Konami Used Super Mario Bros 3 Code for a Tiny Toons Video Game

Promotional art for Super Mario Bros 3, the game Tiny Toons Adventures reverse-engineered.

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Konami Used Super Mario Bros 3 Code for a Tiny Toons Video Game

October 6, 2021

By: Brian Renadette

 
 

90's kids may remember the cartoon show Tiny Toon Adventures, which had several different video games for the NES, SNES, and PS1. One of these games, Tiny Toon Adventures for the NES, may have reverse-engineered some Super Mario Bros 3 code to make their game.

In a French blog post (translated via Google Translate) by Upsilandre, the author talks about how they like unearthing the influences between games, such as the Famicom Star Wars game inspired by Alex Kidd. However, in the case of Tiny Toon Adventure, Upsilandre suspects that the game took more than some inspiration from Super Mario Bros 3, a highly popular game that nearly had a PC port. Their suspicions first stemmed from how similar the gameplay is, with players jumping on enemies to defeat them, being able to slide down hills, and various abilities accessed through either power-ups or other members of the Tiny Toon cast. With these, among other, strangely similar surface elements noted, Upsilandre started digging into the Tiny Toon and Super Mario Bros 3 code to find evidence that's less accessible, but much more revealing.

In this tweet above, which you may have seen circulating on Twitter, Upsilandre shows how both games feature three speeds of movement with the same pixel per frame speed, same requirements to reach the third speed, and dedicated animations for the third speed. Super Mario Bros 3 features a Power Meter that shows when Mario has hit top speed, but Tiny Toon has the same end code that fills the same gauge internally, with the main difference being it isn't displayed on the HUD. "Chance has nothing to do with it," Upsilandre says after showing other comparisons with physics and camera movement. "It's not even possible to achieve all of this just by watching the game run, empirically, as other developers did in their attempts at mimicry."

The full blog post can be found here.

 
 
A picture of me, Brian Renadette
Staff Writer

I am a graduate of Southern New Hampshire University with a major in writing and a minor in gaming. I have a passion for video games and writing. I also enjoy volunteering at my local SPCA by walking the dogs.

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