The Story of Super Mario Bros. 3 | Gaming Historian

Amazing work from The Gaming Historian. Tons of amazing footage and printed assets.

This is still my GOAT and I replay it yearly.

Some very interesting tidbits here that I was unaware of. Such as SMB3 launching on PlayChoice 10s before officially on NES (not Famicom of course).


Saving this for later tonight. It’s probably the game that made me a true video game fan. It blew my mind as a kid because I was not expecting it to be so advanced compared to its predecessors. It really showed what is possible with the medium.

This was how I first played it. It was in a mall and I think the machine was set to free play. I assumed the game had released on cartridge domestically, too, so I was confused by it being considered an “upcoming game” in The Wizard.

Great video. It brought back a ton of memories of that era along with bits of footage I hadn’t seen before.

It’s been a while since I’ve watched some of this guy’s content. This one really has a full-on Ken Burns feel, lol. Not necessarily a bad thing, just an observation.

Haha yep, even down to the PBS/Patreon donation thing at the end.

I really enjoyed it! It’s great to see all the behind the scenes and vintage era footage (audio, video, and screens of print media).

Really enjoyed this.

A good follow-up is this:

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Yea this is cool too. What an incredible run they had within just that 11 year span. Mario went from 8 bit to full polygonal 3D it was top quality throughout.

Thanks! Watching this now. Very good too. Different style than Norm of the Gaming Historian, who does follow a Ken Burns style as mentioned above.

The end of video credits clued me in on a bunch of Iwata-Asks-style interviews that were published at the launch of the SNES Classic that I had previously not seen.

That is a great series of interviews. It really just shows how remarkable of an achievement the NES library was considering what came before was so much more simplistic. How the heck did they go from Donkey Kong to Super Mario Bros 3 in just 7 years?

Seriously how? Then again, we leaped from Super Mario Bros 3 to Super Mario 64 in just 8 years. 8 years is the span of 1 generation today.

There was so much foundational evolution within that 15 year time span. The industry moved so quickly back then.

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The special chips they added were incredible at prolonging the hardware. The advancement of Atari 2600 games from 1977 to 1984 was also massive for similar reasons. Look at launch titles compared to Pitfall II with its Display Processor Chip. Or SNES with FX. That’s the cool thing about the old cartridge systems. Technology can advance inside the cartridge even if the console hardware doesn’t.

This video also reminded me I have had those McDonald’s goomba toys in my possession for almost 30 years.

Very true. It’s a bummer you don’t see that sort of thing anymore and instead need a mid-gen console refresh to even approximate it.

I wish Nintendo would do a bound hardcover book with all the interviews. Nice paper stock, developer and concept art. That would be my dream.

There’s a Japanese Iwata book featuring some of the Iwata Asks interviews and more that is expected to be released in the West at some point.

But otherwise, yeah I dream the same dream.

Really well researched video with a lot of interesting factoids presented in a clear and objective manner. Given how it’s a game we all know so much about already it’s quite the achievement. I learned many new things about the game’s development and its release in North America.

I need to check out those interviews!

This retrospective video on Super Mario World and Yoshi’s Island is also rather good, if not as well researched as the Mario 3 one. I hadn’t realised R&D4 hasn’t had any internal programmers until Super Mario World. Even F-Zero was programmed by SRD!

I’ll be honest I don’t like much of this guy’s content, and part of it I believe it’s because he’s so… neat and tidy. It seems overly informative and even slow to the point of being maddening. I’m currently watching the video in 1.25x and I actually think it makes it more manageable.

Still, giving it another shot. I like Mario 3 less than most people I know, but I know it’s an important game.

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I just released a tool that allows you to download a local copy of the Iwata Asks interviews series, for personal use:

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