Super Mario Bros. 3

From Academic Kids

Super Mario Bros. 3
Missing image
The cover of Super Mario Bros. 3 features Raccoon Mario.

Developer: Nintendo
Publisher: Nintendo
Designer: Shigeru Miyamoto
Release date: 1990-Japan, 1990-U.S., 1991-Europe
Genre: Platform game
Game modes: Single player, multiplayer
Platform: Famicom/NES
Media: 3-megabit cartridge

Super Mario Bros. 3 (sometimes referred to as "Mario 3" or "Super Mario 3") was the last major Mario video game made for the Nintendo Family Computer (in Japan) and the Nintendo Entertainment System (in North America and Europe). It was developed through 1988 - December 1989, though not released to the world until February 12 1990. It was directed by Shigeru Miyamoto, and the music was composed by Koji Kondo.

It features the first appearances of Bowser's children. Mario and Luigi have to save seven kingdoms of the Mushroom World from the Koopa Kids (or Koopalings) by recovering the magic wands that they stole from the seven kings, and also save Princess Peach Toadstool from the clutches of King Bowser Koopa.

Although widely regarded as being the best-selling video game of all time, the original Super Mario Bros. is actually the best-selling video game, at 40.23 million copies compared to Super Mario Bros. 3's 17.28 million (as recognized by the Guinness Book of Records [1] (, based on data given by Nintendo).[2] ( It is, however, the best-selling "standalone" video game, i.e., not bundled with a console.


Game mechanics

Screenshot of the NES/Famicom version of Super Mario Bros. 3
Screenshot of the NES/Famicom version of Super Mario Bros. 3

The game play is a return to the style of Super Mario Bros. after the vast departure of the North American version of Super Mario Bros. 2. The heroes can again jump on many enemies to destroy them, as well as take on many different forms by acquiring special items.

However, despite the familiar gameplay, Super Mario Bros. 3 is still a different game from its predecessor. More puzzles, enemies and secret areas were added to enhance difficulty.

Rather than simply move forward in the game in a linear fashion, Mario travels the Mushroom Kingdom via a map, which often splits into different paths, giving the player a choice of which levels to play. While on this map, Mario can acquire special items through "Toad Houses" and battles with Hammer Brothers, which are saved in an inventory, and can be used in between levels.

Furthermore, smaller mechanics are changed. For instance, as in Super Mario Bros. 2 but not the original Super Mario Bros., the player can travel backwards in a level in case they had missed a special area or item. Super Mario Bros. 3 introduced the further ability of the screen scroll diagonally (in Super Mario Bros. 2 can sometimes scroll vertically and sometimes scroll horizontally, but never in both manners at once).

Also, due to the increased difficulty, a luxury was given to the player, in the U.S. and European releases: if he had one of the "special" powers: Fire Mario, Raccoon Mario, Hammer Brother Mario, Tanooki Mario etc. - then took a hit, he would revert into Super Mario, allowing for an extra hit. This is contrary to the original Super Mario Bros. and the Japanese release of Super Mario Bros. 3, where if a player had been hit as Fiery Mario (or any other power-up mode), he would revert to regular Mario. This mechanic returned in the SNES title Super Mario World, but was removed in its GBA version.


Items that returned from Super Mario Bros.:

  • Starman: Mario gains temporary invincibility. He is impervious to death by any means except lava and bottomless pits.
  • Super Mushroom: Mario doubles in size and can take one hit without dying.
  • Fire Flower: As Fire Mario, he can throw fireballs that bounce across the ground.

Items and forms new to Super Mario Bros. 3:

  • Raccoon Mario: A Super Leaf gives Mario raccoon ears and a tail he can use to bat enemies. This power-up, like the "Tanooki" suit, is based on the mythical Japanese tanuki. By wagging his tail, Mario can descend slowly from a jump and by getting a running start, Mario can fly briefly.
  • Frog Suit: Movement on land is hindered, but swimming is greatly facilitated and accelerated. Also allows Mario to swim against the current and into secret underwater pipes.
  • Tanooki Suit: Allows Mario to fly, just like Raccoon Mario; can also turn into a statue briefly, which renders him temporarily invincible, by pressing down and B. This suit is based on the mythical Japanese beast, the tanuki.
  • Hammer Brothers' Suit: Mario can throw hammers, just like the Hammer Brothers from the original Super Mario Bros. Also, crouching renders him invincible to fireball attacks from above.
Missing image
Kuribo's Shoe powers up both Goombas and Mario.
  • Goomba's Shoe (or Kuribo's Shoe, after Goomba's Japanese name): A giant, green boot, Mario can jump inside and stomp on Piranha Plants and Venus Fire Traps to kill them. He can also walk across Munchers (long lines of Piranha Plants acting like spikes). His jumping ability is also augmented. This is available only in level 5-3, and is lost when you clear the level.
  • P-Wing: (Map-only item) Short for "Power wing", the P-Wing turns Mario into Raccoon Mario and, for one level, keeps his power meter (normally filled by a running start) constantly filled. Its most basic use is allowing the player to fly over entire levels unthreatened. If Mario is hit by an enemy while in P-wing state, he will lose both the Raccoon power and the filled power meter. If the P-Wing is used while Mario is Tanooki Mario, he will NOT lose the Tanooki power.
  • Lakitu's Cloud (or Jugem's Cloud, after Lakitu's Japanese name) (Map-only item): Using this item changes Mario's icon on the world map to a Lakitu cloud. Mario may now move past one uncompleted level. Upon doing so, the icon reverts to Mario. If Mario dies in the next attempted level, he will be sent to the previously completed spot on the world map, and the Lakitu's Cloud will have been wasted.
  • Magic Whistle: (Map-only item) Using a Magic Whistle takes Mario to the Warp Zone (World 9) map, where he must then choose a world to warp to. There are three Magic Whistles to be acquired in Super Mario Bros. 3: one in 1-3, one in World 1 Minifortress, and one in a World 2 Fire Brothers duel. When used, the Magic Whistle plays the same tune as The Legend of Zelda's Whistle, and in both games the whistle summons a tornado that sweeps up the hero and dumps him elsewhere. Using the whistle from World 1 allows access to Worlds 2, 3 and 4, using it in Worlds 2 through 6 allows access to worlds 5, 6 and 7 and using the whistle in either World 7 or the Warp Zone (World 9) allows access to World 8.
  • Anchor: (Map-only item) Anchors can be found on the white Airships (if one collects all the coins) that appear when one collects all the coins in a level, and in even-numbered worlds' hidden white Toad houses. When a player dies while attempting a Doomship, it relocates itself to a random vacant spot on the world map. If a player has skipped a level in the world (using Lakitu's Cloud or otherwise), he might find the Doomship's new location inaccessible. Using an anchor prevents the current world's Doomship from relocating. This is especially useful in World 5, where the Doomship can "hide" in the sky above the ground-levels, where it is inaccessible from either the ground or the clouds. Here, one can use the anchor to keep the Doomship from permanently "hiding" in this area, where it would essentially end the game by making itself impossible to reach.
  • Music Box: (Map-only item) This item changes the overworld music to a different theme, a shortened version of the original Super Mario Bros. theme, and puts all the Hammer Bros. on the map to sleep for several turns, which causes them to remain in the same place on the map. In addition, Mario can walk up to the Hammer Bros. resting spot without automatically entering the tournament against the Hammer Bros.
  • Hammer Bros. Hammer: (Map-only item) This hammer can break impassable stones on the world map.


Missing image
Screenshot of hidden World 9 (Warp Zone) in the NES version of Super Mario Bros. 3
Missing image
Screenshot of hidden World 9 in the Super Mario All-Stars version Super Mario Bros. 3

In Super Mario Bros. 3 there are 9 different worlds, 8 of which have stages and bosses. The bosses for the first 7 worlds are Koopa Kids, and the 8th has King Bowser Koopa as its boss. In the list below the name of the boss is next to the name of the world. Two versions of the game were released and the world names differ slightly between them. In the later version, all of the world names end in "Land." However, Super Mario All-Stars, released later for the Super Nintendo, uses the earlier, first-release world names. [3] (

First English-language and Japanese release Second English-language release Boss
World 1: Grass Land Grass Land Larry Koopa
World 2: Desert Hill Desert Land Morton Koopa Jr.
World 3: Sea Side Water Land Wendy O. Koopa
World 4: Big Island Giant Land Iggy Koopa
World 5: The Sky Sky Land Roy Koopa
World 6: Iced Land Ice Land Lemmy Koopa
World 7: Pipe Maze Pipe Land Ludwig Von Koopa
World 8: Castle of Koopa Dark Land King Bowser Koopa
World 9: Warp Zone Warp Zone

Note that the only purpose of World 9 is to get you to other worlds, and players can only get to it by using one of the magic whistles.


Missing image
Mario's most popular attack is his jumping ability, seen here in World 4: Giant Land

With its expansive gameplay, Super Mario Bros. 3 is often considered Nintendo's masterpiece for the NES, and is routinely voted one of the greatest video games of all time. It sold approximately 30 million copies worldwide (18 million of which in North America alone), a record at the time for video games that were sold separately from their consoles.

Several months before its release, a "sneak peek" of sorts was given to the general public in the movie The Wizard (1989), where the game was featured as the final lap of a video game competition. Additionally, the game appears in the feature film Beethoven, in which two of the dog's owners are seen simultaneously playing the game, despite its lack of simultaneous gameplay.


Screenshot, SNES/Super Famicom version of Super Mario Bros. 3
Screenshot, SNES/Super Famicom version of Super Mario Bros. 3

Super Mario Bros. 3 received a graphical and audio facelift for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) (and in Japan, the Super Famicom) in the Super Mario All-Stars (also Super Mario Collection) cartridge of 1993. On the Super NES version, the Spade panels on the map are animated. The action scene (numbered) panels sparkle. The airships have thunder effects and they are all the same color. The king transformations have also been changed. Most notably, the king of World 7 was transformed into a Yoshi in the Super Famicom/SNES version of the game, but he was transformed into a Piranha Plant in the Famicom/NES version. A save feature was also added for the Super Famicom/SNES version. For the aforementioned world name table, Super Mario All-Stars uses the original world names.

A similar version appears on the Game Boy Advance as Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros. 3. You can now play the updated original Mario Bros. or even connect with the GBA link cable to battle against each other. You can also download through e-Reader cards power-ups, newly created levels based on Super Mario Bros. 3 levels, and demonstrations of how to complete certain levels.


  • In outdoor levels where the scenery includes large coloured blocks (such as levels 1 and 3 of World 1), keeping Mario crouched down on top of a white block for several seconds causes him to fall through the block. He now appears behind the scenery instead of in front of it (although is still vulnerable to enemies). If this can be sustained until the end of level 1-3, Mario can walk right past the end, to reach a hidden mushroom house.
  • Though technically this is no secret, the music for the airship levels are actually taken directally from an old orchestra piece. The song is "Mars, Bringer of War" from "The Planets" symphony by Gustav Holst.


  • Although hinted at in an official Nintendo's Player's Guide, the wall jump exploit has obtained relatively little publicity over the years. The glitch occurs when Mario jumps towards a solid wall, touching it at a certain point in the arc so that he appears to temporarily pause in midair, as if stumbling onto some invisible foothold. Mario normally drops to the ground after this quick display, but it is possible to time a second jump off the non-existant foothold. This procedure, although difficult to successfully execute, can be used to scale large walls such as the one at the start of level 6-9. In theory, this glitch could be exploited to serve as a safety net in levels with instantly-fatal traps such as pits and lava. But due to the split-second presicion required for the maneuver, only a genuine master would be able to utilize it to this degree.

The Lost Levels in Super Mario Bros. 3

  • The lost levels in Super Mario Bros. 3 are unused, abandoned levels that were programmed into the game, but were deleted from the final version. Some of these levels feature lost enemies that are also prgrammed into the game. The level that sheds some light on the subject is the the level that can be accessed with the Game Genie code AOZULT. This code forces entry into a lost level found inside the START panel in World 1. The level seems like it was deleted from World 6 for being too short and too easy.[4] (

Other codes include:

  • KZNUGGXE-OZNUIKUL, a lost plains stage similar to Worlds 3-9 and 5-3.[5] (
  • LZXUAGPZ-SINUGGXE-ELNUIKUL, a grassy, hilly stage featuring Goomba's shoe, Lakitu, a coin heaven and continuous Starman power-ups. Possibly an early version of World 7-3.[6] (
  • LZXUAGPZ-ZGNUGGXA-KLNUIKUL, an underground level with big doors and Buzzy Beetles. The layout of this level is reminiscent of World 1-5, but without the coin heaven. [7] (
  • ZZXUAGPZ-GINUGGXA-NLNUIKUL, unused Tanooki Suit bonus rooms with castle music. [8] (
  • GZXUAGPX-XLNUGGXE-NLNUIKUL, an auto-scrolling underwater ice level reminiscent of World 6 with Jelectros from World 7-4 and gold Cheep-Cheeps, an unused enemy in the final game. The middle of this level consists of an island filled with Munchers. [9] (
  • AZXUAGPX-APNUGGXE-NZNUIKUU, a vertical level with waterfalls and pipes. [10] (
  • IZXUAGPX-OZNUGGXE-KZNUIKUU, a cloud level filled with red Parabeetles and the unused, fast-moving green Parabeetles.[11] (
  • GZXUAGPZ-SGNUGGXE-SZNUIKUU, obviously a harder version of World 1-6.[12] (
  • GZXUAGPZ-KGNUGGXA-ELNUIKUL, another variation of the above level. No goal, cut short. [13] (
  • IZXUAGPX-UZNUGGXE-SZNUIKUU, an unused cloud level. May be an attempt at a nighttime cloud level. [14] (
  • GGNUGGXE-NZNUIKUL, an unused level, presumably an early version of a World 7 level. [15] (

Caution: When using these codes, the pointers and enemies may load up incorrectly.

The Lost Enemies in Super Mario Bros. 3

  • Along with the lost levels, there are also unused enemies.
    • Gold Cheep-Cheeps - swim in groups, and are faster than their green brethren.[16] (
    • Green Parabeetles - fly faster than their red counterparts.[17] (

See also

External links

ja:スーパーマリオブラザーズ3 sv:Super Mario Bros. 3


Academic Kids Menu

  • Art and Cultures
    • Art (
    • Architecture (
    • Cultures (
    • Music (
    • Musical Instruments (
  • Biographies (
  • Clipart (
  • Geography (
    • Countries of the World (
    • Maps (
    • Flags (
    • Continents (
  • History (
    • Ancient Civilizations (
    • Industrial Revolution (
    • Middle Ages (
    • Prehistory (
    • Renaissance (
    • Timelines (
    • United States (
    • Wars (
    • World History (
  • Human Body (
  • Mathematics (
  • Reference (
  • Science (
    • Animals (
    • Aviation (
    • Dinosaurs (
    • Earth (
    • Inventions (
    • Physical Science (
    • Plants (
    • Scientists (
  • Social Studies (
    • Anthropology (
    • Economics (
    • Government (
    • Religion (
    • Holidays (
  • Space and Astronomy
    • Solar System (
    • Planets (
  • Sports (
  • Timelines (
  • Weather (
  • US States (


  • Home Page (
  • Contact Us (

  • Clip Art (
Personal tools