In the distant year of 1990, video game legends John Romero and John Carmack were working under the name IFD (the soon-to-be id Software) on a passion project they thought they would be able to sway Nintendo into publishing for the PC.
The game was the 1988 classic Super Mario Bros. 3 for the NES. The two guys recreated the game all the way from the ground up, undoubtedly a feat since, at the time, no one had been able to accomplish camera scrolling on PC. Unfortunately, the demo pitched to Nintendo was rejected, and the tech was instead used to devise Dangerous Dave in Copyright Infringement.
Awesomely enough, in light of the 25th anniversary of another id Software 2D platforming series, Commander Keen, Romero has taken to Vimeo a six-minute play-through of his team’s experimental Mario project.
It’s certainly recognizable as Super Mario Bros. 3, but with some subtle changes veterans of the series would likely notice. For instance, Mario’s eyes are eerily pitch-black and the sound effects are notably off-base. That said, this demo was tremendous for its time and the fact that we now have visual evidence of its existence is easily worth celebrating.
“id Software has always revered Nintendo,” Romero tweeted earlier today:
.@TropeSnake : id Software has always revered Nintendo. Their game designs were extremely influential and they saved the industry in 1985.
— John Romero (@romero) December 14, 2015
With 25 years having passed since the two Johns sent their pitch to Nintendo, the company has still been reluctant to publish many of its classics, including Super Mario Bros. 3, to PC. At gamescom last year, John Romero revealed that he was working with a concept artist on a new shooter while John Carmack is now attached to Oculus Rift.