First off, I’d like to begin by admitting that I’ve never walked away from a topic I feel is being left so untouched. A top seven greatest ever secret levels in video games? Yeah right, try more like a top one hundred. Or a top one thousand.
It all depends on what you constitute as a secret level; how you define it. The term can be broken down into meaning hidden rooms, bonus stages, sometimes cheats, unlockable places, and the more obvious alternative exit found during game play. Combine all the categories and you have an unlimited library of potentials that it would take years to play through, if not the rest of your life.
Needless to say, this magnificent seven are some of the best I’ve played, beaten, and remembered…
7. Mushroom Kingdom In Super Smash Bros
Players must have been astonished when first playing N64′s Super Smash Bros. to find that there was no Mario level (or stage, if you prefer) to play on. Little did they know yet it was because the game was saving the best for last.
The Mushroom Kingdom level was unlocked by beating the game with eight original characters and then playing every stage in Vs. Mode. It was completely different from all the other levels in many ways, which either makes it the best or possibly the worst depending on your opinion.
For one thing, players could warp through pipes to the other side of the stage, making them hard to catch if they wanted to be. For another, death by falling off the sides into the abyss is how many players meet their end in Smash Bros., but the only way this happens in Mushroom Kingdom is the pit in the middle, exactly where the game tends to spawn.
Oh well, like it or hate it, the idea of having Mario’s turf be the secret, unlockable stage was awesome. Nothing beat the excitement of when it first became available on the menu and you first realised what it was.
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