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.

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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 evan@kotaku.com.

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DISCUSSION

laevateinn

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.