This is not a rehash of the “4 Sega Genesis Super Mario Ports You Don’t Know About” article. Instead, this article is less console specific and more varied in content covered. Here I will take a look at several of the unlicensed Mario games that have been made over the years. The platforms covered here run the gamut of NES (yes, there are unlicensed Mario games for it) to the ZX Spectrum (a gaming computer we never got in North America). It is quite a storied history here so enjoy.
1- Super Mario Bros for the ZX Spectrum
I am not all that familiar with the ZX Spectrum so please forgive me for getting some of the hardware details wrong here. This version looks quite good actually. It is basically black and white with limited animation. The backgrounds change color to give the allusion of colors in the level. The ZX Spectrum is capable of some great detail as evidenced in Castlevania: Spectral Interlude.
2- Super Mario Bros for the Atari 2600
Depending on your view of things, this version may be better looking than the ZX Spectrum version. Since this is Atari 2600, forget super detailed levels and amazing animation. What is here is quite cool though and shows the system is capable of action games like Super Mario Bros (a long standing belief otherwise debunked).
3- John Romero’s Super Mario Bros 3 on PC
Yes, one of the men behind Doom and Wolfenstein 3D was involved with a homebrew port of Super Mario Bros 3 to the PC. Actually, pretty much the whole team that became the key founders of id Software were involved in this port. Too bad Nintendo turned it down. Read more in my article “Super Mario Bros 3 for PC Shown by John Romero”.
4- Super Mario World for the MSX2
This is another title that I have covered before (Bandit Gaming- Super Mario World Being Ported to the MSX2). Progress has been made but there is obviously a bit more to work on, particularly the speed of certain enemies. Otherwise, this one is looking quite good.
5- Super Mario World for NES
I saved this one for last because it looks so good. Sure, there are missing details but for the most part, the homebrew developers have kept close to the source. Very cool port. Definitely worth checking out.
Got a great port of a game to a system it probably shouldn’t be on? Let me know in the comments or contact me here on the site.