Big Boo doesn’t seem nearly as scary anymore.

One could make the argument that Super Mario World is the greatest video game ever made. Yes, the pack-in title for the Super NES is almost three decades old, but in many ways it remains the finest example of 2-D platforming ever produced, so if that’s your genre of choice, Super Mario World will provide practically limitless entertainment.

So what makes the game so great? It has fluid-as-the-ocean controls, vibrant visuals, and catchy music. But perhaps most important of all, it rewards exploration and experimentation like few games before or since, with a plethora of out-of-the-way power-ups, branching levels, and concealed worlds.

Just how many secrets is Super Mario World hiding? No one can say, because the tally is still increasing. Fan site Super Mario Broth recently uncovered a strategy that seemingly no one had noticed in the 27 years since Super Mario World’s Japanese release.

During his adventure, Mario periodically finds himself making his way through haunted houses, inhabited by creatures including Big Boo. A gigantic ghost, Big Boo can’t be defeated by stomping on its head (the most common way of dispatching Mario’s foes) or throwing fireballs at the specter. The bashful Big Boo is blushingly immobilized when Mario faces it, making it a little easier to avoid, but the enemy’s screen-filling size means that many players still lost lives trying to get around it.

Except, as it turns out, there’s an extremely easy way to defeat Big Boo.

All you have to do is lure the ghost near a flight of stairs, with Mario positioned at the top, then turn towards it to stop its movement. Press down on the controller to make Mario slide down the steps, and if his momentum causes him to collide with Big Boo, the collision will kill the enemy. Well, maybe not kill, since Big Boo is already dead, but at least knock it permanently off the screen.

While this may look like a glitch, killing Big Boo in this manner adds 200 points to the player’s score, suggesting that the technique’s effectiveness may have been a deliberate choice by the game’s designers. However, a similar maneuver, used to “kill” floor-traversing buzz saws that also appear in the game, also provides 200 points, but changes the saw’s sprite to a jumbled mess of fragmented pixel art in the process, so these applications of Mario’s apparently invincible slide may indeed be unintentional.

But whether the programmers wanted Mario to be able to defeat Big Boo like this or not, the fact remains that the technique does work. It’s further proof that Nintendo’s games are full of secrets, and we can’t wait to see what Super Mario Broth uncovers next.

Sources: Super Mario Broth via Yurukuyaru via Jin, Mashable
Featured image: Twitter/@Somecallmejon