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Greatest Glitch of All Time - Mario's Minus World

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Developers try their best to create a perfect gaming experience, but sometimes, mistakes slip through the cracks. Glitches aren’t generally something gamers want to run into as they can literally break the game. Trying to figure out what the greatest glitch in gaming is may feel like a bit of an oxymoron, after all, if we don’t want to run into any glitches while we game, why would we label one of them as “great?” But something odd has happened over the years. Glitches have become a bit of an artform, so much so that some players intentionally try to break a game, seeing how far they can push the programming. Check out our Suggestion tool to vote on other Greatest of you’d like to see: http://WatchMojo.comsuggest/Video+Game+Greatest+of+All+Time+-+Series+Ideas
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Greatest Glitch of All Time: Super Mario Bros. Minus World

Developers try their best to create a perfect gaming experience, but sometimes, mistakes slip through the cracks. Glitches aren’t generally something gamers want to run into as they can literally break the game.

Trying to figure out what the greatest glitch in gaming is may feel like a bit of an oxymoron, after all, if we don’t want to run into any glitches while we game, why would we label one of them as “great?” But something odd has happened over the years. Glitches have become a bit of an artform, so much so that some players intentionally try to break a game, seeing how far they can push the programming.

While some bugs get norotiety for being funny, runious oh ironic, there’s one glitch that comes with a sense of wonder and mysticism, as it gives players a glimpse behind the curtain, like going to see a play and then stepping backstage except in this case, stepping into the very code itself. The Minus World, found in Nintendo’s 1985 classic Super Maro Bros. -- because why settle for one error when you can have a world full of them?

The Minus World is a hidden level in the original Super Mario Bros. can be found in both the NES and Famicom versions of the game. In the NES version, the underwater stage goes on forever, as the pipe at the end takes you right back to the beginning. The Famicom level, however, is a different story. It’s still an underwater level, but it looks like World 1-3, so Mario is swimming in the sky. There’s also all sorts of crazy glitches throughout, including floating princesses and... oh hey Bowser. Not only that, but the level is beatable, and you can access even more bizarro worlds…

This extra level -- or levels depending on what console you’re playing on -- is a pretty legendary glitch, even if the truth behind the world isn’t actually all that spectacular. Super Mario Bros. does have more levels past World 8, especially in the Famicom version, they’re just... weird. The minus isn’t actually a minus at all, it’s supposed to say “36-1,” the “36” just appears as a blank space, making it look like a minus one.

There is an excitement to discovering the Minus World, and the less the player understand about it, the more legendary it feels. It’s the rush of being somewere you aren’t supposed to be, tresspassing, and getting away with it. And, despite the glitch ending any possibility of progressing through the game, it happens so early that you’re not really losing much progress by executing it. This takes away any moment of frustration if you end up triggering the glitch -- you only lose progress from two stages.

The idea of having a playable glitch isn’t that far fetched these days when we have games with ‘intentional glitches’ like “Five Nights at Freddy’s” and ”Doki Doki Literature Club,” but back in 1985, no one expected to land in some random, unbeatable world. It’s like getting a hidden achievement. Where the horror games we mentioned have clues throughout that point you in the “break the game” direction, Super Mario Bros. has nothing that gives this secret away. Who in the world thought of jumping backwards on a pipe to pass through a wall?

While a glitch can ruin a good game, when executed correctly, it can enhance the experience. For a game as classic as Super Mario Bros., the minus world added another layer of challenge and intrigue. There’s a sense of accomplishment for making it down that pipe in just the right away, and you find yourself wanting to dig through the rest of the game to see what else it has to offer. Perhaps another mysterious world lies in another castle but until then, Minus World is the greatest video game glitch of all time.

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