Classic World 1-1
It's a blast to the past as you return to the starting point of Mario's first adventure. Every detail of the most famous level in gaming has been recreated exactly as you might remember it. Up until the Wii U Virtual Console version of the game, this was the only throwback level that North American players could play.
The first level of Super Mario Bros. needs no introduction, and this level is very faithful to the original, right down to the secrets, the inclusion of a flagpole and a special rendition of the Super Mario Bros. theme. The only departure is the ability to scroll to the left.
Advancing forward will take you to the classic triangular block formation with a Goomba walking below it. Hit the lower left block in the formation to get a power-up. After that is a series of pipes in varying heights, with a few Goombas placed between them. After that is a bottomless pit that you must jump over, but just before the gap hides a block that contains a 1-Up. You can also head down the last pipe before the pit to reach a secret area, where you'll find this level's lone Advance Coin. Exiting the secret stage puts you right by the end of the level.
After the gap is more familiar block formations. You'll first come across two rows of blocks with Goombas dropping down from above, which precedes the second gap of the level. After that is a triangle of coin blocks followed by more scattered rows of coin and brick blocks. Goombas appear in pairs as you continue to the right, as well as a lone Koopa. Kick its shell and run behind it to knock out the line of Goombas in front.
You'll eventually reach a block staircase with a gap in between. You'll land on solid ground if you somehow fall into the gap, but the same cannot be said about the second block stairs ahead, which has a deadly pit at the center. Past two pipes, a row of blocks and a pair of Goombas is a tall flight of stairs leading to a flagpole. The flagpole gives you points depending on how high you grab it, granting a 1-Up if you manage to grab the tip. After the flagpole is the real ending of the level containing the usual card roulette.
Classic World 1-2
No need to take a warp pipe underground; World e's warp zone deposits you right into this nostalgic subterranean level.
The first thing you find is a row of question blocks, with the leftmost block giving you a power-up, as well as some Goombas as threats. After that is some solid pillars that you must jump across. Two pillars among them create a wide pit with a lone Goomba inside. The block over the pit will give you a bunch of coins. Following the pillars are huge chunks of brick blocks. Small Mario can slip through the block formations along the ground, while tall Mario must make a path by breaking through the blocks. Koopas and Goombas roam the ground as an added threat.
After the block formations is a pit and a high up platform that you can reach by using the brick platform before the gap. Stand on the right end of the platform and jump into the ceiling to reveal a 1-Up. Tall Mario can break the surrounding ceiling blocks to grab the mushroom, but you must make a hasty dash to the ceiling's edge if you're small.
Going past a trio of Goombas is a set of three pipes, each inhabited by Piranha Plants. Just as you may remember it, the left pipe leads to a secret area whereas the right pipe is said area's exit. Inside the secret area is a bunch of coins, including the Advance Coin of this level. Across some more gaps is a staircase where a pair of Goombas descend to the ground. Beyond it are some old-school lifts, one side moving down while the other moving up. Between them is some land patrolled by a red Koopa Troopa, with a row of blocks above. The rightmost block contains a power-up.
Beyond the lifts is the exit pipe, which leads to the classic staircase and flagpole, as well as the level end roulette. However, World 1-2's Warp Zone remains intact in this course. Take one of the lifts going up to get on top of the ceiling blocks, letting you continue past the exit pipe. You will drop down into a room with three pipes, but all three lead to the same bonus room, containing a single chest that awards a Fire Flower.
Classic World 1-3
This classic course differs stylistically compared to its original form, with the tall mountaintops being replaced with high wooden platforms on stilts.
This course offers a more platforming-focused challenge than the other classic worlds. The elements of this level is mostly comprised of platforms of varying heights populated by a smattering of enemies. The second hill you hop on has a red Koopa patrolling its peak, and you will confront a pair of Goombas soon after dropping down a trio of platforms with ascending height.
Next, there is a moving platform that scrolls up and down, letting you reach the row of coins at the peak of the next platform. The ability to scroll left freely should let you get both the coins, and the power-up from the block below with ease. A red Koopa Paratroopa increases the challenge of jumping between the next set of platforms, followed by a large gap that must be crossed using two moving platforms.
Five more platforms remain until you return to solid ground. The second has a red Koopa roaming on it, and a red Paratroopa hovers over the third platform, which contains some coins. You can see the last Advance Coin floating below the last platform before the flagpole. Jump on the red Koopa Troopa and use its shell to grab the coin from a safe distance. After that is the staircase leading to the flagpole as well as the level end.
Classic World 1-4
Compared to the confounding fortresses of the main game, this recreation of the first castle level in the series is more straightforward, but challenging with its rotating fire bars.
Walk down the stairs, jump over the gap, and charge right in to this classic castle course. A pedestal stands over two pools of lava with a power-up block above it, but a fire bar makes its collection difficult. Following the lava pits is a long, narrow hallway guarded by a series of fire bars along the ceiling, where timing is key to getting across.
The corridor leads into a wider hall, but there are now fire bars both on the floor and the ceiling, some of which rotate in opposing directions. After the hall is a small bottleneck where Bowser will begin launching fireballs at you. Pits in the floor will let you duck out of his attacks. The large pit contains six invisible coin blocks, but the measly six coins is not worth the danger of getting blasted by fireballs.
Eventually you will confront Bowser, who simply breathes fireballs at you regularly as well as jumping across the room to stomp on you. A platform hovers over the arena if you need help going over Bowser, but you can run under him when he jumps instead. A couple of fireballs will defeat Bowser, as would dropping Bowser into the lava by touching the axe behind him.
Congratulations Mario! Your reward is within this very castle. You will automatically walk up to the chest, but jump across it to get the Advance Coin plainly visible in the ending room. Inside the chest is a Frog Suit, a hint to the next and final Classic World course.
Classic World 2-2
Finishing this short but sweet series of classic courses is the first water level of Super Mario Bros., complete with Bloopers and Cheep Cheeps.
This retro course remains unchanged from the original and is quite simple compared to other water levels. Unlike in the original Super Mario Bros., you can equip the Frog Suit for better underwater control, but fire flowers are similarly useful for scorching the hostile wildlife. While the bottomless pits presented a great danger by sucking Mario in as he gets close in the original game, here the draining effect isn't very noticeable.
Coral walls divide the starting stretch into smaller sectors with some coins and blocks in them. There are also Bloopers lurking about. Two coral walls surround the first gap, and the course briefly narrows between two pieces of land. Cheep Cheeps start to appear once you pass through the channel, while the bloopers also increase in number. You will soon reach a large bottomless pit with a curved line of coins. Above it is an L-shaped block formation that holds an Advance Coin.
There is one more gap before the exit pipe that is partially covered with blocks, but offers 6 coins over it for your trouble. Two rows of blocks and some more Cheep Cheeps later, you will reach the pipe to warp back to the surface. Head up the stairs to grab the flagpole for the very last time in Super Mario Advance 4.