Super Mario Bros. 3 was released in Japan in 1988 and later came to the United States a year later making it widely regarded as one of the most influential Mario and platform games. Back in the early 90's I played a ton of Super Mario Bros. 3 and loved it so much I constantly read the Nintendo Players Guide to the point of destroying the magazine binding requiring me to fix it with some packing tape. I still have my Nintendo Players Guide and was happy to see it largely recreated in the recent "Playing with Power" NES Classic guide.

A lot has been said about Super Mario Bros. 3 and I think a good way of shining a light on this classic game is through a recent series of interviews Nintendo did with the original developers of the game during the launch of the NES Classic. If you haven't played Super Mario Bros. 3 and have the inclination to i'd recommend picking up a NES Classic as it's one of the best ways to relive it.

"Super Mario Bros. 3 came out in 1988, three years after Super Mario Bros. How did that come about?

Miyamoto: The game before that, Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels, had been Tezuka-san's directorial debut. That went well, so we decided to make a completely new game.

Tezuka-san, did you feel pressure as the director of Super Mario Bros. 3? After all, the original Super Mario Bros. was an incredible hit.

Tezuka: I didn't feel pressure from the original game so much as I felt like I needed to do a good job. But it wouldn't come together well and dragged on.

Miyamoto: And Nakago-san got angry. (laughs)

Tezuka: Yeah, he definitely got angry. (laughs)

What wouldn't come together?

Tezuka: At first, we were making it with a bird's-eye view rather than a side view.

The view was looking down diagonally from overhead rather than directly from the side as in Super Mario Bros.

Tezuka: Yes. But we couldn't do it well.

Miyamoto: He said he wanted to look from a little above. But in Super Mario Bros. it is important whether Mario's feet hit the ground or not, even barely. With a diagonal view from slightly overhead, you lost your sense of distance to the ground. So I told him that development would be difficult.

Tezuka: Yeah, it was. (laughs wryly) So partway through development, we switched to a side viewpoint, but there are relics of the bird's-eye view in the final product.

Miyamoto: Yeah.

For example, the black-and-white checkered floor.

Tezuka: Yeah.

Tezuka-san, what was your original idea for making Super Mario Bros. 3?

Tezuka: We made Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels by changing the original game's difficulty and stage design, but we couldn't do that again, so I wanted to change everything, including its general appearance.

If you want to read the rest of the interview and I recommend you do, head over to the Nintendo website!

Travis   Admin wrote on 10/25/2018 at 08:51pm

It’s interesting that it was going to be more 3d originally. I wonder if they went back to try that on the SNES before it finally stuck on the N64?

jdodson   Admin   Post Author wrote on 10/26/2018 at 03:17am

They did quite a bit more with a 3D feel on the Super Nintendo and then the Virtual Boy. I really do think the 3DS is some of the best 3D i've seen implemented in gaming so far so it's cool the finally figured it out. I wonder if that might be coming to the Switch at some point?

Travis   Admin wrote on 10/27/2018 at 05:32am

I was thinking more about with Mario specifically but yeah they did ramp it up a lot on the SNES broadly. StarFox was a technological marvel at the time.

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