The kids of the 90s may remember the cartoon Little cartoon adventures, which had several different video games for the NES, SNES, and PS1. One of these games, Little cartoon adventures for the NES, may have reverse-engineered 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 to unearth influences between games, like the Famicom Star wars game inspired by Alex Kidd. However, in the case of Little cartoon adventure, Upsilandre suspects that the game was inspired more than Super Mario Bros 3, a very popular game that almost had a PC port. Their suspicions stemmed first from the similarity of the gameplay, with players jumping on enemies to defeat them, being able to glide over hills, and various abilities accessed via power-ups or other members of the little cartoon to throw. With these surface features, among others, strangely similar noted, Upsilandre began to dig into the little cartoon and Super Mario Bros 3 code to find less accessible, but much more revealing evidence.
I like this story on Konami which candidly copies Super Mario Bros 3. It deserved more than a twitter thread so I put it in the form of a more complete and detailed blog post. / A7lUuZZH4X#Retrogaming #NES #Konami #Nintendo #Super Mario Bros pic.twitter.com/FyOEyq1m4Z
– Upsilandre (@upsilandre) October 4, 2021
In this tweet above, which you may have seen circulating on Twitter, Upsilandre shows how the two games feature three motion speeds with the same pixel per frame rate, the same requirements for reaching third speed, and animations. dedicated for third gear. Super Mario Bros 3 has a power meter that shows when Mario has reached maximum speed, but little cartoon has the same end code that fills the same gauge internally, the main difference being that it is not displayed on the HUD. “Chance has nothing to do with it,” Upsilandre says after showing other comparisons to physics and camera movement. “It’s not even possible to achieve all of this just by watching the game play out, empirically, like other developers have done in their attempts at mimicry.”
The full blog article is available here.