Five Super Mario World Levels I Dread


Super Mario World has to be my favorite video game of all time. And I’m sure many others can say that as well. It was the first game for the first system I ever owned, the beloved SNES. I was too young (or too stupid, whichever you prefer) to beat it when I originally had it. Then, when it came out for the Game Boy Advanced, I snatched it up and beat it. Later, I beat it on the original SNES.

But as much as I loved everything about the game, I must admit that there were a handful of levels I never looked forward to playing.

5. Soda Lake

soda lake

It’s a secret level in the Twin Bridges area that either takes a cape or the sacrifice of a Yoshi to unlock. Before I figured out how to get to Soda Lake, I wondered how one got to the Star Road entrance on that little island in the middle of the ocean. I also wondered, when watching the ending credits, who on earth Torpedo Ted was. I’m not happy I found out.

First of all, it’s a water level, which explains some of the problem—limited mobility, slow movement, difficulty in maneuvering character accurately.

But those Torpedo Teds are a bitch, too. There are released quickly and in such a way that makes it extremely difficult for Mario to dodge them. Even if he could, he almost can’t swim fast enough.

Other than that, I don’t have an issue with the level. I always take a power-up or two just in case.

4. Chocolate Island 2

Chocolate Island 2

The reason I hate this level has nothing to do with enemies or physical obstacles. Normally, this level isn’t even an issue. But when I’m trying to unlock the correct exit, that’s when this level infuriates me.

There are four parts to this level. The first part is always the same. When you take the pipe into the second part, it will spit you out into one of three areas depending on how many coins Mario has collected. When venturing into the third part, there are a few different places Mario may end up depending on how much time he has left. Finally, when passing into the final section, there are two different places Mario may end up based on the number of Dragon Coins he has.

While this makes for an exciting and ever-changing level, it becomes increasingly frustrating when seeking out the secret exit because it only appears once. And until I did a little research, I only knew that the path Mario ends up taking is based on coins and remaining time. I didn’t know how to force the outcome I wanted. I felt like I was in “Groundhog Day,” just playing and replaying the same level over and over. Now I know, so I suppose this level isn’t much of an issue anymore.

3. Star World 5

Star Road 5

This level is a pain in the ass. It starts Mario off facing several platforms that fall when touched. Fine. Hop over them. No problem. But then there’s a wide open space, which you can fill with a block snake (using a coin snake and a P-Switch).

Once you’ve crossed the chasm, though, getting the secret exit is extremely difficult. Sure, you can manipulate the blocks to put you closer to the key, but doing that from memory seems impossible. The opening is so small, and the fall is so great that Mario would likely die several times before getting the key.

My solution? Blue Yoshi.

2. Outrageous


This level is, well, outrageous. It’s labeled the second-hardest level in Super Mario World, but it’s difficult to believe it’s not the hardest. Mario spends the entire level dodging Bullet Bills, little fire-snake-things, Flyin’ Hammer Bros., and a metric shit ton of other enemies.

At this point, you could try to have Mario knuckle his way out of the fray, but it is probably quicker and easier to just plow forward, taking hits left and right. It’ll hurt, and you’ll definitely want to bring a handful of power-ups, but it’s the best way (in my opinion).

1. Tubular


F*** this level. Hands down the most difficult level in the game. Low ceiling, large chasms, well-placed enemies with accessories (Chargin’ Chuck’s football, Volcano Lotus’s fire balls, etc.), and physical obstacles make this level ten times harder than Outrageous.

I have never beaten it without cheating. Never. I got right to the end one time, but died as I was about to pass through the gate. Sure, they give you some Ps to float through the level with, but one hit, and Mario is done.

My solution: Blue Yoshi. Fly through the whole damn thing.

Are there any levels you hated?


  1. DocDoom March 8, 2013
  2. trashcanman March 8, 2013
  3. Afghan Whig March 8, 2013
  4. The Dude Abides March 8, 2013
  5. TotesMcGotes March 8, 2013
  6. Pepe March 8, 2013
  7. Darg March 9, 2013
  8. Jenny Creed March 9, 2013
  9. Fahrenheit March 11, 2013
  10. bstamour August 1, 2014
  11. Jessica Nichole Lynch October 19, 2014
  12. Alayna Stanislav February 10, 2015
  13. K2L March 16, 2015
  14. Max Beckett Everhardt July 26, 2016
  15. Tom March 2, 2017

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