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Super Mario World (SNES)/Notes

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Chip tiny.png The following article is a Notes Page for Super Mario World (SNES).

Level Format

Super Mario World uses an object-based format to store its levels. These objects are grouped into 4 main categories:

  • Standard objects
  • Tileset specific Objects
  • Extended Objects
  • Direct MAP16 Objects

Standard objects
Standard objects are are items such as coins and pipes that use mainly the first page of 8x8 and 16x16 tiles.

Tileset Specific Objects
Tileset specific objects are objects lists chosen by level tileset, and mainly use graphics from the second 8x8 page, and both normal MAP16 pages. These objects, being tileset specific, are not available nearly as widely as other objects.

Extended Objects
These objects are objects that were so far out to left field, or just used so rarely, they were stored in their own definition.

Direct MAP16 objects
An ASM hack by FuSoYa added by Lunar Magic allows hackers to incorporate specific tiles in the MAP16 tables into a level. Normally, you would need a special object to do so, which is one reason for the disproportionate number of extended objects one tile high and one tile wide.


RATS tags are some of the most important tags to a SMW hacker. These tags are a way of reserving sections of the SMW ROM for your own use, Lunar Magic's, or Blocktool's, so that it will not be overwritten by any SMW editing program that recognizes these tags. The format of the tag is quite simple, but seems complex from how it is explained elsewhere.

First, you have the ASCII text string "STAR" to write in. You now need two numbers: a four-digit hexadecimal number(byteswapped) that represents the length of the protected code, and another four-digit hexadecimal number(byteswapped again) that is the INVERSE of the first number. (To calculate the inverse, take FFFF - [number A, not byteswapped]. The inverse of 10 bytes, or 0x0A, is FFF5.) Contrary to what was written here in the past, you do not need to add an extra byte with value 0xFF after your data. This has been confirmed by FuSoYa himself.

Be sure to avoid RATS tags within RATS tags as Lunar Magic may or may not notice this.

A few tips are listed below:

  • Byteswapping example: 0x010B would be 0x0B01, and 0xABCD would be 0xCDAB.
  • Need help with hexadecimal? Launch Calculator and switch to Scientific mode. Then, click either Dec for decimal to hex conversions, or Hex for hex to decimal conversions.
  • Calculator is your friend when you are doing math with hexadecimal.
  • Your RATS tag should be exactly 8 bytes.
  • For example, if you want to protect 10 bytes (0x0A in hex) your RATS tag would be 53 54 41 52 0A 00 F5 FF. Using Translhextion, that would show up as STAR..õÿ in text.


There are many resources available to SMW hackers. They include;
Please add links to these as you can. Please also add more to this list.

  • BMF54123's HDMA System
  • d4s' HDMA system
  • DJ Bouche's SMB3 and SMB1 music patches
  • Sukasa's HDMA Minikit 1
  • MikeyK's screen-scrolling pipes
  • Glyph Pheonix's many little ASM hacks
  • BMF54123's LevelASM and LevelNames