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This is it. After clearing seven worlds and gathering seven keys, you finally get access to the last world. The map is a long path of levels, with no Mushroom Houses or Hammer Bros. There are eight levels, the first seven have the theme of an older world. The first level is like Koopa Plains, the second is like Hot Foot Caverns and so forth.
However, take note: Deadly surprise awaits at the end of each level in this world! The game saves every level you’ve beaten in this world, so you can go back to other worlds, stock up on items, and charge back to Bowser’s Castle to take on the next level. This world is normally very difficult, but you can bypass a lot of the hard stuff just by collecting a few wands in older worlds and using them here.
Using a Warp Whistle item in this world will take you to a chamber full of Fire Flowers and Super Leaves for your choosing, but no bonus item chests. This is still pretty useful in a pinch if you've got a lot of Warp Whistles and not-so-many other items though.
Koopa Plains Revisited
Location: The first level on the path
Time Limit: 300
A lot to go through here. Try to do it quickly or you’ll run out of time. Don’t worry about the door, just get past all the obstacles (the chain chomp ? block only has a coin in it). At the bouncy music note blocks, drop down and go left for a power-up and a potion. Once you get that potion, bounce back up to where the closest chain chomp is. Go through the coins that used to be bricks. If you don’t make it in time, go back to the start of the level and go through the door for a retry.
Now you have to swim all the way left, hit the brick at the start of the level, then swim back and go back to start to climb the beanstalk. Don’t go in the door by the beanstalk.
Once you get to the top, there are plenty of chain chomps. You can use the glass blocks and koopa shells to knock them out. The bricks in the corners just have 50-coin mushrooms, not worth going for unless you have a raccoon suit to whack it.
After you go up the pipe, take a short hop, keeping close to the wall. You’ll land on a moving platform, which you have to keep pace with. After jumping a few pipes, you must take the platform under a bunch of blocks, then race around a tunnel and land in the platform before it moves across the next set of blocks.
Survive that for a door to Bowser. In this world, every level ends with a fight against a Bowser, probably fake versions of him. This layout it pretty similar to the final boss in SMB3. If you need more help with Bowser Battles, check the Bowser Battles section further down in this world (find “+ Bowser Battles” without the space).
Hot Foot Caverns Revisited
Location: The second level on the path
Time Limit: 300
Starts off with fire brothers, so jump on them. Go all the way right for the power-up, then grab a glass block to drop down. Keep holding the glass block as you go right and hit the brick, which holds a potion. Don’t get the potion yet. Climb up the wood platforms. The first two have walking flames. Grab a glass block, don’t get hit by the fire-spitting plant next to it. Carry the glass block and hop on the potion. Take the coins and keep to the left of the bricks. The bricks will change back into coins and you’ll drop to the ledge on the left. Jump and kick the glass block at the brick on the right side. If you’re Super, you have to take a short distance duck-slide under the wood block without much spare room to work with. After that is your second Bowser Battle.
Lakitu Glacier Revisited
Location: The third level on the path
Time Limit: 300
Just like Lakitu Glacier, this level is really slippery. Climb up the platforms, and once you jump over the ice wall, there’s a pit underneath. After you pass the second ice wall, drop down to safe ground below (and an evil face made of coins). Then you have to jump across some slippery one-block platforms. Ignore that pillar; it’s strictly background. Try to cross the bouncing music blocks without touching the upside-down spinies. Don’t go too fast through this area. Then when you get to the pool of water, drop to the bottom of it, and enter the (usually) invisible door in the center. This will take you t othe next Bowser Battle.
Kuribo’s Woods Revisited
Location: The fourth level on the path
Time Limit: 300
There is no especially good way to get the shoes off any of the goombas in this stage, so it's better not to waste time on that and instead take them down before they take you out instead. When you get to the logs, drop, and go right. Watch out for the winged goombas. Climb up the wood blocks and you’ll move up to a platform with lots of glass blocks.
Grab a glass block, and make your way left. There are four piranha plants. You can either kick a glass block at each one (moving back and forth), or make sure you stand on the left side of the pipe, so piranha plants don’t pop out.
While holding a glass block, go down the falling log pit again. Kick the glass block at the isolated brick. It has a potion inside; use it to take the lower passage. Enter the door to take on the local fake Bowser.
Rain causes a small glitch that makes this level much easier. Guess we can call this one a convenient feature instead! The platform that forces you to cross the piranha plant pipes is gone, so you can go back with the glass block the same way you came.
Another very minor glitch is that sometimes one of the piranha plants won’t appear. Not a big difference, you'll likely be glad when this other "feature" happens.
Starry Slopes Revisited
Location: The fifth level on the path
Time Limit: 300
A Super Leaf (Raccoon Mario) is a pretty useful item here as the SMB3 desert tornado is back in black. Run at it and jump when you’re about half a block’s width away from hitting the middle of it. When you land, jump again to clear the other tornado. Otherwise, if you run into the second tornado, you’ll be dropped into the pit and that's no good, but this is where a Super Leaf can save you since you can float back to the edge and keep trying to get away. Being able to consistently cross this pit will be important. Now that you’re here, hit one ? block, collect that power-up, and then do the same for the other ? block. Don’t hit both of them before collecting either or you’ll lose one!
Now you’ve got a pile of glass blocks. Grab one, and do the same thing you did before to get back to the other side of the gap, while holding the block. Use the Raccoon suit so you can float, making the jump easier. You’ll have to take 4 glass blocks to break 4 bricks, which means you have to go back and forth 4 times, 8 jumps total. The fasted method with the Raccoon suit is do the jump as normal (with a running jump), and when Mario is about fall into the pit, press jump a few times to fly a little higher. Then the ability to fly will run out (check the timer below the world number) and you should float to safety, then jump through the second tornado. Other methods tend to slow you down, and you need as much time as possible for the Bowser Battle.
A curiosity observed on this stage while flying high as Raccoon Mario is that the tornadoes clip through the stage ceiling as a glitch. These will do the same thing as the ones on the ground and spin you in the air if you fly into them, so be aware they are there if you want to fly up high in this stage!
Colossal Classics Revisited
Location: The sixth level on the path.
Time Limit: 300
Now this one’s simple. Climb or fly up the big clouds to the far right and enter one of the small rooms with flying turtles in it from above. To the left of where you entered is an invisible block to get out of the room. Hit the flying Koopa once, then avoid it and grab the glass block, climb out of the room, run to the right, and kick the block at the next Thwomp. Don’t let the glass block hit the koopa, or it will be lost. You have to defeat 4 Thwomps to get to Bowser.
If you want to do this faster, or have run out of blocks, you can use a single Koopa shell four times. However, the shell will bounce off of bricks placed after every Thwomp. You have to (duck and) jump to stop the shell so you can grab it again try to run at it (very hard to do it you’re Super), so you’ll hop over it as you stop it so you won’t hit it again. For the fourth Thwomp, just run into it with the shell. You’ll lose the shell, but you won’t need it. It’s tougher but faster than using glass blocks.
Note on an easy way to do this stage: If you brought Raccoon Mario and you are using the Koopa shells to bust through the Thwomps, release the shells and follow them in the narrow thwomp space while flying. The neat thing here is that the shell will hit and pass through the defeated Thwomp, hit the brick, then rebound back. If you are flying while doing this, the Koopa shell will safely stop like you stomped it, then you can drop to the side and pick it up to do the trick again to the next Thwomp-block combo in line. Rinse and repeat the trick until you reach the pipe leading to the local fake Bowser.
Desert Dares Revisited
Location: The seventh level on the path.
Time Limit: 300 (fail at about 50)
This stage is a bit misleading at a first glance. The potion at the end is a red herring; you can’t go through those bricks even if you turn them into coins because they have stuff in them, so ignore 'em. Instead, you must collect all of the coins such as the ones by the glass boxes, the coin arrow, and the ones on the platforms that go up to the left. Next, drop to the beginning of the level, and there should be a door at the right side of the pyramid leading to the final fake Bowser. If not, move to the left edge of the level and back or try again as you may have missed a coin somewhere.
Note for the Curious: For those who are interested, there IS actually a way to find out what's in those mysterious boxes blocking your path (but this will not allow you to complete the level and will make you wait for the timer to run out, which will be explained).
Pop the potion out of its box, slide under the bricks nearby, then stop ducking. Mario will walk through the bricks and potion to the other side of the wall. For your reward, you get a whopping ONE COIN EACH in that three-box brigade as you wait for your fifty seconds to be up since you really can't get back to the left side of the stage. It's not a reward, per se, but it's an interesting trick and there may be other areas in the game where you can pull similar shenanigans like this to better effect and make unintended shortcuts in some levels with experimentation. Just be careful trying this in some levels as you can get caught and be forced into waiting for the timer to run out.
Big Bad Bowser Battles
At the end of each level is a battle against a fake Bowser. It gets harder each time, but with masterful timing and cunning, you can trick him into dropping off the bottom of the screen with clever jumping skills!
Of course, one can also simply use a Magic Wand to beat big bruiser Bowser by brute force. That’s right, if any of these battles are too much of a challenge, just pull out a wand from your inventory (or reset the game and get one from another world if you don’t have one). It takes quite a few sparks from the wand to beat Bowser, but it’s often much easier than getting him to drop through layers of bricks and lava. Still though, all of these battles are definitely beatable without a wand, albeit potentially hard, so where's the fun and challenge in that?
There is ANOTHER rather old, but still gold leftover trick from SMB3 if you use the advice of "know thy enemy" that may help immensely with the Bowser battles. A quirk regarding Bowser's sprite is that you will only take damage from the top half and NOT the bottom half! You can also jump off of Bowser's head for no damage to either party in a pinch (if you are properly centered and not hitting the top sprite section weirdly), but don't do that while our big King Koopa friend is jumping unless you want to take a hit. It also goes without saying not to run or collide into Bowser's head if you're Super Mario or another costumed Mario as Bowser has teeth and likes to bite (too bad we don't see animations for that though, this is just the local tongue-in-cheek explanation for collision damage here).
If you are Small Mario (or crouching as Super Mario, Raccoon Mario, or any other suit that is not one block high, noting that Small Mario or Small Mario wearing a Kuribo's Shoe counts as one block) and Bowser is dropping on you, STAND STILL and you will not be hurt unless you were hit by an incoming fireball, were slightly beyond the bottom half of Bowser's sprite and got nailed by a fireball he spat out, stopped ducking as Super Mario or other two-block-high Mario costumes, or jumped due to gamer instinct and/or a lack of trust of this guide. What will happen is that Bowser will be doing his usual thing in your space while belching fire as always before making another jump (which will either be directly above your spot or very slightly to the side of you in the direction Bowser is facing). If you are Small Mario, you may move freely around Bowser's lower-half sprite, just beware moving out just enough to get torched on fireballs. Always try to stay as much in the center as possible so that our friend Bowser doesn't give you the gift of Mario barbecue.
Now that the precautions are covered and Bowser is ready to make a jump down onto your space, you can either repeat this trick (if he lands on you and you're ducking or small, you will not be hurt unless you hit lava or buddy up and follow Bowser offscreen into the abyss), or you can quickly bail out to another spot, taking care that Bowser's head (the damaging part of the sprite) or fireballs do not hit you. You can also slide-duck under Bowser as Super Mario or even run to his lower half as Small Mario to nice effect to do this trick, but always be aware to not touch his upper sprite half or touch fireballs while doing this, or you will get hit. If you're a bit too close to the edge of his sprite's bottom half, he may still be able to touch you with fireballs.
1. Three rows of bricks
A lot like the final boss layout from SMB3, but no indestructible bricks around the edges and no door with blocks above it for protection. Stand about half a screen away from him and dodge his fire breath. When he jumps, run away so he doesn’t ground pound you. Now jump over him to the right side, and get him to ground pound those bricks. Then move back to where he has pounded some bricks, stand in the middle of the groove, and as he’s about to ground pound, take a short hop out of the groove and let him hit it again. Now it’s two blocks deep. Lure him somewhere else and go back into the groove. As he ground pounds into it, hop away from him again, and he’ll fall out of the bottom of the screen.
2. Four rows of bricks, only three blocks wide.
This is like the first level, but now it’s four bricks high, and much of the area is indestructible. No big deal, just form a pit at the area with the destructible bricks. Lure Bowser carefully, jumping out of the pit as he’s about to pound down.
3. Four rows of bricks, strip of lava above the bottom row.
This is where the Bowser Battles start getting tough. The last set of bricks is guarded by deadly lava, though Bowser isn’t affected by it. You can have Bowser crush the first three rows as normal, but then you can’t enter the pit without falling into lava. Lure Bowser a few steps from the pit. Then jump to the other side of the pit, and wait for Bowser to jump. As he jumps at you, take a short hop (don’t hold the jump button for very long) over the pit, timed just so Bowser will pass over you as you’re both over the pit. If you timed it properly, Bowser will ground pound right into the pit and fall. This takes some practice, but keep at it.
4. Four rows of bricks, strip of lava above the 2nd-to-bottom row.
Same thing, but the lava has been moved up. That means you have to do the short hop over the pit twice this time. Doing the short hop precisely and consistently takes practice! It’s a satisfying challenge to overcome, though it’s pretty easy if you use wand attacks. Still though, you got this far, so why not go for a proper challenge?
This fight also has an audio glitch. If you enter the battle while still listening to the potion music, then when that music ends, the ordinary fortress music plays instead of the Bowser music. This is reminiscent of a bug in Sonic 3 where if you played the drowning music against a mini-boss, then hop out of the water, that game plays the Sonic & Knuckles mini-boss music instead, even though that game wasn’t connected or even out at the time. The point is that the game is cued to play different music, but it’s no biggie and it won't affect any gameplay. If you just can’t get pumped into battle without the appropriate music, wait for the potion music to end before you face Bowser.
5. Four rows of bricks, strip of lava separating the top row from the other three, and two sets of bricks to use as platforms.
You could do it the same way as battles 3 and 4, but the platforms allow a new strategy.
First, stand on the left platform. After Bowser jumps at you, jump over to the right platform. He should be on the left platform. Now, when he pauses to jumps at you, immediately jump to the left platform (the one he was on), in a way where you will crash into him in midair above the top of the screen.
The way this works is that you don’t get damaged by him if you’re off-screen. If you position it right, he’ll ground pound the two bricks left of the right platform. Now lure him back onto the right platform so you can do it again. Keep doing this until he falls off the bottom!
If it’s more comfortable for you, mirror the strategy so left is right and right is left.
6. Three rows of bricks, a strip of lava, and then three more!
Use the small hop strategy here from battle #3 here. You’re higher up, and it’s a really tough challenge. Use the SMB3 lower sprite trick to help you out and watch out for fireballs while doing so. Make sure not to stay under Bowser's lower sprite while using the respective trick if he's about to bust into the lava, or Mario will have a nasty time sitting down for weeks.
7. Mamma mia! Two pools of lava on top, five rows of bricks, a row of lava and yet another row of bricks below!
This one's pretty intimidating with all rights. There are two ways of doing this and they’re both kind of ugly (disregarding the bringing of a Magic Wand and blasting Bowser out of the fight), but tricky stunts were always the theme for Desert Dares, so expect no less for Desert Dares Revisited and its respective fake Bowser. Grit your teeth, get comfy and get ready to rumble, don't forget to bring out your best skills and tricks.
If you’re good at the small-hops from battle #3, do that but over the existing lava pits, so Bowser destroys the blocks underneath the lava until he falls. If you let the platform at the edge of the level get destroyed, it’ll be really hard to hop over the lava pit, so watch out for that.
The other way you can beat him is to drill down the center, but it’s hard to complete this strategy without having to stay really close to Bowser, making the fire breath attacks difficult. Use the SMB3 non-damaging lower sprite trick for this one. The platforms to the outside of the lava pools can be valuable in this case, just don’t let Bowser destroy them.
Again, you could also just zap him a bunch of times with the wand, but where’s the fun and accomplishment in that unless you're really having a hard time here?
If you beat this without a Magic Wand, pat yourself on the back, then get someone else to pat your back, preferably your bro or somebody you know, of course.
Now don't touch that dial (if your TV or monitor actually has one), the final level is coming:
Location: The eighth and last level on the path.
Time Limit: None, so take your time
This level features nearly every enemy in the game like a sort of enemy cast roundup. "Nearly" means all except the dreaded bomb-throwing Warkitu, Boom-Boom, Stretch boos, and perhaps a couple other ones. Still, who wants those crashers invited to this Mario Party?
This level is quite a long run, but there are some power-ups along the way, like one high-up near the beginning in the alcove that the Piledriver Goomba came out of above. It ends with brothers of all kinds. After defeating the Hammer Brothers and climbing the bricks, take a big jump over the giant Spiked Hammer Brother below. This can be a bit tough without a Fire Flower or wand (from outside levels), so take your time. There’s no limit in this castle, but it sucks to have to start over after coming so far.
When you get to the next area, you lose all your items and are reverted to Small Mario. You won't be able to bring in a wand or other fancy stuff in here without cheats, so don't try. Run through the tunnel with gaps to get two fire flowers, past the note block and on over to the lava pits; don't fall in or do anything silly like that here as it’s time for the final battle!
Bowser’s above the ceiling and in the rafters offscreen (!!) and coming on through, breaking what bricks that are in his beeline path to Mario. You'll hear a bunch of thumps and see some of the brick breakage at the bottom of the screen so you'll know that he’s working his way on down for a grand entrance of shock and awe. Just wait for a minute or two, preferably while using the old SMB3 ducking trick earlier described on the middle or lower block of the right platform so he crashes on you with his bottom half and does not hit you with his damaging upper one. None of the bricks where you are at, including in the lava pits, are breakable, so you'll have to use different tactics against our fiery turtle-dragon friend.
You have a Fire Flower, another one in your stock, and one in the music note box for later use (try not to hit it out and use it prematurely!), so three total for lobbing fireballs at Bowser, the ONLY weapons that can damage him. If you lose them all, you won’t be able to beat Bowser and you'll have to take yourself out in the lava to do the level over and get Fire Flowers for a rematch. This can stink pretty badly for such a long stage so try hard not to get hit.
If you do get hit once and revert to Super Mario, it is recommended that you make sure you get hit as Super Mario and not Fire Fire Mario if you cannot dodge a hit and the note block flower is used up. That way you can shoot Bowser a bit more, have a bit more of a chance (and maybe even take Bowser out if you're lucky) and not have to redo the stage immediately for Fire Flowers by an unavoidable, tricky or unlucky fireball potshot. Always remember that Super Mario cannot harm Bowser, making this form the insurance policy (in this case meaning the meat shield) for your reserve Fire Flower against stray fireballs if you have to jump. Repeat this phrase: Only Fire Fire Mario can damage Bowser in the final battle, Fire Fire Mario form is to always be protected!
Our good friend Bowser takes a rather sizable number of hits, like at least a hundred if not more so don't get discouraged if it looks like nothing is happening. This is not quite as hard as some of the earlier fake Bowser Battles but there's no bringing a wand this time, so you have to be good with the Fire Flower. A controller (if you're using a keyboard, you get extra applause) with turbo set up might be useful too if you want some rapid-fire on those fireballs.
Finish this intense battle and you’ve won the game!
This is not really a level, but your reward for beating the game beyond some bragging rights!
You rescue Peach / Princess Toadstool again, though her ending speech is a little different.
Whereas SMB3’s ending showed off all the worlds, Mario Adventure uses the end sequence for credits, though there are some pictures to look at too.
After you win, you’re taken back to the title screen, but your victory has been saved. Now you can play all the levels in World 8 whenever you want. Also, whenever you beat any World 8 level, A door opens up and you can see the ending again. Those seem to be the only changes. The game timer still counts up, so you might want to record how long it took to beat the game if you took less than 10 hours.