If you're a Mario fan, chances are you've played through the first level of Super Mario 64 more than once. It's a little sparse by today's standards, but it's still a rock-solid introduction to one of the best platformers ever made. But no matter how many times you've played it, you might have still missed one striking detail that adds a new dimension to Mario lore.

An anonymous deviant at 4chan unearthed this oddity, which presents itself after you beat King Bob-omb. You know, the royal dickbag who challenges you on the top of the mountain. 


Defeating King Bob-omb nets you your very first star... and then you never hear from him again. Sure, there are similarly round enemies (like those little horned bullies in the lava level), but once you toss the king on his ass for the third time, he's gone for good. 

Except he's not. In every following mission on that same level, you can clearly see King Bob-omb's vacant corpse. You ran right by it without even noticing it.

To explain, let's rewind a little. On your first run through the game, right after that giant Chain Chomp scares the bejeezus out of you, you come across a couple of rolling black balls in a ditch. 

Not a terribly tough obstacle, but we've all been careless enough to get flattened by one of those at one time or another. But after you defeat King Bob-omb, the ditch looks a little different:

See the difference? There are now three black balls instead of two. That additional ball is in fact King Bob-omb, now dormant, crownless and likely dead. I know. 

But hey, maybe the developers decided to ramp up the difficulty after the initial session by adding in some more obstacles. That would be a reasonable explanation, if it weren't for dialogue from a friendly pink Bob-omb. 


Note specifically that the Bob-omb calls their former monarch "nothing but a big dud." And what's a big black ball bomb if it can't explode? Just a big black ball. 

It's kind of mindblowing on its own, but the revelation just inspires more questions. What's with the other black balls rolling around the level? Are they "duds" too? I guess the level is called "Bob-omb Battlefield." Sort of sounds like a place you'd find bodies of fallen Bob-ombs, doesn't it?

Tristan Cooper can be found on Twitter.