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.
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.
5 Super Mario Bros. 4
Another localization easter egg! The decision to change the name of the fourth installment in the side-scrolling Mario Bros. games to Super Mario World was strange and many wondered why they didn't simply name it Super Mario Bros. 4. They technically did. In Japan where the game was originally released, it had the title of "Super Mario Bros. 4" and the subtitle of "Super Mario World."
The developers thought that this title was too long for American audiences and decided to scrap the Super Mario Bros. 4 title.
Many people still consider it to be the fourth Super Mario Bros. game. When Super Mario World's sequel released Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island it still kept the Super Mario World title making many consider these games to be in their own separate timeline of games. Each Mario Bros. game brought something new to the table and no matter the official title of it they are all great games!
4 The Yoshi Clip
Yoshi is very prominent in Super Mario World as it was one of the first mainline Mario games that Yoshi was featured in. The game treated Yoshi as a sidekick and he had an array of different moves different from Mario's. Mainly he served as an extra hit and a way to get extra height upon performing a jump. When Yoshi is hit however he goes running off to the left or right forcing the player to have to go grab him again. There is a way to prevent this and allow Mario to take the hit.
This is only in a specific level and can only be done once or twice in the game. If you enter a level with Yoshi and there are Wigglers present you can pull off this trick. First, you'll need to run at full speed and attempt to eat a Wiggler. If done correctly the Wiggler will end up hitting Mario instead of Yoshi as the animation hasn't yet set in since Mario and Yoshi are moving at such high speeds. This trick is pointless for any reason other than trying it out but it is cool to try nonetheless.
3 The Infinite Block Glitch
This glitch is another impractical glitch that will benefit you very much in your adventure but it does offer small rewards. This glitch requires an item of some sort that Mario can pick up (preferably a Koopa shell) and an item block. If you hit the shell at the block at the right moment it will duplicate the block by revealing the item and keeping the original block the same, making it still obtainable. The same thing can be done when manipulating blocks with P switches in them.
This is incredibly useless but is a cool aesthetic glitch if you are just looking to break the game. The P switches exist on the same horizontal plane so if you manipulate the block they come out of the right way they can produce differently colored P switches. This again has no use in the game to help you progress forward and is just an aesthetic change. This just goes to show the amount that Super Mario World can be broken and messed with.
2 Mario Can Fall Through The Walls
Players have called this glitch the anti-gravity room. This is an area in the game where players can manipulate the game's boundaries allowing Mario to pass through walls that he wasn't supposed to be able to before. There aren't many areas in the game where this is achievable but it is still worth checking out the next time you're passing through these levels. The glitch is most famously done in Vanilla Dome 2.
The player must be fully powered up with either the fire flower or the super cape. After activating the P switch the player will find the mound of coins that resembles a rectangle. After that, the player will run and duck into the mound of coins and time it to the moment when the P switch becomes inactive. If done right the blocks that appear will force Mario through the floor causing him to break the boundaries. The reason it is called the anti-gravity room is because all objects that Mario can grab including Yoshi will begin to slide and defy all rules of gravity.
1 Lakitu's Cloud Glitch
Everyone knows that the Lakitu cloud can be used as a means of floating through an entire level. However, this can only be used for a certain amount of time before it starts flashing and disappears sending the player to the haunting depths below. Players have found a way to manipulate the cloud so it never disappears and it is now used as a way to speed run the game.
To pull off this glitch the player must head to Yoshi's Island 2. You'll need to have Yoshi in order to pull this glitch off. When heading through the level eat the first red turtle shell you see. Next, eat the green Koopa shell that you come across and quickly eat it. You will then reach a set of stairs in which you will place the shell down. Then the fireball Yoshi breathed earlier will hit the shell turning it into a coin. Use Yoshi's tongue to grab the coin and spin jump off at the same time to the right, while also moving the screen to the left by hitting the R button. If done correctly the game will glitch giving the player the cloud icon in their spare item box. This will allow the player to spawn the cloud at any point in the game allowing for easy access through all of the levels.