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Super Mario Bros. 3
Super Mario Bros 3 - North American Boxart
The North American boxart.
Developer(s) Nintendo Entertainment Analysis and Development|Nintendo R&D4
Publisher(s) Nintendo
Designer(s) Shigeru Miyamoto
Takashi Tezuka
Series Super Mario
Release date Nintendo Entetrtainemnt System (NES)
JP October 23, 1988
NA February 12, 1990
EU August 29, 1991

Virtual Console
JP December 11, 2007
KO May 26, 2008
NA November 5, 2007
EU November 9, 2007

Genre(s) Platformer
Mode(s) Single player, Multiplayer
Ratings CERO: A
PEGI: 3+
Platform(s) Nintendo Entertainment System
Super Nintendo Entertainment System
Game Boy Advance
Wii's Virtual Console
Previous game Super Mario Bros. 2
Next game Super Mario World

Super Mario Bros. 3 (スーパーマリオブラザーズ3 Sūpāmarioburazāzu 3) often referred to as Super Mario 3 (Mario 3, and SMB3), is the third game in the Mario series. It was released in Japan on October 28, 1988, and in North America on February 12, 1990. It was also remade as Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros. 3 and released on the Wii's virtual console. Its sound effects are as same as how Super Mario Bros. has it.


Title Screen - Super Mario Bros. 3

Bowser has returned to the Mushroom Kingdom and with his newly and introduced seven Koopalings, he tries to conquer it again. He sends his Koopalings into seven kingdoms of the Mushroom World to capture the king of that area, steal their magic wands and alter the kings' appearance. Princess Peach sent Mario and Luigi to go and stop the Koopalings and turn the kings back into their normal form. After fighting each Koopaling, they received the magic wand and turned the kings back to normal. However, this was only a distraction so that Bowser could kidnap Peach again. The bros. then traveled to Dark Land, where Castle Koopa is and rescued Peach.


World 1: Grass Land

Smb3 w1

World One: Grass Land

Grass Land is the first world of the game that was attacked by Larry Koopa, who stole the wand of the Grass Land King and turned him into a dog (or a Cobrat from Super Mario Bros. 2 in the remake). The landscape itself is mainly composed of plains, surrounded by hills and even some cliffs in the south. A fortress can be found in the middle of Grass Land, and the king's palace lies to the east-southeast, surrounded by a circular moat. The enemies Mario encounters here are regular ones, like Goombas, Koopa Troopas and Piranha Plants. The world features a Spade Panel, two Toad Houses and six levels, of which four have to be cleared to reach the king's palace.

World 2: Desert Land

Smb3 w2

World Two: Desert Land

Desert Hill (also known as Desert Land or the Koopahari Desert) is the second world of the game. It is a region within a vast desert, filled with sand, palm trees and some pyramids. A fortress is located in the west part of the desert, and a quicksand field can also be found, as well as a great pyramid that the player needs to traverse in order to reach the kings palace. The king was attacked by Morton Koopa Jr., who turned him into a spider (or a Hoopstar from Super Mario Bros. 2 in the remake). The world features two Spade Panels and three Toad Houses, of which one lies in a secret area behind a rock, that needs to be crushed by a Hammer. It contains a Warp Whistle guarded by two Fire Bro. Four of the five levels need to be cleared to get to the great pyramid and the palace. Desert Hill houses many desert-related creatures like Fire Snakes and the very rare Angry Sun.

World 3: Water Land

Also referred to as Water Land or Sea/Ocean Side, it is a water-themed region that was raided by Wendy O. Koopa. While some levels take place on solid ground, most of the levels and even one of the worlds two fortresses involve water in a certain way. At the northern part of the world map, Mario will encounter drawbridges that open and close in a set pattern. The world's palace is located far to the east on a small remote island that is only accessible through a Warp Pipe. The king of Ocean Side was turned into a Spike (or a Dino-Rhino from Super Mario World in the remake) during Wendy's attack. A boat can be unlocked by using a Hammer on a rock in the south. Through it, the player can reach some bonus Spade Panels and Toad Houses. Ocean Side contains two Hammer Bros., two Fortresses and nine levels in total, of which one can be skipped if a certain drawbridge is closed, and houses several water creatures like Bloopers, Cheep-Cheeps, and Big Berthas. The world also introduces a very rare Boo known as a Stretch.

World 4: Giant Land

Mario encountering Gargantua Koopas in Big Island. This world, which is also known as Giant Land, is mainly composed of an island in the vague shape of a Koopa. It is a relatively green island with plants growing on it that resemble Fire Flowers. The castle at the west coast of the island was attacked by Iggy Koopa who transformed the Big Island King into an orange dinosaur (or Donkey Kong Jr. in the remake). The world has two fortresses, one on the east side and one on a small island in a lake in the world's center. The most prominent feature of Big Island, which gives this world its name, is the fact that many enlarged versions of regular enemies can be found here. The world features four Toad Houses, two Spade Panels, three Sledge Bros. and six levels, of which need to be cleared to reach the king's palace. Also, the Tanooki Suit makes it debut here.

World 5: Sky Land

The area also known as Sky Land is the world that has been conquered by Roy Koopa. It is divided into two parts: a ground part and a sky part. The player begins on the ground. The most notably feature of this area is the possibility to gain the Kuribo's Shoe, an item that can be obtained in World 5-3 only. After clearing the levels on the ground, the player can reach a spiraling tower that reaches up to the sky. The main part of the level is located here, and there are also some creatures exclusively to this realm, namely the Para-Beetle in World 5-6. After clearing the tower that serves as a link between the two areas, the player can go back to the ground, but they will have to clear the tower again on their way up. If Roy Koopa isn't defeated at the first try, his Airship will be able to move freely between sky and ground. There are nine levels in total, three Spade Panels, three Hammer Bros., three Toad Houses and two Fortresses. The palace is on the southwest part of the sky part.

World 6: Ice Land

Iced Land, sometimes referred to as Ice Land, is an area covered in snow and ice. The palace of Iced Land was attacked by Lemmy Koopa and Mario has to venture there and reclaim the magic wand just like in the previous worlds. Before he can reach the palace however, the player has to navigate Mario through the levels of Iced Land. These levels feature frozen ground which makes movement more difficult, as Mario has poor footing on them and is likely to slip off (if not wearing a Frog Suit) into a bottomless pit. In some levels, the player can find ice blocks that contain coins or enemies. These blocks can only be melted with one of Fire Mario's fireballs. There are ten levels in total, three Spade Panels, two Toad Houses, three Hammer Bros. and three Fortresses. The Palace is far to the east near the sea. The Hammer Suit makes its debut here.

World 7: Pipe Land

File:Smb3 w7.png
Also known as Pipe Land, Pipe Maze is a series of small islands in a network of confusing pipes. The fourth stage is an underwater level with spiked Cheep -Cheeps, some Big Berthas and three Blooper Nannies. Prince Ludwig von Koopa attacked the Pipe Maze king and turned him into a goldenrod Venus Fire Trap. The country itself consists of nine levels (of which seven of them need to be cleared before reaching the palace), three Spade Panels, two Fortresses, two Nipper Plant Levels and three Toad Houses. The palace is located in southeastern Pipe Land by the sea. If not defeated, Ludwig's airship will fly from one island to another, since the anchor is required to stop it.

World 8: Dark Land

This mysterious world (also known as Dark Land) is ruled by King Bowser. The levels in this world are primarily tank brigades and airships. There are also three Hand Traps found in the second area of the world, which unexpectedly grab Mario or Luigi and take them to a short obstacle course which has a chest containing a Super Leaf at the end. The third area has two normal levels and a Fortress, and the final area has the last tank level and Castle Koopa, where Mario and Luigi must finally battle Bowser and save the princess.

World 9: Warp Zone

World 9 aka The Warp Zone is only accessible by a Warp Whistle. In it, the player can choose to go to any other world in the game. The selection of worlds the player can choose from changes depending on the world they used the Warp Whistle in. For example: If the player uses a Warp Whistle in World 1, it will take them to the pipes leading to Worlds 2 to 4, A warp Whistle in Worlds 2 to 6 will take them to pipes leading to worlds 5 to 7 and a warp whistle is used in world 7 to 9 or the Warp Zone will take them to the pipe leading to World 8.


World-e is an e-Reader-based world, and it is exclusive to Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros. 3. It can only be reached when using an e-Reader.


Battle Mode




Piranha Plants


Hammer Bros.








  • Super Mushroom: Turns Mario into Super Mario, turning him twice his normal size, and enabling him to take an extra hit before a loss of life when Small Mario.
  • Fire Flower: Turns Mario into Fire Mario, enabling him to shoot fireballs.
  • Starman: Turns any Mario form into Invincible Mario, making him invincible for a few seconds (limited).
  • Super Leaf: Turns Mario into Raccoon Mario, enabling him to fly for a short time and attack with his tail.
  • Hammer Suit: Turns Mario into Hammer Mario, enabling him to throw hammers and allows him to duck to block fire attacks. But somehow, Hammer Mario can't slide.
  • Frog Suit: Turns Mario into Frog Mario, enabling him to swim much easier. However, his running and abilities are decreased. Like the Hammer Suit, Frog Mario can't slide.
  • Tanooki Suit: Turns Mario into Tanooki Mario, with the same abilities as Raccoon Mario, and the ability to turn into a statue a few seconds (limited).
  • Kuribo's Shoe: Obtained from a Goomba in World 5-3 only, it enables Mario to hop over hazards such as spikes.
  • P-Wing: Turns Mario into Raccoon Mario and allows him to fly for an unlimited time (until the timer runs out) until he is damaged. Mario also loses this power after completing a level.

Other items

Region Differences

There are many differences in the U.S and Japanese releases of the game.

  • The TM symbol is placed next to Bros. in the Japanese version rather than the 3 in the U.S version.
  • When you start a stage in the Japanese version, it borders in, while in the U.S version, it fades in.
  • In 1-Fortress, at the door right before the boss there are two spikes at the end of the room. In the Japanese version, there are four spikes at the end.
  • When you enter a Toad house in the Japanese version, you can start moving before Toad finishes speaking. But in the U.S release, you have to wait for him to finish.
  • In the Japanese release, if you have a power-up, you turn back to small Mario while in the U.S version, you turn back to Super Mario.
  • In the U.S version when you lose either suit or Kuribo's shoe, you lose your power up and go back to normal Mario (with the exception of Kuribo's shoe which lets you keep your power-up) while in the Japanese version, the power-up makes a BLOOP sound and you revert back to small Mario.
  • The Japanese version also shows the power-up being taken off.
  • In the king's room in the U.S release, Mario is standing next to the stairs, the chair and stairs are golden, and there is only one pillar in the left of the room. In the Japanese release, Mario is standing at the far left and the stairs and chair are cyan while there are two pillars to the left of the room.
  • In 5-1, the course ending is different as for the Japanese release, the player had to go through a pipe to reach the goal while in the U.S release, the pipe wasn't there and the player could go straight to the goal. This was to prevent the fourth warp whistle glitch from happening.
  • In World 8's navy level, the end of the ship is a lot steeper and harder to reach from the water in the Japanese version than in the U.S version.
  • The ending speed is also different in the U.S version as it is faster.
  • Also in the ending most worlds' names are different from both releases. Such as World 2 being Desert Hill in Japan and Desert Land in the U.S and World 8 being Castle of Kuppa in Japan while it is called Dark Land in the U.S version.
  • There is one difference between the U.S and PAL version. When you get Bowser's letter after you finish World 7, in the U.S version, it says King of the Koopa while in the PAL release, it says Koopa Troopa.


Hat mario To view Super Mario Bros. 3's
image gallery click here


  • This game marks the first appearance of the Koopalings. The Koopalings later make appearances in Super Mario World, in which they are given a different battle order (from Iggy to Larry). They also appear for the first time in 3D and the first time with Bowser Jr. in the popular Wii titles New Super Mario Bros. Wii, New Super Mario Bros. U and New Super Luigi U and in New Super Mario Bros. 2.
  • The Water Land theme can be heard as the Fairy Fountain in the Legend of Zelda games. while the Warp Whistle theme is reused in the intro to another Zelda game, Ocarina of Time.
  • Two different versions of Super Mario Bros. 3 exist; the second fixes translation bugs.
  • Prior to its private consumer North American release, gameplay footage from Super Mario Bros. 3 appeared in the Universal Studios film The Wizard, which helped fuel the game's anticipation among fans.
  • A sped-up version of the Coin Heaven/Warp Zone theme was used for Peach's final smash in Super Smash Bros. Brawl.