See The Newly Discovered Super Mario World Prototype

The prototype of Super Mario World has a lot of significant differences from the released game.

By Jason Collins | Published

super mario world

Forest of Illusion, the video game preservation site, has secured a small but significant piece of Nintendo history, having shared a prototype build from the USA version of 1991’s Super Mario World. According to My Nintendo News, this is a significant occurrence for the fans of the Italian plumber and his franchise, which recently received a fan-made game in light of the upcoming movie starring Chris Pratt.

The Super Mario World USA prototype, shared by Forest of Illusion, is dated from October 25, 1990, which is nearly a whole year before the iconic game hit the retailer’s shelves. It features a ton of debugging options, along with different dialog, visual changes, and script differences. The game hit the Japanese market the very same year, meaning that Forest of Illusion now shares a localization prototype. These usually have unparalleled debugging options meant to adapt the game to another market but also make the game more interesting for those looking to mess around.

For example, you can select the Super Mario World stage you want to play, you can easily walk Mario around the map, and the protagonist can’t die due to time-outs. Additionally, the debugging options allow developers to choose any power-up they want to use at any point, allowing them to test different functionalities across different stages in the game. However, that’s not all, and the list of options and differences between the two is quite substantial. It goes from differences in font, lettering, shading, and numerous script differences, to assets that were used in Legend of Zelda.

super mario world

The original Super Mario World is a platform video game often regarded as the best Mario game ever made. It was developed and published by Nintendo for its Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) console. However, unlike the modern gaming industry, where regional coding is a true rarity—though it’s still applied in some games—the games from the past were developed differently for different regions of the world, mostly due to differences in hardware standards. Additionally, worldwide day-one releases were non-existent at the time.

So, during the late 80s, most of the 90s, and early 2000s, game-makers would first release the game for their domestic market, followed by a worldwide or regional release—the latter would be split into North American and European releases. The aforementioned Super Mario World was released in 1990 in Japan, and though the USA prototype was dated for the same year, the game was finalized and released in 1991 in North America. European market welcomed the game in 1992.

It was the first Mario game developed for SNES with the intention of utilizing the console’s full technological potential. It sold over 20 million copies worldwide, making it the best-selling SNES game, and it led to an animated television series of the same name. Its magnitude can be attested by the fact that the game has been re-released on multiple occasions and for several future consoles, including the 2019 re-release for Nintendo Switch Online‘s classic game service.

Those interested in running the USA prototype version of Super Mario World can obtain a copy from Forest of Illusion.