Monday, April 25, 2022

Super Mario Bros. 3, Part III


Today we finish up with SMB3: Now on SouljaGame! Available at no retailers.

World 6 is the ice world, which has a nice mood to it like ice levels usually do. Unfortunately, it's also quite tough. Hard to say whether it's tougher than the sky world or not, but it's close.

For the most part, they did a very good job scaling up the difficulty from world to world. Almost all of them maintain or go up in difficulty from the previous world, with one exception. World 3 is definitely tougher than World 4 and they probably could have been swapped.

I bring out the secret weapon~! of the ice world: Frog Suit. This thing doesn't slide on ice. Hop, you magnificent bastard!

Once I run out of Frog Suits, I'm kinda screwed. Luckily, once you get the physics of this world down, it isn't too bad. It basically controls like the original Super Mario Bros which had notoriously bad sliding. For a long time I couldn't beat the game for that reason.

This world was GOD'S MISTAKE.

On the other hand.. this world DID give rise to Latin Sensation Luigi: The Hit Song of the Summer!

Luigi is beloved by all the princesses, even though he doesn't do much and Mario is the one actually saving everyone. Why? Cause he's over six feet tall. That's it. OH YEAH, DON'T DENY IT LADIES, YOU KNOW IT'S TRUE.

Probably my least-favorite level in the game is this ice cave where you have to find a secret exit with the raccoon tail. Get hit and you have to loop around the level all over again to re-get the raccoon tail. Whatta nightmare

World 6 is the debut of the Hammer Suit, probably my favorite power in this game. It might be the rarest power-up in all of Mario-dom, and lets you throw highly-damaging hammers in an arc. For a long time I didn't even know this was a thing that existed.

Mario faces what appear to be radioactive fish in this next level. DKC's Poison Pond wasn't the first time Nintendo took on polluting corporations.

The ice fortress combines Thwomps and other fortress traps with icy floors and Boos. Basically everything you know and despise up to this point.


The eastern half of the world. There are actually two fortresses in this world, and one of them gets second-to-last level status.

The next just like all the other airships. I thought it'd be a frozen airship or otherwise utilize the ice theme, but nope.

Boss here is Lemmy, the smallest Koopaling. He rides around on a green ball and launches more green balls that bounce around. Fun Fact: He and Wendy are the only Koopalings with unique attack patterns.

Much like how Wendy's ring attacks begin to pile up, Lemmy's balls also start to pile up and become a real problem if the fight goes too long. For a Koopaling that I usually forget exists, this guy might actually be the hardest out of the seven in this game.

World 7 is the pipe-themed world. That's right, we've gone from the deadly sky and ice a world full of pipes.

"What kind of pipes are we talking about?" says Laurence Fishburne From Deep Cover.

A criminally underrated movie. Also underrated: World 7's difficulty. It follows two particularly tough worlds, and tends to get skipped over a lot via Warp Whistle, but World 7 is no slouch at all.

A lot of the levels here are mazes, and they're brimming with pirahna plants. This world is also notable for being the one world with levels where you can run off one side of the screen and appear on the other side, like the original Mario Bros. arcade game.

These two piranha plants are caught in an endless cycle of not being able to kiss. In a past life they were one of those annoying co-dependent couples that engage in constant PDA, so they were cursed by the gods to eternally dwell in these pipes.

Some of the pipe levels are very puzzle-oriented, like this one that traps you in with blocks until you find the right escape route.

Piranha plants really get their day in the sun here, as the undisputed stars of World 7.

There are even piranha plants on the overworld! They're just regular levels though.

It's JELLYFISH MAYHEM. This world must have used all of their remaining ideas that didn't have a place in any of the others.

One of the most memorable levels in the game is the Coin Fortress. Everybody knows this level. It's another puzzle where the exit is hidden. In the meantime you can rack up tons of coins/lives. Without Nintendo Power (or the internet) I bet a lot of people got hopelessly lost in this level though.

Boom Boom yet again. I turn into a Tanooki statue and let him charge past me, launching off into the distance like a cat flying off a spinning record player.

The next part has platforms that change directions when you hop. I didn't like this in Mega Man X2 and I don't like it now

I like THIS level though. You basically have to catch invincibility stars while running across a super-long hall of indestructible plants. Miss one star and you're doomed.

Boos, the ultimate in passive-aggressive game characters, show up in the fortress here. It's tough for them because ghost houses haven't been invented yet.

This thwomp is placed in a super-evil spot.


At the end of the world, it's time for another fortress. Check out my vast array of P-Wings to gimp the hell out of World 8. Hey, if I'm gonna take the long way around and play through every world, I reserve the right to gimp those stages with Bowser's entire tank division and stuff. Also brought a Hammer Suit for the final stage.

Fun Fact: In the SNES version of the game, the World 7 king has been transformed into a Yoshi. Since I finished that game first, I always wanted to know what he was in the NES version. Did Yoshi exist that early? Did they give players a preview of something they wouldn't have recognized yet?

...nope, it's a piranha plant. Which figures given what world this is.

Here's the SNES version, with Yoshi. He easily wins every "Smash or Pass" list people do for Mario 3 Kings, so it's just as well that he isn't in the NES version and someone else can actually win.

World 7 Airship. It's another airship. No big whoop. This one has a lot of fire jets, and the sky is nice.

Ludwig shakes the ground when he jumps, like Roy. He's the biggest of Bowser's kids, the real Bowser Jr. However, since he isn't really any different from Roy, I have to give the nod to Wendy and Lemmy as being the toughest of the lot.

With another King rescued, let's see what the Princess' letter has for us now:


That's right, it's easy to forget that the Princess isn't actually kidnapped in the first 7/8ths of this game. The objective is simply to recover the magic wands from the Koopalings and save the kings.

NOW the Princess gets kidnapped, just in time for World 8.

World 8 is the Dark World, with a theme of fire and hellishness. I'm curious about those two rectangular islands on the right, because they don't seem to do anything in the game (like the lake in World 2 and the bridge in World 3). They look like good spots for secret levels.

After my recent Super Mario Land 2 findings I wouldn't be surprised to find out that this game has things I didn't know about as well.

First up is Bowser's Tank Division. It starts out with small paltry WW1 tanks.

Then it beefs up to robust early WW2 tanks!

Then eventually they bring out the goddamn King Tiger. Notice that I P-Wing'd over all of this, as promised. I've beaten these levels a lot, and at this point, meesa tired.

Mario flops down at the end, just in time for YET ANOTHER Boom-Boom.

But wait! They changed things up a bit by putting a mere Boomerang Bro here, the easiest Bro. Wonder if anyone ever got this far only to be nervous and die to this guy.

Next up: Bowser's Navy. Pretty much the same deal as the tank division, except now it's over muddy water.

I love these levels and how creative they are. It makes total sense that Bowser would have an entire military at his disposal, and you only really see it in this game.

These weird squares contain 3 levels that are random whether you actually have to do them or not. They're all pretty short, and players with luck on their side might avoid all of them.

Side note: The overworld music in this stage was the initial basis for Bowser's theme that carried over into Super Mario World's final boss music and Super Mario Kart's Bowser Castle music.

The first maybe-stage contains a bunch of Fire Bros. This is pretty much their last hurrah so it throws all of them in here.

Another contains a dilapidated bridge and lots of flying fish.

Moving on, Bowser's Air Force. This is easily the hardest level in World 8. It's essentially an airship level turned up to 11 and on copious amounts of amphetamine. I usually P-Wing'd through this even in the past. It's your normal airship level, only with every trick all the other airship levels had, plus a LOT less ground to stand on (since it's technically a ton of small craft rather than one large ship).

The next section plunges you into darkness, living up to World 8's moniker of Dark World.

Two normal stages here (the only two normal stages of this world). One is this basic level with lots of piranha plants that spit fire. Found this one to be REALLY tough as a kid, though not as bad as the Air Force.

The second is significantly easier, just a sprint through the desert. However the ANGRY SUN BABY returns.

Mario makes eye contact with the ANGRY SUN BABY one final time before landing on the goal block and wiping it off the face of the Earth.

Next we get a fortress. That's right, an actual fortress in World 8. I forgot all about this one. Once again it puts together all the traps from the other fortresses, most notably the awful conveyor belts.

It's Conveyor Boom Boom, the last and worst of all the Boom Booms. I brought a Fire Flower and just blasted it.

After all that, it's time for Bowser's Cast- Wait what? There's another military level? I seriously forgot this one existed.

This one is basically just bullet hell with as many cannons as they could get onscreen at once on the NES.

The gun batteries go on and ON while Mario hovers above the fray with the last P-Wing. Man, those things really do a number on World 8.

NOW it's time for Bowser's Castle, so I break out the Hammer Suit. It's FINALLY TIME.

Using a star at the beginning is also advisable since these statues at the entrance fire devastating laser beams.

Course, the Hammer Bro suit can throw hammers in an arc. Hammers are so powerful that they can actually defeat Thwomps. In one hit, no less. That's why this suit is awesome, just wish there were more of them. I got like 2 or 3 in the entire game.

Ducking while in Hammer Bro form makes you look like one of those shelled enemies that usually show up in caves.

Fun Fact: There's a shortcut in the top right corner of this room where you can actually duck-jump your way through the wall and skip part of the level.

The final hallway is a callback to Super Mario Bros, with Bowser sending fireballs your way while you make the final march to his room.

This is the best Bowser fight in the whole series, I'm calling it now. He's fully animated, it feels like a real brawl, and there's no weird duck-mobile. Yoshi's Island might have a better Bowser fight but that's about it. This is a perfect capstone on the best Bros game.

I jump out of the way and dish out hammers. These things absolutely obliterate the guy, six hits and the fight is over.

His scariest attack is a Kintaro-esque ground pound. This is when all the Mario villains had to have leaping ground pound attacks.

With Bowser defeated (just as he knocked off the hammer suit), our hero barrels through the red door to rescue the princess!

"IT'S A ME!" he says as the door flies open.




Well, uh...sorry Mario

"Whatever, I did it all for tanooki"

1 comment:

  1. Boom Boom on Ice sounds like quite the production.

    77 lives in 7!

    World 7 is one of my favorites.

    Yeah, and he had all those airships too.

    Yeah, ducking hammer Mario looks like a buzzy beetle!