For those who have seen the map of this area, the great length must be quite surprising. The time given to clear this area is only 300! The goal feels so far away.
In addition, when you die in this area, you return to the beginning of the area--no matter where you die.
The obstacles and the enemies are set up to give you lots of trouble. Use the map wisely and don't get too excited when you get the star. If you are careless, you'll fall into the pits along the path. The pits vary in size, so you must use different techniques to clear them.
You'll also find that the Koopa tribe has its maximum defenses up. Every known type of enemy is present. And desperate! It is quite a feat to get the power-ups while engaging the various enemy characters in combat, and scoring points. Things get worse in World 8-3 where the Hammer Brothers make their last stand.
Power-ups are hard to come by, so save your power! It is preferable to be Fire Mario and use the fireballs before the enemy gets too close for comfort.
The very beginning of this section is enclosed by walls and blocks. There is a hidden coin block in the space below the fifth block from the left. Jump on top of that block, and jump to find a 10-coin block.
The third block in this row is where a particularly speedy star calls home. Bump the block and catch him fast, because you'll need his power in the areas ahead.
To clear the large pit at the end of this section, you must accelerate before you jump.
These twin pits are quite difficult to clear. Use the B button to accelerate, and use the middle section to pull another jump. Another tactic is to stand close to the edge, and use the A button to jump to the middle part. Jump again in a similar way to get to the other side.
In Vs. Super Mario Bros, the stair case to the flag jump has a wider pit.
You will have to avoid Parakoopa and Lakitu at the same time. One solution is to stand by the right edge of the break in the staircase, wait until Spiny's Egg is thrown left of you, then jump. Lakitu will disappear after the first brick ceiling with a 1-up mushroom.
There is a 1-up mushroom inside the second block from the left in the block set above. Use the springboard to punch the block. To collect the mushroom when you are small, run to the end of the block to the right and catch it as it falls. Don't forget about the Paratroopas.
In Vs. Super Mario Bros, the 1-up mushroom is a power-up mushroom and there are also Goombas with the Paratroopas.
There is a power-up inside the right block right after the twin cannon.
The block set with the cannon on top has a 10-coin block in the right.
There are two ways to clear the pits at the end of this section. The first way is to stand near the left pipe and use the accelerate/jump sequence to clear the second pipe, then jump again on the second tiny flat. Another way is to start at the edge of the first flat and accelerate over the gap to the second flat and jump at the last moment. Either way, timing and the length of your jumps will decide your fate.
In Vs. Super Mario Bros, the two blocks on the left edge of screen are gone and the far left bottomless pit is wider.
Finally! You've reached the outer rim of the castle where Princess Toadstool is held captive. The massive walls look like insurmountable barricades. The castle guards (Hammer Brothers) are waiting to destroy you. The B button plays an important role in clearing this area. Combining fireballs with acceleration is the only way to survive.
Bullet Bills and Paratroopas are the only enemies at the start. Accelerate and jump over all the obstacles to reach the first pipe quickly.
You must control Mario precisely to defeat the Hammer Brothers. Advance steadily and wait for your chance. If you see an opening, run and jump to the stairs on the right. If you are lucky, the Hammer Brothers will no longer appear. Use this opportunity to go back to the first block set, and punch the second block from the right to collect the power-up.
Don't miss your chance to go full tilt and get the last power-up. You won't get another crack at it in the next stage. This is it! All you have to do first is nail those pesky Hammer Brothers.
When you jump off the pipe, first stomp on the Troopas and kick them to the right. You may be able to kill a few Hammer Brothers this way, too. If this doesn't work out, use the B button to accelerate and jump over them.
This castle scene is divided into five zones. Three out of the five do not lead to anywhere. To get to the next zone, you'll need to use the pipes. Some of the pipes will take you to the beginning of the area instead of letting you through to the next zone, but the first pipe after a lava pit will take you to the next zone.
The time to clear the castle is 400, so remember which pipes take you backwards, and try not to run out of time.
An invisible Piranha Plant hides in the pipe you came from because of the water graphic. be careful if you back up!
In Super Mario All-Stars, the Piranha Plant is easily visible like all enemies you encounter.
The only other enemy in this underwater area is Blooper. If you are not Fire Mario, it's safer to stay close to the bottom. However, it is sometimes easier to move at the top for the first half, then run along the bottom during the last portion.
The second pipe leads to the pipe in the beginning of part 1.
Get on top of the pipe on the right, and take time to observe the movement of the Hammer Brother. If he doesn't throw their hammers while they jump, it's a good time to make your move. Use the accelerate/jump sequence to jump behind him, and quickly jump over the Bog of Flames.
The final battle: this Bowser means double trouble. What talent! He can blast you with fire or pull an old Hammer Brothers routine and pound you like a nail. You might try ducking under him, but the situation could get hot fast! Hang on Princess, Mario is coming!
In Vs. Super Mario Bros, when fighting Bowser there is large set of bricks above the Drawbridge so you have to go under him.
Congratulations on completing the game. Princess Peach will give you a "new quest" where you will be able to select the world and then warp directly to it from the main screen. Press B button to return to the main menu, then press B button to change the world number. When you are satisfied, press Start to begin the game.
In Vs. Super Mario Bros., there is no second quest.