The PC prototype of Super Mario Bros. 3 is a real piece of gaming history

Time for a little did-you-know factoid to bust out at nerd parties: Did you know that John Romero, co-founder of id Software and designer on the original Doom, helped develop a prototype for Super Mario Bros. 3 on PC? You can see this demo version in action and revel in its 90s-flavored majesty below.

Everything's the same, but just different enough that it freaks me out, like I'm looking at a homunculus wearing Mario's skin. Notice the way his mustache disappears when he jumps, his extra-portly belly, and the raptor-like way he holds his hands. And yet, I cannot help but feel charmed by these familiar sights, as I recall my days blowing the dust off the cartridge and sitting down to play.

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