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Today in History: January 23rd, 1990 – Super Mario Bros Conquers the World on the NES

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What can really be said about Super Mario Bros 3 for the Nintendo Entertainment System that hasn’t been said already?  This was Nintendo’s unofficial swan song of Mario games for the NES that really showed that the system still had “oomph” when taking on more powerful systems such as the Sega Genesis and NEC Turbo Grafx-16 (it was more powerful than the NES but was hampered by a lack of quality software).

My first memory of Super Mario Bros 3 was not from that movie, The Wizard (which I just saw about a month ago), was the commercial -

I was also following the game in magazines of the day, Electronic Gaming Monthly and Video Games and Computer Entertainment to be exact.  That and the fact that I was sitting in the living room the day I got a call from my best friend telling me that our favorite store that carried games (back then we didn’t have access to gaming only stores, games were still a sub category of “toys”) had Super Mario Bros 3 in stock.  I called the store, frantically jumping with glee at every ring knowing I was going to get to play the game finally.  The clerk finally answered after three rings, I asked if they had SMB3 in stock and with an exhale of annoyance the clerk said, “Yes.”

Now I had to convince my mother to let me spend my allowance on the game.  See, I had been saving up for months, doing extra chores, doing yard work for neighbors, etc.  She agreed since I had been a “good boy” lately.  This was only the beginning of a day long torture that I was to endure before I was even allowed to open the box, let alone play the game.

When we got to the store, they only had one copy left and it was $8 more than what I had saved up (back then $8 was A LOT).  The people in line behind us were hoping to purchase that copy for themselves but I asked my mom to loan me the difference under the agreement that I would work off the loan before playing.  To a young mind, this sounds great and surely my mother wouldn’t hold me to anything too drastically long or at all once we got home.  Wrong.

Long story short, it was almost bedtime before I was able to open the game and play (my bedtime was extended an hour so I could enjoy the game a little bit before going to bed then school the next day).  Fun times.  I still fire up Super Mario Bros 3 on the GBA just to reminisce a little bit about simpler times.

Super Mario Bros 3 has seen several re-releases such as on the Super Nintendo in Super Mario All Stars and on  the Game Boy Advance with Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros 3.  Nintendo has also made it available on the Wii Virtual Console.

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