Frustration Nation: Nintendo Stage Builders

I’m a fan of Nintendo. Even if they didn’t make Pokemon Go. I played their games since the NES and have probably played more hours of Mario (I mean, all the Mario games combined) than any other franchise. I have all of their home consoles just so I can have the first party games, which I think can’t be beat.  The biggest problem was that there weren’t enough levels for me to play.

Then they let you make your own levels.

Mario Gold Coins.png

The money I thought I’d save with level creators

The first time I remember seeing this was for Mario vs Donkey Kong 2 on DS. The game itself didn’t take long. A few hours and I was at 100%. Then I thought I’d take a stab at building my own level.

It was brilliant. Extremely difficult with no time to waste and no room for error. Of course, Nintendo makes sure these levels are actually beatable so the creator has to finish it first. Fair enough. It took me longer to beat this one level I made than it did to beat all the stock levels combined at 100%.

I thought I got done, had my tricky puzzle finished where one tiny Mario had to walk on doughnut blocks that the other had to jump on as they were falling while the one on top had to be sacrificed.Finally, I got done, only to realize it couldn’t be uploaded. ALL the tiny Marios had to make it to the goal.

Game Over 64.jpg

That feeling when the stage won’t upload

I did manage a workaround eventually, and I should’ve learned. Flash forward to 2016 to the excellent Super Mario Maker. If you like 2D Mario, this is probably the last one of those you’ll ever need. I spend a lot more time playing than building, but got an idea to do something I hadn’t seen done in over 1000 stages I’d played. I based a level around it, at first to show it off, but then decided to revert to old school and make it brutally hard.

Over 20 hours later, it was finally finished. Max length, and so full I can’t even add blocks or enemies. I used the limit. I knew that beating it for uploading would be tough, probably take me days instead of hours.But I was prepared. I’d finish it, one checkpoint at a time.

Turns out I was wrong. This was the first time I used checkpoints, only to find out that I don’t get to use them when trying to upload. I have to beat the whole thing from start to finish in one go. Then from the first checkpoint to the end (second doesn’t count), then from the second to the end. Yeah, no.

Impossible Mario.jpg

How it feels like trying to upload Super Expert levels

It’d take way more hours (days,weeks,months, etc.) than I’m willing to invest just to upload it. So as sad as it is, I had to put in some Dev blocks. They’re pretty much impossible to find without downloading the level and hard to do even after finding them. Plus I made the game taunt me as I took the shameful shortcut that takes a good 5 minutes to get through, to remind me I took the easy way out.

At least it’s live now, even if it’s not pure. I’m not sure what the point of this is. Don’t checkpoints exist so you don’t have to play from start to finish? Why make the creator work harder to make it easier for others? I don’t get it. Needless to say, I won’t be making many of these harsh, unforgiving levels long enough to need checkpoints.

I have to say though, I definitely have a newfound respect for these designers that make these intense super expert levels; they somehow managed this. Congratulations. I hope the stars to dollars conversion works in your favor.


Those virtual bucks really DO pay off.

If anyone’s curious and wants to see my awesome level, the code is 19C9-0000-0299-28F7 . I forgot about the thumbnail thing so it looks like nothing, but yeah. Anyway, all the challenges are possible with checkpoints, but very difficult. Not for the easily frustrated!

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