The Minus World is a glitch level found in Super Mario Bros. It is an underwater level exactly like World 7-2 in geography and enemy locations that cannot be finished due to the pipe at the end being glitched and taking the player back to the start, meaning that once there, Mario or Luigi is doomed to lose all of his lives by either running out of time or being defeated by the enemies. The glitch got its name from fans because the world-level screen displays as World -1. This is because of a glitch in the panels displaying the numbers. The Minus World is actually World 36-1, but the game displays a blank graphic for the number 36, so all the player can see is the -1.
The player can get to the Minus World by going to World 1-2 and standing on the pipe that leads to the Goal Pole at the end of the level. Then, they should move to the far left end of the pipe, then duck while facing left. While ducking, the player should jump. While in the air, the player should move right, so that when he's about to come back down, he should be just under the ceiling next within this moment. It may take the player several tries, for Mario must land in an exact spot on the pipe in order to travel through it. If done correctly, he will automatically move through the pipe (without the screen moving) and then through the wall and into the warp room. If not even 1 pixel of the pipe is showing, Mario will be trapped until the timer runs out.
Another method of reaching the Minus World involves Mario breaking two blocks on the ceiling, leaving the one on the far right. He should move to the far left end of the pipe and jump to the right. He doesn't have to duck as he can try to hit the bottom-left portion of the block (without actually destroying the block). This should glitch the game, allowing Mario to get through the pipe and wall, but doing it this way is potentially more difficult and time-intensive.
If everything is done properly, Mario will see the three pipes in front of him from the Warp Zone. If he enters the pipe to the far left or far right, he will find himself in the Minus World. If he goes in the pipe in the middle, it will bring him to World 5-1. (This has practical use, however, as it advances the player further than the normal Warp Zone would, although it is not used in speedruns as it skips past World 4-2, which has a Warp Zone leading to World 8.) If the player makes the brick wall on the far right visible (where the "Welcome to Warp Zone!" message appears), however, the Warp Zone will be correctly loaded and the glitch will end.
The reason the middle pipe leads to 5-1 is because the game is loading data from the 4-2 over-the-top Warp Zone (not the one above the vine) that has only one pipe to 5-1, and does not realize that the player is in the 1-2 Warp Zone until the room is completely loaded, i.e. the brick wall becomes visible. The other two pipes in that Warp Zone are blank and registered as "36" (the number used for blank tiles in the game), causing the game to lead to World 36 when entering the world, hence the Minus World.
Family Computer Disk System
In the Family Computer Disk System version of Super Mario Bros., the Minus World is accessed the same way, but is very different in design. World -1 is just like World 1-3, but with underwater gameplay (despite lacking actual visual water) and featuring bizarre elements such as multiple floating Princess Toadstools that have no hitboxes, a floating, headless Bowser, a misplaced Hammer Bro, as well as all objects using the "underwater" palettes, causing odd visuals.
This marks the only instance of an underwater Goal Pole (without the flag), which can easily stop the game from progressing if touched too high; if reached halfway down or lower, this flagpole will actually take Mario to World -2, a level identical to World 7-3. However, if Mario is to die in this level after passing the checkpoint, he will spawn beneath the bridge there, causing him to instantly die again, the process repeating until the player receives a Game Over. There is finally a World -3 after this level; -3 is a version of World 4-4 that lacks its fake Bowser and maze elements, is colored underground, and is filled with flying Bloobers that can be stomped for 1000 points. This weakness is otherwise unused due to Mario having different physics underwater, though it does appear in Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels. In addition, upon completing the level, although Toad's message of "Thank you, Mario! But our princess is in another castle!" still plays, Toad himself is missing.
Beating World -3 takes the player to the title screen. If the player starts the game again after going through the Minus World, it will replace all Goombas with Buzzy Beetles and will be like Hard Mode, as if the player cleared the game.
Vs. Super Mario Bros.
In the arcade version of Super Mario Bros., which is harder than the original home console version, some bricks located above the end pipe are removed to prevent the trick from being performed.
However, it is not impossible to access. It can be accessed by clipping through the bricks under the pipe. This version of the Minus World resembles the underwater portion of 5-2 and 6-2 (though it's more like the one from 6-2 since it has short lifts). This room is actually the first level to exist in the Super Mario Bros. code in all versions.
All Night Nippon Super Mario Bros. / Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels
By using the same trick in All Night Nippon Super Mario Bros. or Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels, Mario will instead be transported through the end-of-level pipe and be able to progress to World 1-3.
The Minus World glitch has been "removed" from remakes of Super Mario Bros. In Super Mario All-Stars, if the trick is performed, the Warp Pipes will still take Mario to their respective worlds as if the pipes were reached by walking along the ceiling. In Super Mario Bros. Deluxe, the ability to perform the trick has been removed entirely.
If one uses a gaming tool that can set the level that Mario is on, the Minus World goes all the way to -9. After -9 it changes to -A, later to -B, -C, and so on. After the letters, it changes to random bits of the terrain of all the levels. There are 215 of these bits. These levels are the result of level layouts being loaded with the wrong tilesets, enemy layouts, and properties.
Specifically, World -2 is a version of World 3-4 with water graphics; World -3 is a version of World 3-4 with overworld graphics, and being loaded with random enemy layouts, sprites and properties. World -4 and World -5 are just a black screen. World -6 is a glitched out level which appears in a 6-3 theme. Some gray bricks may be found on the edge of it and a white Goomba will fall into the pit. The entire level is a pit, so Mario will fall down, to his death. World -7 is a copy of World 3-3. After passing it, the game takes the player to World -8, which starts off using the intro for 1-2, 2-2, 4-2, and 7-2, although the game blacks out after Mario reaches the pipe. World -A is a castle level that Mario cannot move in, and -9, -B and -C are a black screen. All the levels after -4 can only be played by using cheats or hacking.
As shown in some editor utilities, the first Warp Zone that can take the player to the Minus World initially loads the data for the second Warp Zone, which normally only has one warp pipe in the center, until the "Welcome to Warp Zone!" message appears. The two empty slots on the left and right sides would read "36" if a graphic existed for that number. If two additional pipes are added in the appropriate places in this Warp Zone, they send Mario to the Minus World without executing the glitch. This explains why the second pipe, if the player performs the glitch, takes the player to World 5 instead of World 3 or Minus World.
References in other games
Names in other languages