Super Mario Bros. 3 is the third Super Mario title, released for the NES like its predecessors, Super Mario Bros. and Super Mario Bros. 2. This game returns to many elements of the first Super Mario Bros., with returning enemies as well as new ones, and once again, with Bowser as the main villain.


Mario and Luigi set out through seven different worlds which have been attaked by Bowser's children, the seven Koopalings. First, they go to Grass Land and defeat Larry Koopa in his airship to get his magic wand and change its king back to normal, as he had been turned into a dog by Larry. As they travel through the worlds, they receive letters and items from Princess Peach. They defeat Morton in Desert Land, Wendy in Water Land, Iggy in Giant Land, Roy in Sky Land, Lemmy in Ice Land, and Ludwig in Pipe Land. After returning Pipe Land's king (who resembles a Viking) to his original form, the Mario Bros. receive a letter from Bowser, who kidnapped Peach while they were chasing down the Koopalings.

Mario and Luigi go to Dark Land, which is full of fire, skulls, dark areas, and Bowser's ships and tanks. After defeating two tank brigades, a fleet of ships, an airship armada, and taking down the final fortress, they enter Bowser's castle and defeat Bowser, sending him falling over the edge. Then they rescue Peach and return to the Mushroom Kingdom.


The gameplay is similar to that of Super Mario Bros., except Mario can run faster and jump higher. Also, there are more powerups, like Raccoon Mario, Frog Mario, Tanooki Mario, and Hammer Mario. Warp Zones are only accessibly by Warp Whistles, of which there are three. The 2-player game is similar; if one player loses a life, the other takes over, except that both players are on the same map (and may even fight each other in a game of Mario Bros. over who gets to go next). An improvement is that if Mario (while with a powerup) takes damage, he reverts to the big Mario rather than straight to the small Mario, and it takes another hit to make him small again.

This game introduces the concept of a game map; The player will move around the map, and must press A at a stage to enter. The player cannot go past the stage until it is beaten. There are regular levels (which are numbered), fortresses, random scenes (like a space that resembles sand, in which Mario must complete a level while attacked by an angry sun, or else a pyramid or a gauntlet of Piranha Plants), and airships at the end of each level, which move around if the player loses a life on their first try. Enemies also move across the map; if one is defeated in the battle stage, Mario receives an item. Mario can also go to two places for powerups; A Toad House that contains three chests for Mario to choose from (each containing an item), or a gambling room where Mario must spin three slots to form a picture of an icon. If he wins, he gets extra lives. Also, a card may appear on the map, in which the player plays a memory game and tries to match the two cards. If Mario matches them, he receives whatever was on the card (a mushroom, a star, an extra life, coins, etc.) If Mario collects a hundred coins, he gets an extra life.






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Angry Video Game Nerd ReviewEdit

Angry Video Game Nerd, who often reviews poorly made games, strayed away from his usual reviews to review this game, commenting "I'm gonna do a good game for once". There were some things he found annoying, but all in all he thought it was a good game, though he also noticed several references to Hell or the devil.

  • What made him realize all these references was that the eighth world, Dark Land, was full of fire and skulls; in addition, there was one part of that world where there appeared to be a heart shape around it, causing him to say "Does that mean this game loves hell?"
  • There appear to be inverted crosses everywhere, such as the airship cannons and some pipes in the background of Pipe Land
  • In a grass level of Ice Land, there are several blocks arranged in the letter H, which the angry video game nerd said stood for Hell. He also said N stood for Necronomicon and the letter P (which appears often throughout the game, on switches, speed meters, and P wing, and which really stands for Power) stood for Possession.
  • He also said the P might stand for pentagram, which the arrangement of the worlds in Water Land resembles, as well as the ball Lemmy walks on.
  • He compares Bowser's seven children to the Seven Deadly Sins.
  • To get the first warp whistle, Mario must kneel before a red Koopa (symbolizing the devil), and falls through the platform only after six seconds have passed. The Powser (possession?) meter has six arrows on it, and in the Water Land fortress Mario must go through the 6th door. Angry Video Game Nerd says this makes 666, the number of the beast.
  • This game was unreleased at the time of its first appearance, in the movie The Wizard. In this movie, the game's introduction looks similar to the gates of Hell opening. In addition, the place where the video game competition is held is called Video Armageddon.
  • The clouds and hills in the game have eyes.
  • There are eight worlds, and in the eighth world, there are five spaces where giant hands can pull Mario to his doom (though Mario can only step on three of them). There are 12 tanks in the first tank brigade, and it often takes 12 jumps to defeat Bowser. 8, 5, and 12 are the numbers of the letters H, E, and L, spelling Hell.
  • Playing a recording of the game backwards sounds like demonic noises.

Afterwards, Angry Video Game Nerd was attacked by the cartridge, which became possessed, Exorcist style, but when Super Mega Death Christ 2000 (a robotic version of Jesus) entered, together he and AVGN defeated the possessed cartridge and all the possessed video game equipment, annihilating the devil possessing the cartridge.

It is worth noting that no Mario game since has used the fire and skulls theme for Bowser stages; most of his other levels are either volcanoes, just the fortresses or castles, a dark cave or valley, or an evil sky.


  • This game marks the first appearance of the Koopalings, as well as Boos, Chain Chomps, and Thwomps.