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: Pressing buttons faster

If you're like most everyone on the planet you hold your controller like this.

Which is fine, until you get to a point where you need to press one or both of the buttons quickly and repeatedly. Like in the Wii Punch-Out!! game, where you have to rapidly press the 1 and 2 buttons to regain health. And unless you have some kind of SuperThumb(tm) you're just not going to be able to press those buttons as quickly as you'd like, at least not for very long.

That's why, when the situation arises, I quickly flip my grip around so that my index and middle fingers are on the button (or buttons) that I need

That way I can tap my fingers back and forth to press the buttons far faster than I can with just my thumb

With the added benefit that my thumb doesn't start to cramp after a few minutes of button-mashing, which is always a plus.

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: Don't believe everything you read: Syd Lexia edition

A while back, I stumbled across a site with a review, of sorts, of A Boy and his Blob. (warning, some NSFW language).

In it, he talks about one of the two flavors of jellybeans that a lot of people don't really know much about, Lime.

You get the Lime jellybeans (along with the Orange beans) in a bag that you find after escaping the deadly caverns

You get exactly two Lime jellybeans, which Syd says are exactly how many you need to finish the game: one to open the final boss room

And one to open the Vitamin Store, where you spend your Treasures to get vitamins, vitamins to shoot out of your Vitablaster (the Vitablaster is the gun that the Blob turns into if you feed him the other jellybeans in the bag, Orange). And, if you use one just to see what it does, you've screwed yourself out of the ability to finish the game.

But wait!

It turns out that while the Vitamin store is indeed locked when you start the game, once you get out of the sewers, it's totally unlocked. Check it out:

There I am, in the store, with both Lime jellybeans.

Not only that, but you don't even have to go into the Vitamin, sorry, Health Foods store to finish the game. The shots from the Vitablaster can't even be used against the final boss (and they're not even that useful against the enemies of Blobolonia, either.

Sorry, Syd.

Pro tip: Secret Warp in Snake Rattle n Roll

Snake Rattle n Roll is kind of tough, but it's made by Rare, so that's not too unexpected. I have a hard time getting too far in the game, mostly because I never really played it all that much.

So I like to skip ahead a few levels to make it look like I'm better at the game.

What you have to do is to immediately start going to to the right as fast as you can when the game starts.

Go fast enough (i.e. don't hit anything) and you'll see a rocket.

Jump up and hit the rocket to take a shortcut to Level 8!

Where the game ramps up in difficulty significantly, so good luck!

You'll need it!

Pro tip: Ninja Gaiden's nigh-impossible jump made easy

If you get far enough in Ninja Gaiden, you'll get to this fun thing

Which requires you to jump down, catch the left wall right before you plummet to your death, and then hop onto the platform below.

Which is a lot harder than I made it sound.


If, after you press Left to kick off the wall, you immediately press Right, you'll slowly creep your way up the wall where you'll discover that it has no top, and that means...

You fall right through it onto the platform below.

But be aware, you'll stir up quite a few enemies in the process.

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.

Syndicate content