1-Up Mushroom: A now useless iconic Mario power-up

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by: Hairball

In the last several weeks of playing Super Mario 3D All-Stars, the three component games all feature the iconic Mario power-up - the 1-Up mushroom to grant Mario extra lives.

For quite some time, 1-Ups have felt pretty useless, it's pretty much an artificial way to hinder your gameplay progress. In practice, the number of lives never matters so you can keep resuming no matter how many game overs you get. You just have to waste time to travel back to the level you were at. In the original Super Mario Bros., coins and 1-Ups were much harder to come by, and a game over results in you starting the game at the beginning.

The now useless 1-Up mushroom

For Super Mario 64 and Super Mario Galaxy, every time you start up the game, you will have 4 lives to start, in Super Mario Sunshine you start with 3 lives.

In these games, 1-Ups are almost handed out like candy, you can get them in so many different ways, by collecting 50 coins or 50 star bits (in Galaxy).

1-Up Mushrooms are usually readily available just before a difficult area so you don't have to truly run out of lives, and have to start from the beginning. It's easy to rack up a large amount just by very standard play, especially in Galaxy where star bits are so literally all over the place.

Unless you're a speedrunner, you will probably turn off the system at some point, so your lives are reset. However, that the Nintendo Switch has a sleep feature, you can keep having a growing count of lives as long as you do not close your current game and 3D All-Stars - making lives even more cheap! You can rack up dozens of lives easily by simply sleeping your game and resuming later.

The 1-Up Mushroom was a relic of its time, the iconic 1-Up sound won't be forgotten by Mario fans yet. But in newer games, quite often it's not even worth your effort to chase down a 1-Up Mushroom that's running away from you.

Lives are so useless now, that they removed the concept altogether from Super Mario Odyssey, and not only that, it costs Mario only 10 coins when he dies!

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