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25 Things Super Fans Never Knew They Could Do In Super Mario World

Super Mario World is one of the best Super Nintendo games that ever released on the system. It still holds up to today's standards and is many gamer's favorite games of all time. When it released in 1990 the game was seen as a new age of Mario side-scrolling games. The new capabilities of the Super Nintendo System allowed Nintendo to add more detail to the character design of Mario and his enemies.

The game's directors took a more cartoon approach to the game rather than stick to the shaded pixels of yesteryear. The gameplay was similar to older Mario games as it pulled most of its inspiration from Super Mario Bros. 3. Both games feature a world map and several different worlds to travel to. Super Mario World created a seamless travel system between these worlds because of the hardware upgrades of the Super Nintendo.

Almost 30 years later gamers still go back to this classic and find new things to exploit in the game. Since it's release several game mechanics were discovered, some intentional from the game developers and some non-intentional. Many of these tips and tricks were discovered by speedrunners of the game but they can also be enjoyable for leisurely games. There are so many more things to be discovered underneath the shell of a great Mario platformer and as people start to beat the game even quicker than they already have these secrets will become uncovered.

25 The Powerful Cape Secret

Bowser has always been a daunting enemy in Mario games. However, with his redesign in Super Mario World Bowser was more difficult than ever. Even thirty years later the final Bowser fight can be difficult to overcome for the average gamer. However, speed runners of the game have found an exploit that makes the fight favor a bit more in Mario's corner. To do this tactic you will, of course, have to have a cape power-up equipped when entering the battle.

The best way to get a cape is to go to a previous level where items are plentiful or head to the "secret area" which we will talk about more later. Then you have to survive the entire level leading up to Bowser which to some may be more difficult than the actual fight itself. Once there you have to learn how to manipulate Mario's cape power up in order to fly to the corner of the screen while avoiding Bowser. After making it to either corner of the screen you can do a spin attack with Mario's cape that will send the Mechakoopas that Bowser throws back into him hitting him. This tactic speeds the battle up and is used in most any percent speed runs.

24 Ghostbuster

The ghosts in the Super Mario Bros. franchise are known as boos. They are famously known to be indestructible since their ghosts. They have an interesting attack pattern where they will only follow Mario if he turns his back towards them. Therefore, in most Mario games you have to constantly look behind you when these ghostly enemies are near. The same concept was reinvented in Super Mario World. This time there were whole levels dedicated to these enemies. The levels were designed for the boos and their attack patterns.

That's why when someone discovered that a boo can actually be defeated, it shocked the Mario community.

When inside a ghost house if Mario runs across a set of stairs he can use these to eliminate the boos. However, the player must lure a boo over to the set of stairs and then the sliding can commence. It's worth noting that this can only be done to the big boo enemies as their hit boxes are larger than the normal boos.  It's still worth trying out if you ever find yourself in a ghost house with a set of stairs and a big boo following you.

23 Defeating The Impossible Saw Enemy

If you thought defeating the boo enemies was impressive then we have one that is even better! The buzzsaws in Super Mario World are notorious for being an annoyance in the way of Mario or Luigi completing a level. They usually show up in castle levels and are used with interesting attack patterns. They are typically set up on a trolley system where they will spin around and the player has to be patient until it is safe to pass. However, players have found a way to kill these buzzsaws.

It is very similar to the way you destroyed the big boo as mentioned before. If you find yourself at the right place and time you can slide down the stairs and knock out the buzzsaw. This is much harder to do since it's harder to manipulate the buzzsaw to follow Mario. Unlike the big boo, the buzzsaw is contained to one set of movement which means your timing has to perfect. The glitch is hard to pull off but it is satisfying to see the impossible buzzsaw enemy perish.

22 Beating The Game In Under A Minute

As stated before this game has been at the forefront of many speed runners list. While many have employed several techniques of beating the game in under an hour a few people wanted to take the speed running to impossible heights.

By using a game-breaking glitch you can end up beating Super Mario World in under a single minute.

The glitch is near impossible to pull off and only a few speed runners have successfully done this. There are several videos of people showing how to do it but don't expect it to work the first time around.

The glitch takes place in Yoshi's Island 2, one of the first levels in the game, and is started by manipulating items. There is a technique in the game that players have discovered that is known as item breaking. In this players can manipulate the items in the game to produce insane results. This is what is done to complete the game in such a short amount of time. If the specifics of this glitch are pulled off it will send the players to the credit sequence of the game. That's right you can beat the game without even having to see Bowser. Many speed runners don't see this as an official speed run but many commend those who have successfully done it.

21 Beating The Game By Completing 11 Levels

If beating the game in under a minute sounds a little hard to pull off there is a more reasonable route in Super Mario World that allows you to beat the game by just beating 11 levels.

The game has a grand total of 96 exits in the stages throughout Mario's adventure but there is a way to complete it in significantly less time.

We're not talking about the path used by traveling through the secret world and their warp stars. That is child's play compared to this route. This route will require players to know most of the exits and how to get to them. This route will have you fly through the first world before entering a secret path in Donut Plains. This will take you to one of the warp stars that takes you directly to Bowser's front door. The route is very specific and takes most players a few tries to get it down. This is one of the more famous routes that speed runners take when doing any percent runs.

20 Yoshi Can Eat Dolphins In The Japanese Release

Mario has always been based in Japan and brought out West to see major popularity. Of course, that means the games have to be localized for western audiences. Sometimes game developers will put in easter eggs and sometimes they take out parts of the game for censorship purposes. In this case, the western localization for Super Mario World saw that a small element of the game was removed. In the Japanese version of the game if you take Yoshi to the level with the dolphins you will discover something disturbing.

Yoshi can now eat the dolphins that were once used as platforms.

This was likely seen as an oversight from the developers as the dolphins act as NPCs and Yoshi can eat most other NPCs. However, when moving to the west the developers decided to remove this feature of the game. They were worried of upsetting animal rights activists of the time and decided to play it safe by removing the dolphin eating feature. However, if you have a Japanese version of the game it can be a fun change of pace to gobble up the cute dolphins.

19 Floating Through The Clouds Infinitely

Everyone hates the enemy known as Lakitu. He floats in a cloud suspended far from Mario and throws spiked turtles at him. These guys can be a pain and most people try to avoid coming in contact with them. When you jump on their heads many players hope to be able to get away with stealing his cloud. However, in this game, Mario has a heavy foot which will cause the Lakitu and his cloud to disappear upon impact. However, there is a way you can steal the Lakitu's cloud.

If you get a fire powerup and enter a level with a Lakitu you can use it to steal his cloud.

This sounds easier said than done because the Lakitus typically fly high and fast. There are only certain areas where you can pull this trick off. Some levels will feature platforms that are higher than the Lakitu. This is when you rain fire down upon them and steal their cloud. Now you can use this cloud to surf your way to the end of the level and avoid everything else in the level down below. Be careful though as the cloud has a timer and if you wait too long the cloud might send you careening to the pits below.

18 The Secret Area

When Super Mario World released there was rumors around the school yard of a top secret area. Many people had myths of how to get to the area and some claimed it to be a hundred percent true. Turns out those myths were true and there is a secret level in which you can get all the power-ups you need. In this single screen level, there are mushrooms, fire flowers, the cape item, and even Yoshi. This is its only purpose as you walk to the left or right of the screen it will take you back to the world map.

Think of it as Mario's own little safe house.

It can be unlocked by traveling through a secret route in the ghost house just before it. If you bring a cape power up into the level and fly to the upper left corner of the screen a secret platform will be revealed. After that just run to the right and a secret exit will appear. After leaving the area a road will appear leading up to a secret level. This secret area is a great place to get power-ups but it is a pain to walk back to when you're in more difficult levels later on in the game.

17 How To Re-Enter Castles

Many people know that Mario games that have world maps will allow players to re-enter the levels as they please. However, in Super Mario World once you completed a castle that was it for it. It would be demolished in one of video game's earliest cutscenes where Mario can be seen saving a Yoshi egg and destroying it in a multitude of cartoonish ways. After that, if you travel to a destroyed castle on the map and press A nothing happens. Many players would give up there but developers put in a secret for players to go back and play these challenging levels.

Looks like when Mario destroyed the castle he destroyed the checkpoints too!

All you have to do is walk up to the destroyed castle on the map and hold buttons L and R at the same time. You will enter the castle and it will be playable as if nothing ever happened. However, there is a small change. If you die anywhere in the level you will have to start the whole level over again even if you got the checkpoint. It seems like this was done by design as a way of making these challenging levels even more challenging.

16 Riding A Charging Chuck

Charging chucks can be some of the hardest and most annoying enemies in Super Mario World. They resemble football players and have several different attack patterns. Some will throw baseballs and footballs while some charge at Mario. There is even a variation of them where they do jumping jacks in attempt to hit Mario. These enemies usually appear at the end of a level as a last challenge before completing it. Many people have perished to these enemies with the goal in sight, hence why everyone hates them.

There is a glitch that can be done where it appears that Mario is riding on the back of a Charging Chuck. If you go to Forest of Illusion 1 and defeat a charging chuck while riding Yoshi, then go down a pipe and hit a block with another Yoshi in it, the second Yoshi will appear distorted. It will have the head of a charging chuck and if Mario hops on it, it will act just like a normal Yoshi. If you try to complete the game with the charging chuck buddy the game will freeze. Players have reported that this glitch works on a select few other levels like Cheese Bridge.

15 Visiting An Airship From Super Mario Bros. 3

This is more of a homage than something players can do in the game but it is still worth mentioning. Many people know that the final world of the game rises out of the water after you defeat a sunken ship ghost level. Since the release of the game, many have speculated that this out of place level is a homage to the airships from Super Mario Bros. 3. These ships were prominent in that game as they served as the final stage to the worlds. Every world would have an airship with an increasingly difficult level and boss on it. Each airship was also owned by one of Bowser's kids the koopalings. They also make a comeback in Super Mario World and they serve as the world's final levels.

Many believe since the sunken ship level is treated the same as a ghost house level that the boos on board the sunken ship are the enemies from the previous game coming back to exact revenge on Mario.

This is eery to think about as there is a room with hundreds of boos that enter in and out of the room. This theory has never been confirmed by the developers as it is a bit too creepy for the light-hearted nature of Mario games. However, it could serve as a cool hidden easter egg for die-hard Mario fans.

14 Collecting All Of The Super Rare Moons

Many may think that Moons are a new thing in Mario since the release of Super Mario Odyssey. In Super Mario Odyssey the developers decided to replace the typical power stars with power moons. Some people think that they pulled this inspiration from none other than Super Mario World. In the game, players can find moon items that give the player a three-up which adds three lives to their overall life count. This can be a game changer as they are found in more difficult levels.

These are super rare and most players can play through the whole game without finding a single one.

There are only seven moons in the entire game and they can only be collected once per playthrough. The levels that contain this power-up are Yoshi's Island 1, Donut Plains 4, Vanilla Dome 3, Cheese Bridge Area, Forest Ghost House, Chocolate Island 1, and the Valley of Bowser. These are hidden in super secret areas of the level and sometimes require Mario to have the cape ability in order to reach them. Be prepared to explore these levels a bit before finding these moons.

13 New Game Plus

New game plus is rather a new concept in games. Not that games back in the day didn't have them but they didn't have a title. New game plus usually means being able to start the game over from scratch with added features like a higher difficulty or being able to keep everything you obtained your first play through. Super Mario World was an early adopter of new game plus but it had to be obtained by completing the special world located at the very end of the game.

If the player completes the near impossible selection of levels named after 80s land terms they will have the option to start the game over with some small changes.

Among these changes there is something that is obvious right off the bat. The world map changes from a springtime green into an autumn brown. The changes keep coming as you enter the first level and see that the Koopa troopas have been transformed into strange variations of Mario. The rest of the changes are also just visual but it can be a good change of pace if the player wants to hop right back into the adventure.

12 Rip Van Fish Is Scared Of The Power Star

Many people who have played Super Mario World dread going into the water levels because of a certain enemy known as Rip Van Fish. Rip Van Fish have a similar attack pattern to that of boos. When Mario is near they will wake up out of their slumber and begin to swim frantically towards Mario. They often travel in packs and if the player isn't careful they can end up getting swarmed by these annoying enemies. However, there is a way to change the hunted into the hunter.

If you run across a pack of Rip Van Fish with a power star the results will differ. 

The fish will begin to frantically swim in the opposite direction. Unlike other enemies who will still try to attack Mario these fish are smart enough to realize that Mario is invincible when he's equipped with a power star. This is a great way to try and get past large schools of these fish without taking damage. It is also a fun way to chase them and get revenge for all those times they've frantically chased you in the water.

11 Super Mario World On The Sega Genesis!?

Modding and ROM hacking is nothing new to the Super Mario community but many don't know about their existence. Many people who are fans of multiple systems and games will try and port the games to different consoles. For example, someone successfully ported Super Mario World to the Sega Genesis. It is almost a complete replica of the original Super Nintendo version with a few minor changes to some levels and the music doesn't sound as good, because the Sega Genesis had weaker sound hardware.

Along with a few changes, the port overall plays much worse on the Genesis.

This is hard to avoid as the hardware is so different. The game is played with choppy frame rates and buggy gameplay. It is recommended to play the original on the Super Nintendo but for novelty effect, it can be cool to play a Nintendo game on a non-Nintendo console. Imagine if they had these capabilities when the game originally released. It would put an end to the Nintendo vs. Sega console war. There have been many more ports and ROM hacks of Super Mario World and some are worth playing.

10 Classic Tunes In The Special World

We have already discussed the special world here and there but it's worth going into more detail. There is a whole eighth world to the game that is completely hidden behind the secrets in the game. Specific levels have secret exits that will lead to a power star icon on the world map. These are known as star warps and they can warp the player to a star world that is shaped like a star. The world features five short levels and after they've been completed it unlocks the last star warp. This leads to a whole other world with several of the most difficult levels in the game. They are all named after 80s slang terms like tubular.

If the player remains idle on the special stage, after a certain amount of time a remix of the original Super Mario Bros. theme will start playing in the background.

This is a cool small easter egg that many players don't know about. Even if the player makes it to this point in the game they most likely won't remain idle on the stage select to hear the remix. Next time you find yourself in the special world it is worth the wait to hear the remix of classic Mario tunes.

9 Infinite Time Glitch

Mario games introduced another element of difficulty that the player can't control. This element is the time limit that slowly counts down encouraging the player to keep moving forward in the level. This restricts the player from lingering on a certain section for too long or even exploring the levels to a degree. Some levels are designed with the time limit as the biggest enemies as these levels are primarily maze levels.

Many people started to try a search for a cheat code for unlimited time until someone found a glitch which gave the player as much time as they need to complete a level.

To perform this glitch the player will need to have Yoshi and a fire flower in the spare item box at the top of screen. This glitch will require excellent timing as the player has to drop the item from the spare item box and eat the item with Yoshi at the exact moment that the timer hits zero. This will glitch the death animation and it will allow Mario to continue to explore the level without the threat of a time limit. Now you can finally go back and get all of those missing Yoshi coins!

8 Koopa's Castle Vs. Bowser's Castle

As mentioned before there are small differences in games that are released in Japan and the West. Sometimes these changes can be something that affects the gameplay (like eating the dolphins with Yoshi) and sometimes it can be something as simple as an aesthetic change. In the western release of Super Mario World the final Bowser castle will have a giant neon sign that reads "Bowser". It flashes in bright lights and changes colors as if it were a casino inviting you in to gamble your life away.

However, in the Japanese release of the game, the sign doesn't read "Bowser" but rather reads "Koopa."

This is likely due to the fact that they changed the name of King Koopa to Bowser in order for the character to have more personality. However, the change had not yet stuck in Japan and the developers kept the translation as Koopa. It is a small difference but a noticeable one if someone is playing through a Japanese version of the game. Sometimes speed runners will choose to speed run Japanese games because there are less text boxes and often skippable cutscenes.

7 Different Enemy Names In The Japanese Release

Similar to the change in name of Bowser the enemies of Super Mario World also have different names depending on the area they were released. The credit scene of Super Mario World took a unique take on credit sequences as most of them were a boring scroll of a text of all the names of the people who contributed to the game. Instead, Super Mario World had awesome music along with Mario and Peach walking through different levels as the credits scrolled along with them.

Then at the very end, the credits would start crediting the enemies and bosses in the game. Players finally got to see what their favorite and least favorite baddies were called throughout their adventure. No longer would bomb-ombs be called "bomb guy" as they would have an official name. However, many of the enemies would have different names depending on if they were localized or not. For example, the bullet bill enemies were named "killer" in Japan.

6 The Shell Jump Glitch

Every variation of Mario that comes out introduces a new element that adds to Mario's large catalog of moves to get through levels. In Super Mario World the game introduced his iconic spin jump that would come back in future 2-D Mario games. Another thing that was popularized was increased movement when throwing a shell. This concept was introduced in Super Mario Bros. 3 but wasn't fully fleshed out until Super Mario World.

This game would allow Mario to drop the shell when he held it or throw it in any direction that he pleased. This allowed players to manipulate the shell to help them achieve greater heights and jump across larger gaps. This is known as shell jumping. It has become popular in recent years with Mario level creation games like Super Mario Maker.

These levels usually have the word "kaizo" located somewhere in the title meaning that the level would require a higher level of gameplay including the shell jump technique.

The specific technique is pulled off by picking up a Koopa's shell and tossing it at a wall while in mid-air and jumping off the shell to reach maximum heights.


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Super Mario World Wiki Guide

Star Road 1:

  • Beat Donut Plains 1 the special way by getting the key.
  • There is now a spot in the water. Beat it by getting the key.
  • Then you go down to a Ghost House.
  • Proceed to first door. Go left until you find a P.
  • Take P back to door standing in mid air.
  • Don't enter door! Rather, jump up to the middle block above door. A bean stalk will come out.
  • Follow bean stalk up to ledge.
  • Cross ledge to blue door - hurry because the door will disappear soon.
  • Enter blue door and defeat Big Boo to get to Star Road.

Star Road 2:

  • Beat Vanilla Dome 1 by using the key.
  • Vanilla Secret 1 will appear - follow it.
  • Make your way up until coming to a spring pod.
  • Take spring pod to blue blocks. These are special blocks and must be filled in first. Put spring pad on the blue blocks.
  • Jump up - there will be a green pipe on your left.
  • Enter pipe and proceed to finish line. Your Star Road will appear.

Star Road 3:

  • Proceed to Forest of Illusion 1 and beat it using the key.
  • Proceed to the fortress and beat it.

Star Road 4:

  • Find the Cheesecake Bridge's secret exit.
  • Beat the water stage that appears.
  • The Star Road will appear on a nearby island.

Star Road 5:

  • Find the secret exit in Valley of Bowser 4.
  • A pathway will open up to the Star Road.

Star Road 6:

  • Find the secret exit in Star World 5.
  • A secret Star Road will open up, revealing 8 special levels.

After you beat the special levels you will warp back to Yoshi's island but everything will be strange. All the turtles have mario shells, the bullets appear as black birds and many other strange things. If you go back to the special levels and walk back through them the way you came the world will revert to normal.

Extra Lives - Forest of Illusion 1

For a total of fourteen lives do this. Go to forest of illusions 1 and get to the half-way mark and then keep going untill you see a box with changing powerups. Now wait until you see a feather in the box. Then hit it and it should change into a star. If you get the star, run and kill all the creatures that come out of the yellow blocks untill you start getting lives. The turtles and other guys are worth one life and the wigglers are worth two lives. You can get 99 lives much faster this way.

Classic Music

In the "Special Zone", wait about 5 minutes and listen to the music. It should start playing variations of the original Mario Bros. song!

Unlimited Lives

Go to the "Top Secret" level. Then, get the Yoshi from the block in the middle. Then, leave the stage. Finally, keep going in and out of the stage, getting the middle block every time. A 1up should keep coming out of it.

Extra Lives - First Ghost House

In the first ghost house, fly up to the upper left corner. You will see a ledge. Run to the right and you will fall. Ghosts will try to hurt you but keep on going. At the end of the ledge you will fall and there will be four extra guys. You will have to hit the boxes to get them. Go though the door. There will be a Moon (3 lives.) After you beat it there will be a level above the ghost house. Go to it. In it there is five boxes. The two left ones contain, flowers. The two right ones contain feathers. The middle one has Yoshi. If you already have Yoshi then it will be an extra life. To exit, run off the screen.

Extra Lives - Vanilla Secret 2

Enter Vanilla Secret 2 and get to the half-way mark without killing any Koopa Troopers or the green jumping guys. Keep on going until you reach a pit with a lot of spinny orange guys. There will be yellow blocks right above the pit. Hit the blocks until you get a silver "P" switch.

Carry this switch a little past the half way mark until you reach two pipes with red guys jumping out of them. Put down the "P" switch, step on it, and run back to the start of the level. While your running there will be a lot of silver coins on the way. Get all the silver coins you can and you will gain 50+ lives!

Important: Be sure not to kill the Koopa Troopers (or the green junping guys) on the way to the "P" swich, those guys turn into the coins that give you the lives.

Replay Castles

To replay any castle or fortress you've completed, hold L + R when entering.

Extra Lives - Yoshi's Island 1

Get a cape and go to Yoshi's Island 1. There is an area with one Rex on the hill and three more below it. After killing them all, fly up and you'll find a Moon worth 3 lives sitting in the clouds.

Warp to Bowser Castle

On the last Star Road, press B. This will put you in the Valley of Bowser without beating castle #7.

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Super Mario World/Walkthrough

Note: unless otherwise made clear by the context of the content, the name "Mario" refers to both Mario and Luigi because Luigi is just a palette swap in this game (unlike in Super Mario Bros. 2 where his abilities vary from Mario's).

Yoshi's Island[edit]

An overhead view of Yoshi's Island.

Yoshi's Island is the first world in Super Mario World. It contains seven levels, including the Yellow Switch Palace and Yoshi's House, which is not really considered a level.

The difficulty for this zone varies between wide open areas that are easily traversed quickly and Iggy's Castle where you can't take advantage of Yoshi.

Donut Plains[edit]

Donut Plains is the second world, containing ten levels, three of which are secrets. The world can be accessed through Yoshi's Island, Vanilla Dome, and Star Road.

Vanilla Dome[edit]

Vanilla Dome is the third world, which contains seven levels and two secret levels, which are classified under Vanilla Heights. The overhead map shows all the levels in the Vanilla Dome map, as well as the entrance to Star Road and Vanilla Secret 1.

Vanilla Heights is an unofficial name given to the set of secret levels accessed from Vanilla Dome. They are located directly above Vanilla Dome, and before the Butter Bridge levels.

Cookie Mountain[edit]

Cookie Mountain (also called Twin Bridges) is the area above Vanilla Dome and the following levels leading up to Ludwig's Castle. It is anchored by the Butter and Cheese Bridge crossings.

Forest of Illusion[edit]

The Forest of Illusion is a confusing area of the game filled with odd paths and other diversions, finally culminating with your escape then fight through Roy's Castle.

Chocolate Island[edit]

Not made of chocolate, Chocolate Island is one of the trickiest worlds in the game. Complete this, Defeat Wendy's Castle, make your way through the Sunken Ghost Ship, and into the Valley of Bowser. The Sunken Ghost Ship is the only level with ghosts that you are allowed to have Yoshi on.

Valley of Bowser[edit]

The Valley Of Bowser is the valley that is filled with lava, and is the home of Mario's most notable enemy, Bowser.

Star Road[edit]

In Super Mario World, the Star Road is a shortcut world, allowing the player to reach different places on the world map quickly. With exception of Star World 5, the player must find the secret goal in order to access the next Star World level.

Star World 5 still has a secret exit, which leads to Special.


If you find the secret exit in Star World 5, you can access the secret world Special. Be careful though, the levels in Special are far from easy. Once Special is completed, the colors of the world map, as well as some enemies, will be different. The upper Star Road will lead you back to Yoshi's House.

Super Mario Bros. - All Cheats, Secrets, \u0026 Tricks

Super Mario World: 14 Hidden Areas You Didn’t Know Existed

With a game as ingrained in the medium’s pop culture as Super Mario World, it’s perhaps “common sense” to assume everyone knows everything there is to know about the SNES platformer. After all, Super Mario World is one of the most documented games ever, but that doesn’t mean new gamers aren’t playing it for the first time every year. 

RELATED: 5 SNES Games That Still Look Good (And 5 That Don’t)

As technology marches on, so does the appeal of retro games, and few are as well polished & well designed as Super Mario World. Any young gamers looking to dig through Mario’s catalog will without a doubt want to play Super Mario World, potentially unaware that they’re about to embark on one of the most secret heavy games in the SNES’ library. 

Updated April 27th, 2021 by Stephen LaGioia:They say that classics never die, and Mario's charming SNES debut certainly fits the bill. One need only look at Super Mario World's popularity on the Switch's online service — as well as various speed runs and "Let's Plays" — to garner its timeless appeal. Like its predecessors, the game continues to captivate with its colorful worlds, solid mechanics, and of course, its slew of fun secrets. This SNES gem is especially chock-full of the latter, which include hidden paths, extra stages, and other hidden goodies. This article will explore the magical Dinosaur Land one more time and highlight even more neat secrets that remain largely unknown or forgotten.

14 Green Switch Palace 

While Yellow Switch Palace is more or less handed to players at the start of the game so long as they go left on the overworld, the rest of the Switch Palaces are obscured and hidden by Secret Exits. While they aren’t necessary for completing the game, they help make some of the trickier platforming sections easier.

Unfortunately, some of them can be hard to find for a first-time player, especially the Green Switch Palace. As one of the first potential secrets players can find, the Green Switch Palace is unlocked by finding the Secret Exist in Donut Plains 2. In the stage’s bonus area, knock a Koopa Shell into a turnblock to reveal a climbable vine. 

13 Top Secret Area

This is easily the most useful hidden area in the game, and arguably the one every player should strive to find. Top Secret Area is one of two areas in the game with no enemies. Unlike Yoshi’s House, however, Top Secret Area allows players to restock on Mushrooms, Fire Flowers, Feathers, and 1-Ups. 

Needless to say, anyone playing the game for the first time is going to want to be able to visit Top Secret Area whenever they can. To access Top Secret Area, players need to enter the Donut Ghost House as Mario and fly right above where they start. By following the path, players will find an alternate exit leading to Top Secret Area. 

12 Vanilla Secret 

What’s particularly notable about Vanilla Dome is that it actually branches in one of two directions. By following the path as intended, Mario will head to Castle 3 and confront Lemmy. By finding the secret exit in Vanilla Dome 1, however, players can instead access the Vanilla Heights, an alternate path that skips the rest of Vanilla Dome and brings players to the Twin Bridges. Players will need to power through a couple more tricky stages and Vanilla Fortress to access this bridge.

Vanilla Secret 1 also leads to a Star Road by flying to the upper-right region near the stage's end, which will reveal a pipe.

What makes this secret exit tricky to reach is the fact that it’s designed around the Red Switch Palace, a stage players won’t be able to access until after completing Vanilla Dome 1. That said, players with a Yoshi can swallow a Blue Koopa and fly up towards the secret exit right after the stage’s block maze. As Yoshi swallows shells on a timer, however, time is of the essence.

11 Red Switch Palace

For those that just can't muster the skills to get Yoshi to the secret exit fast enough, fret not, as finding the Red Switch Palace isn’t too difficult– but it is something most players will miss. Although reaching the secret exit in Vanilla Dome 2 isn’t hard, it’s very time-consuming and it requires a pretty decent knowledge of the stage’s layout. 

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Once Mario runs into the stage’s P-Switch, carry it to the wall of brown blocks. Step on the P-Switch, cross the path, grab the key, and bring it to an underwater keyhole that’s surrounded by Cheep Cheeps. This will be the only actual tricky part of reaching the secret exit, but just stay patient and steady-handed. 

10 Soda Lake

The secret exit needed to reach Soda Lake is arguably the single coolest one in the entire game. By playing Cheese Bridge Area normally, players won’t notice anything amiss. At the same time, its level dot glows red, signifying that there is a secret exit in the stage. Interestingly, the reason the secret exit doesn’t appear on the level path is because it appears after

The secret exit is actually stationed behind the goal post. Mario needs to either fly over the goal (which is surprisingly difficult to do without triggering it,) or use the height from jumping off of Yoshi to get over the post. From there, players can simply keep moving right to unlock Soda Lake. 

9 Blue Switch Palace

The final piece of the secret switch puzzle can be found in the Forest of Illusion behind the water stage, Forest of Illusion 2. First, players will need to delve into the underwater depths there and seek out a keyhole hidden behind a fake wall. The key in question can be found in the lower-left region near the end of the stage, just behind this phony wall.

This will open up an eastward pathway to the Blue Switch Palace. It's figuratively and literally a straightforward stage, though it's crawling with rooftop Spinies just waiting to rain on Mario's parade upon hitting a POW block.

8 Donut Secret 2

There's no shortage of branching paths and secrets in Donut Plains, but a really interesting example is Donut Secret 2, also fittingly known as Donut Underground. The level is unique in that it features an icy cavern that perched upon a cliff overlooking the inaccessible Valley of Bowser. It's only one of two levels with an entire ice theme. Its cool, peaceful atmosphere can be deceiving, as its slippery nature can be something of a grind.

To access this secluded stage, players will need to first visit Donut Secret House, and trigger a secret entrance surrounded by coins using a POW block.

7 Chocolate Secret

One of the more bizarre stages in Super Mario World comes in the form of Chocolate Island 2, as it yields different areas depending on certain factors. These include the number of coins and Dragon Coins obtained, along with the time it takes to complete.

Finishing the stage through the Giant Gate grants players access to Chocolate Island 3. However, reaching the secret exit with the key will unlock the cavernous Chocolate Secret, which technically resides in the Valley of Bowser.

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Reaching the "A" variation of area 3 requires having 250 seconds or more left on the timer. After eluding a few Chargin' Chucks and other obstacles, Mario will come upon a key and a keyhole that carves a pathway to the pipe leading to Chocolate Secret.

6 Forest Secret Area

A secondary exit of Forest of Illusion 4 will give way to a branching path of the airborne Forest Secret Area, as well as a secondary castle that leads to another Star Road.

The player will simply need to make their way into an elevated pipe near the end of the stage, which will lead to another game-progressing key and keyhole. Flying over the lava pit to the secret exit of Forest Fortress — and defeating the boss that awaits — will then unlock the path to the Star Road.

5 Larry’s Castle Shortcut

Now, this isn't a full-on hidden area like the other secret areas on this list, but the shortcut into Larry’s Castle is incredibly useful and can help players circumvent a decent bit of the Valley of Bowser. Not just that, actually getting the shortcut requires thoroughly exploring the most confusing Ghost House in the game, something most players naturally won’t do. 

In the second room of the ghost house, step on the P-Switch and then run all the way to the right and enter the last door. Pick up the P-Switch in the next room, drop it, create a stair of coins with the D-Pad that heads to the upper right of the screen, step on the P-Switch, and then use said staircase to find the shortcut into Larry’s Castle. 

4 Star World

Star World is the first set of secret stages in Super Mario World, composed of five fairly challenging levels that tend to make greater use of Yoshi than the rest of the game. What’s perhaps most interesting about Star World is how one enters it. Unlike other hidden areas, multiple different stages lead into the five Star World levels. 

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Star World 1 is the only stage connected to a single level: Donut Secret House. Star World 2 can be unlocked through Vanilla Secret 1 or by finding Star World 1’s secret exit. SW3 is connected to Soda Lake and SW2’s secret exit; SW4 is connected to Forest Fortress and SW3’s secret exit; and SW5 is connected to Valley of Bowser 4 and SW4’s secret exit. Depending on which exit players find first, they’ll either be able to tackle Star World very early or very late. 

3 Special World

Of course, Star World isn’t without its rewards. By finding the secret exit in Star World 5, players won’t unlock Star World 6, but instead Gnarly, a brand new stage in the brand new Special World. This is accessed by flying to the top portion of the stage. The Special World stages are far and away the hardest in the game, so it’s suggested players only come here once they’re already more or less mastered the main game. 

So long as players have been to all the Switch Palaces, the secret exit in Special World 5 will make itself clear. Otherwise, Blue Yoshi will get the job done. Caped Mario can too, but it’s very hard– albeit not as hard as Special World’s 8 levels. 

2 Autumn Dinosaur Land

Any challenge as difficult as Special World requires some kind of reward, and while players don’t unlock more levels, they do unlock a massive change of scenery. By completing the final stage in Special World, Funky, players will now be able to access a version of Dinosaur Land where the season has changed from spring to autumn. 

Some enemies wear masks, other enemies are redesigned, and Super Mario World’s lush green is replaced with a soft orange. It’s a fantastic cosmetic reward for clearing the game’s hardest stage, and it really adds a breath of fresh air into the game’s art direction. It’s like visiting an entirely new island. 

1 Bowser's Castle Back Door

Soda Lake is the coolest hidden area to unlock, but Back Door is the most interesting – and most useful – in concept alone. By playing through the Valley of Bowser as intended, Mario will eventually reach Bowser’s Front Door where he’ll be able to tackle the final stage normally. Find the secret exit in Valley Fortress and players can make the final stage their third in the final world. 

This is easier said than done, however, as Valley Fortress is arguably the hardest level in the main game (and by a good deal.) On top of that, Valley Fortress is only unlocked by finding the secret exit in Bowser Valley 2. Thankfully, it’s easy to find. In the room with the Monty Mole, fly up to the left and run across the top of the screen. 

NEXT: 10 Video Game Moments That Defined The N64


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20 Hidden Secrets You Still Haven't Found In Super Mario World

By Guy Desmarais


Super Mario World is chalked full of things you missed and hidden secrets. These are amazing revelations in world's best platform video game.

Having sold over twenty million copies, and being the game to be originally packed with the Super NES, it's safe to assume that most gamers have at least tried Super Mario World. When you include the numerous re-releases on Game Boy Advance, on the multiple versions of Nintendo's Virtual Console, and now on the SNES Classic, there is a really good chance that even people who haven't played the game will have heard of its many secrets and strategies simply by being a gamer with an internet access. With a game of such notoriety, it is an incredibly difficult task to come up with a list of things that people might not already know about it.

Still, we have assembled twenty hidden secrets about the classic platformer which might not be entirely unknown, but which are certainly much harder to come by. I have been playing Super Mario World religiously for over 25 years, and I didn't even know most of these. I have spent more money on the different versions of Super Mario World than most people would consider reasonable, so you can trust me when I say that there are still a few wonderful discoveries to be made about this SNES launch title.

And if you are one of those obsessive Mario fans who have already read everything there is to read on this game, then please, let us know in the comment if there is anything more obscure we might have missed!

20 Forever In The Cloud

It is no secret: Super Mario World makes it very clear that you can ride Lakitu’s cloud if you manage to defeat him. Unfortunately, the cloud itself has a tendency to disappear after a little while, leaving you vulnerable should you be above the wrong part of a level when that happens. To make the cloud last as long as you want, follow these simple steps. As Fire Mario, kill Lakitu with a fireball, and do not forget to collect the coin that appears. That is when you get up there and start riding the cloud. From there, it will last forever, or at least until you die or finish the level. An everlasting cloud is a great way to explore your surroundings without fears of being caught off guard by an enemy.

19 Take Your Time

This one necessitates very precise timing and a very specific set of circumstances, but it basically gives you the ability to take forever to explore a level should you wish it. As long as you keep an eye on the timer, all you need is a fire flower in your extra item box. When the timer gets close to reaching zero, release the flower from its box. Make sure that you catch it at the exact moment where the timer expires, and if you did it right, the timer will stay at zero, except that you won’t die. You will be allowed to finish the stage at your own pace, which can be very useful in some of those more challenging Special World levels.

18 Keep Up With The Rhythm

Everyone knows that there is a jingle in every Super Mario games which activates when there is less than 100 seconds left to finish a level. After the jingle, the music starts going a little faster, a clear sign that it’s time to hurry up. Under the right circumstances, this jingle can play more than once, and the speed of the music will keep increasing with every instance. A good place to explore this new musical dimension is in the Special World level titled “Funky”. The level contains nine green berries, and each of those berries will add 20 seconds to your timer when consumed. So, if you wait for the timer to reach 99 seconds, then eat one of the berries, you will be back at 110 seconds. Repeat this over and over every time you are back down to 99 seconds, and in the end, the music will be comically fast.

17 Those Switches Are So Useful

The P-Switches are items which turn regular blocks into coins (and vice-versa). Using one can allow Mario to quickly fill up his coin counter if it is used in the right place. But what if you could use the same one over and over? With your pal Yoshi, that’s exactly what you can do, and all it takes is a little timing. While riding Yoshi, it is possible to stomp on a P-Switch, move slightly to the side with the momentum, and then gobble up the switch before it disappears. When you spit it out, it will appear unused again, effectively giving you an unlimited number of P-Switches, and coins, in stages that have them. This gives you extra tries at difficult switch puzzles, and one crazy coin supply should you feel the need for even more extra lives.

16 Kill The Big Boo

This one is fairly recent, but if you have been online at all in the last year, chances are that you have heard about this. But for those who have not, here we go: Did you know that one of the biggest enemies in Super Mario World, the Big Boo himself, is not as invincible as first thought? It was revealed in January of this year that it is actually possible to vanquish this ghastly foe. Just find the nearest set of stairs and slide down, right into the Big Boo, to send him to wherever the after-afterlife is. The problem is that there aren’t a whole lot of staircases in Ghost Houses around Dinosaur Land, so you can only get rid of Big Boo in a very limited fashion.

15 While We Are At It, Kill The Buzzsaws!

Though it was a very well hidden secret for a long time, killing Big Boos kinda makes sense, because while they are ghosts, they are still “regular” enemies. They are entities which can be interacted with and react to Mario’s presence. Buzzsaws, however, are round blades which travel on a predefined path and will keep cutting through whatever is in their way, no matter who or what tries to stop them. Despite all of this, Mario can still defeat them, once again by sliding into them, though it involves those tiny pink triangular blocks and very precise timing. Kudos to whoever discovered this one, since sliding butt-first into a functioning circular saw blade never would have been one of my guesses when it comes to defeating enemies.

14 The Quickest Path

Super Mario World offers plenty of shortcuts to those who would like to defeat the game as quickly as possible. For those who aren’t afraid to cheat, it’s even possible to manipulate the game’s handling of memory space to get to the credits in less than five minutes. For those who want to keep it proper and use only the game’s intended mechanics, it has been established that the quickest route will take a player through 12 stages, cutting right through Star Road from its Donut Plains entrance to make it to Bowser’s Castle. This should take slightly less than fifteen minutes, and it is a run which is completely doable by mere mortals such as you and me with a little practice.

13 Every Mario Game Has An Infinite Lives Trick

Every Super Mario game has an infinite lives trick, and Super Mario World is not any different. In this one, an easy trick is to go to Forest of Illusion 1, a level about halfway through the game. Make sure to bring a cape with you, and then go through the stage until you get to a platform with three Wigglers on it. Jump on the first one, then on the other two, while holding down the jump button to bounce really high. After your third bounce, every single Wiggler will be mad, but you will be able to glide slightly off screen with your cape before returning to the platform. The Wigglers will have reverted back to their calmer state, allowing you to stomp them again. Repeat, and after a while, you will be accumulating extra lives with every single bounce.

12 Don’t Fear The Banzai Bills

If you are like me, the one thing that made you realize you were in a brand new world when first playing Super Mario World is the appearance of Banzai Bill early in the game. These gigantic versions of a regular Bullet Bill are big enough that you need a running jump to properly clear them. Otherwise, it’s better to hide in a hole in the ground and wait for this supersized enemy to pass. The one thing that can protect you, however, is Yoshi. While he cannot eat a Banzai Bill, he can help Mario pass by unharmed, on one single condition: While Mario is riding Yoshi, his head must be lower than the vertical center of the Banzai Bill. From this moment forward, you shall not give in to fear anymore.

11 The Mysterious Pop-Up One-Up

In the Vanilla Ghost House, there is a series of platforms near the start which must be navigated with care to escape the clutch of the various Boos patrolling them. Sometimes, you might be rewarded with a random 1-up which seems to appears on a whim. You might think it is a random occurrence, but there is a method to the madness. As it turns out, not only must Mario land on a specific platform, but he must also follow a specific order in which to travel the area (as shown in the header). The platforms contain four hidden check points which must be touched in the correct order for the 1-up to appear. The game makes no effort to indicate that this invisible maze exists at all, so it is your job, as a player, to spread the knowledge to fellow gamer.

10 Cheat The Bonus Game

Super Mario World has a few bonus games which allow players to collect extra lives. My favourite is the one that you find in the middle of some stages, when Mario enters a pipe only to find multiple rows of three question blocks. This game forces players to guess the order in which these blocks must be hit to produce a 1-up mushroom, and the correct answer changes every time… unless you are willing to cheat a little bit. You will need a cape, and you will need to bring a Koopa shell with you through the pipe. Once that is done, you simply need to position the shell so that you can bounce it off the question blocks by hitting it with the cape. Doing so will register each hit of the blocks as a correct guess, giving you the maximum amount of extra lives every time.

9 More Infinite Lives!

When compared to the previously mentioned “infinite lives” trick, this one is a bit riskier, but much faster in execution. Basically, one only needs to go into any level where Yoshi has an easy access to fruits, and to position the screen in such a way that the fruit in question is directly under the box at the top of the screen that holds your extra item (that box should be filled with a fire flower or a feather). When you release the item, time it so that as it floats down, you collect it at the same time as Yoshi eats the fruit. From that point, there are two possible outcomes. 1) Mario starts flashing and the game freezes. 2) The game still freezes, but coins start accumulating indefinitely and at a frenzied pace, giving you as many extra lives as you desire. In both cases, press Start and Select to exit the level.

8 A Long Wait At The Jukebox

The soundtrack to Super Mario World is a great one, and as the first example of Koji Kondo’s magic on a 16-bit stage, it set the bar pretty high for his future work. By making every single song a variation on the main theme, it gives the soundtrack a cohesion that resonates with gamers to this day. It stands on its own, but Kondo did make sure to include a little surprise for long time fans. Once you have made it to the tough-as-nails Special World, should you have the patience to leave your controller unattended for five minutes or so, you will be rewarded with the theme to the original Super Mario Bros. It still sounds just as glorious as it did on the NES, and it is crazy to think that such a limited machine could produce such memorable tunes.

7 Open House Day At The Castle

The castles are usually the pinnacle of their respective world when it comes to challenge, but unfortunately, they can only be played once before they crumble to the ground after Mario has defeated the Koopaling inhabiting them. Trying to re-enter a previously cleared castle through conventional means will not work. Instead, you will need to hold the L and R buttons before pressing Start to replay a castle. This trick does not work in the Japanese version, meaning that we are lucky to even be able to redo these challenging levels as we please. It is unclear what caused Nintendo to change their mind in between the release of the two versions, but we are sure glad that they came to their senses and allowed us to revisit these tricky courses.

6 Stairs Can’t Stop Me

There are a few Ghost Houses in Super Mario World which have puzzles to solve which involve staircases. These puzzles force you to re-enter the same door countless times to respawn under the set of stairs, which can be frustrating and time consuming if you forget the proper order in which to do thing. To skip on some of the most tedious parts, there’s a way to pass right though those seemingly impassable stairs. With a cape, it is possible for Mario to fly right through the obstacle, as long as he is in a upwards trajectory when making contact with the stairs. This trick has a very limited use, but hey, might as well have every tool available at your disposition.

5 Yoshi's Crazy Slide

From the “fun but useless” files, here’s a little know fact that can only be observed in very specific locations. First, you will need an ice stage. Second, the stage needs to have a hill or slope which Mario can slide down. Finally, you also need to be riding Yoshi. Once all these conditions have been put together, observe as Mario now gains the ability to slide UP the slope. Just as pressing down and right will send you down the slope, pressing down and right while riding Yoshi will send the pair up the hill while using the exact same animation. Mario cannot do this by himself, so it seems like ignoring the laws of gravity is a special talent which only Yoshi can exploit.

4 A Good Example Of Multitasking

Many people, myself included, will have missed this very simple trick because they just never thought to try it. After all, the X and Y buttons on the SNES control pad do the exact same thing, and once one of them is pressed, it’s a bit of a stretch to reach for the other one. Still, if you have a big enough thumb to press all of the required inputs at the same time, it is possible to shoot fireballs while dashing AND holding an object all at the same time. The finger gymnastic required to pull it off makes it impractical at best, and the number of times where such a manoeuvre would be necessary can be counted on one’s fingers, but the possibility is still there.

3 Strut Your Way To The End

Super Mario World’s end credits sequence is satisfactory for a game of its era, but it’s also nothing to write home about. Mario and his pals walk through the various setting encountered throughout the adventure while a triumphant music plays. If you would like to make things slightly more exciting, there’s only one way to alter the experience. Once Bowser has been defeated, and just as Princess Peach enters the picture, hold down L, R, X and Y. Keep those buttons pressed until the credits start, and if you did it right, you will notice that Mario’s strut is somewhat more peculiar than usual. I get it, Mario is trying to find a cool walk of his own, but he’s got a long way to go before it becomes as iconic as Ric Flair’s.

2 Taking Care Of Your Plants

Pokeys are moving cacti that were first introduced in Super Mario Bros. 2, and which make a comeback in Super Mario World. Their size may vary from one appearance to another, but unlike what some people (like me) believe, they are not generated randomly. In fact, their size is directly influenced by Mario and his actions. Should Mario approach a Pokey’s dwelling on foot, the cactus will be only three sections high. Should Mario approach while riding Yoshi, however, the sentient cactus will be five sections high. This means that if you are terrified of tall plants, there is a way to game the system. However, a more effective outcome would be to keep riding that Yoshi and just let the friendly green machine eat his way through your foes.

1 …All Right, One More Easy Infinite Lives Trick

Unlike the previous “infinite lives” glitch, this one is super legit and does not actually exploit a flaw in the game’s code. It uses a grey P-Switch, which turns enemies into grey coins, which in turn transform into extra lives if you collect enough of them (and then give you two extra lives at a time, then three!) If you go to the level titled Vanilla Secret 2, you will find such a switch hidden in a block near the pit full of Spinys past the midpoint mark. Bring the switch back to the Piranha Plant next to the checkpoint, and activate it. Start running towards the start of the level, and you will be surprised at the quantity of enemies turned into coins that are waiting for you. Simply pulling off this twice will be enough to get you to the 99 lives maximum.


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About The Author
Guy Desmarais (90 Articles Published)

Guy writes about video games on the internet. He enjoys gaming (obviously), hockey, poutine, and a bunch of other things he is less willing to talk about in public. He also collects retro games and Jean-Claude Van Damme memorabilia.

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