Super Mario Bros. 3 Box Features Mystery Level

Will Thompson On April 10, 2009 10.04.2009 with 54 Comments

While I was researching the design of old video game boxes for an assignment, I happened to come across a unique screen shot on the back of Super Mario Brothers 3. The box featured an unplayable level that I don’t remember ever playing. I find it strange that levels were cut out of the game but left on the box to tease you. Has anyone ever notice anything similar to this happening on other game boxes?

54 Responses to “Super Mario Bros. 3 Box Features Mystery Level”

  1. Josh says:

    This drove me crazy for years as a kid!! I kept trying and trying to find this level. There is only one level in the game with those enemies and it is in the sky world. It completely takes place in the clouds. It makes me wish there was a level editor with the game, that would have rocked!

  2. Yes, I always noticed this too growing up. This also is the case on the back of Super Mario Bros. 2 box art. There’s a winter scene that doesn’t exist. check it out!

  3. Damien says:

    I don’t believe this! I’m going to play the game this weekend now.

  4. TBlack says:

    Couldn’t you unlock that level using the E-Reader for the GBA version?

  5. Kale says:

    Has anyone compared it with the Japanese version? There were all kinds of art changes between the Japanese and the North American versions….

  6. DaveRage says:

    Wow, good eye!

  7. peshue says:

    The world 1 map is different also.

  8. bigSaskatuna says:

    Wasn’t there a gun on the back of the goldeneye box that was never in the game, check it out http://www.gamefaqs.com/console/n64/image/197462.html?box=42225

  9. Marc says:

    I find this stuff fascinating!

    For whatever reason, it’s quite common that the boxart etc is designed/produced some time in advance of a game’s completion but nevertheless it’s still nice to get a glimpse into what may have been :)

  10. J@]{O says:

    I think that is the original design for the RPC90 in the Goldeneye screen

  11. Craig says:

    I also remember Goldeneye had that island you couldn’t get to in the Dam level. Bond was supposed to be able to get to it by boat, but decided against it. They removed the boat, but kept the island in the game. It wasn’t on the box art, but it was a cool easter egg.

  12. RPGeno says:

    One of the screenshots on the box for Twilight Princess shows a magic meter, even though there isn’t any magic meter in-game.

  13. Cory says:

    Similar to Goldeneye, Timesplitters 2 has a gun on the back of the box that isn’t in the game.

  14. Lite (on a crappy PC!!) says:

    There was a vide for Sonic in Brawl on the Smash Bros website that showed a scene from Subspace Emmisary that wasn’t in the game. It showed Mario running through the jungle, then getting run over by Sonic.

  15. Phil Myth says:

    @ Bigsaskatuna, yeah I remember that pic, could never work out why they’d put a screen of the game on the box that obviously wasn’t included in the actual game :P.

  16. Owilde says:

    If I’m not mistaken you can see this screen in this post on youtube. The music notes are throughout this video. Have a look at

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xmmz7SOToXs

  17. Damien says:

    Way to waste my time Owilde…

  18. kev says:

    also in one of the screenshots on the back of the wii version os zelda:twilight princess, a majic bar is shown whih was removed from the game

  19. HyperSonic says:

    @Lite: You sure that was supposed to be in the SSE? I’m pretty sure that was just a promotional video for the announcement of Sonic being included in Brawl.

  20. Lite (on a crappy PC!!) says:

    @ HyperSonic:

    When Mario gets run down, he pulls an animation you can’t see in the game.

  21. elfman13 says:

    That might be one of the levels in the gba version that are unlocked with the e-reader

  22. [...] Infendo pointed out a screenshot on the back of the original box for Super Mario Bros. 3 that doesn’t actually appear anywhere in the game. In fact, those bad guys that you see only show up in one level and it looks nothing like that level on the box. Is it possible that this level is in the Japanese version of the game, or has it remained hidden for all these years? Share and Enjoy: [...]

  23. [...] Link [via] Read More Super Mario Bros. Matryoshka Dolls Remind Us of the MotherlandThe Super Mario theme has lyrics?Sweet Super Mario Brothers 3 T-ShirtSuper Mario Bros. Wall DecalsSuper Mario Power Up! Energy Drink Makes You Crash Harder Than Luigi On A Bender TAGS: cheat, easter egg, hidden level, luigi, missing, nintendo, super mario 3, super mario bros, super mario bros. 3 SHARE: Stumble Upon, Digg, del.icio.us, Reddit this, SlashdotSend to a FriendPermalink [...]

  24. asd says:

    Zelda: OOT box has screenshots from beta, never seen on any version of the game.

  25. Tyker says:

    On the back of the KotOR box, just about every screenshot has some impossibility in it – jedi PC on Taris, wookie w/ lightsabers, etc etc.

  26. Annie Moose says:

    If you look at the Half Life 2 art, Alyx is carrying a wrench- it was initially intended to be her weapon, like Gordon’s crowbar, but they decided it was too similar to the crowbar so it was taken out.

  27. Fred says:

    TF2. Trailer: Demoman Dynamite
    Game: No Demoman Dynamite

  28. John Wesley says:

    On the back of the CD case for Spryo the Dragon 2 for PS1 there is a picture of Spyro using a powerup that is not available in-game, even with hacks. :/

  29. Steed says:

    “The box featured an unplayable level that I don’t remember ever playing”

    An unplayable level you’ve never played? Speaky English good so not me very much you thank!

  30. Dustin says:

    On the back of my Ocarina of Time box, there’s a picture that shows Malon in Hyrule market, but the player already has a magic meter. I don’t think that’s possible.

  31. [...] Super Mario Bros. 3 Hidden Levels, and other Super Mario Bros. series glitches The story on Infendo that is currently at the top of Reddit’s “Gaming Subreddit” pointed out that [...]

  32. fffffff says:

    Myth 3 had a lot of claims on the back of the box for features and modes that weren’t actually included in the game.

    But it was garbage.

    It also featured some options in the game that were permanently grayed out and not accessible.

  33. Jeff says:

    I can’t believe nobody’s noticed the first screenshot on the box – that isn’t the same map of World 1 as is in the game!

  34. CorvosKK says:

    On the box for Zelda: Twilight Princess, it shows a screenshot from one of the beta builds where Link still used magic. They eventually took the use of magic out of the game, but left the screenshot on the box.

  35. video games says:

    The Chrono Trigger box art featured the ice-using character (Marle) using fire magic (which is Lucca’s power). The characters are fighting an enemy (I forget his name; he’s a boss) on a mountain (Death Peak). In the game, you fight that enemy in a cave. Death Peak is in the future era, and the cave is in the present era. At the base of the mountain, you see a town, which is non-existant in the game.
    I found the Chrono Trigger box art to be unbelievably flawed…

  36. XxStRaDaxX says:

    Mass Effect Trailers:Possible to change between characters e.g Krogan e.t.c
    Mass Effect Game: AI controls squad instead

    Fallout 3 screenshots: Cryolator gun that can freeze people
    Fallout 3 Game:A gun that fires coffee mugs

    Mercenaries 2 trailers/ screenshots :Zippo Lighter for burning fuel or trees
    Mercenaries 2 game: No lighter

    Fable 2 Designer Peter Molyneux’s Promises : Family that grows up and changes
    Fable 2 Game: A bunch of whiny brats that refuse to help me shoot bandits

    Call of Juarez 2 Trailers: Co op similar to Army of Two
    Call of Juarez 2 Game : Me helping some twit of an AI

  37. eric says:

    @XxStRaDaxX:

    I dont know about the others, but Im certain the fallout 3 gun that fires coffee mugs is the Rock-It-Launcher?

  38. Greg says:

    Chrono Trigger’s box art is correct, they’re using the triple tech, arc impulse, I believe. It looks just like the box cover.

  39. David says:

    This also happens with the Wii version of Twilight Princess, inone of the pics you can see a green magic bar below link’s hearts and you never get that on the game and if you look closely to the GameCube version you will see that same pic flipped to make Link left handed and the green bar is gone

  40. Answer says:

    This is a secret level which i saw on a youtube video with the some Asian characters and showed the secret room where if you are really good can match the sounds of the bgm with noises made by you or objects

  41. To be honest with you, I wouldnt have ever noticed anything like that. Unless the screenshot was totally different (like a forza screenshot on COD) im pretty sure I wouldnt be able to tell.

  42. Collin says:

    I once saw a map design of Super Mario World in Nintendo Power magazine (maybe I’ll look it up and scan it when I’m home if anyone’s interested). On this map it was possible to get to an island above that mountain thing on top of the map…I couldn’t find any hidden level, so probably it doesn’t exist!

  43. Lisa says:

    @ Collin
    That island does exist, i have been on it.

  44. AnonDude says:

    I LOST THE GAME BECAUSE OF YOU!

  45. JOSE says:

    I once read in a nintendo magazine, that says it was prototype of super mario bros 3, and they removed that level and changed the world 1 map for the final release, thats the reason, it drove me crazy for some time until i read that, anyways i will check jap version if there is something diferent

  46. JOSE says:

    Like the world -1 in mario bros 1, it was a programming error, for IT people imagine an infinite loop, it would be that

  47. Anonymous says:

    There is actually some unused levels in the game’s code but you cannot play but one level with a game genie but the rest of the levels you cannot play without hacking.

  48. [...] Super Mario Bros. 3 Box Features Mystery Level [@] Infendo Tweet Tags: NES, Nintendo, Secret Levels, Super Mario Bros 3 You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed. [...]

  49. dnonamus says:

    Someone mentioned Golden eye (64) there are also other Bonds on the cover (sean connery in a white tux etc.) however no other Bonds exist even with the all characters cheat.

  50. mario346kha says:

    That level is actually in the Beta Version…
    No Joke…. this is the link to the Video of Beta Version of this game:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ov8A5tz8MU0

  51. SeanRamey says:

    If you also look at the other two screen shots, you will see that World 1 Map is a bit different. Notice that there isn’t a toad house near the hammer bros by the castle, and the locked door is in a different spot, and level 1-2 is in a slightly different spot, and the slot matching game is on the left of the fortress instead of the right. Also, I don’t remember the 3rd screenshot actually being in the game either, lol.

  52. simon says:

    the world 1 map can revert to that other map sometimes in game, i dont remember why or how to do it but in about 500-1000 play throughs as a kid the world one map looked like that ONCE in all that time lol!

  53. Jeremy says:

    I think that level was later altered to become Sky World level 6 where the flying beetles actually were included. In the beta there were tons of other levels that were not included in the final builds of the game. Some levels modified from the original beta were brought to SMB3 for Super Mario Advance 4 (GBA) through the e-Reader level cards.

  54. Benjamin says:

    Yes!! I noticed this in 1990 or 91 during the original relapse of the game. I was just sitting here telling my friend about it, which led me here. No explanation that I have found, as yet.

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