Kaizo Mario World

Kaizo Mario World
Developer(s) T. Takemoto
Platform(s) Super Nintendo Entertainment System
Release 2007–2012
Genre(s) Platformer
Mode(s) Single-player

Kaizo Mario World[a], also known as Asshole Mario, is a series of three ROM hacks of the Super Nintendo Entertainment System video game Super Mario World, created by T. Takemoto. The term "Kaizo Mario World" is a shortened form of Jisaku no Kaizō Mario (Super Mario World) o Yūjin ni Play Saseru[b]. The series was created by Takemoto for his friend R. Kiba.[1]

Kaizo Mario World features extremely difficult level designs on the Super Mario World engine.[2] The series is notable for deliberately breaking all normal rules of "accepted" level design, and introduced many staples of later Kaizo hacks, such as placing hidden blocks where the player is likely to jump, extremely fast autoscrollers, dying after the goal post and various other traps. This cruelty and the resulting frustration, as well as the skill level required, is both the purpose of the hacks and the appeal of any Let's Play videos made of them.[3]

Gameplay

Gameplay from the first installment of Kaizo Mario World

Kaizo Mario World consists of three side-scrolling platform games in which the player controls Mario or Luigi. Being ROM hacks of Super Mario World, the hacks use many of the same game mechanics, while also introducing many new ones, such as forcing the use of glitches to make progress in a level. The hacks are notable for pushing the limits of human capability and feature many frame-perfect tricks, which usually require trial and error gameplay.

Each of the three ROM hacks start by killing Mario during the opening cutscene unless the player performs a certain action.

History

Kaizo Mario World first gained popularity after being uploaded on YouTube under the title Asshole Mario.[4] Let's Play videos of Kaizo Mario World have received millions of views online.[5] The unique difficulty has also attracted speedrunners. On April 23, 2008, Ben DeMario became the first person to complete a deathless run of the original game, a feat which has since also been accomplished by dram55 and Calco2.[6][7][8]

The later games in the series did not have the same popularity as the original, but are still very popular games to speedrun or do Let's Plays of. Kaizo Mario World 3, the final game in the series, is widely considered to be the hardest human-beatable Super Mario World Kaizo hack in existence[citation needed], being very notable for its final boss fight which features heavy RNG.

ROM hacks

Release timeline
2007 Kaizo Mario World
Kaizo Mario World 2
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012 Kaizo Mario World 3
Game Year System
Kaizo Mario World 2007 Super Nintendo
Kaizo Mario World 2 2007
Kaizo Mario World 3 2012

Reception

In 2015, IGN stated about Kaizo Mario World – "It’s funny, impressive, and extremely entertaining. Kaizo Mario wasn’t the first mean Mario hack, but it was the most polished, and the first to understand that it’s not just about being as hard as possible. Punishing players is an art form."[9]

Legacy

The Japanese word "kaizō" (改造) simply refers to ROM hacking in the gaming industry, since its literal meaning is "reorganize," "restructure," or "reconstruct," but Kaizo Mario World's prominence means that this term has been used by other ROM hacks to indicate an extreme level of difficulty, such as Kaizo Mario Bros. 3, Kaizo Mario 64, SMG2 The Kaizo Green Stars by Evanbowl and the Kaizo Caverns Minecraft map in Vechs's Super Hostile map series. This has also led to the term "Kaizo Hack", meaning a ROM hack of a game intended to be extremely difficult or unfair, that is intended to push the difficulty to the limits of human capabilities. Excessively hard hacks, such as the Item Abuse series, that go very far beyond human skills, are called pit hacks.[10]

SMW Central, which has a depository of Super Mario World ROM hacks, has the difficulty categories "Kaizo: Light" and "Kaizo: Hard" for ROM hacks in the Kaizo Mario World style.[11] "Kaizo: Light" refers to ROM hacks that are extremely difficult but within the realm of possibility for a human to play. "Kaizo: Hard" ROM hacks are intended to use tools, such as save states or slowdown, as they contain extremely precise inputs. Of these, Super Dram World, Super Dram World 2, Super Panga World, Quickie World, Super Gracie World, Grand Poo World 2, Invictus, and Super Ryu World 2 have been speedrun live at a Games Done Quick event. [12]

Kaizo Mario World has also been the inspiration for many levels created within Super Mario Maker.[13] One of the most notable is a level created by PangaeaPanga titled Pit of Panga: P-Break, which was for a long time considered to be the hardest level in Super Mario Maker.[14]

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