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Super Mario Maker getting major update, introducing checkpoints and more

Watch a video and see some screenshots for all the new features and functionality coming to the Wii U game next week.

Nintendo has announced a new update for Wii U level-building game Super Mario Maker that, among other things, introduces the ability to add mid-level checkpoints. The free update, due November 4, also adds new Course World categories that will showcase levels made by Nintendo as well as third-parties.

Players have already created and uploaded more than 3.3 million Super Mario Maker courses, up from 2.2 million less than a month ago, Nintendo also announced.

With the update applied, players can edit their existing Super Mario Maker levels to include checkpoint functionality or build entirely new creations with the feature built in. "Shaking an arrow sign item from the course parts palette will allow you to place a checkpoint flag," Nintendo explained in a statement.

The November 4 Super Mario Maker update also introduces new power-up functionality.

Nintendo explains: "Following the update, players can also insert power-ups that are dependent on Mario's status. For example, by attaching a Super Mushroom to a Fire Flower and placing it inside a block, Mario will receive the Super Mushroom when he is small, and the Fire Flower when he is large."

As for the new Course World categories, one is called Event Courses. One of the first courses added to this is "Ship Love," the level created by Facebook employees earlier this year. Another new Event Course is the one featured in this summer's Omegathon at PAX Prime. Read more about that level at Geekwire.

Going forward, Nintendo said it will add new Event Courses on an "ongoing basis." Some of these levels may feature "Mystery Mushroom transformations." Finally, Nintendo announced that this new update also adds a new Official Makers section to the Course Wold, which will feature "specially selected courses, including some created by Nintendo."

For more on the new Super Mario Maker update, watch the video above or click through the images in the gallery. The game has sold more than 1 million copies. Check out our review here.