Releases

The two versions compared on this page:

Region Title Release date Platform
Japan スーパーマリオブラザーズ3
Super Mario Brothers 3
10/23/1988 Nintendo Famicom
USA Super Mario Bros. 3 2/12/1990 Nintendo Entertainment System

1½ extra seconds

Super Mario Bros. 3 has an iris-out effect when you start a level from the map screen. It is no different in the Japanese version, except that it has an iris-in effect before the level starts. Below is an animation for your viewing convenience.

Animated GIF by CPU3X.

This effect was omitted in the U.S. version, reducing the wait time by about 1½ seconds.

Ouch

In the Japanese SMB3, Super/Fiery/Raccoon/Frog/Tanooki/Hammer Mario all will revert to small Mario after taking damage. The U.S. version is more lenient, allowing a damaged Fiery/Raccoon/Frog/Tanooki/Hammer Mario to regress only one step to Super Mario.

Mushroom House wait

The Japanese version lets you move before Toad is done talking, but the U.S. version makes you wait until all the text has appeared. If they didn't change the wait time in the U.S. version, you would be able to move right after the second line of text finished.

World 1-Fortress

The rising-and-falling spiked ceiling originally had four more spikes after the door. The right wall was extended two blocks to the left, deleting the spikes in the U.S. version. I would say the change actually made this part easier.

Thanks: Rebeka Thomas.

King's chamber

When we find out the king has been transformed, we also see that his room is a bit different. In the U.S. version, Mario starts out closer to the steps, one column is missing, the stairs were lengthened, and the column on the right side of the screen is now in front of the steps. In the background, the shadows were switched, and the huge upside-down triangles changed in color and size. Also, the throne and stair tops were changed from cyan to gold, resulting in a slightly more colorful room.

King me

In case you were wondering, Super Mario All-Stars used the original throne room from the Japanese version. Mario even starts out on the left there, too.

Change of suit

In the Japanese SMB3, when Frog/Tanooki/Hammer Mario takes damage, you'll hear a "bloop" sound as an outline of the suit leaves Mario's body. We didn't get to see the suit fly off in the U.S. SMB3, but the routine returned in Super Mario All-Stars' SMB3.

Chomped!

Treasure Ship

There is a trick you can do that will turn a Wandering Hammer Brother on the map screen into a Treasure Ship. If you've ever done it, you may have noticed a weird symbol on the ship's sail. Believe it or not, it is the kanji character for "treasure." (Kanji are Chinese characters used in Japanese writing.)

Takara no Fune Takara

Jugem's Cloud

The Jugem's Clould item lets Mario skip over one stage on the map screen. In Japan, Lakitu is called "Jugem." Lakitu rides in a cloud similar to this one, hence the name "Jugem's Cloud."

Jugem no Kumo

Tanooki Suit

Mario's transformations into Raccoon and Tanooki Mario are actually based on Japanese mythology. A "tanooki" (really spelled tanuki) is a raccoon-like animal indigenous to Japan. In ancient Japanese tales, raccoons had quite a bit of magic power. One of their most renowned talents was the ability to shift their shapes by using leaves. They often used this to turn into humans. Other creatures, such as foxes, were also known to have these powers, but whereas foxes used this ability to often play cruel tricks on humans, raccoons were more of a nice and helpful nature. Large raccoon statues are also used in Japan as some kind of good-luck bringers.

Thanks: Toasty64, Xanatøs

Tanuki power

On the far right is a tanuki from The Legend of the Mystical Ninja (SNES), and next to that we see Rocky's transformation (from Pocky and Rocky (SNES)).

World 3-Japan

On the World 3 map screen, if you take Mario on a canoe ride to the castle, you'll pass a mushroom-shaped island on the way. The island where the castle is located also has a familiar shape: the country of Japan.

Incidentally, the castle would be in the city of Kyoto -- the location of Nintendo's headquarters. Now remember that the king of World 3 looks like Mario (Nintendo's mascot), and everything falls into place.

Thanks: Imara and Chilly the Snowman

World 5-1

The ending of World 5-1 changed a little bit here. Originally, in the Japanese version, at this point you would go through the pipe. You'd emerge on the other side of the wall, and would find the dark goal area after about 20 more blocks of vacant terrain. This ending was shortened in the U.S. version, as the "darkness" was moved ahead to where the pipe and wall used to be.

Cut short

The wall was removed to fix an odd, harmless glitch that would happen if you were to fly over the wall after going through the pipe. See the SMB3 bugs page for more details.

Kuribo's Shoe

Neat item, but who is Kuribo? The answer is simple: In Japan, the name for a Goomba is "Kuribo." Thus, the English equivalent would be "Goomba's Shoe."

Kuriboo no Kutsu

In the Japanese version, if you run into an enemy, the shoe turns red as you lose it. Unlike in the U.S. version, Mario will take damage in addition to losing the shoe. Small Mario will survive, but Super/Fiery/Raccoon/Frog/Tanooki Mario will come out small. Remember that Frog/Tanooki Mario sheds his suit when damaged (see "Change of suit"); if you lose a suit and the shoe at the same time, you'll only see the suit fly off.

Note to self: Spikes hurt.

World 8-Battleships

In the second "level" of World 8, one block was removed from the end of the last ship.

A little help...?

Mario hops from ship to ship over what appears to be hot lava, but the mystery liquid is actually safe to swim through. In the Japanese version, if Mario were to swim under or jump off the last ship, the back end is too tall for anyone except Frog Mario to jump back up. Furthermore, since this is an auto-scrolling level, Mario cannot swim back to the left because at this point the level has stopped scrolling. The block was removed to fix this problem in the U.S. version.

No joke

The Japanese SMB3 features a more serious Princess Toadstool. In the Japanese version, Princess Toadstool originally said, "Thank you! Finally, peace returns to the Mushroom World. The end!"

Hahaha! Oh, wait...

Credits

All of the world names in the credits were changed to "something Land" for the U.S. version. However, World 1: Grass Land also appeared in the Japanese version. Check the changes below. (Japanese screens shown first.) In case you were wondering, Super Mario All-Stars used the original Japanese version's names for its SMB3 credits.

Desert Hill to Desert Land
Ocean Side to Water Land
Big Island to Giant Land
The Sky to Sky Land
Iced Land to Ice Land
Pipe Maze to Pipe Land
Castle of Koopa to Dark Land

(Some of you may have the original Japanese level titles in your game because there were two slightly different U.S. versions of SMB3. Check the SMB3 info page for more details.)

It is interesting to note that neither the Japanese nor U.S. versions of SMB3 in Super Mario All-Stars are based on their respective NES versions. Instead, both games contain an amalgamation of the Japanese and U.S. versions, with the level changes (such as the world 1-1 Fortress) remaining from the U.S. version, along with the graphic "gimmicks" (such as the suit flying off effect) from the Japanese version.

Names

The following tables compare the Japanese and English manuals.

Battle Game

JapaneseEnglish
NameRōmajiTranslationName
カニさんKanisanCrab-sanCrab
ファイターフライFaitā FuraiFighter FlyFighter Fly
パワー床Pawā YukaPower FloorPOW
トゲゾーTogezōTogezōSpiny
Notes

Blocks

JapaneseEnglish
NameRōmajiTranslationName
レンガブロックRenga BurokkuBrick BlockBrick
ジャンプブロックJanpu BurokkuJump BlockJump Block
ハテナブロックHatena BurokkuQuestion BlockQuestion Block
スイッチブロックSuitchi BurokkuSwitch BlockSwitch Block

Enemies

JapaneseEnglish
NameRōmajiTranslationName
テレサTeresaTeresa"Boo" Diddly
子連れゲッソーKozure GessōGessō with KidsBlooper with kids
ボム兵BomuheiBomb SoldierBob-omb
ブンブンBunbunBoom BoomBoom Boom
ブーメランブロスBūmeran BurosuBoomerang Bros.Boomerang Brothers
逆さメットSakasa MettoUpside-down MettoBuzzy Beetle
ワンワンWanwanWanwanChain Chomp
トゲプクTogepukuTogepukuCheep-cheep
カロンKaronKaronDry Bones
ファイアブロスFaia BurosuFire Bros.Fire Brothers
ケロンパKeronpaKeronpaFire Chomp
ファイアスネークFaia SunēkuFire SnakeFiresnake
ウォークWōkuWalkHot Foot
しびれくらげShibire KurageNumbness JellyfishJelectro
スイチューカSuichūkaSuichūkaLava Lotus
マメクリボーMame KuribōMicro KuribōMicro-Goomba
ブラックパックンBurakku PakkunBlack PakkunMunchers
パタメットPatamettoPatamettoPara-Beetle
パタクリボーPatakuribōPatakuribōPara-Goomba
フーフーパックンFūfū PakkunFūfū PakkunPtooie
プーRocky Wrench
クッキーKukkīCookieRotodisc
ヒマンブロスHiman BurosuFat Bros.Sledge Brothers
ガボンGabonGabonSpike
ネッチーNetchīNetchīStretch
ドッスンDossunDossunThwomp
ファイアパックンFaia PakkunFire PakkunVenus Fire Trap
プチパックンPuchi PakkunSmall PakkunWalking Piranas
Notes
  • The Koopa Kids are not individually named in the Japanese manual. In the ending sequence of Super Mario World, the Japanese version uses their first names.
  • Boo: After SMB3, "Boo Diddly" was renamed "Boo."
  • Blooper with kids: Known as "Blooper Nanny" in Nintendo Power's SMB3 strategy guide.
  • Buzzy Beetle: Usually they are called "Metto" (short for helmet) in Japan, but the manual shows a Buzzy Beetle walking on the ceiling.
  • Chain Chomp: "Wanwan" is equivalent to the English "Bow-wow."
  • Cheep-cheep: The black, spiked Cheep-Cheep is pictured in the manual. The NP SMB3 guide calls it "Spiny Cheep-Cheep."
  • Firesnake is called "Fire Snake" in the NP SMB3 guide.
  • Lava Lotus: Suichūka is a type of artificial flower that blossoms underwater.
  • Ptooie: Fūfū is the sound of heavy breathing.
  • Rotodisc is called "Roto-Disc" in the NP SMB3 guide.
  • Thwomp: "Dossun" is from dosun, a "whomp" noise.
  • Walking Piranas: Usually the "piranha" spelling variation is used in the English games. In the SMB3 guide, these enemies are called "Nipper Plants."

Items

JapaneseEnglish
NameRōmajiTranslationName
1UPキノコ1UP Kinoko1UP Mushroom1-Up Mushroom
イカリIkariAnchorAnchor
コインKoinCoinCoin
ファイアフラワーFaia FurawāFire FlowerFire Flower
カエルスーツKaeru SūtsuFrog SuitFrog Suit
ハンマーHanmāHammerHammer
じゅげむの雲Jugemu no KumoJugem's CloudJugem's Cloud
フエFueWhistleMagic Whistle
パタパタの羽根Patapata no HanePatapata WingMagic Wing
オルゴールOrugōruMusic BoxMusic Box
スーパースターSūpā SutāSuper StarStarman
スーパーこのはSūpā KonohaSuper LeafSuper Leaf
スーパーキノコSūpā KinokoSuper MushroomSuper Mushroom
タヌキスーツTanuki SūtsuTanuki SuitTanooki Suit
Notes
  • Jugem's Cloud: "Jugem" is the Japanese name for Lakitu (he's not shown in the manual).
  • Magic Wing: The "P" on the wing comes from "Patapata," the Japanese name for Koopa Paratroopas. The Nintendo Power SMB3 strategy guide calls it "P-Wing."
  • Tanooki Suit: See the Tanooki Suit section for more infomation.

Lifts

JapaneseEnglish
NameRōmajiTranslationName
不思議リフトFushigi RifutoMystery LiftDirectional Lift
チクワリフトChikuwa RifutoChikuwa LiftDonut Lift
レールリフトRēru RifutoRail LiftRail Lift
くるくるリフトKurukuru RifutoRotary LiftRotary Lift
Notes
  • Donut Lift: Chikuwa is a tube-shaped fish paste cake.

Mario's forms

JapaneseEnglish
NameRōmajiTranslationName
ファイアマリオFaia MarioFire MarioFiery Mario
しっぽマリオShippo MarioTail MarioRaccoon Mario
スーパーマリオSūpā MarioSuper MarioSuper Mario
Special thanks to JJ for providing the Japanese manual!
Contributing: Jonathan Miller.