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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 video game was released on November 21, 1990 in Japan, but wasn't released in the United States until nine months later on August 13, 1991, concurrently with the delayed 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 


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 given an enhanced port to the Game Boy Advance as Super Mario World: Super Mario Advance 2, released in Japan on December 14, 2001 and the United States 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.

This game provides examples of:

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  • Absentee Actor:
    • Toad is, for some never-explained reason, not in this game at all, even though he resurfaces in every major Mario game hereafter. This resulted in him being dropped in the Animated Adaptation as well. According to surviving pre-release screenshots, this game was supposed to have at least one Toad House like in Super Mario Bros. 3. These (and Toad, as a result) were dropped from the final game. He does appear on some pieces of Japanese merchandise based directly on the game though.
    • Goombas are also absent, replaced by a Suspiciously Similar Substitute called Galoombas. The catch is that while it was made clear that they're a different species in Japan, the English translation called them Goombas despite their differences in appearance and gameplay mechanics from other Goombas in the series, until Super Mario 3D World corrected the misconception.
    • Traditional Hammer Bros. are MIA. There are two new variants - the Amazing Flyin' Hammer Brother, and the Sumo Brother. The former is similar to the classic Hammer Brother, but it moves on rails and is always found alone. Indeed, hammers, a Mario staple since Donkey Kong, are nearly absent from the game, aside from the aforementioned AFHB.
  • 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.
  • Adult Fear: The intro cutscene added in Advance 2 explained why the Princess was kidnapped: Mario and Luigi had foolishly decided to leave her behind to test out some Cape Feathers, which allowed Bowser to kidnap the Princess during their distraction. When Mario and Luigi return to find the Princess gone, a scary Last Note Nightmare plays as Mario and Luigi frantically look around for her in panic, wondering where she had gone off to. It echoes the real life situation of people having their loved ones disappearing because they weren't keeping a more careful watch over them.
  • Advertising Campaigns: In North America, the "a bit more ____" ad, coupled with the revised slogan "Now you're playing with power... SUPER power."
  • 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.
  • Ascended Glitch: Things such as climbing while holding an item, spin-jumping while holding an item, and holding two items at once are all considered glitches in Super Mario World. However, hacks have done wonders with this, especially when incorporating puzzles.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Bowdlerise: 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 mainstaple in 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.
  • 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.
  • Chain Reaction Destruction: One of the castles goes down with that spectacle subtrope.
  • 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.
  • 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 makes dust of some sort appear when he lands from a jump, which will hurt enemies. 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 in fact don't contain anything and simply act as platforms. Blue ! Blocks also don't contain anything and serve only 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.
  • Cranium Ride: Mario can ride on the heads of Mega Moles, which is required in some areas to get past pits of Munchers.
  • Cutscene Power to the Max: Mario displays some skills not present in gameplay when he destroys said castles.
  • 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 PAL 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 NTSC versions possible in the PAL version.
  • Dinosaurs Are Dragons: Both Yoshi and Reznor breathe fire. Rex also resembles a Celtic dragon, and not a Tyrannosaurus rex at all.
  • Divergent Character Evolution: In the original, Mario and Luigi are exactly the same, but Advance 2 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
    • 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".
  • 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).
  • Everything's Better with Dinosaurs: Yoshi, Rex, Dino-Rhino, Dino-Torch, and Reznor. The islands are in the shape of dinosaurs as well.
  • 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 the Princess 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 the Princess was taken (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.
  • 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.
  • 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).
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 first two worlds, Yoshi's Island and Donut Plains.
  • 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.
  • 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 to unlock 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 its appearance in one the commercials advertising the game (you see a stage featuring Torpedo Teds), and a Star Road location that leaves you on an island unable to leave until you complete the hidden level.
    • 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 fortress. 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.
    • 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 #7 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).
  • Hitodama Light: The ghost enemy Fishin' Boo dangles a blue flame from a fishing rod.
  • 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.
  • I Fell for Hours: The last segment of the Sunken Ghost Ship is a long drop onto a small stone platform above water.
  • Immediate Sequel: According to the manual, the game takes place after Super Mario Bros. 3.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Law of 100: Made a little easier by the Fire Flower turning enemies into coins. Eating enemies with Yoshi also counts as a coin.
  • 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 the Princess kisses him at the end of the game.
  • Me's a Crowd: Some Chargin' Chucks can split into three identical copies, which all then proceed to attack.
  • 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 the English versions.
  • Mutually Exclusive Power Ups: The Cape Feather and Fire Flower.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Noob Cave: Yoshi's Island, the first world you start on.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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).
  • 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.
  • Shout-Out: The sound of a Yoshi egg hatching is the same as in Devil World, an early Family Computer game designed by Miyamoto and Takashi Tezuka that never saw release in the United States.
  • 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.
    • 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.
  • Slippy-Slidey Ice World: Some of the subterranean courses, but the more prominent level examples are Donut Secret 2 and Awesome.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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. 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.
  • Stock Subtitle: World.
  • 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 template in Super Mario Maker as well as the desert and icy templates plus a new theme for the forest template in Super Mario Maker 2
  • Theme Tune Cameo: The World 1-1 theme from Super Mario Bros. plays in the Special Zone, but the player must wait nine loops.
  • Throw the Mook at Them: The only way to hurt Bowser is to kick the Mechakoopas he sends out up so they land on his head. Furthermore, you can pick up and throw Galoombas, Mechakoopas, Buzzy Beetles and Koopa Troopa shells at any other regular Mook to kill them. 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.
  • 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.
  • Turtle Power: The Koopas, Koopalings, and Bowser himself.
  • 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' Boo (Choco-Ghost House), Ninji (Bowser's Castle), Torpedo Ted (Soda Lake) and the 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.
  • 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.
  • 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):


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 (9 votes)

Example of:

Main / Speedrun

Media sources:

Main / Speedrun