Growing up as a person who dedicated a large amount of their free time to playing video games has its perks. For starters, your hand-eye coordination is bar none. Few can compete with those lightning reflexes and the ability to make a decision in a matter of seconds in order to perfectly complete a timed event is an asset that will help you out in your adult years. Every hobby comes with its perks, as well as a few cons (see my personal struggles with carpal tunnel and an utter inability to run the mile in gym class,) but few hobbies come with perks as amazing as the feeling one gets when discovering a previously unknown area in a beloved video game.
One of the greatest childhood feelings in the entire world while growing up with a sturdy collection of a few tried and true video games is unlocking new areas, secrets, and hidden treasures in beloved and frequently played games. Nothing is more satisfying than playing a game that one has owned for years and, on a third or even eighth playthrough, uncovered something that one did not know was there before. Running to the phone to call one's friends and let them know about this new hidden location (or sharing this clear insider information at school the following day) was the best feeling. It is rare to unlock such feelings of power and leadership as a child; therefore, those moments should be cherished and dedicated to memory so that one can revisit said moment in the years to come.
So, without further ado, let us share our knowledge with the world and discuss some of the best hidden areas in twenty-five classic Nintendo games that you can share with your friends and reignite that childhood feeling once again.
25 Zelda's Recently Uncovered Minus World
The Minus World which can be found in the original Legend of Zelda game is an important discovery in the world of gaming as it was only uncovered this year (2019). In order to discover Minus world, players must meddle with the code of the game in order to access said areas. If one can isolate the barrier related code within the game, one can easily enter the darker world of the bottom half of the game and see the things which audiences were never meant to see.
24 Unlock The Top Secret Area In Super Mario World
In all honesty, the title of "Top Secret Area" just makes this hidden level all the more interesting, don't you think? In order to unlock the Top Secret Area in Super Mario World, players need only follow the following tips. One must first travel to the Donut Plains and then locate the Donut Ghost House. There is a secret exist hidden within this house that, when used, will take players to this wonderful and exciting top secret area.
23 Discover "Who Turned Out the Lights" In Earthworm Jim
Fun Fact: This secret level is known by two different names within the Nintendo fandom. Some refer to it by the full name, 'Who Turned Out the Lights?" as written above while others simply refer to it by the short title of "Darkness." This secret level occurs entirely within the cover of darkness and can be easily accessed by those who seek to see it for themselves. One need only travel to the laboratory belonging to Professor Monkey-For-A-Head and find the secret teleporter by the red light.
22 Super Mario World's Star Roads
If there is one thing that the games held by and within the Mario series knows and does better than any other game, it is the concept of hidden and/or secret areas/levels/locations. That series has the art of the hidden location down in spades. To access the wonderful Star Roads hidden within Super Mario World, one must first travel to the Donut Secret House. Once there, uncover the door underneath the blocks, hit the blue block, ascend the vine that appears, and defeat the mini-boss.
21 Explore Dinosaur Forest In Final Fantasy VI
Dinosaur Forest is an area that can be found within the sixth official Final Fantasy game. It can be found North of the Veldt and past the old man's house, then East. And is filled with some powerful enemies. One must prepare before heading to said area. These enemies can provide players with amazing power-ups if one is prepared for the challenge. These creatures have utterly overpowered abilities and will destroy those who attempt to pass lest they are adept and prepared.
20 Houlihan's Secret Room in A Link to the Past
Though I am not a fan of gatekeeping in any way, shape, or form (especially when it comes to video games and nerd culture as those communities are just utterly teeming with elitist that seek to discredit everyone who seeks to join said community), I do have to say that anyone who has a passion for Nintendo, Zelda, or hidden locations will probably already be aware of Houlihan's secret room which can be found in A Link to the Past. For those of you who are not aware of this room, if Link uses Peaguses Dash to travel across from the Sanctuary to the Sewage Passage, he will fall into a room that was created as a result of a contest to get one's name in an upcoming game run by Nintendo Power back in the 90s.
19 Find The Secret Salesman In Secret Of Mana
Deep within the world of the Secret of Mana, there is a salesperson who seeks to help all players who pass by. Located within the Castle of Tasnica, this salesman has everything one needs to prepare for the journey ahead. Simply go behind the bar in the aforementioned castle, walk into the wall which resides behind the bar, make your way through the room until you are able to talk to the salesman and enjoy.
18 The Ability Rooms In Kirby Super Star
There is an area within Kirby Super Star which allows players to test out their characters abilities. These rooms go by many names and are often referred to as The Ability Testing Area but are also known to go by or be referred to as the Copy Ability Testing Rooms. These rooms give players the ability to scroll through abilities rather than having to track them down through all of the game's stages. These rooms can be unlocked by beating the game's main plot in the Story Mode version of playing and can be accessed freely thereafter.
17 Conquer The Bandit In Yoshi's Island
In the game, Yoshi's Island, players have the ability to defeat a bandit in a hidden mini-game style battle-mode. In order the access one of these mini-games, one must first travel to the level selection screen. Hold down on the select button and enter the following sequence exactly as it appears here. X-X-Y-B-A. If this has been done correctly, the battle-mode orientated mini-games will be unlocked and available to play.
16 "Out of This Dimension" In Star Fox
In the classic Star Fox game, there is a hidden level called "Out of This Dimension." If a player is able to destroy the second largest asteroid in the asteroid belt which takes up a portion of the gameplay in the third level of the game, a large bird will appear that can take players to this hidden location/level within the game. It is important to note that, though there are plenty of activities within this hidden location, there is no "end" to the level so it is best to treat it as an alternate ending to the game.
15 Donkey Kong's Mine Cart Shortcut
Sometimes one wants to follow the rules, ignore the walkthroughs, and simply play a game in the way that it was expected and meant to be played. And sometimes one just needs to look up the best way in order to complete a task because time is a precious thing and the natural way of doing things will just take up so much time that it will no longer be worth it. And that is how it feels to play Donkey Kong's Mine Cart without the shortcut. You can literally skip pretty much the entire level by leaping over the initial barrel and clinging to the cliff face. Doing so will drop you into a secret barrel that shoots you directly to the end of the area.
14 Become Tofu In Resident Evil 2
Yes, you read that correctly. This secret level allows players to unlock the ability to play as a literal knife-wielding chunk of tofu. If this sounds like a wonderful experience to be had, note that it takes a little bit of work to get there. But trust me when I say that it is oh so worth it. In order to unlock the ability to defeat zombies as a literal chunk of armed tofu, one must first complete the Leon A/Claire B storyline three times and do so with an A ranking each and every time. Only then will all of your tofu dreams come true.
13 Discover the Secret Passages In Super Metroid
Sometimes shortcuts and secret passages are the best way to get around in a game, especially when time is of the utmost importance (either through an in-game time limit or when your mom only lets you have an hour of gameplay each day and that is just not enough time to complete the level). These secret passageways are plentiful in the Metroid series and can be easily uncovered. Use the X-Ray scope when entering into a room that has areas obstructed by the Blocks and if there is a secret passage behind said Blocks, it will be revealed.
12 Find Chun-Li In Breath Of Fire
Sometimes it pays to fall for a total scam, but only if you do so on their third offer. In the RPG game known as Breath of Fire, the beloved character of Chun-Li can be found hiding in a secret room in order to perfect her special skill set. In order to find this secret room, players must travel to the town known as Bleak, find the magician, deny his scam two times, and then accept it on the third. If these directions are followed carefully and correctly, this secret room will become unlocked and accessible.
11 Discover World 4 In New Super Mario Bros
Those who have played New Super Mario Bros may have noticed that there, seemingly, is no World 4. The game seems to go from World 3 to World 5 without any notice or explanation. Well, apparently that is because players actually have to unlock world 4 for themselves. And it won't be easy. First, a player seeking to access World 4 must have a mini mushroom on their person from one of the earlier levels of the game. One must then use said mini mushroom to conquer the boss of the second world. After which, a cutscene will play which will lead Mario to World 4.
10 Unlock 'Hadouken' In Mega Man X
Everyone loves a good crossover and there is nothing better than having a reference to another beloved game inside a game that is a total classic in its own right. In order to unlock the ability to perform the "Hadouken" move within the Mega Man X game, one need only follow the following steps carefully and closely. First, ensure that your character has four lives, all heart upgrades, all sub tanks, and all weapons. Next, enter the armored armadillo stage. Defeat the Armadillo, ride to the edge, and then dash jump off of the edge into the pit below. Do this three times. If done correctly, an upgrade capsule will appear with the Hadouken. To execute the move, ensure that you are at full health, press down, right/left, and then the "shoot" button.
9 Discover The 'Good Ending' In Bubble Bobble
As one of the first games which granted its players the ability to engage will multiple endings back in the 80s, it is no wonder that Bubble Bobble was such a hit. The arcade version (the first version) of this game was such a stunning success that a version which players could enjoy from the comfort of their own homes came quickly available. The home version came with what came to be known as the "good ending" and required two players to unlock. If NES players could carry the crystal from Room 99 all the way over to RoomA0, this elusive good ending (also known as the best ending) could be unlocked.
8 The Aztec Level In Golden Eye 007
It is important to note that this hidden area can only be truly unlocked by playing the Golden Eye 007 game in single player mode. For some reason, it is just not available to players who choose to play in the alternative multiplayer mode. If a player is able to beat the entire game while playing in the 00 Agent level of difficulty, the coveted Aztec level will be unlocked. It must also be noted that this is one of the most difficult levels within the game itself.
7 Unlock Luigi Bros In Super Mario 3D World
Luigi Bros is a Luigi themed retro remake of the 1983 version of the traditional and beloved Mario game which can be played through using the image/character of the oft-forgot but still beloved second Mario Brother, Luigi. This mini-game can be found inside the Super Mario 3D World game and can be easily unlocked by simply fully completing the original game. Though it is important to note that players who already own and have played Luigi U on the same console will be able to play Luigi Bros without even having to complete Super Mario 3D World.
6 6 Beat the Ultimate Castle Challenge in Yoshi's Island
The Ultimate Castle Challenge is the final hidden level in the Yoshi's Island game. This is an incredibly difficult level so I advise anyone seeking to defeat it to research the steps on their own in order to have as much detail as possible. This level had seven areas, each equipped with their own challenges and difficulties. This area will be unlocked at the end of the game by completing the main storyline and, according to those who have unlocked it, it is an utter nightmare of enemies and challenges.
5 Win the Level-8 Crown In Super Mario Land 3D
In order to win the special, elusive, and stunning Level-8 Crown in the game Super Mario Land 3D, one need only follow the following steps. But before I list these steps, I have to inform you that this will be no easy feat and will require a large amount of both time and effort. First, one must collect 290 Star Medals. Next, one must ensure that they beat every single stage as both Mario brothers (note: a gold flag pole must be won every time.) Third, they must then beat the Level-8 stage itself as the previous actions did nothing but merely unlock the stage itself.
4 The Warp Zones In Super Mario Bros 2
Though warp zones are no stranger to the Mario world, the warp abilities which exist in the game known as Super Mario Bros 2 are a bit different. In this game, certain jars can be used within the subspace area to unlock fun and exciting areas of the game. Using a specified jar in this designated area can allow players to warp directly into worlds that they normally would not see until much later in the game without the need of a designated intermediary warp zone.
3 Explore the Jeweler's Mansion In Illusion of Gaia
Deep inside the Jeweler's Mansion in the game Illusion of Gaia lies the boss from the previous game entitled Soul Blazer and is one of the more difficult parts of the game. The boss can be found by exploring the mansion room at length but that can only be done once one unlocks/arrives at the mansion/ In order to do so, one must gather up all 50 red jewels which can be found and presenting them to the character known as Gem the Jeweler.
2 Unlock The Frying Pan for the Princess in Super Mario RPG
In order to unlock the frying pan for the princess in Super Mario RPG, one must first complete/beat the Nimbus land area. Then they must travel to the region known as Moleville. Once in Moleville, one must walk into the store and then quickly turn to the left. If done correctly, there should be a silly little man who is selling things within the store. In their inventory, there will be the elusive frying pan and trust me when I say that this weapon is truly worth the cost and effort.
1 Minus World in Super Mario Bros
This level is known as a "glitch" level as it was never really intended for gameplay but that does not stop dedicated fans. This world can be accessed by following the following steps. First, go to the first actual world in the game, standing upon the pipe that is intended to lead them towards the goal pole, and then heading towards the left end of the pipe and then duck while still oriented towards the left direction. Then players should jump into the air, while still in the ducked position, and then move to the right. Ensure that he is underneath the ceiling while he comes down and that should do it. Note, this will take several tries to perfect.