September 20, 2003

Some time ago ago, I was playing SMB2 and SMB3 on my NES. Then, I noticed something that I never noticed before in years. I looked closely at Mario in both games and I discovered that Mario's sprites in SMB2 and SMB3 are exactly the same! Different color palettes, but essentially identical to each other. Then it occurs to me. This makes sense, as the US version of SMB2 was released at around the same time as the JP version of SMB3 in 1988. Nintendo probably took the SMB3 sprites of Mario (as well as Peach, as her sprites in both games also look almost the same), edited them slightly, and used them in SMB2 when they were changing Doki Doki Panic, the original game that SMB2's based on. This seemingly minor fact had an impact on me. I've been seeing sprites that come from a game that would be released 2 years later....Trippy. @.@

SMB3/SMB2 Comparison
Original Swapped Colors
Here's what both sprites look like side-to-side. Notice how SMB2 Mario's head is slightly pointing forward and with whites filled in around his eyes. but he still retains the design from SMB3. And to the right is what they look like when the color palettes are swapped.
After more careful study, I have found that the Nintendo combined 2 frames of Mario's sprite animation from SMB3 into one Mario sprite for SMB2. In the examples shown, SMB3's Mario's head moves as he walks. However, in SMB2, his is constantly facing one direction.
Here is a comparison between SMB3 Peach and SMB2 Peach. Her head wad enlarged, and her dress ruffles differently, but the basic form of the Princess is the same in both.
Doki Doki Panic/ SMB2 Comparison
 For reference, here are the sprites for SMB2 and DDP, grouped based on their special abilities. I was asked if the DDP had influenced how the SMB2's character sprites were made. Clearly, the designs of the Mario sprites are dissimilar to the DDP sprites