Maximise your time playing LEGO Super Mario [Time Bonuses]

The arrival of new sets and software updates means that there are more ways than ever to extend your play time with LEGO Super Mario. However, these are poorly documented. While the traditional game runs for ‘around a minute’ I have found that it is possible to extend your game play to closer to three or more… Read on for more.

With the recent Christmas Break seeing families open new toys, I hear people talking about how they wish that they could play each game of LEGO Super Mario for longer, so that they can play through more and more of the collection of expansions that they own. True, the 60 seconds offered by the Green Warp Start Tile can be enough to play most levels through, but it is barely enough to play through Bowser’s Castle. Let alone other levels.

So… How can we maximise the time we have to play? And what is the longest time available to play, if all goes well?

Lets take a look at what we know about the existing powerup blocks, especially those that effect the time available to play. Whenever Mario scans a tile that adds time to the duration of a timed game, the time is displayed. Mario’s chest can only display 2 digits, so if you have more than 100 seconds remaining, you will only see the last two digits on the chest display for a few seconds after gaining the bonus. I make a distinction between extending time, and pausing the clock – I will explain this shortly.

This article focuses on the Time available. I have written about the Wave 1 Rogues Gallery Here as well as all of the wave one power ups and bonuses here.

Start Pipe:

A start pipe is necessary to play a timed game.

The Green Warp Pipe presents you with 60 seconds to play. It starts by playing the Above World Music from Super Mario Brothers. The music speeds up when there is 15 seconds remaining.

The new Yellow Warp Pipe only gives you 30 seconds to play. It plays music from Super Mario 64, and speeds up when you have only 7.5 seconds remaining. There are some variations in game play as well, as far as I can tell: you get additional coins every time Mario twists or spins. The yellow

Time Bonus Box [ 71365, 71369]

This Box can be used once in a timed game, and adds 30 seconds to the duration of a game.

The brick is included in the Piranha Plant Power Slide and Bowser’s Castle have the same barcodeYou can only benefit from one Time Bonus Box during the course of a game.

Question Mark Time Bonus [sets 30385, 71360, 71369]:

The yellow ‘?’ box offers multiple possibilities: a 15 seconds time bonus is one. Also on offer is Super Mushroom Power, 5 coins, 10 coins and Star Power.

You may rescan the same box multiple times, or else scan another box in a different location in the course. They all have the same barcode. If the randomizer selects an option already used, only one coin is given. Ultimately, there is a trade off: how much time do you spend trying to get an extra 15 seconds…

Mario Maker Set Time Bonus Brick [71380]

The user definable orange Time Bonus Block is included in 71380: Master your adventure.

It can add 10, 15 or 30 seconds, or else move your timer to the ‘hurry up’ point. This brick can stack with time bonuses included with the Time Bonus Block, and the Question Mark Time Bonus.

Star Power Bonuses [? Block, Star Power, and Programmable Action Bricks]

So Far, So Good

And this would appear, on the surface to be the main ways in which LEGO Super Mario can have the duration of the game extended: Giving us a duration of two minutes and 15 seconds.

Now, I said that this process increased the time registered on the clock, but there are several other situations where you can continue to play the game, and not have the clock decrease:

Over the last six months, I have played more and more LEGO Super Mario than I care to think about, trying to solve the Mysteries Within. Every couple of days, I learn something new. Recently, I discovered something new about the star power block. It might be a new discovery, or it might be a new feature, introduced in one of the software updates: Star power suspends the timer while the music is playing – essentially a 10 second bonus with every star power bonus gained.

Star power also grants Mario immunity from damage/no-coin states when he lands in Lava or Soda Jungle, gives you double points, and lets you defeat enemies with one strike, including some that you cannot defeat, unless you possess Star power: Boo, Peepa and the Chain Chomp. If you scan any of these tiles without Star Power, Mario will look startled and display an exclamation mark on his chest. There are some bonuses which are skill dependent: such as Bob-omb and the coins included with Chain Chomp Challenge. If they are scanned during Star power, you score a respectable number of coins, but not the maximum possible with repeated mashing of Mario on the barcode.

So, how can you earn a Star Power Bonus? At this point, I have found four sources:

  • Scan a Star Power Block: to be found in 71367, 71377 – this can be used once only in a timed game.
  • Scan a Question Mark block: to be found in 30385, 71360, 71369
  • Program one, other or both of the Programmable azur action bricks, found in the 71380 Maker set to give you Star Power.

Four sources for star power, gives us an additional 40 seconds of game play. Add this to our two minutes and 15 seconds from our time bonuses, and we have 3 minutes and 55 seconds. while Mario has Star Power, he can earn points by walking, stomping , moving etc. He cannot, however, scan another bonus brick (more star power, ‘?’ or time), until Star Power has completed.

But That’s Not All: Red Coins Boxes (71382 Piranha Plant Puzzling Challenge)

The red coin boxes included in this challenge stop the music, and with that, stop the clock, when the first has been scanned for 12 seconds, and a further 12 seconds for the other: If you cannot scan the next red coin box in that time, it time out: the music starts again, and the countdown continues. This is useful, as it means that this challenge is played outside of time limit set for the game. If done otherwise, it might extend the game by up to another 24 seconds.

The clock remains paused, until Mario scans another barcode or purple terrain. Other terrains (water, lava, sand or grass, as well as wood or clay) do not appear to restart the clock. There appears to be no limit in how long you can keep replaying these coins, once the clock has restarted, although I would imagine it to be of limited value, just scanning the red coin to allow Mario to move along regular terrain without using up time.

In fact, the red coins can be used repeatedly, at this period of history (January 2021), resulting in as much time as you need to earn the coins, whether or not they are placed within the piranha plant challenge.

Is using the Dash30 from71380 Master Your Adventure (The Maker Set) a drawback?

The addition of the Maker Set in the second wave of LEGO Super Mario sets can add up to 50 seconds of Game Play, on top of the previous maximum (60+30+15+10+10 = 2min5seconds) So, a total of 2 minutes 55 seconds. You can potentially stop the clock occasionally using red coin boxes, extending the timer out to almost 4 minutes, as long as there are few action bricks to scan, but given their inability to earn significant coins for Mario, as barcodes cannot be scanned in this timeless phase perhaps the most you can hope for is a little over 3 minutes. That is

So… for maximum time:

  • Green warp pipe: 60 seconds
  • Time bonus brick: 30 seconds (90 sec)
  • Time bonus from ‘?’ Brick- 15 (105 sec)
  • Star power brick – 10 sec (115 sec)
  • Star power from ‘?’ Brick – 10 sec (125 sec)
  • Maker set maximum time bonus: 30 sec (165 sec)
  • Maker set ‘?’ programmed as Star power x 2: 10+10=20 seconds (175 seconds)

So that’s a little under 3 minutes of game play, without even thinking about the mystery of the red coin boxes.

Finally, when considering the Maker set, and the Yellow Pipe Dash30 game: you get up to 55 seconds of extra time bonus if you use the Time and Star Power bonuses- more than making up for 30 seconds less on the regular green tube game. Of course, I am unsure at this stage as to just how Dash30 influence all of the scoring, compared to the Green Warp Tube.

I hope that this helps you to improve the duration of your game of LEGO Super Mario.

Do you have any hints and tricks for maximizing time and coin score? Why not leave your comments below and until next time,

Play well!

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