World 4-1 is another one of those levels that is technically Overworld, but could also count as Athletic. It can also be one of the easiest levels in the game if you know what to do.
Moving along, we get to meet our first and only real opponent in this level, Lakitu. Lakitu, floats high above in the air, throwing Spinies at you, and, of course, there's the usual pipes with Piranha Plants in them.
Spinies cannot be defeated by jumping on them, obviously, so either destroy them with fire power, or ignore them.
The first Q block has a power up. The one above Mario has a coin. However, if one were to get up on top of that other Q block, one would have a chance of jumping on top of Lakitu, and sending him to kingdom come.
If you do manage to get rid of Lakitu, this level just became a lot easier. Otherwise, your best bet is to just run, and keep on running, avoiding the Spinies as best as you can.
Coins will appear, but sometimes, it's best to ignore them.
After awhile, there are four Q blocks with coins in each of them. Other than getting another shot at knocking down Lakitu, it's best to just keep moving.
Obviously, pits and obstructions will hamper your progress through this level. Since there are no ground forces besides the Spinies, they shouldn't be too much to handle.
Here are four more Q blocks with coins in them. If you stand on the blocks, right in the middle, and jump, you will get, not only an extra life, but also an extra chance to take out Lakitu.
Another obstruction here with more coins.
A pipe with more coins here...
...and another pipe with more coins here. (This pipe will take you to Coin Room D).
This gives you another opportunity to get Lakitu. You can also collect the coins from the Q blocks if you want, as well as a power up that is directly left of the bricks.
Another pipe here.
These two pits right here could possibly trip you up if you are not expecting them. This might be one of the few times you will want to slow down so you don't fall into the pits.
Another place where you want to be careful you make it all the way over, all the while avoiding Lakitu if you have to.
Otherwise, it's just a straight run to the end stairs.
Lakitu won't follow you over here, so you're safe. That brick right there contains 10 coins. You can get the coins, jump back up the stairs, and still get a pretty decent score.
Moving on, then, to World 4-2.
Alright, back to this cutscene. This time it takes us...
...underground. This area, though, is quite a bit more complicated than the previous underground scenery.
These platforms are simply dreadful. The one Mario is about to land on is about the only supposedly safe one to try. Don't even bother with the real skinny one, because it's simply not worth it. Running and jumping can take you over to the other side just fine.
If you're small, you can make it through there. Otherwise, Just take the top path. Something to note is that the brick above the middle coin contains a power up.
Three goombas to deal with down the path. There's not much room to jump, so iti's preferable to use fire power. If not, then just carefully jump on them one after the other, and you'll be fine.
Starting from the right, bump your head against the bricks until you count to five. If you are bigger, break the bricks above the fifth brick to find a block with 10 coins.
The middle of the set of three Q blocks has a power up. All the others have coins.
This platform moves vertically downward, so either jump quickly from the platform to the bricks to get to the ceiling or continue onwards. (If you are small this is your last chance to get to the ceiling).
There are four hidden blocks here, directly underneath the row of three bricks as well as directly left of that row. Revealing those blocks will create stairs that will allow you to bump your head against the left most brick, which will create a vine. (The vine will lead you to a Warpzone). Take the Warpzone, or continue on your way through this level.
Here is a set of three pipes. They each have enemies in them, in between them, and are practically impossible to hit with fire power, so be very careful when traversing this area. However, if you're feeling brave, the brick that Mario is standing on contains 10 coins, while the brick adjacent to the pipe on the other side has a star. (Also, that third pipe over there takes you to Coin Room E).
You will also notice that there is a new enemy here, the Buzzy Beetle. These things are immune from most attacks, including fire balls, and are best ignored when encountered.
Another pipe after that set of three. That brick hanging there is a red herring.
Two more Troopas here...
... along the way to a pipe in between two pits. Wait for the Piranha Plant to go back in before attempting to cross.
After that, we've got another similar situation with two elevators that go down and up respectively.
Cross over to the middle, then either cross to the other side, or take the elevator to get on top of the ceiling. Before you do that though, the middle of the set of bricks that is above Mario contains a power up.
Two more pipes here with a Troopa in between...
... followed by a third pipe, and a pit.
The pits not to big a deal, just be careful you don't hit that Buzzy Beetle.
This platform only goes down, so don't think you can get to the ceiling from here.
The brick that Mario is touching has a power up.
However, with those Troopas so close and Mario being small, it's better to just take the high road anyway. If your bigger, then, by all means, get the power up.
A very tall pipe that you will have to wait for the Piranha Plant before you can cross. (If you are big, this is your last chance to get to the ceiling).
And right here is the way out. (If you are still on the ceiling, continue onwards to reach another Warpzone).
Up the stairs...
... and to the flag to the next level.
World 4-3 is an official Athletic setting.
Sadly, we're back to the treetops, (or should I say mushroom tops?), and there will be more of this balancing platforms as well.
Best to just wait for the Troopas to be going the other way before you attempt to jump up there.
The lack of traction will take you far, but it shouldn't take you too far that you run into the Troopas.
So they won't be in the way, it's a good idea to get rid of these Troopas. Jumping on them and knocking them over the side, or shooting them with fire balls will both work.
Make sure you havea good running start, and Mario should just barely be able to make it up there.
After that, jump over here and do your best to grab the power up in the Q Block if you can.
Now, here's where the real grit of the level starts. Use the same strategy as before, and stay on the platforms as little as you can. (If you feel like a daredevil, staying on the platform until it breaks will get you 1000pts).
The platform on the far right moves vertically, so jump from platform to platform until you are safe on it.
Same goes for the other platform on the right.
Staying as high as you can go is probably your safest bet when traversing a level like this. The platforms are easier to get to, and, if you fall, there is a chance that you can land on a platform instead of dieing.
Another set of balancing platforms here, with a platform in between.
This right here can be very nerve racking, so just be patient. Try and bypass the lower of the balancing platforms that Mario is jumping over, and jump, instead, to the second from the right.
Hesitation will get you nowhere, so immediately jump off that platform and try and land on that Mushroom below Mario.
Go from Mushroom to Mushroom.
And again, Mushroom to Mushroom, though if you don't trust yourself, you can use the balancing platform to give you a closer jump. Just remember to jump as soon as you land on that platform, for it will go down at a rapid pace.
Alright, well you've gotten through the worst of it now, so just continue onwards from Mushroom to Mushroom.
This platform moves in a vertical direction, so jump on it...
...and use it to get as high on the flagpole as you can. Alright, all that's left now is the castle.
World 4's castle level features the first time in the game where you can fail if you choose the incorrect path, so, first time readers and players, pay attention to what I am about to say for this upcoming level.
These two pits aren't to terrible, just a small platform to worry about.
Here, we have our first branching pathway. If you choose the lower path, you'll be on an endless loop of this little corridor, so choose the top path if you want to find your way out.
You will also avoid troublesome enemies along the way...
...though there are still firebars to worry about.
After that hallway, you'll come to this area over here.
This time, you have three different paths to choose from. Only the lower path will take you further onward.
As soon as you get to the end, Fire balls will start coming towards you.
There's a little safety hole there before the actual fight begins.
Other than a firebar, there isn't really much keeping you from jumping over or running under him to reach the switch.
So, that's all there is to it. The lack of any real enemies, plus the completely open area you get in this fight, makes this one of the easier castles in the game.
"It's just too bad it couldn't have been the last one...