Even You Can Create an Original Riff on Super Mario

The creators drew it out on graph paper, so how hard can it be?

Mario and Luigi have been reimagined by countless gamers. Now it's your turn. (Flickr)
Mario and Luigi have been reimagined by countless gamers. Now it’s your turn. (Photo: Flickr)

As the 30th anniversary of Super Mario Bros approaches (and with it the release of Super Mario Maker, which will allow users to create their own Mario worlds), creators Shigeru Miyamoto and Takashi Tezuka shared some of the creative team’s secrets with Boing Boing. Chief among them is that workers at Nintendo would initially draw courses on graph or tracing paper, and programmers would then code them into the game.

With this revelation, Mr. Tezuka has validated the do-it-yourself aesthetic that many Mario fans have cultivated for years. Whether using animation, martial arts or music, countless video game nerds have put their own spin on Mario’s world.

Some gamers have made strides without even leaving the game itself. Case in point: earlier this year Mario player SethBling showed us all how it was done when he beat Super Mario World in under five minutes. SethBling achieved this speedrun by combining glitches already present in the game with new ones that he executed; this lethal combination created actionable code. Players who use this wormhole are transported right to the game’s end credits, without having to deal with one challenge. On his first try, SethBling beat the game in 5:59, but after some more clever code exploitation he got his time down to 4:49.

If coding isn’t your cup of tea, you can always create your own Mario/Luigi narrative with some clever editing. That’s what YouTuber MJacobBarker did when he created the two-part opus “Luigi trys to kill Mario” (sic). The videos basically consist of the two characters chasing each other and engaging in staring contests, interspersed with shots of Mario sleeping and Luigi wearing angel wings. (First video is below, second one is linked in the sidebar).

Some Mario fans have tried to bring the game’s moves into the real world. California’s Tempest Freerunning Academy produced a Mario-inspired promo video for their gym, featuring employees running and jumping off the walls while demonstrating parkour, the closest you can get to being Mario in real life. (Bonus: the video is set to an awesome remix of Ellie Goulding’s “Lights”).

And finally, even if you don’t have the physical agility to bounce off walls like Mario, indie rock band Minibosses proves that all you need to feel like you’re in the game is an electric guitar. On their album Brass, they include a medley of music from Super Mario Bros 2 so Mario fans can rock out even when they’re not at the controller.

Video game nerds: Use these four examples as templates and create your own original Mario tribute—otherwise Mr. Miyamoto will have used all that graph paper for nothing. Even You Can Create an Original Riff on Super Mario