30 Things You May Not Know About Super Mario Bros. 3

October 23rd, 2018 marks the 30 year anniversary of Super Mario Bros. 3. To celebrate this monumental day, I present to you 30 facts about the game that propelled the Mario series into what it is today.


1.      SMB3 sold over 17 million copies making it the 3rd best selling game on the NES.

2.     The castle islands in World 3 resemble the islands of Japan. The castle itself is geographically placed where Nintendo Headquarters is located in Japan.


3.      World 4 is shaped like a Koopa Troppa.

4.      Super Mario Bros. 3 wasn’t released outside of Japan for about a year and a half due to a shortage of the ROM chip used in the game.

5.      In order to spawn the hidden ‘White Mushroom’ houses, you must collect a certain number of coins in the following levels.

1-4: 44 coins, 2-2: 30 coins, 3-8: 41 coins, 4-2: 22 coins, 5-5: 28 coins, 6-7: 78 coins, 7-2: 41 coins

6.      One of the screen shots shown on the back of the game box art isn’t a level that made the games final cut.


7.      If you blow the whistle in the warp zone area, you will be transported to the level 8 pipe.

8.     The whistle sound is the same tune played when you blow the whistle in ‘The Legend of Zelda’.

9.     If Boom-boom is defeated while Mario has the star power-up, the question mark ball will appear upside-down.

10.  If you allow chain chomp to tug on his chain 49 times, he will escape from the block he is attached to.

11.   Chain chomp was inspired by a real life incident. When director Shigeru Miyamoto was a child, he was chased by his neighbors’ dog until it was yanked back by its chain.

12.   Prior to his breakthrough game Wolfenstein, John Romero along with John Carmack & Tom Hall created a PC port of Super Mario Bros. 3 using adaptive tile refresh, which was new to PC gaming development. Nintendo turned it down.


13.   There were plans to have a dice rolling game as one of the mini-games that was scrapped during development, but the mini-games data can still be found in the game code.

14.   There are only 8 different variations of the card matching game.

15.   The game is more difficult in its Japan release. Taking damage while having a power-up higher than the super mushroom will revert you directly to Mario’s smallest form, where the western release requires 2 hits.

16.   If you hit full ‘P Speed’ before the end card appears at the end of each level, you will get a star as long as you maintain your speed.

17.   Mario will become invincible if you jump into a kuribo shoe while changing into the tanooki statue, but you will be unable to go down warp pipes.

18.   If you beat the airships with either the hammer suit, frog suit, or tanooki suit on, the kings will give you a different message for each suit.


19.   This was the first game to feature the enemy Boo. This ghostly character was based off of game designer Takashi Tezuka’s wife who is normally very quiet but has an explosive temper.

20.   The game takes place on a stage. This is noticeable with the curtain at the beginning of the game, the platforms being held up by wire, and Mario exiting stage right after each level.

21.   In early development, there was also the idea to have a Centaur power-up but was scrapped in favor of the Tanooki suit.

22.   It doesn’t matter which chest you pick in the ‘Pick-a-Box’ mushroom houses. The item is determined when you enter the house, so all 3 boxes will contain this pre-determined item.

23.   The video game spawned an animated TV series named ‘The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3’. It only aired for 3 months with 26 episodes.

24.   Unlike most Super Mario games, Mario doesn’t sport his usual red shirt, blue overalls, & white gloves. Instead, he has a red shirt with black overalls and isn’t wearing any gloves.

25.   It’s the first game to feature the Koopalings.

26.   The 7 Koopalings are all named after famous musicians:

Iggy Pop, Wendy O Williams, Roy Orbison, Lemmy Kilmister, Larry Mullen Jr, Morton Downey Jr., & Ludwig van Beethoven.

27.   This game was featured as the final round in the movie ‘The Wizard’, which happened to be most American’s first look at the game.

28.   Unbeknownst to us, this was actually the 5th Super Mario game due to Super Mario Bros. Special & Super Mario Bros. the Lost Levels only being released in Japan at the time.

29.   As long as you duck while Bowser is doing his ground pound, you will not take any hit damage.

30.   It is possible to beat the game in 3:05 as speedrunner Kirua showed us in September of 2017.

Did you find these facts interesting? Was there something I missed? Let me know in the comments below or bring the discussion over to our discord.

If you are craving more retro gaming knowledge, check out the Legend of Retro Podcast every Thursday here at GameZilla Media or download the show on your favorite podcast app.