Who could have guessed that playing Super Mario World as if your plumber was allergic to coins could be so intensely mesmerizing?
Much like the piece I penned back in July on a low-score run in the original Super Mario Bros. -- note the blatant headline self-plagiarism -- the goal of this run through the Super Nintendo's Super Mario World is to specifically earn as few points as possible.
This means avoiding coins, killing no koopas, and timing each mad dash through the goal line so that it yields the least points possible.
GameSetWatch is a bit more verbose on the topic:
Be warned: a low-score Super Mario World run turns a once-pleasant platformer into a near-impossible obstacle course. Score-boosting coins, apples, and items are now hated enemies. Minor foes, which are otherwise easily killed, must be dodged instead of stomped.
The end-of-level goalposts are perhaps the greatest enemy of all. Players must exit each level with exactly one second left on the timer to earn the lowest bonus possible, but there's a catch; if the goalpost ribbon isn't touched at the level's end, it'll turn into a coin, worth 100 points. Players must also use careful timing to catch the ribbon at its lowest point to earn only one bonus star.
The end result is a trek through a familiar landscape that suddenly includes far more obstacles. It's like coming home from your first year of college, stepping into your room and finding that all your posters have been replaced with laser-activated Claymore mines.
You shout down the stairs, "Mom, are you trying to kill me?" The only response you get is a strained cackling from the foyer. Determined, you imagine this low-score run, take heart in Mario's success and dive toward your bed, tucking your body into a tight ball, and flipping end over end purely for aesthetic flair.
Unfortunately, you've gotten a bit chubby over the past semester, and an errant fat roll triggers the central detonator. You don't even hear the arming tone before your body is blown into a fine red mist and splattered across the adjacent drywall.
At this point you're likely wondering where I'm going with this metaphor, huh?
So am I.