A rare PC port of the ultra-iconic Super Mario Bros. 3 has now been rediscovered.
Previously thought to be lost to time, the ported demo was created by id Software back in 1990 as a pitch to Nintendo to bring the massively popular franchise onto PC. Ultimately, Nintendo decided not to go ahead with the project, but many claim that the port went on to inspire Commander Keen. While its existence has long been known to video game historians, little has been seen by the public over the last 30 years, except for a video uploaded by the studio’s John Romero himself back in 2015 showcasing some of its levels. Finally, after all these years, the game has resurfaced and has now been donated to the Strong Museum of Play in Rochester, New York.
“The individual who donated it was a game developer,” said the museum’s digital games curator Andrew Borman. “But they did not work on this pitch, instead receiving [it] during their work. It wasn’t something I expected to see in this donation, but it was extremely exciting, having seen the video Romero shared back in 2015. One of my favorite things at the museum is helping to process incoming donations, especially when we can help share stories from important developers like id Software.”
Unfortunately, for the time being, the Strong Museum won’t be exhibiting it publicly, instead opening it up for researchers.
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