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Best Old-School Video Game Bonus Levels

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Bonus, bonus, bonus! We all love a reward for a job well done.

Whether that entails an end-of-the-year boost to your paycheck at work, a free upgrade on an airline, a chance to use a casino bonus from Casinos, or even an unexpected gift, it always feels nice to get a little something extra.

That rings true in the realm of video games, where delightful secret bonus levels offer escapes from the main gameplay narrative. You just have to be curious enough to find them! Complete bonus levels for extra adventures, rewards, and a break from the norm. Best of all, you'll be in on a secret few other players might know about. Break the boundaries and your own expectations of a game when you play and beat these legendary bonus video game levels.

Street Fighter II
This classic fighting game remains a favorite among gamers 30-plus years after its release. Set in a global martial arts tournament, players choose from iconic characters, each with unique combat styles and signature moves. One-on-one battles in vibrant arenas across the world ensue with dynamic gameplay and strategic planning.

Lightning-quick reflexes are a must to win in this game. Few things compare to besting your opponent (especially when it's a good friend), and the bonus game that Street Fighter II offers is just as satisfying--you get to beat up a car! It sounds weird because it is--charmingly so. Practice your moves, get out that excess energy as you kick, and punch a stationary car for a bunch of points and an oddly exciting experience. Take that, car!

Super Mario Sunshine
Super Mario Sunshine's "Secret of the Dirty Lake" bonus level is an underwater adventure away from the main game. This hidden gem is located in the Delfino Plaza and features a unique obstacle course. As Mario, you're equipped with a brand-new accessory--a trust F.L.U.D.D. water pack that you must use in unique and exciting ways. Navigate platforms, tightropes, and spinning blocks while dodging globs of toxic sludge.

This bonus level is challenging! Precision and quick reflexes are in high demand for players who want to navigate Super Mario Sunshine's bonus level. For successful players, this bonus level is a satisfying test and extra challenge that you should be proud to play and potentially complete. Distinctive mechanics and a beautiful design that's creative and chockful of unexpected delights also make this level a great reward.

Sonic the Hedgehog 2
Sonic the Hedgehog 2's bonus level is called the "Special Stage" and is an awesome whirlwind of excitement set in a 3D halfpipe. Players must first collect enough rings throughout the main levels to be transported to a vibrant rotating maze. Once you're in the special stage, players secure Chaos Emeralds while flying through psychedelic landscapes. You have to navigate in the correct direction while keeping an eye out for familiar patterns and quick turns that require even faster reflexes. Avoid hazards and obstacles that are set in your path just to trip you up.

Once you've collected enough blue spheres, you'll reach a breakneck velocity that gets you to the coveted Chaos Emerald. The reward for getting that beautiful gem is the potential for Super Sonic transformations! All about speed and agility, this bonus level adds an extra layer of challenge and great gratification for those willing to play through it and master its crazy intricacies.

Super Monkey Ball
Go bananas for bananas with Super Monkey Ball's bonus level. Banana Bonanza lets you roll around a level without worrying about perilous drops off the side because they've put up bumpers! Bounce about at high speeds through banana-filled mazes and get as many of those lovely yellow fruits as you can within the time limit.

It's a cheerful and relaxing break from the stress of the main gameplay, where you can fly off the edge with just the tiniest flick of your controller. Bright design amplifies the fun and offers a playful diversion from traditional levels. You can get a bunch of bananas and even extra lives that are sure to come in clutch during more challenging future levels.

Mortal Kombat
Much like Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat is all about beating up your enemy, and its eye-catching graphics, over-the-top violence, and fun bonus features were practically impossible for early-1990s gamers to resist.

The Test Your Might bonus level is an iconic and engaging way to practice the skills you need to annihilate whoever you face next in the ring. Players must shatter blocks of varying materials, from mere wood all the way up to impenetrable diamonds.

Dexterity, masterful timing, and smart use of your power are must-haves for this bonus level. It's a great escape from worrying about what moves your opponent will break out next since your only objective is to smash a stationary object. Key into a meditative mindset and enjoy simply breaking something when you play this bonus round. Your success is rewarded with points and the joy of knowing you can break the unbreakable. Perform under pressure during this tantalizing challenge that tests your skill with a controller!

Paper Boy
You've worked hard on your virtual bike all day--now it's time for some fun! Paper Boy's training course level appears at the end of every stage and allows you to really rip it on your sick BMX bike. Players must navigate a creative obstacle course that forces them to hone their skills.

This break from the main game offers some variety to the grind and helps you improve your skills. Steer over ramps and hit jumps and rings, all while avoiding hazards along the path. You'll become even better equipped to ace your local paper deliveries, have fun on the way, and enjoy a confidence boost when you complete training levels.

From underwater escapades to bizarre car-beating sessions, these video game bonus levels inject novelty and unique challenges into your gaming experience. Whether they are carefree like Super Monkey Ball's Banana Bonanza or high stakes like Sonic 2's Special Stage, video game bonus levels help you get better at gaming, and they're a great respite from the central narrative.

Enjoy unexpected thrills and become even more captivated by your favorite classic games when you seek out bonus levels. Whether you succeed or not, engaging in these challenges is an easy and worthwhile reward. After all, who can resist the allure of a good bonus?

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