Super Mario Maker Update Adds Checkpoints and Conditional Power-Ups

A free update coming on November 4 adds features the community has been looking for.

Article by Mike Williams, .

Today, Nintendo detailed an upcoming free update for Super Mario Maker. The update will add a few new features to the game, two of which have been in high demand from the level-creating community.

The first major feature is the addition of mid-level checkpoints. Creators can now add flags to their levels, letting players restart at specific points in the level instead of back at the beginning. If you've already got an existing level out there, you can also edit it to add checkpoints. To add a checkpoint flag, players just have to shake the arrow sign item from the course part palette. There's no word on how many checkpoint flags can be added, but I can definitely see level creators adding checkpoints to some of the painfully-hard levels available right now.

The second feature allows for conditional power-ups, meaning a power-up block will spit out a different item depending on whether you are regular or Super Mario. Like the video shows, you attached one power-up item to another in order to set the conditional status.

Both features have long been a part of the Mario series, but were missing from level creation up until now. I applaud Nintendo's ongoing commitment to Super Mario Maker, with the company adding more features to make the game a more robust level-creation tool.

The update also adds brand-new Event Courses. These courses are from Nintendo and Nintendo's partner creators, intended for distribution worldwide. The first Event Course will be "Ship Love", a level created at a Facebook hackathon event earlier this year. Nintendo will also be releasing the level used in the final round of the Omegathon event at PAX Prime 2015. The addition of Event Course comes alongside a new category in the Course World, covering Official Makers. These levels will be like some of the Event Courses, either made by Nintendo or officially sanctioned by the company.

If you're wondering, our staff are still playing all those contest levels you folks sent over. I think they might be going crazy. Pray for them.

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Comments 13

  • Avatar for docexe #1 docexe 2 years ago
    This is fantastic news. Some ridiculously hard levels would actually be manageable if they had a check point or two. Hopefully they will continue adding updates in the future.
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  • Avatar for jeffcorry #2 jeffcorry 2 years ago
    I'm really excited for the check points. I have a couple levels I designed that are really long (that's how I like them), but even I get frustrated when I die halfway playing them again. So...
    My levels are ready!
    Anybody want to try a few new-ish levels?
    A215-0000-00B7-E414 (Beginning level - revised)
    6529-0000-00A4-F07E (Endure to the End - It's not totally unfair...but it is a little masochistic...I die a lot, and I made it...)
    E2F7-0000-008E-AE02 (Jump on Bullet Bill - Seriously that's the only way to beat the's fun though...)
    Last one:
    816C-0000-0091-06F1 (Ghosts, Doors, and Bowser Jr. - It's also a bit of a jaunt...hopefully fair.)
    After shamelessly sharing my levels, I think all of them will benefit from check points.Edited October 2015 by jeffcorry
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  • Avatar for Captain-Gonru #3 Captain-Gonru 2 years ago
    @docexe I think updates are pretty much a given. I'll be curious how many of them are FREE updates. I can see things like this likely staying that way, but would a level pack, like SMB2 or the Game Boy palette, still be free? I have my doubts, given the almost "horse armor" approach they've used with Smash Bros.
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  • Avatar for brionfoulke91 #4 brionfoulke91 2 years ago
    Great news. I'm actually more excited about conditional powerups... that's a feature I've wanted from the beginning! I always felt it was weird to have 2nd tier powerups available even to little Mario, it made these powerups too strong in levels and the inclination is to only use mushrooms. This will be a really nice change!
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  • Avatar for Kommy-Kat #5 Kommy-Kat 2 years ago
    Now that we have official checkpoints, certain levels with unofficial checkpoints will probably get edited. That, I think, is sad. It's crazy what the community came up with to fill the void left by no official checkpoints. It's impressive what creators came up. "Necessity is the mother of invention" and all that.
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  • Avatar for Toelkki #6 Toelkki 2 years ago
    So we get official Nintendo content (so it's "kind of" curated content), checkpoints that make long levels properly feasible and "conditional" powerups (I assume I can do the same with the propeller hat, leaf and feather). (I wonder if a leaf can be made conditional on fire flower...)

    Sounds good to me.Edited October 2015 by Toelkki
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  • Avatar for pertusaria #7 pertusaria 2 years ago
    I'm really happy to hear about these additions - they were exactly the two things that I, and even more so my boyfriend (he grew up with Mario and I didn't so much), were missing most, particularly the power-ups. We haven't played much and are still chipping away at the basic unlocks, but I'll make sure to get ready in time for the update.
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  • Avatar for LBD_Nytetrayn #8 LBD_Nytetrayn 2 years ago
    @Toelkki You mean you'd have to be Fire Mario in order to get the Super Leaf?
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  • Avatar for seanmitchell #9 seanmitchell 2 years ago
    @LBD_Nytetrayn no. it means if you are small you will get a mushroom, if you are big you will get a leaf or fire flower. of course thats only if you set it up that way. you can still get a leaf or flower or whatever if you are small if you don't use the conditional power up feature.
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  • Avatar for docexe #10 docexe 2 years ago
    @Captain-Gonru That’s a good point. Given how they have handled updates so far, I presume added functionalities (like in this case with checkpoints and conditional power ups) will be provided for free, but new enemies or skins based on other Mario games will indeed be charged for. I will reserve judgment until I see the prices though.

    Now, to be somewhat fair, their pricing model for DLC in Smash Bros. is more or less on par with the prices of DLC in other fighting games for essentially the same things (costumes and characters). Which probably tells more about a bigger problem in the overall genre, given how all those things tend to be overpriced for what they are, but you know supply and demand: If the people keep buying it...
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  • Avatar for LBD_Nytetrayn #11 LBD_Nytetrayn 2 years ago
    @seanmitchell I know that's how the game is doing it; I meant his comment.
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  • Avatar for Toelkki #12 Toelkki 2 years ago
    @LBD_Nytetrayn Yes, that was what I was wondering about. Another is that if these conditional powerups can be put on rails as well instead of just blocks. It'd be different from old Mario games, though.
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  • Avatar for LBD_Nytetrayn #13 LBD_Nytetrayn 2 years ago
    @Toelkki Indeed, and I suspect that would be the biggest argument against them, though I admittedly am not sure what requiring a Fire Flower to get a leaf/feather/propeller instead of a mushroom would accomplish that just blocking them off to those items' abilities wouldn't.
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