To even suggest that the next major Super Mario Bros. game should come to PC would be a fool’s dream. Fans know Nintendo to be highly protective of its properties—with the exception of mobile devices, it would never consider throwing its content on competing hardware.
Well, that wasn’t an ironclad rule in 1990. Back when id Software was known as IFD, the team behind DOOM, it had made a working prototype of Super Mario Bros. 3 for PC.
John Romero, the co-founder of id Software, tweeted out a video showing what Super Mario Bros. 3 would have looked on PC, assuming Nintendo gave the goahead.
Happy 25th Birthday, Commander Keen! In honor I'm sharing a video of our SMB3 demo we made for Nintendo on 9/28/1990.https://t.co/R2GlSYCoBM
— 𝕵𝖔𝖍𝖓 𝕽𝖔𝖒𝖊𝖗𝖔 (@romero) December 14, 2015
Commander Keen was the game that id Software made after the deal with Nintendo fell through. As you will see in the video below, id Software’s prototype was very much a work-in-progress; there is no music, and the sound effects are different. The second level was changed entirely. Physics also weren’t set with red plumber precision.
In tribute to the 25th anniversary of Commander Keen’s release, former id Software Creative Director Tom Hall has released a Commander Keen-inspired level in Super Mario Maker.
COMMANDER KEEN’s 25th Anniversary! Made a tribute level! COMMANDER KEEN in…“Where’s My Helmet?”(B2BB-0000-0119-CE1D) https://t.co/Xs8Ep7F3WB
— • 𝚝𝚑𝚊𝚝 𝚝𝚘𝚖 𝚑𝚊𝚕𝚕 • ✪ (@ThatTomHall) December 14, 2015