Transmission Zero

Super Mario Bros. 2k3


Super Mario Bros. was a classic computer game. I loved all of the original 2D Mario games, but my favourite by far was the Japanese version of Super Mario Bros. 2. It had the look and feel of the original Super Mario Bros. game, yet it was a lot harder. Super Mario Bros. 3 introduced some great concepts, such as the ability to fly, but it also had one major drawback—most of the levels were much too short and far too easy!

[Image of the Super Mario Bros. 2k3 title screen, showing Mario jumping on a Koopa Troopa shell.]

Throughout my childhood, I always dreamed of making my own Mario game. Ten to fifteen years later, I set out to fulfil that dream. I didn’t create a game from scratch (that is slightly beyond my capabilities) but instead, I took a ready made Mario game, deleted all of the levels, and inserted my own levels into it!

I chose to edit Mario 3 (the NES version), as this game was the most versatile, and I thought my ideas would work well with it. My intention was simple—to make a game which had all the qualities of Super Mario Bros. 3, but which was a lot more challenging. Unlike some remakes of the game, I deliberately avoided bombarding the player with enemies in order to make it difficult. Instead, the game is about discovery, timing and general skill. I’ve tried to keep bonus areas very well hidden, I have used some items which weren’t featured in the original game, and it requires the player to make some very high and long jumps!

The game isn’t being developed at the moment, as I have too many other commitments. The first few worlds are complete though, and I’m sure you’ll find them very challenging. In fact I encourage you to download the patch, and try it out. It takes a lot of time and effort to make the game, and all I ask in return is a little feedback. It’s always great to know how the game comes across, whether you think it’s hard or easy, and whether there are any bugs which need fixing. I’ve many emails about my remake, and everyone has had positive comments. Nobody has said the game was easy or has emailed to say they have completed it yet.

World 1 Pictures

These are the new levels in World 1. Except for the first level, they are all completely original, and certainly not easy!

[Image of the World 1 map, featuring a castle surrounded by a moat]

I have completely changed the World 1 map. Note that you have to unlock the door before you can go past the fourth level. The locked doors were a pretty cool feature of the original game, it’s just a shame they served no useful purpose until now!

[Image of Mario hitting a mystery block in World 1–1]

If you’re a true Mario fan, then no doubt you will recognise this first level. I included it as a tribute to Super Mario Bros. 1. Don’t be fooled though, they get a lot harder after this one!

[Image of Raccoon Mario of a traveling platform]

World 1–2 consists pretty much entirely of wire platforms. Not too difficult really, but if you want to collect some of the many bonuses on this level, then you’ll have to take some risks.

[Image of Mario standing on a thin ledge between a gap and a pool of water]

World 1–3 is a hilly level. Nothing much out of the ordinary, but you’ll need to take care…

[Image of Mario being chased by Spineys and a Para Goomba]

…particularly towards the end!

[Image of Mario in a fortress with a Dry Bones walking down the stairs]

This is the first fortress. Not the most difficult level, but there is certainly *cough* more *cough* to this level than meets the eye…

[Image of Mario with a Thwomp and a lava pit]

This is another shot of the first fortress.

[Image of Mario in the snow, above an underground entrance]

World 1–4 starts outside, but the main part of the level is under ground.

[Image of Mario sliding down an underground hill]

World 1–4 again. This time in the underground section.

[Image of Mario next to a flashing star]

The star here (not to be confused with Star Man), is an item which was never used in the original game. If you haven’t seen it before (a few other fan made Mario games use it), then you’ll have to go and find it, and see what it does.

[Image of Frog Mario swimming past a pipe]

No Mario game is complete without a water level, so I included one as World 1–5. I have made it in the style of the water levels in Mario 1, and there are plenty more water levels to come later in the game.

[Image of Frog Mario on some isolated note blocks above a large pit]

I thought I’d have some fun with the note blocks on World 1–6.

[Image of Frog Mario by an array of pipes with a Pihrana Plant and Bullet Bill machine]

You have to be rather quick here, and rather careful!

[Image of Mario climbing a set of stairs]

World 1–7 is the largest level in World 1. It is the last level before the Doom Ship, and is also, intended to be the hardest level of World 1.

[Image of Mario on some isolated note blocks, above a pit, with Lakitu throwing Spineys, and some Bullet Bills being fired!]

Just in case you thought World 1–7 didn’t look too difficult in the previous screen shot!

[Image of Mario on a hill with a Hammer Brother]

It’s not just the main levels that I have changed, and let’s face it, the Hammer Brothers levels were also rather easy, so I had to put a stop to that! The time limits have been removed, as it seemed rather pointless having a time limit on a level which is only one screen long.

[Image of Mario on the Doom Ship]

The ships have also been changed, although to a lesser extent than the rest of the levels. It would take a lot of hard work to edit the autoscrolling of the Doom Ship levels, so the general geography of the level is the same. The enemies and objects have been changed though.

[Image of Mario holding the magic wand]

If you manage to beat the boss, you’ll be given the magic wand, and you can progress to World 2!

World 2 Pictures

World 2, as in the original game, is set in the desert. There are lots of bonuses waiting to be found if you take the time to look…

[Part 1 of the World 2 desert map, including a quicksand level and fortress]

The World 2 map is separated by a river, and you’ll have to find a way to cross it if you want to progress.

[Part 2 of the World 2 desert map, including two pyramid levels and a castle]

World 2 contains all new levels, and includes a quicksand level plus two pyramid levels.

[Image of Mario in a desert level, next to a yellow Koopa Troopa]

Pictured here on World 2–1 is something else you didn’t see in the original game—Yellow Koopa Troopas!

[Image of Mario next to a solid wall, with a waterfall above him]

Looks like a dead end…

[Image of Mario next to a chain chomp and a maze of small pipes]

More Yellow Koopa Troopas. It’s not the only new colour Koopa Troopa though, you’ll have to see if you can find the others…

[Image of Mario between a Thwomp and a spike pit, with a ghost following him]

The fortress in World 2 is a very large level and rather difficult level. You’ll need to be quick, and also careful not to be chased by the ghosts.

[Image of Mario between a two Thwomps and a spike pit, with a ghost following him]

Another shot of the fortress. You can’t rush this part or you’ll end up either being crushed, or land on the spikes… That’s if the ghost doesn’t catch up with you!

[Image of Mario at an underground dead end, with a Boomerang Brother]

I like sending you to the wrong place!

[Image of Mario being chased by a Buzzy Beetle shell]

World 2 has two pyramid levels. This is the first one…

[Image of Mario on green note blocks, with spikes above and below!]

…and this is the second one. This is by far the largest level in the game so far. If you’re not quick enough, you’ll run out of time!

[Image of Mario in a desert Hammer Brothers level]

There are two Hammer Bros. levels on this map. This is the first one.

[Image of Mario in a desert Hammer Brothers level, featuring a quicksand pit]

This is the second Hammer Bros. level. Be careful, because just to the right of Mario, is a load of quicksand!

[Image of Mario on a Doom Ship, with lots of Bullet Bill machines]

Like in World 1, I was a little more limited to what I could change on the Doom Ship, but it is still different from the original.

Bonus Area Pictures

Here are just a few of the bonus areas in Super Mario Bros. 2k3. To avoid making the game too easy, I have only included pictures of a few of the bonus areas, and they appear on this page in a random order.

[Cloud bonus area with a pyramid of bricks and a Para Goomba]
[Underground bonus area with a treasure chest]
[Ice bonus area with frozen coins]
[Cloud bonus area with flying Cheep Cheeps and large pit]
[Image of Mario in Toad’s house being presented with a Warp Whistle]

Required Skills

Super Mario Bros. 2k3 was designed with the power player in mind. As I have previously said, I tried to make it more about skill than just bombarding a player with loads of enemies. Here are just a few of the tricky situations you could end up in.

[Image of a P Switch above a pit containing a spiney]

You’ll need to have a good sense of timing. It’s possible to hit the P Switch here without dropping into the pit, but you’ll need a good sense of timing to do so.

[Image of Mario on a small unstable platform above a lava pit]

You’ll need to be quick too. Hang around for too long, and the platform will collapse and you’ll fall into the lava. There is also another reason you’ll need to be quick in this particular section. Why? Well that would be telling now wouldn’t it…

[Image of Mario in quick sand next to a high wall]

Quick thinking is essential. You need to get up the top there, but it’s too high to jump. You’ll have to work out how to do it pretty quickly though, as you are currently sinking deeper and deeper into the quicksand you are standing on!

[Image of Mario next to a pit so wide that you can’t see the other side!]

Sometimes you’ll just have to throw caution to the wind, jump for it, and just hope there is something to catch you on the other side.

[Image of Mario next to a pit far too wide to cross in a single jump]

There are plenty of long jumps to make. You’ll need to work out how to do it, because it’s too far for Mario to jump without a little help.

[A completely empty and bottomless screen with only a Koopa Paratroopa in it]

Ok, now you’re just being ridiculous!

Downloading Super Mario Bros. 2k3

You can download the Super Mario Bros. 2k3 patch from my file server. You will need a copy of the original NES version of Super Mario Bros. 3, a NES emulator, and if you are unable to run Windows applications, you will need an IPS patcher. For full instructions and a release history, have a look at the Readme.html file included in the zip archive.

The checksums are provided so that you may verify the integrity of your download, or check to see if a copy you obtained from an unofficial mirror has been tampered with.