Video Game / Super Mario Bros. 3

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"So I give you... SUPER! MARIO BROTHERS! THREE!!!"
The Video Armageddon announcer, The Wizard

Super Mario Bros. 3 is the third installment in the Super Mario Bros. series by Nintendo. Having saved the Mushroom Kingdom, Mario must now liberate the surrounding kingdoms from Bowser, who, in the vein of Napoleon Bonaparte, has divvied those kingdoms up between his seven kids, the Koopalings. Mario must first trounce the Koopalings, steal back the scepters they stole from the rightful rulers, and restore the kings to human form before he's allowed to tackle Bowser.

The final installment in the 8-bit trilogy (more or less, considering the second game), it featured several new power-ups and features, in addition to a much larger selection of levels, enemies, and so forth. Super Mario Bros. 3 was also the first Mario game to have a specific cartoon Spin-Off, in the form of The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3. It also received advance publicity from the movie The Wizard.

A remake of Super Mario Bros. 3 was later included in the Super Mario All-Stars Compilation Re-release, and that remake was updated again as a standalone game with e-Reader support as Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros. 3. Super Mario Maker features Super Mario Bros. 3 as one of the styles that players can use to create the courses of their dreams.

Oh, and Shigeru Miyamoto confirmed that the whole game is a stage play.

Tropes present:

  • Adaptation Expansion: The GBA remake has an intro cutscene explaining how the Koopalings transformed the kings and took over the other lands.
  • Airborne Mook: In addition to Koopa Paratroopas, now there are Paragoombas, Para-Beetles, and Boos.
  • Animated Actors: While the relationship between Mario characters in general has been equated to this trope, Super Mario Bros. 3 plays this trope straight; in the original NES version, many of the background elements and props have obvious bolts/wires and have shadows on what's supposedly thin air, leading fans to speculate for years that the game was a stage play and finally having it confirmed by Miyamoto himself. Later remakes/ports of the game on the Super NES and Game Boy Advance remove the "fake" stage-like elements, leading to further Wild Mass Guessing.
  • Animated Adaptation: The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3, which was also a follow-up to The Super Mario Bros. Super Show.
  • Auto-Scrolling Level: Several. Many of them are notoriously difficult due to the many obstacles that must be traversed while keeping up with the screen.
  • Backtracking: Possible to do with a warp whistle to go from World 6 to World 5, or from the end of World 5 to the beginning of World 5.
  • Baleful Polymorph: The seven kings who get changed into animals (or, in the remakes, characters from other Mario games).
  • Big Bad: Bowser, of course.
  • Bilingual Bonus: The treasure ships have "treasure" written on their masts in kanji.
  • "Blind Idiot" Translation: There are items that had enemies' names in their names that the game and instruction manual forgot to localize accordingly, but this was fixed in subsequent versions. One is Kuribo's (Goomba's) Shoe, the other is Jugem's (Lakitu's) Cloud. The Nintendo Power Strategy Guide even called the Goombas wearing the Kuribo's Shoe "Kuribo's Goomba."
  • Bootstrapped Theme:
    • Underground levels use a remix of the underground theme from the first Super Mario Bros. game.
    • Also, the melody to make the Wandering Hammer Bros. fall asleep is the overworld theme from the same game.
  • Boss Arena Idiocy: The final fight with Bowser is won by dodging him as he butt-smashes his way through the floor (which is made entirely of breakable blocks), until he inevitably falls to his death.
  • Breakable Power Up: As in the first game, getting hit as Super Mario reverts him to regular Mario, unable to break bricks from below. Starting with the international version of 3, getting hit when empowered by any Power-Up other than the Super Mushroom (Fire Flower, Raccoon Tail, Tanooki Suit, Hammer Suit, Frog Suit, etc.) reverts Mario to Super Mario rather than all the way back down to regular Mario.
  • Bubbly Clouds: The second half of World 5, Sky Land/The Sky.
  • Call Back: If you beat Bowser and save the Princess, you get the message from the end of each of the first seven worlds in Super Mario Bros.: "Thank you. But our Princess is in another castle!" The game then adds, "Just kidding! Ha ha ha! Bye bye."
  • The Cameo: In the remakes, instead of generic animals, the kings of the different worlds are changed by the Koopalings into different characters from past games:
    • World 1: Grass Land: Dog -> Cobrat, from Super Mario Bros. 2
    • World 2: Desert Land/Desert Hill: Spider -> Hoopster, from Super Mario Bros. 2
    • World 3: Water Land/Ocean Side/Sea Side: Kappa -> Dino Rhino, from Super Mario World
    • World 4: Giant Land/Big Island: Dinosaur -> Donkey Kong Jr. from his eponymous game
    • World 5: Sky Land/The Sky: Vulture -> Albatoss, from Super Mario Bros. 2
    • World 6: Ice(d) Land: Sea lion -> Monty Mole, from Super Mario World
    • World 7: Pipe Land/Pipe Maze: Piranha Plant -> Yoshi, from Super Mario World
  • Cap: Mario and Luigi can only have 99 lives. The GBA remake bumps this up to 999.
  • Check Point Starvation: None of the levels in this game have checkpoints, a rarity for a Mario game. This may be because the stages are shorter than ones in most other Mario games.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The final stage, Bowser's Castle, is constructed out of distinctive red bricks not seen in the game's other castles and fortresses. During the Final Boss fight, the main way to defeat Bowser is to trick him into smashing his way through these same bricks and down into a Bottomless Pit.
  • Children in Tow: The Blooper Nanny can send its children to attack you.
  • Color-Coded Multiplayer: Played straight in the original (where Luigi is just a Palette Swap), but averted in the remakes (where he's a separate sprite).
  • Continuing Is Painful: Zigzagged. Getting a game over and continuing results being thrown back to the start of the world's map plus all action levels that you cleared get reset and have to be completed again. However, mini-fortresses and battleship levels in World 8 that were cleared previously remain as such, which also means any shortcuts you opened beforehand also remain open so you can bypass a few levels. On the plus side, all mini-games and item houses you used will regenerate upon restarting.
  • Convection Schmonvection: In addition to the typical application of this trope (being able to stand JUST above lava without getting fried), there's also the fact that in the leftmost Hand Trap level in World 8, Cheep Cheeps fly out of lava to attack you! Also, in the remakes, all Hand Trap levels have the bottom half of the background glowing red.
  • Co-Op Multiplayer: The "Progress in Turns" variation. In the GBA version, you can exchange extra lives between Mario and Luigi when they occupy the same space, while in the other versions, they enter a minigame styled after Mario Bros. where they compete for the next turn in the main game and steal each other's goal cards while they're at it. The SNES version included a battle mode completely dedicated to this minigame.
  • Covers Always Lie: A screenshot from one of the Dummied Out levels is pictured on the back of the NES game box.
  • Cranium Ride: Mario can hop on the shells of Para-Beetles to reach greater heights.
  • Dem Bones: Dry Bones, which are actually Koopa skeletons.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: You can kill the sun. And it's just as awesome as it sounds.
  • Difficulty by Region: In the original Famicom version, Mario reverts all the way back to small Mario when hit even if he's fully powered-up (Fire, Raccoon, etc). In the international versions, he reverts back to Super Mario, meaning he's able to take an extra hit. This revision would also apply to all subsequent remakes of the game, both in Japan and internationally. (The GBA version was planned to include an e-Reader switch that would bring back the original damage behavior, but it was never made, not even in Japan.)
  • Difficulty Spike: World 3 is significantly harder than either of the two previous worlds, partially because water levels tend to be harder to begin with, and also due to Boss Bass. The difficulty evens out somewhat in World 4, but then starts rising again in World 5 and never really lets up.
  • Disney Villain Death: Happens to Bowser if he is defeated the normal way by tricking him into smashing through the floor. Even if he is defeated by the Fire Flower or Hammer Suit, he falls off the screen anyway.
  • The Dragon: Ludwig is described in the strategy guide as being Bowser's second-in-command. Contrast with Super Mario World, where Larry apparently assumes this role.
  • Drought Level of Doom: In Worlds 6 and 7, Mushroom Houses are slim in comparison to earlier areas. If you use all your items in these worlds without restocking (via Game Over and farming), then you'll be in for a rude awakening for World 8, which has some of the hardest stages in the game and no Mushroom Houses at all. The N-spade panel for the card matching game won't appear even if your score goes over a multiple of 80,000.
  • Dungeon Bypass: There are two items of this sort: the P-Wing and the Lakitu's Cloud. The P-Wing grants the player a Raccoon Suit that has unlimited flight, allowing them to fly over most levels with open ceilings. The Lakitu's Cloud, on the other hand, bypasses a level entirely; however, the course won't be marked as complete. This means the player will have to replay the level if they lose a life, and it won't count towards the GBA remake's level count if skipped. Also, if you lose a life on an airship, it will try to move to a new spot past an uncleared level, forcing you to either play it it use another cloud to bypass it again.
  • Dummied Out:
    • There are fifteen (mostly) incomplete levels hiding in the coding.
    • Worlds 4-5 and 5-1 have dummied-out exits. The latter is the result of localization; a glitch in the Japanese version involving the original exit led to the US version having an alternate exit for this level, although the first one was never taken out.
    • There are even two dummied-out enemies: gold Cheep Cheeps and green Para-Beetles, both of which move faster than their red brethren.
    • Two whole sets of e-Reader cards didn't make it to the U.S., and perhaps as a result, the e-Reader content was Dummied Out in the European releases for Super Mario Advance 4. This was rectified with the Virtual Console release on the Wii U, which also has all the e-reader levels unlocked.
  • Early Installment Weirdness:
    • This is the only game in the entire series to give Luigi the Racoon and Tanuki suit instead of his unique Fox and Kitsune suits found within later appearances. Even within the various remakes of this game (which gave Luigi his current Divergent Character Evolution appearance).
    • This is the first game to have the "athletic" levels have a separate theme than the game's normal level theme. It's also the only game with an athletic theme that's not a remix of the game's main theme.
  • Easter Egg:
    • Complete the airships as Tanooki, Hammer, or Frog Mario/Luigi and the king will give a different message.
    • If a Chain Chomp tugs on its Chain 49 times, or if the clock hits 160 seconds, the Chain Chomp and all others in the level will break their chains and run off the level.
    • Selecting a previously finished level in 2-player will allow both to play an updated version of the Mario Bros. arcade game.
    • Press Select on the map screen to choose any item for use (including a warp whistle). This only works in some versions of the game.
  • Electric Jellyfish: Jelectros are underwater obstacles that spell pain for Mario and Luigi. They're also an Invincible Minor Mook, and even Super Stars and Hammer Suits can't defeat them.
  • Evil Overlord: Bowser, King of the Koopa. He has it all here; a vast army of Mooks, airships, and a kingdom that resembles Hell itself.
  • Expansion Pack: Literally "pack" - The Super Mario Advance 4 remake was compatible with Nintendo's e-Reader, and several packs of cards were sold to add new levels and give you items at any time.
  • Fake Ultimate Mook: The Giant Mooks in World 4 are no harder to kill than their normal-sized counterparts, despite towering over Mario.
  • Floating Platforms: Many levels. Notably, some of them are hanging from wires.
  • Flying Seafood Special: Much like the first game, this one has flying Cheep Cheeps that jump out of the water. Some levels also have a Boss Bass do the same thing.
  • Frickin' Laser Beams: Emerging from the statues of Bowser that litter his castle.
  • Game-Breaking Bug:
    • In world 3-9, it's possible to go behind the water in the underwater bottom half of the level, which makes it impossible to go up the pipe leading to the exit.
    • World 5 consists of two separate halves: the ground and a Bubbly Clouds upper half. The cloud map has a bit of inaccessible "land" in one corner, depicting your view of the ground far below; the airship is erroneously able to land there as though it were real terrain. Preventing this is probably the only real use for the Anchor.
    • If two sets of Hammer Brothers, or a Hammer Brother and a card matching game get on top of each other on the world map, it's possible for them to get stuck together and perpetually wander around the map, with control never being given back to the player. World 4 tends to be particularly vulnerable to this glitch, as it has three sets of Hammer Brothers all in the same area.
  • Giant Mook: Almost every enemy in World 4.
  • Graceful in Their Element: The Frog Suit is a godsend in underwater levels, giving enhanced control and the ability to stream through currents. However, as to be expected, it's painfully slow and awkward on land.
  • Green Hill Zone: World 1, Grass Land, and the first half of World 5.
  • Guide Dang It:
    • The coin ship and white Mushroom House. The former requires the tens digit of the player's score to match both digits of his or her coin countnote , and the latter requires you to collect an unspecified number of coins in an unspecified level. Of course, being an NES game, the only way to learn how to find these secrets (at the time it was originally released) was by word of mouth.note  In the case of the white mushroom houses, the coin collection requirements basically boil down to "all the coins in the autoscrolling levels" which made getting them considerably easier once you figured it out.
    • Also, several stages have numerous Super Star power-ups hidden in blocks, and can allow the player to be invincible through the entire stage. However, you have to find the actual Super Star at the beginning of the level, or use one from your inventory before entering the stage, because the subsequent blocks only contain Super Stars if you're invincible while hitting them. Qualifies as a bit of Unstable Equilibrium. This gimmick is re-used several times in New Super Mario Bros. Wii.
  • Hey, You!: Due the possibility to finish the game as Mario or Luigi without any gameplay or story changes, like many other classic games for that matter, any character referring and talking to Mario or Luigi will not address them by name.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Bowser will try to flatten Mario by jumping down on him from above. But each time, he bores a hole into the floor, going deeper and deeper, until he falls right through.
  • I Fell for Hours: World 5-2 starts the player at the top of a very long abyss. Mario or Luigi can be steered while falling downward, gathering coins in the process.
  • Infinite 1-Ups:
    • Any level with a long chain of respawning enemies (such as the pipe in 1-2 which spits out Goombas), several Bullet Bill cannons near each other (e.g., World 4-5), three Dry Bones in the same vicinity, or a Koopa close to a Bullet Bill cannon (see the image at the article), to say nothing of the goal cards. Even a not-so-great player can easily hit the cap of 99 (or 999 on GBA) lives.
    • While not necessarily infinite, the Fortress in World 7 involves a room with a Switch Block, hundreds of bricks, and no enemies. Once you hit the Switch Block, you have plenty of time to get enough coins for at least one 1-Up, and you can reset the room as often as you like by leaving and re-entering.
  • Infinity+1 Sword: The Hammer Suit. Its hammers can kill any enemy vulnerable to fireballs, and can also take out Boo Diddly, Thwomp, and Stretch - enemies that normally can only be killed by a Starman. Ducking in the Hammer Suit makes Mario curl up and grants him immunity to fireballs as well. Naturally, the Hammer Suit is extremely rare and for many players, it's just Too Awesome to Use. About the only things Mario can't do while wearing it are slide downhill and fly.
  • Kaizo Trap:
    • After Bowser is defeated, you still remain in control of your character. If you must do a Victory Dance, care not to fall into the same pit Bowser fell into... though if you defeated him with the Fire Flower or Hammer Suit, there's no hole to fall into.
    • Some levels have enemies at the very end where the level goal is, serving to trip up players who bum rush blindly when they see the background change.
  • Kid-Appeal Character: Toad isn't the only one here. The Koopalings, introduced in the game, bring some kid-of-heel technicality to the Mario franchise. Of course, Koopalings are cruel.
  • Kill It with Fire: Unlike in Super Mario World, the Fire Flower is still a primo power-up, and works against many otherwise intimidating baddies.
  • Knight of Cerebus: Bowser. While not as extreme as Super Mario 64 and the Super Mario Galaxy games, his letter with him gloating about kidnapping Peach again causes a Mood Whiplash and after reading it it instantly cuts to Mario arriving in Bowser's kingdom, which resembles Hell. You don't see Bowser himself until the very end of his castle, in which he just jumps right into the final battle.
  • Law of 100: Gathering 100 coins still nets you a 1-up, just like in the first Super Mario Bros.
  • Levels Take Flight: All of the airship stages are presented as auto-scrolling, obstacle course style levels above the clouds. Oftentimes, players have to cross bottomless pits using bolt lifts, which require you to jump repeatedly to move them forward.
  • Lighter and Softer: A relatively mild example, but the 16-bit versions of World 8 had a considerably lighter color palette. The 8-bit version by comparison had a much darker palette and a bleaker overall feel.
  • Marathon Level: World 6 has ten levels, along with three mini-fortress levels. Luckily, you don't have to complete all the normal levels to beat the world, but if you want 100% Completion in the GBA remake, you'll have to do it all.
  • Macro Zone: World 4, Giant Land/Big Island. Some levels even have doors that change the level's size, foreshadowing Super Mario 64's Tiny-Huge Island.
  • Meaningless Lives: The GBA remake plays with this trope; it allows you to donate some of your lives to the other player, and vice versa.
  • Mini-Dungeon: This is the first Mario game to introduce the Fortresses, which serve this purpose. The status they used to have as end-of-world levels in the previous games was downgraded to a middle-point stage whose completion merely opens locked gates to create shortcuts that help the player skip levels if all lives are lost.
  • Mission Control: Princess Peach sends you telegrams at the end of each World, along with an item. The final letter is from Bowser, gloating about kidnapping the Princess again.
  • Mordor: World 8, Dark Land/Castle of Koopa/Bowser's Castle, takes place in a lava-filled ruin.
  • Musical Theme Naming:
    • Most of the Koopalings are all named after famous musicians: Ludwig von Koopa, Lemmy Koopa, Roy Koopa, Iggy Koopa, Larry Koopa, and Wendy O. Koopa. The semi-exception is Morton Koopa, Jr., named after Morton Downey, Jr., who had little success as a musician but much more as a obnoxious talk show host.
    • The Boo enemy, which debuted in this game, is here called Boo Diddley.
  • New Game+: On the original NES version, clearing the game and starting over without resetting the console loads your inventory with P-Wings. This bonus was not carried over to its ports, likely because of their added saving ability.
  • Nintendo Hard: Not as unforgivably difficult as Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels, but still rather hard. The difficulty really peaks in World 7. (World 8, by contrast, tends to look harder than it is.)
  • No Name Given: The Koopalings in the Famicom version. Their names were established during the U.S. localization of the game, and were named after musicians.
  • Nothing but Skulls: Some of the areas on the World 8 map are adorned with skulls.
  • Nothing Is Scarier: The first fortress in World 7 has no enemies except for the boss; in their place are the empty holders for Rotodiscs and Hot Foots, and the blocks for Stretch Ghosts. It also has no obvious way out.
  • One-Hit Kill: Boss Bass. Appearing in two levels in World 3, it jumps out of the water trying to engulf you, and if it does, you instantly lose a life, even if you were powered-up. This results in 3-3 and 3-8 being That One Level to many players.
  • 1-Up:
    • Just like in the first Super Mario Bros. game, special mushrooms give 1-ups, and one is awarded every 100 coins. There are also goal cards at the end. Any combination of three grants a 1-up, and gathering all mushrooms, all flowers, or all stars grants 2-, 3-, and 5-ups, respectively. In addition, the spade game offers 2-, 3-, or 5-ups for matching up a picture, and you can earn a 1-up in the card matching game.
    • The Game Boy Advance version kicks those spade games up a notch by giving you a heart game once you clear the spade, in which the Star is replaced with a Leaf that'll give you seven lives. Clear that, and you get to play a club game where the Leaf is replaced with a big "3" that'll give you 10 lives. Clear THAT for a diamond game, where the slots are all rigged with one symbol. After playing the diamond game, it reverts back to a spade.
  • Palette Swap: Mario and Luigi in the NES version, and most of the enemies in all versions. Also, Larry and Iggy are head swaps of each other in this game, as are Morton and Roy.
  • Palmtree Panic: World 3, Water Land/Ocean Side/Sea Side; overlaps with Under the Sea.
  • Pipe Maze: World 7, Pipe Land/Pipe Maze.
  • Player Tic: One of the most well known ones. Players tend to jump to grab the wand in mid-air after defeating a Koopaling.
  • Power-Up:
    • Along with the Mushroom, Fire Flower, and Super Star from the original game, this game introduced the Raccoon Leaf, which allowed Mario to take flight and whack enemies with his tail.
    • In addition, this game has several powerups unique to itself: the Tanooki Suit, a souped-up Raccoon Leaf with the ability to transform into a statue; the Hammer Suit, which destroyed almost anything with hammers that travel in an arc; the Frog Suit, which allows for easier control underwater but lessened control on land; and Goomba's Shoe, which allowed safe crossing over spikes and Munchers, but was only available in World 5-3.
    • The GBA version added the Cape Feather from Super Mario World, as well as a brand new item, a blue boomerang that you can toss around not unlike the Boomerang Bros. These were only available via e-Reader cards, however.
  • Quirky Miniboss Squad: The Koopalings debut here, as the boss of the Airship level for each world.
  • Remilitarised Zone: The Airship levels that serve as the end-of-world challenges. World 8 also features Tank and Battleship levels along with the Airships.
  • Rouge Angles of Satin: In one of the bonus games, Toad says "Miss twice and your out." It was later changed to "You can only miss twice," because there wasn't any room in the text box for an apostrophe. The Super NES version brought back the original message, and the GBA version corrected it.
  • Save-Game Limits:
    • Even though this game is exceptionally long by prior games' standards, there is no save feature. The SNES remake allows saving at any time, with the consequence of having to restart at the beginning of the current World. The GBA remake also features a Suspend Save feature, along with a more permanent saving feature upon clearing any Fortress or Airship.
    • The Wii Virtual Console rerelease can suspend the game at any point if you return to the Wii menu and then reload the exact same state when you load up the game again. The Wii U and 3DS Virtual Console versions even allow you to save an actual save state that can be reloaded at any time.
  • Save the Princess: A Double Subversion. The main plot of the game is to rescue the kings of the various kingdoms. For most of the game, the princess is safe at home in the Mushroom Kingdom, sending you letters and gifts. It isn't until you beat World 7 where your usual letter is instead from Bowser proudly claiming that he has kidnapped the princess while you were away (which was his plan all along, kings or Peach.). Only the Game Boy Advance version decides to fill you in on this plot development if you skipped to World 8 by warping.
  • Schrödinger's Gun: There's two slightly different Boss Rooms in Bowser's Castle, with both having a holding cell behind them. No matter which one you go to, you'll always face Bowser there and find Princess Peach in the room behind.
  • Set Bonus: Using two warp whistles at once (that is, using a warp whistle while already in the Warp Zone) is the quickest ticket to World 8.
  • Sequel Difficulty Drop: Compared to The Lost Levels. Granted, this game isn't very easy either.
  • Shifting Sand Land: World 2, Desert Land/Desert Hill. A few levels in World 7 are also desert-themed.
  • Ship Level: The airship stages at the end of every world.
  • Shoo Out the Clowns: World 8 is the only world in the game in which Mushroom People do not appear. Even in the two outdoor field levels, the color scheme is dark and the cave music is used.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Show Within a Show: It's implied that the game is a stage play; props cast shadows on the background, floating platforms hang from wires, the end of each level looks like a backstage area, and curtains even rise and fall when the game begins and ends. Shigeru Miyamoto himself confirmed this in September 2015.
  • Slippy-Slidey Ice World: World 6, Ice(d) Land.
  • Speed Run: This legendary 11-minute speedrun of the game, probably the most famous tool-assisted speedrun on the Internet, though it has since been surpassed... while controlling three other Super Mario Bros. games with the same "controller" simultaneously.
  • The Spiny: Not just the Trope Namer type, but also a second, bouncing type. Neither can be stomped on, but both can be killed with fireballs or tail-whips.
  • Spiritual Successor: There's two of them.
  • Sprint Meter: Inverted with the game's P-Meter, in which you run at full speed whenever it's full and can fly if you have the Raccoon Leaf or Tanooki Suit.
  • Tanuki: The Tanooki Suit allows Mario or Luigi to temporarily turn into a statue.
  • Timed Mission: As per Super Mario Bros. standards, each level is on a time limit. The underground warp levels are the only ones that don't have a time limit.
  • Totally Radical: Bowser opens his letter to Mario with "Yo!"
  • Too Awesome to Use:
    • The Tanooki suit and the Hammer Brothers suit. You can waste other powerups willy-nilly even if you die, because Mushrooms, Fire Flowers, and Raccoon Leaves are a dime a dozen. But Tanooki Suits and Hammer Suits can be counted on one hand each... (The Frog Suit is similar in terms of rarity, but only useful in underwater areas.)
    • The Hammer. Do you use it in World 2 to grab an early Frog Suit and the final Warp Whistle? Or do you save it for World 3's lengthy series of Toad Houses and Spade Panels to accumulate items and extra lives?
  • Tower of Babel: Mario and Luigi must ascend a spiral-shaped tower to reach the clouds of Sky Land. There is speculative debate as to whether the familiar looking Tower was inspired by the Tower of Babel or Mount Purgatorio.
  • Tremor Trampoline: If Mario or Luigi is stunned by a Ground Pound from a Sledge Bros. or from some of the Koopalings, they'll bounce up and down in place for a few moments. After defeating Bowser, the resulting impact from down below will also bounce Mario or Luigi high into the air if they're standing on the ground.
  • Trial-and-Error Gameplay: In the pyramid level in Desert Land, there is a hill you can slide down and take out a few Buzzy Beetles along the way, only to fall directly into a pit that happens to be at the bottom. There is absolutely no way to know this is there the first time you play the game.
  • Turtle Power: Koopas and Bowser yet again, along with the introduction of the Koopalings.
  • Under the Sea: These levels begin to appear in World 3, but they occasionally appear in worlds after that. Their overall design is more complex than that of the water levels in Super Mario Bros. 1, which is why this game introduced a swimming power-up (the Frog Suit) so Mario and Luigi can move more freely.
  • Undesirable Prize: There are a couple of mushroom houses late in the game that have a chance of giving you either a Tanuki suit, a Hammer Bros. suit, or a Frog suit. Particularly as these houses come up well after World 3 (the only place players generally want to have the Frog suit's improved underwater maneuverability), getting the Frog suit is seen as a huge letdown. However, there are a few underwater passages and secret rooms that are difficult or impossible to navigate without it.
  • Unique Enemy: Goombas in their shoes, Para-Beetles, Spiny Cheep Cheeps, and homing Missile Bills all turn up in exactly one level apiece. Also, a single fire breathing Nipper Plant appears in World 7-8.
  • Unlockable Content: Super Mario Advance 4 enters full-on New Game+ mode once a perfect clear is achieved in each world. Additionally, there are certain game features that only come to effect if certain e-Reader cards were swiped. These range from gameplay features from other Mario games, to different kinds of Mercy Modes, to making the game harder.
  • Video Game Remake: Two of them; Super Mario All-Stars for the SNES included the game with a 16-bit graphical overhaul, along with a revamped Battle Mode, and remixed music. This remake was later released as Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros. 3 for the Game Boy Advance, which added e-Reader support and voice acting.
  • Villain Ball: Bowser takes it and runs with it at the end of World 7. His master plan to distract the Mario brothers while he kidnapped the Princess worked great. Too bad he had to send Mario a letter taunting him and telling him exactly where to find her.
  • Wake-Up Call Boss: While Larry Koopa and Morton Koopa Jr. aren't really any more difficult than any Boom Boom (save for adding some easily avoidable projectile attacks), Wendy O. Koopa ramps up the difficulty by throwing rings which bounce around the room and makes it much harder to safely hit her. All of the subsequent bosses do something to make the battle that little bit trickier.
  • Warp Whistle: Trope Namer; there are three of them which take you to a Warp Zone. In the NES version, this is the only way to quickly jump to whatever world you left off at, due to the lack of a save feature.
  • Weaponized Offspring: Yellow Paragoombas attack by releasing Micro Goombas from the air. Similarly, Blooper Nannies send their Blooper Babies to swarm Mario underwater.
  • Wham Episode: Peach is just fine up until the end of World 7, at which point Bowser comes back and kidnaps her!
  • When All Else Fails, Go Right: Averted in World 5-3, but otherwise played straight.
  • Wrap Around: There are certain vertically oriented levels (mostly in World 7) that have left / right wraparound and are only one screen wide.
  • Your Princess Is in Another Castle: Jokingly referenced by the Princess herself in the original version of the game:
    "Thank you. But our princess is in another castle! ...Just kidding! Ha ha ha! Bye bye."

Alternative Title(s): Super Mario Bros 3

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/VideoGame/SuperMarioBros3