Super Mario World is one of gaming’s classic platformers. Considered one of the greatest games of all time, and for good reason, there really is no denying Super Mario World’s impact on the medium. For as popular as it is, however, not all its secrets are common knowledge, especially when taking into account how far removed the game now is.
Once upon a time, Super Mario World was a recent memory. Now, it’s incredibly distant, several generations removed. Super Mario World knowledge has never been so valuable. It can make or break an up and coming game's first playthrough. After all, in a game dominated by secret, it’s only natural to want to know what to look out for.
10 Keep Track Of Secret Exits
This might actually surprise some older fans of the game, but it’s entirely possible to keep track of secret exists in-game. The Game Boy Advance version actually does give the players a handy level guide, but the SNES version has no such luxury. Instead, players are meant to be observant.
Those little dots on each stage actually serve a purpose. If the dot is yellow, that simply means that the stage has a regular exit and can be played linearly. If the dot is red, that means the stage has more than one exit. Unfortunately, Ghost Houses do have multiple exits, but they don’t feature a marker. Those ones will either need to be hunted or cross referenced.
9 Replay Castles
Upon beating a castle, Mario will blow up the respective Koopa Kid’s lair and the level will be unassessable. Or so it would seem. In the Game Boy Advance version, it’s actually possible to replay castles outright whereas the SNES version locks Mario out. Should players input a button combination, however, Mario can revisit these boss stages.
By holding L+R together on top of a crumbled castle, players will trigger the stage, allowing them to replay the castles in full. Since castles are so unique, it’s great to be able to revisit these longer, tougher stages. They’re a lot like Bowser Road stages in Super Mario 64. Short, but masterfully designed.
8 Share Lives (Or Steal Them)
Most people who play multiplayer will stumble upon this little detail sooner or later, but since Super Mario World is traditionally played single player, it’s unlikely that many people would know about this little trick. In multiplayer, simply pause the game and Mairo will be able to trade lives with Luigi.
This is great for anyone who’s playing with someone who’s struggling, but it’s also entirely possible to steal the other player’s lives, forcing them to play better. It’s all quite funny and reflective of an era of Super Mario multiplayer where Nintendo clearly wasn’t sure how to proceed with the concept.
7 Exit Already Cleared Levels
Mega Man X’s Escape feature is one of the coolest aspects of an already cool platformer. In a game where players can choose where to go, it’s only natural they’d want to re-enter some stages to explore a bit more and then leave. Super Mario World is a game where this happens often, but it seemingly forces players to beat levels in full all over again.
Which actually isn’t the case at all. In truth, Super Mario World features a button combination that kicks players out of already cleared levels. Simply hold start and press select. Mario will then warp back to the overworld. It’s simple enough where the game should have telegraphed it clearly.
6 The Changing Of Seasons
Something for new players to look out for especially is that Super Mario World is not over after beating Bowser. The credits roll and the main conflict is solved, but SMW has an insane amount of content that shouldn’t just be skipped. Upon clearing the game Special World, players will find Dinosaur Land fundamentally changed.
The season will have changed to Autumn, and the game’s color palette with it. It actually makes for a beautiful looking game, and the aesthetic change alone is enough to warrant an immediate replaying of the game. Super Mario World is just that good of a game.
5 Activate Mario’s Secret Animation During The Credits
Super Mario World has one of the best credit sequences on the Super Nintendo. It’s very peaceful and endearing, showing off the game one last time in a whimsical way. It’s also interactable. Immediately after defeating Bowser, hold L, R, X, Y, and Up together. Mario will do something… different in the credits.
Nintendo clearly meant for it to be a dance, but it just looks like Mario is having a stroke at times. It is a charming piece of sprite animation, though, and likely served as a basis for Super Mario Kart’s victory animations. It’s always nice being able to link a small detail like that.
4 1-Up Grinding3
1-Up tricks are a quintessential part of the Super Mario experience, World or otherwise. Not a game goes by where fans don’t find the best ways to earn 1-Ups. Super Mario World has a few, but its most fun trick involves a yellow Koopa shell, the cape, Donut Plains 4, and an entire horde of goombas.
It’s a bit time consuming, but immediately find a yellow Koopa shell and get ready to carry it through most of the stage. The Koopa will try to wake up every now and then so make sure to knock it around a bit. Once players reach the Goomba field, unleash the shell, take to the skies, and rake in 1-Ups while bouncing off Koopas to keep in the air.
3 Special World’s Special Song
Super Mario World has some amazing music, choosing to forge its own musical path in favor of relying on established tunes and themes. Super Mario World does remix some old tracks, but it has an identity of its own when it comes to sound. Interestingly enough, Super Mario World features a remixed version of the series’ theme in the Special World.
After waiting in the Special World for two straight minutes, the game will start playing the series’ main theme using Super Mario World’s soundfont. It’s incredibly cool hear the classic theme redone in the style of Super Mario World.
2 “TOP SECRET”
Top Secret is a surprisingly easy area to overlook, especially for newcomers. A secret area branching off the Donut Plains Ghost House, this is not an area anyone should want to miss. Not only does the level feature no enemies whatsoever, it exists solely as a place for Mario to restock.
Mario is able to grab Yoshis here, 1-Ups, Mushrooms, Fire Flowers, and Capes. Top Secret is single handedly the most useful area in the game. It’s a bit out of the way from everything, but it’s worth making the trip since Top Secret offers players everything they’d ever need right out the gate.
1 Kill Big Boo Once And For All
Big Boo can be a real big pain in the ass sometimes. The Boos in general can’t be killed (by normal means) so it’s unlikely fans would expect that of their leader, but it is actually possible to defeat Big Boo. Simply lure him to a staircase, run up to the top, and slide down. Mario will end up knocking Big Boo out.
Whether or not this was a deliberate design decision is hard to pin down, but it does make Big Boo far more manageable. It’s cathartic knocking Big Boo out of the air. Plus, it just makes the rest of the screen far less stressful.