Poorman Challenge Guide by FoxMcCloud0482

Version: 1.90 | Updated: 02/23/15 | Printable Version

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Super Mario Bros. 3
Poorman Challenge FAQ
Version 1.90
By FoxMcCloud0482 (Jacob Ryan "Jake" Hoover)
E-mail:  jrh150482@hotmail.com

Copyright 2010-2015 Jake Hoover

This may not be reproduced in whole or in part under any circumstances except
for personal, private use.  It may not be placed on any web site or otherwise
distributed publicly without advance written permission.  Use of this document
on any other web site or as a part of any public display is strictly prohibited
and a violation of copyright law.

All trademarks and copyrights contained in this document are owned by their
respective trademark and copyright holders.

Table of Contents
1 - Version Info

2 - Introduction:  What Is The Poorman Challenge?

3 - The Poorman Challenge Walkthrough
    3.a - Rules of the challenge
    3.b - Explanation of the Format I Will Use
    3.c - World 1:  Grass Land
    3.d - World 2:  Desert Land
    3.e - World 3:  Water Land
    3.f - World 4:  Giant Land
    3.g - World 5:  Sky Land
    3.h - World 6:  Ice Land
    3.i - World 7:  Pipe Land
    3.j - World 8:  Dark Land

4 - Acknowledgements

1) Version Info
1.00 - Original version.  (Completed 28 Nov 2010)
1.01 - Revised the section dealing with World 2-4.  (Completed 6 Dec 2010)
1.10 - Revised the World 7 and World 8 sections of the Walkthrough.
       (Completed 9 Sept 2011)
1.50 - General and thorough revision. (Completed 2 Aug 2012)
1.60 - General revision. (Completed 26 Sept 2012)
1.61 - Slight edit in the World 8 section.  (Completed 29 Dec 2012)
1.62 – General revision. (Completed 23 Mar 2013)
1.90 - General and thorough revision. (Completed 22 Feb 2015)
2) Introduction:  What Is The Poorman Challenge?
Salutations, fellow video-gamers.  FoxMcCloud0482 here.  I trust you enjoyed my
previous FAQ (Sonic 3 & Knuckles Bonus Game Guide).  I'm back, this time with
an FAQ for "Super Mario Bros. 3".  This FAQ describes what I like to call the
"Poorman Challenge".  Leading some of you to perhaps ask, "What is the Poorman
Challenge?"  Well, it's beating the game while minimizing your coin collecting
(it's called the Poorman Challenge for that reason), and this FAQ will tell you
how you can accomplish this grand task.  I will take you on a brief tour of the
Mushroom Kingdom, world by world, and briefly describe how to go about each
level so that your coin collecting is minimum.  So, without further ado...

3) The Poorman Challenge Walkthrough
3.a) The Rules of the Challenge
The rules for the Poorman Challenge are as follows:
   -Beat EVERY LEVEL while collecting AS FEW COINS AS POSSIBLE.  This includes
    Fight Stages and the Piranha Plant levels in World 7, even though they
    contain no coins.
   -Collect 1-Up Mushrooms.
   -Get three of the same picture card in a row.
   -Collect power-ups and items.
   -Do the minigames at the spade icons on the World Maps.
   -Do the N-Spade minigame.  Ever.  Period.  Exclamation point.  Unless you
   -Use a Jugem's Cloud or Music Box unless you go back to do the level you
    skipped with the Cloud's or Music Box's effect (the Cloud enables Mario to
    bypass one voluntary-entry stage and the Music Box puts all Hammer/
    Boomerang/Fire/Sledge Brothers or Piranha Plants on the world map to sleep
    for a short time).
   -Use a Warp Whistle unless you use it to warp backwards (possible only in
    World 5, 6, or 8).
   -Use a P-Wing before starting a level unless using a P-Wing is the only way
    to avoid collecting coins in that level.
   -Change a Hammer Brothers Fight Stage into a Treasure Ship Stage (you can't
    do this without collecting coins anyway).

3.b) Explanation of the Format I Will Use

Difficulty:  A rating of how difficult it is to avoid the coins in the level.  
Possible ratings are No-Brainer, Easy, Medium, Hard, and Insane.

Power-Up Level at Start:  This field will appear only for stages where a
certain form (or forms) of Mario is (are) necessary in order to avoid all the
coins in the level.  Wherever this field appears, the necessary form(s) will be

Procedure for doing level follows the Power-Up Level At Start field.

3.c) World 1 - Grass Land
Fight Stages:  Hammer Brother
Fight Stage Rewards:  Super Star
World Completion Reward:  P-Wing

A) World 1-1
Difficulty:  Easy
Just don't follow the coin trail into the sky after getting the Super Leaf.
Most of the coins are up there.  Also, ignore the P-Switch in the stack of
bricks near the end.

B) World 1-2
Difficulty:  Easy
The only coins here are the groups of coins that are turned into bricks by the
P-Switch midway through the level, inside the pipe above the P-Switch, or in
the solitary ? Block near the end of the level.  Avoid these and you're gold.

C) World 1-3
Difficulty:  Easy
Instead of sending a Koopa shell through the huge stack of bricks near the
start of the level, which will inevitably hit the ? Blocks therein and give you
a couple coins, ignore the bricks and continue on.  (Ignoring the brick stack
also means you avoid the Magic Note Block hidden therein, because you have to
clear away the bricks before you can make it appear.)  The only other coins in
the level are the two three-coin groups between the Wood Block columns a slight
ways beyond the stack of bricks, another three-coin group above the blue block
near the end, a single coin above the white block below and to the left of the
blue block, and a single coin above the pink block below and to the left of the
white block.

D) World 1-4
Difficulty:  Medium
This level has coins literally strewn all over the place.  Most of the jumps to
avoid coins are problematic if you're not Raccoon Mario, so Raccoon Mario is
preferred.  If you're NOT Raccoon Mario at level start, however, the third and
fourth coin groups in the level will be especially problematic, as a precise
jump will be needed to avoid both groups.  Two procedures exist for
accomplishing this:
[All forms of Mario]
Standing on the left edge of the brick just to the left of the third group,
wait until the level's automatic scroll reveals the fourth group, then jump
straight up, moving forward only once Mario's airborne.  If done correctly,
Mario will avoid both groups of coins and land on the brick underneath the
fourth group.
[Alternate procedure for Small/Raccoon Mario]
Standing on the left edge of the brick just to the left of the third group,
wait until the level's automatic scroll exposes the rest of the brick formation
Mario's on, then jump just enough to clear the third group, then once Mario's
below the group, angle back to the left to land on the bricks below the group.
(Using Raccoon Mario's tail to slow his descent makes this maneuver easier.)
From this spot, a slightly checked jump will put Mario on the brick below the
fourth group without collecting any of the coins.

E) World 1 Fortress
Difficulty:  No-Brainer
This level doesn't have a single coin in it, so I offer no tips for this one.
Just do the level the way you normally would.

F) World 1-5
Difficulty:  Easy
The only difficulty here is the coin group at the start of the level.  It's
right after a HUGE 45-degree slope.  Jumping right after sliding through all
four Buzzy Beetles on the slope will avoid all the coins, though.  After that,
you can take the upper route, which has no coins and a bunch of Green Koopas,
or you can take the lower route, which has no enemies, a ? Block that contains
a power-up, and a small water pool that has five coins above its surface.

G) World 1-6
Difficulty:  Medium
Again, the only difficulty is the first group of coins.  It's sitting three
block-heights above a ledge, it's exactly the same length as the ledge, AND
there's a Red Koopa pacing on the ledge.  If you have fireballs, taking out the
Koopa without collecting the coins is a cinch:  just point and shoot.  And if
you have a tail, you can tail-attack the Koopa as it reaches the left side of
the ledge.  Otherwise, time the stomp so that the Koopa is hanging over the
edge of the platform when you stomp it.  After the Koopa is dealt with, be
careful of how you jump onto that ledge.  Jump too high and you collect a coin.
After that, though, the rest of the coins are pretty easy to avoid.  After all,
most of them are high in the air.  However, there is a Green Koopa near the
Goal Card.  You'll need to get rid of it before nabbing the card, because
touching the Goal Card will turn all on-screen enemies (except Micro-Goombas)
into coins.

H) World 1 Airship
Difficulty:  No-Brainer
Suggested Powerup Level:  Any
Like the Fortress, this level has zero coins.  Complete as normal.

On to World 2.

3.d) World 2 - Desert Land
Fight Stages:  Boomerang Brother (2), Fire Brothers
Fight Stage Rewards:  Music Box, Hammer
World Completion Reward:  Jugem's Cloud

A) World 2-1
Difficulty:  Easy
All the coins in this level that you really need to worry about are found
inside either of the two pipe enclosures. You can avoid the coins by
avoiding these areas and the two secret rooms, one of which is accessed by
entering the pipe in the air after breaking the bricks around it, and the other
of which is accessed by entering the last pipe in the level.  Each room is
completely empty except for a P-Switch that will turn all the bricks outside
into coins.  Additionally, the switch inside the first room makes sixteen
silver coins appear there.  Also, a Pile-Driver Micro-Goomba hangs out beneath
the Goal Card.

B) World 2-2
Difficulty:  Medium
Probably the hardest coins to avoid here are the first three, which are located
just to the right of the power-up block.  After that, you can avoid the rest
just by swimming in the lake instead of taking the wooden platform across.
Incidentally, swimming across the lake is quicker than taking the platform
across.  Strange, but true.  (However, you'll have to swim carefully in order
to avoid the enemies in the water, especially if you're small at this point.)

C) World 2-3
Difficulty:  Medium
The only way to do this level without collecting a single coin is to fly up to
the P-Switch instead of climbing the invisible blocks (some of those blocks
give you coins).  Though it is possible to accomplish this while starting the
level in any form, if you're not Raccoon Mario, you have to collect either (or
both) of the power-ups located at the top of the first and third pyramids, a
feat which is complicated by the presence of those damn Fire Snakes (ugh!),
in order to get Raccoon Mario.  Anyway, once you get the ears and tail, run
along the ground underneath the third pyramid to build up speed, then fly up.
After activating the P-Switch, jump and float over to the checkerboard brick
formation (it was a group of coins before you threw the Switch) and then jump
over to the last brick pyramid.  All the bricks are coins if you get there
before the Switch effect wears off, but you can stand on the outer coins
because those coins were bricks that have coins in them.  (Just be careful not
to tail-attack them.)  When you reach that formation, wait until the Switch
effect wears off, then jump down into the formation and start tail-attacking
the inner bricks.  (There are also two Green Koopas in this formation, but if
you stood in the right place while you waited for the P-Switch effect to wear
off, they will be trapped in the bottom of the formation when the coins change
back into bricks.)  Once you have cleared away enough bricks to expose the exit
pipe, enter it.

D) World 2 Desert
Difficulty:  Easy
There are no free-floating coins or ? Blocks to worry about here, but there is
one enemy to worry about:  the Angry Sun.  He follows Mario around, and after
you land from the whirlwind, he'll start attacking Mario, and he'll keep it up
until you complete the level or until you kill him, whichever comes first.  Use
either the Green Koopa shortly before the whirlwind or the two Green
Para-Koopas after you land to kill the Angry Sun.  Once he's gone, there will
be nothing to worry about.

E) World 2-4
Difficulty:  Hard
The hardest coins to avoid here are the first five free-floating coins, which
form an arch shape and are really close to each other.  You can avoid all of
them by using one of the following form-dependent procedures:
[Small/Super/Fiery Mario]
Carrying a Koopa shell with you, jump into the space between the two leftmost
coins of the arch (you need a very precise jump in order to avoid touching the
coins), then tap the jump button and kick the shell into the Boomerang Brother
on the other side of the ? Block below the coin arch.  If you want to get the
power-up inside this block, first go to the right and stomp the Green
Para-Koopa twice, then carry the shell back over to the block and open the
block by kicking the shell into it.  If it's a Super Mushroom, once it appears,
jump quickly, but carefully, over the block in order to nab it before it falls
into the pitfall to the left.
[Raccoon Mario]
After defeating the Para-Goomba right at the beginning of the level, go back to
the left, charge up the P-Meter, then fly to the right.  If you didn't brush
against the first ? Block in the level on your way up, the flight will carry
you over the whole formation.

Later on, there is a two-Wood-Block platorm suspended over a bottomless pit
between two sand blocks, with four coins above it.  You'll have to be careful
how you jump onto this ledge in order to avoid the coins and the Boomerang
Brother's attacks.  Near the end of the level, there are three columns of four
coins each.  These are easy enough to avoid; the first one hugs the left edge
of a sand block and the other two are in between sand blocks.  Finally, take
out the Boomerang Brother who hangs out in the goal area.

F) World 2-5
Difficulty:  Easy
The only coins anywhere in this level are either high off the ground (read:
reachable only by flying or by climbing the vine), tucked up inside ? Blocks,
or inside the pipe in the sky.  Near the end of the level, take a Red Koopa
shell into the goal area and use it on the Chain Chomp residing there.

G) World 2 Pyramid
Difficulty:  Easy
No coins here except those in the invisible blocks that make the pipe to the
secret room accessible and the ones that appear in the secret room once the
P-Switch (which is also in the room) is activated.  Avoid the secret room
altogether and you avoid the coins.  Simple, huh?

H) World 2 Airship
Difficulty:  No-Brainer
No coins here.

Thank you for visiting World 2.  Up next is World 3.

3.e) World 3 - Water Land
Fight Stages:  Hammer Brothers (2)
Fight Stage Rewards:  Hammer, Super Star
World Completion Reward:  Music Box

A) World 3-1
Difficulty:  Easy
Nothin' to it.  Just stick to the upper route.  All the coins are down below.

B) World 3-2
Difficulty:  Hard
Really the only difficulty here is the three-coin group that sits right above
the fourth motorized rail platform.  I know of three different ways to avoid
this group, presented in increasing order of difficulty:
[Frog Suit method]
If you visited the Mushroom House near the Fire Brothers Fight Stage in World
2, this level presents a very nice application of the Frog Suit's capabilities.
Enter the level as Frog Mario, hop into the water immediately, go just below
the surface, and start swimming.  As long as Mario remains underwater, the
Cheep-Cheeps can't harm him.  Also, Mario easily avoids all the coins in the
level.  Win-win.  There is a drawback to this method if you're playing the
original NES version, though:  you won't be able to see Mario while he's
[Super Star Method]
Above the third motorized rail platform is a formation of Wood Blocks
consisting of a long Wood Block with three Wood Blocks stacked on its extreme
left edge.  The middle Wood Block in this stack is actually a Bouncing Wood
Block that contains a Super Star.  The second and third ? Blocks after this
point will contain Super Stars if Mario is invincible when he opens them;
otherwise, they contain coins.  The fourth motorized rail platform is right
after the second "continuous Super Star"; after collecting the Star, jump over
the platform and swim all the way to the end.  However, if you don't have the
Frog Suit, the invincibility will wear off before you reach the end.  That's
OK.  Just be careful once Mario returns to normal.
[Careful Jump Method]
Do the level as in the Super Star Method, except jump onto the fourth rail
platform, aiming for the extreme right edge of it.  This requires a VERY
precise jump.  Fortunately, if you overshoot the platform and land in the
water, you can still (once the Super Star's effect wears off) bounce off a
Cheep-Cheep to land on the platform, again aiming for the extreme right edge.

C) World 3-3
Difficulty:  Insane
Powerup Level at Start:  Small or Raccoon Mario
The only way you will avoid all the coins in this level is to do it as Small or
Raccoon Mario, and even then it's very difficult.  Not only are there coins
literally everywhere, but also you must avoid getting eaten by Boss Bass.  Run
under the first three-coin group, then jump over the second (if you try to run
under the second one also, either Boss Bass or a Cheep-Cheep will get you).  At
the row of bricks with a Note Block to its left, just run across.  There is a
power-up in the Note Block, but it's a Fire Flower, so pass on that.  Do some
jumpin' action across the next few islands, then you come to an island that has
a ? Block and two ice bricks on it, with a ? Block in the air above it.  Ignore
the block in the air, which contains another Fire Flower.  Now, the procedure
for getting through the next area differs according to the form of Mario:
[Small Mario]
Use one ice brick to take out the Red Koopa to your right, and the other on the
? Block on the ground, which has a P-Switch in it.  Trip it, then run across
the bridge of bricks (they were coins before), avoiding the coin groups on the
way. The hardest ones to avoid are the third and fourth groups, which sit over
a gap in the bridge and are very close to each other.  You need a very precise
jump to get in between them.  When you see the 2x2 brick formation, get onto
the island beneath it, wait for the Switch's effect to end, then jump onto the
rotary platform, jump over the four-coin column, and enter the exit pipe.
[Raccoon Mario]
Completely ignore the P-Switch and use the brick ledges as stepping stones over
the first two long rows of coins.  When you get on the sixth one, stop on its
left side. Just before the land reaches its maximum height, run across the
bricks, jump onto the nearby blue island, run across it, do a forward jump off
its right side, then float down.  If you timed the jump and float correctly and
got maximum height and distance, you will touch down on the blue island beneath
the 2x2 coin formation.  Finish as in the Small Mario procedure.

D) World 3 Fortress 1
Difficulty:  Easy
The first room in this fortress has quite a few doors (nine or ten of them, I
think).  All of them except for three (the fifth, sixth, and last) drop Mario
into a huge water pool with two green Cheep-Cheeps in it.  The only good thing
about winding up in the pool is that it offers Mario a couple of ? Blocks
containing Super Leaves, but the bad news is that the fish patrol the areas
underneath them.  The last door leads to a room filled with coins, and you
don't want to go there, obviously.  The fifth door puts Mario on a small ledge
above the extreme right side of the pool, and this ledge has above it a brick
containing a 1-Up Mushroom.  The sixth door puts Mario on an overhang above the
approximate middle of the pool; the door to Boom-Boom is on the higher portion
of this overhang, just above and to the left.
[Raccoon Mario Shortcut]
After stomping the Dry Bones near the first two doors, charge up the P-Meter,
jump, then enter either door (it doesn't matter which one).  Before you hit the
water, start pressing the jump button repeatedly while moving to the left;
you'll land on the ledge with the door to Boom-Boom on it.

E) World 3-4
Difficulty:  Easy
The only coins here are the ones inside ? Blocks and the silver coins that
appear only while the P-Switch's effect is active.  However, when you get to
the row of six bricks, Lakitu appears.  Once he's on the screen, he'll follow
you wherever you go in the level (including the goal area), all the while
trying to hit you with Spiny Eggs.  Kill him, then complete the level quickly
before he returns.

F) World 3-5
Difficulty:  Easy
There are lots of coins in this level, but most are a cinch to avoid.  The most
difficulty in this level comes from a group of four coins located below an
upward-opening pipe that has a current coming out of it.  In order to avoid
those coins, you have to either swim like mad upwards or swim quickly while
crossing under the pipe.

G) World 3-6
Difficulty:  Medium
Your old friend Mr. Auto-Scroll comes a-callin' in this level.  The only coins
that are potentially difficult to avoid are the last three, which sit above
three donut platforms.  There are two ways to deal with this group.
[Easy Way]
Ignore the huge brick formation near the end of the level (which, incidentally,
is just before the trio of donut platforms), proceed to the right--watch out
for the Green Para-Koopa who comes bouncing toward you--and jump over the
coins, holding down the jump button when doing so.  You'll bounce on the Red
Para-Koopa that's flying vertically just beyond the coins.  Steer Mario over
the spinning platform and land on the exit pipe.
[Hard Way]
Drop down to the ice blocks next to the lower-leftmost brick, pick up one of
them, and kick it at the brick, revealing a P-Switch.  Then trip the switch,
run back to the left and jump up onto the upper platform.  (Everything I've
said so far needs to be done very quickly because of the auto-scroll of the
level.)  Jump over the mass of brick-coins and proceed to the right--again,
watch out for the Green Para-Koopa--and when you get to the coin-bricks,
quickly break them before they change back.

H) World 3-7
Difficulty:  Easy
Most of the coins in this level are located on the cloud platforms high off the
ground or in the Coin Heaven segment.  Avoid these places and you're good.
Don't forget to kill the Spike in the goal area before touching the card.

I) World 3 Fortress 2
Difficulty:  No-Brainer
Suggested Mario Level:  Any
No coins here, just a water tank filled with ghosts.

J) World 3-8
Difficulty:  Insane
This level is World 3-3 on crack.  More problematically-placed coins, smaller
islands, a larger tidal effect, plus Boss Bass equals a veritable COIN-
AVOIDANCE NIGHTMARE, especially mid-level, where the coins are positioned about
three block-heights above the islands.  Making these jumps while the tide's
coming in makes it easier to avoid the coins, but it also makes it easier for
Boss Bass to eat you.

K) World 3-9
Difficulty:  Medium
Most of the coins in this level are located inside ? Blocks or inside the
secret room that's all the way on the left in the underwater segment.  However,
there are three free-floating groups of three coins each after you pass the
cannons (all three groups float about three block heights above the ground,
BTW).  The first two have Bob-Ombs moving around beneath them, and the third
has two Green Para-Koopas bouncing along near it.  Which means that you
probably won't be able to afford stomping these enemies.  Fortunately, the
first power-up in the level is a Super Leaf, and tail-attacking a Bob-Omb won't
trigger its fuse; also, the area with the free-floating coins has an abundance
of ice bricks, which can be thrown at the enemies to defeat them.

L) World 3 Airship
Difficulty:  No-Brainer
No coins here.

I mentioned earlier that one of the Fight Stage rewards in World 3 is a Hammer.
If you use the Hammer to break the rock to the right of World 3-5's location,
Mario gains access to a path that leads to a boat, which he can use to visit
two small islands which have among them three Mushroom Houses and two spade
icons.  However, I suggest saving this Hammer until you reach World 4.
Breaking the first rock you encounter on that World Map will give Mario access
to a Mushroom House where all three chests contain a Tanuki Suit.  This
power-up gives Mario all the abilities of Raccoon Mario.  In addition, if you
press the B Button (X or Y Button if you're playing this game on the SNES)
while holding Down on the D-Pad, Mario will transform into an indestructible
statue for five ticks of the clock or until you release Down, whichever happens
first.  This means next to nothing when Mario's on the ground (except that most
enemies that come up underneath him while he's transformed will die as though
they had been stomped), but if he transforms while falling towards an enemy,
chances are he'll defeat the enemy.  Mario will need this ability to avoid the
coins in World 5's Tower level.

World 4, here we come...

3.f) World 4 - Giant Land
Fight Stages:  Sledge Brother (3)
Fight Stage Rewards:  Jugem's Cloud, Super Star, P-Wing
World Completion Reward:  P-Wing

A) World 4-1
Difficulty:  Easy
The only coins here to really worry about are two three-coin groups; one of
those groups is near the start of the level and the other is near the end.  The
rest of the coins are located in a secret room whose entrance is accessible
only to Raccoon or Tanuki Mario anyway.

B) World 4-2
Difficulty:  Easy
Great, another tide stage.  The good news is that there's no Boss Bass.  The
bad news is that the Cheep-Cheeps who accompanied Boss Bass back in World 3-3
are back, and the ones you encounter after nabbing the Super Star (which is in
the ? Block just to the right of the P-Switch) actually jump very high out of
the water to attack Mario.  Fortunately the coins are easy to avoid.  Just
whatever you do, don't trip the Switch.

C) World 4-3
Difficulty:  Medium
The only coins in this level that present a problem are the coin groups right
before the exit pipe.  You need to be Small, Raccoon or Tanuki Mario in order
to avoid them.

D) World 4 Fortress 1
Difficulty:  Easy
All the coins in the level are in the alternate route accessed by going into
the middle pipe in the area that has five pipes right next to each other.
Plus, the only way to get out of that area without collecting coins is to fly
out of it (the only other way out is to make two invisible blocks appear, both
of which contain coins).  The easiest way to avoid the coins is to avoid this
detour.  However, if you're Raccoon or Tanuki Mario, going the way of the
detour is actually quicker.

E) World 4-4
Difficulty:  Easy
Unless you start this level wearing a Frog Suit, there are no coins to collect;
all the coins in the level are in a secret room that only Frog Mario can
access.  And if you start with a Frog Suit, ignore the secret room.

F) World 4-5
Difficulty:  Easy
Very easy to avoid the coins here.  Ignore the ? Blocks (even though two of
them contain power-ups--the large ? Block in the pyramid near the beginning,
and the middle ? Block of the first three-?-Block formation).  If you go into
the pipe in the sky to get the Tanuki Suit, ignore the P-Switch there, because
a bunch of silver coins appear outside the room if that switch is tripped.

G) World 4-6
Difficulty:  Easy
The only coins that present a problem here are the four coins above the first
pit.  Jump across the pit from the top of the ring of bricks to avoid these.
Remember to dispose of the Giant Green Para-Koopa in the goal area before
collecting the card.

H) World 4 Fortress 2
Difficulty:  No-brainer
No coins here unless you trip the P-Switch or access the alternate route.

I) World 4 Airship
Difficulty:  Easy
This is the only Koopaling Airship that has free-floating coins, but there are
only eleven of them, they're all near the beginning of the level, and they're
easy to avoid.  

That's all I have to say about World 4.  Our next stop:  World 5.

Yay!  We're halfway through the game now!  Is your coin count still low?

3.g) World 5 - Sky Land
Fight Stages:  Hammer Brothers (2 in Earth Part, 1 in Sky Part)
Fight Stage Rewards:  P-Wing, Super Star (Earth Part), Music Box (Sky Part)
World Completion Reward:  Jugem's Cloud

A) World 5-1
Difficulty:  Easy
[Shorter Ending]
After clearing away the bricks and Chain Chomp at the beginning of the level,
charge up the P-Meter and fly up into the pipe in the sky.  Once in there, go
all the way to the bottom of the room, charge up the meter again by running
back and forth in that area, quickly squat, then fly up and to the right to
access a hidden alcove with a treasure chest.  Opening the chest coughs up a
Music Box and ends the level.
[Longer Ending]
Complete the stage as normal, except avoid the coins.  If you pop a Super Star
before entering and open the second ? Block while you're still invincible,
you'll get another Super Star.

B) World 5-2
Difficulty:  Easy
You are advised to take the upper path.  It is possible to access it as any
form of Mario, but Raccoon and Tanuki Mario make it easier.  It is, however,
nearly impossible to avoid coins taking the lower route as one of the Buster
Beetles (the guys that throw ice bricks) might accidentally hit a Coin Block
trying to hit Mario.

C) World 5-3
Difficulty:  Easy
No major coin-avoiding difficulty awaits you here until you reach the
left-to-right stretch at the bottom of the level.  There are two three-coin
groups there that are close to the ground.  It's easiest to avoid them as
either Raccoon, Tanuki, or Small Mario.

D) World 5 Fortress 1
Difficulty:  Easy
Unless you take the route that is accessible only to Raccoon or Tanuki Mario,
it's very easy to avoid coins here, because the main route doesn't have any.

E) World 5 Tower
Difficulty:  Insane
Powerup Level at Start:  Tanuki or P-Wing Mario (use a P-Wing only if you run
out of Tanuki Suits)
The listed forms of Mario are necessary to avoid the coins in the first outdoor
section of the level.  Why not a normal Raccoon Mario?  Because Raccoon Mario
can't charge up the P-Meter AND get past the second Thwomp without taking
damage.  Tanuki Mario, though, can get rid of the Thwomps (it's risky, and it
may take a few tries, but it CAN be done!).  And P-Wing Mario can fly past the
Thwomps without taking damage.  After getting past those coins, the rest of the
level is easy.

F) World 5-4
Difficulty:  Hard
Powerup Level at Start:  Any except Small
The main part of the level is easy enough.  Avoid the coins high in the air,
time your jumps, and voilà, you're at the exit pipe.  Going through the pipe,
however, Mario is greeted by... (wait for it!) ...Lakitu.  You'll need to kill
him in order to beat the level without collecting coins, and to do that, you
need either fireballs or a tail-attack.

G) World 5-5
Difficulty:  Medium
Whatever you do in this level, DO NOT ACCESS THE SECRET ROOM AT ALL!!!  You'll
automatically fall through a double column of coins if you do.  Also, you need
to fly in order to get past the area that has a horizontal line of seven coins
above a donut-platform stretch and another below.  Mario has two opportunities
to collect a power-up before then, though, so you can start this level as any
form of Mario.

H) World 5-6
Difficulty:  Hard
Powerup Level at Start:  P-Wing Mario
Mr. Auto-Scroll rears his ugly head again for this stage.  You need a P-Wing in
order to avoid all the coins in the area that has all the Note Blocks.
Bouncing on the Note Blocks will send Mario into at least one coin.  Also, the
level after that area is easier if you do NOT trip the P-Switch.  Finally,
Lakitu awaits you when you emerge from the exit pipe.

I) World 5-7
Difficulty:  Medium
I advise using a Super Star before entering this level.  If you do, certain
blocks and bricks throughout the level which normally yield coins will yield
Super Stars instead if Mario opens them while he's invincible.  And, if you
collect the last Super Star at the right time and boogie to the exit pipe, you
can use the effect of that Super Star as an easy way to kill Lakitu after you
emerge from the pipe.

J) World 5 Fortress 2
Difficulty:  Easy
There are only six coins in this level, and all of them are inside ? Blocks
(the first five and the last one).  The other two ? Blocks carry a Super Star
and a power-up.

K) World 5-8
Difficulty:  Hard
Powerup Level at Start:  Fiery or Raccoon
This level is the BANE OF MY EXISTENCE FOR THIS CHALLENGE.  Even though there
are only three coins here, and all inside the first, second, and fourth ?
Blocks, Lakitu harasses you throughout the second half of the level, and again
after you emerge from the exit pipe.  All the difficulty in the level comes
from the difficulty of getting either Fiery or Raccoon Mario to the goal area
in order to dispatch the Lakitu there.

L) World 5-9
Difficulty:  Medium
Powerup Level at Start:  Fiery or Raccoon
This level has no coins and no power-ups; it's just a platform-jumping stage
with a diagonal auto-scroll.  But you'll have to deal with Lakitu again when
you reach the goal area.

M) World 5 Airship
Difficulty:  No-Brainer
No coins here.

Movin' on to World 6...

3.h) World 6 - Ice Land
Fight Stages:  Hammer Brothers (3)
Fight Stage Rewards:  Hammer, Super Star, Jugem's Cloud

A) World 6-1
Difficulty:  Easy
Again, I recommend popping a Super Star before entering this level, for the
same reasons as for 5-7.  Unlike 5-7, however, there are coins to avoid, but
avoiding them isn't so difficult.

B) World 6-2
Difficulty:  Hard
Knock, knock, knock.  Mr. Auto-Scroll's back in this level, which has coins
everywhere.  The first ice platform has three coins sitting directly on it, the
next area has coins all over the place, and three coins occupy the space over
the platform after the last ice platform.  How to tackle each area without
popping your coin cherry:
 -For the first ice platform, jump onto it so Mario lands on the left end,
  which, incidentally, is the only part of the platform that doesn't have a
  coin sitting on it.
 -In the area with the majority of the coins, you can avoid all of them by
  destroying the lower part of the first three-brick-high barrier (if you use
  the Red Koopa in the area to do this, be careful when stomping him, because
  three coins float over the platform on which it paces), then jumping over
  the second three-brick barrier.
 -For the coins after the last ice platform, wait until the wall of Wood
  Blocks comes into view, then jump as far as you can to the right off the
  ice platform.  You'll hit the wall and fall straight down onto the next
  platform, completely avoiding the coins in the bargain.

C) World 6 Fortress 1
Difficulty:  Hard
Powerup Level at Start:  Small Mario
Right at the beginning of the level, you will encounter four coins that occupy
the space through which you need to jump in order to land on the small rail
platform.  You can make this jump with just a tap on the jump button.
Press it too much, and you'll jump right into the coins.  Press it too gently,
though, and you won't jump far enough to make it onto the platform.  However,
you also need to time the jump so that you also avoid the fireballs that erupt
out of the lava.  After that, the rest of the level's a cinch.

D) World 6-3
Difficulty:  Easy
By all means, enter the pipe in the sky.  Not only is there a Tanuki Suit in
there, but you've also got a runway to initiate a fly that you can take with
you out of the room and use to soar over the rest of the level, even if you
don't need the suit.

E) World 6-4
Difficulty:  Easy
The hardest coins to avoid here are two coins sitting over an ice-block barrier
shortly after you begin your ride on the motorized rail platform.  What I do is
I wait until just before the platform goes under the barrier, then jump onto
the barrier carefully.  I advise you to do the same.  Later on, there's a
P-Switch sitting on a column of bricks.  This is one P-Switch you want to trip.
After tripping the switch, run to the right, jumping over the coins and using
the brick formations as stepping stones.  If you're fast, you can get past the
last rotating platform before the Switch's effect wears off.

F) World 6-5
Difficulty:  Easy
You need to be Raccoon or Tanuki Mario in order to even complete this level.  I
will not share the method of getting outta this hellhole, but I will share a
little shortcut:  After entering this underground maze, go to the right and
jump up into the first pipe you come to.  It'll take you to a small room that
has nothing in it except for a ? Block containing a power-up.  If you're
already Raccoon or Tanuki Mario, ignore the block.  But if you're not, collect
the power-up, then go out and come back in again.  Repeat this as many times as
you need in order to get Raccoon Mario, then exit the pipe via the pipe on the
left side of the small room.  You'll emerge near the area where the exit pipe
is located.  Taking this shortcut will have you completing the level in less
than a minute, and you will definitely avoid all the coins this way.

Before I move on, I will mention that completing World 6-5 gives Mario access
to a Mushroom House where all three chests contain a Hammer Brother Suit.  The
Hammer Brother Suit is, in my opinion, the best power-up in the game (with the
Tanuki Suit being a very close second).  The Hammer Brother Suit is simply
AWESOME!!!  It gives Mario the ability to throw super-deadly hammers, which can
destroy every kind of enemy in the game, even Boom-Boom (but you have to hit
him in the head to kill him this way) and King Bowser himself (same thing as
Boom-Boom, except it takes three headshots)!  However, the Koopalings seem to
be immune (sad face).  Also, as long as Mario is crouching while wearing this
suit, he's completely immune to small fireballs thrown or spit by enemies!

G) World 6-6
Difficulty:  Easy
After going underground, proceed through the level as normal, except ignore the
overhang that has the first power-up block; there are several coins in this
area that are extremely difficult, if not totally impossible, to avoid.  Also,
when you get to the area in the lake that has two ? Blocks right next to each
other, open no more than the one on the right; that block has a power-up while
the other one has a coin.  If my memory serves me correctly, those are the only
coins in the level.

H) World 6-7
Difficulty:  Medium
Why is it that whenever you get an auto-scroller, they also throw a lot of
coins at you?  Fortunately, the majority of the coins are arranged in columns
located directly below donut platforms, so keep moving and you'll avoid a lot
of them.  When you get to the solid ledge near the end of the level that has
four coins above it, be careful:  the second Fire Chomp in the level appears
here and jumping to stomp it is out of the question because of the presence of
the coins.  What to do, then?  I'm glad you asked.  If you are Fiery Mario at
this point, wait on the left side of the ledge for the Chomp to get right in
front of you, then kill it by tossing a fireball at it.  (Didn't think you
could do that, huh?  Well, you can.)  Otherwise, get as far to the right as you
can before the Chomp shows up and stand on the right side of the ledge.  If you
stand in the right place, the Chomp will fly right over your head, curl around
behind you, come up directly underneath, and when it touches Mario's feet,
it'll die as though it had been stomped.  If you're not comfortable with the
passive approach, do a small hop when the Chomp starts to come up from
underneath, and you'll stomp it.  Also, after you go through the exit pipe,
avoid the coin formation to your left, even if you're Fiery Mario.

I) World 6 Fortress 2
Difficulty:  No-Brainer
Not a single coin here to speak of.

J) World 6-8
Difficulty:  Easy
You won't see any coins here unless you trip the P-Switch near the end and fly
straight up from there.

K) World 6-9
Difficulty:  Easy
No coins here unless you trip the P-Switch or enter the pipe that only Frog
Mario can enter.  Entering that pipe, by the way, causes Mario to fall through
a coin formation, so avoid it even if you are Frog Mario.

L) World 6-10
Difficulty:  Easy
If you do this level as Fiery Mario, try not to melt the ice around the coins;
it'll make avoiding them much easier.

M) World 6 Fortress 3
Difficulty:  Easy
The only coins in this level are in two bricks near the top of the first room,
so you don't need to worry about them if you're not Raccoon Mario.  Even if you
are, however, it still pays to fly up, as it lets you avoid some of the
obstacles near the ground.

N) World 6 Airship
Difficulty:  No-Brainer
There is only one coin in this level, and it's the rightmost ? Block in the
area where they appear.

World 7 follows this point.  Stay tuned for some weirdness...

3.i) World 7 - Pipe Land
Piranha Plant Stage Rewards: P-Wing, Super Mushroom

A) World 7-1
Difficulty:  Medium
Interesting Factoid:  The screen in the underground portion of this level wraps
around.  In other words, if you move Mario off the left or right side of the
screen, he reappears on the other side.
Not too difficult.  The majority of the coins are near the top of the level in
a secluded area that only Raccoon Mario can reach.  The rest of the
free-floating coins are just to the left of the exit pipe and can be avoided
easily.  And the other coins are located in the bricks and in all the ? Blocks
except for one ? Block that has a Red Koopa pacing back and forth in the very
confined space to the right and a Red Para-Koopa flying vertically in the
wide-open space to the left.  If you use the (non-Para-)Koopa to open the
block, you'll likely hit the ? Block to the right on the rebound, collecting a
coin in the process.  To avoid this, you can stomp the Para-Koopa (making sure
to follow it down or you'll lose it and have to climb down and then back up to
reset), stomp it again where it falls, carry the shell back up to where the
other Koopa is, jump onto the pipe on the left, jump up (not too much though,
you don't want the shell to hit the Note Block when you release it) and release
the shell.  If your aim is true, the shell will hit the ? Block and cough up
the Mushroom or Super Leaf inside.

B) World 7-2
Difficulty:  Easy
All the coins in the level, other than the coin in the second ? Block, are
located in the lower-left corner.  Aside from those, not a coin to be seen.

C) World 7-3
Difficulty:  Easy
Avoiding coin-collecting here is easy if you focus on maintaining the
Super Star effect.  The very first ? Block in the level contains a Super Star.
Here are the locations of the Continuous Super Stars:
 1.  The lower-left ? Block in the first area with four ? Blocks.
 2.  The lower-left ? Block in the second area with four ? Blocks.
 3.  The lower of the two bricks in the area where Lakitu first appears (by
     the way, the upper one contains a Fire Flower).
 4.  The brick to the left of the Goomba-generating pipe.
 5.  The brick to the right of the Goomba-generating pipe.
In addition to the blocks/bricks mentioned above, the brick between Continuous
Super Stars 3 and 4 has a P-Switch that makes silver coins appear in the area,
and all other blocks not mentioned here always contain coins.  Also, don't
forget to kill Lakitu before completing the level.

D) World 7-4
Difficulty:  Hard
This level begins normally on dry land, but once you enter the pipe, you're
underwater, and Mr. Auto-Scroll returns with a vengeance.  The coins in this
level appear in large groups, and some of these groups are in extremely crowded
areas, but you should be able to avoid them with very accurate swimming.

E) World 7-5
Difficulty:  Medium
You can start this level as any form of Mario, but in order to avoid all the
coins, you need to be Raccoon or Tanuki Mario by the time you reach the exit
pipe, for the only way to access the exit pipe without flying is to make a
bunch of invisible blocks appear, and they all contain coins in that area.
"But where can you charge up for the flight?" you might ask.  Simple:  there's
a very long corridor at the top of the area directly above.  Charge up and take
off while you're up there, enter the pipe connecting the areas while you're
still flying, and quickly enter the exit pipe before the flying wears off and
without losing too much altitude (for obvious reasons, of course).

F) World 7-6
Difficulty:  Hard
Powerup Level at Start:  Raccoon or Tanuki Mario
After entering the door that leads to the underground portion, move to the left
(the screen wraps around) and move up the stairs until you see two Green Koopas
coming down the stairs.  Go back down, wait for the Koopas to arrive, then kill
them using any means necessary.  With them gone, use the base of the stairs and
the area on the left (remember, the screen wraps around) to build up the
P-Meter, then fly above and to the left, landing on the pipe above.  Once
there, you can proceed through the level as you normally would, but just don't
get any coins.
Or, if you don't care about being cheap, use a P-Wing before entering the level
and just fly over the wall.

G) World 7 Fortress 1
Difficulty:  Easy
Powerup Level at Start:  Raccoon or Tanuki Mario
Ignore the P-Switch hidden in the bricks all around you at the start and enter
the door.  The pipe that leads to Boom-Boom is above and to the left of where
you end up.

H) World 7-7
Difficulty:  No-Brainer
No coins here.

I) World 7-8
Difficulty:  Easy
A lot of the coins here are stowed away inside bricks or ? Blocks.  And the
ones that aren't are easy to avoid.  However, there is one block you should
ALWAYS open when you go here and that's the huge ? Block in the pipe with a
Ptooie Plant walking back and forth on top of it.  That ? Block contains a
Hammer Brother Suit.

All right, enough of this.  Let's continue.

J) World 7-9
Difficulty:  Medium
Complete the level like you normally would, except don't touch the coins.

K) World 7 Fortress 2
Difficulty:  No-Brainer
No coins here.

L) World 7 Airship
Difficulty:  No-Brainer
Again, no coins.

Whew!  We've made it all the way to World 8 now.  Is your coin cherry still
intact?  If it is, you're simply awesome.

3.j) World 8 - Dark Land

The first two levels are a Big Tanks stage and a Battleships stage.  Neither
level holds any coins, but the Big Tanks level is essentially a glorified Fight
Stage.  Beating the Boomerang Brother at the end of the level gives Mario a
Super Star.

A) World 8 Hand Trap 1
Difficulty:  Easy
Before I get into the specifics of this Hand Trap stage, let me say some things
that are true about all three of them.  When Mario moves onto a space
representing a Hand Trap stage, there is a chance that a hand will appear and
drag him in, forcing him to do the stage.  If it doesn't, the level can be
entered just like any other level, or it can be skipped without you having to
use a Jugem's Cloud (under normal, non-Poorman-Challenge circumstances).  Also,
the reward for completing each one is a Super Leaf.  All right, now that that's
done, on with the Hammer Brother Hand Trap...
The only coins in this level are all found in the area where the Hammer
Brothers appear.  The coins are in the rightmost brick of the top row of bricks
and the second and third blocks from the right of the bottom row.

B) World 8 Hand Trap 2
Difficulty:  Medium
Powerup Level at Start:  P-Wing Mario
I hope you saved at least one P-Wing, because you can't avoid all the coins
here without one.  Not even as Small or non-P-Wing Raccoon Mario.  I should
know; I've tried it without a P-Wing.  P-Winging it also allows Mario to avoid
the Podoboos that come up out of the lava.

C) World 8 Hand Trap 3
Difficulty:  Easy
There are only ten coins in the entire level.  Eight of them are at the end
and can be avoided easily.  The other two are in the first two ? Blocks.  The ?
Block in the middle of the level holds a power-up, which can help Mario fend
off the swarms of Cheep-Cheeps that attack him throughout the level.

After the Hand Traps is an Airships stage.  There are no coins here.

D) World 8-1
Difficulty:  Easy
For best results, start the level as Raccoon Mario.  That way, you can just fly
up to the pipe in the sky, enter it, take the three 1-Up Mushrooms from the
giant ? block in there if you wish, charge up, initiate flight while in the
room, then exit and fly to the end.

E) World 8-2
Difficulty:  Easy
Again, take the shortcut for best results.  Where is it?  Well, there are a
couple of pipes at the bottom of the first quicksand pit.  They both end up at
the same place, but you want the pipe on the left:  there's nothing in it but a
brick containing a Super Leaf.  The other one holds 100 coins, and you can't
avoid all of them if you go in that one.  Taking the shortcut presents another
plus:  you avoid having to deal with the Angry Sun.

F) World 8 Fortress
Difficulty:  Medium
This is the most difficult Fortress stage in the game completion-wise, but not
coin-avoidance-wise.  In addition, this level has a whopping FIVE 1-Up
Mushrooms--the most of any stage in the game!  Here's a step-by-step
walkthrough of the level done with respect to the 1-Up Mushrooms:
From the start of the level, pass the first few Roto-Disc hubs and the first
two doors.  There's a ? Block containing a power-up above the second door; nab
it if you're small.  You'll come across an area with another door that is
surrounded by bricks, a Roto-Disc revolving around the hub on which the door
rests, and a Dry Bones pacing on the floor below the door.  Break the bricks
around the door and hit the brick in the upper-right-hand corner of the
formation; this reveals a P-Switch.  Drop back down to the floor, go back to
the left, wait for the Dry Bones to walk back toward you, then bounce off of it
so that you land on the brick formation next to the P-Switch.  After tripping
the switch, go through the door, then through the door on your right.  This
door is accessible only while the Switch's effect is active, and it leads to a
secret room.  The secret room has two bricks in it.  The brick on the right has
the 1-Up.
From #1's location, exit the room and proceed to the right.  The next two
doors--the first sits on a conveyor belt, the second in a niche directly below
a Thwomp--both lead to the area where the 1-Up is:
 [From the first door]
 Proceed to the right carefully past a diagonally-moving Thwomp.  You'll
 encounter another Thwomp on the floor that moves horizontally.  This Thwomp
 sits directly underneath the brick containing the 1-Up.  To collect it, land
 on the floor to the left of the Thwomp to lure it out of position, then jump
 over it and quickly hit the right side of the brick (to make the 1-Up fall to
 the left) while the Thwomp resets.
 [From the second door]
 You're right next to the aforementioned Thwomp's rest position.  Carefully
 inch to the left so that Mario's nose is just touching the Thwomp's spikes and
 bump the right-hand side of the brick, then just wait; the 1-Up will come to
From #2's position, go through the door beneath it, and proceed to the right
across the gaps and conveyor belts.  You'll come to a small stone platform
above the lava that has a door on the middle of it.  Entering this door, trip
the P-Switch to your right, go back through the door, jump over the small gap,
then fall down the next gap, and go to your left.  The door there exists only
as long as the P-switch's effect lasts, so be quick in entering it.  Once in
the room, jump up underneath the left edge of the three-coin (or brick) group
to make the 1-Up appear.
From #3's position, exit the secret room and go to the right.  Passing
underneath the gap through which you fell earlier, jump up into the right side
of it.  A block will appear, releasing the 1-Up.
From #4's position, enter the door to your right, proceed to the right and
enter the next door.  This one will put you on a conveyor belt moving toward
some low-hanging spikes.  If you're still big at this point, you'll have to
crouch.  At the end of the conveyor belt is another door.  Enter it, then
proceed to the right, ignoring the coins above your head, and enter the first
door you come to.  This room has a Boo and a hub around which spin two
Roto-Discs.  At the far right of the room is the brick with the 1-Up in it.
This 1-Up is almost impossible to collect without taking a hit in the process.
[After #5]
Exit the room, then proceed to the right, break the two bricks above your head
(you'll need to be careful here, as there is a Dry Bones above the bricks and a
Roto-Disc below), then jump out of the hole and down to the right to enter
another door.  There will be two bricks above your head.  The one on the right
has a P-Switch.  Hit it to make the Switch appear, hit the other brick to
destroy it, then jump up through the hole you just made and trip the Switch.
(You won't be able to break the brick if you're small, but you can still get up
top by going to the right, carefully avoiding the horizontally-moving Thwomp on
the floor there,  high-jumping onto the conveyor belt, and running to the
left.)  Tripping the Switch shuts down the conveyor temporarily and makes two
doors appear to your right:  the one that appears on the conveyor belt leads to
an alcove that contains a ? Block that contains a power-up, and the other one
leads to Boom-Boom's room.

The next level is the Super Tank stage.  It has no coins.

G) World 8 - Bowser's Castle
Difficulty:  No-Brainer
There are no coins in this level.  Have fun kicking the Koopa King's butt.

With the defeat of King Bowser, your quest is complete.  Mazeltov.

4 - Acknowledgements
Super Mario Bros. 3 is copyright 1988, 1990 Nintendo.

I would also like to acknowledge YouTube user LinksDarkArrows, whose "World 3-2
No Coins" video has Mario using the Frog Suit method, only without the Frog
Suit.  I apologize for not acknowleding him in previous versions of this FAQ,
as I didn't know that that method was a thing before I watched that video.