Super Mario Bros. Minus World
Image: Nintendo Life

In terms of video game legends, it's up there with the best of them. A secret world accessible in Super Mario Bros.! A gateway to an underwater stage you can never leave! A hidden, secret zone that only the most elite Mario Bros. enthusiasts will ever find!...

It was the stuff of playground hearsay back in the '80s and '90s, but contrary to many of the other urban legends that popped up around the Super Mario series, SMB's 'Minus World' was, indeed, real and accessible to anyone who cared to study the method to get there and pull it off.

Of course, the reality of this area — the result of a warp pipe glitch that takes you to an inescapable recreation of underwater level 7-2 — is far less exciting than the imagined topsy-turviness the name suggests. Dubbed Minus World because the stage title screen displays '-1', the glitch is tied to how the game reads collision for Mario and subsequently assigns different data to the warp pipes found at the end of World 1-2, sending you to 'World 36-1', which is displayed you the player as 'World -1'.

Despite Minus World having entered Nintendo legend, it wasn't until 2019 that this writer sat down and took the time to make the trip to this netherrealm. It requires precise input but it's totally doable for even the most novice gamer after a few minutes' practice. Observe:

And once you've arrived in Minus World? Well, the pipe at the end warps you back to the beginning, meaning if the enemies don't get you, the timer eventually will. It's an anticlimactic end but, in a way, it's exactly as it should be. Is there any mystery or legend or dream that isn't anticlimactic once it's been solved/uncovered/achieved? As always, it's the journey, not the destination, and that's certainly true when it comes to reaching this ever-so-slightly glitched video game level.

But have you ever made this journey? Did you, like us, leave it until many years later to actually make your own way to Minus World, or were you an intrepid pioneer back in the '80s? Let us know below.

Of course you KNOW about Minus World in Super Mario Bros., but have you ever actually visited?

Here's to the journey! Let us know below when you first visited Minus World, or if this inspires you to finally make the trip.