I just finished watching this Super Mario World TAS. One thing that baffled me is, what are red stars for? They never seem to be directly earned, but simply some "bonuses" for clearing particular exits.

Is it so, or is there more to it than that?

  • 1
    Is Mario... wall jumping? I don't even... Commented Jan 26, 2011 at 6:07
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    @raven «Walljumping happens when Mario jumps towards a wall, and his foot catches the wall, stops his falling speed, and allows him to jump again in mid-air. In order to pull off a walljump, Mario needs at least a speed of 33 going toward a wall, and must run into the wall at exactly a block boundary (every 16 pixels). If Mario "catches" the wall, then conditions are good for a walljump - simply press jump a couple frames before he snags it.» More glitches here.
    – badp
    Commented Jan 26, 2011 at 9:01
  • 1
    Here, watch the entire TAS speedrun.. Maybe you could add some useful times for us to inspect. Even though you have an answer already, just a tip for next time. :)
    – Pysis
    Commented Sep 12, 2016 at 14:40
  • @pysis that's a fair point, I apologise
    – badp
    Commented Sep 12, 2016 at 14:58

1 Answer 1


You have to break (touch) the rope at the level's exit to earn stars. The higher it is when you break it, the more stars you get — up to 50. Getting all 50 gets you three bonus extra lives.

Super Mario World - level end gate

The white horizontal bar between the two vertical striped bars is the 'rope' to which I refer.

Once you have acquired 100 red stars, you enter a bonus game where you can earn extra lives.

Super Mario World - extra lives mini game

The minigame starts with 8 squares that had changing icons on them (the one in center does not change). The 8 squares around the center rotate around the middle square. The objective is to hit the moving squares to make them stop changing their icons. Once you are done, you get an extra life for every row of similar icons.

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    This would explain why the runs ends with a surgical 99 red stars. :)
    – badp
    Commented Jan 26, 2011 at 0:25
  • I also believe the maximum amount of stars you can get from any level is "40", but I might be misremembering. Commented Jan 26, 2011 at 6:00
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    It was 50. You had to break the rope at the peak, and there was some other bonus associated with doing it as well. I want to say it was 1-3 extra lives, but I can't say for certain.
    – Shaun
    Commented Jan 26, 2011 at 15:31
  • @Shaun Yes, that's right: the max is 50 stars and you get 3 extra lives for the trouble. This TAS of a SMW hack gets the special stage as soon as possible and then flunks the minigame in order to obtain flight for the rest of the run.
    – badp
    Commented Jul 11, 2012 at 13:37
  • I'm not sure if 50 is frame-perfect, @RavenDreamer, but the rope has to be at the absolute top of the goal to get it. 40 is relatively common, if you don't hit it perfectly. Commented Dec 2, 2021 at 1:39

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