The first release of Super Mario Bros. It was my first Nintendo game, and I spent countless hours attempting to beat it, so it will always hold a special place in my heart. I have a special treat for you today: There are eight great cheats, glitches, and other in-game secrets.
Super Mario Bros. was one of three minigames performed onstage by gaming legend Robin Mihara, who placed third at the 1990 Nintendo World Championships (NWC). Mihara was recently featured in Ecstasy of Order: The Tetris Masters (2011), a documentary about another another game that holds a place of honor in the NWC canon.
Some of these I learned when I was a youngster, but the others are completely new to me. Dig in:
1. Leap above the flagpole (Glitch)
On World 3-3, you can skip the flagpole altogether if you time your jump correctly. The area in question is unremarkable.
2. Skating (Glitch)
For a brief period of time, Fire Mario may “skate” without really moving his feet. Jump and blast a fireball (B+A buttons) and push right when you emerge from a tunnel or enter a new World. The time you can skate for is probably around ten seconds.
3. The Ultimate Guide to Setting Off Fireworks (Tip)
When I was a youngster, this was obvious, but I’ve since met adults who were unaware of it. The clock in the upper right-hand corner will stop when the flagpole is hit. If it ends in a 1, 3, or 6, you’ll get that many fireworks, and it’s common knowledge that six is the magic number.
4. Unlimited Continues and 1UPs (Trick)
Reach World 3-1 and look for two koopa troopas coming down the stairwell. Disregard the initial one. Jump on the second one while it’s still on the steps to turn it into a shell, then wait a step below the shell to attack. Please hop on the shell. You may rack up a lot of points and extra lives by strategically timing your jumps off the shell’s surface.
5. Victory and Instant Death (Glitch)
This feels like some sort of strange poetic justice. In World 8-4, Mario will perish if he attacks Bowser at the precise moment he swings the axe and lowers Bowser into the lava pit. However, he is still victorious. As a result, Princess Peach delivers a monologue to an empty room.
6. Make Mario the Little Red Fireball (Glitch)
This is incredible, but a lot to take in. See the video for a demonstration, but in short, a glitch happens if you are a “Large” Mario, Luigi, etc. (including Fire variants) and you hit a mini-Bowser (in a world before World 8-4) at the same time that you hit the axe. If you want to be Little Fire Mario, you’ll need to collect a Mushroom (which makes you small!) and a Fire Flower on the next world.
The best moment is when Little Fire Mario spits out a fireball and temporarily transforms into Big Fire Mario. You may perform this on a number of levels, but World 1-4 is where you’ll find the essential power-ups, so that’s where I’d start.
7. Vine-Dancing (Trick)
This is merely for show, as it contributes nothing substantive to your performance. You’ll “dance” at the top of a vine if you keep climbing to the very top. In my opinion, this is fitting when you are ready to rob a bonus World of a large sum of money. (I didn’t get the groan Mihara gave out because he missed the last coin in this run.)
8. Achieve a -1 World Rank (Glitch)
This is very monumental. You can get to “World -1,” a sea world just like World 7-2, via a glitched-out Warp Zone accessible by a specific crouch-jump on World 1-2. You still swim until your time runs out, regardless of whether or not you make it through the pipe. Horrifying and strange.