Extra Lives in Mario Games

One thing that most Super Mario games have in common is that there tend to be fairly easy ways to get lots of extra lives.  Often, you can simply do the same thing over and over to build up a huge reservoir of lives, which frees you from having to worry about it for the rest of the game. So how do you go about finding these opportunities (other than the obvious, looking it up on Google)?

Most techniques are based on the progression when you hit multiple enemies in sequence; the points keep adding up and eventually you start getting additional lives. You usually get this bonus in one of three ways: hop on a sequence of enemies without touching the ground, throw a turtle shell that hits several enemies, or become invincible and run through a number of enemies. This isn’t all of the methods, just the most common. For example, in New Super Mario Bros Wii, you can team up with another player to do a simultaneous ground pound that will knock out all of the (non-invincible) enemies on the screen.

So, when you’re looking for lives, look for ways to take out a large number of enemies at once. For example, in the aforementioned New Super Mario Bros, world 1-2 has a place where you can get a star; by running to the end of the level, you can hit enough enemies to get several extra lives. (There’s then another extra live earned by collecting red stars at the end of the level and one more by hitting the top of the flagpole, so by running through correctly you can add a half-dozen lives to Mario’s total in just a few minutes).

These tricks go all the way back to the original game, when you could bounce off a turtle shell such that it hit a set of stairs and bounced back just in time for you to land on it again, thus scoring infinite lives as you hit the shell over and over and over and over..

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