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The Mario Bros. game which made that iD Software was born

Discussion in 'Console Discussion' started by alanwaston, Feb 9, 2017.

  1. alanwaston

    alanwaston Registered User

    Likes Received:
    Dec 14, 2016
    A very interesting article on how iD was born, the port of a typical console platforming sidescroller game to the PC, which was not possible before til John Carmack invented adaptive tile refresh, and how iD was created.


    Nintendo launched Super Mario Bros. 3 on the Japanese market on October 23, 1988. The company took more than a year to take it to American soil, and its arrival sparked the interest of many developers, including a group of guys called John Carmack , Tom Hall and John Romero , who created a clone of the PC game . What at first was a joke became proof of concept, and cornerstone for the saga Commander Keen.


    History tells us that the delay of Super Mario Bros. 3 in reaching the West was caused by a shortage of ROM chips during the year 1988. The American players had to wait until February of 1990 to obtain a cartridge, and August of 1991 in the Case of the PAL regions. Neither slow nor lazy, Nintendo used this gap in their favor, and took advantage of a proposal from Universal Studios to develop the movie The Wizard , which despite being a 90 minute commercial, raised the hype of Super Mario Bros. 3 to impressive levels. Fast forward to September 20, 1990. John Carmack, Tom Hall, and John Romero were then under Softdisk's wings. Carmack had succeeded in implementing an advanced method that allowed smooth, uninterrupted side- scrolling on PCs, which was very complicated at the time. Hall and Carmack left on the desk of Romero a diskette with a demo called "Dangerous Dave in Copyright Infringement" , in which the main character of the series Dangerous Dave crossed a pixel-per-pixel copy of level 1-1 in Super Mario Bros. 3.

    The demo was not only a joke, but it showed the improvements of the new method of side-scrolling that Carmack had created. Far from laughing, Romero was absorbed in the demo for three hours, and came to the conclusion that it was the key to leaving Softdisk. The rest of the programmers did not understand the value of that demo, and the company was also not very interested in the technology, since it did not work on CGA systems (required EGA at least). According to Romero, the same day id Software was born (at least in name) , with one more member: Jay Wilbur, project manager at Softdisk. The next step was to create a proof of concept for Super Mario Bros. 3 compatible PC. They needed a full week to do it, and finally a copy arrived at the headquarters in Kyoto, passing first by Nintendo of America .

    In a decision that today is not surprising at all, Nintendo executives said they were impressed by the work, but they dropped their thumbs almost immediately: The Nintendo software was to run on Nintendo hardware. Of course, that did not stop the brand new team of id Software, which began the development of the saga Commander Keen. Last Monday Commander Keen in Invasion of the Vorticons turned 25 years old, and to celebrate, Romero posted the video with the demo of Super Mario Bros. 3 above. A good memory that not only symbolizes the birth of a historical company, but the potential of computers mimicking (and later surpassing) the consoles.
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    Last edited: Mar 31, 2017

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