Transmission Zero

Super Mario Bros. “Unlimited Lives” Trick


In the original Super Mario Bros. NES and SNES game, you can gain extra bonus points if you stomp on an enemy, and then stomp on another without touching the ground. In fact, each extra enemy you stomp on in series without touching the ground gives you an increased number of bonus points, and if you’re really skilled you will gain an extra life. This feature can be exploited in parts of the game in order to gain a large number of extra lives. The game allows the player to have up to 128 lives, and whilst it’s not exactly an unlimited amount, it is a lot. This article shows you how to reach the maximum of 128 lives.

Performing The Trick

The trick is performed by jumping on a Koopa Troopa, kicking it into a wall, jumping on it when it bounces back in order to halt it, kicking it into the wall again, and so on. Effectively, Mario is continuously jumping up and down on the empty Koopa Troopa shell whilst it is bouncing backwards and forwards. On such place this can be done is at the end of level 3–1:

[Image of Mario stomping on a Koopa Troopa]

Firstly, try to get to the end of the level as quickly as possible, as the more remaining time you have left, the more extra lives you’ll be able to get. Once you reach the end of the level, you’ll see two Koopa Troopas walking down the staircase. Either shoot a fireball at the first one, stomp and kick it away, or just wait for it to pass—you’ll need to get it out of the way. Next, wait until the second Koopa Troopa is on the edge of a step, and stomp it. Then you can kick it by jumping on the left of the shell. If you get this exactly right (it can be quite tricky at first), you’ll score 100 points, 400 points, 500, 800, 1000, 2000, 4000, 5000, 8000 points, and then every time after that you’ll gain an extra life. If you leave Mario jumping up and down for long enough, you’ll reach the maximum of 128 lives. Unfortunately there is no way to tell how many lives you have whilst you are mid level, so unless you are very good at counting quickly, you’ll have to use guess work. The following is a YouTube video I have made of the trick being performed: