Super Mario World isn't just one of the best Super Mario games out there, it's arguably the best Super Nintendo game, period. From how it controls, to how it looks, to the sheer creativity present in the level design, Super Mario World was the title that set up just how great a console the Super Nintendo would end up being. It was 2D platforming perfected to a sheen, and the world of video gaming seemed a bit brighter with Super Mario World in it.
Its main draw compared to other Super Mario games was its expansive world full of alternate routes and tucked away secrets. Super Mario Bros. 3 toyed with the idea of nonlinearity, but Nintendo didn't fully commit until Super Mario World. The world map, branching paths within levels, and two entirely secret worlds not present on the main map meant that Super Mario World had a longevity that simply wasn’t possible with earlier Mario titles.
It’s only natural that in its near thirty year lifetime, fans have exhausted all the secrets tucked away in Super Mario World, but that's not to say every secret is coming knowledge or that there isn’t something lurking in the shadows you never got a chance to experience. If there’s one thing Nintendo does well, it’s hiding those secrets for the most patient fans.
15 Yoshi Debuted In Super Mario World Because Miyamoto Couldn't Fit Him In Earlier Games
Mario’s dinosaur brethren is probably the most iconic mainstay to come out of Super Mario World. Almost immediately, Yoshi’s popularity led to his own franchise, plenty of merchandise, and a sizable fan base. On paper, Yoshi is that one burst of genius Nintendo could only think of for a game as ambitious as Super Mario World but the reality is Miyamoto had been planning to implement Yoshi from the very beginning.
Shigeru Miyamoto wanted Mario to have an animal companion he could ride right in the very first game with there actually being concept art of Mario riding a Yoshi-like prototype. Unfortunately, the limitations of the NES made actually implementing an asset like Yoshi impossible. It was only thanks to the Super Nintendo’s stronger technology that Yoshi became more than just a pipe dream.
14 Yoshi Can Eat Dolphins In The Japanese Release
You’ve probably noticed if you’ve taken Yoshi to any water based levels that he can’t eat any dolphins. He can eat just about any other enemy in the game, but his tongue will just reflect off of the dolphins and leave them be. It’s not like he can eat every enemy, so it’s not too glaring unless you know that dolphins are totally fair game for Yoshi’s diet in the Japanese release.
Presumably, due to the West’s negative reaction towards dolphin hunting, Nintendo of America and Europe didn’t want to give off the image that they’re okay with fictional green dinosaurs eating dolphins, so they just made the inedible. Weirdly enough, they’re edible again in the Gameboy Advance release for all regions.
13 The Lost Woods From The Legend Of Zelda Debuted Here
Every Zelda fan is familiar with the Lost Woods. Those who started with A Link to the Past remember it as the Master Sword’s resting place and Ocarina of Time fans will remember it as Saria’s favorite spot and the gateway to the Forest Temple. It’s a crucial location in Zelda history, but it actually originated in Super Mario World.
In Japanese, the Forest of Illusion in Super Mario World is named Mayoi no Mori which happens to be the same name for the Lost Woods in The Legend of Zelda. The two even have the same premise, being forests that trick those who enter into looping around until they can figure out the trick that’ll lead them to an exit. Next time you're in the Lost Woods, just remind yourself that Mario did it first.
12 The Koopalings Are NOT Bowser’s Children
Between their appearances in Super Mario Bros. 3 and Super Mario World, it was easy to assume that the Koopalings were Bowser’s very own offsprings. They were koopas like him, shared in his goals, and pretty much any Super Mario related material referred to them as Bowser’s children. It makes sense all things considered, why wouldn’t they be Bowser’s children? Well, that’s easy. Because Miyamoto said so.
Depending on how you look at it, Miyamoto either retconned or cleared up the Koopaling’s history in an interview in 2012 where he stated that Bowser Jr. was Bowser’s only child. It’s a fine enough change that doesn’t damage the canon of the series, but it does raise a very specific issue: why is Bowser hanging out with a bunch of kids?
11 You Can Visit One Of Bowser’s Airships From Super Mario Bros. 3
The Koopaling’s airships are as crucial to the aesthetic of Super Mario Bros. 3 as the tanooki suit and the addition of the map. It’s a critical piece of the design that not only breathes life into the Mario universe, but also acts as a climactic finale to each world where Mario sends an airship tumbling down to the surface.
In Super Mario World, you can actually find one of the crashed airships deep at the bottom of a lake. It’s about what you’d expect: the design is the same, it has the bullets bills you came to hate, and it even has one of the magic balls from Super Mario Bros. 3. Morbidly, however, it’s completely riddled with ghosts of enemies who presumably died in the crash. Who said Mario couldn’t be dark?
10 You Can Replay Castles
Castles are seemingly the only non-replayable levels in Super Mario World and for good reason considering Mario literally detonates the castles once he’s done with them, but if you hold L and then press R while standing over them on the map, you can replay them in their entirely. It’s worth noting, however, that checkpoints won’t work anymore and that the GBA port of Super Mario World will let you replay castles without a button prompt just so long as you’ve beaten the final boss beforehand. Unfortunately, this method won’t work on any of the switch palaces, but boss castles remain one of the better and faster ways to stock up on extra lives and useful power-ups.
9 The Season Changes To Autumn If You Clear The Special World
Super Mario World’s special world was the first of many post-game traditions that the Super Mario franchise would end up adopting in later years. Super Mario 3D World rather famously had four extra worlds after the base game, but it’s unlikely it would have had Super Mario World not set the precedent years earlier.
Like any good post-game, Super Mario World’s Special World needed a good incentive to clear it, and its reward was completely overhauling the aesthetic of Super Mario World to a more autumn tone. Trees were now shades of gold, orange, and red while koopas wore Halloween masks of Mario. The gameplay stayed the same, but the new look is refreshing enough to encourage another full playthrough just to see how else everything’s changed.
8 You Can Kill Invincible Enemies With A Power Slide
The Super Mario franchise has always had its fair share of unbeatable enemies that act more as obstacles than anything else. Boos, thwomps, and deathly saws are probably the best examples in Super Mario World, but there’s actually a little exploit that lets you get rid of these otherwise indestructible obstacles. By lining Mario up on a slope, he can power slide down and actually kill boos, big boos, and saws. It’s almost certainly not a glitch either since they actually award you points on defeat. This also means that, canonically, Mario’s butt is stronger than a sharp power saw.
7 The SNES Color Palette Makes It Look Like Mario’s Eyes Are Bleeding
As much of an improvement as the Super Nintendo was over the NES, it still had itfairre share of limitations, especially in the color department. If you’ve ever wondered why Link had pink hair in A Link to the Past, it’s because the Super Nintendo’s setbacks couldn’t provide for Link to have blond hair and his green tunic. It’s nowhere near as obvious in Super Mario World, but it is present when he dies. Due to the structure of Mario's death sprite and his color palette, Mario’s eyes will turn red to match his primary color scheme making it look like his eyes are horrifically bleeding as he embraces death.
6 There’s An Arcade Version
Arcade cabinet versions of older games aren’t exactly rare. Super Mario Bros. had one, Duck Hunt was sometimes bundled in, and, if you were lucky enough, you could even stumble upon those beautiful breeds that had thirty NES games on them like Punch Out! or even Dr. Mario. It’s rarer, however, for Super Nintendo games to have arcade versions, especially games like Super Mario World that lend themselves to longer playthroughs but, lo and behold, a Super Mario World arcade cabinet does indeed exist.
There’s no option to save, of course, but you have full access to each world from the start letting you pick and choose which stages to play. It’s far from the ideal way to experience Super Mario World, but it’s a nice enough alternative that certainly made some kids very happy back in the golden age of arcade gaming.
5 Rip Van Fish Will Run Away From Mario If He Has A Star
Rip Van Fish. You may not know his name, but you know his face. He’s that eternally sleeping fish who only seems to wake up when you’re trying to peacefully pass by him so you can finish another grueling underwater stage. He’ll chase you to the ends of the earth if he needs to and only lead up when you’re dead, but there is a way to enact some revenge. Get a star.
Powered up by the glow of a star, Rip Van Fish will fear Mario’s otherworldly aura and start to run away. It’s here where you can, and should, give chase and destroy him before your star power runs out. In a lawless land like Super Mario World, only the strong survive.
4 Special World Plays A Remixed Version Of The Super Mario Bros. Theme
The Special World is the grand finale to Super Mario World. In many ways, it’s also a swan song to the 2D Mario games from the NES era, featuring similar design choices and a level of difficulty that puts all your Mario skills to the test without falling into any Kaizo shenanigans. To give this testament to Super Mario some more “oomph,” Nintendo even went so far as to hide a little musical treat for anyone who waits long enough on the Special World map. After two minutes, the main theme from the original Super Mario Bros. will start to play and really solidify just how far the franchise had gone up to that point.
3 You Can Finish It In Under Five Minutes
A leisure playthrough of Super Mario World can take around 20 hours to complete which makes sense. It’s on the larger side when it comes to Super Mario games, and there are plenty of branching paths and secrets to find. With the ever increasing popularity of speedrunning, however, it’s become possible to thin that number so low it couldn’t possibly be considered playing Super Mario World anymore. Especially since you technically aren’t.
By using a glitch called the “credits warp,” you can technically finish Super Mario World in around four minutes and forty seconds. The glitch relies on manipulating the console’s memory data to trick the game into thinking it’s been completed without ever having to defeat Bowser or even finish the first level.
2 Super Mario World Is Actually Super Mario Bros. 4
It’s weird to consider that at the height of the series’ popularity, Nintendo dropped the Bros. from Super Mario Bros. in favor of World. It’s a grander, eye catching title but it also loses that brand familiarity that’s often necessary to keep a series afloat. This is only weird, however, if you don’t know that Super Mario World was actually Super Mario Bros. 4 all along, and, no, this isn’t one of those “the real Mario 4 was inside you all along” deals.
In Japan, Super Mario World’s title is Super Mario World: Super Mario Bros. 4. A bit of a mouthful and probably why Nintendo of America and Europe decided to drop the subtitle, but it certainly answers some questions. The question, now, is, Since Yoshi’s Island is also Super Mario World 2 does that mean it’s technically Super Mario Bros. 5?
1 Super Mario World Is Technically Incomplete
When people think about Super Mario World, they usually remember just how massive it is compared to other Mario titles. It really does feel like a world bursting with places to see and things to do. With so many branching paths and secrets to find, it feels like the most complete Super Mario experience. The fact of the matter is, Super Mario World’s content is one of Miyamoto’s biggest regrets.
In numerous interviews, Miyamoto has mentioned how he was unsatisfied with Super Mario World’s final build as it was missing out on planned content he felt was crucial to the completion of the game. As a result, Super Mario World is actually incomplete which is a rarity for Mario games of that era. Concepts had been left behind and put on hold, but World holds that rare title of the unfinished 2D Mario.