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Anti Frustration Features / Super Mario Bros.

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  • Super Mario Bros. 3 had several to keep from being too Nintendo Hard:
    • Upon a Game Over you are booted back to the beginning of the world and all the levels you beat are unbeaten. However, doors unlocked by defeating castles remain open (allowing you to skip half the world if you were over half-way) and Toad's Houses are also restored so you can stock up on some items. World 8 also keeps the airship and tank levels defeated after a Game Over which in effect gives you unlimited continues if you made it all the way to Bowser since you can get straight back to his castle without having to replay a single level.
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    • The infamous World 6-5 requires the difficult and specific tactic of dodging a swarm of block-throwing enemies with a Koopa Shell and Raccoon / Tanooki power long enough to build up flight to carry it above to kill enemies blocking the exit pipe. The area contains a pipe which takes you to another screen that gives a free power-up which, since it's in another area, not only restores all the ? blocks but also the Koopa, letting you have as many tries as the timer (and your sanity) will allow. Even if you die or run out of time, the stage also contains a very easy to acquire free life.
    • They repeat the free lives mechanic in the similarly reviled castle of World 8. While the place is a labyrinthine nightmare where you're likely to run out the clock a few times trying to find your way, the developers were also nice enough to add not one but two free lives in very easy-to-find places. You might be pulling your hair out trying to figure out how to get through, but at least you're gaining lives instead of losing them.
  • Super Mario World:
    • Every version of the game has a split-second "grace period" where Mario/Luigi can still jump after just barely running off a platform, preventing players from needing pixel-perfect timing when running, or allow them to panic jump back onto a platform.
    • The original SNES version disables the time limit upon reaching the Final Boss as the status bar cannot be displayed during the battle due to technical restraints involving Mode 7, and the boss itself has multiple phases that can last a while. This technical limitation no longer exists in the GBA remake, but the game gives you 800 seconds in the final stage (or 600 if most of the stage was skipped via the Back Door) as opposed to the original's 400 to make up for it.
  • Super Mario 64:
    • Losing a life inside a sub-level like the volcano in Lethal Lava Land or the slide in Tall Tall Mountain will let Mario respawn inside the sub-level instead of the beginning of the main course upon re-entering the painting.
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    • Red coins are visible from much farther away than regular coins. This also applies to mission-critical gold coins like the ones Mario has to collect in Mario Wings to the Sky.
    • The Nintendo DS version adds a few new features of its own. If Mario, Luigi, or Wario lose their cap within a course and can't get it back, the Toad in the castle's lobby will be wearing it and will give it back if you talk to him.
    • To cut down on backtracking, the DS version adds transformation caps within levels that let you switch characters without having to return to the castle.
  • Super Mario Sunshine:
    • Since the Manta Ray boss at Sirena Beach splits into three every time you spray it, you can easily end up with the entire level swarming with tiny versions of the boss that, rather than actively chase you, just sort of meander around aimlessly. However once you've left a few of the smallest versions of the creature, they turn pink and begin homing in on you so you don't have to run all around the stage trying to find the last few of them.
    • The game also has the decency to hide at least one free and easy to obtain Extra Life (provided you can find it) in every single one of the infamously difficult "Secret" sub-levels, since you typically have to complete a challenge to even start the sub-level. Since some of these challenges are as arduous as the sub-level itself (looking at you, Secret of the Village Underside), you're at least given unlimited attempts at the sub-level itself.
  • Failing the same level seven times in the New Super Mario Bros. games will make a green box with an exclamation point appear. If you hit it, Luigi will beat the level for you, allowing you to skip it. Doing this a single time screws you out of a Cosmetic Award though.
  • Super Mario Galaxy
    • There are 1-up Mushrooms scattered around the observatory, and more will appear when you unlock new domes, up to a total of 5. They will even respawn if you enter and exit a dome. Combined with an additional five 1-ups you receive from Peach's letter (or in Luigi's case, 20), you should be really well prepared to face the toughest challenges ahead without worrying about a Game Over so much.
    • In Honeyhive Galaxy, if you fall off the tree platform in the first mission or the windmill tower in the second mission, then Launch Stars will appear back down on the mainland to take you back up there, saving you a lot of trouble of having to go all the way back through the long default route.
    • In Dreadnought Galaxy, on the moving-platform sequence, it's possible to spend too much time on one of the stationary platforms scattered throughout and subsequently lose the platform you were riding, especially in the Purple Coins mission. Fortunately, if you do, another platform will come along in a few seconds so you can continue.
    • Hidden Stars will show up as a question mark above the icon of one of the previous levels in the mission-select screen, alerting you to their presence and sparing you the trouble of figuring out which mission to look in.
    • The bomb-exploding minigames are difficult enough as it is timing-wise, so the game tells you exactly where to aim the bombs by way of coin-dispensing lights on the ground that serve as guides.
    • "Purple Coins in the Woods" in Gold Leaf Galaxy is set on a linear platforming challenge and has a time limit and no excess Purple Coins. As a result, the path has markers that tell the player how many coins they should have collected at each point, letting them know if they're on track or not.
    • A few of the game's levels have a hungry Luma as the last stop before the boss fight, selling an extra life or a doubled health meter for only thirty star bits. This ensures the player has more wiggle room at the end of a particularly hard level.
  • Super Mario Galaxy 2
    • The Cosmic Guide feature, for those who die too many times on a level. Using it, however, gives you a Bronze Star - functionally identical, but must be re-earned without the Cosmic Guide to unlock the final bonus level.
    • Most speedrun challenges take out all the checkpoints. However, the developers decided the last Bowser level is just too long and kept one checkpoint. This doubles as Suspicious Videogame Generosity overlapping with Continuing is Painful, however, as if you die after the checkpoint, you start back at the checkpoint with a mere 30 seconds on the clock. A good player can reach the checkpoint with nearly twice that much time left, making the level much more manageable.
    • Every time you use the Spin Drill, you leave a patch of upturned earth at the entrance and exit of your path, telling you where you've already drilled so you don't get confused and waste time.
  • Super Mario Maker and its sequel have a rule that you must clear any level you create before you're allowed to upload it. The games also allow anyone to download your stage and plop it into the level editor to see how it ticks and even change it. The former means level designers are limited by their own skill level when it comes to difficulty, and outright prevents unbeatable troll levels. The latter means that if a designer decides to circumvent this rule by hiding a shortcut, it will swiftly be found and pointed out in the comments for the level.
  • As Super Mario Maker 2 introduced multiplayer, levels that actually require two players working in tandem to reach an exit are required to have a "solo exit" that bypasses all of the multiplayer challenges to prevent single-players from encountering levels that are Unwinnable by Design.
  • Super Mario Odyssey:
    • Any Regional Coins you collect are saved the moment you get them, as well as any Moon fragments found in other stages and any fruits that Yoshi eats in the kingdoms he's found in. This means if you die, you don't have to recollect any of this stuff.
    • Lives don't exist any more, with Mario simply losing coins and respawning at the last flag/door he passed if he dies. Because of this, dying in a level is much less of a hassle than it used to be.
    • Cappy will tell you if a bonus area has any Power Moons or Regional Coins left to find in it. If Cappy says "It looks like there isn't anything left to do here", a player will know to move on.
    • Capturing an underwater enemy and then leaving its body will automatically refill Mario's air meter, meaning Cheep Cheeps are a useful alternative to air bubbles in certain situations.
    • Three seperate hint systems exist for players needing help to find Moons. These are Hint Toad (who marks a Moon location on the map for 50 coins), Talkatoo (who adds the name of a random uncollected Moon to your Moon list for free) and Uncle Amiibo (who is only usable by scanning an amiibo, but gives even more advice). This means a stuck player can eventually get both a description of the Moon and its general location if they just can't find it on their own.
    • In the postgame, you can buy Moons from the Crazy Cap stores for 100 coins each. Hence you've got a way to unlock the postgame kingdoms and costumes even if you can't beat all the missions.
    • Captured enemies will become stunned if Mario exits them, meaning he can Capture them again or get away without the possibility of being attacked. They'll also warp back to their original location after a certain amount of time, making it easy to find them again for later.
  • For most of the games in general, if Mario is hit by an enemy or trap, the game will briefly pause as Mario powers down while also becoming invulnerable to damage for a few seconds so that the player can quickly gather their bearings.