News Article

A Fresh Super Mario Bros. Infinite Lives Trick Has Been Discovered

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

It never stops

Super Mario Bros. is a title that, even after all this time, remains as a central pillar and identifying feature of Nintendo — as a launch title for NES and the game that brought Mario to prominence as a mascot, it's still played and loved to this day. It also helps that it stands up to modern standards in some respects, even if its age shows in the inability to backtrack, along with some rough edges.

That's part of its charm, of course, and keen gamers have spent nearly three decades mastering the title and finding shortcuts and exploits — intentional and otherwise — throughout its worlds. We perhaps thought they'd all been discovered, but it seems another infinite lives trick has been found, though it involves beating the game and embarking on a second playthrough with Mario and Luigi. Below is an excerpt of an explanation from Retro Collect.

First, you must first take player one's Mario to the second level of the game and throw away your first life. With Luigi taking over, player two must traverse all the way to World 5-2 and find the hidden beanstalk block halfway through the stage. Once there, Luigi must start climbing the vines, however, he must await - and take on the chin - an incoming projectile from one of the Hammer Bros. Upon being hit, once player one resumes control of Mario, the beanstalk from World 5-2 will start growing in World 1-2, providing all you need to infinitely kick shells for unlimited bonuses.

You can see this in action below, which appears to be a legitimate method to us — it seems overly elaborate to be faked, though some assist tools can't be entirely ruled out based on the crazy skill on show.

Either way, this is a fun video to watch, though there are far more accessible ways to earn infinite lives in this NES classic.

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User Comments (50)



Deadstanley said:

From a programmer's perspective, I'm thinking that this only works if you die while the stalk is growing. The state of the stalk growing probably isn't reset between player attempts, which is why it continues when Mario comes in.

Just a guess.



Gerbwmu said:

This kinda thing is amazing to me........seriously who figures this stuff you read through lines of code? Do you play so much Mario that it randomly happens at some point?

I've played more hours of Mario then i care to admit and who knows how many times I've beat it but still the knowledge and skill of others still is fun to watch.



Kaze_Memaryu said:

I think the glitch itself is legit, but the movements of Mario in the first level strongly hint at tool assistance.

@Gerbwmu It's eccessive search. Some players (with most of them being speedrunners) deliberately look for any kind of glitch or error and try it in every possible situation to see how the game handles it. But in this specific case, I could see it having happened by chance.



Xjarnold said:

Wow, more than 25 years later and little secrets like this are still being found.



hiptanaka said:

Yeah it looks tool assisted, but it looks like it's not too hard to pull off manually, unless there are states that need to be just right.



Sherman said:

No, @Kaze_Memaryu. I've done that in my NES. It is possible to play Super Mario Bros that fast and with that precision. Try it.
After you finish the game, you can play a second run with some changes, @ShanaUnite. That's one of those.
Well, not that worth since you have to finish the game first in order to make it work. I'll try it someday just to say a did it though.



Andremario said:

I agree with Lebon14 these people obviously have nothing to do with themselves so they figured this trick out. Heck i couldn't even think of stuff like this with my insane backlog. I got too many games man! Too many! This is a cool trick nonetheless. I think it's possible to pull off manual without tas.



Linker2A03 said:

This trick is possible without having to resort to TAS. In fact, not only have I done this myself, I've posted this on Miiverse, giving credit to the person who discovered it, of course.

You just have to make sure that Luigi is automatically climbing the vine while getting hit in order for this to work. The game gets tricked into thinking that the automatic sequence is continuing as normal, with the only break in between being the new area in the clouds. It's only thinking of making sure that the very next area continues the sequence, but in this case, it's Mario who has the next area, not Luigi.



LavaTwilight said:

Now is it me or the warp world in Level 1-2, should those 3 pipes not warp you to level 2, 3 and 4 respectively? This could just be because they're playing in Game B (unlocked after completing the game once) but doesn't that mean this video is faked? Also at 2:37 he bounces off a piranha plant.



Sherman said:

Yeah. I always play like that, @Kaze_Memaryu. It's more fun. Don't use the pipe though. Just run like hell through all the stage stomping goombas XD
I do it without losing a single up from 1-1 to 4-2, using warp pipes, of course. One time I even did 8-1, but 8-2 without hitting the breaks had been impossible for me.
That happen if you finish the game, @MrMario02.



iphys said:

Lol! But is it possible to continue doing this in the same game to truly get infinite lives, or once the timer kills you is there no way to repeat this trick?



ocarinaoftime said:

This video has a big mistake..if u get to many lives in on this game u get killed one time and your game is is the way the nes version worked..but im goin to go try the one up trick on my nes and see if its after u get all the lives or the life after all the lives..



Linker2A03 said:

Along with what ocarinaoftime just posted, if you run out of time, you can repeat the same glitch with Luigi again. Be warned that you can only repeat this trick for so many times due the amount of lives that Luigi has in store, since you need him in the first place. Once Luigi loses his last life, though, you can no longer accomplish this trick.

If there was a 1up mushroom in World 5-2 for Luigi, this could potentially be an infinite lives glitch for Mario, but the absence of said mushroom is what's stopping it from being that way.



ocarinaoftime said:

Just tryed a single player to 3-1 did the one up trick till time ran out..and got time up game what good is gettin all these lives..u cant use them..your game is over...



ocarinaoftime said:

Linker i dont rember the symbol on the nes version but this guys video is way to many...the nes game has symbols and letters and stuff after so many lives..



Linker2A03 said:

OK, I've done a little research, and you can go up to 128 lives. After this, the game thinks the value is lesser than it's supposed to be, and causes you to get a game over.

If you use a Game Genie, you can surpass this.



ogo79 said:

i wish there was a trick to infinitely make mario games disappear.



WaxxyOne said:

It sure looks like a neat bug, but I can't confirm it's even possible because getting the hammer bro. to jump and throw a hammer that will hit you while you're on the vine seems to be virtually impossible. When he first appears on the screen, he always does a high jump. After that, he seems to only do so while the screen is scrolling. Executing the perfect run that gets the vine out of the block and then causes the screen to scroll while you're on it doesn't seem likely without at least a tool-assisted run or some other hackery.



Funbunz said:

It's been many years since I played the original, but doesn't your score roll forward when you complete the game? The video starts at zero.



Forgael said:

Interesting, but if you can beat the initial run, the second run won't present much more challenge, and you probably won't need all those extra lives. Nice find, though.

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