Back in 2015, John Romero shared a video showing off a demo that id Software developed in 1990 to sell Nintendo on the idea of a PC port of Super Mario Bros. 3. Obviously, Nintendo went on to reject the studio’s pitch, but the code that was developed to allow the game to smoothly work on PC did go on to play an important role in id’s future games. Well, this piece of gaming history is now going to the Strong National Museum of Play.
The museum says that it recently obtained the demo as part of a larger donation. It came on a floppy disk from a developer who wasn’t even associated with the original project. Curator Andrew Borman said that he imaged the disk to preserve it as a physical artifact and used DOSBox and Romero’s video to verify what the museum had. He says, “For being such an early demo, it is a lot of fun to play, especially 1-1, which recreates that iconic first level from Super Mario Bros 3,”.
Sadly, the Museum of Play doesn’t plan to exhibit the demo to the public, though Borman did say that there would be “plenty of opportunities to come in the future.” So maybe one day.