Super Mario 3D World - Guide to special levels and bonuses

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Alejandra Rangel
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Have you ever known a Super Mario chapter without its explosive mix of tricks, secrets, special levels and bonuses ?! Well, Super Mario 3D World, available today exclusively for Nintendo Switch, has its own load of mysteries to be discovered, including unlockable areas, infinite lives and items to collect. Before the journey begins, one question: you have already taken a look at the our review dedicated to the remake of the chapter originally released on Nintendo Wii U in 2013?



The following text may contain major and minor spoilers on the Super Mario 3D World plot, so we advise you to continue carefully in case you have not yet completed the sequences of which you are going to read several details. 

Infinite lives

Did you know it is possible get 1.110 lives (represented as three crowns, in game worlds 1 and 2? You can do this by passing the first Koopa and heading to the area that features a second Koopa and a Goomba on a slightly raised platform. Kill the Goomba, then jump onto the green Koopa by stealing Its shell Jump onto the platform with the Goomba and climb the back wall while standing in front of the three brick blocks (press the D-pad up to aim directly at the wall.) Throw the Koopa and then immediately jump. You don't have to press anything else and by doing so you will bounce off the Koopa's shell never touching the ground while bouncing endlessly on the back wall. All this will yield you infinite "1-Ups", until you decide to go. Street!

It will be necessary return to level 2 twice in order to fill your lives up to the amount of 1.110, because time will run out once you have reached 600 lives on the first try. There is also an alternative method: you can get more lives (about 900) if you throw the first shell through the tube, so that it bounces back and forth on the edge of the lower tube. As long as you are facing the right direction (East or West) the shell will bounce back and forth very quickly.



How to unlock Rosalind

Rosalina can be unlocked as a playable character in Super Mario 3D World by completing level 2 in Star World. The level in question is called Super Galaxy and she awaits you at the end of the level.

Unlock the Corona World

This is the final and most difficult level of the entire gameplay experience and can be unlocked once you have earned all the green stars, stamps and gold flags in all previous levels.

Secret Exit Locations and Warp Room

In Super Mario 3D World there are several secret exits and areas of warp, or warp room, represented by red tubes, generally well hidden. Below, the location of each of them:

World 1-2 | Portal to the World 2

The cat costume is required to activate this portal, then retrieve one in World 1-1 at Super Bell Hill and keep it in your inventory, or wear it to pass the level. Near the end of the underground section of the level is a tube that splits into two paths, one with a tube containing coins. On the opposite side are three long invisible blocks against the rear wall; use them to reach the upper path with a lone Koopa patrolling the area. Above this Koopa there is a crack, difficult to spot, located in the ceiling. Run along the back wall to find a red warp pipe. This will take you to World 2!

World 4-2 | Portal to the World 5


To reach World 5 through yet another secret passage offered by Super Mario 3D World you will have to wear the cat suit first. After exiting the underground part (the one with the checkpoint flag) you will exit a warp tube containing a transparent mystery box. Run along the wall it is leaning against to reach the top of the waterfall. After jumping through the poisonous water there will be a red warp tube waiting for you, and in this way you can finally reach World 5.


How to unlock Luigi Bros.

From the Super Mario 3D World start menu screen you can play one slightly modified version of the title originally released for NES, Nintendo Mario Bros., titled Luigi Bros. You can therefore play as Luigi by completing World 8.

Change the flag at the end of the level

When you reach the top of a flagpole, it will appear gold on the game map, rather than the color of your character. If you get all the green stars in a level, a spinning green star will appear above the flag pole, replacing the metal sphere. The symbol on the flag will also change depending on which character was used to complete the level or, if you are playing in multiplayer mode, depending on which player has climbed to the highest point of the flagpole. If at some point you use all 5 characters of the level (Mario, Luigi, Toad, Peach and Rosalina) the green star symbol will turn golden, along with the rest of the flagpole. It is not necessary to use all the characters at the same time (also because it is impossible).


Find the hidden Luigi

There are many Luigi in Super Mario 3D World and reside in levels, maps, and even mini-games. It is not yet clear whether or not they appear in every single level proposed by the developers, but one thing is certain: they are all there waiting for you to celebrate the Year of Luigi. The new Super Luigi U is not required for the activation of these hidden Luigi. Instead, it is essential to complete the Luigi Bros game.

The 5 final stamps of the characters

The 5 stamps are not collected in the levels, but are only unlocked by passing all the levels with each individual character. An example? Beat the game with Mario and you will get the stamp of the most beloved and famous plumber on the planet. Simple, right ?! If you're playing multi, keep in mind that all characters count towards this challenge, as long as each character has touched the final flag pole. This means that the shortest way to get all of the 85 stamps is to play once with three characters playing at the same time, and then go through each level again with Rosalina and the remaining character, the only one who has not yet been used.


How to get 5 stars in the save profile

You can get a maximum of 5 stars within your save profile in Super Mario 3D World. To get each star you need to complete the following challenges:

  • Complete game worlds (1-8)
  • Obtain all green stars in worlds 1 via the World Flower
  • Beat the world star, the world mushroom and the world flower
  • Obtain all Green Stars in the game
  • Get each Green Star, Gold Auction or Stamp

Here ends this long collection of tricks and secrets that, we hope, will help you to complete 100% Super Mario 3D World on Nintendo Switch.


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