Since his appearance on Donkey Kong in 1981, Mario has gone onto become one of gaming’s most recognisable faces. The Super Mario series is the best selling video game series of all time and has spawned numerous spin-off series and even a feature film. As any fan of the Super Mario series knows, the games are home to a plethora of secret levels, rewarding gamers for exploring the Super Mario world. In celebration of the official Mario Day on March 10th, we’ve chosen our favourite secret levels from the series.
There many secret levels to feature on Super Mario Bros., released in 1985 for the NES, but Negative World is arguably the most well known. Negative World is an underwater level that was given its name by fans as the top screen shows Mario to be in World -1. The level can be accessed by standing on the pipe that leads to the flagpole, facing left, ducking and jumping back.
The Secret of Casino Delfino
Another secret level we love is Casino Delfino which features on Super Mario Sunshine for the GameCube. The Casino Delfino is located on the first floor of the Hotel Delfino has a large roulette wheel at its centre and is home to slot machines that pay out Blue Coins. To enter the casino, go and talk to the Pink Pianta who will grant you access to the door behind him.
Donut Secret 1
Like all Super Mario games, Super Mario World for the SNES has an abundance of secret levels, but our favourite has to be Donut Secret 1. It is the first secret level in the game’s second world, Donut Plains. The level can be reached by taking the keyhole of Donut Plains 1, the world’s first level. Donut Secret 1 is an underwater level that contains six Yoshi Coins.
Having sold over 100 million copies over more than twenty years, Mario Kart has proved to be the most successful of all the Super Mario spin-offs. Mario Kart Wii was released in 2008 and contains an excellent hidden level in Mirror Mode. To unlock Mirror Mode players must finish first in every 150cc cup. Mirror Mode flips tracks so that left and right are reversed.
Grate Guy’s Casino
Another hidden casino level to feature on our list is Grate Guy’s Casino, a secret area found on Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars. The casino is owned by the boss, Grate Guy, and as such can only be reached with a Bright Card from his brother, Knife Guy. To get to the casino, Mario must enter a secret passage in Bean Valley. Mario can earn Frog Coins by playing slot machines and blackjack in the casino.
Our final secret world takes a little effort to reach but it’s totally worth it as it opens up hundreds of worlds to players. Gamers must have access to a NES, a Super Mario Bros. cartridge and a Tennis cartridge. First, load Super Mario Bros. and while playing the first level remove the cartridge but keep the power on. Next insert Tennis and play in single-player mode, remove the Tennis cartridge after a few minutes and place Super Mario Bros. back in and press reset. When the game loads you will have access to a hidden level. Every time you repeat this method a new level will load. Beware though as this could damage your console.
With Mario Day fast upon us on March 10th, we’re sure that people all over the world will be remembering their favourite hidden levels of the Super Mario series.