Nintendo Kills Impressive Super Mario Bros. Commodore 64 Port

Nintendo Kills Impressive Super Mario Bros. Commodore 64 Port

Like the Commodore 64 itself, its spirit will not easily fade.

The Commodore 64 finally has an almost-perfect port of Super Mario Bros... aaaaand it's gone. A developer calling themselves "ZeroPaige" spent 7 years making an impressive port of Nintendo's classic NES action game, but it lasted about two days in the wild before Nintendo let slip the lawyers of war and issued takedown notices.

The Commodore 64 found its way into many homes worldwide throughout the '80s thanks to its versatility and affordability. Though the computer's been long since discontinued, it still nurtures a big programming and homebrew scene (speaking personally, my brother ran a Commodore 64 BBS through the late '90s). The Commodore 64 has its own library of impressive games, but the ancient tech was never meant to run NES ports. It's especially hard to program a smooth side-scroller, which makes ZeroPaige's work that much more impressive. There's slowdown (especially when Mario grabs a Starman), but none of the screen hitching that's common in side scrollers written for retro computers.

It's not the least bit surprising to hear Nintendo pulled the hangman's lever on this Super Mario Bros. port. The company's infamous for going after ports, ROMs, and even stand-alone fangames that take years of development. The excellent Another Metroid 2 Remake (AM2R) took two breaths before Nintendo slashed it off the Internet. Nintendo's even harder on ROM sites, some of which have been sued for millions.

It's a shame, because the Super Mario Bros. Commodore 64 port exists as a technical showcase more than anything. Anyone who wants to play the first Super Mario game will undoubtedly do so through the Virtual Console or a Nintendo Switch Online download, not through a link distributed on Commodore 64 message boards. Seems like an illicit port is an illicit port in Nintendo's eyes. It might be a game company, but The Big N doesn't play.

Sometimes we include links to online retail stores. If you click on one and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. See our terms & conditions.

Nadia Oxford

Staff Writer

Nadia has been writing about games for so long, only the wind and the rain (or the digital facsimiles thereof) remember her true name. She's written for Nerve, About.com, Gamepro, IGN, 1UP, PlayStation Official Magazine, and other sites and magazines that sling words about video games. She co-hosts the Axe of the Blood God podcast, where she mostly screams about Dragon Quest.

Read this next

Recovered Super Mario Bros. Super Show Animation Cels Bring Us Back to the Franchise's Weirdest, Most Aimless Days

If you can't mix Super Mario Bros. with Billy Idol, then what's the point of life?

Super Mario Maker 2 Seems to Have a 32-Course Upload Limit

Maybe aim for quality over quantity, makers.

Mario Royale Becomes "DMCA Royale" To Avoid Copyright Issues

Now starring Infringio and his brother, Copyright Infringio.

Fan-Made "Mario Royale" is a Blast, For As Long As It Sticks Around

But the creator is anticipating a letter from Nintendo.

April's Free NES Classics Include Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels and Punch-Out!!

Three new games headline this month's free NES classics.

More News

Path of Exile 2 Just Got Announced, and It's Already Throwing Jabs at Diablo

We've got a tussle for the loot game spotlight on our hands.

Xbox Game Studios Head Says Game Pass is Solving Monetization Woes

"It allows our game creators to do what they do best, which is make a game."

Indie Devs: Apple Arcade is Healing a Wound in Mobile Gaming

The developers of Guildlings and Threes say the model is fixing the player-dev relationship.

More on NES

Make a Statement At Your Next LAN with This NES-Inspired Mouse

You'll probably come in last at whichever game you're playing, but you'll look good while losing.

What's Your Favorite Sports Game?

COMMUNITY QUESTION | Deadspin forever.

Starting Screen | Three Classic Letters That Show How Much Easier It Is to Be a Video Game Fan in 2019

The gaming community knew nothing in the '90s, and frankly, neither did a lot of publishers.

This Weekend's Tetris World Championships Showed Why Classic Tetris is Thriving

As the NES Tetris community grows, newcomers and hyper-tapping players are rising to the top.

Return of the Obra Dinn's Creator Reminisces on Getting Its Iconic Style Just Right

"After working on non-graphical stuff for so long, I took a moment to reflect on what I had with the visuals. It wasn’t great."

John Kirby, the Lawyer that Saved Nintendo, Dies at 79

In 1982, Kirby assisted with legal gorilla warfare.

The First Three Dragon Quests Finally Leave Their Mobile Prison For Switch

Erdrick's violent kids are about to run rampant on your Switch.

More Action Games

Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order Review: A New Hope

Respawn bursts on the scene with one of the best Star Wars games in ages, but there's a dark side.

Microsoft X019 Recap: A Flood of Games to Finish the Generation

At the generation wraps up, Microsoft goes big.