World 9 (Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels)

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World 9
World 9-1.PNG
Appearance Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels
Levels 4
<< List of Worlds >>
This article is about World 9 from Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels. For World 9 from New Super Mario Bros. Wii, see World 9 (New Super Mario Bros. Wii). For other uses, see World 9.

World 9, also presented in in-game text as Fantasy World and “9 World”, is the first secret world and the ninth world in Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels, unlocked when the player defeats Bowser while clearing all 32 of the game's standard levels in that playthrough. Usually this entails using no Warp Zones, though it is possible to use the backwards Warp Zone in 3-1 to return to 1-1, then warp from 1-2 forward to 3-1 again, or use the backwards Warp Zone in 8-1 to return to 5-1, then warp from 5-2 forward to 8-1 again and still unlock World 9. Unlike all other worlds in the game, this world has three levels that take place underwater, as well as a castle that is not the last level of the world. According to an interview given in Family Computer Magazine, Shigeru Miyamoto added World 9 to the game due to interest in a glitch exclusive to the Japanese version of the original Super Mario Bros., where using said glitch to access that game's nonexistent World 9 would load an overworld level with the underwater palette, creating a Minus World-esque effect[1].

The mechanics of World 9 differ depending on the version of the game. In the original release, the player is given only one life to get through World 9 (though they keep their score, coins, and power-up status from World 8-4); if the player dies at any point in this world, they automatically receive a game over (although the life counter can still be raised by collecting 100 coins or at the flagpole when the right digits match). The game over screen for this world, like the opening screen, features a unique message; as a result, the usual options are not displayed and the player effectively cannot choose to Continue. If the player clears World 9-4, the game goes back to World 9-1 and the four levels of World 9 loop endlessly until the player receives a Game Over. In the Super Mario All-Stars remake, the player retains all the lives they had upon completing World 8-4, and clearing World 9 advances the player onward to World A.

Aesthetically, Worlds 9-1 and 9-2 in the original FDS version appear as flooded overworld levels with some underwater tiles, causing parts of the landscape to appear out of place (intentionally matching the Minus World-esque glitch effect mentioned above). However, in the SNES version, these levels appear as regular underwater levels.

In Volume 52 for Nintendo Power, a contest was held where the player needed to get to World 9 in Super Mario Bros. The Lost Levels, and supply photographic proof that they did so. Anyone who succeeded in doing so will be supplied with an iron-on patchMedia:World-9-patch.png commemorating the occasion.

All secret worlds are inaccessible in the Super Mario Bros. Deluxe port, World 9 included.

Level information[edit]

Level Preview Description
World 9-1 World 9-1LL.PNG The first level of world 9 starts out with the player having to jump up a staircase of blocks; on the other side of the staircase resides a Warp Pipe, (housing a Piranha Plant), that will take the player to the underwater section of the level. Once in the underwater section, the player will encounter a few Koopa Paratroopas and a Bill Blaster amidst a row of ? Blocks. As the player progresses, they will have to swim through a few Warp Pipes to continue. Past this point, several more Koopas and a Lakitu will be encountered. The player must either defeat them with fireballs or swim away from them to progress in the level. Several more enemies, such as Goombas, Hammer Bros., and Bloopers will be found towards the end of the level. After an encounter with two Buzzy Beetles and another Koopa Paratroopa, the player will pass up another staircase. Past here is the Flagpole; once touched, the level ends.
World 9-2 World 9-2.PNG To complete this level, the player must swim through many mazes of Warp Pipes and Piranha Plants while being chased by a Lakitu. Very few portions of this level have a sea bed; as such, the player must swim almost nonstop to avoid falling into the ocean's abyss and losing a life. Once the player reaches the three-fourths mark of the level, the Lakitu will go away (if not defeated already).[2] The player will find a small section of platforms that have several coins on them. After this point resides a staircase and the end-of-level Flagpole.
World 9-3 World 9-3.PNG Just as the previous one was, this level is relatively short. In this level, the player is once again on dry land. Despite being a normal overworld level, the level is in the castle style and plays the castle music. The player must run through various mazes of bricks and lava pits to get to Bowser. There is a Coin Heaven located in this level, via the access of a Brick Block Vine and Warp Pipe (both Coin Heavens are the same and drops players off in the same area). The player is not required to fight a false Bowser to complete the level; instead they can run along a brick path hovering high above the false Bowser. The player can then access the Flagpole past here, thus ending the level.
World 9-4 World 9-4.PNG The final level in World 9 is once again located underwater. The player must swim through mazes of bricks to surpass this level; however, many enemies (including a Podoboo) block many of the narrow paths that the player must take in order to continue throughout the level. Once the player makes it through the massive cluster of enemies and blocks, there is an empty space located just before a staircase. After the staircase, a Flagpole can be found. Once the player touches the Flagpole, the level ends. The arranged blocks in this level spell out アリガトウ! Arigatō! in Japanese, meaning "Thank You!".

Level maps[edit]

The Lost Levels[edit]


Game Over[edit]

As noted above, the Game Over for World 9 in the original Disk System version was unique compared to the other Worlds. Specifically, the world's game over lacks the options for continuing the current level or retrying the game. Instead, in its place, there is a message attributed to Mario as well as the staff for the game telling the player that they are a "super player", and that they hope they'll see the player again.

In the SNES version, it just uses the standard game over screen.


  • This is one of only two playable worlds in the Mario side-scrolling games to not include a true castle level. The other is World 9 in New Super Mario Bros. Wii. However, World 9-3 does have a similar theme to the castle levels, though it takes place outside.
    • Consequently, World 9-3 is the only level in the game to be an overworld level with castle music.
    • World 9-1 is also the only playable level in the game to have the player enter an underwater realm willingly (the other underwater levels generally have Mario entering the pipe leading to the underwater levels automatically without the player's input).
  • World 9-3's Coin Heaven is the only one in the game without a scrolling platform, leaving the player free to collect all the coins at their leisure.


  1. ^ Legends of Localization Super Mario Bros.: Miscellaneous
  2. ^ World 9 video on YouTube