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Mario's latest is the cat's pajamas!
Narrator, October 2013 trailer
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Super Mario 3D World is a 3D Mario platformer that was released on November 22, 2013 for the Wii U.

Mario, Luigi, Peach, and Toad are enjoying a nighttime meteor shower on Peach's Castle grounds when they come across a transparent warp pipe sticking out of the ground. After Mario and Luigi fix it, a green pixie (known as one of the seven Sprixie Princesses) comes out of the pipe. She explains that Bowser has kidnapped her friends—and then Bowser drags her back into the pipe, ignoring Peach this time around in favor of his new prizes. The four follow him and his captive down the pipe, where they find the Sprixie Kingdom, a world they must work together to traverse in order to defeat Bowser once again.

Like Super Mario 3D Land on the Nintendo 3DS, it is a 3D Mario that plays like a 2D Mario. Additionally, just like New Super Mario Bros. Wii, up to 4 players can play simultaneously, though the different characters will play differently like in Super Mario Bros. 2. Alongside a new "Cat Suit" power-up enabling characters to scratch enemies and climb up walls, 3D World marks the first time since Super Mario Bros. 2 that Peach and Toad can be selected for play, as well as reintroducing the concept of having significant ability differences between the characters.

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Despite its name, this has nothing to do with the Super NES game (aside from some returning enemies). It does, however, mirror the relationship between Super Mario Land and World by aiming to be a bigger console game than its original handheld adventure.

Captain Toad received his own spin-off based on his puzzle-oriented stages in this game, titled Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker. And in 2019, Super Mario Maker 2 incorporated a game style based on this game.

On September 3, 2020, as part of the 35th anniversary of Super Mario Bros., it was announced that the game would get an Updated Re-release titled Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury for the Nintendo Switch on February 12, 2021. The rerelease includes various gameplay tweaks and additions such as 20% faster character movement, movesets now incorporating abilities from Super Mario Odyssey, online multiplayer with friends, a new "Photo Mode" to replace the original game's Miiverse functionality, and an improved camera.

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The Switch version also includes a new side campaign entitled Bowser's Fury. Examples for that game should go on its page.


This game provides examples of:

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  • 100% Completion: The game tracks all the green stars and stamps you've collected in each stage, as well as each flagpole you've turned golden by touching the very top of it. Not only that, but killing Bowser will reveal a rocket ship in World 1 that will take you to a bonus world: World Star. Beat all the levels in World Star, and another rocket ship will take you to World Mushroom. Beat that and a bridge will form leading you to World Flower. There you will see another covered rocket ship that you can't access even after beating all the levels in World Flower. To open it, you need to collect every green star, every stamp, and every golden flagpole in every level up to that point, which means a total of 342 stars, 76 stamps, and 91 gold flagpoles. Then the rocket in World Flower will take you to World Crown, wherein lies 38 more green stars, 4 more stamps, and one more golden flagpole. Not only that, but when World Crown is unlocked, the game also tracks which characters you've beaten each level with, and you also have to beat every level (including Champion's Road in World Crown) with every character for the final 5 stamps.
  • Absurdly Short Level:
    • "Backstreet Bustle" from World 4 is the shortest regular level in the game, with the Goal Pole already in sight from the start and easy to reach in a few seconds.
    • The World Star level "The Great Goal Pole" is a subversion. When you start the level, you'll see the Goal Pole right away, but approaching it will make it grow some wings and flee, forcing you to chase it. Even if you manage to catch it, it's not recommended to do so until you've gotten all Green Stars and the Stamp along the way. It is rather short given the 100-second time limit, but it's not nearly as short as you might anticipate.
  • Action Girl: Peach and Rosalina, since they're both playable characters.
  • Added Alliterative Appeal: Many level names resort to this, such as "Conkdor Canyon", "Pretty Plaza Panic", "Hands-on Hall", "Boiling Blue Bully Belt", etc.
  • Adorable Evil Minions: Cat Goombas are the already Ugly Cute Goomba but in cat costumes.
  • Advancing Wall of Doom:
  • Airborne Mook: Para-biddybuds, which typically fly in groups and with a joint pattern, make a return after their debut in 3D Land. The game also introduces Parabones (Dry Bones with wings).
  • Airplane Arms: Princess Peach when running at full speed. The Mario Bros. only do this when equipped with a star, otherwise they tuck their arms in instead.
  • Ambiguous Clone Ending: During Double Cherry levels, only one of a character's clones needs to touch the flagpole to register the end of the stage. When that happens, all the other clones disappear and whichever one touched the flagpole is treated as the original one.
  • Ambiguous Gender: Plessie's gender is never specified.
  • And Now for Someone Completely Different: The Captain Toad levels let you play as Captain Toad, whose controls are vastly different from the other characters; most importantly, he cannot jump.
  • Antepiece:
    • Bowser's Highway Showdown starts with kickable soccer ball bombs laying around and then being fired out of cannons that can be used to defeat enemies and destroy big brick walls, hinting at the more complex dodging and kicking required to fight Bowser himself.
    • Before you fight Hisstocrat, you will have seen many statues that you can climb with the Cat Suit that resemble his smaller minions, hinting at how you can climb up the minions to attack Hisstocrat.
    • The level Cakewalk Flip in World 5 introduces the flipping platforms first seen in Super Mario Galaxy 2. The first set of such platforms are above safe ground, which helps the player practice with the concept of these platforms without any risk. The next thing shown is flipping platforms over a chasm, and by that point the player must be more careful with dealing with them to avoid dying. See here for a visual explanation of this example.
  • Ant Assault: This game serves as the debut to the new type of enemies, the Ant Troopers. They are bipedal ant enemies that are commonly seen marching on ground or platforms, and are capable of walking on the walls and ceilings. They are impervious to the Goomba Stomp, but can be defeated by any other means, such as Ground Pound. They also have two other variations, such as Horned Ant Troopers, which wear spiked helmet that prevents them from getting stomped on (as long as their spikes are above them, at least), and Big Ant Troopers, which are completely indestructible.
  • Anti-Frustration Features:
    • When a player has multiple copies of themself from grabbing a Double Cherry, the clones will sometimes move a bit faster than normal so they all stay in a tight group.
    • If you lose too many lives in a level, on the start of your next try you will be given a white/gold leaf power-up, which makes you invulnerable to enemy damage for the whole course. Except on Champion's Road, this prevents you from getting 100% Completion, though, until you complete the level normally.
    • You can now no longer accidentally kill your friends in multiplayer by "off-screening" them. If one player runs on too far ahead, the others trailing behind will automatically hover within a bubble and rejoin the leader.
    • Unlike most Warp Boxes in the game, the Warp Box in Champion's Road unlocks with no cutscene after collecting all the Key Coins. This is so that the player doesn't lose control on the Dash Panels and fall to their death, having to redo the entire level.
    • The Nintendo Switch rerelease made some changes for an easier and quicker experience:
      • Green Stars and Stamps do not have to be recollected if you die.
      • Character movement and speed is made much faster. For reference, Peach is the slowest character in both versions of the game, but in the Nintendo Switch version, her running speed is faster than Mario / Luigi's walk speed and equal to their running speed in the Wii U version. Some levels, such as Conkdor Canyon, are changed to accomodate this.
      • You can roll in mid-air, which gives players more air mobility.
      • To make up for the Switch's docked mode lacking a touchscreen, any player can press the R button to bring up a cursor and use the gyroscope to use touchscreen functions.
  • Art Evolution:
    • This game uses more of the Galaxy games' graphical aesthetics than 3D Land did. In comparison to the rest of the series, Peach's standard design is made fairly different in this game - to be shorter and stouter (by way of a poofier dress) than usual, with a bigger head relative to her body - in order to work/look better in regular gameplay, especially relative to the other characters (as Peach is normally very tall and skinny even when compared to Luigi). Likewise, Toad is slightly taller and thicker (though not much). Rosalina is shorter than she usually is, being the same height as Peach in this game instead of being One Head Taller as she is normally, and like Peach, she's a little stouter as well. Their proportions change even more when the player uses the Cat Suit with them.
    • Fizzlits return from Galaxy 2, but are now square, anchored to the ground, and melt into much smaller square puddles with their faces on top of the surface.
  • Artifact Title:
    • The "3D" in the title refers to it being a sequel to Super Mario 3D Land, despite this game not being in actual stereoscopic 3D. Only its predecessor had such visuals.
    • In the Switch version, World 2-2, Puffprod Peaks, has had half of its name rendered as this. The course's main features are platforms that move by blowing into the microphone or touching them with the touch screen. While the touch screen element is retained, the Switch's lack of a built-in microphone forced the replacement of the microphone platforms with normal moving platforms, meaning there is no longer any "puffing" involved. Averted in the Japanese versions, which had the course's name change from "Touch! Blow! Drawer Mountain Range" to simply "Touch! Drawer Mountain Range".
  • Asteroids Monster: The Motley Bossblob is a gelatine surrounding a Koopa jester, which splits into many blobs when hurt.
  • Attack Its Weak Point: The World 3 boss, Hisstocrat, has a very large X-shaped bandage on top of its head, letting you know where you need to hit it.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: The Mega Mushroom from the New Super Mario Bros. games returns.
  • Background Music Override: When you rescue the last Sprixie Princess (located in penultimate world), Bowser reappears into scene to kidnap her and the other Sprixie Princesses. During this scene, a tense track plays, and keeps playing during the results screen (which is usually muted) as well as on the playable world map (which, in that case, should be playing the World 7 theme). Only when Mario and his friends travel upward through a Clear Pipe to reach the final standard world, will the tense track stop playing.
  • Bait-and-Switch: Just when you think you've saved the Princesses, Bowser shoves aside the end-of-level wipe, kidnaps them again, and uses them to power up his amusement park, World Bowser.
  • Balance, Power, Skill, Gimmick: Mario is the balance, Luigi jumps the highest, Toad is the fastest (but the lowest jumper), and Peach can float. Rosalina is different than all four in that she's the slowest, but has the quickest sprint, matches Luigi's jumps and can use the Spin Attack.
  • Battle in the Rain: The first half of the final battle.
  • Battle Theme Music: The game brings back the battle themes of Super Mario 3D Land for Boom Boom and Pom Pom and, due to adding more bosses to the mix, also has a larger selection of boss music. The Hisstocrats have a jazz-styled theme for themselves, Prince Bully borrows the enemy blockade music (as he's fought in a blockade-type level) and the remaining regular bosses share a general orchestrated theme. Bowser now relies on Autobots, Rock Out! for his two themes, instead of reusing his 3D Land tracks.
  • Beat Them at Their Own Game: A villainous example. For the first time ever in the main Super Mario series, Bowser uses powerups against Mario in the final battle, namely the Super Bell and a few Double Cherry.
  • Big Band: A jazz-sounding soundtrack done in this style.
  • Big Boo's Haunt: A number of levels appear in this archetype, usually denoted by their world map diorama being a Ghost House. The first of such is Shifty Boo Mansion in World 3, which even takes place in front of a graveyard. Later levels include Captain Toad Plays Peek-a-Boo (where Captain Toad has to avoid the ghostly Peepas and a Big Boo), Spooky Seasick Wreck (which overlaps with Ghost Ship) and A Beam in the Dark (where the characters can use a Light Box to defeat Peepas and Boos).
  • Big Creepy-Crawlies: In addition to bringing back Stingbies (bees) and the ladybug-like Biddybuds from 3D Land, the game introduces the Ant Troopers. They come in two varieties: The standard species which simply walks around a solid body of ground, and a variant with a spiny helmet that protects them from Goomb Stomp attacks.
  • Big "NO!": One of Rosalina's death screams is this.
  • Blackout Basement:
    • Switchblack Ruins is a dark underground level whose rooms and passageways can be lit by igniting the stone torches with the fireballs from the Fire Flower.
    • A Beam in the Dark is a Ghost House level where Mario and his friends can light their way with the help of Light Boxes.
  • Bonus Level: The golden Bowser train level, accessible when you reach World 5, has no enemies. Instead, it boasts several hundred coins and ends with the slot machine minigame that spawns on the overworld.
  • Boring, but Practical: Clear Warp Pipes don't seem like much, but they let you travel to far off locations and sometimes have collectibles like coins, green stars, and stamps.
  • Borrowed Catchphrase: Everyone starts a regular level with "Let's(-a) go!".
  • Boss Arena Idiocy: Bowser, why would you have a giant POW Block on the top of your tower? Furthermore, why would you stand on it?
  • Boss-Only Level: A Banquet With Hisstocrat and Motley Bossblob's Big Battle, as well as their respective followups in World 8. They're all represented in the overworld areas as UFO-like flying tent circuses.
  • Boss Rush: The Boss Blitz level, located at the end of World Flower. Every boss except Prince Bully (who's a Mini-Boss) and both Bowser forms will challenge Mario and his friends here. Six boss fights in 500 seconds.
  • Breakout Character: Captain Toad, who got his own spin-off game.
  • Brutal Bonus Level: World Crown (unlocked from collecting every green star, stamp, and golden flag in the game) has some of the most brutal stages in a Mario game. The Mystery House Marathon has 30 Green Stars with no checkpoints. And then there's Champion's Road. It has to be one of the most difficult stages in a Mario game. Only players at the top of their game will be able to complete this true final challenge.
  • Bubblegloop Swamp: Piranha Creeper Creek, Deep Jungle Drift, and the latter's remixed form Deep-Black Jungle Drift. They are set in a murky swamp, complete with toxic purple water and moving wooden platforms.
  • Call-Back: The game is basically one big reference to Super Mario Bros. 2: It takes place in a parallel world to the Mushroom Kingdom (Subcon/the Sprixie Kingdom), populated by fairy-like beings (Subcons/Sprixies) that are captured by the main villain and sealed inside a jar by a cork, and the main playable cast is made up by Mario, Luigi, Princess Peach, and Toad, all reusing their attributes from SMB2 as well.
  • Camera Screw: When playing with multiple players, the camera can get a bit uncooperative at times when players are scattered about. Mostly averted in single-player, with many agreeing that the series finally managed to get its camera nailed here — by the time of Galaxy 2 the series had become somewhat notorious for excelling in every department except the camera controls — with the worst complaint generally being the camera is zoomed out a little too far in some of the Captain Toad levels.
  • Cartoon Bomb:
    • Along with the standard bombs, some are textured to look like soccer balls. That alone provides a hint on how to handle them.
    • In this game, if you knock out a Bob-omb, they'll lose their eyes, feet, and key, causing them to resemble a more traditional cartoon bomb. This also happens in the 3D World game style in Super Mario Maker 2.
  • Casino Park: The level "Rainbow Run" is set within a giant casino.
  • Cat Girl: Princess Peach and Rosalina with the Cat powerup.
  • Catharsis Factor: Invoked in the final Captain Toad level, which ends with you killing the Fire Piranha Plant that has been harassing you for the duration of the level.
  • Cave Behind the Falls: The way to a Green Star in Plessie's Plunging Falls.
  • Cheated Angle: Whenever a character jumps, the hand that goes into the air during their jumping pose will usually be whichever's furthest from the camera. This is a reference to the Ambidextrous Sprite of the pose from the original game, since it's the more recognizable angle of the pose. This also occurred in the previous game.
  • Checkpoint Starvation: The final two levels of the game (Champion's Road and Mystery House Marathon) both revolve around this mechanic; they are both very long and have no checkpoints at all.note  The former is a brutal six-part Marathon Level, while the latter is another Marathon Level consisting of thirty ten second challenges in a row. Neither of them have checkpoints anywhere. Most levels from the Mushroom and Flower worlds, including the difficult Boss Rush level, are devoid of checkpoints as well.
  • Chekhov's Gun: POW Blocks make minor appearances and aren't required to beat any one level. However, they're pivotal in the final battle.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: The Blue capped bespectacled Toad of the Toad Brigade doesn't appear so as to avoid confusion with the playable Toad character who wears blue for Color-Coded Multiplayer.note 
  • Circus Episode: The game uses circus imagery rather prominently. For example, major bosses are fought in circus tents, most of the soundtrack is comprised of big brass band music, and instead of the usual Lethal Lava Land, Bowser makes his home in an Amusement Park of Doom.
  • Circus of Fear: The map of World 8 (also an example of Amusement Park of Doom) and the levels Switch Scramble Circus, Tricky Trapeze Theater, the Great Tower of Bowser Land, and the Boss Only Levels where Hisstocrat, his wife and Motley Bossblob are fought.
  • Color-Coded Multiplayer:
    • In the Luigi Bros. minigame, player 1 is Luigi in his modern palette (green hat/shirt and blue overalls), and player 2 is Luigi in the same palette originally used in Mario Bros. (white hat/shirt and green overalls).
    • Crosses over with Color-Coded Characters: Mario - Red, Luigi - Green, Peach - Pink, Toad - Blue, Rosalina - Cyan.
    • Mario tends to get 'default' colored power-ups (the colors from the 3D Land powerups are kept for his colors) as often as he gets red ones, such as retaining a Blue Boomerang Suit, though his boomerang became red, giving the original blue one to Toad. This results in Chromatic Arrangement regarding the Cat Suit - Mario, Luigi, Peach, Toad and Rosalina are Yellow, Green, Pink (Red), Blue and Black, respectively.
  • Colour-Coded for Your Convenience: The Seven Sprixie Princesses are actually colored by what the environment in their world looks like.
    • Green - Green grassy world.
    • Yellow - Yellow sandy desert.
    • Blue - Bluish snowy land.
    • Orange - Orangish mountain/canyon.
    • Purple - Purplish beach-like land.
    • Cyan - Light blue clouds.
    • Red - Reddish lava world.
    • And the world where all of them are (re-)captured, as they're held in an amusement park with neon lights of all colors. In other words, a rainbow world.
  • Competitive Balance:
    • Mario: The average of the bunch.
    • Luigi: Can jump the highest in addition to being good all around, but has poor traction.
    • Peach: The ability to float lets her recover easily, but she's slightly slower than Mario and Luigi.
    • Toad: The fastest of them all, but he falls the fastest and has the shortest jump.
    • Rosalina: Slower than Peach without her ability to float, but jumps almost as high as Luigi and also has a spin attack to use against enemies and as a small double jump. However, collecting any power-up disables the spin attack.
    • Captain Toad: Has average speed and cannot jump.
  • Consolation Prize: If you fail to get any matching symbols in the slot machine minigame, you'll earn 10 coins for your trouble.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • In the opening scene, Peach's Castle and the grassland area around it look directly ripped from Super Mario Galaxy 2, New Super Mario Bros. Wii, and New Super Mario Bros. U. Even the colorful spotty hills look the same!
    • When you defeat Bowser in his new car in the World 1 and 7 boss battles, the bridge collapses below him.
    • The Comet Observatory can be seen hidden far back in the background of the full version of the box art (as seen on the page image). This was a hint to Rosalina being playable in the game. Not only that, but the final world in the game, World Crown, has the Comet Observatory theme from the first Super Mario Galaxy game.
  • Controllable Helplessness: Even through it's established Captain Toad cannot jump due to his heavy backpack, you can still have him try, as pressing jump makes him attempt to hop despite staying grounded.
  • Convection Schmonvection: A Mario staple, this game has some stand-out examples, such as going through a clear pipe that goes under lava, and rising lava that doesn't kill you until it's ankle-deep.
  • Cool Car: Bowser has an enormous spike-covered purple wagon that looks like a mix between a classic convertible and a Hummer Dinger, using it to try and run over Mario and friends. He later uses a second version covered in Tron Lines. He's so proud of it that he even introduces it with gestures that seem to say "Check out the new wheels, chumps!"
  • Cool Crown: Whoever gets the highest score in a level will start the next level wearing a crown. Finishing a level while wearing this crown will reward the player additional points, but other players can steal this crown.
  • Cool Train: Bowser has a fleet of them with large Bullet Bills making up the locomotive cars.
  • Co-Op Multiplayer: Notably the first time it's fully implemented in a 3D Mario title, especially after it was attempted at both the vaporware direct sequel to Super Mario 64 and the Nintendo DS remake. The Switch rerelease adds online multiplayer, though for one player's game at a time.
  • Cutscene Power to the Max: If Meowser was even half as aggressive during gameplay as he is during the cutscene introducing him, he would be impossible to beat.
  • Cumulonemesis: The Ty-Foos, which are giant mean-looking clouds that blow strong gusts of wind at Mario and his allies to throw them off narrow paths.
  • Damn You, Muscle Memory!:
    • Like Super Mario 3D Land, the Flip-Swap Platforms flip whenever someone jumps. This gets really confusing with Rosalina, since in Super Mario Galaxy 2, they flipped whenever Mario used the Star Spin, but they don't in this game.
    • If you're the type of Mario gamer who holds the dash button as much as possible, you might want to hold off pressing it when you're in the Cat Suit at some times, as holding Y in the air while in the suit will make you pounce diagonally, which may throw you off somewhat.
    • The normal roll maneuver is NOT an attack unless you're in either the Cat Suit (which lets you slide with claws out) or Tanooki Suit (which lets you spin attack with your tail). Keep in mind what power-up you have before attempting to ram enemies with dash attacks.
    • Anyone familiar with the modern Mario games will most likely wall-kick on instinct whenever falling down a pit, grazing the wall. It pays to unlearn this when in the Cat Suit as in most circumstances, it'll benefit you more to climb up the wall rather than kick off of it.
    • A retroactive one if you have played Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker before, in "Captain Toad Plays Peek-a-Boo", don't expect to kill Boos with Captain Toad's headlamp. This only applies to the original Wii U version.
    • The Nintendo Switch rerelease changed how holding and throwing items work: previously, when you run into an item, you held it as long as you held the run button and throw it when you let go. Now, the item is held automatically and you have to press the run button again to throw.
    • The Switch version also adds the dive maneuver from Super Mario Odyssey, which you can perform anytime... unless you're wearing either a Tanooki Suit or a Lucky Cat Suit, in which the dive is impossible to perform as attempting such will instead cause you to either do a tail attack or turn into a statue, respectively, both of which will cause you to plummet straight down. Coupled with the fact that the normal Cat Suit, which you can perform the dive in, is almost indistinguishable from the Lucky Cat Suit apart from the collar, there can be potential for disaster.
  • Damsel in Distress: The Sprixie Princesses display this trope, as this time Bowser went to kidnap them in the Sprixie Kingdom instead of Princess Peach in the Mushroom Kingdom.
  • Dark Action Girl: There are two female bosses, Pom Pom and the Hisstocrat queen, making this the only non-RPG Mario game (till Super Mario Odyssey) to have more than one female boss.
  • Death Is a Slap on the Wrist: There is no penalty whatsoever for dying in 3D World. Even a Game Over is a total non-issue, in fact, it's actually an advantage, as the Lucky Houses and Toad Houses all re-open upon continuing.
  • Death Mountain: The map of World 4 and the levels Puffprod Peaks and Ant Trooper Hill.
  • Degraded Boss: Boss Brolder the second time you meet him. Instead of an end-of-world boss, now he's part of a blockade, with regular blockade music, and the blockade isn't even named after him; it's named after Brolders in general. This is also the case with Pom Pom and Motley Bossblob (who serve as Mini Bosses) in the way leading to Bowser's final fight.
  • Deliberately Monochrome: Shiftier Boo Mansion (World Flower-6) is desaturated to the point of resembling this. Some of the original colors are still recognizable, but only barely.
  • Demoted to Extra: While Captain Toad becomes a playable character in this game, the rest of Captain Toad's brigade (including Yellow Toad) now pass out items in the Toad Houses. Blue Toad however is nowhere to be seen, most likely as a result of the main Toad borrowing his appearance to prevent confusion.
  • Department of Redundancy Department:
    • The seventh world is named World Castle. It too has a castle at the end of it, named World Castle-Castle note .
    • There's also World Crown-Crown.
    • "Spiky Spike Bridge".
  • Developers' Foresight:
    • Only the Sprixie Princesses that you've rescued in total will show up in Bowser's Lava Lake Keep to help rescue the 7th Sprixie Princess. Normally, this would be 6, but it's possible to skip 2 castles (and thus, not rescue the Sprixie Princesses there) by taking warp pipes hidden in certain levels. And since you can still defeat Bowser for the final time with only those five Sprixie Princesses rescued, this essentially means that at least two of them can be left to rot in the game's ending.
    • In World Castle-5, collecting the top most key coin will trigger the poison cloud trap regardless of whether you've collected it last or not. Bad news for those who tried to be clever and skip a few coins so as to not collect the top most coin last. Also, if you wait outside of the tower before going into the unlocked warp box, the poison cloud will pause for a bit before it flows into the lava, causing said lava to rise and kill you if you don't get inside the warp box in time.
    • The World Map takes into account where the player is at the moment and loads the correct area and music as needed, even if the player uses glitches and exploits to get there via abnormal means, even correcting the player's position back onto ground level should they happen to "clip" through the floor through this method (but only if you hadn't opened a menu to save and quit, for example). The World Map is also programmed to warp the player using a bubble should they happen to fall while the camera's fixed onto the area.
    • Some levels required you to blow into the mic on the Wii U Gamepad to use certain interactive objects (e.g the Propeller Lifts in Puffprod Peaks.) Since the Nintendo Switch doesn't have a mic, all examples of the aforementioned objects are replaced with ones that move across a set path in the Switch port.
  • Difficult, but Awesome:
    • The Spin Jump can get you out of a bind real fast in some situations, as it's the highest jump in your arsenal that only requires minimal footing, plus the spinning gives you extra hang time to gauge a landing. But since it requires you to rotate in place before taking off, it's hard to position yourself for the jump in addition to jumping in the direction you actually want to go.
    • An officially-recognized one is Toad, being dubbed by the devs as an advanced speedrun character.
  • Disc-One Final Dungeon: World Castle looks a lot like it could be The Very Definitely Final Dungeon, and the castle at the end even looks almost identical to the final castles seen in Super Mario 3D Land and the New Super Mario Bros. games. Then Bowser re-kidnaps the Sprixie Princesses and uses them to form one more Clear Pipe that leads to World Bowser, which surprisingly manages to look even more final dungeony.
  • Distaff Counterpart:
    • Boom-Boom and Pom-Pom return from 3D Land.
    • In addition, Hisstocrat has one; his queen. Unlike the king, she spits fireballs.
  • Divergent Character Evolution: Unlike the New Super Mario Bros. installments with multiplayer throughout the adventure, everyone in this game has their own unique abilities. Peach is slow and can float, Mario and Luigi are the same speed but Luigi jumps higher and falls slower, while Toad's the fastest but also falls the fastest. Rosalina is slower than even Peach but makes up for it with the spin attack from Super Mario Galaxy, which serves as both an attack and a small double jump. Collecting a power-up disables the spin attack.
  • Double Jump: Rosalina's spin attack becomes this when she uses it in the air.
  • Double Unlock: To unlock World Crown (the last bonus world), it's not enough to complete its preceding world (World Flower); you also have to collect all the Green Stars and stamps and touch the top of the flagpole in every level.
  • The Dragon: Motley Bossblob is this to Bowser in this game, being who you fight right before entering World Castle, one of the two bosses guarding The Great Tower of Bowser Land, and the last boss fought in Boss Blitz.
  • Dressing as the Enemy: There's an item that disguises the character as a Goomba, preventing enemies from attacking you. Said disguise leaves the character's legs exposed.
  • Drop-In-Drop-Out Multiplayer: Any player can drop in immediately at any point of the game as well as drop out on any point.
  • Dual Boss: King and Queen Hisstocrat in the middle Warp Box of the Boss Blitz level.
  • Dub Induced Plothole: In order to avert this trope, the "Round Goombas" or "Kuribons" from Super Mario World had their names Retconned to "Galoombas" just so that one can distinguish between them and their much more common mushroom-shaped counterparts who also appear in this game.
  • Dungeon Bypass: In many levels, it's possible to run on top of Clear Warp Pipes, which also allows you to avoid being hit by any obstacles that are lurking in there.
  • Dynamic Loading: The game has a plain red backdrop appear on screen when you start a level as it shows the level name and characters each player uses. You can use this time to switch characters before the level loads completely and starts the game.

    E-G 
  • Early Installment Weirdness: In regard to the Captain Toad gameplay. In this game, he can't defeat ghosts with his headlamp like he could as an NPC in Galaxy or like the other characters can in this game with a Light Box, but he can in Treasure Tracker. In fact, it's one of his few tactical advantages. This is rectified in the Switch port, where the headlamp functions exactly as it did in Treasure Tracker.
  • Easter Egg:
    • Like New Super Luigi U before it, this game has hidden 8-bit Luigis scattered all over the game. Unlike Luigi U, they range from waiting for a specific amount time, hiding in some out of the way spaces, or even Freeze Frame Bonuses There's even one hiding in the instruction manual.
    • The rocket ship that takes you to the bonus worlds after you beat the game will show up in the background at the beginning of World 1-1 after you've unlocked it.
  • Easy Level Trick: Champion's Road can be made significantly easier by bringing in a Tanooki Suit from another level.
  • Eating the Enemy: The game introduces the Potted Piranha Plant which characters can pick up and use to eat other enemies, including ones that can't be beaten normally like Fuzzies. They can even eat other Piranha Plants.
  • Egopolis: World Bowser is this.
  • Embedded Precursor: The title screen lets you access a slightly tweaked NES version of Mario Bros. called Luigi Bros., done in celebration of The Year of Luigi, unlocked via completing the game or already having a New Super Luigi U save filenote . Now Luigi is both Player 1 and 2, with the second player being the original palette.
  • Everything's Better With Bunnies: A few levels have rabbits that the characters can catch for certain goodies. Mount Must Dash's Miiverse stamp is also a rabbit.
  • Everything's Better with Spinning: Returning from Super Mario Sunshine is the spin jump - twirling the analog stick quickly causes your character to spin like a top, and pressing a jump button during this sequence has them do a spinning jump that allows them to reach heights that a normal jump normally can't. The same effect can also be achieved if a character standing underneath another jumps and hits whoever's above them.
  • Evil Tower of Ominousness: World Bowser-Castle, home of the final boss, is aptly named "The Great Tower Of Bowser Land".
  • Fairy in a Bottle: How Bowser captures the Sprixie Princesses. He's clearly been playing too much Zelda. At the end of the game, he ends up in a bottle.
  • Fake Longevity: Want to get all five stars and get 100% Completion? Be prepared to take a very long time. Eventually, you will have to complete EVERY stage in EVERY world with all FIVE characters (including Rosalina, who isn't unlocked until after you've completed the second level of World Star, which makes the game's longevity even more fake). At least this can be alleviated if you play with friends, or cheat using multiple controllers: you only have to COMPLETE all stages, not go through them entirely.
  • Family-Unfriendly Death: All of the bosses disappear in a flash of light upon defeat, but Motley Bossblob lies sprawled on his back, looking truly dead when he dissolves into light. His star-shaped pupils and tongue sticking out don't help.
  • Far East: Invoked. According to an Iwata Asks article, Hands-On Hall was intended as what the devs felt foreigners see their homeland as; a mishmash of Japan and China. For that level, they stereotyped their own country.
  • Floating Continent: Almost every level is comprised of floating landmasses, sand, and stones, among other materials.
  • Floating Water: Shows up in a couple levels, and even moves. Not even justified.
  • Forcibly Formed Physique: The Prince Bully fight has this happen to Prince Bully himself whenever you push him into a pipe. He's shot out another pipe compressed into a helpless small cylinder.
  • Forest of Perpetual Autumn: World 3-7, Switchboard Falls, takes place in the autumn, where the trees have orange leaves, leaves are falling in the sky, and there are waterfalls.
  • Friendly Fireproof: Zig-Zagged:
    • With players: Fireballs won't hurt other players, but projectiles from the Cannon Box can. When carried, the Piranha Plant will attack other players, knocking them over but otherwise leaving them unharmed.
    • On the other side, Hammer, Boomerang, and Fire Brothers can accidentally knock each other out.
  • Fuuma Shuriken: Pom Pom throws these. The color of the shuriken determines who is the real Pom-Pom from her shadow clones.
  • Funny Background Event: Throughout the game, you'll often and briefly see 8-bit Luigis hiding in the scenery.
  • Futile Hand Reach: Mario, Luigi, Peach, and Toad all do this when Bowser kidnaps the Sprixie Princesses.
  • Game-Over Man: Your character (Or multiple in multiplayer) fall into the Game Over screen with a disappointed or anguished expression. Choosing 'continue' makes them enthusiastically jump up and run off the screen to continue their quest.
  • Gameplay and Story Integration: The rocket ship that takes you to the bonus worlds after you beat the game will show up in the background at the beginning of World 1-1 after you've unlocked it.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation:
    • Mario, Luigi, Toad, and Peach will all be shown in the opening cutscene, no matter how many players are actually present.
    • In the credits, the same four characters are shown wearing cat suits, even if you completed the final level without one.
  • Gangplank Galleon: Spooky Seasick Wreck is an old pirate ship, so naturally the place is crawling with Boos making it a Big Boo's Haunt as well.
  • "Get Back Here!" Boss: Invoked by Bowser in the battles where he drives his car. He actually dares the player characters to follow him so that he can attack them with soccer bombs and his flame breath.
  • Ghostly Glide: Averted with Rosalina, who normally floats off the ground normally. In this game, she runs like everyone else
  • Gimmick Level: Several, such as Beep Block Skyway and Footlight Lane, which show hazards and elements unique to them. The game also has the Captain Toad stages where you have to guide Captain Toad through a diorama-like stage as he collect stars, and the Mystery House challenges where you have to complete several successive minigames based on a particular topic (like an A-to-B Racing Minigame or a Multi-Mook Melee).
  • Gold Makes Everything Shiny: The golden Bowser train level is made up of nothing but gold and gold coins.
  • Gravity Is a Harsh Mistress: After beating Bowser in the first and penultimate battles with him, the bridge gives way along with his car. It takes a couple seconds of Bowser hanging in midair and flailing comically before gravity takes him as well.
  • Green Hill Zone: The map of World 1, in the vein of the 2D Mario games since Super Mario Bros. 2. Individual levels set in this theme include Super Bell Hill, Really Rolling Hills, Spawling Savanna the bonus level Super Block Land. These levels have hills that can be climbed with the cat powers of the Super Bell.
  • Guide Dang It!: If you haven't figured out the GamePad's secret-revealing capabilities, you'll never figure out how to complete Shiftier Boo Mansion. Toward the end of the level, there's an outdoor section with a Warp Box at the end. Going through it will just send you back to the beginning of that section. Using the touchscreen or microphone will reveal a path of clouds leading under the bridge to where the real Warp Box is.

    H-M 
  • Hailfire Peaks:
    • Spooky Seasick Wreck mixes Big Boo's Haunt with Gangplank Galleon.
    • Peepa's Fog Bog combines Big Boo's Haunt with Slippy-Slidey Ice World and a small dose of Bubblegloop Swamp.
    • World Star-6: Honeycomb Starway turns into this. It's an Auto-Scrolling Level consisting of hexagon platforms appearing at the top of the screen as the level scrolls. Eventually, the level starts sending in instant-death lava hexagons and slippy-slidey ice hexagons (next to each other, of course), accompanied by fire-spitting Piranha Plants keeping you constantly on the move.
  • Happy Circus Music: The level Switch Scramble Circus has a very fun, bouncy orchestral theme.
  • Hard Mode Filler: Worlds Mushroom and Flower are composed of previous levels with gimmicks thrown in.
  • Heartbeat Soundtrack: Get near Champion's Road on World Crown's map. You'll know you have quite a challenge waiting when you hear the heartbeats.
  • Helpful Mook:
    • There are sleeping Piranha Plants in pots that will eat any enemies the player comes across when carried, but they become hostile once the player drops them.
    • Some enemies are living trampolines that turn into actual trampolines when attacked, which you can use to jump to higher areas.
    • The rats will do damage if you collide with them, but they also demonstrate how some obstacles work.
  • Hero of Another Story: Captain Toad has his own levels, with unique mechanics, and drives the Golden Space Train. He's also got his own game which ends up tying into this one!
  • Hollywood Darkness: Played straight in some caves and night levels, averted for some others.
  • Hub Level: In a vast departure from 3D Land's map system, this game's world map is closer to those from games like Super Mario Bros. 3 and Super Mario World, complete with branching paths leading from level to level and world to world. However, Mario and his friends have complete freedom of movement and can even jump around the area, essentially making it a smaller-scale reinterpretation of the freer Hub Levels of the pre-3D Land 3D games.
  • Inconveniently Placed Conveyor Belt: The level Bullet Bill Base in World 6 has conveyor belts in the walls instead of the floors. They're designed so Mario and his friends can climb them with the Super Bell powerup. Conveyor Belts also appear in the level Captain Toad Gets Thwomped, where they're more difficult to deal with because Captain Toad himself is slower and can't jump.
  • Infinite 1-Ups: One trick can be done as early as the second level of the game, just like in its predecessor.
  • Interface Spoiler:
    • The Sprixie Kingdom map shows that there are at least five worlds that you will travel to.
    • If you zoom out and move the camera around you, you can see the next worlds that you will travel to.
    • The red level list reveals the amount of levels that are in the worlds you haven't completed yet.
    • You can also see the silhouettes of the stamps that you haven't unlocked yet and some of them are easy to tell what they are.
    • Probably the worst one comes from the Miiverse features. It's probably best to have those off if you want a spoiler-free run.
      • Many posts reveal that there are stamps of Rosalina, and if that doesn't convince you, there's a stamp of her in a cat suit.
      • Playing against the Ghost Miis can accidentally spoil the game when you see one of them doing the spin attack from Super Mario Galaxy, which reveals that it could either be a new power-up later on in the game or that Rosalina is possibly a playable character.
      • Meowser, the final boss, is a stamp. They really should've auto-spoilered that one.
  • Invincible Minor Minion: The Big Ant Troopers can't be killed by jumps, ground pounds, or projectile attacks. Fortunately, they are only found in places where their invincibility is vital for when you need to pounce on them and get to various platforms.
  • I Shall Taunt You: Some enemies, like Spinies, Boos, and Para-Dry Bones laugh and cheer if they contact damage you.
  • Jack-of-All-Stats: Mario is the most rounded playable character in the game, as he has no major advantages or weaknesses in comparison to the other playable characters, mirroring the case of Super Mario Bros. 2.
  • Jiggle Physics: Peach's and Rosalina's skirt.
  • Jumped at the Call: Peach is the first one to enter the pipe and go after Bowser and save the Sprixie Princesses.
  • Kaizo Trap:
    • Certain Big Boo's Haunt levels will put fake flagpoles made of Boos at certain points, which can be dangerous if you have a bunch of Boos nipping at your heels and expect them to be defeated by the automatic enemy-killer activated by goals.
    • Running out of time by messing up the Clear Pipes at the end of Champion's Road.
  • King Mook: Prince Bully (which represents Bullies), Boss Brolder (which represents the round rock Brolders) and King Ka-Thunk (which uniquely represents a non-living hazard, namely the Ka-Thunks).
  • Kishotenketsu: Designer Koichi Hayashida used this formula to guide his design philosophy in this game. Many levels have the same structure: a new mechanic is introduced in a safe environment (ki), then the stakes are raised for the player (sho), an unexpected complication occurs (ten), and finally, all of the previous ideas are brought together for the home run to the finish pole (ketsu).
  • Kung Fu-Proof Mook: The Octooombas, which could be stomped upon in their first two appearances, will only bounce you off if you jump on them here, and no power-up or other attack will hurt them. To defeat them, you have to ground pound them.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: During the end credits, Bowser has been trapped in a bottle.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: Rosalina is supposedly a secret character. Despite this, various media for Super Smash Bros. for 3DS/Wii U, including Rosalina's character page and the Super Smash Sale's first sale mention 3D World exclusively as a Rosalina-centric game, rather than sorting it with the other Mario characters. In addition, she appears in her cat form alongside the other player characters on the official soundtrack's cover art. In fact, the fact that she's unlockable was first revealed in a trailer Nintendo put out before the game was even released anywhere in the world. The game wasn't even out and Nintendo didn't even consider it a spoiler.
  • Later Installment Weirdness: Being the thirteenth console platform game in the Super Mario Bros. series, this is the first core game since Super Mario Bros. 2, itself an Oddball in the Series, where Princess Peach is not a Damsel in Distress but rather a playable character. The Sprixie Princesses take her usual place as the ones to be rescued. The same game also promotes Rosalina and Captain Toad to playable characters, who were non-playable in previous games and still in need of Mario's help despite not being kidnapped. In terms of gameplay, the game borrows the style of Super Mario 3D Land for which the first objective in most levels is not about collecting Stars but simply meeting the goal line (stars are still required to access the boss levels, as well as some of the regular levels; this is a trait that 3D Land didn't have because its levels had Star Medals instead). In terms of narrative, there are no spoken dialogues, so the communication between characters is limited to gestures and expressions.
  • Leaning Tower of Mooks: Some Fire Bros. stand at the top of very large Goomba Towers, forcing Mario and his friends to dispatch the Goombas in order to deal with the fire shooters.
  • Leitmotif:
    • The Sprixie Princesses, Bowser, and Captain Toad all have unique themes associated with them, and they're remixed several times throughout the game.
    • Plessie is associated with the Slider theme from Super Mario 64.
    • The Mystery Challenge theme is from Super Mario Galaxy 2, and the Mega Mushroom reuses its theme from New Super Mario Bros..
    • The death theme is rearranged from Super Mario Bros. 3.
    • Although the standard victory theme is new, the boss victory theme from Super Mario 3D Land returns, fully orchestrated.
  • Lethal Lava Land: The World 7 map and several of its levels (such as Boiling Blue Bully Belt and Simmering Lava Lake), as well as Boss Brolder's Castle, Backstreet Bustle and Grumblump Inferno which are in other worlds. Notably, some levels have blue lava instead of red.
  • Level Ate: Pretty Plaza Panic, Cakewalk Flip and Cookie Cogworks. Averted with Double Cherry Pass, which looks like it was made of edible cake but it's actually a grassland level with the colors of a cake.
  • Level in the Clouds: The map of World 6 and the levels Clear Pipe Cruise, Pretty Plaza Panic, and The Great Goal Pole are all sky-themed. In addition to cloud platforms, there are Donut Blocks and Clear Pipes required to travel across the sections of the sky. The latter two levels have strict time limits, so Mario and his friends have to move quickly through the clouds and floating platforms.
  • Light 'em Up: The Light Box can be used to defeat ghosts.
  • Locomotive Level: The Bullet Bill Express and The Bowser Express. The Golden Express is a Bonus Stage version.
  • Long Song, Short Scene: The song that plays when the game loads is double the amount of time the game usually loads. The only way to hear it in full is to either eject the disk while it loadsnote  or you have the technical know how to rip the music off the game files.
  • Magical Clown: The boss Motley Bossblob is a jester-like Koopa who can transform into a giant Blob Monster clown.
  • Marathon Level: The aptly-named Mystery Box Marathon. Take 30 Mystery Box challenges and make them into one level with no checkpoints, and you have this level.
  • Market-Based Title: In Japan, the updated Nintendo Switch version is known as Super Mario 3D World + Fury World.
  • Me's a Crowd:
    • The Double Cherries give the player a clone that follows his/her every movement.
    • Also happens with Luigi Bros., where both players are Luigi.
    • Pom Pom has gained this ability and will utilize it during your battle with her. Boom Boom even tries his hand at this cloning business in his second battle.
  • Milestone Celebration: The game was released during 2013 (the Year Of Luigi), and to celebrate it many levels have Luigi's 8-bit sprite present in some form as an Easter Egg. Luigi himself also stars his own version of the arcade Mario Bros. (called Luigi Bros.), unlockable after clearing the game for the first time or (in the Wii U version) playing the game with data from New Super Mario Bros. U stored in the system.
  • Mini-Boss: Minibosses aren't seen until World 6, which introduces Prince Bully. The subsequent worlds have Degraded Bosses who will act as enemy blockades, as will the female Hisstocrat near the end of the game.
  • Mirror Boss: Bowser uses the Super Bell and Double Cherry in the final boss fight.
  • Mission-Pack Sequel: Downplayed. In terms of gameplay, presentation, level design and part of the soundtrack, the game is one to Super Mario 3D Land; however, it does a major effort to showcase many new features to stand out (more characters to play as, new powerups, different mainland setting, more bosses, the addition of Captain Toad stages and Mystery House gauntlets, etc.)
  • Mix-and-Match Critters:
    • Conkdors are condors that look like cartoon ostriches sporting a spiked purple Koopa shell. Also, their beaks look like toucans'.
    • Plessie resembles a plesiosaurus/Loch Ness Monster (aquatic, names resembles "plesiosaurus" and "Nessie"), a seal (has seal-like bark and flippers), and a Yoshi (has a large, bulbous nose and small eyes, gives Mario and friends a ride).
  • Monster Clown: The Motley Bossblob can take the form of a giant clown that tries to kill you.
  • Moving the Goalposts: World Star-4 features a literal moving goalpost. What appears to be a simple 8 second level turns into a frantic chase as the winged goalpost moves ever further away from you.
  • Musical Nod: Loads of them:
    • For starters, there's music that's reused entirely: the underground theme, the Toad House theme, the Rainbow Run/Coin Heaven theme, the Mystery Challenge theme, and Boom-Boom and Pom-Pom's themes are all taken from Super Mario 3D Land. The Comet Observatory music is also reused for World Crown's map.
    • The Slot Machine's theme is the character selection screen from Super Mario Bros. 2.
    • Mount Must Dash, being an homage to Super Mario Kart, naturally remixes the game's Mario Circuit theme.
    • Plessie's theme is a remix of the Slider theme from Super Mario 64.
    • Gusty Garden Galaxy receives a remix for the levels Honeycomb Starway, Honeycomb Skyway, and Champion's Road. Captain Toad's theme is an extended version of his leitmotif from this game, as well.
    • Bowser's Lava Lake Keep, Snowball Park, and Super Block Land all have remixed music from 3D Land. This also holds true for the levels that are thematically derived from those three.
  • My Instincts Are Showing: In the Nintendo Direct trailer, Cat Mario is shown sneaking up and pouncing on birds in one of the levels.
  • My Rules Are Not Your Rules: Apparently, Meowser's clones can act independently. Something you can't utilize with your own clones when using the Double Cherries.
  • Mythology Gag:

    N-P 
  • Ninja: Pom-Pom can teleport short distances, create shadow clones of herself, and use throwing stars to attack.
  • Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: Prince Bully's helmet looks like a mix between a visored Medieval bascinet, a horned barbarian helmet, and a plumed Greco-Roman helmet.
  • No Name Given:
    • Bowser's purple automobile apparently has no official name.
    • Nor do any of the seven Sprixie princesses, individually.
  • No Ontological Inertia: Averted with the Double Cherries. Upon acquiring the power-up and gaining clones, damage to one will make it disappear. However, there's no need to keep track of the original out of fear damage to it will make the other clones disappear; the last clone standing will always end up being the real deal.
  • Noob Bridge:
    • A variation. While all obstacles in the game can be navigated normally, there are many shortcuts one can take if they're savvy with moves not listed in the manual. Such as the Spin Jump (rotate the stick until you spin, then jump) and the Ground Pound Jump (jump shortly after landing a Ground Pound).
    • The level Cosmic Cannon Cluster. A portion of the level requires you to scale a wall by bouncing on cannonballs shooting in sequence to advance. Until then, this maneuver was not necessary to progress. This technique also shows up in the Brutal Bonus Level.
  • Nostalgia Level: One bonus area features a giant Small Mario sprite from Super Mario Bros.. There's also Mount Must Dash, which is an homage to the original Super Mario Kart, Super Galaxy being one to Super Mario Galaxy and Super Block Land being one to Super Mario 3D Land. There's also a golden train full of coins, reminiscent of the treasure ship in Super Mario Bros. 3.
  • Not Quite Flight: The Tanooki Suit returns with the same limited floating mechanics from 3D Land.
  • Off-Model:
    • Done deliberately with Peach's proportions changing to fit the Cat Suit, as the model for the latter is shared among the playable characters.
    • This also happens with Rosalina. Boomerang and Tanooki Rosalina suffer this, since they share the same models and animations with Boomerang and Tanooki Peach. Rosalina noticeably looks off with Peach's girly running animations in those powered-up forms.
  • Old Save Bonus: In the Wii U version, having a New Super Luigi U save file unlocks Luigi Bros. on the title screen without having to beat the game. (The Switch version does not take into account New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe, so you must beat the game to unlock it.)
  • Ominous Floating Castle: World Castle.
  • One-Gender Race: The Sprixies seem to be only females, since all of the non-Princesses wear pink dresses.
  • One-Hit Kill: Fuzzy Hordes (in Fuzzy Time Mine from World 6) and poison fog (in Trick Trap Tower from World Castle) can kill Mario and his friends upon direct contact, which is why they must evade them at all costs as soon as they start overruning the levels where they appear.
  • One-Winged Angel: For the final boss fight, Bowser uses a Super Bell to transform into a tiger version of himself called Meowser.
  • Painting the Medium: Rainy levels rain on the camera/game screen.
  • Palmtree Panic: The map of World 5, and the levels Plessie's Plunging Falls, Pipeline Lagoon and Sunshine Seaside. The former one has Mario and company riding alongside Plessie across a tropical river with cascades. The second one leans towards Under the Sea, and has a part where Mario and his friends can witness a beautiful underwater landscape with sunken ships as they travel across a Clear Pipe. The last one is set on a wide, open-ended beach with sandy statues, and continues with a subterranean river traversed with the help of Plessie.
  • Panthera Awesome: Bowser uses a Super Bell to turn himself into Meowser, a tiger version of himself, for the final boss fight.
  • Plant Mooks: In addition to featuring the classic Piranha Plants, the game introduces the Piranha Creepers, which have long, spiky stems that are harmful upon contact. The ones that are awake (colored purple) will slither around the ground or the air back and forth, while the asleep ones (colored blue) will remain static and will only retract when Mario and his friends attack them (if attack ceases, then the Creeper will extend back and then resume rest).
  • Post-End Game Content: Beating the game unlocks some extra worlds where you can unlock Rosalina, as well as the Luigi Bros. game (although it can be available from the start if New Super Luigi U save data is present).
  • Power-Up:
    • 3D World introduces the Cat Suit. When you grab the Super Bell, you will now be able to climb walls, scratch, and pounce on your enemies.
    • The Double Cherries, which create one copy of the player for each one grabbed.
    • The Fire Flower, Tanooki Suit, Boomerang Suit, and Mega Mushroom return as well, the latter appearing for the first time in a 3D Mario game (as well as in 4-player co-op, something that has not yet happened in the New Super Mario Bros. series it debuted in).
  • Power Up Letdown:
    • Any Power-Up becomes this if you are playing as Rosalina. In her normal and small forms, she has a spin attack that also functions as a pretty useful Double Jump. However, grabbing one of the advanced powerups (Fire Flower, Super/Lucky Bell, Tanooki Leaf, etc.) erases this ability. While it is nice having an extra power (and an extra hit point), players playing as Rosalina may face the dilemma of forgoing powerups or risk losing her useful Spin Attack.
    • The Tanooki Suit and Lucky Cat Suit can retroactively become this in the Switch version, since you cannot perform the extremely useful midair dive while wearing them due to how they work - the dive is performed by pressing the dash button immediately out of a Ground Pound, but the Tanooki Suit will do a tail swipe instead of the former, while the Lucky Cat Suit will turn you into a statue instead of the latter, both of which will cause you to plummet downwards instead of diving.
  • Power Up Mount: Plessie, a large Yoshi-like dinosaur, can carry all four characters and is able to race through certain river levels.
  • Princesses Rule: In the Sprixie Kingdom, seven of them.
  • Projectile Pocketing: Items such as Green Stars can be collected from afar with certain projectiles such as boomerangs or cannonballs.
  • Promoted to Playable:
    • Captain Toad becomes playable for the first time in levels exclusive to him where he can only navigate without jumping.
    • This game also marks Rosalina's first playable appearance in a Mario platformer as a Secret Character.
  • Pun: Princess Peach's Double Cherry Catchphrase is "Sooo peachy!"
  • Punny Name:
    • Every Climax Boss. First, Hisstocrat, whose name is a combination of "hiss" and "aristocrat" due to being a king and a snake. Second, Motley Bossblob, which refers to the multitude of blobs that make up his giant form, but also a motley, a name for a jester's outfit. Third, Meowser, which is pretty self-explanatory.
    • Some of the new enemies. For instance, Conkdors (a bird enemy which attacks with its head), Rammerheads (which resemble hammerhead sharks), Madpoles (aggressive tadpoles) and Brolders (boulder bros).
  • Puzzle Game: Captain Toad's levels shift from platforming to this. Without the ability to jump, the gameplay becomes navigating the level and manipulating the camera to find the Green Stars in every nook and cranny.

    Q-S 
  • Quicksand Sucks: The presence of quicksand is very limited, being only present in the level Conkdor Canyon. The rate at which it sinks the characters is low enough for them to not only force their way out, but also reach an upper area by "swimming" across a waterfall made of falling sand.
  • Racing Ghost: Ghosts of other players' Miis can be raced against if you connect online.
  • Racing Minigame: One of the Mystery House levels in the game, Mystery House Mad Dash, consists of getting stars through various consecutive obstacle races.
  • Rainbow Motif: The Sprixie Princesses are associated respectively with the colors of the rainbows, although indigo is replaced by cyan. They're located in the worlds that are thematically connected with those colors (the Green Princess is in World 1, the Yellow Princess is in World 2, and so on). When World 7 (Lethal Lava Land keeping the Red Princess captive) is cleared and all of them appear to be saved, Bowser makes a comeback and abducts them again, taking them to the rainbow-colored World 8 (Amusement Park of Doom).
  • Recurring Boss: Boom Boom and Pom Pom reprise their role from 3D Land as recurring bosses, but the bigger catalogue of bosses reduces their frequency considerably (prior to the Boss Rush level in the 11th world, Boom Boom is only found in the respective Tank levels of Worlds 2 and 6, while Pom Pom is in the respective Train levels of Worlds 3 and 8). Bowser himself is fought in World 1 and 7, and once again in 8 under his debuting Meowser persona. In the mode Bowser's Fury added to the Switch version, this trope is invoked by Fury Bowser, since he's intended to appear periodically as Mario explore the islands of Lake Lapcat. The other bosses to have additional fights prior to the Boss Rush level are Boss Brolder, Prince Bully and Motley Bossblob (the two Hisstocrats are fought once each separarely, so they don't count).
  • Recurring Boss Template: Except for the Final Boss, all the boss types are fought at least one other time. In particular, Boom-Boom and Pom Pom are back, acting much like they did in 3D Land. They do have some new abilities, though; Boom-Boom can turn invisible and Pom Pom learned how to clone herself and toss shurikens.
  • Remilitarized Zone: The game primarily has Bowser's Bullet Bill Brigade and Bowser's Bob-omb Brigade, which contain the goosestepping Blockstepper Mooks and also mark the return of the tanks from Super Mario Bros. 3. There's also Bullet Bill Base in World 6, a tower filled with many cannons, and The Bowser Express in World 8, which is a train-based military level. Lastly, Cosmic Cannon Cluster is a Space Zone variant, where Bullet Bills and Cannonballs are the most common threat (alongside Parabones).
  • Remixed Level:
    • All of the levels in Worlds Mushroom and Flower are remixed versions of the levels seen in the first eight worlds (and in a certain case, one from World Star. The exception is Boss Blitz in World Flower.
    • Mystery House Marathon remixes 30 Mystery Box challenges and puts them in one big Mystery House.
  • Removable Shell: Koopa Troopas once again have this, for the first time in the 3D games since Super Mario 64. This time around, the player can actually put on the shells themselves to get some Super Speed.
  • Retaliation Mode:
    • Boom Boom performs a shell ramming attack once stomped; on his last hit point, the shell turns invisible.
    • Boss Brolder performs an invincible spinning attack that throws out pyroclasts when damaged.
    • King Ka-Thunk drops back down onto the arena when hurt, destroying parts of it.
  • Rhythm Game: The slot machine bonus game, if you want it to be note , and the beat-block gimmick returning from Galaxy 2..
  • Rise to the Challenge: The level Fuzzy Time Mine involves having to escape a tower-like mine that is being filled up by Fuzzies.
  • Robot Clown: Downplayed. Motley Bossblob is — as the name says — more of a Blob Monster Clown, however his Chrome Champion look really gives him a robotic vibe.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: Princess Peach. Also done mildly with the Sprixie Princesses, who pull out tools to set up Clear Pipes for the heroes to move between worlds.
  • Rubberband AI: Bowser's car moves as fast as you do.
  • Rule of Seven: Seven Sprixie Princesses in need of being rescued. Relatedly, seven of the collectible stamps are modeled after them.
  • Sand Is Water: In level 8-2 "Plessie's Dune Downhill", Plessie floats through sand just as they did through water in previous levels.
  • Save the Princess: Averted for Princess Peach. In a departure from the standard Mario plotline, she is now playable alongside the Mario Bros. and Toad. Instead of the princess, seven other princesses will serve this, all of them being the Sprixie Princesses of the kingdom.
  • Scenery as You Go: Footlight Lane has paths that are only visible in a small circle around your character. Impacts from a Ground Pound or enemy attacks or collection of a Green Star briefly expand the visibility.
  • Scenery Porn: The game has stunning visuals and it really shows in the scenery. Some segments of the game exist purely to show off the graphics, like the long Clear Pipe ride in front of a sunken ship in Pipeline Lagoon.
  • Score Milking: The Lucky Cat Suit's ability to create coins with its transformation power grants an infinite means of gaining score (along with a very slow method of gaining lives). Repeatedly hitting a Koopa shell with the Tanooki Suit's tail also allows for milking, as the score increments on each hit like a Goomba Stomp combo. These are more effective in the Mystery Houses, where grabbing a Green Star stops the timer.
  • Scoring Points: After a conspicuous absence in the previous game (in which you earn coins instead of points), it's back in full force. They still mean nothing, though, unless you count the inevitable competition between players when the scoreboard is shown at the end of the course.
  • Secret Character: Rosalina, who is unlocked upon completion of World Star-2, Super Galaxy.
  • Self-Imposed Challenge: No-powerup runs and/or no-damage runs can add a bit of challenge to some of the levels,
  • Shifting Sand Land: The map of World 2 is desert-themed, but only the first level (Conkdor Canyon) is actually set in a desert; the sandfalls located in certain spots can be used to reach high places. There's also Plessie's Dune Downhill in World 8, where sand sculptures modeled after Bowser can be found.
  • Ship Level: Spooky Seasick Wreck is set on a series of crashed galleons filled with Boos and Peepas. Gigantic Seasick Wreck, of World Mushroom-6, trades in the specters for Ty-Foos, with Mega Mushrooms being the order of the day.
  • Shout-Out:
    • In the opening scene, Bowser bottles a fairy.
    • One of the secrets in a level takes you to a bunch of black blocks stacked together to form an 8-bit Link from the original game. Light them all up to reveal the sprite, and the "Item get" jingle from Ocarina of Time plays.
    • The first Mystery House where you fight enemies is called Mystery House Melee. The second one is called Mystery House Brawl.
  • Signature Move:
    • While all characters get stamps that showcase them in the Cat Suit, the three characters other than Mario (who is shown with all power-ups) get stamps based on the other power ups: Luigi is shown using the Tanooki Suit (or to be more precise: his own Kitsune variation of the suit), Peach is shown using the Fire Flower, and Toad is shown using the Boomerang Suit. They were also seen using them in the various trailers.
    • Rosalina, the secret character, has an actual Signature Move in the Spin Jump which only works when she's not using a power-up. Fittingly, she only gets the usual four stamps showing her Normal, Small, and Cat Suit forms, as well as her Player Icon.
  • Skippable Boss: Bowser and his Cool Car can be skipped by finding a hidden Warp Pipe in 1-2 that takes you straight to World 2. World 4's boss, Boss Brolder, can also be bypassed this way, with a Warp Pipe hidden in 4-2 that leads to World 5.
  • Sliding Scale of Cooperation vs. Competition: The "emergent competition" variation. At least one player must get to the end of the level to win it, but the game keeps track of the points everyone earned, and rewards the highest-scoring player with a cosmetic crown at the start of the next level. Despite winning the levels being the only thing that truly matters in the long run, players are incredibly prone to petty in-game squabbles over points, especially when the crown is involved.
  • Slippy-Slidey Ice World: The game has the map of World 3, although only the first level (Snowball Park) is actually snow themed. There's also Ty-Foo Flurries in World 6 and Peepa's Fog Bog in World Star. A common feature in these levels is a type of Goomba that slides on ice with the help of a large yellow boot (which Mario and his friends can claim by defeating the Goomba).
  • Snowlems: The game introduces Snow Pokeys, snowman variants of the desert-dwelling Pokey cacti. When defeated, their body segments turn into non-spiky snowballs that the player characters can pick up and chuck.
  • The Smurfette Principle: Subverted. Peach is the only playable female character, until you unlock Rosalina in the postgame content.
  • Snowy Sleigh Bells: The theme playing in Snowball Park is the remix of the Super Mario 3D Land cheerful ice theme and it makes just as much use of sleigh bells.
  • Solid Clouds: The game has semi-solid cloud platforms that can be entered from underneath throughout various courses. They're officially called Cloud Lifts, but some of them are stationary and some are even invisible. Ground-pounding a Cloud Lift would cause it to dissipate temporarily.
  • Space Zone: The respective maps of all four secret worlds (Star, Mushroom, Flower and Crown are space-themed, though only Worlds Star and Crown have actual space-themed levels (the former has Rainbow Run, Super Galaxy, Honeycomb Starway, Cosmic Cannon Cluster and Captain Toad Takes A Spin; the latter has Champion's Road, Captain Toad's Fiery Finale and Mystery House Marathon), and it's also in the former world where Rosalina can be unlocked to play as her. There's also the earlier Beep Block Skyway from World 4.
  • Spin Attack:
    • Rosalina can use the spin from Super Mario Galaxy, which serves as an attack and a small extra jump. It gives her advantage over the other characters since she's the only one that can do it, but it won't help much for speedruns. The primary downside is that it can't be used if she's above normal form.
    • The Tanooki Suit retains its trademark tail swipe attack, as well as the rapid spin move that replaces the roll.
  • The Spiny: Unlike the standard Skipsqueaks (mice) and Ant Troopers (ants), the Spiny Skipsqueaks and Horned Ant Troopers cannot be stomped on due to their spiky protection: The Spiny Skipsqueaks have red thorns in their backs, while the Horned Ant Troopers have a red helmet with a white spike at the top.
  • Spot the Thread: Although her clones all bear near-identical shurikens, only the real Pom Pom's is colored a girly shade of pink. The real one is also the only one wearing a green bow on her head.
  • Stock Food Depictions: The double cherry power-up, as expected, features two pinkish-red cherries joined at the stem.
  • Stock Subtitle: World.
  • Super Not-Drowning Skills: Just like in its predecessor.

    T-Y 
  • Tactical Suicide Boss:
    • Again, Bowser uses this trope when he throws soccer bombs that can be kicked back onto the car he's riding. If he'd just kept on spitting fire at Mario and his friends, he'd be invincible.
    • Boom Boom would be unstoppable if he didn't feel the need to come out of his shell to do his spinning arm attack.
    • Pom Pom uses doppelgangers to aid her in her fight. You have to hit the real deal in order to damage her. The trope comes in when she decides to stand out from her doppelgangers for no apparent reason by having a different colored Fuuma Shuriken than the clones.
    • Both Hisstocrat and Queen Hisstocrat feel a need to have their servants hold plates over their heads for no reason other than to make it easier to stomp them.
    • Boss Brolder would be invincible if it wasn't for the fact that he can only be hurt by having a Brolder (which he summons to help him) thrown at him.
    • Motley Bossblob only becomes vulnerable because he performs the extra-high jump that splits his clown form into smaller blobs. If he stuck with the smaller jumps, he would be invincible.
    • Meowser somehow felt the need to go onto POW Blocks at certain points of his fight. Said things are the only thing that can hurt him.
  • Taken for Granite: The Tanooki Suit's statue ability has been passed on to a rarer version of the Cat Suit, known as the Lucky Cat Suit, which can transform you into a golden cat statue, a reference to a Japanese lucky charm known as the maneki-neko.
  • Tank Goodness: Bowser's Tank Battalion returns.
  • Temple of Doom: The levels Spike's Lost City and King Ka-thunk's Castle.
  • Temporary Platform: Beat Blocks reappear, now called Beep Blocks. Here, they function more like their original appearance, but there are some sequences with longer blocks on an angle that function as a slide.
  • Tennis Boss: Bowser's Highway sees you kicking the soccer ball bombs he throws at you back at his car.
  • Title Scream: Done at the title screen by the initial four characters ("Me-ow!").
  • Tomboyish Ponytail: Peach gets this in all of her power-up forms (except the hooded Cat and Tanooki suits). Rosalina too!
  • Top-Down View: Similar to its 3DS predecessor note , Honeycomb Starway is an Auto-Scrolling Level where you travel across hexagonal platforms using nothing but the Boomerang Flower. Switchblack Ruins also uses this view.
  • Took a Level in Badass:
    • One of the rare times Peach doesn't get kidnapped. In fact, she is the first to chase after Bowser after he steals one of the Sprixie Princesses.
    • On top of generally showing a bit more competence in his minions and obstacles, somewhere along the line, Bowser finally took a good look at Mario's powerup arsenal, and asked himself "why haven't I ever tried to use these?". His idea to perch precariously on top of POW blocks for Mario to hit him was a little less bright.
    • Boom Boom, believe it or not. Unlike 3D Land, where he attacks you in the exact same way, he adopts different attacks this time — either he turns invisible or spawns another shell to distract you. Pom Pom, however, isn't as lucky.
    • Also, the Octoombas. In the Galaxy games, they were a slight step up from the regular Goombas and could still be stomped on easily. However, now jumping on them doesn’t work, and they spew cannonballs. To defeat them, you need to perform ground-pound on their heads.
  • Toy Time: Rolling Ride Run is a level made up of wooden building blocks that appears in one of the secret worlds. The main setpiece employed here is a series of cylindrical blocks that have to be carefully dragged forward without falling down.
  • Traintop Battle: The train levels see you fighting enemies and dodging obstacles on top of the trains.
  • Travel Cool: Saving the kidnapped pixie princesses is the focus of the plot. Interestingly in the background, in case you missed it, the game's subplot is having Bowser shut down all inter-level public warp pipes, and replace them with his own private road and railroad infrastructure.
  • Tube Travel: The Clear Pipes frequently let you do this.
  • A Twinkle in the Sky: Bowser becomes one upon being defeated in the first and third battles against him.
  • Two Girls to a Team: Peach and Rosalina are the two playable female characters in this game.
  • Underground Level: Koopa Troopa Cave, Shadow Play Alley, Backstreet Bustle, and Switchblack Ruins. Features include Clear Pipes, POW Blocks whose detonation can break multiple blocks in succession, rotating gizmos, and (in the case of Shadow Play Alley) a unique visual design based on lights and shadows.
  • Under the Sea: Pipeline Lagoon and Rammerhead Reef. As with the underwater levels in 3D Land, there's no Oxygen Meter to worry about, so the only reason to hurry in those levels is the time limit.
  • Unexpected Gameplay Change:
    • Some levels involve controlling Captain Toad (of the Toad Brigade), who cannot jump, as he maneuvers around enemies to grab Green Stars, in a set-up remarkably similar to that of Wrecking Crew.
    • There are also levels that play like a top-down shooter, and others featuring dash panels that force the characters to run at above max speed.
  • Unstable Equilibrium: When playing co-op, the winner of each level is awarded a crown that is worth 5000 points in the next level. This makes it easier for one player to win several levels in a row, although other players can fight for the crown.
  • Variable Mix:
    • The music changes when you go underwater, becoming muffled and distorted.
    • The music of the circus levels change depending on how far you are in them.
    • There are two pairs of worlds that share the same general music but have different instrumentation depending on which of the two you're in. All of the other worlds have their own music.
    • Water-themed levels have different tracks for surface and swimming sections, which change as you move between them.
  • Vehicular Assault: Bowser tries to run over the heroes with his big car.
  • The Very Definitely Final Dungeon: The world containing Bowser's Castle, World Castle, is actually the seventh world. World Bowser (a.k.a. World 8) is a neon amusement park Bowser creates using the sprixies, complete with a tower stretching into the sky that serves as the real final level.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: Like New Super Mario Bros. Wii, in multiplayer, characters can pick up other characters, leading to situations like Mario throwing Peach off a cliff or Toad chucking Luigi into lava.
  • Video Game Cruelty Punishment: As lives are shared this time around, you probably don't want to kill the other players often.
  • Villainous Harlequin: Motley Bossblob in both forms, though his blob form tends toward Monster Clown.
  • Walk, Don't Swim: Captain Toad is weighed down so much by his backpack that he just walks underwater.
  • Warp Zone: As in 3D Land, there are secret red pipes which warp the player(s) to a later world, yet these don't ever need to be found for 100% Completion (in fact, it's counterproductive for that cause, as you'd need to play all levels and gather their collectibles in other to unlock World Crown at the very end).
  • Weak, but Skilled: Captain Toad has absolutely no jumping ability. That doesn't stop him from solving the puzzles that happen to be his stages.
  • Wham Shot: Bowser putting on a Super Bell.
  • Wintry Auroral Sky: Snowball Park is an snowy stage which conveniently takes place at night, so the green auroras can be well seen in the dark skies.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Just like in Super Princess Peach, Bowser has no qualms in fighting Princess Peach. Or Rosalina, for that matter.
  • Written Sound Effect: Sort of an example. Ka-Thunks and their king, King Ka-Thunk, are most likely named after the sound they make when moving/attacking.
  • Wutai: Hands-On Hall, which deliberately shows a stereotypical rendition of medieval Japan.
  • You Don't Look Like You: The Bullies were completely redesigned from Super Mario 64. They're recolored, no longer spherical, and their horns are pointed in a different direction.
  • Your Princess Is in Another Castle!:
    • There's a few levels where some Boos fake you out by disguising themselves as the end of level flagpole.
    • And another one much later on where a goalpost is right there at the beginning. The post then grows wings and tries to run away from you, setting the stage for the real course. You can still end it any time if you're fast enough and touch the pole, but if you're going for 100% then you more-or-less have to run through the entire level.

 
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Alternative Title(s): Super Mario 3 D World And Bowsers Fury

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Bowser Boss Fights

After beating Bowser in the first and penultimate battles with him, the bridge gives way along with his car. It takes a couple seconds of Bowser hanging in midair and flailing comically before gravity takes him as well.

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