Off Camera Secrets | Super Mario Bros. / Duck Hunt – Boundary Break


Hey, pisanos! Welcome to episode 60 of an ongoing series where we basically take the camera anywhere we want, and we try to find secrets and new discoveries to some of our favorite games. The week’s animated intro was done by Tristan! If you wanna show some love to this dude, you can follow him on Twittter at @Kallehmono. But with that said, let’s cover the most iconic game of all time. So, although this is going to be a very short episode, I figured we could just go right out of the gate and show you something very cool, and what you’re looking at here is a little bit of truth behind the bonus areas that are underground in Super Mario Bros. Thanks to Nekorun, who I’ll leave a link to in the description down below, we were able to disable the boundaries in almost all the areas in Super Mario Brothers, and what it reveals down here is that all the bonus areas are connected together. They’re all on one map, and if you have the Game Genie codes to phase through walls, you could theoretically warp to completely different stages by going through the pipes designated to these specific bonus areas. However, once you get past the very last bonus room, you will not find anything: not even glitches. Instead, Mario just runs infinitely into the void. So, you may have noticed that episode is called Mario/Duck Hunt and not Super Mario Brothers and there’s a very good reason for that because we actually want to talk about Duck Hunt in this episode, and the Mario/Duck Hunt cartridge is technically one game. Now, there isn’t much to say about Duck Hunt. I mean, there’s so little to say about it, but one of the most interesting things that I found here is that if we disable the layer that has the grass and the environment we can actually see the full sprite model for the Duck Hunt Dog. And as it turns out, his body actually goes a little further down than the blades of grass suggest, which actually acts as a complete model, minus his feet. And before we say goodbye to Duck Hunt entirely, and make the rest of this entirely dedicated to Super Mario Brothers, I also wanted to show off when the Duck Hunt Dog jumps behind the grass at the start of every round, we can actually see that his sprite model flashes white on the very last frame of animation. So the shocking show-stealer is actually the piranha plants. These guys are exceptionally interesting because of what they do behind the pipes. As you’ll see here, where you’re away from the pipe, piranhas disappear at the start of the animation, and then reappear as they come back up through the pipe. However, if Mario is standing right next to the pipe, the piranhas actually exist in the game the entire time and never disappear until Mario moves away. But by far the most bizarre thing about all of this is that if Mario kills a piranha plant with a fire flower, that piranha plant will be split in half with its bottom half facing down and with its bottom half severed and above it, and that piranha will not go away at any time. Another thing that’s really interesting, too, about the piranha plant is that when Mario leaves an underground area, and, as you know, a piranha plant will be heading up as you move towards the flagpole. Mario actually touches the piranha plant as he moves through the pipe. Now, here’s something the requires a long explanation, but I promise you it’s very interesting. So, at the end of every single level in Super Mario Brothers, you might notice that Mario goes inside the castle and then the flag comes up, but what if I told you that Mario is still in the game even when he quote-on-quote “goes inside the castle?” In fact, he doesn’t just stand inside the castle, he’s walking inside the castle. Well, what if I also told you that the reason he’s using this animation is because if there wasn’t a boundary in front of Mario’s way, he would just continue walking. Don’t believe me? When Mario jumps over the flagpole and he doesn’t activate the stage completion, you might actually notice that he’s able to sit on top of a brick block, and if you walk at it from different angles, he also cannot move. This is because this is one portion of this castle model that is an actual brick block and not the castle itself. And, in fact, I can even prove this by sliding underneath the stage and breaking the block that’s actually connected to this castle. Once you break the block, you can actually see the blue sky backdrop that’s part of the game. Now the question is, “what happens when Mario completes the stage without this block here?” Now I had to be a little bit creative here because if I were to break that block, it’s very likely that I would break the ground underneath it as well because those are also blocks that can be broken. So what I did was I broke enough ground in front of the flagpole to give me a large enough runway to use the Game Genie phase-through code, slide through the ground in a sitting position, and as I just get under the block that’s connected to the castle, I then jump and break that one block only. Then, I complete the stage, and then we can see what happens, and as it turns out, Mario just keeps walking indefinitely and doesn’t move onto the next stage. Speaking of walking indefinitely, probably a lot of you have already seen this because you can jump over the flagpole by legitimate means, and what I’m talking about here is what is beyond the castle if you’re able to get beyond the flagpole, and a lot of people would just tell you that there’s nothing out here. You’ll just keep walking indefinitely until the timer runs out, and then you die, but what if we turn off the timer? What can we find if we keep running without the fear of death looming over our heads? And a lot like in my Super Mario Brothers 3 episode, which I’ll leave a link to in the description down below, if you walk forward long enough, the game’s programming starts to get a little bit confused. And you can actually start to find different pieces of environment that don’t belong here. Like, for example, one chunk of a mushroom platform that Mario himself can actually stand on. You know, we just saw a second ago that Mario is in a walking cycle when he goes inside the castle. A quick little question here is what does it look like when he does it in the big castles that lead into Bowser’s lair? Well, funny enough, the little flag that springs up at the end of every regular stage actually does appear in these bigger castles as well, but the player is not allowed to see it. However, if we some of the some of the sprites on this castle, you can actually still see the flag being sprung up like any other stage. And, also, what does it look like when we run past the boundaries of the castle goals? Well, actually, what’s really cool here is that it has those castle walls that are used in the last few stages of the game, and, of course, if you do the same thing we did last time, you’ll also find platforms that you can jump on as well as some weird graphical glitches. So, a moment ago, when I was talking about the piranha plants, you actually got a chance to see what Mario looks like when he’g going through the pipe vertically, but what does it look like when Mario goes through the pipe horizontally? Does he run in place like he does with the castles? And actually, no, he does not. Instead, once his character’s behind the pipe layer, he actually just stands in place until the level is loaded. And now, let’s talk about the underwater stage. One thing I’ve always wanted to know as a little kid was what is beyond this pipe that leads you back to the goalpost? I want to see what goes on further past it, and once again, thanks to the help of Nekorun and Game Genie itself, I was able to get on top of the shoreline and keep on going, and as it turns out, it’s just green blocks for miles and miles with no graphical glitches in sight. Now, we are still not done with the original Super Mario Brothers, but I did want to take the time to compare it to its remake on the Super Nintendo. Lots of people criticized me for not having it in my Super Mario Brothers 3 episode, and here on Boundary Break, I take viewer feedback. So, anyways, the surprising thing here is that a lot of what was in Super Mario Brothers 1 is ever present here in the remake. Like, for example, all the piranha plants’ behaviors, the flag in the Bowser layers, and Mario running in place when he’s behind the castle. So let’s talk about what’s different. Some of the things that you’ll notice here is that the blocks that stop Mario from walking off the stage actually don’t exist in this version. Apparently, it wasn’t needed. And also, because the Super Nintendo has an effect where Mario starts to fade to black as he goes inside the doorway, he becomes a straight up silhouette when he’s behind the castle. Also, when you kill the piranha plants, the top half is now a completely different color from the normal green. In fact, it looks more like its updated version with the red color palette. And, before we start doing anything Boundary Breaking, did anyone else notice that the hammers bounce off of Mario when he’s in an invincible state? This is kinda news to me. Yeah, but alright. Moving on. First thing that I wanted to show you is when we take the axe away from the fight with Bowser, We can actually walk around in the Toad Room, and one of the things you’ll also notice here is that Bowser will never jump to give chase to Mario. This is something I’ve always kinda wondered, but, of course, since the axe is in the way, I never was able to find out, but now I’ve got a definitive answer. Anyways, if we walk around we can see that we have layer priority over Toad, but Toad himself is actually on the sprite layer. He’s not in the backdrop. Though there isn’t any reason why he couldn’t be, the player can’t interact with Toad whatsoever, and Mario passes over him exactly like a background object. And another thing too is can we find anything if we keep running past the end of the level? And although it takes a very, very, very long time to find anything, it seems as though if you run long enough, you will re-encounter with Bowser if you leave him alive. So this is technically the same exact Bowser as the one you’re supposed to find normally in the game. Which leads to the conclusion that this Toad behind him is the same Toad that you find when you complete the stage. And, of course, can we find any Boundary Breaking elements with the princess herself, Princess Peach? And, yeah! Actually, one thing I found kinda interesting is if you remove the background layer, you can actually see that Princess Toadstool’s complete sprite model actually has white pixels that come from each side of her gown. Now, I found this particularly interesting because if you look at any sprite sheet that includes Princess Peach from the original Super Mario Brothers, Most of these guys leave that detail out because those white pixels are camouflaged into the dungeon tiles themselves. So for many people like myself, this is the first time we’ve ever seen the fully intended image of Princess Toadstool at the end of Super Mario Brothers. Guys, thank you so much for watching! I know some of you were probably thinking, “I want more! Like, this was a short episode!” Well, I gotta admit to you, it was a real challenge to find ten minutes worth of stuff to show you. And you gotta trust me, if there was anything more to see in the original Super Mario Brothers, I’d show it to you. But if you’re still pining for more, I do have a Super Mario Brother 3 episode that’s got a ton of new discoveries. So I’d really recommend checking it out. I’m going to leave a link to it in the description down below. It’s also gonna give you my playlist, so if you’re looking to catch up on Boundary Break, it’s gotcha covered. Also, I try not to do this too often because it’s more about the entertainment than anything else, but in just 2 more months, I will be living on my own, so if you like what I’m doing and you wanna support this as a weekly show, I got a Patreon, man, and one dollar will do it. Also, big huge thank you to Nekorun and Tristan for making this an exceptional episode. It wouldn’t be have as amazing without your help, so thank you so much! Alright, guys, that’s all I’ve got! Have yourselves a great night and take care. Pat: Toodles! Bye!

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Comments

  1. Hey! Dude! What do you say there? I knew about that invisible block hidden in the castle at the end of each level and before posting this video! I also knew that when Mario automatically walks and touches that block, he is hiding behind the background!

  2. Hey Shesez, This does not exactly relate to this video, but it does have to do with Super Mario Bros. and I thought that you would be a good person to ask: Does anyone know why at the beginning of World 5-1 right after the World 4 castle, the level begins with a small castle instead of a large castle – like every other level of World X-1 (except World 1-1, of curse, where Mario & Luigi do not come out of a castle)? I cannot imagine that it was a mistake because you would have thought that someone would have caught it before the game’s release – and they would have corrected it in re-makes, such as Super Mario All-Stars. Could you check the graphics to see if there is anything special about this particular castle? I would be interested in knowing whether there is a technical reason for there being a small castle instead of a large one.
    Thanks, ~J.J.

  3. do you know the secret super mario bros level, -1? go to the 2-1 and at the final pipe faze through it and go through the first pipe in the warp station.

  4. Not sure if you're saying Paisno or not. But that is the name of my favorite sandwich at a place called Ioannoni's Specialty Sandwiches lol.

  5. It's not surprising that the SNES port is so similar. The SNES's cpu, the 65c816 was basically just a 16 bit version of the NES's CPU, the 6502. So they wouldn't have had to change a lot about how it works. Incidentally there is a very well commented disassembly of the NES Super Mario Bros. It gave me a great deal of insight into how the game works and helped me learn 6502 assembly. It's well worth looking up.

  6. Toad might be on the sprite layer because the background layer and the sprite layer have four color palettes each, if the background is using all four and the sprite layer has room, then the programmers likely used the sprite layer. I haven’t checked this but that’s at least what I think. Great video

  7. You can actually see the princess peach white pixels normally kinda, because if you look at the bricks they have little black gaps, but the ones under peach don't because the white pixels "fill them in".

  8. @Shesez that random stuff waaaaay past the castle is game data! It could be anything from programming to other maps to items to, well, anything! If you're curious, with some googling you can find documents showing what in the memory is for what. If you can find that stage in the memory, you'll see what that stuff is by looking past the end of the stage data!

  9. Wouldn't the X counter for Mario overflow at some point? What would happen when that happens?
    Time for some experiments.

  10. Mario: sees camera what’s this? touches power up and turns into shesez
    Mario: mama Mia not another boundary break.
    Luigi; Mario What the hell happened?
    Mario: don’t look at me Luigi I’m a freak

  11. I don’t know how you did it. I honestly don’t know how you made a boundary break on a side scrolling nes game. That shouldn’t even be possible. It’s like you turned lemonade into lemons. You somehow managed to do it with no explanation how or why you just did it.

  12. 2:12 I've actually known about must of this since 1989. Sometime games would just load with corrupted graphics and I wouldn't reset to fix it because sometimes you could have working graphics or a working 10NES chip, but not both. Until Dad clean the thing with the official NES cleaning cart. Fun Fact: These corrupted graphics is how I knew the Blaster Master had a cut "SPIKE" power up.

  13. when you complete a level in super Mario bros.
    Keeps running

    when you complete a level in super mario maker
    Runs then stops then crouches

  14. Wow, but there was nothing on the vines and tgere is this 2p glitch which was foubd very late, you actually can vine up at the beginning of stage 2-1

  15. I guess the snes version its almost identical because its a port with better graphics and not a total remake

  16. The is me

    🙃<

    1 dislike = he Happy ER

    1 like makes him inf times sad and more likes also means Im stupid ER

    (Nothing) makes me dead from sad ERNESS

  17. What did you use and do to go through the walls and stuff like the programs and codes you used to do that, been trying to do that for a while.

  18. 2011 – we found world -1
    2012 – we show you world -1
    2013 – we show you world -1
    2014 – we show you world -1
    2015 – we show you world -1
    2016 – we show you world -1
    2017 – FINALLY! Something NEW!

  19. Me: first time watching this guy
    Him: this was a short episode
    Me: 10 minutes? How long are "normal" episodes

  20. I feel like there wouldn't be much to find in a 2D game but videos like these make me think Boy was I wrong

  21. my first question was how the hell do you boundary break a 2D game then I remembered "it's shesez, he can do whatever he wants"

  22. i love how he surreptitiously makes the video last over 10 minutes to get more ads revenue but still asks for people to check his patreon…

  23. The glitching past the ends of overwold levels looks like it's probably caused by buffer overrun, but then again, I would expect the same to happen in the water stages.

  24. I had a dream about stuff being beyond the flagpole, etc. before this video was made. In fact, I had more than one dream about it.

  25. Just out of interest, what would happen if you killed the second Bowser instead of the first one you encounter at the bridge?

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