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Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros. 3

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Title Screen

Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros. 3

Developer: Nintendo R&D2
Publisher: Nintendo
Platform: Game Boy Advance
Released in JP: July 11, 2003
Released in US: October 21, 2003
Released in EU: October 17, 2003
Released in AU: February 23, 2004

AreasIcon.png This game has unused areas.
DevTextIcon.png This game has hidden development-related text.
EnemyIcon.png This game has unused enemies.
ObjectIcon.png This game has unused objects.
GraphicsIcon.png This game has unused graphics.
ItemsIcon.png This game has unused items.
RegionIcon.png This game has regional differences.
Carts.png This game has revisional differences.

PrereleaseIcon.png This game has a prerelease article
DCIcon.png This game has a Data Crystal page

Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros. 3 is a port of the SNES version of Super Mario Bros. 3, making this a port of a port.

The biggest addition to this game is World-e, a hub where you can access new levels...provided you have an e-Reader and the appropriate level cards. There were 38 level cards released in Japan, but North America and Australia only got 12 before the e-Reader was discontinued, and Europe didn't get anything. You're welcome, Europe! However, all regions later got every e-Reader level in the 2016 Wii U Virtual Console and 2023 Nintendo Switch Online re-releases.

To do:


Read about prerelease information and/or media for this game.
Prerelease Info

Main Game

Stuff from the main game. Natch.

Unused Graphics

Mainly consists of unused graphics from the SNES version, which contains unused graphics from the NES original. Clean up your tilesets, Nintendo!


To do:

Glove walking. I hate to see him leave, but I love to watch him go.

The unused animations of map Mario walking left/right and up have been updated again for Super Mario Advance 4, adding gloves to Mario's sprite.

They both look like turtles.

Gloves were also added to the Hammer Suit sliding graphic.


Unused victory graphics for Mario and Luigi, looking like the ones from Super Mario World.

Still still missing.

These bonus tiles still aren't used. While there were three bonus games added to Super Mario Advance 4, none of them are the ones removed from the original game.

Super Mario Bros. 3 Super Mario All-Stars/Super Mario Advance 4
Lordy, lordy. One fish, two fish, dead fish, blue fish.

The original Spiny Cheep-Cheep graphics are still in the ROM. Seriously.

Give them back, Nintendo!

The same four end-of-level outlines that went unused in Super Mario All-Stars are present here.

Where's my money? Seriously, where is it, Toad?! Oh boy...

The bonus game intros were redone for this version, so these old Toad/Mario/Luigi graphics are no longer needed. Interestingly, the gloves on the small forms were not updated.


R.I.P. foreground scenery. I'm seeing double double.

The updated eye clouds and double bushes are still present.


I said no! Give it a mushroom, it'll grow.

Updated big and small clouds. Mmmhmm.

The corner pieces that aren't used in the NES version are still present, and still in their 4-color format.

Higher Plains

Still a lot.

Spiral clouds and the original hill designs.


Text reading "3 transfer" (3テンソウ -> 3転送), loaded with the Higher Plains tileset.



Updated small cloud, but it isn't used. Ever.

The unused cloud corner tiles are present as well, unconverted.


The mystery hasn't been solved.

A piece of foreground scenery? Let's update it, but not use it.

The multitude of unused desert tiles in the NES version still linger, unchanged in the tileset. Again.


The unused cloud corner tiles remain in the tileset.



There was a big cloud here. It's gone now.



This weird door frame or whatever it is was never deleted when the tileset was ported over. Twice.

World 8

Vroom Spikes in a Mario game, you say? Vrrrrrrr

The updated tire, spikes, and propeller from the SNES version.

Super Mario Advance 2 Leftovers

It won't work, the grankulator chain is malcorked Get out of here

These graphics from Super Mario World: Super Mario Advance 2 are stored in one block of the ROM. Unlike most of these graphics, these tiles are uncompressed, so they were likely not intended for World-e.

It's a font

This font is found in the same block, with what appears to be a string for the game version.

(Source: Original TCRF research)

Unused Enemies

Still shiny!

A yellow version of the Cheep-Cheep enemy. They swim faster than normal Cheep-Cheeps, in a wave-like motion.

Still green!

A faster green version of the Para-Beetle enemy, which can only be generated by the also-unused Para-Beetle spawner.

(Source: Original TCRF research)

Now with wings!

Unused sprites of the flying/winged Boom-Boom in the defensive position. In the final game, Boom-Boom continues flying around until jumped on, so these go unused. They are also present in Super Mario All-Stars.

(Source: Original TCRF research)


World-e has more unused content than the entire main game!


Unused Objects
How many levels did they plan to make?

Unused Backgrounds

Most of the unused backgrounds are variations of existing backgrounds. To view these backgrounds, use CodeBreaker code 33003BBF 00??, where "??" is one of the below.

Bonus Game

Tetris anyone?

Background ID: 33
This background uses graphics found nowhere else in the game. Its ID is directly after the three new bonus game backgrounds, hinting that it might have been a possible candidate for a bonus game. It looks very similar to a texture seen in Shy Guy's Toybox from Paper Mario.


Spelunker Mario.

Background ID: 34
The standard cave background, with a second cave layer in place of a skyline.


The hills are alive! They also have eyes!

Background ID: 36
The hills background (seen in grassland levels) at a higher elevation.


There's this one... ...and this one... ...and this one. How many did they need?

Background IDs: 3B, 3E, 3F
Three(!) unused waterfall background variants. The first two have much larger waterfalls than normal, the only difference being the height the clouds form. The third looks like the waterfall background used in-game, but at a much greater height.

(Source: Original TCRF research)

Unused Level Icons

These World-e level icons are unused, mainly icons already used in the main game.

(Source: Original TCRF research)

Unused Level Sets

Even more levels?!

Three level sets are unused: lowercase e (00), Fire Flower (03), and Heart (04). There are three sets used for the released levels: Mushroom, Star, and Promotional.

(Source: Original TCRF research)

Unused Switch Details

Grey Switch

It's grey, alright. More grey/gray.

A grey palette exists for the e-Switches, present in both the e-Reader room and the World-e map.

Switch Cards

Collect them all? You can't, sorry.SNES Mario gameplay returns with a vengeance.Mathematically, this is twice as hard. I am good at numbers.

These are stored in the ROM and should be displayed on the e-Reader screen when an e-Switch card is scanned, but this never happens. It's too bad, as these are some nice graphics.

The e-Cards make the game easier, the ?-Cards change the normal game in some way, and the !-Cards make the game more difficult. Note that the above image shows the cards for the e-Switches that were released (the ×2 points multiplier, the Mario damage modifier, the stronger boss health, and the harder enemy effects are separate cards, but controlled by a single Switch in the final game).


Similar graphics are found on the World-e map.

Unused Switch Content

A number of additional e-Switch cards were planned, but remained unreleased. Their in-game effects can still be activated using the CodeBreaker code 83002D52 ????, where "????" is one of the IDs below.

4000 Points Switch

No card image found
Switch ID: 0020
With this effect, the continuous enemy point bonus will start at 4000 instead of 100. This means that the player will start earning extra lives with the third enemy in a row.

1-Up Mushroom Switch

3 for the price of 1.

Switch ID: 0004
With this switch active, all blocks that contain 1-Up Mushrooms will give three of them instead of one.

Floating Platform Switch

This card has a misprint, it's worth more.

Switch ID: 1000

Now, that's service!

This switch will enable a cool feature when you fall down a pit: the first two times the player falls down in a stage, they will be raised out of the pit by a floating platform. The first time it will be two blocks wide (much like the similar winged platforms of Super Mario World), and the second time it will be only one block. Jumping down a pit a third time will result in death.

Hold Box Switch

No card image found
Switch ID: 0008

Wow, talk about easy mode.

This switch effect will add a hold item box to the center of the screen, again like Super Mario World. Once you get hit, the item will drop down and a new one will be added. The item box will always be a Mushroom at the start of the stage.

The item can be any one of the following: Mushroom, Fire Flower, Raccoon Leaf, Frog Suit, Tanooki Suit, Hammer Suit.

Luigi Demo Switch

No card image found
Switch ID: 4000
Any demo recorded with this switch active will have Mario replaced with Luigi when played back. If used during the main game in conjunction with the Luigi gameplay switch (4100), or during World-e, this will usually lead to Luigi dying.

A quasi-similar idea would be used in New Super Mario Bros. Wii as "Super Guide", where Luigi can play a level for you if you die enough times.

(Source: Mike007)


European World-e

World-e is disabled by default in the European version, but not actually removed, and was even translated into other languages. It can be unlocked by exploiting a corrupted save.

Europe eventually got World-e when Super Mario Advance 4 was released on Virtual Console on March 10, 2016, and the language translations are thus used in that version.

Alternate Bonus Icons

Early Final
Ra ra ra! Ae you!

Older graphics for the e-Coin and Advance Coin counters are loaded before the new ones take their place.

Advance Coin Graphics

Flip around again, I know what the letter A means.

Two unused frames of the Advance Coin flipping. The text here translates as "rare", which could be the meaning of the R icon. The coin only has three frames of animation in-game, making it look rather awkward.

Diggin' Chuck Graphics


The loaded tiles for the Chargin' Chucks contains some graphics from Diggin' Chuck's Super Mario World sprite. Possibly a leftover as none of Diggin' Chuck's other tiles nor it's rocks are loaded with it.

Hard Block Graphic

Early Final
SMA4SMB1UnusedBlock.png SMA4SMB1UsedBlock.png

An unused sprite for the Super Mario Bros. variant of the Hard Block, taken almost directly from Super Mario All-Stars. The final game uses a modified version of the sprite.

Castle Floors

Going up

The castle that houses the e-Coins actually has three floors, but the latter two are never accessible.

Choose your floor! Under renovation.

The upper floors are unlocked when an e-Reader level is marked to have a 9th and 17th e-Coin, respectively, and allows you to move up or down a floor by pressing L and R respectively. Since even in the Japanese version only eight e-Coins got released, these floors are never accessible.

Placeholder Text

Before After
What? Oh.

A little block of katakana text that's stored in memory for a couple of frames before the level loads. マント translates as "cloak", and marks where the Cape graphics are stored.

Other Unused Text

Trap replacement.

"Trap replacement". This chunk of text is loaded for the bonus game intros.

Well, would you?

Japanese text translating to "Will you save this course?"


Japanese text "R" menu: "tsuushin" = Communication; "touroku" = Register; "sakujo" = Remove.

(LuigiBlood: Original TCRF research)

Build Dates

Version Offset Text
Japan 002637D4
03-06-20 14:42:23
US 002630AC
03-07-22 22:08:47
Japan (Rev 1) 0026327C
03-08-25 16:07:53
Europe 003084A8
03-08-25 21:56:26
Japan (Rev 2)
& JP (Virtual Console)
04-01-14 13:35:42
US, Australia (Rev 1)
& US (Virtual Console)
04-01-20 13:32:00
Europe (Rev 1) 00308AA4
04-01-20 13:38:18
(Source: Hiccup)

Regional Differences

To do:
Compare the e-Reader switch graphics.

Title Screen

Japan International
Ah, my favorite part of the SMB3 box art: the classic flying raccoon Mario pose. Ah, my favorite part of the SMB3 box art: the...text?

Super Mario Advance 4 continues the habit of giving the international title screens a massive decrease in effort. Also, the Japanese version has the "Single Player" and "Multiplayer" options in the top-left corner like the previous three games, while international versions move them down to the bottom.

e-Reader Support

To do:
Make a better description and get some screenshots.
  • Due to the limited support for the e-Reader outside of Japan, international players can only obtain a maximum of 49 Advance Coins in World-e, enough to enter the Blue House, which hosts a digging minigame. The Red House (which hosts a ball-throwing minigame) and Yellow House (which hosts a Balloon Fight-like minigame) cannot be opened without hacking the game or scanning modified Japanese cards. The Red House needs 50 Advance Coins to access, while the Yellow House needs 80. Since Nintendo originally planned to release the entire card set in the US, the unused games are fully translated. The missing levels were added to the game when it was released on the Wii U Virtual Console in January 2016.
  • Certain levels in World-e have an e-Coin hidden inside them. Again, due to the premature cancellation of the e-Reader outside of Japan, only the Mushroom, Super Leaf, and Starman e-Coins can be obtained. The Fire Flower, Mario, Luigi, Toad, and Peach e-Coins cannot be obtained normally. US players finally got to get the missing e-Coins when the game was released on Virtual Console.
  • Due to its e-Card not being released outside of Japan, the Blue Boomerang item cannot be added to the player's inventory in the international versions without hacking. While the Blue Boomerang can be obtained in the international versions from the World-e level "Slidin' the Slopes" (as well as "Bowser's Last Stand" and "Bowser's Airship 2" in the Virtual Console release), it disappears upon completing the level much like Kuribo/Goomba's Shoe.
  • World-e is present but unavailable in the European version (see below).
  • Also due to the limited support for the e-Reader outside of Japan, international players can only obtain two of the seven e-Switch cards (which added special features to the main game and/or World-e) that were released: the Orange Switch (added the ability to get coins from enemies by hitting them with fireballs — code: 83002D52 0040, 83002D64 0002, 83003A8A 0200) and the Blue-Green Switch (added the vegetables from Super Mario Bros. 2 to the main game — code: 83002D52 0001, 83002D64 0004). However, since e-Reader functions work in all versions, the Japan-only Switches' functions are also coded in the game and can be used with CodeBreaker codes:
Image Name Code Card type Description
SMA4 BlueSwitch.png
Blue Switch 83002D52 0400
83002D64 0001
83003A8A 0100
Game Level/New Level Turns all 1-Up Mushrooms into 3-Up Moons.
SMA4 YellowSwitch.png
Yellow Switch 83002D52 0100
83002D64 0008
Game Level Gives Luigi his unique World-e physics in the main game.
SMA4 GreenSwitch.png
Green Switch 83002D52 0010
83003A8A 1000
New Level Slows down the music and timer on each level in World-e for 50 seconds, after which the coin sound plays and the music and timer go back to normal.
SMA4 CyanSwitch.png
Cyan Switch 83002D52 0002
83003A8A 2000
New Level Cuts the P-Meter in half in World-e, allowing you to fill it much faster.
SMA4 RedSwitch.png
Red Switch 83002D52 2A80
83002D64 0040
83003A8A 4000
Game Level/New Level Replaces all the enemies with harder ones, doubles the health of bosses, and awards double the normal points for beating them. Plus, when the player is hit with this switch active, they will always revert to small Mario/Luigi regardless of the current powerup, as was the case in the original Famicom version.

Note that this is actually four switch effects in one switch — 83002D52 0080 only provides the Mario/Luigi damage modification, 83002D52 0200 has just the point multiplier, 83002D52 0800 gives you only the harder enemies, and 83002D52 2000 is exclusively the boss damage modification.

(Alexthe18th: Original TCRF research)
(Source: Renegade X135)

Wii U Virtual Console Changes

To do:
  • "Bowser's Last Stand" is data optimized in (USA) (Virtual Console). Other differences exist between versions of World-e levels.

The game was rereleased for the Wii U Virtual Console in 2016.


This version contains all 38 e-Reader levels built into the game, including the 26 that never left Japan. This normally isn't even possible with the original GBA version, as it's only capable of storing 32 levels at a time.

Unfortunately, the other released e-Reader extras (e-Switches, gameplay demos, item gifts) are inaccessible in normal gameplay.

Sleep Mode and Rumble Support

Interestingly, the scripts for the sleep function and rumble support were not removed, but they do not work correctly on the Wii U. In fact, the rumble feature goes unused because the game does not detect Game Boy Player hardware. The sleep function will work if the game is played on GBA hardware, and the rumble support will work if played on a Game Boy Player.

The rumble feature DOES work on the Nintendo Switch Online version. Go figure!

Note: This screenshot was taken of the Wii U version of the game. The Wii U does not sleep on this!