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Super Mario Bros 3 – NES

Super Mario Bros 3 – NES

Platform: Nintendo Entertainment System

Developer: Nintendo R&D4

Publisher: Nintendo

Release Date (NA): Feb 12th, 1990

Genre: Platforming

Rating: 9.5 out of 10

Reviewed by Dovahkyle

Cover ArtThis game is not only one of my best memories of childhood free time and many fights over who gets to be Mario with my brother, it is timeless and my children, wife and I continue to enjoy it. I have rarely played a game so many times all the way through, and can still pop it in and actually have fun and be challenged. Just because you know the shortcuts in this game, and there are many, doesn’t mean you have to use them. From Grass Land all the way to Dark Land this is a fun filled, toad stool hopping, pipe traveling, goomba stomping, Bob-omb throwing adventure. I still can’t beat those memory card mini games without cheating (using a notepad) and that stinking slot machine of 1ups that I can only seem to win by closing my eyes and banging on the A button as fast as I can, don’t judge, it works. I was so influenced by this game I actually have Chain Chomp, Mario, Bowser and Larry Koopa tattooed on my left leg. I may be a little obsessed but there is good reason, this game has no down fall.


Lets start with world 1 or Grass Land, definitely one of the easiest of the worlds you will visit, but also one of the coolest. It is simple enough to obtain the evasive, secret whistle of travel, but this is not the way to play. With the secret whistle route you can get to Dark Land (world 8) in a matter of minutes, the problem with this is you will only have the few extra lives you have obtained in the few levels you have played. Trust me you want all the lives you can get to conquer world 8. Grass land is exactly what it sounds like, grass…everywhere, running suicidally through these levels is the only way to do it, fast and fearless. Half way through this world, and all worlds(some have two or three), is a fortress with a mini-boss, Boom-Boom, I still can’t tell you what he is but his difficulty level never changes throughout the entire game, easy, three simple foot to the head moves and this guy is out and the fortress comes crashing down. At the end of the world is a castle, just like the other worlds, the king has been turned into a creature and defeating the koopa-kid on the flying ship is the only way to change him back, and move on to the next world.


Koopas are turtle like creatures that really have it in for Mario and his gang, I guess turtles really hate plumbers. Koopa-kids are the children of Bowser, the King Koopa, and their only mission is to slow you down, or kill you. Their goons include; Goombas- the minions of minions, traitors to the mushroom kingdom, and extremely weak, Dry Bones- the skeletal remains of koopas that just don’t die, Piranha Plant- yea it’s just what it sounds like, Chain Chomp- the “dog” of Mario’s world and invincible, just run, and of course the lovable Bob-ombs- little ticking balls of fun, whether you pick ’em up and chuck ’em or stomp on them, stay away when they start flashing. Now this sequel, unlike almost every other Mario game, has nothing to do with rescuing a princess. The Koopa-kids have taken over seven worlds and turned the Kings of those respective lands into animals. The storyline of this game makes perfect sense, if a plumber fighting turtles makes sense, until you beat world 7, where you have just defeated the last of the 7 children. Why do we continue into Dark Land when there isn’t anyone to save? I actually have no idea, by this game you’d think we would all know there is no permanent defeat to the King of the Koopas, but it makes for a great challenge and good big boss ending we are all hoping for.

The difference between world 2(Desert Land) and world 3(Water Land) for level of difficulty is increased drastically. In w3 you get to use the “frog suit” which is great because Mario is a terrible swimmer, you will also find yourself jumping up and down for real as you mash the jump button dodging all kinds of flying fish and the Boss Bass who will most definitely swallow you whole if he has the chance. I don’t think I have ever been as stressed out as I have been playing this world. I still dread it, don’t get me wrong the levels are a great combination of fun and challenge, but when I say challenge I mean it. If you make it to the end of this one you will fight Wendy O. Koopa, a formidable foe with annoying rings of bouncy death. I say all this to tell you about the best world ever created, GIANT LAND, or world 4. My brother and I used to get the first whistle from world 1 just to skip to here, it’s that awesome. Tiny little Mario with giant bouncing koopas and mindless goombas ready to smash the little plumber. The bricks you normally break, with what seems like your head, are four times the size, although the prizes that come out are normal size, it’s still totally awesome. No, the Koopa-kid at the end is not giant, he is named after Iggy-pop.

ice land

World 5(Sky Land) is a two part world, the first half being on the ground and after climbing a long and crazy tower level, the second half is in the clouds. This level is fun but ultimately forgettable for me. The death of me is always the dreaded and completely insane world 6 (Ice Land), for one it seems like it never ends, not to mention three stinking fortresses? So after gaining myself 40 or 50 extra lives by this point in the game, preparing for w8, I will lose about half of them on this stupid world. I hate it, yes I said it, HATE. Whew, I’m getting all worked up just writing about it, forgive me. If you make it out of this world with your sanity you’ve done better than me. World 7 (Pipe Land) is a great way to chill out after that hectic, life sucking world you just finished. Lots of confusing pipes going everywhere except the direction you need to go. So satisfying when you stumble across the correct one, and your like “Booyah, well done me”, when you know it was just chance, unless you have a photographic memory there is no way you meant to do that. Seriously though, this world is allot of fun, enjoy it while it lasts because this will be the last time your happy.


Bowser is waiting for you, for some reason, at the end of Dark Land. I tell you the truth when I say every level in this world is so difficult you will be happy you saved all of your P-wings(which allow you to fly through an entire level) and clouds(which allow you to completely skip a level), you did save them right? You will need all of them. Not to mention it helps to have about 50 extra lives by this point. You may not have any trouble flying and skipping through the levels in Dark World, but the creators knew you would do this, so the pay back is in the final castle. Yeah, this is why you need 50 lives, you will use them all. Ultimately this is what drives you to kill Bowser with such vengeance when you finally get there, because by this point you actually hate him with all that is in you. Die you weird dinosaur looking freak! DIE!!! O.K. so Mario has saved the wonderful Mushroom Kingdom once more and the Princess couldn’t be happier with him, not Luigi, him.


I will continue to play Super Mario Bros 3 until either my hands don’t work or the console doesn’t, I have a feeling it’s going to be my hands that go first, those consoles are hard core. I will always love to hate the difficult worlds and my enmity for turtles will only grow. Don’t forget when your blowing off heads and flying space ships, this game is where my generation started, and I will never forget that little Italian plumber and his naive princess.



Written by Nerd Bacon

Nerd Bacon


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  1. i see Larry koopa but i didn’t see Morton koopa Jr.
    larry: “cool huh morton.”
    morton: “aaaaahhhhhgggggggg”

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  12. Flagostomos says:

    I highly agree, this is one of the greatest Mario games hands down, second only to Super Mario World in my opinion. I grew up playing this game as well and it will forever hold a special spot in my mind.

  13. This is perhaps my FAVORITE GAME OF ALL TIME. Except that it’s damn hard near the end and I use the Game Genie. Nice work! I need to get around to reviewing this one as well.

    • I always wanted a game genie when I was a kid, all my friends had them. I can use the codes now, because I use the ROCKNES emulator, Booyah.

      • I don’t think I could live without my Game Genie. I’ve even got 2 extras in case something should happen to the one I use all the time. In fact, I think using these codes has a lot to do with why the NES is probably my favorite overall system. I don’t feel too bad though…NES games are damn hard!


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