In what’s turned out to be the best news for sadists since the first human killed the first cow, then dyed the leather black and glued a bunch of spikes to it, Nintendo put out Super Mario Maker 2 a few weeks ago, inviting millions of players to try to do what they’ve been making look easy for years. Just like the name implies, the game allows players to build a whole host of Super Mario Bros. levels of their very own, expressing creativity, sparking joy, and just generally trying to invoke the feelings of freedom that accompanied the first time players stomped a lowly Goomba or Koopa Troopa.
Also, sometimes they build shit like this:
The above is “1-1 but with a twist” by Mario Maker 2 user YTSunny, who, true to their word, has recreated the first level of the first Super Mario Bros. game with one small addition: Dozens upon dozens of rotating bars of death, torturing the player into following an extremely tricky, timing-intensive path to the goal. Unsurprisingly, this act of enforced bullshit telepathy has provoked a wide variety of annoyed responses from folks on Twitter, horrified not just by the level, but by the fact that—per Mario Maker rules—YTSunny had to complete the level for themselves before uploading it for the public to play.
This isn’t even the nastiest level Mario Maker has ever played host to, by far; our colleagues over at Kotaku have been posting regular updates for years about creators who’ve spent untold hours trying to finish their own malevolent creations. (To say nothing of one level created with only a reported 1 in 7.5 million chance of success.) At least YTSunny’s level doesn’t require anything more than a few tricky jumps (and the psychic ability to know exactly what they were thinking at every step of its design, of course.) In fact, that simplicity might help explain why the level has taken on such viral appeal: There’s no clever tricks with switches or mechanisms; just a whole bunch of fire, and a very little Mario, desperately trapped in the middle. It’s not hard to relate.