Super Mario Maker is out, and people have already created some insane monstrosities.
If you pay any attention to Twitter or Super Mario Maker on YouTube, you’ve probably seen the stage called “Bomb Voyage.” It’s a nearly impossible level built by a player, PangaeaPanga, that requires you platforming skills that Nintendo would have never dreamed to ask of you. After 11,000 tries from the community, someone finally beat it — and you can see why that’s such an incredible feat in the video below.
But here’s the thing about PangaeaPanga’s Bomb Voyage: It owes a debt to a special, community-created version of Super Mario World called Kaizo Mario World.
Kaizo is the Japanese word for modded or hacked, and that’s exactly what Kaizo Mario World is — a ROM-hacked remix of the original Super Mario World game. Only “kaizo” has also taken on another meaning specifically because of this fan creation: It basically means “asshole,” or a game so hard that it resembles the difficulty of Kaizo Mario World.
This is because the modified take on Super Mario World isn’t just more of the same game, it’s a nightmare that uses Mario art.
An example of what makes Kaizo so dastardly? Every jump probably has a hidden block or two waiting to interrupt your flow and knock you into a pit. Other jumps require button presses so precise that if you hold the button for any longer than two frames of animation (you get 30 frames per second), you’ll die. The most difficult sections combine every possible obstacle and skill into one — and if you screw up even the smallest thing, you’ll fail. And you’ll have to start all over again.
All that difficulty makes for an exciting game to watch, which was evident early this year during the Awesome Games Done Quick speedrunning marathon where noted runner Dram55 put on an exhibition of skill in Kaizo Mario World.
Check it out:
“This is what happens when a sadistic person gets ahold of a level editor,” says one of the audience members about Kaizo Mario World before the speedrun at AGDQ.
Now thousands of people have their hands on Super Mario Maker, and sadists around the world — especially those familiar with Kaizo — can keep the spirit of one of the most beloved and impossible ROM-hacks ever made alive.