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Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3

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Title Screen

Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3

Also known as: Super Mario Land 3: Wario Land (JP)
Developer: Nintendo R&D1
Publisher: Nintendo
Platform: Game Boy
Released in JP: January 21, 1994
Released in US: February 7, 1994
Released in EU: May 13, 1994

AreasIcon.png This game has unused areas.
GraphicsIcon.png This game has unused graphics.
DebugIcon.png This game has debugging material.
LevelSelectIcon.png This game has a hidden level select.
Carts.png This game has revisional differences.

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

Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3 is the first game in the Wario Land series and the last game in the Mario Land series. Bitter over his defeat in the previous game, Wario sets out to acquire funds for his own castle by stealing the missing golden Princess Toadstool statue from the Black Sugar Gang so he can hold it for ransom, plundering any other treasure he can get his hands on along the way.


Read about prerelease information and/or media for this game.
Prerelease Info
Miscellaneous tidbits that are interesting enough to point out here.

Debug Modes

Standard Debug Mode

Wario cheating? That's...in character!

A simple debug mode remains in the game, accessible by pressing Select 16 times while the game is paused. A blinking cursor should appear. Hold B and press Left/Right to move it. Press Up/Down to change the values of your number of lives, coins, hearts, and the timer.

Holding A + B and moving the cursor all the way to the left will highlight the Wario head; unpausing will change your current form (in the order of Small, Normal, Bull, Jet, Dragon). If this action is performed while in the air and A is held down while unpausing, the player can jump again and again, possibly allowing access to normally unreachable areas (such as where the Pouncer in course 4 really ends up going).

(Note that pressing Select a 17th time will make the cursor disappear. However, if you press Select 256 times after the initial 16 presses, the cursor will appear again. This happens because memory address AC85, which stores the Select presses, loops after 256 presses.)

Hidden Debug Mode

A second debug mode is hidden in the game. To enable it, set memory address A8C7 to a non-zero value (Game Genie code 018-C75-E6A or GameShark code 0101C7A8).

WL DebugLevelSelect.png

In the Course Intro screen a level select is enabled. The level ID is shown in the lower right corner.

Pressing Up/Down will cycle between all the valid level IDs; pressing A or Start enters the level. Note that the level will only be marked as completed if it is located in the same sub-map.

It's also possible to disable debug mode in this screen by pressing Select 10 times.

In a level, pressing Select while the game is not paused will change the current form in the same way the other debug mode does.

If the game is paused:

  • Pressing Select will activate a free-roaming mode instead. Use the D-Pad to move Wario around the level. Note that the game checks all the time if the debug mode variable is enabled or not, so disabling the debug mode during this immediately disables free-roaming mode.
  • Holding Down + B and pressing Start warps to the ending.
  • Pressing Select (16) while the game is paused brings up the other debug mode, with a single difference: highlighting the Wario head clears the level instead of switching between forms.
(Source: McHazard, Original TCRF research)

Unused Graphics



The alphabet used for various hud elements and splash screens has all 26 letters accounted for (plus a few other symbols), however only half of those letters are used in-game.

This also features Mario's head, a leftover from the status bar in Super Mario Land 2.

Alternate Block Tileset

smash smash smash

Two generic blocks are unused. The first is an intermediary cracked block that probably would have appeared as Small Wario (you'd have to hit the block two more times to break it), while the second is an alternate version of the skull that appears above stage entrance doors.

Unused Block Tileset Used Block Tileset
What fun. !!

They were replaced in the main block tileset with the switch block graphics.

Level Tiles

Sand/Wood Tileset

FUN TRIVIA: all the ladders actually used in this game look like... well, actual ladders.

Ladder tiles using Course 2's main tileset. Interestingly enough, the empty tile is not the one used everywhere else.

Stone Tileset

Even this spike with unique graphics didn't make the cut.

I feel a sense of deja vu.
Ladder tiles very similar to the ones in Course 2, but with different graphics.

Sherbet Land

Full Used
I can see why these tiles weren't used. Watered down.

The frozen platform used in the Sherbet Land boss area has an extra row of tiles that aren't used. The final game opts to use waterline tiles instead, which helps explain how the penguin boss is getting those shell helmets. Shelmets.

WL SherbetGrayCircle.png WL SherbetLandWood.png
Those tiles are loaded at the last part of Course 1 but never used. The last one seems to be a variant of the bottom part of the wooden boards seen on walls.

Parsley Woods

...and it looks like the lower portion was unfinished anyway.
While these tiles are technically used, the lower half is always obscured by the status bar.

Syrup Castle

Ouch, or not.
Syrup Castle has no spikes, but plenty of lava.

Final Boss

WL FinalMisc.PNG
These tiles should have been put near the bed in the final boss' room, but they aren't.

At least this one isn't actually unfinished.
The lower half of this block is obscured by the status bar. Again.

(GoldS: Original TCRF research)

Unused Bobo Scene

I...I have no idea.

A significant number of tiles relating to Bobo are unused. Note that Syrup Castle is in the background. This makes up a very odd and interesting scene.

  • Bobo never sits down.
  • The emblem on Bobo's chest is different. The normal emblem has no horns and looks more like a skull.
  • It's highly unlikely that Bobo even moved in this arena. The Bobo object actually moves around foreground tiles (a common trick that early Nintendo systems used) that compose the main Bobo body. Here, the background is far too complicated to have Bobo move around without severe graphical glitches.
  • The overall design of this room doesn't really match the S.S. Tea Cup. It's possible that the Bobo fight was meant for Parsley Woods.
(Source: Original TCRF research)

Map Screen

The majority of these are alternate versions of existing tiles.

WL MainMapMtTeapotTiles.png
The placement of these tiles in VRAM shows that the area near Mt. Teapot used to be slightly different. Oddly, these early graphics seem to fit together much more nicely than the final ones, which have noticeable cutoff.
Full (Mockup) Used
Everything is fine. and now it's broken.
The Stove Canyon in the overworld was supposed to show actual fire at some point rather than just looking like a hole in the ground.

Unfortunately the two tiles don't quite fit properly. Either the Stove Canyon in the overworld used to look different, or other related tiles were overwritten at some point in development.

WL MainMapTreesLake.png
Parts of trees, meant to be displayed very close to the Parsley Woods' lake.
WL MainMapMiscTiles.png
Miscellanous cliff border tiles. Horizontally or vertically flipped versions are used though.
Rice Beach
WL MapRiceBeachSandBorderTiles.png
Various unused sand border tiles.
WL MapRiceBeachCliffTiles.png
None of the cliffs in Rice Beach are high enough to make use of these tiles, unlike in SS Tea Cup.

However, the SS Tea Cup tilemap uses different graphics for them.

WL MapRiceBeachGrassCliffTile.png
Speaking of cliffs, grass only appears on the right side of a cliff in-game.
WL MapRiceBeachDotTile.png
Apparently Wario's path used to go near rocks. It would have been likely used for the path to Course 6.
WL MapRiceBeachMiscTiles.png
Miscellanous unused tiles which have a completely unique design.
Mt. Teapot
WL MapMtTeapotWaterSplashTile.png
The leftmost tile of the water splash goes unused, likely by mistake as the water tile used instead creates minor cutoff.

Considering how clearing the first course in Mt. Teapot places a level dot over the tile's supposed position, it doesn't really amount to much.

WL MapMtTeapotWaterTile.png
The rightmost tile of the small hills' water reflection is always obscured in the tilemap.

How a hill would look if used properly:

WL MapMtTeapotSmallHillMockup.png
WL MapMtTeapotSmallHillTile.png
Another tile for those hills. A very similar tile to this is used in-game, but it doesn't include any kind of shading.
WL MapMtTeapotLidTiles.png
Dots are already present over these tiles when Mt. Teapot's lid crashes down. Tiles without the dots still exist though.
Mockup Used
WL MapMtTeapotLidMockup.png WL MapMtTeapotLidUsed.png
Sherbet Land
WL MapSherbetLandDotTiles.png
As usual, some of the map dots go unused. Of particular interest is the last one, since the water surface actually hides dots on the map.
WL MapSherbetLandIcebergTiles.png
A chunk of the iceberg.
WL MapSherbetLandFlatTiles.png
No flat surfaces for the iceberg.
WL MapSherbetLandIceSpikeTile.png
An horizontally flipped variation of the underwater ice spikes.
Stove Canyon
WL MapStoveCanyonMiscTiles.png
Various unused map tiles.
  • The first one is an alternate small platform in the style of the bigger ones.
  • The second is a less detailed ground tile.
  • The other tiles are for dots on the map. Interestingly, the first one is set on a pitch black background; as the black parts of the submap hide dots.
WL MapStoveCanyonThinPlatformTiles.png
No thin platforms are high enough to use these tiles. A mockup of how they would look:
WL MapStoveCanyonThinPlatformMockup.png
SS Tea Cup
WL MapSSTeacupCoastBorderTiles.png
A whopping total of six unused border pieces linger in this tileset.
Imagine the fun at constantly looking at that cave until something shows up.
Likely meant to show up after emptying the lake at Parsley Woods, but nothing changes in this submap; only the overworld displays it.
Full Used
WL MapSSTeacupShipFull.png WL MapSSTeacupShipUsed.png

A part of the SS Tea Cup is always covered by the boss marker (or Wario marker after beating the boss).

Parsley Woods
WL MapParsleyWoodsLakeTiles.png
Various tiles related to the Parsley Woods lake go unused. Some have similar variants which are used.
WL MapParsleyWoodsTreeTreeTile.png
Should have been used when the top of a tree is close to the bottom of another tree.

The horizontally flipped variation is used.

WL MapParsleyWoodsTreeRailTiles.png
More rails hidden behind trees. Other similar tiles are used.
WL MapParsleyWoodsTreeLakeTiles.png
Most likely meant to appear for trees placed next to the lake, but there are only rocks in the nearby area.
WL MapParsleyWoodsLakeWaterTile.png
A single unused tile for the lake's surface. What a travesty.
WL MapParsleyWoodsHoleTile.png
A hole in... something. Purpose unknown. Located in VRAM between the lake bridge and train rails graphics.
Syrup Castle
Sorry Wario, but there's no back door in the castle.
No levels have alternate exits in this submap.

It would have been nice if it were the case, since Stove Canyon is the last map to have those.

WL MapSyrupCastleWhiteBgDotTile.png
A level dot goes over the only position this could have been used.
WL MapSyrupCastleTreeBottomTiles.png
No trees are placed high enough to make use of these tiles.
WL MapSyrupCastleTreeSideTile.png
None are placed next to the right of the castle either.
Fixed In-game
WL MapSyrupCastleC38ClearFull.png WL MapSyrupCastleC38ClearUsed.png

After destroying the first layer of walls, the map gains a few misplaced and/or unused tiles. Notice the top of the castle walls and the spots where dots appear.

WL MapSyrupCastleStatueTiles.png
These statue tiles aren't shown since dots are already placed on their position by the time Course 39 is cleared.

Coin Mini-Game

Unused Used
I cannot see anything on this blurry screen! Thank you.

An alternate variation of the round counter. Possibly changed because dark green on a slightly lighter shade of green might have been too difficult to read.

Object Graphics

Goom's packing!
Turns out that the Wanderin' Goom may have had an attack at one point! This spitting graphic and projectile are all that remains.

It's no Sea Pop, that's for sure.
A little boat that would have appeared in one of the areas in the world map, probably Rice Beach. Wario has serious arm strength.

(Source: Original TCRF research)

He was going to eat Wario.
Seems like the Stove Canyon boss Funfun was going to eat Wario at one point, since he has graphics for moving his tongue and Wario dying as a result.

The ghost originally threw coins rather than spawning them from thin air.
The ghost boss in Parsley Woods also has graphics for throwing coins, not just spawning them out of thin air. There's an animation showing how they would have worked.

(Source: ShyGuyXXL (More unused WL1:SML3 sprites))

WL TreasureScreen Glove.png
A pointing gloved hand is loaded in the Treasure Room, stored right next to the sprite for the coin pointer.

(Source: Original TCRF research)

Unused Blocks

There are 3 types of [!] blocks : 32, 38 and 39. Block 38 is not used in any map. It has its own unused block behaviour code, unused ExActor code for the visual effect when the block is hit, and even saves its state to an otherwise unused variable at A9ED. However, that variable isn't used anywhere else, so activating it does nothing. Additionally, unlike the other [!] blocks, this one isn't in the blacklist for blocks which can't be clinged on with the Bull Hat. As a result, it's possible to cling on it and activate its hit animation continuously.

Unused 16x16 Block Mappings

To do:
This game has a lot of unused blocks. They are perfectly valid even though most display as gibberish (possible leftovers from other tilesets).

The generic block isn't used here.

Platforms that can be jumped through are also completely absent.

Upside-Down Wario

It's magic, Wario.

There are multiple copy/pasted variations of the subroutine that draws sprite mappings. The one used for drawing Wario's gameplay sprite happens to not display any vertically-flipped sprite mappings, even though the code to check for them exists and works properly.

This can be seen by setting bit 6 of Wario's sprite flags (0xA916). Wario's sprite mappings were never meant to be displayed this way since their origin is at the bottom of sprite, leading to a a plethora of visual oddities.

Note that the variation used for the Map screen, which is identical code-wise other than for using different addresses, does display vertically-flipped sprites.

(Source: Original TCRF research)

Unused "W" Flag (Syrup Castle)

Double U

Using the Debug Mode, it's possible to display a "W" flag on top of Syrup Castle, which is normally not possible since the game doesn't save after you beat this level (it's the final level in the game).

Alternatively, the last bit of the value at A814 can be set, which displays the clear flag for Syrup Castle.

(Source: Dark Linkaël)

Unused Map Location

To do:
This part should be moved to a bugs page since you can stay here by holding B while the overworld loads after moving to the left of Course 8. (This location is internally used to determine the entry path in the Mt. Teapot submap)

The value at A79F specifies where on the Kitchen Island map Wario is currently placed. While values 0 to 6 map from Rice Beach to Syrup Castle respectively, value 7 specifies the start of the bridge to Sherbet Land, behind Mt. Teapot. This results in layering errors if the teapot's lid is still hovering over the mountain.

This location contains a valid left-arrow moving the player to Sherbet Land (passing over the bridge). If this location is entered by pressing A, Wario enters Mt. Teapot from the left, the secret exit to Sherbet Land.

All values above 7 map to invalid locations, having no arrows to move elsewhere, showing repeated parts of the map, and/or placing Wario in an offscreen position. In these cases, pressing A does nothing.

(Source: Original TCRF research)

Save Data Error


When the Save Selection screen is initialized, the game verifies the signature and checksum of each save file. Each save file is stored twice, and it gets immediately wiped out if both copies fail the validation.

Additionally, if exactly one save file is marked as bad, the game displays the message at the right.

Since the message doesn't appear when more than one save file is corrupted, it's very hard to trigger it. The easiest way to pull it off is to abuse glitches that crash the game, but even then chances are that every save file gets corrupted, preventing the message from showing up.


Inaccessible Blocks

Can't touch this.

After draining water from Course 31, some of the heart blocks become inaccessible. To stop Wario from hitting them, programmers put in four invisible blocks, but they're also impossible to hit.

(Source: Dark Linkaël)

Parsley Woods' Name

The "patch" tilemap with the empty lake also contains an incorrect copy of the zone's name.

Before Patch tilemap After
WL ParsleyNameBefore.png WL ParsleyNamePatch.png WL ParsleyNameAfter.png

In other words, after emptying the lake the zone's name changes.

Invalid tiles

Invalid tiles in Course 26.

After hitting the [!] block in Course 26, head for the normal exit. In the last part of the level (the one with the crocodiles), there are 4 invalid tiles, as an effect of the [!] block.

Unexpected water tiles

Look, I'm swimming in the air.

In the next-to-last room of Course 17 (before player jump into the water), there are 4 tiles on the top marked as being underwater when they're not supposed to be. By jumping into the rightmost one and holding A, you can swim indefinitely in the air.

Look, I'm swimming in the air.

The same glitch exists in Course 01 (flooded). At the end of the level, above the exit door, there is one water tile.

Revisional Differences

Virtual Console Changes

The original Game Boy version had a glitch that made it possible to skip certain levels or worlds on the map screen. The 3DS Virtual Console version fixes this glitch so that it is no longer possible to perform.

(Source: Original TCRF research)