I always found the boss fights in Super Mario 3D world a bit too easy.
While the game overall provides a good challenge, especially in it’s second half, I always
had the feeling that the bosses are way too simple.
So whenever I was replaying the game, I decided to keep crouching while fighting the easier
It just became a habit of mine to defeat the koopalings, or Kha-Thunk while waddling, half
to make them a bit more challenging, and half because it’s just silly and fun.
So far so good, but recently I thought it would be fun to try to beat the whole game,
while permanently crouching.
As it turns out, trying to beat Super Mario 3D world, while waddling as much as possible
complicates a lot of things, is quite a challenge, and a ton of fun!
So are you ready?
Let’s do this!
Okay so before we take a look at all the challenges that await us if we really want to pull this
off, let’s talk about the rules.
The general idea is that we do a normal playthrough of the game, but permanently have the ZR button
We literally use a piece of glue strip, also known as tape, and glue strip our ZR button
down, so that it is always pressed.
This makes, mario crouch during the entire playthrough, and as you can probably imagine
this complicates a lot of things that are normally unproblematic.
But there are also a couple of optional modifiers I decided to doom ourselves with.
So I want to really beat the game, like I normally would.
That means, we only play as mario.
We don’t use coop to make some sections easier for us.
We never eat the yum yum invincibility leaf, that would make our lives a lot easier.
And we don’t go out of our way to farm power ups.
If we enter a stage with a power up we got in the previous level, that’s okay, but
if we are stuck we don’t go back into previous levels to farm a certain power up to help
I’m honestly not sure if we are able to defeat bowser this way, especially sticking
to mario could become problematic, since switching over to peach definitely would help in some
But that’s how I usually play the game, and that’s how I want to pull this off!
Okay, so our ZR button is glue stripped down, and we are ready to go, but first let’s
take a closer look at what our movement options are, while crouching.
So first we are obviously able to waddle around at an unbearably slow pace.
But luckily waddling isn’t our only option, , since we are also able to roll, and to long
jump out of a roll.
This allows us to actually move at a fast pace, and to cross wide gaps, and is our main
form of movement for the whole upcoming game.
There is only one problem when moving like this.
Once we start a roll or a long jump we are committed to it, and we have almost no control
over our horizontal movement anymore.
There is only very little room to correct errors.
Luckily we have a second movement option while crouching.
Normal jumps out of a crouch state, are sadly pathetically and useless in comparison to
the wide, proud and majestic jumps a non crouching mario is able to pull off, but they are at
least good enough to make it on top of small ledges, or to defeat a dangerous goomba or
If those pathetic mini hops were our only way to jump, then we probably wouldn’t be
able to make it out of the first level, but luckily for us we have one last movement option.
Now that’s a jump we can work with.
When backflipping Mario actually jumps even higher than usually, which is crucial for
But the backflip sadly isn’t perfect either.
Mario is only able to backflip after about one second of crouching.
So while it’s no problem to jump over a high ledge, we can’t do multiple high jumps
in a row.
So that’s our basic modified movement kit.
We are able to jump high or in a wide arc, but we can’t jump high, and far at the same
time, and we can’t jump in quick succession.
So whenever the game requires us to act fast we have a problem, but otherwise we should
But there are a couple of other notable things that make our lives easier.
If we jump off of an enemy, like a goomba for example, then we jump off using a normal
jump, even though we still have the ZR button pressed.
This way we are able to easily throw fireballs, to get a cat dive, which would be locked for
us otherwise or to do an easy wall jump.
If we carry something, mario completely ignores that we command him to crouch, and runs normally,
which should be helpful in a couple of stages too.
When we are underwater our movement is not affected by crouching, which should make those
stages really easy.
There is one problem however.
If we ever touch the ground while underwater we underwater softlock ourselves.
Mario starts to crouch on the bed of the lake, and isn’t able to swim up again.
This could possibly become a problem.
Finally we have one last trick in our trickbox.
Tons of things in Super Mario 3D world can be interacted with by tapping them.
We can pick up red, or green coins by tapping them, we are able to stun enemies if we tickle
them, question blocks spit out their content when bullied, and lots of other in game obstacles
react in useful ways when tapped.
Since we aren’t really able to react quickly with our modified moveset, tapping enemies
will be our main way of combat.
Okay so that are the movement basics.
Next let’s talk about routing.
Routing the game is luckily surprisingly simple for us.
Because, we have to do every single stage up to the final bowser battle.
There are actually optional levels and a couple of secret exits, but we can’t really take
any of them for a very simple reason.
We need 170 green - stars in order to open up the final bowser battle.
The basic plan is to do all the levels in their intended order, while we collect only
those green stars that are easy to grab, hope it’s enough by the end, and if not we simply
go back and get the missing stars in some of the easier levels.
Since 170 stars are a lot, we are better off playing each level, so that we don’t miss
out on any easy to get stars and have some margin of error for stars that we aren’t
able to collect.
Okay so let’s quickly go over the stages in the game, and identify all the levels that
are potentially problematic.
Luckily we are able to immediately tick off a lot of stages.
To begin with we can entirely remove all of the levels in the first three worlds from
Those levels are so easy, that it makes no difference if we attempt the, not so challenging
platforming challenges, while crouching or while playing normal.
Furthermore we can single out the levels that require us to ride nessie, the captain toad
houses, and the dash stages where mario runs on top of the boost pads.
Pressing the ZR button in the toad stages doesn’t change the gameplay, neither does
it change the way nessie controls.
If mario touches a boost pad, he decides to ignore our ZR command as well.
So all of these stages can be played like usual, and are completely unproblematic for
our scientific cause.
Next we can remove a lot of stages, that are built more around exploration, than about
Levels like sprawling savanna, that are built on huge flat surfaces, with very little platforming
can be beaten while running, and while waddling, without many differences.
Then there are a couple of levels that are built around specific gimmicks, like this
one, where the challenging part is riding through pipes.
These stages aren’t altered much by our modifiers, and are easy as well.
This leaves us only with a couple of worrisome stages that stand between us and a crouching
The first problematic level is 4-5, where we have to deal with spikeys, and moving platforms.
The fifth world luckily is still pretty straightforward only 5-2 has one section that has me worried.
World 6 features the fuzzy mine, that requires us to play quickly, which could be a problem.
Another thing we haven’t discussed yet are the various bosses, that bowser hired in order
to sabotage our cowering fairy rescue mission, we need to find a way to defeat all of them
World seven is pretty challenging, but there is nothing hidden in them that really threatens
or run, which only leaves us with the last world.
A lot of the levels there are problematic for various reasons, so let’s take a closer
look at all of them.
Cool, next we can remove all the levels that aren’t on this list.
By the way there is a link to the raw footage of me clearing each of those levels while
permanently crouching in the description.
A couple of those levels feature some tricky spots, but overall there is nothing too crazy
hidden in them, that requires a further investigation.
They are basically a good warm up, for the upcoming challenges, because especially the
last world will require perfect waddling skills.
Okay so let’s take a closer look at the levels we are left with!
Spike's lost city first.
Most people believe that the challenge in this level comes from all the swinging platforms,
and the ouching spiked sticks that roll around, and those people would be right, but for us,
these obstacles aren’t our main concern.
Because this level, is the level where our arch enemy steps out of the shadows, and reveals
itself to us for the first time.
Ladies and gentlemen may I present to you, the biggest threat to our run: Slopes.
Slopes and stairs are a nightmare.
Because when pressing ZR, mari o doesn’t walk on them, but immediately starts to slide
That’s a huge problem, because it makes precise platforming almost impossible.
When sliding, we can’t really control mario in a precise way any more, and if we jump
out of a sliding animation, we enter the normal jump mode.
So the only way for us to make it to the top of a sloped surface, is to slide down a little
bit, and then to slowly jump upwards.
Normally mario is just able to walk here, but because of the crouching we aren’t able
to ever stop sliding.
And spike's lost city is the first level in the game that features platforming on slippery
But that’s not the only problem we face here.
After a lot of silly upwards slope sliding we are suddenly confronted with this platforming
Basically we are supposed to jump over moving platforms, while spiky spike sticks try to
The platforms are timed in a way that requires us to jump over them with a decent hop.
But a decent hop isn’t part of our moveset, we are either able to do a pathetic hop, or
to do a majestic backflip.
Pathetic hopping, always hops us straight into our doom, but majestic backflipping is
a reliable way to land on top of some ouching spikes.
This part really had me worried, but we luckily made it through.
It wasn’t pretty to be honest, but after dozens of trys I finally managed to leave
this horrific sloped stage.
That was the first time I was really challenged, and it really leaves me afraid of all the
upcoming sloped surfaces in this game.
Sloped surfaces, like the ones in the tricky trapeze theatre for example.
The next slippery stage on our list of problematic levels.
The problem here is the following.
The tricky trapeze theatre is built, around seesaw platforms, that are once again inhabited
by ouching spiked sticks.
I start to see a pattern here.
But this time, mario actually begins to slip down when crouching, and that’s the problem.
We need to jump from this platform onto that one, but the little hop we get when pressing
jump while sliding, isn’t potent enough to land on the other platform.
Mainly because we aren’t fast enough before the seesaw platform tilts, and we once again
start to slide down on the other side.
This whole part would be super simple if we only we had a cat power up from a different
world, but I really want to prove that the game can be beaten while crouching but without
compensating the difficulties by using power-ups in a way I wouldn’t, if I did a normal playthrough.
And no sane person would go out of it’s way to farm cat power ups, so that he or she
is able to do this, in theory, so simple jump.
But after a little bit of testing I luckily found a simple way to resolve this problem!
See, the thing is the following, if we jump out of a slide, we enter the normal jump mode,
and other than a crouched jump, the normal jump allows us to immediately do a wall jump,
So all that we have to do here is to wall-jump out of the slide, which allows us to land
on top of the other platform!
Another problematic spot off of our list!
Luckily for us we can immediately remove the next level on our list as well.
The fuzzy mine, is way easier to do while crouching than I first thought.
I expected this stage to be a dangerous race between life and death against the horrific
fuzzy horde that tries to hunt us down, but as it turns out we have more than enough time,
to make it through this level.
It actually only took me a couple of tries, which makes this level easier than a lot of
the stages we already cleared!
So let’s take a look at the boss fights.
Super Mario 3D world features lots of neat little boss battles.
In a normal playthrough all of these fights, are more on the easier side of things.
They really aren’t that challenging.
But since we refuse to arise, things become a lot more complicated here.
A couple of those bosses are free, while crouching.
The koopaling fights only become a little bit more challenging, if we decide to fight
I actually got each one of them first try, so those aren’t really a huge problem.
Then there are the bowser in a car fights.
Those would be super annoying if we had to long jump into each bomb ball he throws.
But luckily we can once again make heavy use of our tapping skills to immediately throw
him his dangerous balls back into his car.
This makes those fights easy as well.
Then we have the fight against Hisstocrat.
This one is a little bit challenging, since we aren’t as mobile as usual, but there
is nothing too complicated going on there either.
Kha-tunk is so ridiculously easy, that I have been doing my fights against him crouching
since my second playthrough.
That’s where I got the idea for this whole madness.
So as you can probably guess our run won’t die here with Kha-tunk either, which leaves
us with two bosses.
And it’s these two bosses that are huge problems.
Namely Bolder Brockade, and *sigh* and the clown.
So let’s discuss the clown first.
I hate the clown.
But not only do I hate the clown, I also hate, that I hate the clown.
I have never died during the battle against the clown.
I consider the clown to be one of the easiest bosses of all mario games.
I made fun of how easy the clown is in the past.
And I believe the clown noticed this.
I believe the clown heard that I made fun about him.
And I believe the clown decided to take revenge on me.
We face two major clown problems.
Clown problem 1: While we are fast enough to dodge his belly-flops in theory, we aren’t
Because we roll and jump faster than he lands, but we aren’t able to change our direction
So the arena is too small for us to dodge all attacks while rolling in a single direction,
and we aren’t fast enough to change direction.
This means that we are basically forced to take a hit in the third phase, and are very
likely to get hit during the second one.
The best way to solve this I found, was to try to split our crouching cherry clone marios
in different directions, and to hope that we only lose one of them, but not both.
Clown Problem 2: We aren’t fast enough to attack.
The clown just runs away from us faster, than we run towards him.
There are two ways to solve this.
The one, and honestly better option, is to be close to the clown when he splits, and
to land on top of him with a backflip as soon as it becomes possible to damage him.
The other option is to long jump on one of the liquid clown bubbles in such a way that
we bounce on top of the stupid clowns head.
So the clown is beatable.
But the clown ended up being the toughest boss I ever faced in a mario game.
I almost switched over to luigi so that we are able to crouch a little bit faster out
of pure clown frustration.
But I didn’t.
I faced my clown destiny, and after about 80 failed attempts I overcame the clown.
So why am I telling you all of this.
Well, because today I learned an important lesson about life.
Never make fun about clowns in video games, they will hear you, they will remember it
and they will take revenge.
Sigh ... so Bolder Brockade is the other problematic boss.
When I first encountered one of the boulder minibosses I was pretty sure that our run
would die here, unaccomplished.
If we jump on top of one of those angry boulders, then they magically transform into a normal
boulder that mario is able to pick up.
In a normal playthrough.
Sadly we can’t pick them up.
Because mario refuses to pick up one of those gigantic stone monsters while waddling on
But those stone monsters, are how we damage the Bolder Brockade boss, so we need to find
a way to pick them up.
Luckily there is a way, but doing this is pretty precise and makes the boss fight insanely
So if we are on the ground mario refuses to pick up the stones.
If we jump on top of them, mario bounces off, and refuses to pick them up as well.
But … if we hit this area, while holding the pick up button, then mario isn’t on
the ground, and isn’t high enough on top of the stone to bump off.
So mario becomes confused and decides to pick the stone up for a lack of better options.
That’s not really hard to do, but it is slow, and a little bit tight.
And it’s the reason the boss fight becomes so hard.
I died here almost as often as when fighting against the clown, and I’m pretty sure I
would still sit in my chair grinding the third phase of the fight, slowly going insane if
it wasn’t for a little trick that allows us to skip a phase.
After taking a hit, the boss madly throws rocks around, which destroy all the rocks
mario could use to damage him.
But if we are fast, we are actually able to pick up one of those rocks, before they become
destroyed, which makes it possible to immediately land a second hit once the boss calms down.
Because of this trick we are able to make it past the boulder brocade fights.
And now, now we are suddenly in the final world, and we still refuse to arise!
Now, the waddling skills we acquire up to this point, are really put to the test.
There are nine stages left, and a lot of them are problematic in some way.
First we have to do a little bit of relaxing platforming over ouching spikes as a warm
up, then we face the cookie cogworks.
At the beginning of this run, this stage would have probably made me throw the controller
against the wall in agony.
Tons, of moving cookie cogs, each one a sloped surface, and each one forces mario to slide
But beating this stage was surprisingly simple!
It was really chaotic, and it took me a couple of tries, but I was never afraid that our
run could die to those cookie cogs.
The upcoming train stage is really challenging as well.
But once again in a good sense.
Here we have to fight tons of enemies, and we have to jump over dangerous swinging sticks.
The train is a ton of fun, and definitely not going to stop us as well.
Neither is deepwater dungeon, since the whole stage is built around swimming.
Footlight Lane however is problematic.
Not only do the dry bones here move faster than we do, but we aren’t able to see where
to jump most of the time.
I had to find a setup to get rid of all the dry bones in the first part of the stage,
so that we are able to reach the second half without dozens of dead skeletons chasing us.
But not only were we able to find such a setup, as it turns out, that’s also an infinite
one up trick I didn’t know about!
Fed by the power of hundreds of 1-ups in our pocket this stage isn’t stopping us either.
All that’s left now are two stages.
The ghost house is surprisingly easy, and the last regular level, is a last test, that
forces us to prove that we are capable of facing the final bowser level.
A last challenge on top of a sloped cube, over dangerous hot lava.
A last challenge that we take with ease.
World 8 turned out to be far easier than I expected it to be.
Ladies and gentlemen, we almost did it.
We almost proved that it is possible to beat super mario 3D world without ever letting
go of our beloved ZR button.
All that we have left to do, is to climb the final tower, and to hit the game winning pow
block three times in a row.
We are so close.
But there is one last problem.
One final problem.
In a literal sense, because we can’t make it past the last obstacle in the game.
The problem isn’t bowser.
The problem is this staircase.
No matter what we try, this staircase won’t let us finish our run.
We always slide back down, into our doom.
This evil, dumb staircase.
This stupid staircase won’t allow us to reach the top of the tower.
We simply aren’t fast enough to compensate the time we lose because we slide down.
That’s so ridiculously unfortunate.
We’ve come so far!
We survived every sloped surface up until this point.
Every single one of those dumb slopes.
We found a way to throw boulders, without arising.
We learned to waddle like a pro, we flipped over tons of obstacles, we rolled past each
and every enemy.
And we did all of this without ever standing up.
We didn’t do it because we had to.
We did it because we wanted to.
The whole game screamed at us.
Stand up, stand up it said, but we, we proudly stayed on our knees.
We refused to take orders, if we want to waddle we waddle, if every staircase becomes a deadly
slope, then so be it.
We do we.
The clown was laughing in our face cause we were waddling like idiots, but we showed him
who's the boss.
And now the literally last obstacle in the game prevents us from completing this run.
So I grinded this stair for hours.
For every step I overcame I immediately made two steps back, but slowly, very slowly, I
was climbing upwards.
After over an hour I made it through the first part, after another hour I saw the run winning
pow block for the first time, and after many many many more tries we finally made it up
We were finally waddling towards the proof, that Super Mario 3D world can be beaten, without
ever letting go of the crouch button.
Ladies and gentlemen, we did it!
Super Mario 3D world can be beaten while permanently crouching!
That was quite a journey!
I highly recommend everyone to give this run a try the next time you play 3d world.
It’s really really fun to do the game crouching, and it adds a much needed challenge to the
first half of the game!
And there’s another thing I want to highly recommend!
Gamechamp actually tried to beat 3D world without jumping once, and documented the crazy
journey in a video.
And our brother in spirit, Maryo is currently in the middle of the process of routing 3D
world without collecting a single coin.
It’s really interesting to see how different people, tackle different challenges in the
game, and how stuff that was trivial for the run we just did, becomes incredibly difficult
when playing the game with different modifiers.
I highlestly recommend everyone to check those out, the links are in the description.
So with that being said, thanks for watching this little video, I hope you enjoyed it.
If you did, don’t forget to leave me a thumbs up, and maybe you feel especially, like no
one is able to force you to stand up today, and want to hit the subscribe button as well.
I hope all of you have a wonderful day, and to see you soon.