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<firstimage=”//static.makeuseof.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/smcicon_thumb.png”>Like many, my first experience with video games was Super Mario Bros – the game that came bundled with the original Nintendo Entertainment system. I never would have dreamed that someday that entire game could be downloaded in seconds; partially because the Internet didn’t exist at the time, and partially because it seemed like the most complicated game that could ever be made.
Of course I was wrong, and I have enjoyed many classic games since them. But I’ve always wondered: what would it be like if characters from other video games could make their way into Super Mario Bros?
I don’t wonder that anymore, because Super Mario Crossover exists. It is the first game from Exploding Rabbit, and took almost a year to develop. It’s amazing, and you should play it.
To get started playing this game all you need to do is head over to this site. The flash-based game will load up for you automatically (assuming, of course, you’ve got flash).
You’ll quickly realize what the game is: an exact reconstruction of the original Super Mario Bros. There’s one key difference here, though: you can choose from one of six classic video game characters to play the game as.
There are six characters: Mario (of course), Link (from the Legend of Zelda series), Bill (from Contra), Simon (from Castlevania), Mega Man, and Samus (from Metroid).
Each character has moves distinct from Mario’s. Link, for example, has a sword that breaks bricks (even from above!) Bill has a gun, and with a fire flower can even use the famous spread gun to mow down goombas.
It should be noted that playing as Simon is extremely frustrating. His jump is terrible and he is generally useless. The other characters, however, fit surprisingly well into the Mario universe.
It’s also worth noting that every character comes with their own distinct music from their respective series. Playing as Link filled me with nostalgia as I witnessed the Mushroom Kingdom accompanied by the Hyrule theme. If you’ve played Mario Bros before, and at least one of the games these characters come from, I guarantee you will enjoy this experience.
You might find yourself wishing you could play with a joystick instead of a keyboard, however. That’s not a problem: there are instructions to do so on the creator’s website. These instructions basically inform you that, while flash does not support joysticks, you can trick flash by mapping the buttons on your joystick to emulate certain keys. You’ll find links to Linux, Mac and Windows tools for this on that site.
So, is this legal? Not exactly. It’s pretty clear that Exploding Rabbit stole the concept, characters and music for the game direct from Nintendo. He may not have stolen the source code but he did replicate every aspect of the original Super Mario Bros. and characters from a variety of series.
It’s also pretty clear, however, that this game is made with love not only for Super Mario Bros. but for every game borrowed from. It’s probably for this reason that, despite the game being on the web for months, Nintendo has seemingly taken no legal action to take it down. The Internet breads many mashups, and whether they constitute an original creation is a complex question. It seems Nintendo either isn’t aware this one exists or has decided not to do anything about it.
I’d say it’s in their best interest not to do anything. People who play and enjoy Super Mario Crossover do so because of a love for Nintendo – and that’s something the company should encourage.
Other Mario Games
Wondering what other Mario games might be out there on the World Wide Web? Check out Super Mario War, a game I wrote up recently. Also be sure to check out Steven’s article entitled “Super Mario: The 10 Best Free Online Games“ for even more Mario madness.
What do you think? Is it fun playing Super Mario Bros. as characters from other classic Nintendo games? Do you think Exploding Rabbit overstepped legal and moral bounds in creating this game, or should such a loving tribute get a pass? Discussion is the essence of the Internet, so do speak up!