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New Super Mario Bros. Cheats

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This article lists and discusses various cheats and unlockables for the game New Super Mario Bros. Refer to the original article for information about the game.

Alternate Characters[edit]

When selecting a game file to play, hold L+R while selecting the game to play as Luigi, the other member of the Mario Bros. You will hear Luigi's voice to confirm this code worked. Contrary to popular opinion, there are no requirements to unlock Luigi.

The Stars on your File[edit]

New Super Mario Bros. gauges how far you have mastered the game by giving you a star for completing certain achievements. These stars appear on your File at the File Selection screen. The maximum is three stars, indicating total mastery.

First Star[edit]

To get the first star, you just need to complete the game once.

Unlocks: Ability to Save at any time while on the Map Screen; can use the "Challenge Mode" cheat. Also, a blue Mushroom House will appear at the start of World 1, where you can purchase new backgrounds for the Touch Screen and switch between them.

Second Star[edit]

To gain the second star, you need to do all of the following:

  • Buy all of the locked routes;
  • Find all of the shortcuts, Warp Pipes & Cannons, and the routes to Worlds 4 and 7;
  • Unlock and complete all the additional levels within each World.

Unlocks: Infinite uses for all Mushroom Houses (including those already used), except those spawned using the "Flagpole Method".

Third Star[edit]

To gain the final star, obtain all the Star Coins throughout the game, and spend them all. The coin count will change to say "All Spent" when this occurs.

Unlocks: You unlock the remaining content within the game when you spend your Coins. Once you have the third star you will have unlocked everything.

Challenge Mode[edit]

Challenge Mode can only be played once you have at least one star. To unlock it, pause while on the Map Screen, then press in this order: L,R,L,R,X,X,Y,Y (some alternative codes also work, for example, replacing L and R with left and right). A message about Challenge Mode will appear to show successful code entry.

In Challenge Mode, you are not allowed to backtrack on any level. Once a part of the level has passed the left (or, in some levels, bottom) boundary of the screen, it cannot be reached again without restarting the level. Thus the game is made to closely mimic the original Super Mario Bros. Challenge Mode does not come into play in certain levels, however - such as ones where the view is constantly moving. It may also not come into play if you haven't yet beaten the level normally. A small, yellow-on-red arrow pointing right, will appear on the Map Screen when in Challenge Mode - it will be greyed out when you move to an area where the mode does not come into play, and coloured again when you walk onto an area that can use the mode. This arrow will also appear on the touch screen while playing a level.

Challenge Mode simply adds longevity to the game by giving you a new way to play levels you have already completed. There are no bonuses for playing in this mode, nor any unlockables outside of the ones earned through normal gameplay - in effect, it is "just for fun", or to give a new challenge to those who have already beaten the game. It is said that some levels are actually rendered impossible to complete with Challenge Mode on. You can turn Challenge Mode off by pausing the game at the Map Screen and entering the same code again - the arrow will disappear and a buzzer will sound to indicate this. Challenge Mode can not be switched on or off while playing a level or inside a Mushroom House.

Other Cheats[edit]

Firework Bonus: Complete any level with the last two digits of your time matching. They can be any number apart from zero. The "victory jingle" that usually plays will be replaced by the original Super Mario Bros. victory jingle, and after the time bonus has been added, up to 9 fireworks will fire off - the number fired will be the digit you matched. Each firework adds another 500 points.

More Mushroom Houses: When you return to the Map Screen after performing the Firework Bonus, a Mushroom House will appear at the starting point of that World. You can use it at any time afterwards, but it will disappear after use. The Mushroom House that appears depends on the digits you matched:

  • 11, 22 or 33 seconds: Red Mushroom House (Item)
  • 44, 55 or 66 seconds: Green Mushroom House (Lives)
  • 77, 88 or 99 seconds: Orange Mushroom House (Mega Mushroom)

Note: Only one Mushroom House can be on the starting zone at any time, per world. If you use this trick again in a World where a Mushroom House is already on the start, you will not get a new house. You must use the current one first.

This article is part of Project Strategedia, a Gamescodex project that aims to write comprehensive step-by-step walkthroughs, strategy guides and cheat lists for each game within Gamescodex.