The Cruelty of Man

Last week I talked about the horrendous difficulty of I Wanna be the Guy. This game is only difficult because you can’t cheat and use shortcuts. You have to make a multitude of tough jumps in one try with one hit killing you. There is an entire other realm of possibility when you factor in emulators and savestates, slowdown, and rewind. The two latter ones should be self-explanatory but for anyone who’s unfamiliar, a savestate literally saves the state of the game being emulated. You can load it at any time and continue as if it was continuous, allowing you to say repeatedly attempt a jump that is giving you difficulty. Instead of having to get all the way back to try again, you just reload to the instants before the jump. As you can imagine, such tools make games easier. Imagine what it takes to make things hard with these tools at your disposal.

Kaizo Mario World makes I Wanna be the Guy look like child’s play. Some diabolical person decided to hack Super Mario World and make it ludicrously hard. That’s the first thing you will encounter in a level in this game. It only gets harder. There are only a handful of levels, but they are hard enough to either make you tear your hair out in frustration and then give up, or tear your hair out in frustration continually until you struggle through it all.

In order to succeed at this game, you will have to learn to do counter-intuitive things. You will have to spin jump off of spinies and pokeys and other such enemies in order to pass long spikey paths. Who knew that you could survive on such enemies with a spin jump? You will have to make your way through a long series of deathtraps as the clock on the P-switch you pressed ticks down. And don’t think that super mushrooms will be of any help. The game expects you to survive with them until you NEED to take a hit in order to survive. You will be mini-Mario for the majority of the time, enforced by the very narrow corridors that populate this game.

This game became popularized under the translation of “Asshole Mario World” as people made Let’s Plays of it (A Let’s Play is a playthrough of a game with commentary). It is an appropriate name. The most infamous deathtrap in this game is the “Kaizo trap.” There is one level where after getting through the ludicrously tight time limit (10 seconds is an amazingly quick run) you reach the goal post and celebrate. You hear the Mario World victory music and celebrate in your head (or more openly. Whatever floats your boat). Then suddenly you fall to your death. There is a cliff after the goal post and falling does kill you, even if you already won. Turns out you have to hit a p-switch right before the goal flag. Good luck getting to it. Asshole move this is, isn’t it?



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