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Video Game / Super Mario World

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"It's a bit more exciting! A bit more challenging! A bit more perfect! A bit more colorful! A bit more realistic! A bit more levels! A bit more secrets! A bit more enemies! A bit more friends! A bit more sound! A bit hotter! A bit cooler! A bit weirder! A bit more revolutionary! A bit more Mario! A bit more of what you want! It's 16-Bit, and it's yours only if you get Super Nintendo!"
Commercial for Super Mario World

Super Mario World (subtitled Super Mario Bros. 4 on Japanese packaging) is a 1990 video game produced by Nintendo as a launch title for their 16-bit console, the SNES; it serves as the fifth console installment in the Super Mario Bros. series and sixth overall. It features their iconic mascot, Mario, taking a vacation alongside his brother Luigi and Princess Peach (then still known in the west as Princess Toadstool) to the faraway Dinosaur Land. There, as is prone to happen, the Princess is captured by Bowser and kept in his castle, this time located in the deep underground. Of course, Mario must journey through the entire continent to get to her, beating down Bowser's loyal children, the seven Koopalings, along the way.

The game was released on November 21, 1990 in Japan as a SNES launch title, and in North America on August 23, 1991, concurrently with the release of the SNES in that region.

It is by far the best-selling game for the SNES, with over 20 million copies sold. However, the game was bundled with the console in many markets for a good part of its history, which skews sales figures — the "free" copies of Super Mario World players would get when they bought their SNES consoles still counted as units sold.note 

In North America and Europe, it was later re-released in console bundles, as in Super Mario All-Stars + Super Mario World in 1994 with a few minor graphical changes, most notably giving Luigi a new, unique design (rather than just being a Palette Swap of Mario as in the initial version).

This game is most notable for having introduced the world to Yoshi, Mario's now-famous dinosaur friend and his ability to eat the baddies. The game was followed-up in 1995 with Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island, a prequel starring Yoshi as the player character and featuring Mario and Luigi as infants; that game would mark the launch of the Yoshi's Island subseries. In terms of gameplay, Super Mario World also introduced enemies and features that are now mainstays, such as Wigglers, Monty Moles, Ghost Houses and levels with secret exits.

This game is also notable for being the first game (along with Pilotwings) directly crediting Shigeru Miyamoto as the creator of Super Mario Bros., rather than using a pseudonym as previous games did.note 

A loose comic adaptation, titled Super Mario Adventures, was published by Nintendo Power in 1992, though the storyline is mostly original. The game was also adapted into a short-lived animated series.

The game was remade for the Game Boy Advance as Super Mario World: Super Mario Advance 2, released in Japan on December 14, 2001 and North America on February 11, 2002. While it removed the alternating multiplayer from the original, it instead offered the choice to play as Luigi during the campaign, who has his Super Mario Bros. 2-established abilities among other differences.

Super Mario Maker and Super Mario Maker 2 include Super Mario World as one of the game styles the player can use to build levels.

Please note that Super Mario 3D World is a separate game, not a re-release or a follow-up.


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  • 100% Completion: Finding all 96 goals is necessary to get the "Autumn" theme in Advance 2, whereas all you originally had to do was clear the Special Zone. Also in Advance 2, collecting all Yoshi Coins (in the original, grabbing them merely netted extra lives).
  • Absurdly Short Level: The main exit of Star Road 3 can be reached in roughly five seconds with little difficulty. Reaching the secret exit only takes a few seconds longer, as both the key and keyhole are just out of sight above the start of the level and can be reached by flying as Cape Mario or by knocking a Lakitu off its cloud by throwing a block at it.
  • Adaptation Expansion: Downplayed with the GBA port, as it adds a new beginning cinematic not present in the SNES original that shows Mario, Luigi, and Peach entering Dinosaur Land via a hot air balloon, with Mario and Luigi quickly goofing around on the island shortly after entering, only to realize Peach got kidnapped offscreen when the two came back to meet up with her, leading into the game.
  • Advertising Campaigns: In North America, the "a bit more ____" ad, coupled with the revised slogan "Now you're playing with power... SUPER power."
  • Airborne Mook: The game introduces Parabombs, which are Bob-Ombs falling onto the floor with a parachute. Also, in the Forest of Illusion, some enemies that are otherwise ground-based travel encased in a floating transparent bubble.
  • All the Worlds Are a Stage: When entered from the Front Door (the default entrance), Bowser's Castle starts with a hub with four rooms labelled 1, 2, 3, and 4. You only have to get through one of the rooms to reach the second hub with four more doors labelled 5, 6, 7, and 8. Once you complete one of these four rooms, you reach the final room before Bowser. Each room contains something that was used in a previous castle; the eight rooms are as follows:
    • Room 1: An auto-scrolling room with giant pillars and bottomless pits (that can be shrunken if you have the switch palaces active).
    • Room 2: A room with a fence that must be traversed across, while avoiding Koopas and Podoobos.
    • Room 3: A maze-like room with Mecha-Koopas everywhere.
    • Room 4: A room with a huge bottomless pit and several Sparky's/Hotheads traversing across the platforms.
    • Room 5: The shortest room of all - A series of skewers and Thwomps. The player must sprint with absolutely perfect timing in order to avoid harm.
    • Room 6: An underwater room with various underwater hazards, including Dry Bones/Fish and spikes everywhere.
    • Room 7: A room filled with statues of Bowser - The grey ones breathe fire, while the gold ones take giant leaps in pursuit of the player.
    • Room 8: Chargin' Chucks galore!
  • All Your Powers Combined: Eating a Kamikaze Koopa (the rainbow shell) will let Yoshi fly, create powerful dust when he stomps, and spit it out as a fireball spread.
  • And the Adventure Continues: Super Mario Advance 2 starts with an intro that ends with a Last Note Nightmare, as seen here. However, if you beat the game, the result makes up for it.
  • Animated Adaptation: Super Mario World by DiC, as well as an interactive VHS tape called Super Mario World: Mario to Yoshi no Bouken Land in Japan only.
  • Anti-Frustration Features: The original version disables the time limit when Mario reaches the Final Boss as the status bar cannot be displayed during the battle due to technical restraints involving Mode 7, and the boss itself has multiple phases that can last a while. This isn't necessary in Advance 2, but it gives you 800 seconds in the final stage as opposed to the original's 400 to make up for it.
  • Aquatic Mook: Cheep Cheeps don't appear in this game, but a subspecies called Blurp does; their behavior is almost identical. The game also introduces Rip Van Fish and Porcupuffer. The former is a blue fish (apparently unrelated to the Cheep Cheeps) that sleeps peacefully until Mario or Luigi approach, in which case it wakes up and chases them relentlessly. The latter is a large purple Cheep Cheep with a spiky body that moves underwater like Rip Van Fish, but looms around the surface like Boss Bass. A secret level in the outdoors top of Vanilla Dome has dolphins, which are Helpful Mooks and completely inoffensive. Lastly, the game introduces the Fishbone, a Dem Bones version of Cheep Cheeps that charges at Mario and Luigi upon sight, which will end up killing it upon crashing against a wall, floor or ceiling.
  • Artwork and Game Graphics Segregation:
    • Bowser's official artwork depicts him with his standard orange skin color, but due to a developer oversight, his skin is the same shade of green as his shell. Graphic designer Shigefumi Hino openly regretted this mistake, stating that he especially felt bad about it due to Bowser being a central character in the game. Consequently, the Video Game Remake Super Mario Advance 2: Super Mario World would update his skin color to be yellow, while the Super Mario World mode in Super Mario Maker and Super Mario Maker 2 features new Bowser sprites based on his modern design.
    • All four types of Yoshi have orange arms in-game, while their official artwork and all future appearances would depict them with arms the same color as the rest of their skin. Super Mario Advance 2 and the Super Mario Maker games would recolor the arms accordingly.
    • Baby Yoshis are depicted with small, stubby arms in official art, while their in-game sprites feature them armless.
    • Galoombas are depicted as having green shoes in official artwork, while in-game they have yellow shoes, possibly a leftover from development when they were still regular Goombas. Future games, including the Super Mario World game style in the Super Mario Maker games, would color their shoes green.
  • Ash Face: The cutscene following Roy's Castle sees Mario blowing it up like he did with Iggy's and Ludwig's castles. Except this time the explosion doesn't go off. He walks up to the castle to investigate. Cue explosion, with Mario now covered in soot.
  • Attract Mode: The title screen features Mario running through the first half of the Groovy level from Special Zone. It notably showcases Yoshi and his abilities, acting as a tutorial of sorts on how to play with him.
  • Autobots, Rock Out!: The final boss music, especially noticeable in its Itadaki Street DS arrangement.
  • Babies Ever After: The game ends with the hatching of the Yoshi eggs that Mario saved.
  • Bad with the Bone: Uniquely for this game, Dry Bones periodically throw bones at Mario or Luigi, and the bones are unaffected by gravity. The only other times in a Mario platformer when they do this are in Super Mario Maker and Super Mario Maker 2, and in both games they only do this in the Super Mario World game style.
  • Berserk Button: Knocking the flower off Wiggler's head makes it turn red and more actively chase Mario.
  • Big Bad: Bowser, who captured the Princess and sent the Koopalings to conquer the different regions of Dinosaur Land.
  • Big Boo's Haunt: Starting with Donut Plains, there's at least one Ghost House per area except the twin bridges that connect the Vanilla Dome to the Forest of Illusion.
  • Big Eater: Yoshi can swallow many of the game's enemies whole, instantly defeating them.
  • Blackground: Most bosses are fought in this type of setting. The absence of a background allows for certain elements to be treated as a background, and thanks to the Super Nintendo's Mode 7, this allows them to be stretch and rotated, such as the "Reznor" sign, the platform Iggy and Larry are fought on top of, and Bowser himself.
  • Blackout Basement: The last area of Bowser's castle before the boss has very dim lighting — you can still see enough to navigate, and there's a switch that turns a spotlight on and off.
  • Bombardier Mook: The game introduces the Amazing Flyin' Hammer Bros. While most Hammer Bros. enemies perch on reachable ledges from which to toss hammers, fireballs, boomerangs or whatever else at Mario, the Amazing Flyin' Hammer Bros. sit on flying platforms well above jumping range and toss endless streams of hammers over their sides and to the ground below.
  • Boring, but Practical: Compared to the Cape, the Fire Flower doesn't have quite as many uses as an item since the Cape allows Mario to fly, activate ? Blocks from the side, and attack many enemies within melee range, instantly defeating some enemies that would take a couple hits from the Fire Flower fireballs or would be unaffected at all. However, the fireballs thrown give Mario range the Cape doesn't have and is still just as reliable as it always has been in most cases, even in boss battles with the Koopalings. In addition, most enemies defeated this way drop coins, which can help in getting a few extra 1-Up's. Some ROM hacks, however, do give the Fire Flower more utility use by altering angles at which Mario throws fireballs or allowing them to break ice blocks or instantly blow up Bob-ombs.
  • Boss Remix: The boss music is a notable aversion. Nearly all music in the game invokes Theme-and-Variations Soundtrack (Overworld, Athletic, Castle, etc.), yet the boss theme is one of the very few tracks that is not based on the overworld music.
  • Bowdlerise:
    • In the Super Mario Advance 2 remake, the game changes the word "demented" to "crazed" in the cutscene text after beating #1 Iggy's Castle because some might consider the word "demented" to be inappropriate for young audiences.
    • Koopas' shell-less form is called Naked Koopa in Japan, and Beach Koopa in English. Despite this, western adaptations still depicted this form as being in their underwear.
  • Breakout Character: Yoshi proved so instantly popular with audiences, the hungry dino became a mainstay and staple of the Mario Bros. franchise.
  • Breath Weapon: What results if Yoshi eats a red Koopa Troopa, if the player doesn't wait so long that Yoshi swallows the mook entirely.
  • Brutal Bonus Level:
    • The Special Zone, its second course (Tubular) in particular.
    • In the main game, the Fortresses in the Forest of Illusion and Valley of Bowser. While Chocolate Fortress is in the main path and Vanilla Fortress is on an alternate path through Vanilla Dome, these two Fortresses are not on any sort of major path and far more difficult that most other levels outside of the Special Zone. Completing Forest Fortress unlocks the fourth Star World portal, while beating Valley Fortress unlocks the back door of Bowser's Castle, which starts after the eight rooms and adds a checkpoint outside Bowser's door.
  • Busman's Holiday: According to the manual, Mario and friends travel to Dinosaur Land for a break after the events of Super Mario Bros. 3. However, when the Princess goes missing, the Bros. embark on another adventure.
  • Cat Smile: Monty Moles can be seen with this when they burst out of the ground.
  • Catching Some Z's: All the Rip Van Fish you encounter are seen resting peacefully on the ocean floor with "Z's" coming out. Until the player gets too close, that is.
  • Checkpoint: By the time of this game's release, the idea of a level's checkpoint evolved into a gate through which the player has to run to activate the checkpoint (if the player misses breaking the tape across the gate, death will return them to the beginning of the level), thus abandoning the concept of an implicit checkpoint as seen in previous Mario games.
  • Checkpoint Starvation: Most levels have one and only one midway checkpoint. They are actually visible, though some require the player to take hidden paths to reach them. Underwater levels, auto-scrolling levels, and the entirety of the Star World and Special World do not contain a checkpoint.
  • Chekhov's Skill: Early in the game, you are taught how to throw objects upwards. For most of the game, except to hit a few out-of-reach item blocks, this ability goes largely unused. However, the ability is necessary in order to defeat Bowser.
  • Classic Cheat Code: You can hold L and R on a previously cleared fortress or castle level to replay it. The Advance version allows you to replay fortresses and castles indefinitely. Switch Palaces however, cannot be replayed at all.
  • Collapsing Lair: After two of the four statues are destroyed on Reznor's wheel, the floor begins to break from the center outward, forcing the player to take refuge on its platforms to avoid falling into the lava below while finishing the fight.
  • Color-Coded Multiplayer: The last of the series to make Mario and Luigi look identical save for the Palette Swap. Even Super Mario All-Stars + Super Mario World and Super Mario Advance 2 gave Luigi a unique sprite from Mario.
  • Colour-Coded for Your Convenience
    • There are four Koopa shells in this game, green, red, blue, and yellow. Green Koopa Troopas will walk off ledges like normal, red Koopa Troopas turn around at a ledge, blue Koopa Troopas act like slightly faster reds, and yellow Koopa Troopas are even faster, turn around to follow the player, and drop a coin when they get knocked out of their shells.
    • After a Koopa Troopa is knocked out of its shell, it becomes a Beach Koopa, and these also behave differently. Green Koopa Troopas will still walk off ledges and will jump into a shell to turn back into a normal Koopa. Red Koopa Troopas will still not walk off ledges and will jump back into a shell. Blue Koopa Troopas are still like reds, but they will kick shells away, as well as other things like Throw Blocks; they also are the only Koopa Troopas with muscle-toned legs when out of their shell. Yellow Koopa Troopas will still behave like they do in the shell, but if they come across a shell, they will hop into it and turn it into a Kamikaze Koopa.
    • Koopa Paratroopas also act differently according to their shell color. Green ones will either bounce or fly endlessly to the left, red ones fly up and down or left and right and the elusive yellow ones will jump over shells that are thrown towards them. There are no blue Paratroopas.
    • The shells also give Yoshi different powers when he swallows them. Green shells will simply be spit out, red shells give Yoshi a fireball to shoot, blue shells let Yoshi fly, and Yellow Shells grants him a Ground Pound attack, which will hurt nearby enemies while landing from a jump. Kamikaze Koopas grant the powers of red, blue and yellow shells all at once.
    • Yoshis themselves are this, and the color they are will indicate what other effect that they can get from any shell, in addition to the usual powers. Green Yoshis are normal, red will let them shoot fire from any shell, blue can fly with any shell, and yellow gets the stomp power with any shell.
    • Super Koopas: The ones with blue shoes and yellow capes will start off running along the ground, then rise a short distance into the air and fly forward in a straight line. Blue shoes and flashing capes act the same, except that jumping on one will cause a Cape Feather to pop out and turn the Koopa into a regular blue Beach Koopa. The third and fourth varieties, red shoes/yellow cape and green shoes/red cape, will both swoop down from the sky then fly back up, but the red/yellow ones appear in fixed locations, while the green/red are continually generated. The GBA remake features a fifth variety, green shoes and yellow capes, but they only appear briefly in a cutscene shown after finding all 96 exits.
    • There are four Switch Palaces in the game, coloured yellow, green, red, and blue. When a Switch Palace is completed, it releases ! Blocks corresponding to that colour into various levels. In addition to acting as platforms, yellow ! Blocks will release a Super Mushroom when hit from underneath and green ! Blocks will release a Cape Feather. While first-time players might expect red ! Blocks to release a Fire Flower or some other item, they (and blue ! blocks) in fact don't contain anything and simply act as platforms.
  • Console Cameo: Downplayed. The Super Famicom logo can be seen in the Special Zone.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • The Sunken Ghost Ship course was apparently one of the airships present in Super Mario Bros. 3.
    • In the Game Boy Advance version, the Message Block that the Boos wrote at the beginning of Donut Ghost House has the added sentence "...Hey, haven't we met somewhere before?", referencing how Boos first appeared in the previous game.
  • Corridor Cubbyhole Run: A part of Ludwig's Castle in the fourth world has Mario or Luigi run to the left quickly before the spike-filled ceiling, which gradually falls down, gets him. There's an ON/OFF switch halfway that makes the ceiling rise for a few seconds, but afterwards its effect expires and the ceiling will go down again.
  • Cranium Ride: Mario can ride on the heads of Mega Moles, which is required in some areas to get past pits of Munchers.
  • Cross-Popping Veins: Bowser gets really mad when you hit him four times. His Clown Car gets this trope and a Slasher Smile as he tries to crush Mario underneath it. Fortunately, this also makes him easier to hit the last two times you need to win.
  • Cutscene Power to the Max: Mario displays some skills not present in gameplay when he destroys the castles, perhaps most notably when he shows off incredible strength by lifting up the entirety of Larry's Castle and drop-kicking it.
  • Death Course: The Castles and Fortress stages offer a wide variety of deadly traps and obstacles. Smashers that fall from the ceiling, pits of boiling lava, wooden stakes, moving walls and architecture that can crush you, and deadly spiked skewers, which are capable of crushing and killing Mario instantly.
  • Death Mountain: Chocolate Island (sixth world), a brown-colored mountain setting with hot mud, Dino-Rhinos and Dino-Torches.
  • Defeat Equals Explosion: The fate of any enemy who gets spin-jumped or Yoshi-stomped.
  • Dem Bones: Skeletal enemies include Dry Bones (skeletal Koopa Troopas that collapse when stomped on and reassemble after a while; some throw bones at Mario), Bony Beetles (skeletal Buzzy Beetles that periodically expose their harmful-to-jump-on spikes and also collapse and reassemble when stomped on) and Fish Bones (skeletal fish that swim much faster than their fleshy counterparts).
  • Depth Perplexion: The fact that Yoshi's tongue goes through/around walls becomes important for exactly one secret exit, in Valley of Bowser 4.
  • Difficulty by Region: The European/Australian version of the game increases Mario/Luigi's maximum running speed in order to compensate for the game running at only 50Hz instead of the standard 60Hz. This has the interesting side effect of making some jumps that are impossible in the Japanese and American versions possible in the European/Australian version.
  • Dinosaurs Are Dragons: Yoshi, Reznor, and Dino-Torch all breathe fire. Rex also resembles a Celtic dragon, and not a Tyrannosaurus rex at all. And as if that was not enough, the big coins picturing Yoshi are named Dragon Coins.
  • Divergent Character Evolution:
    • In the original, Mario and Luigi are exactly the same, but Advance 2 gave Luigi unique sprites featuring his taller design and altered Luigi's abilities slightly. In addition to the higher flutter jump from Super Mario Bros. 2, Luigi's fireballs bounce much higher than Mario's, and Yoshi can spit any enemy when ridden by Luigi (when on Mario, he immediately swallows most enemies), and when hitting a 10-coin block, all of the coins get spit out on the first hit. Luigi, however, is slower than Mario, both on ground and in flight.
    • The All-Stars + World version gives Luigi unique sprites, though they're a little... weird. When sliding down slopes, he slides on his knees and spits fireballs instead of throwing them. Mechanically he's still plays identically as he's still player 2 in this version.
  • Dolphins, Dolphins Everywhere: Hopping Dolphins (they're actually called that) can be used as platforms to help Mario cross water. One level has them as an entire gimmick.
  • Door of Doom: Haunted Houses, Castles, and Boss Rooms all have some sort of doomy door. The Boss Rooms are colored red (except the one in Chocolate Fortress, which is colored brown).
  • Double Jump: If you're riding Yoshi, you can leap off in midair, though Yoshi keeps falling.
  • The Dragon: Larry Koopa is promoted to this role after serving as the first boss of the previous game. He resides in the penultimate castle, which lies in the Valley of Bowser, right at Bowser's doorstep.
  • Dramatic Disappearing Display: The Bowser battle, originally. No timer, no score, no extra lives - only the powerup box at the top of the screen remains, and only if it contains a powerup. The full status bar can't be displayed due to technical limitations with Mode 7. Played with in Advance 2 — it begins with no display just like in the original version, but the display drops down from the screen after Bowser appears.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: Did you defeat Bowser while playing as Luigi? Watch the game talk about how Mario saved the day. Alleviated somewhat in Advance 2. The "stuck in Mario's shadow" element of Luigi's modern characterization is a meta joke regarding moments like that.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness:
    • When Spike Tops were introduced in this game, the in-game sprite made it look like it had six legs and different-shaped shells from Buzzy Beetles. In all later appearances (when they were more clearly established as a sub-species of Buzzy Beetle), they have only four legs and look identical to Buzzy Beetles except for their spikes (and sometimes their color). Note however that the official art in the manual depicted it with four legs.
    • Additionally, many spiky enemies (like Grinders) could be spin jumped on here. In later games with the ability (like Super Mario Maker), this isn't the case.
    • Another interesting example comes in the form of the Skewers (giant spiked columns) found in the castles in the game. In their original appearance, they're treated as part of the level geometry, so being caught underneath one is an instant kill. In later games on the other hand, they're treated like enemies/sprites, so Mario and co will only ever take normal damage from being caught underneath/in the path of one.
    • In this game, Pokey gets the usual yellow/orange hue and Cranium Ride-proof spiky head that has been common in all its subsequent appearances, unlike in its debuting game. However, this is also the only time where its height is dependent on whether Mario is approaching it with Yoshi or alone. If it's the former case, Pokéy will be five units tall, requiring Yoshi to eat it; if it's the latter case, it'll be only three units tall. In later games, it will be always be four units tall except for certain unusually tall specimens.
    • Yoshi's body is longer and thinner than in later games, and the English version can't decide if he's a dragon or a dinosaur (later media would settle on "dinosaur", unless they split the difference, such as in Super Smash Bros.). Also, the Japanese version refers to him as "Yossy".
    • Yoshi also talks in this game - later games give Yoshi Pokémon Speak.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: In the end, the Mario Bros. dismantled King Bowser's reign of evil and saved Princess Peach's life. With the curse on Yoshi's friends broken, that fun vacation took place as planned…
  • Eating the Enemy: When mounted, Yoshi can eat most enemies. In some cases this gives him special powers.
  • Edible Theme Naming: Suitably enough for the game introducing Yoshi, the dinosaur that loves to eat, many places in the game are named after food. Donut Plains, Vanilla Dome, Cheese Bridge Area, Soda Lake, Cookie Mountain, Butter Bridge, and Chocolate Island. And then there's the Forest of Illusion.
  • Egg MacGuffin: Yoshi's friends were captured by Bowser's Koopalings and trapped inside enchanted eggs. Mario and Luigi rescue one egg from each of the Koopalings' seven castles.
  • Enemy Roll Call: Almost all of the enemies are given names at the end of the credits (exceptions include Ninji and Magikoopa, though Ninji was already identified in the roll call of the ending of Super Mario Bros. 2 anyway).
  • Excuse Plot:
    • The game starts with Mario standing in front of a bush, with a one-paragraph summary that explains that when Mario, Luigi and Peach came to Dinosaur Land for a vacation, she went missing and assumed kidnapped again by Bowser. Advance 2 adds a cutscene showing when they arrive at the island and how Peach was kidnapped (the Mario Brothers discover the Cape Feathers and go to test them out, while Bowser uses the distraction to kidnap her).
    • The captive Yoshis taken by Bowser and hidden in his castles are counted as saved in the credits, regardless of whether the player beats all seven castles or uses the Star World shortcut to skip right to the end.
  • Exposition Fairy: The game introduces Tip Blocks shaped like speakers that only activate when hit from below. Tip Blocks appear later in the Yoshi's Island series, where they're scattered more frequently throughout the landscape, and provide useful info to the Yoshis when these hit them.
  • Extreme Omnivore: Yoshi. He can swallow the Switch Block or even a key if you let him have these items in his mouth long enough. Using his mouth to carry, in fact, is the only way to get the secret exit in Valley of Bowser 4.
  • Fast Tunneling: Normally, hitting a yellow block from below only makes it rotate before returning to normal, so the only way to break it is by performing a spin jump onto it while having a powerup active. One of the Star World levels consists of a very deep cave filled with blocks of this kind, so it's necessary to drill through them by using this method until reaching the bottom leading to the normal exit (though the level's middle point hides a secret exit alongside a key that opens it). The tunneling is very fast with the Mushroom and the Fire Flower, and slower with the Cape Feather.
  • Final Dungeon Preview: You can travel to two different secret levels of the final world, the Valley of Bowser, from Donut Plains and Chocolate Island. You are unable to access any of the standard levels from these places and must reach the world via the Sunken Ghost Ship to play them (or via Star World if you can figure out the proper shortcut to the final level).
  • Fireworks of Victory: A fireworks show starts almost immediately after defeating Bowser and saving Princess Peach, ending with a firework in the shape of a heart.
  • Flash of Pain: The only boss in the game that flashes when hit is Big Boo (a Mini-Boss); it flashes multiple colors (such as red, yellow and green) every time Mario or Luigi throw a block at it (it takes three hits to defeat it).
  • Floating in a Bubble: Bubbles can contain a floating Galoomba, Bob-omb or mushroom, and tend to pop without being touched.
  • Forest of Perpetual Autumn: The level Outrageous takes place in a forest setting similar to the levels of the Forest of Illusion (World 5), but it's set in autumn instead of spring. Once this level as well as the rest of Special Zone are cleared, the overworld map will permanently shift into autumn and alter several enemies to give them a Halloween motif.
  • Franchise Codifier: The game introduced rideable sidekicks, non-linear world progression, Ghost Houses, secret levels, and different types of jumps for Mario. The game also added a small, yet impactful detail that was carried over to the 3D platformers in the seriesnote : Individual levels now have unique names; while most of them have a general "[Name of world] #" format (inherited from the classic World X-X label used by the levels from all previous Mario games), others do have a more distinct one like "Cookie Mountain", "Soda Lake", "Groovy" or a castle named directly after its Koopaling instead of world.
  • Ghost Ship: The entrance to the Valley of Bowser is protected by a ghost ship, that appears deserted at first, but then suddenly the room fills up with ghosts. It's all but stated, at least in the manual, that it may well be one of the flying ships used by Bowser's minions in Super Mario Bros 3.
  • Gimmick Level:
    • The second standard level of Chocolate Island is uniquely designed to make you progress according to how many coins you collect, how much time is left, and how many Dragon Coins you've gathered. Notably, one of the areas whose access is tied to the current time limit leads to a secret exit.
    • Several of the Star World and Special Zone levels have unique gameplay mechanics to increase the challenge. There's one level where Mario has to use the spin jump to drill through a large body of blocks until reaching the bottom (which leads to the exit). There's also the level Tubular, where Mario needs to be in balloon form through the whole level or die very, very quickly. Yet another level, Mondo, revolves around the water's level rising and lowering periodically.
  • Going in Circles: This happens if you take the wrong exit out of Chocolate Island 3. You reach the goal post and complete the level. As normal, the game builds a new path on the world map which Mario follows as if heading to his next destination...only to follow the path in a complete circle and end up right back at Chocolate Island 3.
  • The Goomba: This game's Goomba substitutes, the Galoombas (a mistranslation called them Goombas regardless, although the Japanese version always called then Kuribon as opposed to Kuribo). They aren't instantly defeated by a simple jump, only stunned (though a spin jump would defeat them as usual), and the weakest enemies in the game are Beach Koopas.
  • Grapple Move: The game has the second most extensive display of this trope in the Mario series (only surpassed by Super Mario Bros. 2), with the large amount of seizable enemies and objects (Galoomba, Koopa Troopa shells, Buzzy Beetles, Bob-Ombs, Mechakoopas, keys, trampolines, P Switches and blue blocks) and the extra ability to throw them upwards. Its game style in Super Mario Maker 2 adds Goombuds and two new variants of Mechakoopa to the mix, despite no longer having blue blocks and keys not needing to be manually grabbed anymore.
  • Gratuitous Japanese: This game marks the debut of "Banzai" Bill (known as "Magnum Kira / Killer" in Japannote ), essentially a giant Bullet Bill (Kira / Killer).
  • Green Hill Zone: The game has the first two worlds (Yoshi's Island and Donut Plains), as well as a few levels from Special Zone. The main novelty in them is tilted semi-solid platforms and diagonal pipes. These levels are also used to introduce the game's defining features, such as Yoshi, the Cape Feather, and the concept of secret exits.
  • Gretzky Has the Ball: Chargin' Chuck. They wear football gear but throw baseballs in some levels. That variant is even called "Confused Chuck" in the Mario Mania guidebook.
  • Guerrilla Boulders: Bullet Bills spawn in certain places at the edge of the screen, without a cannon to shoot them out.
  • Guide Dang It!:
    • Some of the secret exits can be tough to figure out, particularly the one in Cheese Bridge Area which requires you to fly under the goal post to access a second, hidden goal which unlocks the path to Soda Lake. There is only one other time in the game where you must fly under an exit to find a secret one (in Chocolate Island 3, noted below). The main foreshadowing of Soda Lake's existence is how Torpedo Teds (who only appear in this level) are seen in the end credits alongside the other enemies, Soda Lake's appearance in one of the commercials advertising the game, a Star Road location that leaves you on an island unable to leave until you complete the hidden level, and within Cheese Bridge Area itself a couple of briefly-seen arrow signs just beyond the first goal post.
    • If by chance you've been playing through the game without learning about the existence of secret exits, Forest of Illusion is where you must learn to start looking for secret exits in order to make progress through the woods to Roy's Castle. Exiting the levels normally no longer works as expected, which might be confusing for players used to linear exits of Super Mario Bros. 3 and expecting a similar experience. Fortunately, once the first secret exit is found anywhere, players will typically start backtracking to hunt down what they've missed in the levels noted by red circles.
    • Chocolate Island is when the game throws some curve balls on how to progress normally. Chocolate Island 2 has multiple paths tied to factors such as how many coins you have collected, the remaining time, and how many Dragon Coins you have collected. This is the only level in the game where these scores affect the progress. If you're in the habit of completing levels as quickly as possible, you'll easily find the secret keyhole exit, but need to deliberately slow down to find the normal goal. Seeing two alternate second areas depends on your coin count in the first area, the two alternative third areas depend only on the time remaining in the level, and collecting 4 or more Dragon Coins beforehand lets you see a different exit goal than usual, unless you found the secret keyhole. The point of advice box at the beginning of the level doesn't give any pointers hinting at the above scores having these effects.
    • Chocolate Island 3 is a Downplayed example as there is a stretch of ground below and before the regular exit with arrow signs encouraging players to make a Leap of Faith with the cape power. This one is much less concealed than the Cheese Bridge exit in this regard.
    • Valley of Bowser 2 has a hidden exit that involves going above and behind the entrance to the final part of the stage, not that there's any indication of this in the level at all.
    • The secret exit in the Valley Ghost House is incredibly well-hidden and difficult to get to. The key and keyhole are off the top of the screen and must be reached by generating a "staircase" of coins from a ? Block and turning them into solid blocks with a P-Switch; however, since the goal is off the top of the screen, creating the staircase is reduced to guesswork after a few seconds. Moreover, the entrance into the key area is only as high as small Mario/Luigi, so it is easy to fall at the final hurdle if you have a powerup and cannot duck through the entrance. Not helping is that most levels with secret exits are indicated by a red dot on the overworld instead of a yellow dot, whereas Ghost Houses don't have that distinction. As well, the secret exit is a shortcut to Larry's Castle, a level you reach by simply following the main path, meaning that most first-time players would have no indication that the Valley Ghost House even has a secret exit to look for.
  • Hard Levels, Easy Bosses: As is typical for a Mario game. Castles and fortresses (the levels that contain bosses) are significantly harder compared to regular levels, but the bosses are comparatively easy. The exception is the last course, which is easy to go through since there are plenty of possible ways and only any two of them are necessary, continuing with a straightforward path with only some Mechakoopas and Ninjis (and if the level is started by entering the back door, it becomes much shorter); but the final boss is a lot more difficult.
  • Healing Checkpoint: If Mario is in his small form when reaching the checkpoint, he will automatically change into Super Mario.
  • Heroic Dolphin: The game features two courses with goggle-wearing Dolphins that jump out of the water regularly and can be used as platforms to reach far away areas.
  • Hitbox Dissonance:
    • Small Mario's hitbox is much smaller than his actual sprite. If you're a full block below it in a crevice, a Banzai Bill will glide right through Mario's hat (which pokes a few pixels outside of it).
    • The game isn't programmed to give the player a separate hitbox size for when he's wall-running, meaning that Mario/Luigi will still be (slightly smaller than) 16x32 when not small. This rarely if ever comes up in the game itself, but editing the levels can make it look really silly when the entire top half of Mario's body passes harmlessly through a hazard, or he gets hit by a Piranha Plant that is 8 pixels to his right.
  • Hitodama Light: The ghost enemy Fishin' Boo dangles a blue flame from a fishing rod.
  • Human Cannonball: Certain levels feature diagonal pipes from which Mario and Luigi can launch by entering a nearby vertical pipe.
  • Iconic Sequel Character: This game marked the debut of Mario's loyal sidekick Yoshi, who not only became a recognizable Power Up Mount in the series and appeared in subsequent games (both mainline and spinoff), but also got his own sub-series (Yoshi's Island).
  • I Fell for Hours: The Sunken Ghost Ship ends this way. After venturing through a derelict sunken ship overrun by Boos, you enter a pipe that takes you to a very deep abyss, and as you fall so do other things (including a Starman powerup). At the bottom lies an object that clears the level upon contact, and also reveals the entrance to the last regular world (Valley of Bowser).
  • Immediate Sequel: According to the manual, the vacation was meant to be recuperation from saving Peach and the world in Super Mario Bros. 3. The Sunken Ghost Ship is mentioned to also be a result of one of the airships from 3 crashing down near Dinosaur Land.
  • Infinite 1-Ups: Out of many examples, an often overlooked yet clearly intentional one exists in Chocolate Island 5. A coin formation seen early on reads "M x", alluding to the life counter. Right after it lies a green shell that at first glance can be used to score a combo on the eight shells revealable by a Switch Block, but can also be dropped on the nearby small lake for an easy infinite lives trick.
  • Inflating Body Gag: The Power Balloon inflates Mario so he can float through an area. Also happens when Morton, Ludwig and Roy are defeated: they inflate before spinning and shrinking.
  • Instant 180-Degree Turn: Averted with the Koopas (while they're wearing shells, at least), Yoshi, Iggy, Morton, Ludwig, Roy, and Larry.
  • Invincible Minor Minion:
    • Boos and Big Boos shrug off most attacks and can only be killed by sliding down a hill at them.
    • It also has Ball 'N Chains and Bullet Bill's third cousin, Torpedo Ted, the course in which they appear is practically a Painfully Slow Projectile variant of Bullet Hell.
    • In the GBA remake, you can defeat Torpedo Ted by playing as Luigi, bringing a Yoshi into the level, and having him eat other enemies and spit them at the Teds.
    • Eeries (blue dinosaurs in ghost houses) can only be taken out by a Starman.
    • "Invincible" Koopa Troopas are claimed to be this in the manual, they result when a shelless Koopa goes into a yellow shell and flashes like when Mario has a Starman, and although they are fairly hard to kill, a Starman easily takes them out, and they can even be taken out by a spin jump, a Yoshi jump, or when eaten by Yoshi. Yoshi can gain all three shell powers at once by eating them.
  • Iris Out: At the end of regular levels (after Mario breaks the tape and the time and star bonuses are given), a circle iris closes in on Mario as he walks on to the next level. Keyhole exits feature an inversion where the keyhole grows, then shrinks back while engulfing Mario.
  • Irony: The infamous second level of the Special Zone, Tubular, is called "Fun Course" (alongside the first level) in the Japanese version. Take that as you will.
  • It Makes Sense in Context: Bowser operates his own personal Koopa Clown Car during the Final Boss. That sounds ridiculous on paper, but it makes sense when you play the game.
  • Kaizo Trap: If Mario falls down a pit or into lava after finishing the level, the level will fail and it will still be counted as a death. While this is mainly notorious for being abused in many, many ROM hacks (including the Trope Namer) it is possible to trigger this behaviour in the actual game - the two easiest methods, and the ones most likely to be done accidentally, are the fight against Big Boo in the Donut Secret House, where the player has to attack them with the blocks they're standing on, and Chocolate Island 3, where the secret exit requires the player to fly below the goal post - making it fairly easy to trigger the goal and fall to your death.
  • King Mook: Big Boo, found in Donut Secret House, is an enlarged Boo that serves as a secret Mini-Boss guarding the path to one of the Star World's entrances.
  • Law of 100: Made a little easier by the Fire Flower turning enemies into coins. Eating enemies with Yoshi also counts as a coin.
  • Level in the Clouds: The Twin Bridges levels, as well as Groovy from the Special Zone, are set in the skies. Instead of having cloud platforms, they feature bridge corridors and rails through which ropes and moving platforms operate (in the case of Butter Bridge 1, the platforms used are tall mushrooms that act like scales — the one Mario and Luigi stand on lowers while the one next to them rises).
  • Lethal Lava Land: The presence of lava outside castles and fortresses is limited to some cave levels located in Vanilla Dome and Valley of Bowser. In at least one of them, you can ride a Lava Lift (a raft made of white skulls) to sail safely.
  • The Lost Woods: The Forest of Illusion (fifth world); in fact, it and the Trope Namer are named the same in Japan. The layout of the paths in the map is so convoluted that the only way to advance in the game is via secret exits.
  • Luminescent Blush: Happens to Mario when Peach kisses him at the end of the game.
  • Magical Mystery Doors: Several of the Ghost Houses in the game, especially the last one, require figuring out which door is the one leading to the main exit, or even a secret one. All other doors often lead to useless rooms or even respawn the player back to a prior area.
  • Marathon Level:
    • The bigger levels show up as a big dot on the map. For example, Vanilla Dome 3 consists of riding Skull Rafts to cross lava rivers, and since these are long, the level will invest a large part of the time available. It's actually the maximum length that a level can be in the game while still fitting within a single room (32 screens).
    • The very difficult Special World is worth mentioning. Tubular, Way Cool and Outrageous especially. But they pale in comparison to the very last level of the special world: Funky. How long is it? Know how the 2D Mario games have time limits on the levels? There's not enough time to beat this level. The only way to beat it is if you're very skilled with the cape... or if you brought (or found in the level) Yoshi, as the green berries increase the time limit by 20 seconds each.
  • Market-Based Title: The Japanese packaging lists the game as Super Mario World: Super Mario Bros. 4, owed to Hiroshi Yamauchi announcing it under that title all the way back in 1988 (before Super Mario Bros. 3 was out), but the subtitle was eliminated elsewhere.
  • Mecha-Mooks: The game marks the debut of Mechakoopas, which are robotic versions of Koopa Troopas. In most cases they just walk around, but in some games they breathe fire; their sturdy design prevents Mario and Luigi from defeating them with a simple stomp (they'll simply be stunned for a short while). In Super Mario Maker 2, two new subspecies of Mechakoopas are introduced: Blasta Mechakoopa (which shoot homing missiles) and Zappa Mechakoopa (which shoot electric beams).
  • Me's a Crowd: Some Chargin' Chucks can split into three identical copies, which all then proceed to attack.
  • Mini-Boss: The game features Reznor, a team of four prehistoric-themed rhinoceri who ride a wooden, spinning wheel. They cannot be stomped on, so Mario and Luigi have instead to hit their platforms from below (as if they were hitting normal blocks) to defeat them; it's necessary to hop onto one of the wheel's platforms as soon as possible and continue hitting the rhinoceri from there, because the bridge over the lava will start shattering shortly after the battle begins. The game also has a second miniboss in the form of Big Boo, who guards a secret exit in Donut Secret House (itself a secret level in Donut Plains) and has to be defeated by throwing blue blocks at him.
  • Mini-Dungeon:
    • Ghost Houses, puzzle themed levels that show up in every area except Yoshi's Island and the Twin Bridges partway through the world. Like Castles, Yoshi cannot be taken into these levels, and the game lets you save after beating one.
    • Only four fortresses exist in the game, all of them are as hard as, if not harder than, Castles, and only one (Chocolate Fortress) isn't placed off the beaten path. Vanilla Fortress acts as an alternate ending to Vanilla Dome, and the ones in Forest of Illusion and Valley of Bowser are full-fledged Brutal Bonus Levels with major rewards; namely, a portal to Star World and the back door to Bowser's Castle, respectively.
  • Mood Whiplash: The castles and fortresses start off with their ominous level theme, but their boss room has a more fast paced, less ominous "fighting time!" feel to it.
  • Moving Buildings: After clearing the Twin Bridges castle, Mario hits the plunger to destroy it, but instead of crumbling, the whole thing lifts off into the sky like a rocket, only for it to crash into the hill in the background afterwards.
  • Musical Theme Naming: Like the returning Koopalings, the triceratops fortress boss Bui Bui is renamed Reznor in English.
  • Mutually Exclusive Power Ups: The Cape Feather and Fire Flower.
  • Namedworld and Namedland: Dinosaur Land. Which has a bit of a Prehistoria setting going on and is home to the Yoshis.
  • Nerf:
    • The Fire Flower isn't quite as useful this time around. Though it does have the nifty side effect of turning the enemies it does work on into coins.
    • The more difficult enemies from past installments have been made easier to take care of.:
      • Koopas are knocked out of their shell upon being stomped on, allowing players to defeat them without a Fire Flower or another Koopa shell.
      • While Buzzy Beetles still hide in their shell upon being stomped, they can still be instantly disposed of either with the spin jump or Yoshi's tongue.
      • This incarnation of the Hammer Bros sits on a flying block platform, conveniently allowing players to strike them from below, or even just run past them from underneath if the terrain allows for it. Past Hammer Bros. were grounded, forcing players without a Fire Flower to either wait for them to jump or stop throwing hammers to pass them, both of which provided a very narrow window of opportunity.
      • Lakitus fly lower and more slowly, putting them in easier range for the player to defeat them. They even delay attacking the player by "providing" them with a 1-Up attached to a fishing hook.
  • New World Tease:
    • In Yoshi's Island, there's a mountain containing the very first Switch Palace. Climbing it will lead into an overlook of the second world, Donut Plains, complete with its music.
    • The "Chocolate Secret" and "Donut Secret 2" levels take place on plateaus overlooking the Valley of Bowser. While "Chocolate Secret" is already pretty close to the end of the game, it's possible to get to "Donut Secret 2," thereby getting a glimpse at the game's final area, fairly early on.
    • There is also one within the title screen. The demo level that plays on the title screen is an actual level within the game, but all you can do is stare at it. The level itself is in the Special Zone, which you can't get to until a lot later.
  • Night of the Living Mooks:
    • In addition to bringing back Boos, the game introduces new variants of them: Boo Buddies are groups of Boos that circle around a central point, though there's always a gap in their formation. The Boo Buddy Snake is a row of Boos that bounce and rebound upon contact with ceilings, walls and floors. The Boo Blocks are Boos that turn into grey solid blocks whenever Mario or Luigi is looking at them, becoming safe platforms to stand on. Lastly, the Big Boo is an enlarged version of Boo that appears in some Ghost Houses, and one of them serves as a Mini-Boss whose defeat unlocks one of the entrances to the Star World.
    • The Fishing Boo is a ghostly Lakitu that uses a fishing rod to attack Mario and Luigi with a blue flame used as bait.
    • The Eerie is a ghostly dinosaur (specifically a ghostly Dino-Torch) that travels alongside a group of specimens of its likeness. They're traveling in a wave-like pattern, though not in the same wave phase.
    • The Fishbone is a skeletal version of Cheep Cheep that charges at Mario and Luigi upon sight, which will end up killing it upon crashing against a wall, floor or ceiling.
  • Nintendo Hard: While the early parts of the game are pretty easy, the last few worlds can get rough. The final stretch of levels in the Special Zone tend to take quite a long time, and a LOT of attempts. While it's not as outwardly malicious as Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels, getting all 96 exits (and even getting all Dragon Coins as a Self-Imposed Challenge) is not an easy task.
  • Non-Indicative Name:
    • Despite its name, dinosaurs are a rather uncommon sight in Dinosaur Land aside from the Yoshis. You may have Rexes as recurring mooks and Reznor as a sporadically appearing miniboss, but the rest of your foes are just Bowser's legion of mooks.
    • The Koopa Clown Car, introduced in this game, is actually a helicopter. It does, however, have the face of a clown and fits more inside it than it should, like an actual Clown Car.
  • Non-Player Character: Dolphins appear in the water stages and helpfully act like a moving-platform that gets Mario towards the course exit faster, while avoiding the Porcu-Puffer enemies.
  • Noob Cave: Yoshi's Island, the first world you start on.
  • Obvious Rule Patch: If you replay a level containing a 3-Up Moon, the moon will no longer be in its original location until the game is reset (reverting your life counter to five).
  • One-Hit Kill: Getting crushed by a moving wall (e.g. in Morton's Castle) or by the Skewers in Wendy's Castle and Valley Fortress is instant death even if Mario's not small — no Mercy Invincibility for you! Strangely enough, the smashers in Iggy's Castle, Forest Fortress and room 1 of Bowser's Castle only give regular damage if they crush Mario.
  • One-Time Dungeon: The Switch Palaces cannot be re-entered after beating them, even after the game is completed. The end-of-world castles, as well as the fortresses, also act this way since they're destroyed in-story, but simply holding down the R button gets around that. The Advance version lets you replay almost any level you want. Though you cannot re-do the Switch Palaces without an exploit.
  • 1-Up: Just like the previous games, a green mushroom gives you a 1-Up. There are also moons that give you a 3-Up; between the generous number of 1-Up Mushrooms and some instances of Infinite 1-Ups (not to mention the bonus game, which can give you up to eight 1-Ups), it is very easy to cap at 99 lives (or 999 in Advance 2) before you're even halfway through the game.
  • Out of Focus: Goombas are much less prominent in this game than is usual for the Mario series. Not only do they not appear in the first world at all, but even when they do show up, it's only in a handful of levels and in an unfamiliar design — named "Galoombas" in later appearances — that cannot even be Goomba Stomped.
  • Painful Pointy Pufferfish: The game introduces the Porcupuffer, a giant pufferfish-like Cheep Cheep that chases Mario around some levels. The massive spikes on its back prevent Mario from defeating it by jumping on it, and will damage the brave plumber.
  • Platform Hell: The closest the actual game gets is the Special Zone's "Tubular" course and the reclusive "Valley Fortress". ROM hacks of the game almost elevate it to an art form, the most well known being Kaizo Mario World ("Hacked Mario World"), Super Kusottare World ("Super Asshole World") and Super Mario Tabarnak ("tabarnak" is a Quebecois French expletive roughly equivalent to "fuck!"). One of the most hellish is Item Abuse.
  • Power-Up Mount: Yoshi. In addition to being able to eat enemies and get special powers from colored Koopa shells, he also protects Mario from one hit of damage — more, if you can get back on him when he runs away.
  • Prehistoria: Dinosaur Land.
  • Put on the Bus: One of the rare Mario games in which Toad does not appear at all. In general, the Mario series' signature mushroom iconography is largely absent from this game, being limited only to the Super Mushroom powerup and 1-Up Mushrooms (which still grant an extra life.) Not only are there no Toads, there are no classic Goombas, no mushroom houses, and no mushroom platforms, either. There is an In-Universe justification for all of this, however, as Mario, Luigi, and Princess Peach are on vacation in Dinosaur Land, rather than the Mushroom Kingdom.
  • Quirky Mini Boss Squad: The Koopalings and, to a lesser extent, Reznor.
  • Railroading: The later Star Road levels try to do this by having platforms that are transparent unless you activate all the switches. However, It is certainly possible to bypass them with the Blue Yoshi in Star Road 4 and the Cape in Star Road 5.
  • Recurring Boss: Reznor, in true Mario Mini-Boss fashion. They're found at the end of the fortresses, and the strategy to defeat them is always the same.
  • Refining Resources: Mooks and items on screen when you pass through the level's end goal transform into coins — get five or more mooks on the screen when you do this, and you get 1UPs for each one past the fourth. Holding an inanimate object (Key, Switch Block, Springboard) and crossing the goal transforms it into a power up based on your status and reserve item.
  • Removable Shell: Starting with this game, Koopas are like this. You can tell whether a shell is occupied or not by looking at it.
  • Retcon: The GBA version's instruction manual retcons the Koopa Kids into the "Koopalings", and they are no longer called Bowser's children. Starting with Super Mario Sunshine, released shortly afterward, Bowser has only one child, Bowser Jr.
  • Ring-Out Boss: Iggy and Larry are both fought on a teetering platform over lava, and can't be killed directly. You have to knock them off into the lava.
  • River of Insanity: Some levels have a rapid current that is difficult for Mario to swim in. The idea of these levels is to stay out of the river and use platforms instead. The biggest examples are Yoshi's Island 4 and in particular Vanilla Secret 3, where Mario has to hop on jumping Dolphins while a Porcupuffer hunts him down in the water.
  • Roaring Rampage of Rescue: Bowser kidnaps the Princess, but instead of heading directly to Bowser's castle to save her, Mario heads all over Dinosaur Land, systematically defeating each member of Bowser's extended family one by one and freeing Dinosaur Land from Bowser's control region by region ...and also rescuing all of Yoshi's friends, who've been trapped in eggs by the Koopas' magic and are being held by the Koopalings.
  • Rooftop Confrontation: The fight between Mario/Luigi and Bowser takes place in the roof of the latter's castle. Bowser is driving his Koopa Clown Car (where he alse holds Princess Peach captive) and performs his attacks while hovering airborne with it.
  • Running Gag: Mario destroys a castle in a number of ways that are either absurd or backfire on him:
    • Iggy's Castle: Mario blows it up without a hitch.
    • Morton's Castle: Mario does several flying kicks to the castle and then stomps on it from above.
    • Lemmy's Castle: Mario destroys the castle with a hammer, as a likely Shout-Out to Donkey Kong.
    • Ludwig's Castle: Instead of the castle blowing up, it fires off into the sky like a rocket and crashes on a distant hill in the background, leaving behind some Instant Bandages. The damage from the crash is even shown on the world map!
    • Roy's Castle: The explosion doesn't go off. Mario walks up to the castle to investigate and it blows up in his face, leaving him covered in soot.
    • Wendy's Castle: Mario grabs an oversized mop and removes the castle by mopping it.
    • Larry's Castle: Mario lifts the entire castle from the ground and drop kicks it off screen.
  • Savage Setpiece: Rip Van Fish, who chase the player when approached.
  • Saw Blades of Death: Grinders make their debut here in this series, usually moving back and forth. They need to be avoided but Mario can bounce on them with a spin jump.
  • Schmuck Bait:
    • After the checkpoint in Iggy's Castle, you'll see some coins. Going for them immediately after entering the door will very likely get you crushed by a crusher.
    • In Forest of Illusion 4, you'll encounter Fishin' Lakitu, an enemy floating around in a cloud at the top of the screen who dangles a 1-Up Mushroom at the end of a fishing line. If you grab the item, he'll rain Spinys down on you for the rest of the level.
  • Score Milking: The Good Bad Bug in Forest of Illusion 1 where you stomp on Wigglers with Caped Mario. It was fixed in Advance 2.
  • Sea Hurtchin: The game introduced the purple Urchins to the Mario bestiary, and they have since become a staple in the franchise. They might look goofy, but their spines do hurt nonetheless.
  • Second Hour Superpower: The Cape Feather is not seen until the first level of Donut Plains (the second world of 7 in the main quest).
  • Secret Level: The game has many, many secret levels and two entire secret worlds. The secret levels are usually unveiled in the map after finding a golden key in a regular level and placing it in a keyhole to enter a secret exit. In one case (Secret Ghost House in Donut Plains), you have to defeat a hidden Mini-Boss (Big Boo) instead.
  • Sequence Breaking: It's entirely possible to defeat Bowser after defeating only one Koopaling, without triggering any Switch Palaces, or even rescuing the first Yoshi, thanks to the Star Road. By using only secret exits in Donut Plains, you can travel to the Star Road, unlock the blue Yoshi, and use it to fly to the key in Star World 4. The resulting warp takes you directly to Bowser's castle, meaning skilled players can complete the game in less than a half hour.
  • Shock and Awe: The Sumo Bro is an orange-colored relative of the Koopa Troopa with a black shell. It walks sideways while keeping a sumo-inspired pose (hence its name), and attacks by stomping its supporting ground or block with one of its feet. This drops a lightning bolt that goes through the solid terrain where the enemy is standing on, and upon touching the next ground the bolt explodes and leaves a two-sided trace of fire.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Skippable Boss:
    • Vanilla Dome 1 has two exits that lead to completely different routes through both the Dome and the Twin Bridges. By taking the secret route, Vanilla Dome ends at Vanilla Fortress instead and takes a different path to Ludwig's Castle, resulting in Lemmy being skipped.
    • Unlocking the Back Door to Bowser's Castle lets you skip the seventh castle, and thus Larry himself. If you don't unlock that path, you can still avoid Larry by unlocking the secret exit from Valley of Bowser 4, since it not only unlocks the last Star Road but also a direct path to Bowser's Castle (in this case, the Front Door).
    • Every Koopaling except Iggy can be skipped by clearing the Star Road's levels and then entering the fifth portal, as it leads to Bowser's Castle directly, though either the Big Boo or Morton must also be fought to access one of the first two portals.
  • Slasher Smile: Bowser get really mad when you hit him four times. His Clown Car gets this trope and Cross-Popping Veins as he tries to crush Mario underneath it. Fortunately, this also makes him easier to hit the last two times you need to win.
  • Sleepy Enemy: The Rip Van Fish will usually be seen sleeping unless the player gets too close; then they will wake up and pursue the player (but will fall back asleep if the player swims too far away).
  • Slippy-Slidey Ice World: Some of the subterranean courses, but the more prominent level examples are Donut Secret 2 and Awesome.
  • Smashing Hallway Traps of Doom: These appear in the castle levels. The Thwomps makes a return, while Giant pillars appear from the ceiling and smash down on the player, but you can see them coming before they drop. Later levels introduce the far more dangerous Skewer, which functions as a smashing obstacle with the properties of a wall, meaning they ignore Mercy Invincibility and are capable of killing you instantly.
  • Space Zone: The secret Star World takes place on a star, and three of its levels have a starry sky background based on outer space.
  • Spectacular Spinning: Ludwig's death sequence and shell Spin Attack though the former is shared with Morton and Roy in the game, while the latter is also used as one of Bowser's moves in the Super Smash Bros. series.
  • Spike Balls of Doom: In this game, there's an underwater variety (urchins) and a variety spinning on chains.
  • Spikes of Doom: Spikes here are yellow-colored and thicker, and some of those from the ceilings may fall (you'll know which ones do this because their color is darker). Yoshi can walk on spikes or Munchers without harm in the game (as can Mega Moles, being even more helpful for Mario and Luigi by way of Cranium Ride).
  • Spin Attack: The spin jump and spinning cape swipe. On the subject of enemies, there are also Kamikaze Koopas.
  • Spin to Deflect Stuff: Spinning with a cape allows Mario to block small projectiles.
  • Spinning Out of Here: Star Roads spin you.
  • The Spiny: In addition to featuring the eponymous Trope Namer, the game also introduces Spike Tops and Bony Beetles, which are immune not only to jumps (temporarily, in the case of Bony Beetles), but Mario's fireballs as well. They can be taken out with a cape swing. Porcupuffers, introduced in this game, are an aquatic example.
  • Spring Jump: In the levels Vanilla Dome 4 and Gnarly, there are small elastic bars attached to a wall or elevation. They allow Mario and Luigi to perform a huge leap from their tips.
  • Stalactite Spite: Some of the spikes tend to fall from the ceiling when approached. You can generally spot them from a distance.
  • Stealth Pun: This game introduces an underwater counterpart to Bullet Bill known as Torpedo Ted. Which makes the two enemies Bill & Ted.
  • Taunt Button: Pressing Up makes Mario look up. Unless you're throwing an item, it does nothing.
  • The Stinger: The second part of the credits named every single enemy and boss in the game. The very last slide before the credits was Bowser and his family, which lists their names. For the English players, that last bit wasn't really important to note. For Japanese players, however, this was the first time the Koopalings were actually given names.
  • Tactical Suicide Boss: Bowser would be invincible if he didn't toss Mechakoopas out of his clown car, letting Mario incapacitate them to throw right back at him. You'd think he would take the hint and stop tossing Mechakoopas after the first time, but he doesn't.
  • Theme-and-Variations Soundtrack: The overworld, athletic, underground, underwater, castle/fortress, ghost house, bonus room/switch palace, and goal themes are all based on the same basic melody. This also extends to the newly-created music for the Super Mario World airship level theme in Super Mario Maker as well as the desert and icy themes plus a new theme for the forest one in Super Mario Maker 2.
  • Theme Music Withholding: The iconic series theme that first played in the original Super Mario Bros. appears to be absent in this game (and there is the precedent of it being absent in Super Mario Bros. 3, despite being present in Lost Levels and the Subspace areas of 2). But when you go to the very last world (Special Zone), that music begins playing after you stay idle in the map for two minutes.
  • Throw the Mook at Them: Mario and Luigi can pick up and throw certain Mooks (like Buzzy Beetles, Galoombas, Bob-Ombs and Koopa shells) at other Mooks to defeat them. However, in this game (and this game alone), the brothers can also throw them upwards by looking up before throwing them. Notably, the only way to hurt Bowser is to kick the Mechakoopas he sends out up so they land on his head. In addition, the GBA re-release gives Yoshi the ability to spit enemies back out when Luigi is his rider, which can kill even enemies that are otherwise invincible.
  • Timed Mission: As per usual. Except for Yoshi's House, where the timer, oddly enough, simply displays zero. The original version also stops the timer in the Top Secret Area as well as the Final Boss battle due to the Dramatic Disappearing Display.
  • Toggling Setpiece Puzzle: There's a level in the second world (Donut Plains 3) where you ride a platform that travels across a rail. At certain points, you'll find ON/OFF switches that toggle the incoming junctions, and you have to press them so the platform goes through the right path and avoid falling upon reaching a dead-end. A later level, "Way Cool" in Special Zone, has a much more complex network of rails and junctions, and figuring out whether or not to press the surrounding ON/OFF switches will be key to reach safe ground and avoid falling into the pit.
  • Totally Radical: The Special levels are named (in order) Gnarly, Tubular, Way Cool, Awesome, Groovy, Mondo, Outrageous, and Funky.
  • Turns Red:
    • The Wigglers turn red when you stomp on them once. Their face turns from happy to angry, their walking speed increases, and they chase the player.
    • Bowser's clown car also does this in the Final Boss battle: first, it starts dropping boulders on you, then the eyes narrow and it starts slamming the ground.
  • Underground Level: Vanilla Dome (third) and Valley of Bowser (seventh) are the first worlds in a Mario game that represent the classic Underground setting which, in all previous games, was only present through individual levels.
  • Under the Sea: It wouldn't be a Mario game without a few underwater levels. One takes place in a sunken airship, overlapping with Ghost Ship.
  • Unending End Card: The player had to hit Reset on the screen with Mario, Luigi, and Peach underneath "THE END". The GBA remake finally allows the player to exit the screen.
  • Unexpected Gameplay Change: Several of the Special levels had these. The notorious Tubular is partly notorious because it's the only level that requires you to use the Power Balloon. Other offenders are Way Cool (a maze level where you have to hit switches to fix the track a moving platform rides on), Mondo (a level where the water level rises and falls rapidly) and Funky (a level where the time limit provided is too short and you have to eat time-adding berries). Some of the Star World levels also had these, such as Star World 1 (a level built entirely around spin-jumping on Turn Blocks to destroy them) and Star World 3 (the shortest level in the game, built around the trick where you can ride Lakitu's cloud if you defeat him with a projectile).
  • Unique Enemy:
    • The enemies that appear in only one level are Fishin' Lakitu (Forest of Illusion 4), Fishin' Boo and Boo Block(Choco-Ghost House), Diggin' Chuck (Valley of Bowser 4), Ninji (Bowser's Castle), Torpedo Ted (Soda Lake), Fire Snake (Outrageous). The latter two are on secret levels and Ninji and the Fire Snake are not listed in the Enemy Roll Call. Yellow Parakoopas only appear on two Special Zone levels (Awesome and Funky), and in each they appear exactly once.
    • Unusually for the series, standard Piranha Plants are this, with only upside-down ones appearing in Vanilla Dome 3 and rightside-up ones being completely unused.
    • A variant occurs with Ludwig Von Koopa. He's the only Koopaling who isn't given a Palette Swap for another fortress, having his own unique battle from all the other Koopalings. He shares this trait with Bowser himself.
  • Updated Re-release: Super Mario World: Super Mario Advance 2. Adding voice clips, only reverting the player to Super form instead of regular when hit while in Fire or Cape form (a la Super Mario Bros. 3), and giving Luigi some unique features like a different sprite set (so he's no longer simply a Palette Swap of Mario)note , his super jumping powers from Super Mario Bros. 2 and the ability to spit out any enemy to use as an impromptu weapon while riding Yoshi, which makes taking out some hard-to-kill enemies a breeze.
  • Variable Mix: Yoshi is always accompanied by bongos added to the level music.
  • The Very Definitely Final Dungeon: The game has Bowser's Castle making it clear it's the final destination by displaying the fifty-foot neon letters on the front saying 'BOWSER'; it also brings back several features from previous castles and fortresses, while also adding some new ones. Amusingly enough, the castle has both a front door that can be reached absurdly fast and a back door that leads directly to the room before the boss.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential:
    • When jumping off Yoshi in mid-air, Mario will kick off Yoshi upwards, even if he and Yoshi are already falling downwards. What this means is that if you are falling down a pit, you can quickly jump off Yoshi, making it to a landing, while your trusty steed valiantly falls to his (presumable) death. Note that one of the secret exits actually requires you to use this tactic (or some very precise flying), as you have to go under the usual exit to get there without dropping into the Bottomless Pit below.
    • Yoshi can eat the non-hostile dolphins that pop up in a few levels, but only in the Japanese version. Super Mario Advance 2 allows this in all regions.
  • Waltz on Water: Its main theme gets a waltz arrangement for water levels.
  • Where's the Kaboom?: There are small cutscenes showing Mario reducing each castle to rubble after beating their respective bosses. The Forest of Illusion castle starts the same way as the basic cutscene, but then has the bomb fizzle out. When Mario (or Luigi) steps closer to inspect what went wrong, it explodes, leaving them frizzled and covered in soot.
  • Wings Do Nothing: The Rex enemies have wings, but are strictly grounded foes. Yellow Koopa Paratroopas cannot fly with their wings, but are able to use them to jump over kicked shells.
  • Word Sequel: More like a World sequel.



Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Super Mario Bros 4, Super Mario Advance 2


Super Mario World

Using a complicated string of inputs to load and unload sprites in just the right way, speedrunner MasterJun3 makes Yoshi eat a Chargin' Chuck, forcing the console to skip directly to the end credits. In almost 42 seconds.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (23 votes)

Example of:

Main / Speedrun

Media sources: