Before it created Doom, id Software made a name for itself with its Commander Keen series of PC platformers. But before that, it was hoping to port Nintendo games to computers and even went so far as to make a prototype of Super Mario Bros. 3 for PC.

Now, to commemorate Commander Keen's 25th anniversary, programmer John Romero has released the first public video showing what its Super Mario Bros. 3 prototype looked like.

Completed on 28th September, 1990, id (then known as Ideas from the Deep) was testing the waters of its new side-scrolling engine. "Back in the day, side-scrolling on PC was very difficult," said Digital Foundry's tech guru Rich Leadbetter. "id cracked it."

As you can see, it's not as polished as the console game, but it was only created to show Nintendo what it could do. There's few sound effects and Mario lacks the same momentum he does on NES, leading to an awkward infinite jumping approximation of flying. There's also all-new stages, created by id a quarter century before Super Mario Maker hit store shelves. Even if these new levels don't seem as sterling as Nintendo's classic, it's still a fascinating piece of history for the studio that would soon after become famous for games about blasting demons into giblets.

"id Software has always revered Nintendo," Romero said on Twitter. "Their game designs were extremely influential and they saved the industry in 1985."

Sometimes we include links to online retail stores. If you click on one and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. For more information, go here.

Jump to comments (38)

About the author

Jeffrey Matulef

Jeffrey Matulef

Contributor

Jeffrey Matulef is the best-dressed man in 1984. Based in Portland, OR he operates as Eurogamer's US news editor.

More articles by Jeffrey Matulef

Comments (38)

Hide low-scoring comments
Order
Threading

Related

Commander Keen

Review - the Earth is in trouble, this looks like a job for our Editor-in-Chief!

Sir Patrick Moore, astronomer, broadcaster and Games Master, dies

"He WAS the Gamesmaster. RIP Sir Patrick Moore, a true original."

Why Dennis Hopper did the Mario movie

Wanted to buy ungrateful child shoes.