I know there's a staircase at the end of one of the levels where a well-timed jump onto a turtle coming down a staircase will allow me to keep landing on the same shell until I max out my extra lives.

Where is it?

5 Answers 5


It appears to be at the end of stage 3-1. (source)

I've unfortunately never been able to perform this trick. The potential of 99 lives does you no good if you die every time you go for it.

  • 2
    Thanks to above, finally after 20 something years I did it! Practice with an emulator, that way you can save state right before the staircase and get a feel for it.
    – user25696
    Commented May 19, 2012 at 22:08
  • The way I tried to time it is to stand on the far right of the block, and then make a full jump (just hold down the jump button) starting at the moment that the koopa (turtle) lands two blocks above the one I'm standing on. This obviously won't work exactly the same way for faster enemies. Also, I have to get into position pretty quickly. If I waste too much time, then the turtle may be too close for that to work. Also, (jump and) fireballing the first koopa is a good idea: as i recall, if I try to do this on the first of 2 koopas, then the second koopa comes along and messes things up.
    – TOOGAM
    Commented Nov 16, 2015 at 1:17

It is the level 3-1.


There is another one in Stage 7-1 with a Buzzy Beetle at the end staircase.


Some of the later stages feature green paratroopas hopping down the steps as well, which are harder to use, but could still be used to perform the same trick.


I played this game in the Arcade near my house when I was a kid and the turtle trick was possible on 3-1 however It was changed to prevent people from playing for hours. The trick is possible on 6-1 and yes I ment 6-1, also in the Arcade version of the game which is much harder than the version contained in the Home NES rom/cartridge. At the end of 6-1, there is a turtle flying/ up and down at the top of the stairs and the trick is to jump on him to make him walk down the staircase and if done correctly, mario can jump ahead of the turtle to begin the 1up marathon. The 1-ups don't increase as quickly as 3-1, but if done enough times, they add up. You can't do the trick with the beetle on 7-1 in the Arcade version either. Some levels are much harder on the Arcade version specifically 6-3 is probably the hardest level in the entire game to pass if playing the Arcade Version.

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