Worst levels in Mario games

Bear Hugger

Catch and release!
We all despise them, we dread their existence and ask: WHO WAS THE @#&$ AT NINTENDO WHO DESIGNED THIS &$S@?!

I’m talking about those levels. The ones that make you wanna break your controller, the ones where an entirely new language comprised of swear words was created because of it.

Through the Meteor Storm fits that bill perfectly. Screw the Star Ball.

What do you think are the worst levels in Mario games?
 

ZelenPixel

(she/her) actual spore creature
the goopy inferno. red coins on the water. the secret of the dirty lake. king boo down below. the runaway ferris wheel or whatever that one was called.. im sure sunshine has TONS even of just the required shines
obligatory donkey kong country mention because me... ok so basically; king zing sting, buzzer barrage, kongfused cliffs, lightning lookout, shoal atoll(aka: enslaved stress), panicky paddles
 

Ray Trace

SUMMER FUN IN APRIL!
Wiki Patroller
Yoshi Tower from Yoshi's Island DS is terrible, and especially going for 100% in it. Not only do you have to contend with slowly rising lava that forces you to hurry through the level, the level is long, filled with spikes and thorns, no checkpoints to speak of and has Winged Clouds that can make stars hop off course because that they're played in the edge, and most of the Winged Clouds in the level do not contain your stars. Popular strategy to 100% it is to go back and get red eggs, that's how bad this level is.

Speaking of long levels, The Perfect Run, Champion's Road, and World Special 8-Crown, finale levels of that nature are poorly cobbled together. The levels are just a bunch of recycled assets regurigated and stitched together into an arbitrarily long level with no sense of cohesion whatsoever. The only reason The Perfect Run is hard at all is that it's 90% recycled skyboxes with no platforms and a mix of levels with no checkpoints, making the level tedious and unfun to play.




Just look at this infobox image for Champion's Road MarioWiki, look at how ugly and horribly designed this level is.



Can this Mario games please stop having these terrible levels such as these, Mummy-Me Maze Forever, and Darker Side? They're lazy, uninspired, and creatively bankrupt. If you want to make a challenging level, go right ahead, but at least make it a unique level that isn't the platformer equivalent of a recycled boss-after-boss no breaks gauntlet you see in other badly designed games.

I haven't played much hard platformers myself but you CAN make appropriately well-designed challenging final levels check out Rayman Origin's Land of the Livid Dead, which is both beautiful AND very hard to beat, ESPECIALLY without dying.

 

King Hippo

"GRRMM! GRAAA!!! GRRMM!"
Awards Committee
Poll Committee
Wing Mario Over The Rainbow (Over The Rainbows in the DS remake) was especially hard for me, especially since if you fell down, you had to climb all the way back up to the top to try again.

Also re: the DKC levels, Thugly's Highrise (on Mirror Mode) was even harder. I think I remember (albeit vaguely) that I got a Game Over on that level alone.
 

Don Flamenco

Aaay, mi Carmen...
tbh any levels from lost levels could make it in this thread

i cant think of many mario levels i flat out hate, i guess stuff like the trash blowing stars from galaxy and beach volleyball in odyssey come to mind
 

ZelenPixel

(she/her) actual spore creature
@ earlier post: i really liked darker side personally but i guess i havent played any other levels like this in the 3d marios so
I don’t think Panicky Paddles is bad, just much longer than the average Tropical Freeze level.
i guess maybe? i still struggled a lot with it and i am really not looking forward to it on hard mode
 

Don Flamenco

Aaay, mi Carmen...
the "hard levels at the end of 3d marios" ive played are perfect run and darker side, both of which i like. Havent played champions road, but I played a recreation of it in smm2 so I guess that counts????
 

winstein

Justice is not limited, it is a universal quality
Poll Committee
To offer a different twist other than the difficult levels in 3D Mario games, I will have to suggest the level where you have to scale a castle to reach the clouds in Super Mario Bros. 3 (W5-Tower). Basically the level takes a while to finish, and if for any reason the player goes back to the bottom (like losing all lives or falling down from it), then it needs to be done again. Going back down does not take long at all, in fact. Also, this level, besides the end castle levels, can't be skipped with clouds (ironically).

Thank you for reading.
 

Koops

Epic
So uh, are we counting worst levels period or just platformers? Because my answer varies depending on that.

If we're going for just platformers, then I'll give that L to the stone cyclone galaxy in Galaxy 2. It's not super particularly hard or anything but it's tremendously boring and stressful for no reason. That and it has one of the worst green stars in the entire game. Also that and why the hell is it even a galaxy to begin with ugh. Not that any of the World S galaxies in Galaxy 2 are really known for being interesting beside the spinny walls one and GrandMaster in the first place.

If we're NOT limiting ourselves to just that tho then my vote EASILY goes to ttyd Chapter 4. Borderline worst ever experience I ever had playing through any game.
 

Goombuigi

The Luigi-fied Goomba
Awards Committee
Poll Committee
The first level that comes to mind is World 8-3 from Super Mario Bros. is one of my most hated levels, simply due to the amount of Hammer Bros. in it. In areas where there are no blocks above them, unless you have a power-up, you have to make a very precise jump.

I'm also not a fan of the "pick a path" castle levels in Super Mario Bros., because they have an element of luck to them and usually require several tries to beat. At least in Super Mario All-Stars, the game lets the player know if one of the paths that they picked were correct.
 
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Party Princess

Hi, I'm dazey!
World Special 8-Crown
That course is designed to be a test of skills learned throughout the game. I would know, it was the only course I died in, and over 30 times to boot -.-
I rather enjoy the course, it's pretty much the rainbow road of 3d land, with a celebration waiting for you at the end. I remember finally reaching the end and given a big sense of pride and satisfaction, I stuck around with the celebrating toads until the last available second. xP

On that note, I'd say the entire game of Lost Levels is trash. As a test of skills is all it is and nothing more. I suppose it makes sense if one has beaten SMB1 first and then immediately plays LL, otherwise it sucks as a standalone game.
 
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ZelenPixel

(she/her) actual spore creature
I'm also not a fan of the "pick a path" castle levels in Super Mario Bros., because they have an element of luck to them and usually require several tries to beat.
oh yeah this just isnt well designed. this is the kinda gimmick youd only see in ghost houses nowadays and for good reason! i cant even imagine how itd feel like playing through these castle levels back in the day with no knowledge of the fact that you have to pick the right path or else it just loops forever
 

Bear Hugger

Catch and release!
Rolling Green Galaxy is another Star Ball level that is just awful.
Got two Game Overs before I beat it.
 

Dr. Peach

Rest in Peace Walkazo 1991-2016
Banned User
The Pachinko level and Poison Lilypad level in Sunshine were horrible and the worst thing about Sunshine which why I think Sunshine aged kind of poorly.
It makes the AVGN go "WHAT WERE THEY THINKING?!!"
 

Ray Trace

SUMMER FUN IN APRIL!
Wiki Patroller
That course is designed to be a test of skills learned throughout the game. I would know, it was the only course I died in, and over 30 times to boot -.-
I rather enjoy the course, it's pretty much the rainbow road of 3d land, with a celebration waiting for you at the end. I remember finally reaching the end and given a big sense of pride and satisfaction, I stuck around with the celebrating toads until the last available second. xP
If only it was actually Rainbow Road....

really, the Mario Kart equivalent of a course would be a long course with narrow roads, no walls, random Piranha Plants, canonbombs from Shy Guy Beach, Dry Bones, Bowser fireballs, flame pillars, and aesthertics from Mario Circuit, (new course), (new course), and Bowser's Castle all smashed into one course.
 

Green Arrow

Behold! It is I!
Assuming this is talking main series only, main ones that come to mind are some of the digging levels in SMB2, the ray rider levels in SMG1, and a few in SMS where the objective is really tedious (e,g, the watermelon one) or where falling off lands you in for resetting too much of your progress (e.g. Ricco Harbour).
 

Ray Trace

SUMMER FUN IN APRIL!
Wiki Patroller
I forgot how much I loathe 4S: See Poochy Run! In Yoshi's New Island. Just take one look at this picture, and you know you'll be in for a fun ride



Poochy kinda sucks to ride on. A lot of my deaths are from him stopping right in front of me as I readjust my jumps, but a lot of deaths in this level come from the first set of spikes where you need precise timing to crouch and jump; otherwise, you don't jump and you just immediately die.

I don't think the level is "bad" per se, though, it's just...I hate playing on it. It's at least very short and beating it isn't as hard as getting 100%, though 100% isn't a huge leap in difficulty either (the rotating spikes can easily destroy your 100% run by making you lose stars however). I'm still not playing this level ever again.
 

Linus van Pelt

Shadow Prince
I really loved Super Mario Galaxy for the most part but the only levels I didn’t like and couldn’t complete were the ones where you had to throw bombs in specific areas to blow up things. Even after the coin marks that show where to aim the bombs I always found it really hard to aim the bombs where I intended them to go.
 

Waluigi Time

Punch-Out!!
Wiki Patroller
Yoshi's Fruit Adventure from Sunshine is one of the worst experiences I've had in a Mario game thanks to being built on numerous pillars of garbage. You ready for this? Here we go.
  • Yoshi always needs a durian to hatch, but the developers decided to make the fruit dispenser give you any fruit and also be completely RNG dependent.
  • There are two switches to activate the dispenser, and you have to alternate between them.
  • Only three fruits can be spawned at once, and you have to go down and chuck them in the water yourself to despawn them. (And sometimes this doesn't even work?)
  • The durian is one of the only fruits in the game that can't be picked up, only kicked. The fruit dispenser is placed very close to a ledge and it's possible to accidentally kick the durian off that ledge with no way of getting it back up.
  • Even if you don't kick the durian off the edge yourself, if there's leftover fruits lying on the ground, the durian just might bounce off of them when it spawns and fall off the ledge on its own.
  • After doing all this and hatching Yoshi, you now have to do a difficult platforming challenge with him. If you mess up just once, you fall in the water and Yoshi dies. Now you have to make your way all the way back to where you started and get another durian.
  • Even if you don't fall, you're discouraged from taking your time with the platforming because Yoshi disintegrates if he goes too long without eating fruit. There's no fruit out there, so you have to do it in one shot.
tl;dr Sunshine was designed by sadists
 
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