kottke.org posts about Super Mario Bros

Infinite Super Mario Bros

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 26, 2011

Based on Super Mario 3, this HTML5 Super Mario game goes on forever. Someone bet Billy Mitchell he can't finish this game and we'll never have to hear from him again! (via waxy)

First person Super Mario

posted by Jason Kottke   Mar 24, 2011

Here's what playing the original Super Mario Bros would look like from a first-person perspective.

(via devour)

Video game football

posted by Jason Kottke   Jan 11, 2011

In the Seahawks/Saints game over the weekend, Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch made an improbable game-winning touchdown run. So, I can't decide which one of these videos is better. Marshawn Lynch's Tecmo Bowl Run:

Or Marshawn Lynch as Super Mario in star mode:

The Super Mario Bros infinite 1-up

posted by Jason Kottke   Oct 28, 2010

In a recent interview for the 25th anniversary of Super Mario Bros., Mario's baby daddy Shigeru Miyamoto revealed that the infinite 1-up trick was included in the game on purpose but that the minus world was a bug.

"We did code the game so that a trick like that would be possible," Miyamoto revealed. "We tested it out extensively to figure out how possible pulling the trick off should be and came up with how it is now, but people turned out to be a lot better at pulling the trick off for ages on end than we thought." What about the famed Minus World? "That's a bug, yes, but it's not like it crashes the game, so it's really kind of a feature, too!"

Super Mario Bros, 2010 version

posted by Jason Kottke   May 05, 2010

What if Super Mario Bros had been designed as a typical circa-2010 networked game? It might look a little something like this:

Super Mario Bros 2010

The site's a little slow right now...check back later if you can't get the page to load. (via waxy)

Super Mario Bros remixed

posted by Jason Kottke   Apr 28, 2010

Oh, man. Now you can play the original Super Mario Bros game as Link from Zelda, Mega Man, Samus Aran, and others. Really really fun. The only thing that could make this better is if you could play as NHL94's Jeremy Roenick or Tecmo Bowl's Bo Jackson. (thx, will)

Tuper Tario Tros

posted by Jason Kottke   Dec 30, 2009

Super Mario Bros + Tetris = Tuper Tario Tros. (via waxy)

New Super Mario Bros. Wii

posted by Jason Kottke   Aug 21, 2009

Might have to dust off the Wii for this one: New Super Mario Bros. Wii.

Features include four-player collaborative play (!!) and something called "demo play".

The game will also be the first game on the Wii to feature "demo play", where players will be able to pause the game, let the game complete the level for them, and resume play at any time by unpausing.

In my house, this was called the "give the controller to my 11-year-old cousin and let him show you how it's done" feature. I both hated and loved that feature. (via object of my obsession)

Video game physics

posted by Jason Kottke   Jan 16, 2009

An examination of gravity in the Super Mario Bros series.

We determined that, generally speaking, the gravity in each Mario game, as game hardware has increased, is getting closer to the true value of gravity on earth of 9.8 m/s^2. However, gravity, even on the newest consoles, is still extreme.

In Super Mario 2, Mario experiences a g-force of 11 each time he falls from a ledge, a force that would cause mere humans to black out. In Madden 2006, the game's fastest cornerbacks can run the 40 in 2.6 seconds. (via waxy)

Bowser's Minions

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 30, 2008

The minions of Bowser get together for a little chat about their frustrations.

The Mario jumps over me every time. I don't know why Bowser put this goddamn chain on my body.

Moving Mario

posted by Jason Kottke   Jun 12, 2008

Moving Mario: imagine Super Mario Bros as created by Michel Gondry. Check out the video to get the gist.

Time merge media

posted by Jason Kottke   Feb 05, 2008

Someone made a video overlay of the 134 times it took him to get through one level of hacked version of Mario World. (Note: the original video was taken down so the embed is a similar video.)

Oh, and how that relates to quantum mechanics:

But, we can kind of think of the multi-playthrough Kaizo Mario World video as a silly, sci-fi style demonstration of the Quantum Suicide experiment. At each moment of the playthrough there's a lot of different things Mario could have done, and almost all of them lead to horrible death. The anthropic principle, in the form of the emulator's save/restore feature, postselects for the possibilities where Mario actually survives and ensures that although a lot of possible paths have to get discarded, the camera remains fixed on the one path where after one minute and fifty-six seconds some observer still exists.

Some of my favorite art and media deals with the display of multiple time periods at once. Here are some other examples, many of which I've featured on kottke.org in the past.

Averaging Gradius predates the Mario World video by a couple years; it's 15 games of Gradius layered over one another.

Averaging Gradius

I found even the more pointless things incredibly interesting (and telling), like seeing when each person pressed the start button to skip the title screen from scrolling in, or watching as each Vic Viper, in sequence, would take out the red ships flying in a wave pattern, to leave behind power-ups in an almost perfect sine wave sequence. I love how the little mech-like gunpods together emerge from off screen, as a bright, white mass, and slowly break apart into a rainbow of mech clones.

According to the start screen, Cursor*10 invites the you to "cooperate by oneself". The game applies the lessons of Averaging Gradius and multiple-playthrough Kaizo Mario World to create a playable game. The first time through, you're on your own. On subsequent plays, the game overlays your previous attempts on the screen to help you avoid mistakes, get through faster, and collaborate on the tougher puzzles.

Moving away from games, several artists are experimenting with the compression of multiple photographs made over time into one view. Jason Salavon's averaged Playboy centerfolds and other amalgamations, Atta Kim's long exposures, Michael Wesley's Open Shutter Projekt and others. I'm quite sure there are many more.

Dozens of frames of Run Lola Run racing across the giant video screen in the lobby of the IAC building.

The same kind of thing happens in this Call and Response video; 9 frames display at the same time (with audio), each a moment ahead of the previous frame.

Related, but not exactly in the same spirit, are projects like Noah Kalina's Noah K. Everyday in which several photos of the same person (or persons) taken over time are displayed on one page, like frames of a very slow moving film. More examples: JK Keller's The Adaption to my Generation, Nicholas Nixon's portraits of the Brown sisters, John Stone's fitness progress, Diego Golberg's 32 years of family portraits, and many more.

Update: Another video game one: 1000 cars racing at the same time. (thx, matt)

Update: More games: Super Earth Defense Game, Time Raider, and Timebot. (thx, jon)

Update: Recreating Movement is a method for making time merge photos (thx, boris):

With the help of various filters and settings Recreating Movement makes it possible to extract single frames of any given film sequence and arranges them behind each other in a three-dimensional space. This creates a tube-like set of frames that "freezes" a particular time span in a film.

How You See It overlays three TV news programs covering the same story. (via waxy)

Update: James Seo's White Glove Tracking visualizations. The Slinky one is mesmerizing once you figure out what to look for. Seo also keeps a blog on spilt-screen media.

Wailing Pull Stars of Super Mario Galaxy

posted by Adam Lisagor   Dec 03, 2007

The latest installment of Super Mario has received plenty of notice for its revolutionary style of gameplay. But just as striking is the intricacy of its sound design. One convention of the game is a Pull Star, a floating anchor that Mario can grab with some sort of magical, musical force which, when activated emits a creepy, almost theremin-like wail, wavering just a bit before solemnly sliding down in pitch. This sound is one of those elemental formulas for touching an emotional soft spot. The other day I was playing a level with a series of Pull Stars in succession and my girlfriend implored me to stop, as it was making her sad, and not only because I'm a grown man playing a child's video game. Here is an example of the Wailing Pull Star (and a taste of the very Vangelis-like score scattered throughout the game).

Also: via Boing Boing Gadgets, footage from a live orchestra scoring session for the game. Mario's creator, Shigeru Miyamoto sits aside and supervises.

Also also: I noticed that the menu for selecting levels to play is a musical instrument in its own right, allowing the player to create melody with chord changes and everything. It's a subtle touch.

Nice interview with Nintendo game designer Yoshiaki

posted by Jason Kottke   Nov 28, 2007

Nice interview with Nintendo game designer Yoshiaki Koizumi, particularly the bits about shifting from 2-D to 3-D Mario games and Mario Galaxy. The bulk of the gameplay in Galaxy takes place on spherical surfaces:

He explained that no matter how large you make the playing field, if you walk long enough you will run into a wall, and that will make you turn around, which makes the camera turn around and runs the risk of making the player lost. With a sphere, Mario can run all he wants without falling or hitting a wall... a useful concept for getting players totally absorbed in the moment. Koizumi added that the best thing about spherical worlds is the "unity of surface," and the "connectedness." Neither will the player get lost easily, or need to adjust the camera - by using spheres, Koizumi said, they had created a game field that never ended.

They also talk about the Galaxy's two-player (well, 1.5-player really) feature, which is a really nice way of getting a second passive player involved in what is essentially a one-player game. (via snarkmarket)

An appreciation of the Real Super Mario

posted by Jason Kottke   Nov 12, 2007

An appreciation of the Real Super Mario Bros 2. The game was released in Japan in 1986 but was considered too difficult/weird for US gamers and a different Mario 2 (based on a Japanese game called Yume Kojo: Doki Doki Panic) was released to the US.

In most games, you trust that the designer is guiding you, through the usual signposts and landmarks, in the direction that you ought to go. In the Real Super Mario Bros. 2, you have no such faith. Here, Miyamoto is not God but the devil. Maybe he really was depressed while making it — I kept wanting to ask him, Why have you forsaken me? The online reviewer who sizes up the game as "a giant puzzle and practical joke" isn't far off.

The whole upshot is that RSMB2 is now available on the Wii Virtual Console as Super Mario Bros: The Lost Levels. And for the record, I loved SMB2.

I'm a light Etsy user, but Lost

posted by Jason Kottke   Sep 05, 2007

I'm a light Etsy user, but Lost Mitten has a great store: Super Mario Bros drink coasters, Katamari Damacy buttons, Bob-omb needlepoint patch, etc. I'm a proud owner of a set of Bubble Bobble coasters. She takes custom orders, will reissue sold items, and all her stuff is 20% off until Thu. (Know of any good Etsy stores? Share them in the comments.)

Strange musical machines

posted by Jason Kottke   Jun 26, 2007

Who knew you could play the theme song from Super Mario Brothers with a Tesla coil?

So just to explain a little further, yes, it is the actual high voltage sparks that are making the noise. Every cycle of the music is a burst of sparks at 41 KHz, triggered by digital circuitry at the end of a "long" piece of fiber optics. What's not immediately obvious in this video is how loud this is. Many people were covering their ears, dogs were barking. In the sections where the crowd is cheering and the coils is starting and stopping, you can hear the the crowd is drowned out by the coil when it's firing.

More about Tesla coils at Wikipedia. (thx, mike)

And I don't know what rock I've been hiding under for the past 33 years, but this Gnarls Barkley cover is the first I've heard of the theremin music machine:

In a great illustration of the sometimes odd path that innovation takes, Robert Moog found inspiration in the theremin after it had fallen out of favor in serious musical circles:

After a flurry of interest in America following the end of the Second World War, the theremin soon fell into disuse with serious musicians, mainly because newer electronic instruments were introduced that were easier to play. However, a niche interest in the theremin persisted, mostly among electronics enthusiasts and kit-building hobbyists. One of these electronics enthusiasts, Robert Moog, began building theremins in the 1950s, while he was a high-school student. Moog subsequently published a number of articles about building theremins, and sold theremin kits which were intended to be assembled by the customer. Moog credited what he learned from the experience as leading directly to his groundbreaking synthesizer, the Minimoog.

Update: Theremin: An Electronic Odyssey is a 1994 documentary about the theremin and its inventor. Here's a trailer, a review by Roger Ebert, and the DVD from Amazon. (thx, jeb & mark)

The Line Rider version of the first

posted by Jason Kottke   May 23, 2007

The Line Rider version of the first level of Super Mario Bros...in case you need to know what having way too much time on your hands looks like.

Amusing Super Mario Bros mod. Like the

posted by Jason Kottke   Apr 16, 2007

Amusing Super Mario Bros mod. Like the post says, the invisible coin blocks are surprisingly funny. (via waxy)

A group of people who are interested

posted by Jason Kottke   Mar 12, 2007

A group of people who are interested in preserving video games as culturally and historically important artifacts has chosen their list of the top 10 most important video games of all time: Spacewar!, Star Raiders, Zork, Tetris, SimCity, Super Mario Bros. 3, Civilization I/II, Doom, Warcraft series and Sensible World of Soccer. Sensible World of Soccer?

Slang suggestion: "bang the bricks" as a

posted by Jason Kottke   Mar 01, 2007

Slang suggestion: "bang the bricks" as a euphemism for getting money from an ATM. "Everybody knows how Mario from the Super Mario Brothers is getting money: He bangs against a brick with his head."

Beatboxing flautist + Super Mario theme song = YouTube gold.

posted by Jason Kottke   Feb 22, 2007

Beatboxing flautist + Super Mario theme song = YouTube gold.

Artist Bob Dob has some nice video

posted by Jason Kottke   Nov 13, 2006

Artist Bob Dob has some nice video game-related oil paintings, including mugshots of Mario & Luigi and Mario & Donkey Kong hanging out, having a beer. (thx, chris)

Grand Theft Mario = Super Mario Bros + Grand Theft Auto.

posted by Jason Kottke   Nov 07, 2006

Grand Theft Mario = Super Mario Bros + Grand Theft Auto.

Artist Jeremiah Palecek has recently been painting

posted by Jason Kottke   May 18, 2006

Artist Jeremiah Palecek has recently been painting pieces inspired by video games, including Super Mario Bros.

"What would your ideal fantasy-baseball lineup be

posted by Jason Kottke   Mar 14, 2006

"What would your ideal fantasy-baseball lineup be if you had to create it using only characters from classic Nintendo video games?" Toad and Mario from Super Mario Bros make the starting lineup.

David argues for more variation and serendipity

posted by Jason Kottke   Feb 28, 2006

David argues for more variation and serendipity in video games. "...games overcompensate for their lack of variance in game play with over-the-top psychedelic graphics and sound effects. This is not a new problem of course with Pac-man and Super Mario Brothers often held up as classic examples."

Super Mario sound effects. (via alice)

posted by Jason Kottke   Feb 03, 2006

Super Mario sound effects. (via alice)

Ian Albert collects really large digital images (100

posted by Jason Kottke   Jan 24, 2006

Ian Albert collects really large digital images (100-900 megapixels) and constructs maps of video game worlds, including Super Mario Bros and The Legend of Zelda. (via lia)

Fascinating and disturbing realistic drawings of Mario

posted by Jason Kottke   Sep 23, 2005

Fascinating and disturbing realistic drawings of Mario and Luigi. Some things you can't unsee. (via alice)