Just like the previous games in the series, New Super Mario Bros 2 has a lot of interesting secrets to unlock. However, many of these are either barely hinted at in game or hidden away via such a method that reaching them is fairly annoying without a guide, so here’s how to get all the game’s secret stuff.
Stars on File Select Screen
Just like in the DS and Wii game, the concept of having stars listed on your file on the file select screen returns. However, before you think that unlocking them is just as easy this time around, there are a few extra caveats…
Here’s how to get each star:
- Beat the final boss/see the ending
- Get all star coins in worlds 1-6, Mushroom and Flower
- Get all moon coins in the Star World
- Beat all levels, open all paths and find all secret exits
- Max out the lives counter so it displays three crown icons
As you can see, some of the criteria that need to be met are brand new, including the point about maxing out your lives counter.
Shiny Stars on file select screen
Don’t use the assist block at all. Thankfully, unlike in New Super Mario Bros Wii and Super Mario 3D Land, they’ve fixed this so merely seeing the shiny block won’t stop your file select screen stars shining, you actually have to use it to lose the effect now.
Play as Luigi
Hold L and R when selecting a file after beating the final boss/game.
Unlock Mushroom, Flower and Star Worlds
To unlock the Mushroom World, you’ll need to find the secret exit in world 1’s tower level. To do this, go through the door after the midway flag to be in a room with lots of snake blocks. Go through the hole on the right which the blocks are going through to reach a gold pipe, and follow the path outside to reach the secret exit.
However, this just unlocks the cannon itself. To actually get to said world, you’ll need to enter the cannon level (which has you constantly running right and merely having to press the A or B button to jump) and complete it. Now you’re in the Mushroom World.
To unlock the Flower World, a similar principle applies, except it’s world 3’s tower you’ll need to find a secret exit in. Go through the level, and when the blocks move up/smashers come from both sides, there’s a mini pipe. Go in as Mini Mario, survive the rest of the level until the secret exit and then beat the cannon level.
You can also reach it from the Mushroom World, via the cannon. To unlock this, go to the ghost house, and after you’ve pressed the switches to unlock the path, go to the top of the room where you’ll see a P Switch. Hit it to make a door appear to the far right near the top of the room and exit through it to reach the secret exit. Then just beat the new level which unlocks (Mushroom B), then the cannon level to reach the Flower World.
The Star World.
To unlock the Star World, you just need to beat Bowser for the first time in world 6. However, you will not be able to progress unless you pay 90 star coins to get past the barrier in front of the first level.
Gold Crowns in lives counter
This is what having three crowns in the lives counter is like. Also, note the hatless Mario.
When you max out your lives counter, the digits are replaced by gold crown icons like in Super Mario 3D Land. As mentioned above, this is necessary for one of the stars on the file select screen.
Unlimited Mushroom Houses
To let you use the Mushroom Houses an unlimited amount of times (aka they don’t disappear once you leave), you need to beat the Star World. Thankfully this is much easier than it sounds, most of the levels bar Dry Bowser’s castle are fairly easy.
What a rainbow level looks like.
To unlock these short bonus levels, you’ll need to finish a level with the last two digits of the timer matching the world number. So for each world, this is what the timer needs to be to make the rainbow level appear (X means it can be any value):
[table id=10 /]
New Title screen
What you get for a million coins
Get one million coins. This gives you an alternate title screen with a Gold Mario statue on it alongside tons of coins.
You get a message congratulating you for every significant amount of coins you rack up (on the main coin counter). For instance, at about 100 coins, 1000 coins, 10 000 coins and then every few thousand coins after that you’ll get a congratulations message.
Hatless Mario and Luigi
Get three crowns for your lives counter, and Mario and Luigi will take their hats off. However, they will put their hats back on if you die and lose the three crowns thing, so be warned.