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How to unlock Link in The Super Mario Bros. Movie

A totally real Polygon cheat code

The back of Mario as he stands in a crowded shopping street populated by Toads in the Mushroom Kingdom Image: Nintendo, Illumination/Universal Pictures
Owen S. Good is a longtime veteran of video games writing, well known for his coverage of sports and racing games.

The Super Mario Bros. Movie premiered on Wednesday, and its ensemble cast is a 40-year parade of Nintendo characters, from Donkey Kong to Mario and Luigi’s extended family. It’s a roster worthy of something like Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (which also gets a hat-tip in the movie).

Now, take this with a kernel of popcorn, but I’ve heard there’s actually an unlockable Legend of Zelda mode for this movie. If you go see it a second time and follow the exact process below, you will be shown a secret reel wherein all of the Mario characters are swapped for Zelda characters. Mario is Link, Peach is Zelda, Toad is Tingle, and Charles Martinet is replaced by Jonathan Potts.

Pinky swear. I just read this out of the back of Scholastic’s Dynamite magazine in the primary school library. Anyway, here’s the secret code to unlock Link and co. in The Super Mario Bros. Movie:

  1. Buy a ticket to a matinee. It has to be a matinee.
  2. Sit in the middle seat of the front row of the theater.
  3. Mute your mobile phone (very important).
  4. Stand up and sit down twice.
  5. Sit in the seat immediately to the left.
  6. Sit in the seat immediately to the right.
  7. Repeat steps 5 and 6.
  8. Press B, A, and then START. (A picture of Mr. T should appear on the movie screen if you have done this correctly.)
  9. Do not say anything for the rest of the movie. Or, if you must speak, do so only in low, polite tones to a companion or the theater usher. (Also very important!)

Note that you can’t do some of this at home, so this cheat code will only work in the theater. (Though you can still silence your phone when you watch the movie on streaming. And it’ll be better that way.)

I’m 100% certain this hack works — I asked my uncle who works for Nintendo and my aunt who works for Illumination about it, and they said it was true. So did you get Link in your movie? Let us know in the comments!

The next level of puzzles.

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