can only be melted with one of Fire Mario's fireballs. There are ten levels in total, three Spade Panels, two Toad Houses, and three fortresses. The castle is far to the east near the sea.
World 7
Pipe Land
Pipe maze.PNG Pipe Land is a series of small islands in a network of confusing pipes. The fourth stage is an underwater level with spiked Cheep Cheeps, some Big Berthas and three Blooper Nannies. Ludwig von Koopa attacked Pipe Land's king and turned him into a goldenrod Venus Fire Trap (Yoshi in the remakes). The country itself consists of nine levels, three Spade Panels, two fortresses, two Nipper Plant Levels and three Toad Houses. The castle is located in southeastern Pipe Land by the sea. If not defeated, the airship will fly from one island to another since the anchor is required to stop it.
World 8
Dark Land
Dark land2.PNG The eighth and final world is ruled by King Bowser. The levels in this world are primarily tank brigades and airships. There are also Hand Traps found in the second area of the world, which unexpectedly grab Mario or Luigi and take them to a short obstacle course which has a chest containing a Super Leaf at the end. The third area has two normal levels and a fortress, and the final level has the last tank level and Bowser's Castle, where Mario or Luigi must finally battle Bowser.
World 9
Warp Zone
World 9.PNG World 9 is only accessible by a Warp Whistle. In it, the player can choose to go to any other world in the game. The selection of worlds the player can choose from changes depending on the world they used the Warp Whistle in. If the player uses another Warp Whistle in the Warp Zone, it will take them to the pipe leading to World 8. Except for Worlds 5, 6 and 8, it is not possible to return to the world from which Mario accessed the Warp Zone.
World-e World-e SMA4.gif World-e is an e-Reader-based world that is only exclusive to Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros. 3. It can be reached right at the very beginning of the game. Players can use two Game Boy Advance, one with the game and the other with the e-Reader in order to scan level cards, demo cards, and power-up cards.



In a level[edit]

  • +Control Pad: Move
  • A Button: Jump/Fly or Glide (as Raccoon or Tanooki Mario)/Swim
  • B Button: Dash/Pick up and throw items/shoot fireballs (as Fire Mario)/throw hammers (as Hammer Mario)
  • Start Button: Pause

On the world map[edit]

  • +Control Pad: Move Mario around the map
  • A Button: Select level/item
  • B Button: Open the item menu


Small Mario
SMB3 Smallmario.png
Mario's weakest form used when a new game begins. If Mario touches an enemy while in this form, he loses a life.
Super Mario
Super Mario SMB3.PNG
The form Mario turns into after obtaining a Super Mushroom in small form. Mario gains the ability to break Brick Blocks in this state. If Mario touches an enemy while in this form, he shrinks back to his small form.
Fire Mario
Fire Mario SMB3.PNG
After utilizing a Fire Flower, Mario will turn into Fire Mario, giving him the ability to defeat enemies by shooting fireballs at them.
Raccoon Mario
Raccoon Mario SMB3.PNG
After using the Super Leaf, Mario will transform into Raccoon Mario. In this state, Mario can tail whip most enemies and blocks, slow his falls, and fly for a short period of time after gaining enough speed.
Tanooki Mario
Tanooki Mario SMB3.PNG
After obtaining the Tanooki Suit, Mario transforms into Tanooki Mario. Along with the abilities to glide, fly, and attack with his tail, Mario can turn into a statue to confuse his enemies for a short period of time.
The P-Wing not only grants the Raccoon form's abilities, but also adds a large "P" on Mario's chest and allows for indefinite flight. (On the action screen Mario appears as a normal Raccoon Mario, but the player's Power Meter is constantly filled.) After a level is cleared with this form, Mario will transform back into normal Raccoon Mario.
Frog Mario
Frog Mario SMB3.PNG
Mario will turn into Frog Mario after retrieving the Frog Suit. The Frog Suit allows Mario to swim much easier, but impedes his movement on land drastically.
Hammer Mario
Hammer Mario SMB3.PNG
Upon obtaining the Hammer Suit, Mario will turn into Hammer Mario. In this state, Mario can defeat enemies by throwing hammers, and can shield himself from fireballs by using his shell, but cannot slide down hills.
Invincible Mario
After getting a Starman, Mario will become invincible, and cannot be harmed by any enemies or obstacles. Along with the bonus of invincibility, Mario can also defeat most enemies without jumping on or throwing projectiles at them. This will only last for a short period of time (considerably shorter than other Mario games), and Mario will still lose a life if he falls into an abyss, a pool of lava, or runs out of time. If this form is used while Mario is Super Mario or any other power-up, Mario will frontflip a bunch of times if he jumps in this form.

Another object is the Goomba's Shoe, only obtainable in World 5-3 of the game. This object allows Mario to safely hop across dangerous objects and jump on spiky enemies, such as Piranha Plants and Spinies. It is obtained from attacking a Goomba hopping in the shoe from below. It is only found in this game and its remakes. However, since it is not a power-up it does not overtake any previous powers the player may have had. For example, if Fire Mario went in a Goomba's Shoe, then lost it, he would still retain his fire-throwing ability, similar to Yoshi in the SNES game Super Mario World.

In international releases of this game, after players obtain a power-up that is greater than a Super Mushroom, any injury will turn them back to their super form, like in every platformer Mario game after Super Mario World. In the original Japanese Famicom release, any hit reduces the player back to small form, like in Super Mario Bros., Super Mario Bros: The Lost Levels and Super Mario World. Also, getting hit while in the Goomba's Shoe in the Japanese Famicom release changes Mario into small form regardless of what power-up he had while in the Goomba's Shoe.


Battle Mode
Piranha Plants
Hammer Brothers


2 Player Game[edit]

In 2 Player Game, Mario (player one), and Luigi (player two) taking turns to complete the level, just like Super Mario Bros. After one brother completes a level/loses a life, the other brother plays. Also, if one brother picks a level that the other brother completed, they enter Battle Mode in their small forms.

Some Battle Mode stages are similar to Mario Bros. The player that defeats three of five enemies or survives wins. Enemies to defeat are Spinies, Sidesteppers, and Fighter Flies, but defeating a Fireball does not count. Players can indirectly kill each other by forcing the rival to collide with an enemy to gain victory. Players can also steal goal cards from each other by bumping from below. One stage involves grabbing three of five coins.

There is also a stage that has a vertical pipe that shoots out Fireballs and coins. The player that collects three coins or survive wins. Another stage has the players climbing ladders to retrieve coins under boxes, some of which are empty. The first to obtain three wins.

Any deaths incurred in the Battle Mode will not affect the player's lives in the main game. Super Mario All-Stars also includes an expanded Battle Game in the main menu for Super Mario Bros. 3.


Game designer Shigeru Miyamoto hard at work with Super Mario Bros. 3.

The hard part of creating a video game with old characters is making the old characters seem fresh and new.[4][5]In many ways, Super Mario Bros. 3 revived the series and brought many new young and old fans back to the adventures of the Mario Bros. The game was first shown in North America in the 1989 movie The Wizard as a way to advertise it; this also marked the first time that a Mario game was advertised in a movie.

Remakes and ports[edit]

Luigi & Mario sprites respectively.

Super Mario Bros. 3 was later remade and included in Super Mario All-Stars, with updated graphics and sound for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System, and with further minor upgrades in the re-issue, Super Mario All-Stars + Super Mario World, and the game's eventual port to the Wii as Super Mario All-Stars Limited Edition. A notable addition to the All-Stars version of Super Mario Bros. 3 was a save feature which allow players to save the progress and continue the world where they left off. Additionally, there's a Battle Game feature in the title screen that works differently from the ones featured from the maps in the 2-Player Game Mode. Other than that, retaining some localization changes and certain glitches fixed, gameplay was not altered.

The original game is also one of the 30 titles included in the NES Classic Edition and Nintendo Classic Mini: Family Computer.

Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros. 3[edit]

Main article: Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros. 3

Super Mario Bros. 3 was ported to the Game Boy Advance handheld system as the fourth and final installation in the Super Mario Advance series, Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros. 3. It used the same graphics and sounds as the Super Mario All-Stars version, and also incorporated the use of the e-Reader: by scanning in certain cards, players could unlock new items and levels, including content originally from the other classic Mario platformers.


It has been requested that this section be rewritten and expanded to include more information (tagged on 17:15, 14 September 2015 (EDT)).

The game has received critical acclaim, [citation needed] and the game is considered to be one of the greatest games of all time.[citation needed] IGN placed it at the number one spot of their top 100 NES games of all time list.[6].


id Software's attempted PC port[edit]

PC developer id Software sent to Nintendo a demo of a PC port of the game [7], with the intent being to gain authorization to make an official port. The demo reached the Nintendo of Japan management (including Shigeru Miyamoto), who were impressed by the port's quality. However, Nintendo declined to greenlight an official PC version of the game as the company had no plan to release its products outside their own platform[7].

The pitch followed a tech demo named Dangerous Dave in "Copyright Infringement", which was a playable recreation of World 1-1 with Mario's sprite being replaced with that of the titular character. Dangerous Dave was notable for featuring smooth scrolling[8], something unheard for PC games of the time[7][9]. With a distribution deal with Scott Miller of Apogee Software, Ltd., "Copyright Infringement" id developers John Romero and John Carmack along with Tom Hall (who originally had the idea)[citation needed] later used the engine they had developed to create the Commander Keen series, a series of shareware platform games for MS-DOS[10].

On December 14, 2015, John Romero uploaded gameplay footage of the port on video-sharing website Vimeo[11].


Audio.png Super Mario Bros. 3 - Overworld theme
Overworld 1 ~ Super Mario Bros. 3 Soundtrack.ogg

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Overworld 1 ~ Super Mario Bros. 3 Soundtrack.ogg
Audio.png Super Mario Bros. 3 - Athletic theme
Super Mario Bros 3 Overworld Theme 2.ogg

File info
Super Mario Bros 3 Overworld Theme 2.ogg
Video.svg Super Mario Bros. 3 - Gameplay of World 1-1.

File info
SMB3 W1-1.ogg
Having trouble playing?

References to other games[edit]

  • Mario Bros.- The Battle Mode is very similar to the multiplayer in this game.
  • Super Mario Bros.- When Princess Toadstool is saved from Bowser (in English versions except Super Mario Advance 4), she says "Thank you. But our princess is in another castle!...Just kidding! Ha ha ha! Bye bye." This is a reference to the mushroom retainers' line "Thank you Mario! But our princess is in another castle!" from this game.
  • Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels: The "burning rubber" sound effect returns.
  • Super Mario Bros. 2- Princess Toadstool's appearance is almost identical to how she appeared in this game. Bob-ombs, as well as desert, sky and ice-themed levels/worlds also return.

References in later games[edit]

  • Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars - The music heard in Grate Guy's Casino is a rendition of music from the minigames of Super Mario Bros. 3, the theme heard during the battle with Bowser in Super Mario RPG is a cover of that from Super Mario Bros. 3, and the music heard from Mario's Pad sounds identical to the Grass Land map theme heard in Super Mario Bros. 3.
  • Super Mario 64 - Many levels in Giant Land resemble Tiny-Huge Island in Super Mario 64 and its remake. Changing sizes by using doors also resembles using pipes to go from tiny to huge in Tiny-Huge Island.
  • Mario Party - The music heard in Ghost Guess and Pedal Power appears to be a cover of the Ice Land theme.
  • Paper Mario - The jingle that plays when Mario rescues a Star Spirit is a cover of the theme that plays when Mario recovers a king's magic wand.
  • Super Smash Bros. Melee - The main overworld theme has a cover version in both Mushroom Kingdom and Princess Peach's Castle. One of Bowser's specials, Bowser Bomb, is based on his attack pattern in this game.
  • Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door - The theme of Ice Land plays when Jolene calls Mario. In addition, Peach also provides vital clues to Mario via (e-)mail, similar to in this game, and like in this game, her last message ends up being intercepted by the main villain (Grodus, in that case).
  • Tetris DS- Levels 4, 5 and 6 in Marathon mode uses Super Mario Bros. 3 gameplay on the top screen, along with the Raccoon, Frog and Tanooki Mario sprites on the touch screen. Also, a cover of the overworld theme plays.
  • Dance Dance Revolution: Mario Mix - Music from Super Mario Bros. 3 is a cover version in this game.
  • WarioWare: Twisted! - The Super Mario Bros. 3 microgame, along with the Super Mario Bros. 3-Lift microgame, are based on Super Mario Bros. 3.
  • Super Mario 64 DS - The Rec Room theme is a cover of the Grass Land theme. The Wanted minigame uses the minigame music.
  • Mario Party Advance - The music played after Mario beats a Boom Boom/Koopaling is heard after the player completes a quest. Also, in the minigame Drop 'em, the background has a similar design to the levels from Super Mario Bros. 3.
  • New Super Mario Bros. - Many concepts started in here are features in this game, such as Toad Houses. A lot of the worlds have similar themes. Plus, the fortress theme is a cover. The fortress boss battle music returns as a cover version.
  • Super Paper Mario - The theme that plays when Big Blooper appears is a cover of the underwater theme from Super Mario Bros. 3.
  • Super Smash Bros. Brawl - The main overworld theme from Super Smash Bros. Melee is re-used in this game. Peach's Final Smash, Peach Blossom, uses a sped-up remix of the Coin Heaven/The Sky theme.
  • Mario Kart Wii - A license plate which reads "SMB3" can be found on one of the trucks on Moonview Highway.
  • Super Mario Galaxy - The airship and athletic music is a cover version in this game.
  • New Super Mario Bros. Wii - The Penguin Suit is based on the suits of Super Mario Bros. 3. The Koopalings' battle theme is a cover twice and once again played when fighting against them. The airship theme is a cover, and can be heard on airship levels. The design on the fortresses are based on the fortress sprites of Super Mario Bros. 3. The Enemy Courses are similar to the levels when fighting against a Hammer Bro, Fire Bro, Boomerang Bro, or Sledge Bro, and even use a cover of the song. Also, players can use reserve power-ups like in Super Mario Bros. 3.
  • Super Mario Galaxy 2 - Supermassive Galaxy is similar to Giant Land. Portions of the Water Land map theme can be heard in the World 6 map theme within 55 seconds.
  • Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games - The Athletic Theme heard in Super Mario Bros. 3 is available in this game as one of the optional music tracks.
  • Fortune Street - the Pipe Land theme is used as the stocks. Also, the Toad's House theme is used as auctions.
  • Super Mario 3D Land - The Tanooki Suit, Jump Blocks, and the Super Leaf appear in this game. The Airships and Boom Boom battles return, and remixes of the Athletic and Airship themes play in certain stages.
  • New Super Mario Bros. 2 - Some levels contain the same colourful blocks from this game. Also, the P-Wing meter returns.
  • New Super Mario Bros. U - The P-Acorn sounds and acts like the P-Wing. Also, the first part of the Soda Jungle is based on Giant Land. Some elements were referred to "New Super Mario Bros. Wii."
  • Super Mario 3D World - The death jingle is remixed in this game.
  • NES Remix 2: Super Mario Bros. 3 is one of the games that appear in this game.
  • Mario Kart 8: - Tanooki Mario is a playable character in the downloadable content pack The Legend of Zelda × Mario Kart 8.
  • Super Smash Bros. for Wii U: - Music was used in this game as a medley of the athletic, stage clear theme, Giant Land, Hammer Bros. battle theme, and the player miss theme.
  • Super Mario Maker - Super Mario Bros. 3 is one of the game styles for this game. The Course World menu music and 100 Mario Challenge map music are both cover versions of the Grass Land map theme.
  • Paper Mario: Color Splash: When using the flute Thing card, the same tune the Warp Whistle plays is this time played by the flute itself, and it has the same effect of summoning a tornado, while three other flutes play the "Coin Heaven" theme in the background. Additionally, to board an airship carrying a giant bucket of paint, Mario hangs on the Anchor, like he does in Super Mario Bros. 3. Larry also, like in the Japanese manual for the game, states before fighting Mario, that he is doing his actions specifically to avoid upsetting Bowser.

Version differences[edit]

There are four known versions of Super Mario Bros. 3 released for Famicom and Nintendo Entertainment System: the original Japanese version, the North American PRG0 and PRG1 versions, and the PAL version. During the two year release gap between the Japanese version and the worldwide release of Super Mario Bros. 3, many changes were made while localizing the game for the international market. Many of the gameplay and level design changes for the international release were kept in the future remakes, while other changes were reverted to make the game closer to the original Japanese version.

Gameplay changes[edit]

  • In the Japanese version, getting hit while powered-up causes the player to automatically shrink to Small Mario like in Super Mario Bros. In the international versions, powered-up Mario is reverted to Super Mario when hit, then shrinks to Small Mario when hit again. This also applies for the Goomba's Shoe. In the Japanese version, the shoe is red as it flies offscreen, and the player is also reverted to Small Mario; the shoe retains its green color as it is removed for the international versions, and the player keeps any power-ups they had before entering the shoe.
  • In Toad Houses, the player can move while Toad is speaking in the Japanese version. In the international versions, the player must wait until the message is completely displayed.
  • The timing for the credits sequence was altered for the international versions.
  • After the credits end in the international versions, the player can press any button to return to the title screen and start another game in which the inventory is filled with 28 P-Wings. In the Japanese version, the player cannot do this as the game remains on the ending screen indefinitely and must be restarted. This is one of the few international gameplay changes not retained in the later remakes.

Level design changes[edit]

  • In the second room of World 1-Fortress1-SMB3.pngFortress in the international versions, the door to Boom Boom is at the very end of the room, with the spikes above the door slightly above the rest. Comparatively in the Japanese version, the room is two blocks wider to the right, and the door is one block to the left of the gap in ceiling spikes.
  • The castle interiors when entering and finishing an airship stage were redesigned for the international versions. Mario is standing in the center of the room rather than on the very left, a third pillar next to the very left one was removed, the column on the right is in front of the stairs rather than behind, the throne and stairs are colored golden rather than being blue like the background wall, the stairs are made slightly longer, and the shadow shading was put on the right of each pillar rather than on the left.
  • In World 8-Navy, a block was removed off the end of the final ship, allowing players to more easily jump onto the ship should they swim under the fleet.
  • The end of World 5-1 was moved to the end of the main area of the level rather than having a Warp Pipe that takes the player to the end of the stage. A Buster Beetle at that part was also removed for the international versions. This was likely done to remove a glitch allowing the chest that appears in the secret area in this level to appear at the end of the level.

Graphical changes[edit]

  • When the player is hit as Tanooki, Hammer, or Frog Mario, the costume comes off and a sound effect plays in the Japanese version. In the international versions, the costume disappears in a puff of smoke.
  • In the Japanese version, when entering a stage, it wipes in to black, then wipes out the stage. In the international versions, it wipes in, then the stage fades in slightly more quickly.

Textual changes[edit]

  • In the PRG0 version, Castle of Kuppa was changed to Castle of Koopa in the game's ending.
    • In the PRG1 version, the names of each world as shown in-game minus Grass Land were further altered; Desert Hill became Desert Land, Ocean Side became Water Land, Big Island became Giant Land, The Sky became Sky Land, Iced Land became simply Ice Land, Pipe Maze became Pipe Land, and Castle of Koopa became Dark Land. This actually makes it closer to how they were originally written in the instruction manuals, including the Japanese one. The Super Nintendo and Game Boy Advance ports, however, reverted back to the original pre-revision names.
  • In the PRG0 version, Toad says "Miss twice and your out!" in the N-Mark Spade Panels. The US PRG1 version changes Toad's line to "You can only miss twice!" to get rid of the typo in the PRG0 version.
  • Princess Peach mentions in her letter recieved in World 2 "Kuribo's shoe" in the PRG0 version and "Goomba's shoe" in PRG1 version.

PAL version changes[edit]

  • The PAL version is based on the US PRG1 version, featuring most of its changes. It was optimized for PAL NES to have its gameplay and music match the Japanese and US versions. Some of the music sounds different as the result, such as the Airship music, where the percussion in the first part isn't cut off.
  • Bowser's letter is signed "Koopa Troopa" instead of "King of the Koopa" from the US versions.


Main article: List of Super Mario Bros. 3 staff


Game Designers[edit]

  • Shigeru Miyamoto
  • Takashi Tezuka

Main Programmer[edit]

  • Toshihiko Nakago

Sound Composer[edit]


Pre-release and unused content[edit]

Main article: List of Super Mario Bros. 3 pre-release and unused content

One of the early ideas was a power-up to turn Mario into a Centaur (half-man, half-horse), although this was rejected before being implemented into the game. (Tilden 1990, 21)

Additionally, Cheep Cheeps and Para-Beetles respectively have unused golden and green variations, which would have moved faster than their ordinary counterparts.


Main article: List of Super Mario Bros. 3 glitches


For this subject's image gallery, see Gallery:Super Mario Bros. 3.


  • "The Tanooki Suit turns into a statue! Even though I knew it wouldn't make sense to some non-Japanese players...I was so excited about it that I left it in." - Shigeru Miyamoto, Super Mario History 1985-2010 booklet
  • "We were helped by many people when developing this game. But even with a larger team, I was still the worst gamer of the bunch." - Takashi Tezuka, Super Mario History 1985-2010 booklet
  • "This time around, I added a lot of percussion and was able to create tracks that sounded like there were three or more sounds playing at once, resulting in much richer-sounding music." - Koji Kondo, Super Mario History 1985-2010 booklet


  • According to the Guinness Book of World Records 2008, Super Mario Bros. 3 was the world's best-selling video game, which is false.
    • The image used in the book was of Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros. 3, the remake, which made the same mistake on the back of its box.
  • This is the last game until Super Mario Galaxy in which all Koopa Troopas are quadrupeds and Lakitus fall off the screen with their clouds still with them if they are defeated. The next game, Super Mario World, is the first game to portray all Koopas as bipeds, which is now their standard look for them, and where Lakitus either leave their cloud behind if killed, or their cloud simply puffs away.
  • Despite their artwork showing their current color scheme otherwise, NES palette limitations caused Mario's and Luigi's player sprites to have black overalls with no gloves and red/green hat, shirt and shoes (although corrected in the larger Spade sprite), some of the Koopalings' hair and shell colors to be slightly different, and Princess Toadstool to have brown hair, resembling her sprite from Super Mario Bros. 2 and Toad wearing a black vest and red pants. Most of the character's palettes were corrected in later versions.
  • Super Mario Bros. 3 is Takashi Tezuka's favorite game in the series[12], as he feels that it's his first masterpiece.


  1. ^ Date info for NES from TMK, retrieved 4-1-2008
  2. ^ Date info for VC from TMK, retrieved 6-30-2008
  3. ^ Nintendo UK (September 10, 2015). Mario Myths with Mr Miyamoto. YouTube. Retrieved September 10, 2015.
  4. ^
  5. ^ [1]
  6. ^ [2]
  7. ^ a b c Dangerous Dave in "Copyright Infringement" (Retrieved July 5, 2013)
  8. ^ "It looked just like the console version - smooth scrolling and everything." Kushner, David. Masters of Doom: How Two Guys Created an Empire and Transformed Pop Culture, page 52. Retrieved April 16, 2015. Print.
  9. ^ CuteFloor (January 12, 2008).Dangerous Dave In Copyright Infringement · Unreleased Prototype. Youtube. Retrieved July 5, 2013.
  10. ^ "Scott was more than ready to make a deal. The gamers said they would use this new technology to create a title specifically for Apogee to release as shareware." Kushner, David. Masters of Doom: How Two Guys Created an Empire and Transformed Pop Culture, page 52. Retrieved April 16, 2015. Print.
  11. ^ Romero, John. Super Mario Bros. 3 Demo (199). Vimeo. Retrieved December 14, 2015.
  12. ^ GameXplain (June 23, 2015). Super Mario Maker Developer Interview - Takashi Tezuka & Yosuke Oshino. Youtube. Retrieved Spetember 16, 2015

External links[edit]