Mario and a pyrana plant from ID Software's 1990s Super Mario Bros 3 PC demo

John Romero released a video today showcasing ID Software's pitch for a PC version of Super Mario Bros 3 (the video is embedded below). As you might know that didn't go over well with Nintendo but all of the hard work on the PC demo wasn't scrapped, the lessons learned there went in to the creation of the very first Commander Keen, a game series very dear to me.

Can you actually believe its been exactly 25 years since Commander Keen first released? I was only born shortly after that and somehow I still feel old because that series is one of my earliest memories on the PC.

The reason the PC demo of Super Mario Bros 3 was a big deal is because PCs couldn't do scrolling graphics really well until Carmack, the tech genius that he is, figured out how to do smooth scrolling in all directions, quite the feat at that time.

Its a shame Nintendo isn't the most talkative of companies because I would love to know what's their side of the whole story and why they decided to ignore the idea of a Super Mario Bros 3 port on the PC. I doubt there was much overlap between PC and console users back in the day so I can't imagine that Super Mario Bros 3 appearing on the PC would cannibalize their console sales.

But despite the fact that I only got to play Super Mario when I was a whole lot older I am still happy, in an odd way, that ID Software's demo got canceled because from there on they went to make some truly amazing games that defined the whole PC gaming ecosystem.

So happy birthday Commander Keen, you might not be the most well known series around but you are massive to me. 

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