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Super Mario

Super Mario Bros. 3 is a platforming game for the Family Computer and Nintendo Entertainment System. It is the third game in the Super Mario series, not including Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels. It was first released in Japan on October 23, 1988, followed by North America on February 9, 1990, and in Europe and Australia some time in 1991.

Super Mario Bros. 3 was one of four games remade as part of Super Mario All-Stars, a Super Nintendo Entertainment System game release in 1993. A decade later, in 2003, it was remade for the Game Boy Advance as Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros. 3, the final installment of the Super Mario Advance series.

The original game was first ported to the Wii Virtual Console on November 5, 2007. On June 3, 2013, Super Mario Bros. 3 was made as a reward for Club Nintendo users, who could purchase the game with their coins for the Wii Virtual Console. The same year, Super Mario Bros. 3 was ported to the Nintendo 3DS and Wii U Virtual Consoles each. In 2018, Super Mario Bros. 3 was made available on the Nintendo Switch through the Nintendo Switch Online service.

Being considered as one of the greatest games of all time, the game's complexity and challenging levels are what made it a huge success. The game features new power-ups, as well as new moves, items, and enemies. In addition, there are also some special areas in each world, which include Toad Houses, where the player can obtain some useful items; Spade Panels, where the player can play a matching minigame for a chance to win some extra lives; as well as some secret areas, such as the White Mushroom House and the Treasure Ship. New power-ups that were introduced to the game were: the Super Leaf, the Tanooki Suit, the Magic Wing, the Frog Suit, the Hammer Suit, and the Goomba's Shoe. It has also been one of the most famous Mario games out there.


Bowser has returned to the Mushroom Kingdom and with his newly introduced seven Koopaling children,[1][2][3][4] he tried to conquer it again. He sent his Koopalings into seven kingdoms of the Mushroom World to capture their kings, steal their magic wands, and alter their appearance. Princess Toadstool sent Mario and Luigi to go and stop the Koopalings and turn the kings back into their normal form. After fighting each Koopaling, they received each kings' magic wand and changed them back to their original appearances. However, this was only a distraction so that Bowser could kidnap the Princess again. The Mario Brothers then traveled to Dark Land to find Castle Koopa, defeat the evil Koopa King and rescue the Princess.


Control Action(s)
(Toward an aligned pipe entrance) Enter pipe
(While underwater) Swim left/right (Frog Mario)
Crouch (Big Mario)
(While resting on upwards facing pipe entrance) Enter pipe
(While in front of Vine) Descend
(While on a slope) Slide down slope
(While underwater) Swim downwards (Frog Mario)
(While resting on downwards facing pipe entrance) Enter pipe
(While in front of Vine) Climb
(While in front of Door) Enter door
(While underwater) Swim upwards (Frog Mario)
A Jump
(As you stomp an enemy) Super jump
(While underwater) Swim
(While P Meter is full) Fly (Raccoon/Tanooki Mario)
(While in midair) Descend slowly (Raccoon/Tanooki Mario)
(While underwater) Swim fast (Frog Mario)
Hold A High jump
B Throw projectile (Fire/Hammer Mario)
Tail whip (Raccoon/Tanooki Mario)
Hold B (While moving) Dash
Hold object
Release B Throw object
(While holding ↓) Drop object


SMB3 NES gameplay 1

Item select screen.

Gameplay in Super Mario Bros. 3 is similar to Super Mario Bros., but features several additions. The game features eight worlds, and each has an overworld map where the player has a choice of paths to take and courses to complete. Also on each map are Toad Houses and Spade Panels that can be accessed. Items collected at Toad Houses can be accessed on the world map and be used in any level. Each world has at least one fortress the player must clear in order to unlock blocked paths. At the end of each world is the king's castle. Upon beginning this level, the player will need to navigate through an airship and fight a Koopaling to reclaim the king's magic wand.

SMB3 NES gameplay 2

Mario performing the Slope Slide.

Player one is in control of Mario, while player two is in control of Luigi. Both players take turns in between each course. There are new moves included such as being able to pick up and kick objects such as shells, white blocks, and Bob-ombs; and the Slope Slide, which allows the character to slide down a hill. This move has been carried over into future Mario titles. A returning power-up is the Fire Flower, and it retains the same function it had in Super Mario Bros.. New power-ups are featured as well, including the Super Leaf, a power-up that transforms the character into their raccoon form, allowing them to fly in the sky; and the Hammer Suit, which transforms the character into their hammer form, allowing them to toss hammers at enemies, even those that cannot normally be defeated otherwise.

SMB3 NES gameplay 3

Collecting three consecutive Starman cards.

At the end of each level is a darkened area, where the player must hit the goal and stop it on a slot depicting either a Super Mushroom, Fire Flower, or a Starman. Upon collecting three consecutive cards, the player will usually earn an extra life. Collecting three consecutive Super Mushroom cards rewards two extra lives; collecting three consecutive Fire Flower cards rewards three extra lives, and collecting three consecutive Starman cards rewards five extra lives.


World 1: Grass Land[]

Grass Land

World One: Grass Land

Grass Land is the first world of the game that 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 palace lies to the east-southeast, surrounded by a circular 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 palace.

World 2: Desert Land[]

Smb3 w2

World Two: Desert Land

Desert Hill (also known as Desert Land or the Koopahari Desert) 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 palace. 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. It contains a Warp Whistle guarded by two Fire Bro. Four of the five levels need to be cleared to get to the great pyramid and the palace. Desert Hill houses many desert-related creatures like Fire Snakes and the very rare Angry Sun.

World 3: Water Land[]

Also referred to as Water Land or Sea/Ocean Side, it is a water-themed region that was raided by Wendy O. Koopa. While some levels take place on solid ground, most of the levels and even one of the world's 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 palace is located far to the east on a small remote island that is only accessible through a Warp Pipe. The king of Ocean Side was turned into a Spike (or a Dino-Rhino from Super Mario World in the remake) during Wendy's attack. 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. Ocean Side contains two Hammer Bros., two Fortresses and 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[]

Mario encountering Gargantua Koopas in Big Island. This world, which is also known as 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 Big Island 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 Big Island, which gives this world its name, is the fact that many enlarged versions of regular enemies can be found here, main enemies here include Grand Goombas, Gargantua Koopa Troopas, and Piranhacus Giganticus. The world features four Toad Houses, two Spade Panels, three Sledge Bros., and six levels, five of which need to be cleared to reach the king's palace. Also, the Tanooki Suit makes it debut here.

World 5: Sky Land[]

The area also known as Sky Land is the world that has been conquered by Roy Koopa. 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 Kuribo's Shoe, an item that can be obtained in World 5-3 only. 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 in World 5-6. Other enemies commonly found in the Sky Land include Fire Chomps, Buster Beetles, and Lakitus. 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 Roy Koopa 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 Hammer Bros., three Toad Houses, and two Fortresses. Seven of the nine levels are required to get to the Palace. The palace is on the southwest part of the sky part.

World 6: Ice Land[]

Iced Land, sometimes referred to as Ice Land, is an area covered in snow and ice. The palace of Iced Land was attacked by Lemmy Koopa, and Mario has to venture there and reclaim the magic wand just like in the previous worlds. Before he can reach the palace however, the player has to navigate Mario through the levels of Iced Land. These levels feature frozen ground, which makes movement more difficult, as Mario has poor footing on them and is likely to slip off (if not wearing a Frog Suit) 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. Main enemies here include Chain Chomps, Ptooies, and Spikes. There are ten levels in total, three Spade Panels, two Toad Houses, three Hammer Bros., and three Fortresses. Only four of the ten levels need to be completed. Hammers access shortcuts very well in world 6. If you don't use hammers than seven of the ten are required. The Palace is far to the east near the sea. The Hammer Suit makes its debut here.

World 7: Pipe Land[]

Also known as Pipe Maze, 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, Piranha Plants and Venus Fire Traps are also common enemies here. Prince Ludwig von Koopa attacked the Pipe Maze king and turned him into a goldenrod Venus Fire Trap. The country itself consists of nine levels (of which seven of them need to be cleared before reaching the palace), three Spade Panels, two Fortresses, two Nipper Plant Levels, and three Toad Houses. The palace is located in southeastern Pipe Land by the sea. If not defeated, Ludwig's airship will fly from one island to another, since the anchor is required to stop it.

World 8: Dark Land[]

This mysterious world (also known as Dark Land) is ruled by King Bowser. The levels in this world are primarily tank brigades and airships. There are also three 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 common enemies here are among the toughest enemies in the game which include Bob-ombs, Boos, Bullet Bills, Thwomps, Podoboos, and Dry Bones. The third area has two normal levels and a Fortress, and the final area has the last tank level and Castle Koopa, where Mario and Luigi must finally battle Bowser and save the princess.

World 9: Warp Zone[]

World 9, aka The Warp Zone, 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. For example: If the player uses a Warp Whistle in World 1, it will take them to the pipes leading to Worlds 2 to 4, A warp Whistle in Worlds 2 to 6 will take them to pipes leading to worlds 5 to 7, and a warp whistle is used in world 7 to 9 will take them to the pipe leading to World 8.


World-e is an e-Reader-based world, and it is exclusive to Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros. 3. It can only be reached when using an e-Reader.


Main game[]

Sprite Name Points earned Classification Level debut
Angry Sun SMB3 NES sprite Angry Sun N/A Desert World 2-Desert
Baby Blooper SMB3 sprite Baby Bloober N/A Water World 3-1
Baby Cheep SMB3 NES Baby Cheep 100 Water World 3-5
Big Bertha NES Big Bertha 100 Water World 3-5
Blooper SMB3 sprite Bloober 100 Water World 3-1
Blooper Nanny SMB3 sprite Bloober with kids 100 Water World 3-1
Bob-omb SMB3 sprite Bob-omb 100 Artillery World 3-9
Boo SMB3 sprite Boo 100 Fortress World 2-Fortress
Boomerang Bro SMB3 NES sprite Boomerang Bro 1,000 Hammer Bro World 1-3
Big Bertha NES Boss Bass 100 Water World 3-3
Bullet Bill SMB3 sprite Bullet Bill 100 Artillery World 1-Airship
Buster Beetle SMB3 sprite Buster Beetle 100 Buzzy World 5-1
Buzzy Beetle SMB3 sprite Buzzy Beetle 100 Buzzy World 1-5
Chain Chomp SMB3 NES sprite Chain Chomp 100 Artillery World 2-5
Cheep Cheep SMB3 sprite Cheep-Cheep 100 Water World 3-2
Cheep-Cheep green SMB3 sprite Green Cheep-Cheep 100 Water World 2-2
Colossal KP SMB3 sprite Colossal Koopa Paratroopa 100 Koopa World 4-1
Dry Bones SMB3 sprite Dry Bones 100 Fortress World 1-Fortress
Fiery Walking Piranha Fiery Walking Piranha - Piranha Plant World 7-8
Fire Bro SMB3 sprite Fire Bro 1,000 Hammer Bro World 2-Fire Bro
Fire Chomp SMB3 sprite Fire Chomp 100 Artillery World 5-5
Fire Snake SMB3 sprite Firesnake 100 Desert World 2-1
Goomba SMB3 sprite Goomba 100 Goomba World 1-1
Grand Goomba SMB3 sprite Grand Goomba 100 Goomba World 4-1
Gargantua Koopa Troopa SMB3 sprite Green Gargantua Koopa Troopa 100 Koopa World 4-1
Hanging Piranha Plant SMB3 sprite Hanging Piranha Plant green SMB3 sprite Hanging Piranha Plant 100 Piranha Plant World 1-5
Venus Fire Trap upside-down SMB3 sprite Hanging Venus Fire Trap 100 Piranha Plant -
Green Paratroopa SMB3 sprite Green Koopa Paratroopa 100 Koopa World 1-1
Green Koopa SMB3 sprite Green Koopa Troopa 100 Koopa World 1-1
Hammer Bro SMB3 sprite Hammer Bro 1,000 Koopa World 1-Hammer Bro
Hot Foot SMB3 sprite Hot Foot 100 Fortress World 4-Fortress 1
Jelectro SMB3 sprite Jelectro N/A Water World 3-5
Shoe Goomba SMB3 sprite Kuribo's Goomba 100 Goomba World 5-3
Lakitu SMB3 sprite Lakitu 100 Koopa World 3-4
Lava Lotus SMB3 sprite Lava Lotus 100 Water World 3-1
Mugger Micro-Goomba SMB3 sprite Micro-Goomba N/A Goomba World 1-2
Missile Bill SMB3 NES sprite Missile Bill 100 Artillery World 4-5
Muncher SMB3 sprite Muncher N/A Piranha Plant World 5-3
Para-Beetle SMB3 sprite Para-Beetle N/A Buzzy World 5-6
Paragoomba SMB3 sprite Paragoomba alt SMB3 sprite Para-Goomba 100 Goomba World 1-1 (red)
World 1-2 (brown)
Pile Driver Micro-Goomba SMB3 NES sprite Pile Driver Micro-Goomba 100 Goomba World 2-1
Piranhacus Giganticus red SMB3 sprite Piranhacus Giganticus green SMB3 sprite Piranhacus Giganticus 100 Piranha Plant World 4-1
Piranha Plant SMB3 sprite Piranha Plant green SMB3 sprite Piranha Plant 100 Piranha Plant World 1-5 (red)
World 1-1 (green)
Podoboo SMB3 sprite Podoboo 100 Fortress World 1-Fortress
Ptooie SMB3 sprite Ptooie 100 Piranha Plant World 6-1
Gargantua Koopa Troopa red SMB3 sprite Red Gargantua Koopa Troopa 100 Koopa World 4-1
Red Paratroopa SMB3 sprite Red Koopa Paratroopa 100 Koopa World 1-4
Rocky Wrench SMB3 sprite Rocky Wrench red SMB3 sprite Rocky Wrench 100 Koopa World 1-Airship
Sledge Bro SMB3 sprite Sledge Bro 1,000 Hammer Bro World 4-3
Spike SMB3 sprite Spike N/A Koopa World 3-7
Spiny SMB3 sprite Spiny 100 Koopa World 4-3
Spiny Cheep-Cheep SMB3 sprite Spiny Cheep-Cheep 100 Water World 7-4
Spiny Egg SMB3 sprite Spiny Egg green SMB3 sprite Spiny Egg 100 Koopa World 4-4 (red)
World 3-4 (green)
Stretch SMB3 sprite Stretch 100 Fortress World 3-Fortress 2
Thwomp SMB3 sprite Thwomp 100 Fortress World 2-Fortress
Venus Fire Trap red SMB3 sprite Venus Fire Trap green SMB3 sprite Venus Fire Trap 100 Piranha Plant World 1-1 (both types)
Nipper Plant SMB3 sprite Walking Piranha 100 Piranha Plant World 5-1

Battle Game[]

Sprite Name Description
Crab SMB3 Battle sprite Crab A Crab needs to be hit twice to flip it upside-down, with the first hit only angering them and causing them to move faster.
Fighter Fly SMB3 sprite Fighter Fly A Fighter Fly constantly hops in an arc, and it is only vulnerable when standing on the ground.
Spiny SMB3 Battle Game sprite Spiny The only enemy to appear in both the main game and Battle Game. Like the other enemies, a Spiny can be flipped by jumping at the floor it is on.


Sprite Name Level debut
Gray Bowser Statue SMB3 sprite Bowser Statue World 8-Bowser's Castle
Cannon SMB3 sprite Cannon World 1-Airship
Cannonball SMB3 sprite Cannonball World 1-Airship
Giant Cannonball SMB3 sprite Giant Cannonball World 8-Tank
Rocket Engine SMB3 sprite Rocket Engine World 3-Airship
Spinning Roto-Disc Roto-Disc World 1-Fortress
Tornado SMB3 sprite Tornado World 2-Desert
Bill Blaster SMB3 sprite Turtle Cannon World 1-Airship

There is also an obstacle exclusive to the Battle Game:

Sprite Name Description
Fireball obstacle SMB3 sprite Fireball Fireballs can act in one of three ways: the first travels horizontally in a wavy pattern; the second bounces around diagonally; and the last Fireball is shot out of a pipe during a bonus stage. The first two types from the sides after some time has passed.


Sprite Name Located Description
Boom Boom SMB3 sprite Boom Boom In every fortress and various Dark Land levels He attacks by walking, flying or jumping, but jumping on Boom Boom three times defeats him. Aside from fortresses, Boom Boom is also encountered in some of the levels in Dark Land taking place on a vehicle, such as the Tanks.
Larry Koopa SMB3 sprite Larry Koopa World 1-Airship Larry is the boss of Grass Land. During battle, Larry's only actions are jumping around the room shooting blasts from his magic wand. Larry and the later Koopalings can all be defeated upon being stomped three times.
Morton Koopa Jr SMB3 sprite Morton Koopa Jr. World 2-Airship Morton is the boss of Desert Land. His behavior is the same as Larry's.
Wendy O Koopa SMB3 sprite Wendy O. Koopa World 3-Airship Wendy is the boss of Water Land. Wendy attacks by shooting up to three Candy Rings, and she has the ability to jump very high.
Iggy Koopa SMB3 sprite Iggy Koopa World 4-Airship Iggy is the boss of Giant Land. Iggy acts similarly to Larry, except he jumps higher.
Roy Koopa SMB3 sprite Roy Koopa World 5-Airship Roy is the boss of Sky Land. His behavior consists of shooting magic blasts from his wand and cause the ground to shake from landing onto the ground.
Lemmy Koopa SMB3 sprite Lemmy Koopa World 6-Airship Lemmy is the boss of Ice Land. During his battle, Larry moves back and forth on his Magic Ball while using smaller balls to attack.
Ludwig von Koopa SMB3 sprite Ludwig von Koopa World 7-Airship Ludwig is the boss of Pipe Land. He behaves identically to Roy.
Bowserbros3 Bowser World 8-Bowser's Castle Bowser is the boss of Dark Land. He attacks by breathing fire and attempts to Ground Pound on Mario, although this breaks the floor, made up of Brick Blocks, in the process.



Every power-up item rewards 1,000 points upon being collected, except the P-Wing, as they cannot be collected in the levels.

Sprite (regular and inventory) Name Transformation Effects
Fire Flower SMB3 sprite Fire Flower SMB3 inventory sprite Fire Flower Fire Mario SMB3
Fire Mario
Mario or Luigi can shoot fireballs while in this form.
Frog Suit SMB3 sprite Frog Suit Frog Mario SMB3
Frog Mario
Mario or Luigi can swim a lot faster, although his movement on land is flower. Frog Mario also cannot slide down slopes.
Hammer Suit SMB3 Hammer Suit Hammer Mario SMB3
Hammer Mario
Mario or Luigi can throw hammers at enemies to defeat them, and he can also crouch to block fireball attacks. Like with Frog Mario, the Hammer form does not allow for Mario to slide down slides.
Kuribo's Shoe SMB3 sprite Kuribo's Shoe SMB3 Small Mario in Kuribo's Shoe
Unlike other power-up items, a Kuribo's Shoe neither appears in ? Blocks nor Toad Houses. They only appear in World 5-3, always being ridden by a Kuribo's Goomba at first, but Mario can defeat it to enter the shoe. Kuribo's Shoe allows Mario or Luigi to safely hop across dangerous objects and jump on various enemies that would otherwise hurt him, such as Munchers. Unlike other power-ups, a Kuribo's Shoe does not overtake Mario's or Luigi's form, so taking damage while in a Kuribo's Shoe reverts Mario or Luigi to the same form he had when he entered the Kuribo's Shoe.
P-Wing SMB3 sprite P-Wing MarioPWingSMB3
P-Wing not only grants the Raccoon form's abilities, but always has the P-Meter filled, allowing Mario or Luigi to fly in the air without the meter decreasing. A P-Wing's effects are only active for one level, so after completing a level while P-Wing is active, Mario or Luigi turns back into his Raccoon form. While the P-Wing has no distinct appearance from the Raccoon form in the levels, the map sprite of Mario or Luigi depict a large "P" on his chest while its effects are active.
Starman SMB3 Starman SMB3 sprite Starman SMB3-InvincibleMarioSprite
Invincible Mario
Mario or Luigi becomes invincible temporarily, therefore making him invulnerable to other enemies or obstacles. Invincible Mario can defeat most enemies by touching them. The effects of a Starman are only temporary, and it does not protect from falling into a pit or lava or from the time limit running out, all of which cause Mario or Luigi to lose a life regardless.
Super Leaf SMB3 NES Super Leaf SMB3 inventory sprite Super Leaf Raccoon Mario SMB3
Raccoon Mario
Mario or Luigi can tail whip most enemies and blocks, slowly descend while in the sky, and fly into the sky temporarily after gaining enough speed.
Mushroomsmb3 Mushroom SMB3 inventory sprite Super Mushroom Mario big SMB3 sprite
Super Mario
Mario or Luigi turns twice his normal size and can withstand an extra hit, whereas taking a hit in his Small form causes Mario or Luigi lose a life.
Tanooki Suit SMB3 sprite Tanooki Suit SMB3 inventory sprite Tanooki Suit Tanooki Mario SMB3
Tanooki Mario
Has the same abilities as Raccoon Mario, with the addition of being able to temporarily transform into a statue.

World map[]

These items are exclusively used on the world map. All of them can only be used once.

Sprite Name Description
Anchor SMB3 NES Anchor Prevents the current world's airship from moving around on the world map.
Hammer SMB3 inventory sprite Hammer An item that can break a boulder obstructing a path.
Jugem's Cloud SMB3 NES sprite Jugem's Cloud Allows Mario or Luigi to skip past a single level.
Magic Whistle SMB3 sprite Magic Whistle Mario or Luigi play this for a tornado to appear and take him to the Warp Zone.
Music Box SMB3 sprite Music Box Temporary puts all Hammer Bros. and their variants to sleep on the world map, so that Mario and Luigi can skip past their Enemy Course.


Items that are neither used on the world map nor are power-ups.

Sprite Name Description
1-Up Mushroom SMB3 sprite 1-Up Mushroom Gives Mario or Luigi an extra life.
SMB3 Blue Coin sprite (NES) Blue Coin These function identically to regular coins, except they only activate when activating a Switch Block in certain areas.
SMB3 Mushroom card SMB3 Flower card SMB3 Star card Cards Mario or Luigi is rewarded a card when they activate the goal at the end of a level. Collecting three cards awards at least one extra life, but if the cards are identical, more extra lives are awarded, depending on which item is depicted on all three cards. Cards can be either exchanged or lost in the 2-player Battle Mode.
Coin SMB3 sprite Coin Collecting 100 of these earns Mario or Luigi an extra life.

Regional differences[]

There are many differences in the U.S and Japanese releases of the game.

  • The TM symbol is placed next to Bros. in the Japanese version rather than the 3 in the U.S version.
  • When you start a stage in the Japanese version, it borders in, while in the U.S version, it fades in.
  • In 1-Fortress, at the door right before the boss there are two spikes at the end of the room. In the Japanese version, there are four spikes at the end.
  • When you enter a Toad house in the Japanese version, you can start moving before Toad finishes speaking. But in the U.S release, you have to wait for him to finish.
  • In the Japanese release, if you have a power-up and get hit, you turn back to small Mario while in the U.S version, you turn back to Super Mario.
  • In the U.S version when you lose either suit or Kuribo's shoe, you lose your power up and go back to normal Mario (except for Kuribo's shoe which lets you keep your power-up) while in the Japanese version, the power-up makes a BLOOP sound and you revert to small Mario.
  • The Japanese version also shows the power-up being taken off.
  • In the king's room in the U.S release, Mario is standing next to the stairs, the chair and stairs are golden, and there is only one pillar in the left of the room. In the Japanese release, Mario is standing at the far left and the stairs and chair are cyan while there are two pillars to the left of the room.
  • In 5-1, the course ending is different as for the Japanese release, the player had to go through a pipe to reach the goal while in the U.S release, the pipe wasn't there and the player could go straight to the goal. This was to prevent the fourth warp whistle glitch from happening.
  • In World 8's navy level, the end of the ship is a lot steeper and harder to reach from the water in the Japanese version than in the U.S version.
  • The ending speed is also different in the U.S version as it is faster.
  • Also in the ending most worlds' names are different from both releases. Such as World 2 being Desert Hill in Japan and Desert Land in the U.S and World 8 being Castle of Kuppa in Japan while it is called Dark Land in the U.S version.
  • There is one difference between the U.S and PAL version. When you get Bowser's letter after you finish World 7, in the U.S version, it says King of the Koopa while in the PAL release, it says Koopa Troopa.

Marketing and legacy[]

Prior to its North American release, gameplay footage from Super Mario Bros. 3 appeared in the Universal Studios film The Wizard to help fuel anticipation for the game's release. Six months after Super Mario Bros. 3's release, McDonald's released a set of Happy Meal toys to promote the game in North America.

Super Mario Bros. 3 was also the subject of its own animated television show, The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3, produced by DIC Entertainment. The television series ran in 1990, shortly after Super Mario Bros. 3's release. The premise involves King Koopa and his Koopalings trying to conquer both the real world and the Mushroom Kingdom.


Super Mario Bros. 3 was lauded by the video game press. It was widely considered to be one of the best games released for the NES. Computer and Video Games editors Paul Rand, Tim Boone and Frank O'Connor awarded the game a 98% score, praising it for its gameplay, replayability, sound, and graphics. Boone commented that the game is nearly flawless in its utterly "stupendous incredibility and absolutely impossible to put down for anything less than a fire alarm and even then you find yourself weighing down the odds." Rand called Super Mario Bros. 3 the best video game ever, labeling it "the Mona Lisa of gaming" and stating that it is "astoundingly brilliant in every way, shape, and form." O'Connor stated that the game "makes Sonic the Hedgehog look like a wet Sunday morning and even gives the Super Famicom's Super Mario World a run for its money."[5]

The Japanese publication Famitsu gave it a 35 out of 40.[6] Julian Rignall of Mean Machines referred to Super Mario Bros. 3 as the "finest video game" he had ever played, citing its addictiveness, depth, and challenge. A second Mean Machines reviewer, Matt Regan, anticipated the game would be a bestseller in the United Kingdom, and echoed Rignall's praise, calling it a "truly brilliant game". Regan further stated that the game offered elements which tested the player's "brains and reflexes", and that though the graphics were simple, they were "incredibly varied".[7] In a preview of the game, Nintendo Power gave it high marks in graphics, audio, challenge, gameplay, and enjoyability.[8] The items hidden in the game's levels, such as the warp whistles, were well-received: Rignall regarded them as part of the game's addictiveness, and Sheff stated that finding them provided a sense of satisfaction.[7][9]

Criticism focused on particular aspects of the game. Rignall described the audio and visuals as being outdated in comparison to games on the Mega Drive/Genesis and Super NES (the latter platform having already been launched in other regions by the time Super Mario Bros. 3 was released in Europe).[7]

Fan Reception[]

Super Mario Bros. 3 was ranked at the #1 spot in WatchMojo's "Top 10 Mario Games of All Time" list countdown,[10] they also ranked it as the fifth most hardest game in the series in their "10 Hardest Super Mario Games" list countdown over on MojoPlays (following behind Super Mario Sunshine (#4), New Super Luigi U (#3), Super Mario Bros. (#2), & Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels (#1)).[11]


Hat mario To view Super Mario Bros. 3's
image gallery, click here.


External links[]


  1. Super Mario Bros. 3 instruction booklet (1988)
  2. Super Mario Bros. 3 website (Nintendo of Europe 2013)
  3. Nintendo 3DS eShop manual (Nintendo of Japan 2013)
  4. Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros. 3 website (Nintendo of Europe 2016)
  5. Rand, Paul (November 1991). "Computer and Video Games Magazine, issue 120". Computer and Video Games. pp. 23–8. Retrieved June 28, 2014.
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