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Published January 10, 2019

Super Mario Bros The Lost Levels was and, in some very big way, still is the hardest Super Mario game to ever exist, it goes without saying that you had to be extremely skilled or an extremely skilled gamer in order to really get far in the game. I can’t speak on how many gamers have accomplished this feat, but I will say that I definitely did.

There are 64 levels in the entire game and while the levels are fraught with their own challenges, I never felt like playing the game wasn’t worth it because it was. Further, I was sitting in my living room yesterday and had a thought about a particular level in the game, World 9.

Despite the fact that I’ve spent years making it to World 9 so as to make it a “collector’s item” i.e. adding it to your list of worlds to revisit for later via save and quit, I came to a conclusion last night; going to World 9 is pointless!

You can argue all day trying to justify going to World 9, but you really don’t have a reason to at the end of the day which I’ll discuss in more detail in my post. Also, why you should avoid World 9 in favor of World A, taking a Warp Zone and why your prep work for World 9 isn’t worth for it by no means. Having said that, here’s my take on World 9 in Super Mario Bros The Lost Levels.

World 9

There exists a World 9 in Super Mario Bros The Lost Levels as many of you gamers well know, you also know that 3 of the 4 levels are underwater; submerged if you will. Swimming through an entire level without having to deal with any enemies is a treat, I’ll admit. However, the problem with this is that going through these levels is of no benefit to the gamer.

For example, you’ll see a Bullet Bill cannon on top of some yellow blocks on Level 9-1 but here’s the thing, you can’t do anything with the blocks; you can’t hit them to get any kind of mushroom or fire flower, nothing. There isn’t even a possibility of trying to find out what’s in those blocks so again, one could ask; what’s the point in coming here?

All in all, I used to think that it was great to finally discover World 9, the lost city of Atlantis of the super Mario bros universe. My take away from this is, don’t go to World 9 and……..

Why you should avoid World 9 in favor of World A

Traveling to World 9 is not an issue if that’s the direction that you want to go in. However, I’d purposely skip World 9 and go straight to World A which is like the level 10 of the game. Here’s my overview of why. One, if you’re leaving the castle in 8-4 then you’re more than likely are going to be looking to power up.

When you get to World 9, you won’t find a power up block in sight and as I mentioned previously, the blocks with the cannon on it are inaccessible. What really makes World 9 a deal breaker is the fact that there are no power up blocks on the only level that is not underwater, 9-3.

You won’t have to contend with any of this in World A because there are power up blocks waiting for you just outside the castle gates, and it could be a fire flower if you manage to get past Bowser in 8-4, big which is more or less a hardship. Just remember, avoid World 9 the next time you play Super Mario Bros The Lost Levels, go straight to World A; listen to me when I say……

Take a Warp Zone!

Under normal circumstances, taking a Warp Zone in Super Mario Bros The Lost Levels is forbidden if you’re on the path to opening the gates to World 9, but this isn’t a normal circumstance by no means. Simply, taking a Warp Zone completely and utterly destroys any chance you have at getting into World 9 on account of violating this sacred edict!

Honestly, it’s no love lost taking a Warp Zone to avoid World 9. My advice, take the Warp Zone on 3-1 which will take you back to 1-1; the easiest way to reach it is to make it past the flag pole. There is a pipe that you can take that’ll get you there as well but if you have Luigi then jumping over the flagpole will actually be easy.

The methods to doing this may seem a little upsetting but it is necessary if you’re looking to avoid World 9; there’s also a Warp Zone on 1-2 that’ll take you to 4-1 but I don’t like the idea of skipping forward 12 levels when I can easily get sent back to 1-1 from 3-1.

The prep work isn’t worth it

Now, as many of you gamers well know that playing 8-2 & 8-3 in Super Mario Bros The Lost Levels means that you can get your hands on some power ups if you’re careful and know how to use the environment to your advantage. However, you may find that it is impossible to get a mushroom and stay big or get a fire flower to stay fiery until you get to World 9.

This is what I call prep work or preparations if you prefer. The Hammer Bros on 8-3 make it difficult to get and keep anything you have whether it is your fiery status or your big form. Overall, the prep work that you have to do to be prepared for World 9 isn’t worth it by no means.

I can see if this was a game genie or being done with game genie codes, but if you’re playing the game normally like I was not even 18 hours ago then you were definitely struggling to keep everything you had which meant that if you were big then you were struggling to stay that way and the same could be said if you made it to 8-4, fiery.


Super Mario Bros The Lost Levels is one of the hardest Super Mario games to ever grace the Super Nintendo and it goes without saying that the levels in the game don’t make the game any easier that especially goes for World 9, but avoiding World 9 in favor of World A will be more of a benefit to you especially if you just got done with beating Bowser with nothing.

Taking a Warp Zone is the fastest way to get the gates of World 9 slammed in your face which is what you want; the prep work for World 9 isn’t worth it by no means so making it a priority isn’t necessary.

If you have any questions regarding my post then please leave me a message and I’ll respond to you immediately. Thank you and Happy gaming.

R.J’s Last Minute Tip

If you thought that saving and continuing or saving and quitting is one of the other ways of being barricaded from entering World 9, you’d be wrong; I tried both and I still got to World 9 so I just wanted to clear up that misconception.


  1. MicheleMichele

    Hi Rodney – you are definitely very knowledgeable on many different types of games out there.  I am not as well versed when it comes to gaming, but I can definitely see how your website would be a wealth of knowledge for any gamer out there.  You can tell that you are passionate about this and want to help others.

    Nice job,


    • Rodney McGillRodney McGill

      Indeed I am Michelle, when I first came to WA and I was given the chance to share my video game knowledge with the world, I jumped at the opportunity. I know there are gamers out there who play games but lack knowledge in certain areas, I’m just here on standby to help them out in every way possible. If you or anyone you know are having trouble in any video game then leave me a message and tell me how I can help; I’m available 24 and more.

  2. Dominik VagnerDominik Vagner

    It’s crazy how a game I used to play when I was a kid has so many intricate details and decision making which make significant impacts to the game play. I certainly haven’t gotten as far as you have however I can say that I did enjoy your experience with the warp zone and will maybe consider picking up my old Gameboy from years ago as a nostalgic trip back!

    Thank you for the article! 

    • Rodney McGillRodney McGill

      That’s awesome Dominik, I’m glad that I can inspire your nostalgia; I don’t have my old gameboy but I do have a gaming emulator where I get access to all of the games from the retro age; everything from Super Mario Bros 3 to Castlevania 2 to Rocket Knight Adventures etc. 

  3. Seun AfotanjuSeun Afotanju

    Nice gaming article i use to play super mario i enjoyed it to the extent i intentionally refuse going to school, super mario bros the lost level is to me the hardest level i have ever played on my nitendo game as i could not and still cannot pass through that level till date and it is a challenge for me, how do i get past world 9?

    • Rodney McGillRodney McGill

      Getting past World 9, it’s simple. One, avoid all fish creatures and bloppers (jellyfish). Two, when you encounter Bowser in 9-3, wait until he jumps up and then run under him. An alternative to doing this is you can get on top of the ceiling with Luigi and run right past Bowser thereby avoiding him. 

  4. Lok WhichLok Which

    I love super Mario games. I love playing it to the extent of getting Mario as nickname but I haven’t played The lost level before I think I will try it out because reading this has really triggered my interest towards playing The lost levels.Thanks for bringing my attention to this.

    • Rodney McGillRodney McGill

      No problem Lok, I’m glad that I can help. I was just playing the game yesterday and was interested in putting out a blog for it. I wanted to do this because I know there are people who are still playing retro games so I did this with you guys in mind. I’ll warn you, lost levels is one of the hardest mario games in existence; you’re going to have to bring your A-game if you’re going to survive. Here’s a hint, play the game with Luigi because there are going to be leaps and bounds not to mention gaps that only he’ll be able to clear. Mario is a failure in the lost levels.

  5. zuchiizuchii

    I remember playing this game in the early nineties, sitting in my living room with friends and taking turns on various missions. Reading this article has taken me down memory lane and I can see how interesting game was it’s been a long time since I heard anything concerning Mario until now. Imagine if we had someone blogging about Mario then and giving us tips on how to cross the various stages; How would it have been.

    • Rodney McGillRodney McGill

      Well luckily, you won’t have far to look because I’m working on a big project where I’ll be giving tips on other mario games like Super Mario RPG and Super Mario Bros 3; both are my favs. I played Mario games in the 90s as well. In fact, the last Mario game I played on record in the 90s was Super Mario RPG and that was back in 98′. Mario games are reflections of good times in games back then, wouldn’t you say?

  6. Karin NauberKarin Nauber

    I love Super Mario the Lost Levels. I have played them for hours…much to the annoyance of my spouse! I have never reached Level 9. I think I made it to level 7 even with hours of play. Are there any warps in level 7 that I could take to skip 9? Or should I just do 9 now that I am almost there? I have played this on my Wii as a download of the classic game because my Super Nintendo bit the dust when my kids thought using it for a game of catch would be fun!! Thanks for your recommendations and I look forward to playing this game again tonight!

    • Rodney McGillRodney McGill

      Okay Karin, to answer your warp zone question, there are no warp zones that’ll take you from level 7 to World A; the only way you’re going to be given a pass to skip World 9 is if you find the Warp Zone in 8-1 that’ll take you back to World 5; that way after you beat Bowser in 8-4, you’ll go straight to World A. On 8-1, look for some hammer bros, after you encounter the third hammer brother, jump into the nearby pipe and you’ll end up in an underwater section, try every pipe in the underwater section and you’ll hit upon one that’ll take you to a lone area where you’ll encounter a Warp Zone. This is the only warp zone you need to take seeing as how you’re as far as you are in the game.

      • KarinKarin

        Thank you! I will give that a try!


        • Alright, don’t be afraid to reach out to me if there’s any issues.

  7. PaulPaul

    Good day, Rodney.

    Thanks for this very descriptive post on Super Mario Bros, the Lost Levels. 

    I am not a hard-core gamer, however, my son is and in the beginning, I could not fully appreciate his passion for “games”. When he started working with me in my construction business, we quickly became much tighter. 

    One day I decided to find out why he loved playing games and what was so attractive about them. The conversation that followed was just as you speak in your blog. He went on for hours about levels, weapons, and strategies, and how he competed with himself and his friends. The day just flew by.

    When his friends come over, to play, I always make them a pizza. I have never lost a pizza game, lol. 

    We destroy the enemy while play. 

    Thanks, for bringing back these memories. You would love him. 

    He’s a hard worker and an excellent son. 

    How long have you been playing games?

    What was the first game you played?


    • Rodney McGillRodney McGill

      I’m happy that your son is an avid gamer, I’ve been playing video games for 30 years and there is no stopping in sight for me; I’ll be playing video games until the day I go into the grave and beyond. Video games are quite fascinating and did you know that video games can keep the human mind from succumbing to atrophy in old age?

      You might think that playing video games is just a hobby but it is so much more than just wasting time, you got games out that really teach hand – eye coordination to making a snap decision. The first game I ever played was Super Mario Bros 1 on NES, I learned how to take risks in games not to mention learned how to weigh my options as far as taking a Warp Zone vs. going through all of the levels which taught me how to be thorough when I play games that required searching for things. 

      I learned a lot playing video games over the years, it cannot be argued that video games do teach you things.

  8. NkhosingiphileNkhosingiphile

    I never thought of level nine to be this way, some people who do not know about this game may think that when you are in level nine you are at the top best like i thought and as i went through the content it is clear now that in world 9. Now that i know that World nine is a deal breaker i know that World A is the best place to be.World nine there are no enemies to deal with so World A is the best.

    • Rodney McGillRodney McGill

      You still have to contend with underwater enemies in 9-1, 9-2 and 9-4; you’ll have Bowser to contend with on 9-3 but make no mistake, you’re still better off skipping the level as a whole because if you’re looking to get some power ups right then and there then World A is where you want to be.

  9. PaulPaul

    Hmmm, I have been thinking about your suggestion of avoiding World 9. Is it not the attention of a die hard gamer to play all of it for the 100% including World 9? It feels cheap to me to cut corners and avoid World 9. Just because you won’t find a power up block and the blocks with the cannon on it are inaccessible. I for one, wouldn’t be satisfied with my victory of accomplishing the game, knowing that I skipped World 9. How do you feel about this?

    • Rodney McGillRodney McGill

      Okay, I agree with you totally. But on the other hand, if you’re coming out of 8-4 fighting Bowser and you need a quick pick-me-up, you’ll get that outside the castle gates in World A-1 when you get there. World 9 doesn’t really have any significance in the game and if we’re being honest here, I’m gamer that doesn’t like to rest in games unless that rest is earned, World 9 is just giving it away and as I said before, no power ups, no deal. I suppose its to each their own but I can’t see a reason to stop over in World 9 when I can easily skip it and go onto World A.

  10. SuzanaSuzana

    Hi,this article is so cool! It reminds me of some great days when I used to play Mario. That was years ago, but this game never gets old, at least for me… and I think for everyone that played it before 00’s :)I really love graphics, music – everything! You put a detailed explanation here and that is great… I can’t remember which version I played, third image reminds me of it.I especially like green tubes/portals that you jump in :DBest wishes,Susan

    • Rodney McGillRodney McGill

      Hey Sue, I love all of the Super Mario Bros games; Super Mario Bros 3 is my favorite Mario Bros game of all time with lost levels on second base, Super Mario World on third and Super Mario Bros 1 on home plate. I was just playing that yesterday and it really made me think about the worthlessness of World 9 and I wanted to share with the world that if you don’t have to go here, don’t! 

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