Work In Progress “Super Mario Brothers 3” ROM Patch Adds A Long Overdue Built-In Save Feature
While there is a very large community in the world of retro video game ROM hacking, very often many of these alterations are simple graphical hacks (such as playing Donkey Kong as Pauline instead of Mario), translations from one language to another (most notably from Japanese to English), or in other cases completely retooled to make games harder. Very rarely is a ROM hack worked on that doesn’t actually alter the original game, but would add a feature behind the scenes that could be taken advantage of. Over the last few months, a ROM hack has been in the works that does just that, by adding a save feature to the most successful NES title of all time.
This new patch, which has been in the works since this past November by one who calls themselves “Infidelity”, allows players of the game to have the freedom to play the game at their own pace. We live in a world where many times we must stop playing a video game for whatever reason, and in the retro video game world, if the cartridge or title didn’t have a save feature, you were pretty much stuck keeping the game on pause until you returned. (I’m sure I just opened up a field of fond memories of everyone doing that when they were kids!) With the original game released in the USA in 1990, this new patch will take care of a problem 24 years in the making!
So you might be asking yourself what the point of all of this is. After all, there are so many alternate ways of saving your place in not just Super Mario Brothers 3, but in all NES games in general, especially if you participate in playing these classics using a computer, emulation software and some ROM images. But we live in a world where there are so many other options. This patch is created more for those that choose to play ROM images using a flashcart on actual NES hardware. By loading the Super Mario Brothers 3 ROM that has been patched with this upgrade on a flashcart, you can now play the game on your favorite CRT, and be able to save your progress as you make your way to saving the princess, again!
This past Monday brought the latest version of the patch to the public, with version 5.0 now available. While this new update fixes some problems that were found with the previously released edition, there are still some glitches to be found. In particular, resetting or turning off the system before going to the world map may cause problems with the end of level cards that you would collect. Another known issue seems to deal with the timer when using warp whistles with the world map showing a time of 400 seconds, as opposed to being reset to 000 seconds at this point. (This appears to be more of a cosmetic problem that doesn’t effect gameplay.) These have been made known to the developer and may be fixed with an upcoming update.
In order to use this patch, you must have a copy of the original ROM image that you can apply it to. Complete instructions on how to perform this task is found within the download. A short demo of the patch in action can be found on the video below.
SMB3 Save State Patch: http://acmlm.kafuka.org/board/thread.php?id=7810