I’ve long considered Super Mario World to be my all-time favorite of Nintendo’s titles, regardless of platform or genre. Most of my time over the years, however, has been spent with the Game Boy Advance version of the title. The portability of the game, coupled with a few quality-of-life improvements, has made the title easy to enjoy multiple times over.
Thanks to MiSTer, this playthrough marks the first time I’ve visited the original release of the game with era-appropriate displays and hardware. The title’s bright colors and iconic music are best experienced on a platform that appreciates the Super Nintendo’s gifts. It’s a dramatic improvement over the highly-optimized, buggy emulator that I used to complete the game over twenty years ago.
Infamously, there are two ways to beat Super Mario World. The player can progress linearly through the game’s multitude of levels and defeat the eight Koopa Kids, or they can take a well-hidden shortcut through the first Ghost House to Star Road, which drops Mario literally at Bowser’s Front Door. This video demonstrates the latter.
While these first key levels are well-imprinted to my brain, I’m always surprised at how the final level manages to take me off-guard with its “choose a door” gauntlet of danger rooms. Bowser, on the other hand, never stands a chance.