This week it was revealed that a demo of Super Mario Bros. 3 programmed by Id Software for the PC was donated to the Strong National Museum of Play in Rochester, New York.
The demo was worked on by Id in 1990 as a peek at how the popular Nintendo Entertainment System game could have run on PC systems. The demo was ordered by Nintendo, but the concept was ultimately scrapped with only limited Mario games coming out (which were mostly educational in nature).
The game never came to fruition but was a prototype that showed that games could run relatively smoothly on PC hardware. This was actually an achievement, as during this time many platforming games ran choppily. Examples of this can be seen in games like Mega Man, which were ported to PC and then quickly abandoned.
Speaking to Ars Technica, Strong National Museum of Play Digital Games Curator Andrew Borman said, “The individual who donated it was a game developer. It wasn’t something I expected to see in this donation, but it was extremely exciting, having seen the video Romero shared back in 2015.”
Currently, there are no plans for the demo to be displayed publicly by the museum, but it will be available for researchers who want to submit an inquiry.