Long before the Internet brought us nonstop gaming news and livestreams of the next big thing, we relied on monthly magazines for our information. We were hungry for information. At the age of eight years old in 1989, I was starving for all I could get on the Super Mario series of games, so when I was given a free copy of the first issue of GamePro magazine in April 1989 at a Toys R Us, my little heart skipped a beat when, while browsing through the magazine, I came across a full three-page article on the first news on Super Mario Bros. 3. Though the game was still a year away from launching in North America, those three pages were my bible for the next several months as I dissected as much as possible from them in advance of Nintendo Power starting to ramp up coverage later in the year. Over on Twitter, VideoGameArt&Tidbits has posted that GamePro article for all to see so that everyone can experience the excitement of Super Mario Bros. 3.
Super Mario Bros 3 article from GamePro issue 1 (1989). pic.twitter.com/Pf19hvff9Q— VideoGameArt&Tidbits (@VGArtAndTidbits) November 3, 2016
Of course, now we know that GamePro didn't have a spy inside Nintendo. They bought a copy of Super Mario Bros. 3 from Japan where it had gone on sale in October 1988, but as kids we didn't know anything about staggered release windows. This article is so comprehensive because the writer played the complete, finished product. On the first page of the article there's mention of "the Kuppa King" which, properly localized, is of course King Koopa. Again, as a kid I didn't understand that translation and localization isn't an exact science, so I interpreted this Kuppa as a new character and couldn't understand how he related to Koopa. I asked my loving grandfather about the difference and he explained that these characters were all fictional and that Nintendo could name them whatever they wanted because they were just making it up as they went along. I knew that; I wasn't debating realism, but questioning the lore. There has to be some consistency to the fiction! Otherwise this nonsense is all for nothing, and who wants that?