Watch The 25-Year-Old PC Version of Super Mario Bros. 3 In Action

It’s long been a game development legend that the creators of Doom made their own version of Super Mario Bros. 3 for the PC ages ago. Today, we get to see what it looked like.


Like almost everyone working in video games in the 1990s, John Carmack and John Romero were big fans of Nintendo’s output. But the pair responsible for the classic first-person-shooter went further than most admirers and built a PC demo version of the 1988 adventure featuring the company’s mascot. Romero shared a clip of the demo today on social media. This is the technology that would go on to power id Software’s own platformer Commander Keen. So, yeah, this is a pretty cool piece of history.

Contact the author at



Before anyone shits on this for being ugly or incomplete, this is essentially the first tech demo for smooth side-scrolling done on a western PC. While Japan had machines like the X68000, which was basically a CPS arcade board converted to a general purpose PC, most PCs of that era were designed for business applications and could only effectively scroll vertically. The Johns of iD built this in a few days and pitched it to Nintendo as a possible port but at that point Nintendo, with a monopoly on console gaming, had no reason to want to be in the PC market. I wonder if their experiences with games like Super Mario Special had an effect on the decision.