As a break from convention, we're going to give a behind-the-scenes glimpse into a conversation in Nintendo Life HQ between two grown men in their 30s.
Player 1 - "Did you see that thread on Reddit about the Super Mario Bros. continue trick?"
Player 2 - "Nope, what are you talking about?"
Player 1 - "Apparently if you hit Start + A on the opening screen of Super Mario Bros. you can start off from the world where you last died.
Player 2 - "Nah, surely not, that can't be right. Can it?"
Player 1 - "Yep, you should check it out".
Checks it out
Player 1 - "Whoa, it actually works!"
As this is a 30 year old game that's one of the best known titles in the medium's history, and this is such a simple trick, it'd be reasonable to expect this to be extremely well-known. On the contrary it's been a bit of a revelation to some of us, as it has been to many on the Reddit thread in question. In fact, the majority were disbelieving, with a few sample responses - ie those not swearing a lot - below.
I know the "ZELDA" trick, the konami code, so many of these things. No idea how this one escaped me.
I feel like my childhood was a scam.
My 5 year old son just started playing SMB, I'm not sure whether or not to share this with him. Probably will. Probably.
Unsurprisingly a handful - and we are talking about a minority in that thread - stated that they did of course know about it, along with all their friends. Perhaps you had to have been a Nintendo Power subscriber, or potentially a cool kid - player 1 and 2 from that sample conversation above were clearly both exempt. It's not even a recent re-discovery, as a YouTube search brought up an awful video from a few years ago that explained the button combo in poorly written Windows Movie Maker text boxes.
So what is this well-known-but-somehow-revelatory shortcut? In Super Mario Bros. you can hit Start + A at the title screen, and it'll start you off at the beginning of the world where you last lost a life. We tried it out on this writer's 3DS Virtual Console copy and deliberately died on a restore point for world 8-2 - feel free to be judgemental of that save state's existence - and it actually dropped us to world 7-1, so either it was getting confused or it's designed to force you into tackling at least the last two worlds. Either way it's the shortcut we wish we'd known in pre-restore point days.
The reaction to this on that Reddit thread and within our small office was something to behold, simply for the fact that most seemed oblivious to this shortcut's existence.
So, as a slightly weird question for the day - did you know this? Are you as surprised as many others evidently are, or just bemused that so many didn't seem to realise it was there? Let us know.