Do you ever see Nintendo and Valve getting together to create something beautiful? No? Me neither. Thankfully, the kind folks at Stabyourself manufactured this hypothetical gaming lovechild all on their own, and it has come in the form of Mari0, the perfect combination of Mario and Portal. It’s a crazy little game, but it actually works. Not only that, but it works quite well.
Get ready to see the old meet the new with Mari0, because we’re about to take a wild ride into the Aperture Kingdom, where gladOs and Bowser unite. Maybe gladOwser would be more appropriate, or BadOs. Wait, wait. gladOopa. I’ll stop now.
Put Portal In The World Of Mario
So let’s get this straight – you get to play the entire original Super Mario Bros. game… with a Portal gun. How cool is that? (pretty darn cool, I’d say). Basically, in addition to your original frustrations of getting hit by Lakuta or bit by one of those pesky piranha plants, you now have the challenge of utilizing the Portal gun to get around.
Granted, and I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but this newfound frustration is totally voluntary. You can play the entire game without the gun seeing that this is just the original SMB game with an extra tool, but where’s the fun in that?
The Portal gun adds this whole new element to Mario that simply wasn’t available when it was originally released. Considering that these two games were both genre-defining creations, putting them together was a match made in heaven. Now you can send your enemies into pits of death with careful planning, jump from one end of the screen to the other with only a couple of shots, and best of all, soar higher than ever before with the gravity-defying effects of the glorious portals.
Put Mario In The World Of Portal
So you may eventually get tired of playing just the original Mario game with a side of Portal. Fortunately, the creators have thought of a way to help you out there. In addition to the Mario map pack, there is actually a Portal map pack set in the halls of Aperture itself (cake will be served.)
It’s a pretty nifty little thing getting to look at this game with an 8-bit flair. You’ll get to play with all sorts of toys like light bridges, lasers, and companion cubes, so the reimagining is pretty accurate. Granted, you won’t be playing as the female lead character at all, but hey… it’s a-Mario. Nothing wrong with that, but a Peach character would have been pretty cool…
Put Yourself In The World Of Mari0
This game is built for customization, and fortunately, it does just that. You’ll actually find a pretty cool level editor for the game, and furthermore, you can play with up to four friends (it’s a Mario party, y’all). Granted, the level editor is a little time consuming since there are no shortcuts whatsoever. However, I really can’t complain too much – all of this is just a great idea.
Just throwing this out there, but the controls for the game were a little clunky for me seeing that it is essentially combining two games. You would likely be using WASD keys along with maybe Space to jump and right-shift to run or throw fireballs if this was purely Mario. However, with this, your right hand (or left-hand) has to use the mouse for the Portal gun.
With that being said, the default run/fireball button is the left-shift, and to be honest, that’s a little tough at times. I tried toying with other configurations, but I simply couldn’t figure anything out. It’s not too big of a deal, though – the game survives just fine.
Mari0 is a must-download, and with that in mind, the entire thing is free. Totally free. You don’t even have to sign a EULA in blood. Go ahead and download it whether you’re running PC, Mac, or Linux. Heck, the creators even will throw in the source code. What do you have to lose?
At the time of this article, Mari0 is a recent release, and there are still a few bugs being worked out. As stated in this blog post, the creators have addressed them and are presently working on them to the best of their abilities.
Based on personal observations, the game is still playable, and I have encountered only one minor bug with only the editor in which Mari0 actually disappears, rendering the tool useless. However, exiting the editor and then returning to it seemed to fix it. Keep in mind that the game is hot off the press, and bugs are still being fixed (but it is SO cool).
What other game mash-ups do you know of? What do you think of this version of Mari0?