Super Mario Bros. had several exploits, although few are as well-known as the World -1, or the Minus World. The fact that it even exists has lead to unfounded rumors of secret levels in many other games ever since, often with convoluted processes meant punk an unsuspecting gamer.

I did an in-depth review of the Minus World for Famicom Dojo, but there were a few versions of Super Mario Bros. we weren’t able to try. One of them was this PlayChoice-10 arcade cabinet.

The PlayChoice-10 was more a demo kiosk than a proper arcade machine. You could choose from one of ten games with special select and enter buttons, and then play the game as normal with the Select/Start, joystick, and A and B buttons provided for up to two players. The games available were NES versions (even if arcade ports existed). Rather than change the games, a timer was added (which you can see in the upper screen) for 300 “seconds” that ran about as quickly as the in-game Super Mario Bros. timer did. Once time was up the game would pause and you had another fifteen “seconds” (which ran much slower than during gameplay) to pump in more quarters to continue the action.

Fortunately, I was able to do this trick on just one quarter. On film, anyway. The Famicom Disk System version had different Minus Worlds (plural) from the cartridge version. Which one does the arcade have?

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