Nintendo re-released Super Mario 3D World on Switch recently, and if you’re one of the dozens of people who owned it on Wii U and painstakingly worked to get 100% completion on each of the levels, chances are that you’re going to want to jump straight into the excellent new Bowser’s Fury mode. Luckily, aside from a freely rotating camera and interconnected, open world, the core mechanics of the new mode work the same as they do in the game proper. So grab your Joy-Con and stretch out that muscle memory with these helpful tips and reminders to ensure you’re ready to take the fight to Fury Bowser.
1: DON’T HOARD YOUR POWER-UPS
If you’re like me, you’re probably the kind of person who finishes Final Fantasy games with a surplus of Elixers/Megalixers because you “might need them later.” I know it hurts, but deny those hoarder tendencies in Bowser’s Fury mode, and be liberal with that up button on your D-pad. It won’t take long for you to reach the maximum reserve stack of 5 for each type of power-up, and any you collect beyond that will vanish into the digital ether.
Besides, let’s face it: Each second you’re not playing as Cat Mario is a wasted moment that you can never get back.
2: USE YOUR EXPANDED MOVE SET
Every Mario game makes slight variation to the core, jump-based move set that has existed since Mario’s inception, and this game is no exception. In Bowser’s Fury mode, understanding the lesser-known jumping and attacking techniques can help you traverse vertical routes much more easily and help you quickly react if you find yourself surprised by a ready-to-blast Fire Bro. There are more hidden moves than these, but there are a few key moves that will improve your game.
GROUND POUND JUMP
Just press the jump button immediately after slamming down with a ground pound (ZL/ZR in midair) to jump again with a considerable boost in height. This technique is particularly useful if you’re on a small ledge without adequate room to do a running jump.
If you spin the left analog stick around a few times quickly, Mario will extend his arms and pirouette for a short while on his own. If you quickly jump during this time, Mario will spin jump high into the air and fall more slowly to the ground. This is one of the most powerful trick jumps, but it’s also the most difficult to pull off, and it can be difficult to control your trajectory.
As a staple since Mario 64, which even new gamers are now familiar with due to Super Mario 3D All-Stars, most of you are probably already familiar with Mario’s classic long jump. When running, simply press the ZL/ZR button to crouch, and follow up immediately by jumping. Mario will perform a long, fast jump—but note that the height of the jump is much lower than usual, and the direction is much more difficult to change mid-jump.
When crouched using ZL/ZR, tilt your left analog stick in a direction and tap the Y button to make Mario dive in the direction you’re facing. This move changes slightly depending on your power-up, but it is most effective when used as Cat Mario, as it provides a much-needed range boost to your attack.
Be careful if you don’t have a power-up though: You’ll take damage if you roll into an enemy!
3: GROUND POUND ALL AROUND
Like so many Mario games, Super Mario 3D World hides invisible blocks all over the place. You’ll notice their tell-tale shimmer when you take certain actions like shooting a fireball, but using a ground pound (ZL/ZR in the air) reveals their location over a significantly larger area, making it the easiest way to find them.
Similarly, in certain areas where the floor is invisible, a well-placed ground pound will reveal the hidden floor in a huge area so that you don’t have to tiptoe along blindly. Or if you feel your Joy-Con rumbling for no apparent reason and/or you see Bowser Jr. pointing at the floor, give that location a quick pound to receive a nice prize!
4: CHECK EVERY CORNER AND GAP
The main game mode in Super Mario 3D World has a semi-fixed camera that generally uses only up to three angles, and the game uses the resulting blind spots to hide some clever secrets. Because Bowser’s Fury mode has a freely rotating camera, Nintendo took a very different approach to hiding secrets.
Sure, you’ll still find secrets in some difficult-to-see corners, but be on the lookout for small gaps that you might be able to crouch and crawl through or small breaks in buildings that you can swim under. Some of these locations even conceal valuable Cat Shines!
5: SAVE CAT SHINES FOR WHEN FURY BOWSER ATTACKS
Does your blood pressure skyrocket as soon as the ominous rain begins, signaling that Fury Bowser is about to rear his slimy head? While this is a matter of personal preference, you can easily minimize your time contending with Fury Bowser’s environment-altering onslaught by saving your Cat Shines until you need them.
Not only does collecting a Cat Shine immediately dismiss Fury Bowser, but it also does a small amount of lasting damage to his health bar. Eventually, you’ll need to collect enough Cat Shines to cleanse the Giga Bell and transform into Giga Cat Mario to fight Fury Bowser head-on. Every bit of damage you can do beforehand makes that inevitable fight much easier.
6: PUT FURY BOWSER TO WORK
Whether you find Fury Bowser’s random attacks to be thrilling or terrifying, you should investigate your immediate area whenever he shows up. What you’re looking for are large, metal blocks with Bowser’s face on them.
Hang out in front of those blocks until the colossal monster uses his fire breath attack, and he’ll destroy those otherwise indestructible blocks for you. Afterward, just swoop in and collect your reward! In many cases, you’ll find a Cat Shine, which will dismiss Fury Bowser immediately as described above.
Sure, Super Mario 3D World might not have been highest on people’s list of 3D Mario games in the past, but the sandbox-style nature of the interconnected islands of Bowser’s Fury breathes new life into the gameplay. There’s no wrong way to go about it, so start pumping your power-ups of choice, grab all the Cat Shines you can find, and take the fight to Fury Bowser!