Nintendo's flagship intellectual property has seen more than its fair share of amateur recreations using other games' modding engines, usually with predictably creepy results. But Skyrim modder Clintmich's Super Skyrim Bros. has to be one of the most simultaneously polished and jarring efforts to date.
Using Bethesda's Creation tools, he's fashioned a warped and violent image of the Italian plumber's antics in five worlds, ending with the player tracking down the kidnapped princess and taking on a more humanized and therefore terrifying incarnation of Bowser — suspiciously modeled on a low-level fire mage from the game proper.
Instead of gently bonking goombas on the head as you land on them, players are thrown a giant lumber hammer to cave in enemy carapaces and a staff to cast fireballs, instead of a hat. Something has to be said for the effort made to make it look like the Mushroom Kingdom, even if it plays exactly like Skyrim. The daisies have wide-eyed little faces, there are coins hanging impossibly in mid-air, and the koopa troopers look chubby and plush — in short, adorable until they try to kill you.
In all, it's a valiant effort to fuse Bethesda's clumsy axe-swinging combat into a world occupied by turtles and shrooms that's been going for more than three decades and not to come out looking painfully stupid.
PC players can download the mod in full here: www.skyrim.nexusmods.com