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8 Super Mario Bros. Tips, Tricks, and Glitches

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Vimeo / Chris Higgins

Super Mario Bros. turns 30 this year. I still love the game, as it was my first Nintendo game, and I spent endless hours trying to beat the stupid thing. Today, I have a treat for you: Eight excellent tips, tricks, and weird glitches in the game.

Robin Mihara in front of some very collectible games; photo courtesy of Mihara.

These are all performed by gaming superstar Robin Mihara, who came in third at the Nintendo World Championships (NWC) in 1990, in which Super Mario Bros. was one of three mini-games performed onstage. Recently, Mihara starred in the documentary Ecstasy of Order: The Tetris Masters (2011)—featuring another game in the NWC pantheon.

I knew a few of these as a kid, but the rest are news to me. Dig in:

1. Jump Over the Flagpole (Glitch)

If you time the jump just right, on World 3-3 you can jump over the flagpole and...well, you just keep running. There's nothing special over there.

2. Skating (Glitch)

If you're Fire Mario, you can "skate" without moving your feet—at least for a moment. When you exit a tunnel or enter a new World, jump and shoot a fireball (B+A buttons) and press right. The skating effect only lasts ten seconds or so.

3. How to Get Maximum Fireworks (Tip)

This was common knowledge when I was a kid, but I have run into some people who didn't hear about it. When you hit the flagpole, the timer in the upper right stops. If that number ends in 1, 3, or 6, you'll get the corresponding number of fireworks...and everybody knows, six fireworks rules!

4. How to Get Infinite 1-UPs (Trick)

First, get to World 3-1, a find a pair of koopa troopas descending stairs. Ignore the first one. When the second one is still on the stairs, jump on it to put it into shell-mode, then stand one step below where the shell lies. Now jump on the shell. If you time it right, you'll automatically bounce off the shell over and over, so you get lots of points and 1-UPs.

5. Win and Die Simultaneously (Glitch)

There's a weird poetic justice to this one. If Mario hits Bowser on World 8-4 at the exact moment he hits the axe (which drops Bowser into the lava pit), Mario dies. But he still wins. This results in an odd scene where Princess Peach gives a speech to no one.

6. Become Small Fire Mario (Glitch)

Okay, this is amazing, but complex. Watch the video for an example, but the gist of it is if you are any version of a "Big" Mario, Luigi, etc. (including Fire versions), and you hit any of the mini-Bowsers (anything before World 8-4) at the same moment you hit the axe, a glitch occurs. Long story short, on the next World you need to get a Mushroom (which makes you small!), then a Fire Flower, which of course makes you Small Fire Mario.

The fun part is when Small Fire Mario spits out a fireball—he briefly becomes regular Fire Mario. While you can do this on lots of levels, I recommend World 1-4 because the necessary power-ups are available early in World 2-1.

7. Vine Dancing (Trick)

This just adds some flair to your performance; it doesn't get you anything special. When you reach the top of a vine, keep pressing up, and you'll "dance." I feel that this is appropriate when you're about to steal a bunch of coins from a bonus World. (Note that in this run, Mihara missed one coin—that pesky last one—and let out a groan that I did not record.)

8. Reach World -1 (Glitch)

This is epic. If you do a special crouch-jump on World 1-2, you enter a glitched-out Warp Zone that brings you to "World -1," a water world identical to World 7-2. The only difference is that you can't win; you just keep swimming until you run out of time...even if you reach the pipe. Brutal and weird.

Further Reading

For more Super Mario Bros. glitches, check out the Super Mario Wiki list of glitches. You might also be interested in my article Will the Real "Super Mario Bros. 2" Please Stand Up?

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Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
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Big Questions
Why Do Baseball Managers Wear Uniforms?
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Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Basketball and hockey coaches wear business suits on the sidelines. Football coaches wear team-branded shirts and jackets and often ill-fitting pleated khakis. Why are baseball managers the only guys who wear the same outfit as their players?

According to John Thorn, the official historian of Major League Baseball since 2011, it goes back to the earliest days of the game. Back then, the person known as the manager was the business manager: the guy who kept the books in order and the road trips on schedule. Meanwhile, the guy we call the manager today, the one who arranges the roster and decides when to pull a pitcher, was known as the captain. In addition to managing the team on the field, he was usually also on the team as a player. For many years, the “manager” wore a player’s uniform simply because he was a player. There were also a few captains who didn’t play for the team and stuck to making decisions in the dugout, and they usually wore suits.

With the passing of time, it became less common for the captain to play, and on most teams they took on strictly managerial roles. Instead of suits proliferating throughout America’s dugouts, though, non-playing captains largely hung on to the tradition of wearing a player's uniform. By the early to mid 20th century, wearing the uniform was the norm for managers, with a few notable exceptions. The Philadelphia Athletics’s Connie Mack and the Brooklyn Dodgers’s Burt Shotton continued to wear suits and ties to games long after it fell out of favor (though Shotton sometimes liked to layer a team jacket on top of his street clothes). Once those two retired, it’s been uniforms as far as the eye can see.

The adherence to the uniform among managers in the second half of the 20th century leads some people to think that MLB mandates it, but a look through the official major league rules [PDF] doesn’t turn up much on a manager’s dress. Rule 1.11(a) (1) says that “All players on a team shall wear uniforms identical in color, trim and style, and all players’ uniforms shall include minimal six-inch numbers on their backs" and rule 2.00 states that a coach is a "team member in uniform appointed by the manager to perform such duties as the manager may designate, such as but not limited to acting as base coach."

While Rule 2.00 gives a rundown of the manager’s role and some rules that apply to them, it doesn’t specify that they’re uniformed. Further down, Rule 3.15 says that "No person shall be allowed on the playing field during a game except players and coaches in uniform, managers, news photographers authorized by the home team, umpires, officers of the law in uniform and watchmen or other employees of the home club." Again, nothing about the managers being uniformed.

All that said, Rule 2.00 defines the bench or dugout as “the seating facilities reserved for players, substitutes and other team members in uniform when they are not actively engaged on the playing field," and makes no exceptions for managers or anyone else. While the managers’ duds are never addressed anywhere else, this definition does seem to necessitate, in a roundabout way, that managers wear a uniform—at least if they want to have access to the dugout. And, really, where else would they sit?

Have you got a Big Question you'd like us to answer? If so, let us know by emailing us at bigquestions@mentalfloss.com.

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Mattel
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This Just In
Mattel Unveils New Uno Edition for Colorblind Players
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Mattel

On the heels of International Colorblind Awareness Day, Mattel, which owns Uno, announced it would be unveiling a colorblind-friendly edition of the 46-year-old card game.

The updated deck is a collaboration with ColorADD, a global organization for colorblind accessibility and education. In place of its original color-dependent design, this new Uno will feature a small symbol next to each card's number that corresponds with its intended primary color.

As The Verge points out, Mattel is not actually the first to invent a card game for those with colorblindness. But this inclusive move is still pivotal: According to Fast Co. Design, Uno is currently the most popular noncollectible card game in the world. And with access being extended to the 350 million people globally and 13 million Americans who are colorblind, the game's popularity is sure to grow.

Mattel unveils color-friendly Uno deck
Mattel

[h/t: The Verge

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