I've always enjoyed this time in the life cycle of gaming. You know, when one piece of hardware is retired and another is introduced; this time around we anxiously await to christen The Switch in our homes, while the Wii U gets ready for the viking funeral. But that all aside, it's a great time to look back and reacquaint yourself with some older games. I've been digging through my favourite old NES games and always seem to get back to Super Mario Bros. 2. Its long winding backstory notwithstanding, its a fun game with colourful graphics that has held up well, and likely will for all time.
If its a game in your collection, then I've got something for you. There is quite an awesome bug that I've come across that's worth checking out. In the game when you throw a potion and enter the door, you enter Subspace. In this area, you can power-up and get coins to win extra lives at the end of each stage. Also in this area, the original overworld theme of the first Super Mario Bros. plays. It's very quick, but a nice nod to the original game. This bug though, lets you play the stage while playing the original Super Mario Bros theme throughout!
The way to do it is to become invincible and let it run out in the subspace area; the timing is tricky until you learn it, but after that you can run the whole stage area with this music. While the trick is neat, there's a little more to it. The time of the Subspace music, based on Super Mario 1, is coded in the game to play for 15 seconds before repeating, but the time in Subspace is only 7 seconds. So you've only heard half of that track. Also, you can't pause in Subspace, but you can in all other areas of the game - the paused music plays just the bass line of that area's music. So, if you pause the game, you can hear a slightly different rendition of the famous tune. This means without this trick there's music trapped in the game could easily be missed!
The trick works on all of the 8-bit versions, on cartridge or on Virtual Console. Doki Doki Panic also works, but as its not in the Mario canon and so has different music altogether. I'm not taking credit as the first person to find this, but I am really surprised to see how few people have heard of it. The game is actually full of weird ticks and game crashing glitches that have been found over the years, but this one is pretty cool and whether you're in the camp of "not a real Mario game" or not, it's fun and easy to do. To see the trick in action, click the video below. If you want to record the music for yourself, go ahead. There's a part in the video with the music played in full without any gameplay noise.
If you liked this video be sure to check out Gaijillionaire's Club for more things retro, Nintendo and Japan.