Fans of this game no doubt know of the fake “extra life” at the end of Level 6 and the 1 second countdown it initiates. Sometimes when you hit the fake extra life, the countdown starts quicker than other times, making the level unable to be finished. Contrary to popular opinion, this isn’t to do with the version of the game or pure RNG, but can be controlled by the state of the countdown when you finish Level 5.
If you finish Level 5 immediately after the timer ticks down a second, you’ll have enough time when the countdown starts on Level 6. However, if you finish Level 5 just as the timer is about to tick down a second, then it will immediately start counting down on Level 6 when you hit the fake extra life, not giving you enough time to make it to the Deck Lift.
Just something handy to remember if you’re playing through this old classic!