Pro tip: Move canceling in Street Fighter II

This one's a little more advanced, but nontheless very important if you want to be any good at the Street Fighter games.

The idea is to do one move, and before the animation completes, you do another move for Big Damage(tm). The easiest way to show this is with Ken. You want to lead off with a Strong Punch, then immediately press Forward, Down, Down-Forward + Strong Punch. If you do it fast enough (and it does take quick fingers) then you'll hit once with the punch, and then three times with your Dragon Punch for a four-hit combo!

Which is kind of tough to see in static picture form, so I've made an animated .gif you can check out here(2.3 MB, watch out, dial-up users!).

There are lots of moves that can be canceled like this, way too many to list here, so have fun finding them!

Oh, and this also works for Street Fighter IV.

Pro tip: infinite 1ups in Super Mario Bros. 3, the shell method

If you're inexperienced at it, Super Mario Bros. 3 is a tough game, made worse by the fact that after you lose your meager 5 lives all the progress you made in each World is negated, and you have to do it over again.

So, like a lot of games, it's very helpful to throw more lives at the problem.

My favorite spot to do that is in World 3-9.

First, stomp on the Koopa Paratroopa and grab its shell.

Then run over to the right, being very careful not to hit the Goomba or the Bob-Omb that's hiding over there. Make your way to the Bullet Bill cannon and kick the shell over to the other side of it.

Then quickly make your way to the platform above.

And wait.

Bullet Bills will continuously be fired from both of the cannons, and the ricocheting shell will take out each one.

Until eventually

1UPs! And you can stand there in safety until the time runs out, which will cost you one life, but you've got plenty to burn at this point.

And, if you're playing a two-player game, it's good form to allow the second player the chance to do this trick also, so that you both have a ton of lives to play around with.

Pro tip: Final Fantasy Mystic Quest's last boss is a pushover

Final Fantasy Mystic Quest is a Role-Playing game for beginners, so most of the game is a pushover. But when you get to the last boss, the game ramps up the difficulty significantly.

Spoilers continue below this line

Pro tip: getting the 'random' power ups in Super Mario Bros. 2

If you're playing any one of the remakes of Super Mario Bros. 2, then you know that occasionally a powerup, like a heart or a Starman, will appear, completely at random.

But, did you know that it's not completely random? Heck, it's not even partially random. Those powerups appear based on your actions.

Like if you kill five enemies, you'll make a heart appear to replenish one dot on your life meter.

Likewise, if you collect five cherries, a Starman will appear, which will make you temporarily invincible when you collect it.

And pulling five fully-grown vegetables out of the ground (the ones with the face on them) will get you a stopwatch.

Which will freeze everything in place for a few seconds.

And since everything resets when you go in the nearest door, you can totally manipulate the game to your advantage, so go to it!

Pro tip: skipping close to the end of Super Mario Bros. 3.

The Warp Zone in Super Mario Bros. 3 is a little different from the one in the first game, it's its own separate World, World 9.

What determines which row of pipes you have access to is what World you were in when you used your Whistle. Anything that's 7 or higher will take you to the bottom row, which leads to World 8. And since we're in World 9, we can use the whistle while in the Warp Zone to...

Go straight to the shortcut to World 8!

Which means that you can do this from pretty much anywhere you want, so long as you've collected at least two of the three Warp Whistles.

Just be aware that World 8 is pretty tough, and if you haven't spent time in the earlier Worlds preparing (i.e. gathering supplies) you're going to have a pretty hard time of it.

Pro tip: tipping the battles in your favor in the SNES Civilization

The SNES Civilization game can be tricky, you have to be equal things diplomat, economist, and military strategist. But, sometimes things just don't go your way.

Like occasionally your tank will be killed by a warrior with a stick for a weapon. Or your cannon gets destroyed by a diplomat with zero attack strength.

It happens... somehow.

But, you can minimize damages.

The game is designed to let you save anywhere, so long as it's your turn. So all you have to do is save right before you attack someone

And then if you lose, just quit and reload the game. Keep on reloading until the battle goes the way you want.

Tedious? Yes. Cheap? Yes.

But, hey, it's a single-player game, so it's alright.

Pro tip: Using Super Mario World's fence to your advantage

In the first castle you come across in Super Mario World, you have to deal with this fence that you can climb on. Trouble is, that it's swarming with Koopas.

But, you can totally use it to your advantage.

You have two main ways to dispatch Koopas on the fence: you can punch them if they're on the opposite side, or you can descend on them from above and stomp on them... sort-of

Now, like other Mario games, if you continue to stomp on them without hitting the ground, your point values for each successive stomp increase.

And, since we're climbing around on a fence, we're staying well above the ground. And that means that you can take your time methodically stomping on Koopas to eventually get

a 1UP! There are enough Koopas crawling around on the fence that you can get several 1UPs before you have to get back on the ground.

And, if you're hard up for extra lives at that point, just swan dive into the lava, restart the stage, and do it again. As long as you're gaining more lives than you're losing, you'll come out ahead.

Pro tip: where to drop your bananas in Mario Circuit 2

In the original Super Mario Kart, it might not be immediately obvious, but the computer-controlled drivers follow a pretty clearly defined path around the courses. And if you can figure out where they go, you can use it to your advantage.

My favorite spot to do so is on Mario Circuit 2.

You'll notice that down toward the end of the lap (in the shot above), that there's a place where you have to jump over the track to keep going. That's where you'll strike.

Place your banana peel or green shell between the 2nd and 3rd sets of arrows, that's where the computer drivers want to take the jump. Then, the next driver that comes along will crash into your trap, lose all of their speed, and miss the jump, making them repeat a good portion of the track.

It's kind of hard to tell from the shots here, but Yoshi's fallen for it.

This is really handy if you're playing the harder difficulty levels and the battle is really close for first place is tight. Once you lay this trap, the battle for first won't even be close.

Pro tip: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IV: Turtles in Time - brief invulnerability

The arcade Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles games (and their home-system ports) are all about sending swarms of enemies at you that you have to defeat with your Ninja Cunning(tm), along with whatever pointy weapons you can find.

In the fourth home-system Turtles game (which is the second arcade game, try not to think about that too much) you get a couple of new moves to help you squash the hundreds of robots that stand between you and the end of the game, one of which is the 'Grab the arm of an enemy and slam it on the ground repeatedly' maneuver.

To do it, you first hit the Foot Soldier with your weapon to double it over, and then hold Down and press the attack button.

Done right, you'll grab the unsuspecting Soldier's arm and start slamming away, back and forth, until it runs out of health.

But! This maneuver has two properties that make it extra useful:

1. Any enemies that you hit with your new club are instantly dispatched, regardless of the amount of health they have and

2. While you're doing it, you're completely invulnerable to attacks

Combine those two things and you have a seriously effective method of clearing out a group of enemies

Which, as you progress through the game, you're going to need.

Pro tip: Controlling which direction the mushroom goes in Super Mario Bros. 3

In Super Mario Bros. 3 the power ups that come out of the ? blocks will most of the time go to the right.

But occasionally they'll go off to the left

And if you're not prepared for it, you might lose them. But, why do they occasionally go left in the first place?

Take a look at the ? blocks

Where you hit the block determines which direction the powerup will go. Hit the left side and it goes to the right. Hit the right side and it goes left.

You can use this to force the powerups to go where you want them, instead of possibly off into a pit.

This also applies to any of the 1up mushrooms and starmen.

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