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Super Mario Maker's new feature, elements, and how to use them

A look at what was in the recent Super Mario Maker update and what to shake to use the new elements.

Super Mario Maker's update last week brought some new elements and new features for level makers to have fun with. Every new tool helps and what we got in the last update were much-needed additions to the game.

Can we step back right quick and be happy we finally got another content update to the game, and not just more Mystery Mushroom costumes? Whew!

Back on track, let's take a look at the new Super Mario Maker elements, what they're used for, and which other elements you need to shake to use them. Oh, and at the new Failure Point view feature -- the one thing literally any level maker would want to have -- is finally here.

Failure Point view

The one new feature packed in this update is the ability to see exactly where players die in your levels.

Before you could see vaguely where players died when looking at a level's information, but now you can go in and actually look at a level's "Failure Points".

This information is crazy useful for optimizing your levels' difficulty and honestly it's a surprise it wasn't added sooner considering how important that information is for makers to balance their levels. It may not be an exciting feature, but its value is tremendous.

New elements

There were four new elements added with the recent update, including the much-needed Keys and Key Doors. These are great for puzzles but are ideal for bosses -- finally players can have unskippable bosses, something almost every maker has wanted from the start.

Here are the new elements:

Skewers

These are obstacle elements that extend and retract to damage Mario. Super Mario Maker has sorely lacked a variety of obstacles and the Skewer, while basic, has been a mechanic staple of the series since Super Mario World.

Keys and Key Doors

The perfect pair with the next element, Key Doors. Keys can be placed just about anywhere, including on enemies. If you want to lock parts of your levels off based on a player's exploration or want to make it so they have to defeat the bosses in your levels, using Keys and Key Doors is a must.

Pink Coins

Makers have been asking for some sort of collectibles to have in their levels for ages, and finally they got them: Pink Coins. Players can see how many Pink Coins there are in a level and try to collect them all. Once all three are collected, the player gets a Key.

If you use Pink Coins for a collect-a-thon style level and don't want to use Key Doors too (to make use of the Key), don't worry -- the Key will disappear if there are no Key Doors on the level.

How to use the new elements

I'm ashamed to say I didn't pay attention to the tooltip that popped up after the update. Shame on me, and maybe (just maybe) shame on you, too.

So what elements do you have to shake to get your hands on these new toys?

Shake the Thwomp element to use the Skewer.

Shake the P-switch element to use the Key.

Shake the Door element twice to use the Key Door.

Place a Coin, then grab and shake it to use the Pink Coin.

This is the first content update Super Mario Maker has gotten in several months. It may not be huge, but what's been added this time around adds some substantial new gameplay possibilities.

For the first time, makers can give incentives to players for exploration via Pink Coins. Finally players will be truly forced to fight the bosses creative makers come up with thanks to Keys and Key Doors.

Makers have a new obstacle -- the Skewer -- to work into the levels for more creative platforming. And, of course, let's not forget the Failure Point view.

Updates are far and few between, but the Super Mario Maker community is going strong and always growing as level makers, especially with new tools like these. Keep it up!

Published Mar. 13th 2016

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