Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros. 3 (JP) (also called Super Mario Advance 4 or SMA4) is the fourth and final game in the Super Mario Advance series and a remake of Super Mario Bros. 3 for the Nintendo Entertainment System. The game also comes with the arcade game Mario Bros., which also has better graphics, and a more complex multi-player mode.

A few e-cards came included with new copies of the game, while two sets (referred to as series) of cards were released and sold alongside the game. By scanning special cards into the e-Reader, players were able to upload items, videos, and most importantly, new levels into the game. One notable item was the Cape Feather from Super Mario World, which allowed Mario to transform into Caped Mario. There were also two Switch cards that the player could activate (and deactivate) the effects of by scanning them; the Orange Switch and the Blue Green Switch. Scanning these switches triggered small functions in the game. The e-Reader feature is still available in the European version, but disabled by default and inaccessible. It is fully translated, possibly because the e-Reader was planned to be released in Europe. It can be "unlocked" by having a corrupted save file.[1]

The game was re-released on the Wii U's Virtual Console service in Japan on December 29, 2015, and later in North America on January 21, 2016, in Europe on March 10, 2016, and in Australia on March 11, 2016. This release also includes all of the e-Reader levels in all versions, including the levels that were previously only released in Japan.

This game has rumble support if played on a Game Boy Player.


The story, from the instruction booklet:

The Mushroom Kingdom has remained a peaceful place, thanks to the brave deeds of Mario and Luigi. However, the Mushroom Kingdom forms an entrance to the Mushroom World, a place where all is not well. Bowser sent his seven children to make mischief in this normally peaceful land. As their first order of business, they stole the royal magic wands from each country in the Mushroom World and used them to turn the kings into animals. Mario and Luigi must recover the royal magic wands from Bowser's seven kids to return the kings to their true forms. As Mario and Luigi set off on their journey deep into the Mushroom World, Princess Peach and Toad have but one thing to say: "Good-bye, and good luck!"

Changes from Super Mario Bros. 3

  • Mario and Luigi are given voices.
  • The R button activates the e-Reader function.
  • The inventory window is significantly larger giving the player 35 items to hold instead of 28.
  • Temporary saving is provided. Afterward, the game reverts to the previous permanent save. Permanent saves come after completion of a fortress or world.
  • It features more levels if certain cards are scanned with the e-Reader.
  • Luigi retains his updated form and his Super Mario Bros. 2 ability.
  • The Mushroom Houses now allow you to move and choose a box while the message is being displayed.
  • The "Mario & Luigi" mode is now playable in single player through handheld, and the original multiplayer through the GameCube. However, the Mario Bros. easter egg that was possible when pressing A while in the same place as the other player has been removed, most likely due to the included remake of that game.
  • Lives can now be transferred to Luigi to Mario and vice-versa, a la Super Mario World.
  • The sprites have been updated.
  • Mario & Luigi now wear white gloves, matching their official artworks.
  • The cards have been colorized (like in the Super NES remake of Super Mario Bros. 3) and are now called "panels".

Virtual Console

The game includes all the E-reader levels even the ones not released outside Japan.

E-Reader Card List

Series 1:

  • Classic World 1-1: Level Card
  • Doors o' Plenty: Level Card
  • Magical Note Blocks: Level Card
  • Piped Full of Plants: Level Card
  • Slidin' the Slopes: Level Card
  • Frog Suit Card: Item Card
  • Hammer Suit Card: Item Card
  • P-Wing Card: Item Card

    Mushroom World, as seen in Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros. 3

  • 3 Super Leaves Card: Item Card
  • 5 Starmen Card: Item Card
  • 5-Up Mushroom Card: Item Card
  • 8-Item Set Card: Item Card
  • World 1-1 Speed Stage: Demo Card
  • World 1-2 Unlimited 1-Ups: Demo Card
  • World 2-2 Toad's Hidden House: Demo Card
  • World 5-5 Toads Hidden House: Demo Card
  • World 7-2 Toad's Hidden House: Demo Card
  • Orange Switch Card: Special Card

Series 2:

  • Bombarded by By Bob-ombs: Level Card
  • Para Bettle Challenge: Level Card
  • Swinging Bars of Doom: Level Card
  • The 'ol Switcheroo: Level Card
  • Vegetable Volley: Level Card
  • 3 Fire Flowers Card: Item Card
  • 3-Suit Set: Item Card
  • 4-Item Set: Item Card
  • 10-Up Mushroom: Item Card
  • Cape Card: Item Card
  • Starmen Card: Item Card
  • Tanooki Suit Card: Item Card
  • World 3-4 Unlimited 1-Ups: Demo Card
  • World 3-8 Toad's Hidden House: Demo Card
  • World 4-2 Toad's Hidden House: Demo Card
  • World 6-7 Toad's Hidden House: Demo Card
  • Blue Green Switch: Special Card

Game Promo:

  • Wild Ride in the Sky: level Card
  • Super Leaf Card: Item Card

Wal-Mart Exclusive:

  • Airship's Revenge: Level Card
  • 1-Up Mushroom Card: Item Card
  • Fire Flower Card: Item Card
  • Super Mushroom Card: Item Card
  • World 4-6 Unlimited 1-ups: Demo Card


Exclusive Features

  • See-saw platforms
  • Grey Brick Blocks (Can only be destroyed by Hammer Suit or crushed by Tanooki Mario's statue)
  • ! Switch
  • Rotating Blocks
  • Sideways Venus Fire Trap
  • Ace Coins
  • E+ Coins
  • Invisible Blocks (can be visible when Mario transforms into the Tanooki Mario statue)
  • ? Block with Kuribo's Shoe
  • Grey spike Donut Lift
  • Blue Boomerang
  • Big E-switch
  • E-switch

Features and Enemies from Past Titles

Super Mario Bros.

Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels

Super Mario Bros. 2

Super Mario World

Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island

Super Mario Advance

  • Giant Vegetable
  • Items trapped in bubbles

Super Mario Advance 2: Super Mario World

  • Yoshi's Fireballs

Super Mario Bros. 3

Pre-release and unused content

The game's logo looked different than it did in the E3 trailer. Grey Switches were also found in the game's data and also includes pressed versions of these switches. Compressed Super Mario World graphics were found in game data, these include an animation frame for the Koopa Clown Car, three frames of a Koopa Troopa walking, and two frames of a Goomba from Super Mario World walking.


Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros. 3 has received very positive reviews, and has been considered one of the best Game Boy Advance games ever made. It is the third highest-rated GBA game on {Metacritic, with an aggregate score of 94 based on 25 reviews,[2] and also that site's fourth highest-rated game in the Mario series, behind only Super Mario Galaxy, Super Mario Galaxy 2, and Super Mario Odyssey.[3]

Both Pocket Gamer and Play Magazine gave the game perfect scores. The former called the game "Mario hop-'n'-bop action at its finest", while the latter lauded the challenge in the gameplay, the quick save feature, and the e-Reader functionality. Meanwhile, Electronic Gaming Monthly praised SMA4 for its controls, stages, and visuals, stating that it looked good for an "old, trippy 2D game", and Yahoo! Games stated that the game surpassed both the original NES/Famicom version and the Super Mario All-Stars release.


The game was commercially successful in North America, with sales in excess of 2.88 million copies.[4] By the end of 2006, it had sold more copies in that region than any other Game Boy Advance game.[5]


Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros. 3 won IGN's 2003 award for best Game Boy Advance platform game,[6] and GameSpot nominated it for best platform game of the year.[7]


  • This is the first Mario franchise release in North America to carry Nintendo's current-era universal seal, which covers all products and merchandise licensed by the company. Previously, Nintendo had two seals—the Official Nintendo Seal of Quality, which covered hardware, games, and accessories; and a secondary seal saying "Official Nintendo Licensed Product", which only covered licensed merchandise.
  • Many of this game's mechanics (like obtaining an extra life if a Goal Pole's top is reached) became the standard in the series since New Super Mario Bros.
  • Despite gaining new sprites in this game, part of Luigi's power-up animation is a palette swap of Mario's.
  • This is final Mario franchise release where Princess Peach wears her classic main dress. After this game, her current main dress, which was first seen in Mario Party 4 becomes her permanent outfit.


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