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One of the many hidden bonus rooms
The bonus room.
A switch palace
Bonus themed levels are special locations that typically offer Mario the opportunity to collect many extra lives. There are three types of bonus rooms: ones that are hidden throughout the worlds, one for completing any level with over 100 bonus stars, and switch palaces.

Bonus Rooms

These levels are accessible from pipes, some are in plain view and others are well-hidden. Mario enters from a pipe at the bottom of the level, and has the choice of hitting one of three ? blocks. If this block is determined to be "correct", which is entirely random, Mario is rewarded with a coin and the block displays a circle. If it is "incorrect", the incorrect SFX is played and the entire row of blocks, including already correct blocks, turn into used coin blocks. If Mario successfully clears an entire row of three blocks, the final block will yield a 1-up. Mario has the opportunity to earn a maximum of five lives per room.

The following levels have one of these bonus rooms:

100 Bonus Stars

Main article: Bonus Game Room

When Mario collects 100 bonus stars, he enters a bonus room where he has the opportunity to earn a maximum of eight extra lives. Mario must stop each spinning block, and gets a life for any row, column, or diagonal of matching icons.

Switch Palaces

Red Switch Palace, located in the Vanilla Dome

A Switch Palace is a level that contains one of four colored switches that activates the dotted colored !-blocks throughout the worlds.
Switch palaces use the bonus room graphics tileset. All palaces have two rooms, the first contains a gimmick that allows Mario to earn some lives, and the second is a long hallway with the switch at the very end. Once the switch is pressed, Mario cannot re-enter the switch palace.

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