The SteamDeck is a great retro gaming platform. I have loaded it up with many of my retro games and one of my favorites to play on it is Super Mario World but in a widescreen format. I have seen this done elsewhere but wanted to do this for myself. After a few tries, I now have it figured out with repeatable results for the SteamDeck or other machines running RetroArch.
I have tested this on the SteamDeck and on my openSUSE Tumbleweed Linux machine using the RetroArch flatpak. I am focusing on the SteamDeck for the hand-held gaming experience as since I got the thing, I have become quite the fan of using it for gaming over my laptop or desktop systems.
I am assuming that you know how to install RetroArch and know how and where to transfer the files to your device to allow you to run vintage game console ROMs. If this is something you would like me to do a detailed write-up. Feel free to contact me but I am quite sure that there are already some great resources out there.
I am also assuming you have a Super Mario World ROM. I will not provide any links to those as I would like to keep my website online.
Patch the ROM
Before you begin, you will have to have a copy of the Super Mario World game ROM. This will not work with the Super Mario All-Stars ROM. The name of the file should be something like “Super Mario World.smc”. Be sure you are using a file ending in “SMC” not “SMR” as that is something else.
Next, navigate to this Github page and download this zip file labeled smw-widescreen-v111.zip:
Unpack that zip on your computer or SteamDeck, whichever you choose to perform this process.
In that folder you will see a number of files. For the purposes of the SteamDeck and emulation usage of this ROM, the patch that worked fantastically well for me is the file labeled: smw-extrawide-raw.bps
For more details on the various options. Read the bundled “README” file.
The next step is to patch your ROM file. Navigate to this site use this patching utility:
Next to “ROM file:” select Browse and locate the Super Mario Word ROM. Adjacent the “Patch file:” select Browse and locate the smw-extrawide-raw.bps file.
Apply the patch.
Save that to a location you can return to. In my case, I have made a folder called “Super Mario Widescreen” for storage of this project and subfolder called files for the patched ROM.
Copy the file called smw-extrawide-raw.bso from the same zip to the same location as the patched ROM and rename both the ROM and BSO file to have the exact same name. I have called them both “Super Mario World Extra Wide Raw.”
If you have performed this on the SteamDeck, you will have to ensure you copy this patched folder to a location that the Steam version of RetroArch can access. If you are using the Flatpak, I believe it can reside anywhere. In my case, I have this folder on my SD card so I copied it here:
You can put it wherever it makes sense for you, of course.
Setup RetroArch (on the SteamDeck)
On RetroArch you will have to load the appropriate core. Under the main menu select Load Core.
Then Select Download Core.
Scan down until you find Nintendo – SNES / SFC (bsnes-hd beta) and select the core.
Next, select Load Content and navigate to the location of the Patched ROM.
Select the Patched ROM.
Use the core labeled with bsnes-hd beta
Super Mario World will now run in a widescreen format on the SteamDeck, or Linux machine, quite happily. I admit, it will be a bit weird at first to experience Super Mario World in a wide aspect ratio but after a while of playing this, going back to standard aspect ratio will be a bit jarring.
I played this for a while and I did indeed enjoy the experience. There are some minor glitches here and there but for the most part, this works quite well. I do prefer the gaming experience of this on the SteamDeck over using some other Linux machine.
If you do encounter some stuttering I will suggest that you try changing the video driver to sdl
Settings > Drivers > Video > sdl2
This may make it smoother for you.
Super Mario World is quite possibly my favorite platformer of all time. It was the first side scrolling game of this genre that I really enjoyed, even though I did play its predecessors on the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES / Famicom), I just happen to enjoy this one more. It was actually Super Mario World that gave me new appreciation for the others and to try them again with a bit more enthusiasm.
This little hack to play Super Mario World in widescreen on the SteamDeck is now my favorite way to enjoy the game. It is kind of remarkable the new degree of fun that can be had with a thirty-plus year old game.
SteamDeck | What Makes it Awesome for an openSUSE User