An instant warp is a special floor that, when passed above, causes Mario to instantly move or change areas without interrupting normal gameplay. In the case of loading zones, Mario enters a different area in the level and a different set of objects loads. In the case of the endless staircase, Mario instantly changes position but not area. Because normal gameplay is not interrupted when triggering an instant warp, interesting side effects can occur.
When an instant warp displaces Mario, it moves the camera as well to maintain its position relative to Mario. If the camera is locked and Mario gets displaced a large distance, the camera can enter a PU, causing the Nintendo 64 versions of the game to crash. This is possible by repeatedly displacing Mario using the endless staircase or the TTM slide.
- The Castle: The endless staircase is an instant warp that is not a loading zone. It displaces Mario by -205 in the y direction and 410 in the z direction.
- Dire, Dire Docks: There is a two-way loading zone at the midpoint of the tunnel. It displaces Mario by 8192 in the x direction.
- Shifting Sand Land: There is a two-way loading zone inside the pyramid in the entrance to the Eyerok boss fight.
- Tall, Tall Mountain: There are two one-way loading zones along the slide. These displace Mario by (10240, 7168, 10240) and (-11264, 13312, 3072). They are located inside tunnels, which prevent Mario from activating them from above.
- Wet Dry World: There is a two-way loading zone in the tunnel leading to the town.
When passing through a loading zone, all objects unload in order to make room for the objects in the new area. If Mario is holding an object when he passes through a loading zone, he will be holding either a vacant object slot or an object from the new area.
New Area Not Loading
If Mario gets past a loading zone without activating it (either by passing it with hyperspeed or clipping behind it in some other way), then the new area does not load and the old one does not unload.