Mario Adventure – Mario 3 Hack – Review by Mike

Mike Matei / September 13th, 2014

Mike Matei reviews Mario Adventure. A hack/mod of Super Mario Bros. 3 for the Nintendo Entertainment System. Thanks to Dave Wood for the game cartridge.

Follow Mike on Twitter


  • maikii

    September 13, 2014 at 2:06 pm

    Awesome review of this, Mike. I actually played a lot of this at a local game store here.

  • September 13, 2014 at 2:42 pm

    Been a while since one of these. Thanks Mike!

  • Wazzafuzza

    September 13, 2014 at 2:47 pm

    glad to see another Mike review

  • Nintendomaniac

    September 13, 2014 at 4:17 pm

    Hey Mike, I would highly recommend you check out the hack of New Super Mario Bros. on the Wii called “Newer Super Mario Bros”. It’s the best Mario hack I’ve ever played, and it feels like an official Mario game and not just another hack. It has new world maps, new custom bosses, excellent level design, the return of the switch palaces from Super Mario World, and even the hammer bros. suit from Super Mario Bros. 3 makes a return. All you need to play it is a copy of New Super Mario Bros, a Wii or Wii U, and an SD card. Anyone who is a fan of the Mario games should check it out.

  • mysterywolf

    September 13, 2014 at 4:28 pm

    I don’t see details on how to actually acquire said game/hack. It’s something I’d like to get so- how do I get it?

    • Skorpinox

      September 13, 2014 at 5:39 pm

      You can get the patch from If you’re looking for a repro, you can probably just Google to find a place. Some websites that sell it are and

  • Joker83

    September 13, 2014 at 4:55 pm

    Looks super fun but way too hard. How do you find games like this?

  • GameCom

    September 13, 2014 at 5:05 pm

    Nice review Mike, I’d love to get some of these homebrews/hacks on cart!

  • gimmickdinger

    September 13, 2014 at 5:21 pm

    Hey Mike, If you like hard version hacks you should try dark kefkas Mario RPG Armageddon. It’s really well done with a bunch of new content and the challenge level is much much higher. If you like Super Mario RPG for the SNES I’d highly recommend it.

  • Weldin Dunn

    September 13, 2014 at 5:39 pm

    Cool. Glad to see another review.

  • K6CTX

    September 13, 2014 at 5:40 pm

    Finally, another review by Mike! I love that there is a community that is still making games for old systems, but I don’t think this game is for me though. The graphics are way too bland, and on a completely different note, what’s with those Bullet Bills flying backwards? Seeing that made me not want to have anything to do with this game.

  • Skorpinox

    September 13, 2014 at 5:48 pm

    Not sure that there’s actually a controversy as to what constitutes a homebrew or a hack. It’s actually pretty straightforward. As you said, a hack takes an original game and changes it while a homebrew is a completely game or software. The term homebrew is usually used to differentiate software from a large* scale commercial release. Homebrew may or may not be free, but is always unlicensed and done by an individual or a small group.

    *While Color Dreams/Wisdom Tree and the like were never released on scale like that of licensed games, it was generally much larger than current commercial homebrew releases.

  • September 13, 2014 at 5:57 pm

    I love Mario Adventure. I talk about it in one of my videos and put it in the #1 spot as the best NES ROM Hack.

  • September 13, 2014 at 6:34 pm

    Cool review! I hope you make a habit of looking at hacks since there are so many hidden gems out there. I actually stumbled on this game a long time ago but never played it because I had no idea how good it was…time to change that.

    By the way, if anyone’s ever wondered what a crossover between Super Mario Bros and Super Metroid would be like, try Extra Mario Bros. It’s stellar. Mike, I’m not sure if you’d like it all that much because it’s pretty cryptic, but the level of polish it has makes it an unforgettable experience.

  • September 13, 2014 at 6:37 pm

    I love how the ‘Adventure” in the title on the game’s label is blatantly from Adventure Time.

    Still, you got me wanting to play this!

    • OMA

      November 18, 2014 at 10:02 pm

      Funny, this game hack is from 2004, as the label actually says, and Adventure Time started in 2010. Maybe it’s just the reproduction cart that is recent.

  • Hanglyman

    September 13, 2014 at 7:45 pm

    Are you going to review that Zelda game you mentioned? I’d be interested in hearing more about it.

    • cammcal

      September 14, 2014 at 4:08 am

      I believe they did a James and Mike Play video on it

      • Hanglyman

        September 14, 2014 at 10:00 am

        I checked, and they did a review of a similarly titled game (I think Outskirts rather than Outland) along with their Super Mario Bros. Unlimited review, and mentioned Outland a couple times, but no full review of it.

  • Cyberxion

    September 13, 2014 at 7:55 pm

    It’s more a thorough retooling than a hack, Mike. It makes pretty drastic alterations to the game’s code that result in things not possible in the vanilla Mario 3.

    • Skorpinox

      September 13, 2014 at 8:49 pm

      It’s still technically a hack. It’s just one of the more thorough hacks out there.

      • Cyberxion

        September 14, 2014 at 1:47 am

        That’s pretty much what I said, yeah. I mean, it certainly qualifies as a hack, but as these go it’s way more comprehensive than the crap that came to define the term.

        Really though, I just wanna be sure that Mike is aware of the work that went into this hack. It’s actually really impressive stuff. 🙂

      • Skorpinox

        September 14, 2014 at 6:26 pm

        Yeah, I definitely agree. There had to be extensive assembly hacking to make this thing and, as a result, it’s one of the better hacks available.

    • HalfAssAssassin

      September 14, 2014 at 2:43 am

      Yes, I think there’s another term that could apply, called a modification or a “mod,” but the term “mod” is typically used when the alteration is legal and supported by the publisher (with tools/docs). So I think I’d call Mario Adventure an “unauthorized mod.”

      • Skorpinox

        September 14, 2014 at 6:32 pm

        Hack and mod are practically synonymous, though hack tends to be the term generally preferred in the emulation community. I guess it could be argued that a hack is done for consoles while mods are done for computers. Though, as we’ve moved away from ROMs to discs*, the way they’re done anymore is practically the same.

        *Also HDDs and flash memory cards. The main point is that consoles use filesystems with multiple files instead of just one (or more) ROM “images” anymore.

      • HalfAssAssassin

        September 17, 2014 at 3:41 am

        In the software development community a hack means a change to a product that disregards the original design and results in something that is less robust (fault-tolerant) and/or more difficult to maintain. I get that someone here has gotten access to the Super Mario 3 code in an unauthorized way, so indeed they are hacking. The final product seems to stick with the original design, though, so calling the product a “hack” seem a little callous.

        Its like restoring an old car and giving it a modern suspension, better brakes, modern engine parts, etc. When its done well its certainly not called a hack.

  • SmashManiac

    September 13, 2014 at 9:48 pm

    Hey Mike, just wanted to point out that while the Bombsweeper cartridge that you showed is indeed a homebrew, it’s actually a port of the Game & Watch game of the same name, and all the graphics are ripped from it.

    If you want to try the original, it’s one of the unlockable games in Game & Watch Gallery 4 on the Game Boy Advance. I highly recommend it, as the homebrew version took a lot of liberties with the level design.

    Cheers, and keep up the good work! ^_^

  • Andrew Wood

    September 13, 2014 at 10:25 pm

    I’d recommend Super Mario World: The Lost Adventure (Episodes 1 and 2), but unfortunately they’re only available on SNES emulators, as far as I know. Still, I think you should try them. They’re very, very long, very creative, and very challenging!

  • Stefanoragnopazzo

    September 14, 2014 at 3:15 am

    Eh, the thing that turns me away from this is not the difficulty, i loved 3D World even more from W9 to 13 and not to mention Tropical Freeze oh that game is tight, but the fact that you get the key in a random level and not after the end boss.

    That’s a big flaw for me because i understand if it doesn’t want to be linear, but there’s other ways to be non-linear and get the player to the end boss anyway i mean are we still to the point where we can’t recognize the system of 3D Platformers like Super Mario 64, Banjo 1&2 and Conker’s into 2D ones?

    Example: the doors could require two keys, one is placed randomly and one is in the boss lair.

    Non-linearity is cool, but when that allows for skipping levels, that’s a fail.

  • Thifurious

    September 14, 2014 at 5:21 am

    This was a fantastic video Mike. I can tell you put a lot of time and effort in this, as well as the tough game itself. Great job. I think this is your best video yet.

  • darxide

    September 14, 2014 at 5:22 pm

    Why are all the hacks made by people who can’t do graphics? Find somebody who can help with that. I couldn’t play this or Zelda Outlands because everything looks like a blobby mess.

  • September 14, 2014 at 8:59 pm

    Mike, where can I get a physical copy of these hack and home brews you’ve been reviewing?

    • Skorpinox

      September 15, 2014 at 12:55 am

      As I mentioned to a previous poster, you can just Google their name for repros. Some sites that sell repros include and

      • September 15, 2014 at 7:55 pm

        Thanks Skorpinox. What about for home brew games?

      • Skorpinox

        September 16, 2014 at 4:42 pm

        It depends. You can find some homebrew games on those sites I mentioned. also has some homebrew and a few repro games. Of particular interest is the Battle Kid series, which I believe, they are the exclusive distributor of. You can also get the PowerPak from their which will allow you to play many hacks and homebrew games. You could go also with the Everdrive N8 that does the same thing, which you can find distributors of by going to

  • September 15, 2014 at 2:34 am

    Homebrew is an uncountable noun; it isn’t “a homebrew”.

  • sirensofsilence

    September 16, 2014 at 2:00 am

    Nice review, Mike. Keep up the good work – you have your fans too!

  • diegowar

    September 16, 2014 at 10:52 am

    Excellent review once again, Mike ! I completely agree with your points about games that have too many checkpoints lessening the sense of accomplishment. More and more rarely I’m playing games where I fist pump a few times these days, which is sad because many people don’t get to experience this unique feeling unless they go back to older games.

  • tabu

    September 18, 2014 at 9:03 am

    Nice review. I just finished original Mario 3 for the first time, awesome game. But this hack looks too complex for me, i prefer classic Mario games.
    PS. If you dont know what is AGDC check theirs Mario’s live speedruns on Youtube, really cool.

  • September 22, 2014 at 1:29 pm

    Two things about this hack…

    It was designed on an emulator that used a lighter color palette than the real thing, so when the colors are shown on a more accurate emulator or hardware, they are way too dark.

    It was designed for emulators which did not properly emulate the MMC3’s IRQ counter. So the game does things that normal games would never do, such as use background graphics directly as sprites, which is a no-no on the MMC3. This causes the IRQ counter to be ticked more times than it should be, and the status bar triggers earlier in the frame than normal. Net result is the status bar appearing about 32 pixels higher than normal.

  • skwij

    September 23, 2014 at 6:48 am

    Cool hack and a cool video! Good to have another Mike video. Thanks!

  • September 24, 2014 at 11:45 am

    Checkpoints for the New Super Mario Brothers games are a must due to how long the levels are. Play any level in NSMB U and then play any level in SMB3. The ladder is extremely short, I’d even say 1/4 the average level length of NSMB U.

  • September 26, 2014 at 3:43 pm

    Checkpoint’s aren’t an issue, multiple checkpoints are. Super Mario Bros, Super Mario Bros 2, Super Mario Bros USA, Super Mario Bros 3 and Super Mario World and god knows what other classic NES/SNES Mario games all had at least one check point in the levels.

  • varehouse

    November 13, 2014 at 7:01 am

    I think that randomness is cool. Gives it more replay value I think..

  • goodpenisbadpenis

    November 15, 2014 at 1:10 pm

    I rather play Mario 3.

  • LOLerKing

    November 16, 2014 at 10:24 pm

    Please Do Mari0(Mario + Portal)

  • fallout1312

    November 23, 2014 at 3:24 pm

    thanks Mike. You always review cool games Ive never seen before. Ill have to try and get my hands on a copy of this. Good review. Very informative like always. I love it. You and James are great! <——- That's a dead or alive great too lol…..GREAAAT! lol…I hope yall know what Im talking about.

  • May 23, 2015 at 2:20 pm

    Incredible. That hack seems like it is actually better than the original SMB3. I will definitely try it some day.

Leave a Reply

James’ favorites