New Super Mario Bros. Was Originally To Be Super Mario Advance 5

By Ishaan . December 12, 2010 . 6:01pm


When current Nintendo president, Satoru Iwata, first joined the company, he looked at a list of games in development for the Gameboy Advance. Noticing little Mario support on the list, he suggested to Mario creator, Shigeru Miyamoto, that they address the issue.


This is how the Super Mario Advance series came to be. The series originated as a project with the goal of adapting older Mario games for the GBA, under the care of Hiroyuki Kimura, and saw the release of Super Mario Bros. 2, Super Mario World, Yoshi’s Island and Super Mario Bros. 3 on the GBA.


After the advent of the Nintendo DS, Kimura thought to produce a "Super Mario Advance 5" on the system. Ultimately, this game was conceived as New Super Mario Bros., of which Kimura was producer. As soon as development of the game was completed, Kimura moved on to New Super Mario Bros. Wii.


This little fact comes from yet another Iwata Asks session celebrating Mario’s 25th anniversary. This interview sees Iwata talking to other Mario game developers over the years, including Yoshiaki Koizumi, director of Super Mario Galaxy.


At one point, Koizumi happily demonstrates for everyone how, during the development of Super Mario 64, Miyamoto once sprawled himself out on a desk and began demonstrating Mario’s swimming animation for him to observe.

  • lostinblue

    Considering all the other super mario advance games were straight ports they did well in naming itsomething else.

    • Code

      Agreed, I’ve never particularly liked those kind of naming schemes — I feel like it takes a little away from the individual identity of a game.

  • I had a good time with New Super Mario Bros Wii. I never tried any of the handheld mario offerings. Though if NWSMBW had its origins on it, then it must have been a great experience on the handheld especially the multiplayer component. Me and my roommates had an awesome time, though they always called me selfish with the powerups, and one of them would always try to throw me to my death, and another would always try to speed run in the level, it was crazy.

    • shion16

      Its a great game and a funny way to spend with friends
      my only complain was that it was too easy , except for the last world

  • M’iau M’iaut

    Nintendo should get more credit for their willingness to adapt in development properties as systems evolve. In addition to this example, you’ve got Super Mario Galaxy going all the way back to a SM64 sequel and both initial Zelda’s for the GC and Wii.

    By doing this. Ninty always has major franchises ready to go for a new system either at or near launch. And with a dev cycle that is further along than immediately obvious, the quality of these first party flagship titles can be quite high.

  • “At one point, Koizumi happily demonstrates for everyone how, during the development of Super Mario 64, Miyamoto once sprawled himself out on a desk and began demonstrating Mario‚Äôs swimming animation for him to observe.”

    Man if they had recorded that (and other bizzare behind the scenes stuff) and put that on a disk as part of the Super Mario All-Stars 25th anniversary, that would have made me buy it :D.

    • Avojavo

      It’s hard to find a boss who’s willing to make a fool of himself. Ah, what I’d do to work in such a corporate culture…

  • malek86

    And thus, we never got an original 2D Mario on the GBA.

    I must say that, in retrospect, the Advance feels a bit like the stepchild of Nintendo’s portables, even from Nintendo themselves. Many of its games were SNES ports rather than original titles, and the GC connectivity was almost universally ignored. It also had a pretty short lifespan overall, with the DS being announced fairly quickly, only four years after release. It’s like they made zero effort with it, and after a while didn’t even want to bother anymore.

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