“There’s a passage that’s too small to go into when I’m Super. Do I have to take damage so I can fit?”
This passage can be entered Super, but it requires the ducking-slide. If the passage is on the ground (you don’t have to jump to enter it), then run at the passage from a distance, and when you’re about to hit the passage, hold down on the D-pad. You’ll duck, but you’ll keep moving because you were running. If you stop and are still in the tunnel, you’ll be forced right. This means it’s easy to enter left-to-right tunnels, but only right-to-left tunnels that are a couple blocks long, since the game will shove you right if you can’t slide under all of them at once. It’s much easier on ice.
As for tunnels in the air (you have to jump to enter them), there are nigh impossible to do from right-to-left for any more than a tiny distance (without ice anyway), but for a left-to-right tunnel, as long as you can get in there a little bit, the game will shove you through the rest it. The method is to get as big a running start as possible, then sometime before the tunnel, duck so you’re duck-sliding, and then jump immediately after, and if you position it right, you will enter the tunnel while ducking.
“These Boom-Booms… it wasn’t like this in SMB3. what do I do?”
Kill ‘em, that’s what you do! But it’s not that simple. Boom-Booms are the mini-bosses you face at the end of dungeons in SMB3. Back in the day, a good player hopped on a Boom-Boom, waited a second (it becomes invulnerable after being hit), hopped again, waited another second, and hopped again, which killed it. At that point, a “?” appears, and collecting that ends the level after a short fanfare.
In this game, most regular levels end with one of these guys, and they drop a stationary 50-coin Golden Mushroom instead of a “?” sphere (note how after you beat Boom-Boom and the game converts the time remaining into points, you get the fifty coins for the collected stationary Golden Mushroom). In many levels, though, you’ll face two Boom-Booms at once! Since you fight them both at once, it’s very hard to focus on one and then the other.
To make matters worse, since Boom-Booms were designed to be fought one-on-one, a couple of oddities make a tag-team of them difficult to fight.
Firstly, you can’t jump on both of them at once. You’ll hit one, but the other will hurt you. You can bounce from one to the other though, which is the best strategy if they’re close enough to each other. If they’re a distance from each other, attack the one closest to you. Of course finishing one Boom-Boom makes it easier to fight the other one.
The second oddity, and this is nasty, when you kill one, it drops the stationary Golden Mushroom. DON'T collect that! You won’t be able to move since the game thinks you won, leaving the other Boom-Boom free to give you a beating! You’ll leave the level a few seconds later, but the second Boom-Boom will normally damage or kill you.
So, make sure you keep away from Boom-Booms after delivering the final hit. The mushroom stays there, too, so while this oddity is not necessarily deliberate, it adds another obstacle to worry about as you fight. Note that if you manage to actually defeat multiple Boom-Booms in one spot so the Golden Mushrooms overlap slightly and you're able to collect both, you do not get more than fifty coins (the last stationary Golden Mushroom collected overrides the first one and you simply get fifty coins anyhow. What a bummer, but the stage is still completed!)
“I’ve beaten this game and I want to try it again but make it harder. What should I do?”
Well, if you used save states mid-level last time, play the game again without them.
One great way to make the game harder is to disallow wands. Don’t pick them up and don’t use them in your inventory. If you need to clean out your inventory, use up all your wands at once, and in the next level, deliberately take damage to lose your wand. Without the wand, you can’t zap away everything in your path, which makes it a lot easier to finish the game. The Bowser Battles in World 8 are much harder without the wand.
Another challenge is to use the timer DahrkDaiz built into the game. Try to get under 10 hours, 5 hours, even less (the best tool-assisted speedrun is under an hour, surely a non-tool-assisted speedrun can be a good deal under two). Try speedrunning the game with or without magic wands and with or without tool-assistance (this game is better without) and challenge your best times.
“So what’s the deal with Mushroom Houses?”
There’s two types, and they look the same on the field. The first will give you a totally (?) random item for 300 coins. If you don’t have 300 coins, you won’t get an item, and won’t lose any coins either. If you do have enough, there’s no turning back, but hey, coins are only good for items anyway.
The other type acts like the old spade house. Collect 100 coins, then try to time the slots so they’ll form a picture. A completed Mushroom gives you a star (huh?), a Fire Flower gives you a Warp Whistle, and making a star gives you a sweet, sweet wand. I suck at this. Learn the timing; if you went one picture too far on the first slot one time, then press A one picture earlier the next, etc.
You can revisit either house as much as you want. It’ll look like a pipe now until you leave the world.
“How does the save feature work? Is saving states cheating?”
Mario Adventure saves which worlds you’ve beaten and which keys you’ve found. When you clear a world, you can skip through whatever levels you feel like in that world. The game also saves all your coins and items, among other things, so aside from individual levels in worlds you haven’t completed, the game saves everything. This does mean you have to clear whole worlds at once though.
On almost any emulator, you can save at any time and load from that save. It’s helpful for games without a save feature, but it’s cheap to use all the time. In Mario Adventure, you really shouldn’t use a save state mid-level. I think it’s ok to use a save state between levels if you don’t have enough time to play an whole world in one sitting. Think of it as leaving your NES on pause so you can continue later on.
As a rule of thumb, you should always quit right after using a save state, and not use the save state after loading it once. This way, you can’t use it for an unfair advantage. Of course, if you find this game too difficult, even with wands (or you don’t want to use wands), you could use save states as a handicap. It’s not as satisfying as beating the game fairly, though.
Saving more than one file:
“I want to play another save file without erasing the first. How?”
This works for FCEUX and probably most emulators. Take the game, copy it, paste it, name it whatever you want (ie “Mario Adventure Second File.nes”), and run it. In FCEUX, the newly made file won’t have any data in it. On certain emulators, the save data might have been copied as well, but just press Up and Select at the same time at the title screen to clear the data.
Keep in mind that this technique copies the entire game. It’s like having two separate cartridges of Mario Adventure.
Spare Item Box
“I’m confused by the spare item box. Any tips?”
Say you’re Super and you get a Fire Flower. A mushroom will go in your spare box and you’ll be Fire Fire Mario. If you get hit, you’ll still be Super, and have a mushroom in your box. If you get hit again, you’ll be small, but you can press select to retrieve the mushroom for another hit of damage. That means collecting a Fire Flower while you’re Super is actually worth both the flower and a mushroom.
If you’re small with an item in your spare box, and you come across a ? block that you think is a power-up, press to go Super, and the power-up will give you a flower or tail instead of another mushroom.
If you’re one suit and there’s a better one in your spare, make sure you swap out before collecting any more power-ups, or you’ll lose the good suit in your spare box.
“I’m finding this game too hard. What should I do?”
If you find the whole game in general too hard, you should play more Super Mario Bros 3 and brush up on your skills. If you find most levels not too bad but have trouble on certain ones, check the walkthrough and look for your level. The walk-through is only half-finished.
If the level is still too hard, pull an item out of your inventory, that’s what they’re for! Fire flowers help clear the way of pesky Brothers and make platform jumping a lot easier (usually). Raccoon leafs let you fly given enough room, or float otherwise. Invincibility stars let you blaze through the start of a level, very helpful for Brothers Battles.
If the challenge is just too soul-crushing to continue, pull out the mother-lode and take a wand out of your inventory (or go back and find/buy/win one, but don’t leave the world unless you’re in World 8 or the levels will be reset!), and use it to our advantage. The sparks the wand shoots can fry most enemies in one hit! Koopa Kids don’t seem affected by it, but you can take three hits before losing it, so it’s a help in those battles as well. The only disadvantage is that it knocks away koopas without giving you their sometimes valuable shell. You can always switch out the wand with Select though, as long as you have a back-up item.
World 8 Doesn’t work
“I found all the keys, but when I pick World 8 nothing happens. Why not?”
Have you actually cleared all the levels? In particular, many people find the key in Desert Dares and reset the game to unlock the last door. Problem is, even if you’ve unlocked all the doors, World 8 will not be accessible until you actually finish all the worlds. You’ll have to go back to worlds you haven’t beaten (check the status bar for levels that don’t have a check mark), and play them over. The bad news is that you have to play the levels over (they can only be skipped after you clear the world). The good news is that the levels you played shouldn’t feel quite as hard, now that you’re practiced up.
Defeating a Bowser
“How can I defeat a fake bowser and the real bowser? Looks like that every hit I do, Bowser isn't affected”
The fake Bowsers met throughout World 8 are to be defeated by making them bust through the brick floors, just like SMB3. However, there is a twist for later fake Bowsers, and the real Bowser at the end is another twist altogether! For more information and strategies, go to walkthrough section Bowser's Castle.