Sure, completing the main story of a prized video game can be exceptionally rewarding in and of itself. Even knocking out that plot on the easiest level with a series of cheat websites and walkthroughs pulled up on your phone can still prove to be a difficult task. And few things are as satisfying as fully completing a game, start to finish. But sometimes you just crave more content. And when that gaming itch strikes and you find yourself needing to re-immerse yourself in the world of your favorite games after the story has been completed, you can find yourself frustrated if you are unprepared to restart the story from the beginning. This itch can be satiated by playing these games through a new set of eyes. A completionist set of eyes to be more exact.
Venture through these worlds you’ve come to know and love with the sole goal of collecting each and every single one of the objects scattered throughout the game, explore hidden worlds, and embark on some elusive secret quests. Travel to places few gamers have ever seen before and make a name for yourself in these uncharted lands. And there are few platforms which provide players with as much hidden content as the wonderful world of Nintendo. It seems as if each game was created with a secondary game hidden inside intended for completionists and completionists alone.
So, without further ado, here are twenty-five secret locations that you may not have known were hidden throughout several unique Nintendo games.
25 Chris Houlihan Room: The Legend Of Zelda: A Link To The Past
Who is Chris Houlihan and what does he have to do with The Legend of Zelda? Well, our good friend Chris was the winner of a Nintendo Power magazine contest; the winner of whom would get their name inserted into an upcoming NES game. The game A Link to the Past ended up being released on the SNES instead but he still made it in. All you have to do to find this top secret room is trigger an error condition on a screen transition. One of the easiest ways is to attempt a long dash with the Pegasus Boots.
24 Castle Roof: Super Mario 64
The roof of Princess Peach’s castle in Super Mario 64 is usually the last place you go once you have completed the game. There is nothing but a Yoshi waiting for you. However, the gift you receive from him is a much appreciated, if a little late, reward of 99 lives, an enhanced triple jump, and a special message from Shigeru Miyamoto himself. To get onto the roof, you must collect all 120 stars and win the final fight against Bowser. Then finally, jump into a cannon outside the castle and launch yourself up there.
23 Minus World: Super Mario Bros.
Minus world is actually a glitch world that was not meant to be accessed. It will also completely end your playthrough. To access the world, the first thing you have to do is get to the end of the underground section of "world 1-2." Then you must stand on the leftmost end of the pipe that normally takes you to the end of the level. The next part is tricky. You have to crouch while also facing left, and then quickly jump right. Mario must land in a pixel-perfect spot on the pipe to pass through it.
22 Mirage Island: Pokémon Ruby And Sapphire
Mirage Island is an incredibly vexing area from the third generation of Pokémon games. It only appears under incredibly rare and obscure circumstances. Every real-world day, the game cartridge generates two random bytes of data and if those bytes match the last two bytes of any personality value of any Pokémon in your party, Mirage Island will appear. Any single Pokémon only has a 1 in 65,536 of generating the correct bytes. A full party brings those lofty odds to 1 in 10,923. You honestly have a much better chance of encountering a shiny Pokémon.
21 Regi Caves: Pokémon Ruby And Sapphire
The legendary golems Regice, Regirock, and Registeel from the third generation of Pokémon are hidden behind three puzzles. These puzzles can be solved by reading braille, using your Pokémons' field moves, and executing an exact pattern of movement assigned to each individual cave. Before you can access these caves you must visit the Sealed Cavern and complete a preliminary puzzle. You must also have a Relicanth and Wailord in your party for this to work. After this has been achieved, you will be able to find the caves on route 105, 120, and in the route 111 desert.
20 Whirl Islands: Pokémon Gold And Silver
The Whirl Islands (which appear on route 41 from the second generation of Pokémon) are a set of four islands interconnected by a series of pitch black caves. These caves are infested with the usual irritating Zubats. On your first trip by these islands, unfortunately, you won’t be able to access them (as you won’t have the necessary HM06: Whirlpool in your possession). You will also need to collect the "Silver Wing" item to unlock the prize which lies in wait in the deepest part of the caves. This prize is none other than the legendary Pokémon Lugia.
19 Gaiden Chapters: Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon
In the very first Fire Emblem game, you have the ability to take control of Marth and his posse as you travel across Archanea. Along the way, you are tasked with making friends.
Most players of this series will simply reset if any character is lost, but that action is guaranteed to lock them out of the secret chapters.
These chapters will only unlock if you lose a certain amount of units before reaching them. The rewards that lie within them are usually treasure, experience, and even a new person to fill your depleted ranks.
18 Crossbone Isle: Golden Sun
Crossbone Isle is an optional super dungeon featuring ridiculously overpowered enemies and high-end loot from the first Golden Sun game. Since the isle is located somewhere in the Karagol Sea, there are two methods to reach this mysterious place. One method involves replacing the rowers on a tour ship and arranging them (strongest to weakest) from left to right. The other method is unlocked by riding a tornado to the sea from the desert area across the map. Unfortunately, if you choose the first method, you will not have certain necessary spells in your arsenal required to fully explore the isle.
17 Zone Eater's Belly: Final Fantasy VI
The "Zone Eater's belly" is a secret location which lies in the interior of a regular enemy from Final Fantasy 6. To enter this area, you must let one of these enemies (which are only found on Triangle Island) consume your entire party. Though these monsters appear intimidating, they are actually incapable of KOing your characters. This is because their true purpose in existing is to bring you into their belly in order to unlock this secret dungeon and allow you to recruit a secret character: Gogo.
16 Brightmoon Tor: Final Fantasy Tactics Advance 2
Brightmoon Tor is a recurring and optional tower that only appears under frustratingly specific circumstances. Brightmoon Tor appears three times. The first time the tower can appear, the moon must be shining. The tower just simply won’t appear unless the moon is present. Note: you must complete the "five-floor tower" as well as thoroughly reading the rumors of its appearance before the Tor will be able to appear in its second location. The tower's third appearance will only be triggered after fully completing the game's main story.
15 Luigi's Basement: Paper Mario
In the first Paper Mario game, you will be able to visit Mario and Luigi's home in Toad Town. There isn't a whole lot to do here other than check on the Mario Bros’ mail, chat with Luigi, and have Mario take a little nap in his own bed. However, the most interesting thing you can do in this world is find the secret basement that Luigi added to the home. Once you are in the secret basement, you can read Luigi's secret diary. But since you’re good, you wouldn't do that, would you?
14 Private Oasis: The Legend Of Zelda: The Wind Waker
In The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, Link can come to inherit a private island and Cabana. All he has to do to gain custody of this humble abode is to collect some necklaces. In quadrant E-5 of the great sea, there awaits a small island which is guarded by a big octo.
The Cabana itself will deny you entry without the deed.
The deed can be secured by trading some joy pendants with the school teacher on Windfall Island. Return with the deed in hand in order to gain access to some puzzles and a secret basement.
13 Dark Star: Kirby 64
The Dark Star is the true final level of Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards. It will only open up to you if you are able to collect every one of the 72 crystal shards which have been scattered. The first thing you must do to access this area is securing a defeat against the boss Miracle Matter before the dark matter surrounding Ripple Star pulls away and forms said Dark Star. Kirby will then call up a warp star cab in order to take him to this special location so he can face off against 02, the real final boss.
12 Underneath DK Isle: Donkey Kong 64
This secret location just so happens to be the cockpit of King K. Rool’s ship (which can be seen during the game's intro cinematic sequence). To access it, all you need to do is swim under the island, get behind a waterfall, swim into the blue void, and then adjust your camera. If you are still swimming when you are moved into this room, you will appear to be floating. I personally recommend taking Lanky Kong for this adventure.
11 Cerulean Cave: Pokémon Red, Blue, And Yellow
This location will be locked off to all of those who aren't members of the Pokémon League Championship. Only those with a valid membership will be granted entry. Waiting for you in this cave is the one and only Mewtwo. Besides the radical Mewtwo waiting for you at the very back of the cave, there will also be other high-level cave-dwelling pokémon available to you (such as Golbats and the occasional Graveller). You may also stumble upon rare items and technical machines that would have been more appreciated had they appeared earlier on.
10 Kanto: Pokémon Gold And Silver
In the game Pokémon Gold, Silver, and Crystal, players will have the ability to travel across the brand new Johto region; earning your badges along the way which will eventually grant you access to the Pokémon League. In the traditional Pokémon games, joining that league would usually mark the end of your Pokémon journey.
Following your first complete playthrough of the game, players can return to the region of Kanto after becoming champions. Awaiting you will be 8 more gyms, rare Pokémon, the ability to revisit old locations, and an additional final rematch against your old rival.
9 Jigglypuff: Super Smash Bros. Brawl
In the Subspace Emissary, you may have noticed that some characters are mysteriously absent from the story. Where the heck is my favorite pink puffball, Jigglypuff? As one of the original 12 characters from Super Smash Bros 64, it's incredibly odd that she wouldn't appear in the adventure at any point. However, the truth is is that she's just hiding from you. To find her, you must complete the main story of "Subspace Emissary" and then return to the swamp stage. Enter the first door after defeating false giant Diddy Kong and there she is.
8 Grand Finale Galaxy: Super Mario Galaxy
To get to the Grand Finale Galaxy, you must complete the game as both Mario and Luigi. And both brothers must each collect all 120 stars. Once the location is unlocked, the only mission available to you is to collect 100 purple coins and talk to the mail toad. Then your rather lackluster reward is a picture that gets posted to your console's message board. It does change based on which bro talks to the toad but the reward is nothing compared to Yoshi’s gift from Super Mario 64 (and might not be worth all of the effort).
7 Hidden Grottos: The Legend Of Zelda: Twilight Princess
In The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, players have the ability to search through twenty-one unique hidden holes in the ground while trotting about in the form of Wolf Link. However, this can only be done if you have your senses engaged and search in specific and designated areas in each of the different regions of Hyrule. You will usually be treated to unpleasant enemy encounters upon entering each of these secret areas and the rewards are rather insubstantial for the hassle some of these challenges present. The rewards are usually 100 rupees, but some holes may contain Poe Souls.
6 Field Of Kittens: The Legend Of Zelda: Skyward Sword
Somewhere in Skyloft of The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, you may stumble across a magical place that has come to be known as the field of kittens. To access this beautiful place, you must first find the clawshots. After doing so, you should then return to Skyloft and enter the Goddess Statue area. Look around for a target and then clawshot your way up until you reach the patch of flowers. Five cuddly kittens will be waiting for you there. They disappear at night, which is for the best as the cats in this game become hostile at night for some reason.
5 Hidden Room: Luigi's Mansion
In Luigi’s Mansion, you can find several secrets throughout the game. The best secret is the hidden room in the second area of the game. All you have to do to unlock this area is to look around for a mouse hole in the butler's room. Once found, inspect the hole with Luigi's Game Boy Horror and he will immediately be sucked through the hole. On the other side, Luigi will be greeted by the sight of 8 treasure chests. Be wary for some of these chests contain incredibly spooky Boos.
4 Star World: Super Mario World
In Super Mario World, should you be blessed with the luck of the stars, you may stumble across a star rod that will take you to the secret star world. The star world contains five levels (each of which hand you a Yoshi right away to help you navigate your way through these surprisingly difficult levels). In order to truly complete this world, you must find all five of the secret exits within in each of the levels (one of which exists in each and every level). Which, in all honesty, just feels sort of gimmicky.
3 Princess Peach's Secret Slide: Super Mario 64
As if Princess Peach needed to be cooler! It turns out that Princess Peach has a secret slide behind one of the stained glass windows in her room in Super Mario 64. All you have to do to gain access to this glorious slide is to collect just one of the 120 stars in order to unlock the door to her room. Once you gain access to the princess’ room, you just have to jump into the rightmost window to find that secret slide. If you reach the bottom of the slide in under 21 seconds you will receive a power star.
2 Reptile Pit: Mortal Kombat
Mortal Kombat contains a special hidden stage that can only be found under extremely specific circumstances. The game, however, does give you some rather mysterious hints which can help players figure out how to uncover this location. To enter the elusive Reptile Pit, you will need to achieve a double flawless victory (this refers to the act of winning two matches in a series as well as finishing with a finishing special move) while a silhouette is simultaneously passing over the moon which hangs in the background of the game. Talk about convoluted, my goodness.
1 Egyptian: GoldenEye 007
The El-Saghira Temple (also known as the Egyptian temple) is the ultimate bonus level from the Goldeneye game. Simply being able to access this level is testament to your skill at this game. To enter the Egyptian temple, you must first complete every other mission in the game on the highest difficulty level: "00 agent." And believe me when I say that game is known for having some famously difficult levels. After unlocking this temple, you must complete a floor tile puzzle to find the Golden Gun in preparation for a final showdown with Baron Samedi.