An attempt to write a legitimate Commodore 64 version of Super Mario Brothers was made by none other than Gary Penn and Gary Liddon in mid-87.
To help hewn Gary Liddon’s programming skills, the two Gary’s embarked on trying to recreate the first level of Nintendo’s Super Mario Brothers on the Commodore. Gary Penn worked on the graphics, copying the visuals from the NES console version directly off his TV screen and then amending them for the Commodore 64’s aspect ratio and colour palette.
Once they had a version that was pretty close to the first level in look and feel, they started to show it around and it ended up with Colin Fuidge at TelecomSoft. He was so impressed with what they had done so far that he decided to contact Nintendo and show them the demo with a view to licencing and developing the title for release by Firebird.
Unfortunately, the whole thing back-fired when Nintendo came down on the idea like a ton of bricks. Legal threats were made and the instructions that came down from above were quite clear. Cease and Desist and destroy everything are the two phrases that both Gary’s still remember to this day!
So, an official conversion was never on the cards, but it’s interesting that an inspired clone (Crucial Brothers) turned up on the development schedule (albeit from other developers) when Firebird so nearly got their talons seriously burned the year before!