Transmission Zero

The “Lost Levels” Of Super Mario Bros. 3


Super Mario Bros. 3 was a large Mario game, but did you know there is actually more to it than meets the eye? There are fifteen known levels in Super Mario Bros. 3 which can’t be accessed—they exist, but there are no entrances to the levels. In fact, some of these levels haven’t even been finished!

Nobody really knows why the levels were cut from the game, but there are suggestions that perhaps they were too hard, or didn’t fit in with the rest of the game. Some of the levels are only a few screens long, which could suggest that they were used for testing features and properties of the game.

Whilst it is a reasonably well known fact that these levels exist in the NES version of the game, there was no evidence of the levels existing in the SNES version. For this reason, I decided to go armed with my hex editor, and see what I could find.

I was quite amazed to discover that all fifteen of the Lost Levels also featured in the SNES version! Why are they there though? If they were cut from the original game for being out of place, then why would they be included in a remake of the game five years later? The mind boggles…

Whatever the real reason for cutting these levels may have been, this page includes screenshots of the levels, along with NES and SNES Game Genie codes which will allow you to access some of these so-called “Lost Levels”. Quite fittingly, I actually wrote this page four years ago. With coursework commitments and suchlike, the pages got lost! It was only a few months ago that I found the pages whilst looking through a site backup.

The Lost Levels

The levels are mostly identical on both the NES and SNES. The only minor difference being the backgrounds. This is because the backgrounds in the NES version are a collection of objects such as clouds and bushes. In the SNES version though, the background is a single background object.

Plains 1

The first Lost Level is a split screen plains level, whereby the top is connected to the bottom via a number of pipes. The level is mostly uncomplicated in design, but it features a number of Goombas in Kuribo’s shoes.

[Image of Mario beneath a platform, with a Goomba inside Kuribo’s Shoe above him]
[Similar image to the previous one, but taken from the SNES (more detailed graphics)]

Kuribo’s Shoe comes in very handy on the lower section of the level, as there are a large number of spineys.

[Image of Mario in Kuribo’s Shoe, next to a Spiney]

Plains 2

The second Lost Level is also a plains level, around half of which takes place under water. Again, the screen is split into two parts, but only the pipe at the end of the above ground section can be used to take you below ground. On the SNES version, the sprite for the Bloober can become corrupted.

[Image of Mario in an underwater level, next to a pair of green Cheep Cheeps]

Hilly 1

The third Lost Level is a hilly level, where the biggest danger is the gaps in the scenery. There are a couple of enemies, including Lakitu and a Goomba in a Kuribo’s Shoe. There is also a cloudy bonus area accessible via a hidden note block.

[Image of Mario in a hilly level, with a Goomba in a Kuribo’s Shoe on a platform above him]
[Image of Mario in a Kuribo’s Shoe, in a cloudy level]

Sky 1

The fourth Lost Level is a sky platform area. It’s not overly difficult, but it is a complete and fully functional level (the floor is missing at the end of the level though). It features Koopa Troopas, Para Goombas, and a number of floating platforms and note blocks.

[Image of Mario bouncing on a note block above a pit]
[Image of Mario next to some Goombas, on a platform at the top of the screen]

Sky 2

The fifth Lost Level is another sky platform level, and is very similar to the previous sky level. This level is incomplete though, and simply stops after the first few screens!

[Image of Mario standing on some Mystery Blocks, above a Koopa Troopa]

Sky 3

The sixth Lost Level is a duplicate of the previous one.

Cloud 1

The seventh Lost Level takes place in the clouds, and auto-scrolls up and down. The level is very simple, and you can more or less run from the start to the finish.

[Image of Mario in the clouds, with some green and red Parabeetles above him]

Cloud 2

The eighth Lost Level is a small cloud bonus area. There are a number of coins and a few enemies, but not much else.

[Image of Mario riding a red Parabeetle in a cloudy level]

Cloud 3

The ninth Lost Level is a cloud level. It’s short and incomplete, and features some cloud platforms and other items scattered around. It’s not terribly playable though.

[Image of Mario standing among some cloud platforms]

Cloud 4

The tenth Lost Level is another cloud level, and is similarly short and incomplete. It features an empty Bullet Bill Machine, and a few coins.

[Image of Mario on a cloud, next to an empty Bullet Bill Machine]

Ice 1

The eleventh Lost Level is an auto-scrolling ice level. It involves jumping between ice platforms, which move up and down above the water. It’s a bit more challenging than some of the other Lost Levels.

[Image of Mario on an ice platform, with a flame next to him]
[Image of Mario on a moving wire platform, above a large expanse of water]

Some of the sprites on the SNES version of this level can become corrupted.

Ice 2

The twelfth Lost Level is an auto-scrolling underwater ice level! It’s a lot harder than the previous levels, mostly because of the Jelectros and auto-scroll. The level features Gold Cheep Cheeps, which can’t be found anywhere else in the game.

[Image of Mario in an underwater ice level, swimming amongst some Jelectros]
[Image of Mario on the surface of the ice level, next to a Koopa Troopa]

Pipe 1

The thirteenth Lost Level is a vertical pipe maze. There are no enemies in the level, and it must be completed by swimming up the waterfalls!

[Image of Mario swimming up a waterfall]

Underground 1

The fourteenth Lost Level is an underground level. Similarly to World 1–5, it starts off overground, and then heads underground. The level has bumpy terrain, but doesn’t have many dangers—there are only a few Pihrana Plants, Buzzy Beetles, and Koopa Troopas.

[Image of Mario in an underground level, between a door and a Buzzy Beetle]

Fortress 1

The fifteenth Lost Level is actually nothing more than a collection of eight small bonus rooms in a fortress setting. An interesting point to note, is that they all contain a large mystery block containing a Tanooki Suit. This was presumably intended to be linked from various other levels throughout the game.

[Image of Mario beneath a giant Mystery Block]

Game Genie Codes

These Game Genie codes will allow you to access some of the Lost Levels. Unfortunately, when I originally wrote this article, I never quite finished it off. For this reason, I haven’t written Game Genie codes for all of the levels. These codes will allow you to access some of the more complete levels though.

Game Genie codes for accessing the “Lost Levels” in both the NES and SNES versions of Super Mario Bros. 3
Level NES Codes SNES Codes
Plains 1 UZSLZGYX, OGSLLGSG, GGNUGGXE, NZNUIKUL 982E-46A1, 352E-4BD1, 8527-1661, 6A27-16A1
Plains 2 PZSLZGYZ, XGSLLGSG, KZNUGGXE, OZNUIKUU 2F2E-46A1, 352E-4BD1, 2027-1661, 6327-16A1
Sky 1 402A-4C01, 662E-46A1, ED2E-4BD1, 4127-1661, ED27-16A1
Ice 1 4A2A-4C01, B92E-46A1, EF2E-4BD1, B327-1661, E027-16A1
Fortress 1 442A-4C01, 8F2E-46A1, EB2E-4BD1, 5327-1661, B827-16A1, 4127-1BD1

The Game Genie codes are a comma separated list, and you must activate all of the codes for a specific level simultaneously, or the game will likely crash. They work by changing the first level pointer on the map screen, so that instead of pointing to world 1–1, it points to a Lost Level.

Accessing the levels with a ROM patch

As well as having information and complete maps for the fifteen Lost Levels, The Mushroom Kingdom has an IPS patch which allows you to access the levels on the NES version without the need for Game Genie codes (it requires an emulated version of Super Mario Bros. 3, as well as a ROM patcher).