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Super Mario Bros. 3/Version differences

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This page contains changes which are not marked for translation.
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This is a sub-page of Super Mario Bros. 3.

To do:
Document any differences between the two Japanese PRG revisions.

Title Screen

Japan International
SMB3 Title Screen JP.png SMB3 Title.png

The trademark symbol was repositioned in the international versions. The floor also appears one line lower due to some timing changes in the MMC3 IRQ code.

Level Intro

In the Japanese version, a fade-in effect starts when the level appears, similar to the fade-out that normally occurs on the map screen when you enter a level. This fade-in was cut out for the international versions, which reduces the wait time by around one second per level.

Mushroom House Waiting

In the Japanese version, the player can move before Toad is done talking. In the international versions, the player must wait until the message is completely displayed.

Damage System

In the Japanese version, getting hit while powered-up causes the player to shrink to Small Mario just like in the first Super Mario Bros. game. Apparently this was deemed too hard for overseas players, so it was changed: Anything above Super Mario reverts only to Super Mario when hit, then to Small Mario. This change makes the short demo that plays on the title screen that explains the general physics of the game "incorrect" in the international versions as Mario is clearly shown being reduced to Small Mario when being hit by a shell when he is Raccoon Mario.

Visual Effects

Hey! Get back here!

If you get hit while wearing a Frog, Tanooki, or Hammer Bros. suit in the Japanese version, the suit flies off and makes a "bloop" sound effect. In the international versions, the suit disappears in a puff of smoke. The visual effect in the Japanese version was reinstated in all subsequent re-releases.

Ha ha! You can't hurt-- --me... shoot.

The Japanese version treats Goomba's Shoe the same way as any other suit, in that getting hit sends the shoe flying off and reverts you to small Mario. The international versions retain the visual effect (and correct the shoe color from red to green), but let you keep your current powerup.

World 1 Fortress

Japan International
Oh dear. This won't end well. Phew. That's a relief.

The spike room of the World 1 Fortress was changed. The spikes no longer continue past the door, and the gap is now right where the door is. This made the part slightly easier.

King's Chamber

Japan International
Three pillars. Had to downsize. The economy crisis affects everyone.

The king's chamber underwent a remake in the international versions. The cyan stairs and throne were changed to a more royal-looking gold, and the stairs were lengthened slightly. The orientation of the room was also changed. This led to the removal of the middle pillar, the mirroring of the shadows, the changing of the triangles in the background, and the moving of the back pillar to the front of the stairs. Finally, Mario stands in front of the stairs, instead of on the left side of the screen. The Super Mario All-Stars version uses the Japanese version's layout of the king's chamber.

Japan International
Smb3 king0.png Smb3 king1.png

The text boxes got a different palette in the international versions and were expanded to fit the translated text.

World 5-1

Japan International
Sure, needlessly complicate matters! Hey, makes my life easier.

In the Japanese version, 5-1 ends in a pipe which you have to enter to get to the final area. In the international versions, the pipe and a Buster Beetle were removed and the level leads seamlessly into the black area. This was done to fix a weird bug that happened if you used a P-Wing to fly over the blue structure at the final area (see Bugfixes).

World 6 Mushroom House

The first Mushroom House in World 6 gives you a Hammer Suit in the Japanese version. In the international versions, it was changed to randomly give you a Super Mushroom, Fire Flower, or Super Leaf.

Battleship Level

Japan International
It's not a good idea to swim in mud, anyhow. But hey, at least now it's easy to get out.

In the international versions, one tile was removed off the end of the final ship, allowing players to more easily jump onto the ship should they swim under the fleet. In the Japanese version, the jump must be timed with the ship's wavy motion. The Super Mario All-Stars version uses the Japanese version's layout of the ship.

World 3 and 5 Hints

In the international versions, the hints the Princess gives you in her letters received at the end of Worlds 2 and 3 switched places with each other in the localization process. This would later be corrected when the game was remade for Game Boy Advance.

Japanese Script Literal Translation English Script
しろいぶろっくは てきを けちらす
まほうの ちからがあるそうよ.
It seems that the white block is imbued
with a magic power that routs enemies.
You can stomp on 
your enemies using
Kuribo's shoe.

At the end of World 2 in the Japanese version, the Princess gives you a hint about the white blocks that are first encountered in World 3.

Japanese Script Literal Translation English Script
いろんなてきを ふみつけられるのよ.
You can trample various enemies
with the use of Kuribo's Shoe.
The White Block
contains magic
powers that will
enable you to defeat
your enemies.

At the end of World 3 in the Japanese version, the Princess gives you a hint about Kuribo/Goomba's Shoe encountered in World 5.

Curtain Speed

After the curtains close, it takes a moment longer for them to rise again during the Japanese ending.

28 P-Wings

In the international versions of the game, pressing Start after the ending sequence will return you to the title screen, whereupon starting a new game will give you a full inventory of P-Wings. In the original Japanese release, this feature is not included, and the game will remain on the final screen until the Famicom is turned off.

Card Game

US (Revision 0) US (Revision 1)/Europe
Learn to grammar, Toad! That's better.

One of the most famous differences between the two US versions. Revision 0 is obviously grammatically wrong, as it should say "Miss twice and you're out!" As there is no more space in the text box to do that, the Revision 1 version simply reworded the sentence to fit it in, this change was carried to the European version. The Super Mario All-Stars version uses the Revision 0 text.

Princess's Letter

US (Revision 0) US (Revision 1)/Europe
Who's this "Kuribo" you speak of? Oh. One of those.

In Revision 0, the Princess talks about "Kuribo's Shoe". "Kuribo" is the Japanese name for Goomba, so whoever was translating the name didn't know that the enemy in question had its name changed for localization. In the Revision 1 version, it was renamed to Goomba's Shoe. Nintendo has had an unfortunate tendency to flip-flop between the two names in later games and publications. Just like the text above, this change was also carried to the European version and the Super Mario All-Stars version uses the Revision 0 text.

Bowser's Letter

US Europe
The one and only. Bowser decides to delegate postal harassment to a random underling. Hilarity ensues.

In the European version, the author of the letter has been inexplicably altered to "Koopa Troopa".


Some bugs were fixed in the international versions:

Say what?

  • In the Japanese version, World 5-1 has a different layout. If you use a P-Wing and then, in the final area, fly over the blue structure to your left, you'll actually trigger the treasure chest of the World 5-1 bonus room. Then, if you touch the Roulette Block, the treasure chest from the aforementioned bonus room will appear, and if you touch the Roulette Block just right, it will appear on the right side so Mario collects it while he walks off the screen. This will cause the graphics of the Course Clear message to be all glitched up. This bug was fixed in the international versions by rearranging the level so the blue structure is no longer there.
  • In World 3, if you used a Warp Whistle while in the canoe, you could go off to the left and leave the Warp Zone map. However, you cannot get back and are stuck there unless you have another Warp Whistle. This was fixed in the international versions.
  • The MMC3 IRQ code was altered to fix some minor visual issues in areas with screen splits.

Virtual Console Changes

In the original game, the explosion of a Bob-Omb and collecting the "?" Orb dropped by Boom-Boom or the wand dropped by a Koopaling will cause the screen to flash a rainbow of colors. In the Virtual Console release, this was changed so that the screen merely turns bright yellow for a few seconds. This mirrors a change made in Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros. 3 for similar reasons.


Japanese Script Literal Translation English Script Super Mario Advance 4 (US/EU)
ありがとう! やっと
きのこのせかいに へい
Thank you! At last,
peace has returned to 
the Mushroom World.
The End!
Thank you. But
our Princess is
in another 
kidding! Ha ha
ha! Bye bye.
Thank you!

Peace has at last
returned to our
fair Mushroom

In the original Japanese version, Peach delivered a more generic "Peace has returned to the world" line, while in the international version, her line was changed to a jokier "Your Princess is in another castle" gag. The Western versions of Super Mario All-Stars retain this edit.

The English versions of Super Mario Advance 4 use a line that's more accurate to the Japanese one but refers to the Mushroom "Kingdom" instead of the Mushroom "World".

Japan/US (Revision 0) US (Revision 1)/Europe
Grass Land Grass Land
Desert Hill Desert Land
Ocean Side Water Land
Big Island Giant Land
The Sky Sky Land
Iced Land Ice Land
Pipe Maze Pipe Land
Castle of Koopa Dark Land

Some of the world names during the ending were changed. In the Japanese version and the original US release, the worlds have more distinct names which were later changed to "____ Land".

The first set of names are also used for the English versions of Super Mario All-Stars, but Ocean Side was changed to Sea Side and World 8 became Bowser's Castle, this was also carried to the English versions Super Mario Advance 4.