The Anatomy of Super Mario: XXIV. Shroomin’

In keeping with the overall “back to World 1” theme of World 4, World 4-3 reprises many of the elements of World 1-3: Tall mushrooms poke into the sky, patrolled by turtles and connected by dropping lift platforms. And as always, the brevity and overall design of the stage precludes the presence of traditional secrets in the sense of hidden blocks of pipes to descend, though gathering all the coins scattered about here ensures a secret 1UP will appear in World 5-1.

The high-rise platforms in this particular stage quite definitively answer the question of their nature: Definitely mushrooms, with their orange caps and red spots.


The pulley platforms present the central gimmick of World 4-3, appearing in new configurations and offering new challenges. Those aiming to collect every coin here will find the task surprisingly tricky, as several appear slightly below pulleys. The technique for gathering them, of course, is to stand on the pulleys just long enough to get the attached platform to descend, then press jump a split second before you hit the coin. The momentum of the platform combined with the initial lag of Mario’s jump will cause you to drop just far enough to collect the coin, but you’ll also lift off from the platform in time to slow its descent and keep it from plummeting too far.


It takes some fine tuning to develop an instinct for the proper timing here, but it’s important you make the effort, as the specific attributes of the pulley platforms can definitely play against you here. Not only do they counterbalance one another, and not only do they eventually snap off the cable combining them if they fall too far, but here they exist in a curious point in the space-time continuum at which no one at Nintendo had yet cottoned to the fact that games are much friendlier if you can jump upward through platforms. (Kid Icarus would compensate for this flaw… perhaps a little too aggressively.) In this stage, you’ll often find that if you let the left portion of a pulley system drop too far, you’ll have trouble with the subsequent jump as the right side will have risen too high and Mario will bump his head as he jumps.

The centerpiece of World 4-3 is the series of three consecutive pulley systems that lead up to the end of the stage. The three appear in quick succession — six moving platforms in a row — and demand aggressive forward motion to prevent Mario from falling to his doom (or being unable to reach the next platform). As this is the first instance of this many unstable platforms in a row, though, the game offers its usual training wheels: Each pulley set is accompanied by a narrow mushroom platform that allows you a chance to take a breather if you need it. If you screw up on one of them, you’re not completely boned. But those training wheels will vanish ere long.

One thought on “The Anatomy of Super Mario: XXIV. Shroomin’

  1. (Kid Icarus would compensate for this flaw… perhaps a little too aggressively.)

    Only certain types of surfaces, and the benefit of being able to pass through under those was offset by not being able to duck down on those as you would fall back down below.

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