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.
Been playing the game since 1988. Didn't know the trick. Feel stupid.
You learn something new everyday.
I had never heard about this before.
You're kidding me! I wonder if this would work on the virtual console...
Wow, crazy. I thought everybody knew this.
Wha? A trick to continue where you last died? OH SHOOT (helmet closes)
O_o I sit in disbelief. Never. Knew. This!
I knew but I won't be surprised that people who never got to play it on the NES never knew.
As for those that did play it on the NES and didn't know.... awkward.
Wh-what! I had no idea.
Insert Jackie Chan mind-blown pic.
I wish I knew that when I first played it.
I don't know how any of you ever could have played this game without knowing that! It was such a lifesaver before I could beat SMB easily. As for SMB2... seriously. How could any of you have played that.
I played the SNES version. Still an interesting thing to know.
I don't remember where I learned this trick but I do know it. I did not grow up with the nes (because I am 17) but most likely I learned it from a YouTube video where it was just mentioned. It has worked on the 3ds virtual console version as well as the original nes version for me.
I had no idea. Grew up playing that game and i had no idea whatsoever
I can't believe I never knew this!!!
I too feel like my childhood was a scam. I didn't feel that way five minutes ago, but yep. Retroactively a scam. No question.
Despite having played this game well over fifty times I somehow never knew this!
I've known this for a while now, but I'm not exactly sure how I came to find out about it.
Hah. i keep hitting Start + A in a bunch of NES titles to continue on the last stage to no avail...this is where I must have gotten it from.
It works! I never knew about this trick. Of course, one would never really need it if they knew how to exploit the infinite 1-UPs trick.
Had no idea this was a thing. Will try it out next time i play it.
My 3rd favourite game of all time.... Been playing since release. Did not know. 0_o
had no idea...
hand raised It's the only way I've been able to complete it for the last 15 years.
Wow... I had no idea.
I honestly had no idea. My whole life has been a lie.
I was unaware of this, but I have an excuse because I never owned a NES and the first time I played it was on my 3DS
I knew! Because it's written as a tip on the back of card 13 of the old Nintendo sticker cards of which I have a complete deck.
I knew when I was a kid and played it a ton, but I had completely forgotten since then.
I'm 34 and I don't remember when I learned the trick, it's just one of those things I assumed everyone knew.
I knew about this. I know ever trick there is to know about Super Mario Bros including how to get to the minus world.
I started playing Super Mario Bros. a few years ago.
And I figured this out within months.
I can see everyone having to try this to beleive it - myself included. I'll dust off my NES and cart at some point soon and try it. Amazing!
Now don't we all feel like idiots lol...
Huh? Been playing this game since 1988 and never knew this? Pretty cool,I'll check it out sometime
I got a NES the day it came out.
I never knew about this!
I did have at one point though, have Crown, Star, Heart amount of lives...
I owned a NES when it released also, never knew of this. I wouldn't had really needed it though.
I had no idea, I never owned it personally but had some friends who did and for some reason I kept visiting them to play it....
I've had it on VC as well and not heard it. It's about as cool when I first heard about the warp pipes, and when I first heard about the secret second lot of warp pipes.
I had to post this on FB using the lovely buttons on the left. It felt weird having to click "Share Link" to be able to "Share Mario".
It will take you back to 8-1, it did on my game after I picked my jaw up off the floor upon reading this.
WHAT?!?!?! I've only recently started playing it (I don't have an NES, but my friend does, and I rarely play the virtual console) But this seems way to simple to NOT be common knowledge... Ahh well, maybe it was discovered by rage-mashing when they died
I only recently learned about the pipe in level one.
I knew about it. You hold down A, then press start at the title screen. It takes you to the first stage of the last world you played.
Here's something more interesting: Hands up if you know why certain invisible 1-up blocks in SMB aren't always there...
I didn't know this.
Is this why people say SMB2 (Japan) is so hard?
Wh- I never knew about this!!
I posted 2 NA codes for MH4U in the forum of that tread.
On topic: Never knew about this, how can something so simple be so easily missed?
Wow, this article took me back.
The sleepovers, after a GAMEOVER, everybody yelling "hold A, hold A, hold A!!!"
I actually remember learning that trick in an issue of Nintendo Power a long, long, long time ago.
It MIGHT have been in the actual manual that came with the game too.
I probably had poooooooopy controllers because I could not get it to work all the time.
I think they don't come up if you die on that stage before you get to it. I remember this happening a bit.
That, and you also have to collect most, if not all the coins in the previous X-3 stage.
Hey, I knew about this. I honestly thought it was pretty common knowledge in all honesty!
I can't get my head around this.How did I not hear about this in the playground! I was always one of they kids in the loop about the these sort of things,or so i thought anyway! I never actually owned a NES myself but I often swapped my Master System with my friend and each time I would attempt to beat this from the beginning.Never did I succeed.If only I had known this!
Wait, no one knew about this? Really? I thought everyone knew about this.
...Well okay then. I don't know how I lived my whole life without ever finding that out... Definitely useful though, and now I don't feel as bad about using restore points at the beginning of every world to beat the game!
Childhood memories of pain when my mother would say come on we got to go see your gran but I'm really far on this game and it doesn't save I have to start over, so she turns my NES off and I cried!! Those tears of justice have now become flames down my face of that memory ahhh youth a fickle thing indeed.
Really, I thought everybody and their pet dog knew that trick. I read about it in Total magazine years ago.
Also it won't work if you reset the game, or turn off NES.
Never knew this existed.
I had forgotten. I'm almost sure I knew this once and in fact, like someone else on here I remember trying it in places (and that may be how I found the Target Earth continue trick although it was in a different place). Still, what I can't remember is how early I knew the trick. I'm pretty sure I finished it without the trick. I remember figuring out the best warp paths to get there.
I always knew the first warp from watching someone play it in the arcade. I think the first time I saw the game ever in the arcade I saw someone go over the exit and do the warp. Blew my mind. Then I saw the console had an identical looking and performing "port" and I had to have an NES. Memories.
I knew this too but I never use it because otherwise I feel like I'm cheating
Nice to know.
@Cloud02 "Those tears of justice have now become flames down my face"
That's brilliant man haha.
I'm pretty sure NO ONE knew about this. Watch the article pop out in another site with the headline "discovered".
It was a nice thing to learn of a couple of years ago; would've been nicer to have learned it a couple of decades ago though!
Didn't we all feel clever though when we found the hidden stuff in 1-2? I'm also reminded of my parents yelling "Duck!" at me as a flame moved across the screen in a castle stage. As I was suggesting that they had perhaps gotten Super Mario Bros. confused with the OTHER game on the cartridge, Mario snuffed it and it was then explained to me that 'duck' also means 'crouch.'
Holy crap! I've been playing games since the atari age! I've never known about this!
I just tried it and it does indeed work. What sorcery is this?
I had no idea ... that people didn't know about this. I was sure it was common knowledge. Weird.
I did this on accident once and wondered how the heck I did it
I've known about this since when I first got my NES in Christmas 1987. If I recall (I can recall lots of childhood memories), I found this code on my own, without any help from anyone.
I will admit though - that I've never completely played through SMB to completion - I would always get started with it, then lose interest since I get bored. Even on my 3ds, I still do have patience to beat it. I've only beat it on NES Remix! Beat SMB2 on NES and SMB3 on NES, and SMW on GBA, but never SMB!
Been playing the game since I was 5 in the late 80's this is the first I've heard of it!
Never knew about this trick and I've been playing the game since I got it and the NES system for Christmas when I was 5.
I'm off to try this on The Lost Levels!
-___- Well ****.
Nintendo must have enjoyed this torture.
Wow. That's nuts!
This is the first game I ever played and I never knew about this. Huh...
Learned this trick on like 89 or so. I thought every one knew it? It's essential in beating the game as world 8 is pretty darn hard
Yes I did know about this. But I don't think I learned it until sometime after the game was release on Wii Virtual Console in 2006.
I've been a fan of SMB since I've been gaming and I had no idea about this!
Shut up?! man I'm still glad there were no tutorials back then when playing a game. I wish games today were still like that ... where you'd learn something new in lets say... Super mario 3D world 15 years from now. haha
I've known this for a while now. My friend was playing with the buttons one time and realized that he started back at World 3, so... yeah
I'm 30 years old and only just found this out...feel like a complete failure now :/
Im 33 and as that game was very challenging for me when i was 5, I knew this trick well, my older sisters boyfriend showed it to me in the 80's. Still didn't complete Mario until I was a teenager even with this cheat.
As a kid, my neighbor had Nintendo Power, so I'm guessing I learned it from him? That or on the playground at school. Either way, it's still the only way I've ever beaten the game!
Wait.... what is the Zelda trick?
Um. Really? I've known about this trick since the game came out, and I assumed everyone else did as well. Also, I don't know why people are saying Start + A, when it's far easier to hold A and THEN hit Start. (A doesn't do anything when held by itself) Also also, to my knowledge there is and has never been a way to continue from a level in world 8 and start on 7-1. If that happened, either your copy is messed up, you weren't actually in world 8, or... I dunno, ghosts? In any case, you always start on the first level of the world you lost your last life on when using that trick.
While we're at things I thought were obvious, you do know that after beating the game once, you can select the starting world from the title screen using the B button, right?
The Zelda trick is to start a new file on the original Legend of Zelda, and enter your file name as ZELDA. If done properly, Link will immediately be holding a sword on the file select screen, indicating the game is on the second quest. You can use this to go straight to the second quest without having to complete the game first.
....Also, in Zelda, there's a second quest. (You guys at least had to know that one, I assume......)
Any other obvious things I can share? NARPAS SWORD? JUSTIN BAILEY? Konami code? Capcom code? Maybe the reverse Mario glitch from SMB?
(Oh, and another bonus one people might not know — Try playing Mega Man 3 while holding right on the 2nd controller....)
Wow... Had no idea.
knew of this for years
I've known this since I was a kid, around 1989. Not sure how I learned it, but it's definitely not new. You can also hit B to select a world at the title screen after beating the game once. Hopefully that one isn't new to anyone, or they're just not paying attention at the end.
Wow, I grew up with the NES and didn't know this. Whenever I got game over I would rushed through the warps to get back to where I was.
Had NES. Subbed to Nintendo Power. Lamented having to restart this damn game from 1-1 countless times. Never knew this.
hahaha i thought everyone knew this. from the comments i guess most people didnt. so funny.
Learned about it in a Nintendo Power sometime in the late 80s. Really surprised many people didn't know about this tbh.
I learned this about a month ago. I was looking at a cheat-code website to see if SMB had any cheats, out of curiosity.
I guess it's not konami code levels of fame.
Odd, maybe it's because it doesn't give you 30 lives
I got my NES in 1985. I played Super Mario Bros. every day for like a year straight. I never knew about this. I would never trade those hours in though. That game is super duper good.
Oddly enough, I knew this code existed for probably the past ten years or so, my problem was instead that I kept forgetting the buttons. I used to thing it was left+a+start or start+select or b+a+start, I kept getting confused. Glad this article set me straight again... For the time being.
In any event, I now know i want to put "START+A" on my tombstone since it's not as overdone as ^,^,v,v,<,>,<,>,b,a,start, and it actually makes a little more sense for a tomb stone..
I've known about this since the early 90s, but I've never been 100% sure how to activate it.
Oh... Oh my god. So many minds got destroyed tonight when they read this article, mine included. Been playing this game for over ten years, so much time wasted...
Oh well, at least we are all pros at the first few worlds!
I recently learned that many of the Hudson Soft NES titles had similar stage continue tricks.
All those years of fighting with The Adventures of Dino-Riki.
I remember someone telling me to press Start+A as a kid to resume on the last level completed. I died on World 1-3 and did the Start +A thingy and it took me back to World 1-1!
Now I save the princess regularly but always spam some 1-UPs from the Koopa in World 1-3 when I do a warpless longplay. I can die 20 times on World 7 and not get a GAME OVER
As a bonus, this trick will also warp you strait back to the "minus world" without having to glitch through the bricks to access it again...
I didn't know about this. LOL. It didn't matter then since I've learned the infinite 1-up. Also there are some games (I can't remember particularly) that you can glitch by short-circuiting the zapper socket with a coin/metal (on my Famicom). It either crashes and you reset the game or get unexpected infinite lives or some stage select screen pops up.
Also anyone knew the megaman(rockman) glitch? Pressing select repeatedly will allow projectiles pass you without being hit. And in megaman 2 or 3 (?) when you press up A or press right dpad on the 2nd controller you get some cool cheats. And it still works on the VC.
Never knew this until now!
First got the game in 1988 or 1989, had a subscription to Nintendo Power, and never once heard about this cheat.
I knew, I read it from a local Nintendo Magazine back then. I never used it myself, though. I always beat the game fair and square.
I hope you all guys know how the fireworks work at the end of each level
Cannot believe this. 8 year old me is upset, but 34 year old me is a better gamer for having to master the skills to beat the game without the trick.
I feel so dumb and ripped off. I suck at this game now, 8 year old me could have actually beaten this game if I had known. The me of today stands no chance of beating this game, why do I suck so badly at this game now?
Eh, you learn something new everyday...
I actually did know this, but it wasn't something I had devoted a lot of memory to, like the Konami code.
I thought it WAS fairly well known. I know I wouldn't have beaten the game without it.
I've known about this since I was a kid, but only because I read this article, built a time machine, and went back in time and told myself. It was a one-time-use time machine, but I feel like it was worth it.
I actually knew about this back when it was hot on the Wii VC and just assumed everyone knew about it. I guess that I was wrong...
Knew about it, but haven't Game Over'd since I learned the infinite 1-up trick.
Didnt know this, but then i was never a nintendo kid, sega all the way for me
I had forgotten, but reading about it I realize that I knew this as a kid.
Im pretty sure I read about it preparing for my Virtual Console run on the 3DS when I got it as an ambassador.
Never knew about this, that's amazing
I am completely and utterly dumbfounded.
Considering the game is super easy to beat, I don't even need to use the trick.
Have known this game very well my whole life, and I can honestly admit that: no, I had no clue this trick existed. I'll keep it in mind in the future.
Didn't know, and now i feel better for comepleting it the hard way. How did everyone find out about it? and if it was such common knowledge, then how come so many didnt know about it?
I thought this was well known. I remember reading about it in magazines.
I thought everyone knew that. I've used it repeatedly on SMB
I started playing it since 1990. After 25 years of slaving through this game... 25 years of SCREAMING at the screen and throwing the controller down on the carpet like the spoiled beat I was back then... The temper tantrum of World 7, the drama of World 8 Castle... and I find out about this damn trick NOW???!!!!
(those who knew about this, you're lucky and I hate you with all my soul and spirit. jk. )
@PJRandall well we were children. We didn't know better. And our parents, even today, didn't help us out cause they didn't give a poopitypoop about video games.
I will show this trick to my son when he gets into SMB.
Honestly can't remember if I knew or not I just used the warp pipes to get my way around (Nintendo power😁)...
I think the contra code was popular because it was a big help/cheat for the game compared to this one... At least for me anyway...
This cheat was not really a necessity.
Yeah, I knew this, was told about it in the late 80s by someone at school.
As General Pepper would say; WHAAAAAAAT...?!
I think i'm most surprised by your age and the fact that you didn't know this. I wouldn't expect someone born post 1990 to necessarily know this trick, but being in your 30s it's a bit surprising.
that script looks off shouldn't it be player 2 be surprised not player 1 that already knew
Played this ever since I was kid, never knew you could continue lol
Nope, never knew about that. And we're talking about the very first video game I ever owned. My gaming life is a failure.
I was aware of this since the Wii Virtual Console didn't have save states and I would usually die a lot.
I've been aware of this since the NES days. It was one of the system's first codes. But I never used it much. I prefered to gather some lives in the first couple levels before warping back to where I died.
Fun fact: The same code is present in Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels, but it serves a different purpose. If you complete the game 8 times, you'll have 8 stars on the title screen. Entering this code with 8 stars sends you to World A-1 where you can make your way through Worlds A, B, C, and D.
Already knew about this thanks to Nintendo Power issue #220!
I feel special now
I used that all the time. I believe it only works on NES (and also VC) version, not sure about All Stars, can't remember if I tried there.
I didn't know this, oh the hours of sleep I could had
Shut up! No way! Man - how am I only hearing this now!?! Seriously!?!
If I remember right, I discovered this by accident when playing the game as a kid.
Is there a similar thing for The Lost Levels? I wouldn't need a trick like that for the original, but that game...
Took me a while to figure that out as well. I've been playing that as far back as I can remember in the mid 90's and I just recently figured that out a few years ago.
tries the cheat and it works omg, you have to be freakin' kidding me! -_- you know how handy this simple code could have been when I was younger?!?! I guess finding out about it 30 years later is better then never....I guess lol
I knew about this code thanks to Nintendo Cereal. The "free toy" in a box I had was a small 3-D Mario card with tips for Super Mario Bros. on the back of it. One of them was the "Hold A and hit Start" code.
I did not know about this, yet, somehow I knew about it for the Wii VC release of "The Lost Levels." In fact, I think I remember saying something like "I wish this cheat had existed for the original game when i was a kid." Wow.
Oh well, the result is that I learned to beat the game without the cheat. I'm better at Mario thanks to my lack of knowledge of this cheat. However, I have never beaten the game while playing through all the levels (only using warps), so I may have to use this trick to go back and play through every level.
Crazy how something so simple slipped through the cracks for the majority of us.
I see a few people asking about this code in The Lost Levels. You can continue from the first level of a world in that game without a code.(But it's not like in Super Mario All-Stars where you start from the same level. If you die on 3-4 and continue you'll start at 3-1.)
This code only does anything in The Lost Levels if you've beaten the game 8 times. If this is the case there will be 8 stars on the title screen. If you've done this holding A and pressing Start causes you to begin the game on level A-1.(In Super Mario All-Stars you just moved on to worlds A, B, C, and D if you beat world 8.)
So same code, different use.
@ReshiramZekrom That's cool!
I never heard of this before!
I wonder if it works in SMB.2 also? (Lost Levels)
Of all the tricks that have become legend in the fields of our youth, this one has been hidden by those in the know because they "thought everyone else knew"...
I want to say that my cousin knew of this way WAY back when I played SMB for the first time, but me just starting out with Nintendo, it was highly unlikely I'd remember this. And SMB STILL continues to hold secrets!
I'm an "old timer", got NES with R.O.B. in 1985 when first released. Played this game a million times. Had Nintendo Power for years, as did all my friends at school. I have NEVER heard of this (and I remain extremely skeptical until I try it on an original NES).
I did this on accident once when I was a kid.
wow i'm very surprised i didn't know this is today april 1st
I am surprised so many of you didn't know this!!! Been using since I got SMB in 1988!
Try it and let your mind be blown! I've known and used this since I got SMB.
I'm certain an early issue of the Nintendo Fun Club Newsletter as well as much earlier issues of Nintendo Power also revealed this. The end of the Fun Club Newsletter had tips mailed in by fans and I'm pretty certain that's where it first appeared.
Never heard of this before! Sneaky Nintendo!
So does this mean that the original Super Mario bros DID HAVE battery back-up after all?!
Nintendo, you stole my childhood.
I knew this trick, but never felt Mario 1 was fun enough for me to play, and then I forgot the trick later.
How can people on this site not know this... it's making me angry and scared
Yeah, I knew this, although I would've admittedly had no idea pre-Internet. Of course, the restore point makes it pretty much meaningless these days outside those still playing the original NES version, the original All-Stars version, or on the Wii VC without upgrading to the Wii U VC version.
I didn't know about this because I didn't need it. If I got Game Over, I'd just use the warp pipes...
I found out about this when I was probably about 12 years old, and I remember feeling both amazed yet angry at the same time. I was a hardcore Mario addict in those days, and the fact I couldn't beat the first game without warping or dying drove me nuts. Today, its still quite a challenge, but I can reach my goal in about 45 minutes when I focus.
@Luigi21 Did you ever try it on the VC version?
@Scapetti Because in 1986 we didn't have the internet for cheats and codes.
@SoIDecidedTo I haven't yet, but I'm going to try it.
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