Early Super Mario World screenshot unearthed in 1990 Japanese magazine

Typically, Nintendo doesn’t like to dwell on betas or prototypes of their games, preferring to show us the final product. Every once in a while though, we get a peek at an early version of a game thanks to an old preview. This time around, that game is Super Mario World, or “Super Mario Bros. 4” as it’s known in Japan.

Twitter user @famicom_oyoyo, who posts frequent excerpts from classic Japanese gaming magazines, has discovered an early article about the Super Famicom and its flagship title, Super Mario World, ahead of their release. In the magazine scan, you can see a rare, early screenshot from the game featuring Mario and some Koopas in an early level.

At a glance, this screenshot doesn’t appear too different from the version we’re all familiar with. However, there does appear to be a subtly different art style/filter to the graphics, giving the characters and backgrounds a slightly more cartoonish look. Also visible in the image is an early model for the SNES/Super Famicom, featuring bright red buttons on both the controllers and the system itself, which were missing from the final version.

It’s always fascinating to see what classic products like these could have looked like before release. Can any eagle-eyed readers spot more differences from this scan?

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

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