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  • Super Mario Bros., the original North American NES game, had the following rumors:
    • The Minus World can be escaped. Supposed methods include going into the end pipe 4 times without losing a life, climbing on top of the level at the end, and ducking and swimming above the pipe. Nothing works on the cart version.
    • That you can access a secret World 10-1. That turned out to be false, but thanks to how NES games are programmed, you can use a Game Genie to access a world labeled "10-1", a version of World 1-1 with botched graphics.
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    • That there is a "no death" trick. Holding down the B button on the second controller supposedly turns Mario invincible. (Most people pulled this off by stepping on the second controller.) That one turned out to be false as well. (This may have been inspired by Mega Man 3, whose original release left in debug features performed by fiddling with the second controller.)
    • That something great will happen if you jump over a flagpole. It is possible to do in World 3-3 by using the scale lift at the end, but there's nothing past the flagpole except featureless, infinitely repeating landscape. Then you just have to wait for the timer to kill Mario, because the Ratchet Scrolling won't let you go back. Several levels in Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels do continue past the flagpole, but this often leads to the infamous backward Warp Zones.
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    • That if you beat the original NES game twice in a row, you can play Super Mario Bros. 2. Chalk this up to a misunderstanding from the mid-1980s; beating the game once unlocks a New Game+ which makes the game somewhat harder by replacing all Goombas with much tougher Buzzy Beetles, and people mistook this revised second-run to be the game's actual sequel. They failed to understood that if SMB2 had already been completed, Nintendo would just release it separately. Not to mention that the New Game+ unlocks a level select as well — if Super Mario Bros. 2 were made already, why not just skip to it right away by skipping to and beating World 8-4?
    • A similar rumor held that the game got more and more difficult with each subsequent completion, with Bowsers eventually replacing every Goomba or equally far-out scenarios (in reality, beating 8-4 in "hard" mode just repeats "hard" mode again).
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    • One of Jeff Rovin's How to Win at Nintendo Games books mentions a rumor about a hidden "Chocolate Factory" level. None of his later works explains how to supposedly access it. It's occasionally been theorized that this was a fictitious entry, a form of copyright trap.
  • Super Mario World had several urban legends, and the rise of Lunar Magic modding perpetuated many more. The rumors include:
    • That there is a secret "97th level". Ways to get there range from getting a string of Dragon Coins in the right order in certain levels or collecting all Dragon Coins in every level. No such level exists — there are 96 exits (not levels, since red levels have two exits each) in total, including those from all secret levels. Shigeru Miyamoto even denied the existence of any such level in an early 2000s interview.
    • That completing the Special World a second and third time past the actual Autumn overworld change will change it to Winter and Spring. A hack does exist that changes the graphics to include snow and ice everywhere, but there is no such feature in the official game.
    • That there is a "Moon World", which you can supposedly access from the Star World or one of the Vanilla Dome levels. Many confuse it with the Star World itself, or Special World, perpetuating the rumor. It was mentioned in an issue of the Australian Club Nintendo Magazine from the early 1990s, and you can visit the moon in other Mario games, including Super Mario Land 2 and, to a lesser extent, Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island.
    • That you can find a "Laser Suit" (and a congratulatory message from Nintendo™)note  through a secret level on the island above the Top Secret Area, accessed through a secret exit. This one was perpetuated by this YouTube video, uploaded in 2007, which looked very legitimate at the time. It's actually a hack by KPhoenix made with Lunar Magic, but the video still fools the uninitiated.
    • A level described in the Creepypasta I HATE YOU. It is supposedly accessed through a whirlpool after a secret exit from the Sunken Ghost Ship and featuring horrors such as blind Boos, bloody Banzai Bills, bloody graffiti such as "I hate you" and "Why Won't You Die?", bloody Thwomps, zombie Marios, and creepy Super Mushrooms, ending with Mario finding out that Luigi had been the one kidnapping Peach and bringing her to Bowser, and being forced to kill him.
  • Super Mario 64 was rife with these rumors. They include:
    • That you can ride and control Yoshi. Yoshi himself appears in the game as an easter egg upon collecting all 120 Power Stars, and a Yoshi egg texture exists in the game (complete with animation), but the feature was never actually included in the final version. Yoshi would eventually be rideable in Super Mario Sunshine, and would later appear in Super Mario 64's DS remake as a fully playable standalone character—in fact, he actually hijacks Mario's role as main protagonist, demoting him to an unlockable character.
    • That "L is real 2401" means something. This refers to an inscription on a fountain in the Big Boo courtyard.note  It's illegible, but the main rumors are that it reads, "L is real 2401." Another is that it foreshadows Paper Mario's North American release, however that game wasn't even in development yet. The rumor was perpetuated by Dan Owsen, who didn't actually claim it was real; but repeatedly gave suspiciously vague denials, for months on end when his audience was asking about it. Mind you, this being the early days of the internet, there weren't many fact checking sources, or sources of any kind. So an official source, during such a time, being vague and unprofessional instead of providing a simple answer like he was supposed to do, was naturally going to fuel and spread rumors. He did eventually clarify that it was meaningless, but even then, buried the answer in his FAQ, which didn't help.
    • That you can get a Hammer Bro Mario. This was actually a joke referencing the Hammer Suit from Super Mario Bros. 3, which was a secret at the time.
    • That Luigi is a playable character. (After all, "L is real 2401" note ). This one, though, has a grain of truth to it; he was supposed to be in the game but he was later removed early on. Luigi would become a playable character in the Video Game Remake Super Mario 64 DS, along with Yoshi and Wario... which led to a rumor that you can unlock Waluigi. An extra door in the character select room (which really just houses a hidden star) didn't help matters.
    • That there are other types of powerups, resulting in such features as Ninja Mario, Fire Mario, and Naked Mario.
    • In the DS remake, a 2005 article claimed that you could unlock Waluigi by getting all the stars and being the fastest at all the races. A key to his room will appear. After beating the Rabbit King, Waluigi will be unlocked. This article, including the screenshots, was originally an April Fools joke.
    • That you can find Bowser's submarine from Dire, Dire Docks after it vanishes upon getting the first star.
  • Super Mario Sunshine:
    • It was rumored that if you collect all the Shine Sprites, Mario can fight Waluigi, who is holding Luigi captive in a cage, and winning the battle makes Luigi a playable character. Obviously, this is false.
    • There is a book hidden in Noki Bay. Many rumors have existed on how to retrieve it and what it does. In reality, it doesn't do anything, and Mario can't interact with it. The book is most likely an unused asset that was left in the game. It was meant to be used in a mission to get a Shine Sprite, but the way of retrieving the Sprite was ultimately changed to getting eight red coins instead. A rumor also exists that in the Japanese version of the game the book was used in a level that was removed internationally. Another one claims that the book has a message reading "You have no life - Signed, Shigeru Miyamoto". Both of these are false.
    • There have been rumors on how to get a green Yoshi, due to official artwork and early videos showing it. Green Yoshi does exist in the game, but only as a warning that your Yoshi is about to vanish: when they run out of juice they turn green and will spray regular water, giving about 20 seconds or so to find a piece of fruit to fill them back up.
  • One of the companions from Paper Mario 64, Bow, can be interacted with in Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door, while another, Parakarry, appears in a cutscene at the beginning of the game, and Mario can't interact with him. This, on its own, started rumours that all companions from the first game, rather than just those two, are there as well. This was before hackers discovered Dummied Out sprite sets for the lot of them.
  • In Paper Mario: Sticker Star, in World 5-1: Shy Guy Jungle, one of the things Mario can find in the pile of trash is a serial key: "XD3R-B8HH-9ZR2-FL16". Some say that this is an actual serial key for something, but nobody knows what it's for. It's not a Club Nintendo or eShop code, because both display the "wrong code" message instead of the "code has already been entered" message.
  • Super Mario Bros. 3 had a very popular rumor of a ninth world hidden in the game, reached by such arcane methods as finding and using the "Golden Whistle". There is a "World 9" in the game, but it refers to the Warp Zone, which is hidden but hardly a mystery. This was likely fueled by a combination of not paying attention and the fact that the boxes of SMB3 have screenshots of a level that doesn't entirely match any of those appearing in the finished game. It's worth noting, though, that there are real hidden levels in the game, but they're largely unfinished prototypes only playable via a hack or cheat device.
  • Yoshi's Story has "Purple Yoshi", a ninth Yoshi color. Allegedly, you unlock it by collecting every single coin from every single level, from those buried in the ground to those that require the use of a Super Happy Fruit. Some unofficial hint manuals even printed the rumor. The only hidden Yoshi colors are white and black, but the game did have a purple and brown Yoshi in the beta phase; they never made it into the final product.
  • In any game where Luigi is not playable, there will be rumors of how to unlock him. But in games where Luigi is the main character and Mario is not playable, the situation is reversed; this includes games like Luigi's Mansion and New Super Luigi U. Interestingly enough, Luigi's Mansion includes a Dummied Out Mario model, fit to Luigi's structure with a lot of his animations. Going by the filename, it was probably a scrapped boss.
  • In 2007, a YouTube video popped up that supposedly shows that you can unlock a galaxy in Super Mario Galaxy and play it on your Nintendo DS. While the DS can connect to the Wii for some games, it doesn't have the graphical capabilities for this. The hoax is very well executed, though, and people believed it.
  • Mario Sports Mix has had many gaming sites say that if you beat all the minigames (or "Party Games" as the game calls them) in a certain order, you'll unlock Rosalina as a playable character. This is false.
  • Super Mario Odyssey: There were many rumors on how to unlock Luigi in the base game. None of them were true. Luigi was only added in later in an update, and even then only as a minigame host, not a playable character. The closest you can get is unlocking his outfit for Mario to wear.


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