An unreleased demo of id Software's Super Mario Bros. 3 PC port has been donated to a museum

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At one point in time, there was a PC port of Nintendo's Super Mario Bros. 3. In 1990, id Software and John Carmack, who were a mere few years away from the stardom they'd reach from releasing Wolfenstein 3D and DOOM had been working on an MS-DOS version of the classic NES title in hopes of getting Nintendo's attention and eventual contract for a home computer port of the game. As we all well know, Nintendo rejected the offer, and Super Mario Bros. 3 stayed exclusive to Nintendo platforms. However, the only ones who'd ever had their hands on id's ill-fated MS-DOS demo had been those involved with the company itself.

At least, until this week. Video game preservation institution The Strong National Museum of Play now owns a rare copy of that demo, courtesy of an anonymous donation from "a game developer". The unfinished MS-DOS demo of Super Mario 3 was apparently included in a collection of other games, unknowingly. The museum's curator, Andrew Borman, has already backed up the floppy disk, in order to preserve the game digitally, and even used DOSBox to play up to level 1-4. Currently, Borman doesn't have any plans to display the game publically, though he hasn't ruled out potentially showing it off at a later date.

The Museum of Play will also ensure that this piece of history will be accessible to future generations of gaming historians. "Our preservation work focuses not only on the research needs of today but also how researchers decades from now, some who may not even be born yet, will access material," Borman said. "Proper climate-controlled storage helps to preserve those physical artifacts, especially when materials like plastic degrades over time. We are also building out our digital preservation capabilities, allowing us to preserve the many forms of media that we find, including the various cartridge and optical mediums.

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Kwyjor

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I wonder if a kid says "Why does this matter! No one cares!"
It might be a significant piece of gaming history, but we already got to know everything we needed to know about it six years ago when John Romero posted the footage.

After watching that video, does anyone really need to play it hands-on? Does it really matter that there's a copy in a museum somewhere instead of a copy somewhere in Romero's archives?
 

WG481

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At one point in time, there was a PC port of Nintendo's Super Mario Bros. 3. In 1990, id Software and John Carmack, who were a mere few years away from the stardom they'd reach from releasing Wolfenstein 3D and DOOM had been working on an MS-DOS version of the classic NES title in hopes of getting Nintendo's attention and eventual contract for a home computer port of the game. As we all well know, Nintendo rejected the offer, and Super Mario Bros. 3 stayed exclusive to Nintendo platforms. However, the only ones who'd ever had their hands on id's ill-fated MS-DOS demo had been those involved with the company itself.

At least, until this week. Video game preservation institution The Strong National Museum of Play now owns a rare copy of that demo, courtesy of an anonymous donation from "a game developer". The unfinished MS-DOS demo of Super Mario 3 was apparently included in a collection of other games, unknowingly. The museum's curator, Andrew Borman, has already backed up the floppy disk, in order to preserve the game digitally, and even used DOSBox to play up to level 1-4. Currently, Borman doesn't have any plans to display the game publically, though he hasn't ruled out potentially showing it off at a later date.



:arrow: Source
Now this is news. I love when this sort of stuff happens. It's why I live as a game dev/player.
 

Kwyjor

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Now this is news. I love when this sort of stuff happens. It's why I live as a game dev/player.
Except it's not really news, since we found out everything we needed to know about it six years ago.

I guess in another six years (or probably much less) everyone will forget about it again.
 

Kwyjor

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I'd want to play around with it to see how high its hardware requirements are, for one thing if it requires EGA graphics or if there's a CGA mode.
There's nothing to suggest it's running on an engine substantially different from Keen 1-3, so a CGA mode would be impossibly unlikely.
 

Jacklack3

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Crazy how so many seemingly "small" decisions shaped video game history as we know it. Imagine if Nintendo took iD up on the offer, ported all their games to PC up until about the mid-2000s when their console sales start flatlining, and then just transition to a multiplat developer/publisher role. Basically Sega and Nintendo switch places. :blink:
If Nintendo and Sony didn't try to partner up to make a video game console together, there's a good chance the PlayStation would've never existed. And if we take the Butterfly Effect in consideration, if Nintendo said yes to iD's offer, they might've never been in a position to be able to partner with Sony in the first place.
 

smf

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If Nintendo and Sony didn't try to partner up to make a video game console together, there's a good chance the PlayStation would've never existed.

If Sega & Microsoft didn't partner up there would be no xbox.

Or maybe not. Ken Kutaragi was pushing Sony regardless & I'm sure someone at Microsoft was too.
 

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