Heads Up! Edit
This Story is my second attempt at a creepypasta. I don't think you expect it to be good, so just hear me out. I also know about types of cliches, but before I wrote the story I didn't, so I am aware there may be lots.
Also, it's very long, just a reminder.
The Story: Super Mario Bootleg Edit
Mario. What’s more to say about him? He’s known throughout the world, even people who haven’t played his games know of him. He is video game’s mascot, a model to show the world what video games are. I always play his games; Mario is my video game hero, and will always remain my hero.
But, with all that success, there comes hacked, or unlicensed games. You know, fan games, or even worse, bootlegs (which are made by non-fans, to sell to the fans). Bootlegs always made me laugh. The were always poorly done, and it was fun to try and beat the game (which at the end, was usually just a “THE END” screen, or just a boot back to the title screen).
I have played bootlegs, and I don’t want to buy them (that would be a waste of money), so I download them and play them on emulators. Some examples that I’ve played are Super Donkey Kong 99, Super Mario World 64, Super Donkey Kong - Xiang Jiao Chuan, Mario 4 - The Space Odyssey, Pocket Monsters, and many more.
I was looking around the internet for more bootlegs to try out, when I found on a Russian webpage, a bootlegged cartridge ROM about Mario for the NES. It was called Super Mario.nes. It looked like the game might be in Russian, because the website was. The name seemed suspicious, but it said that the game was released on the NES as an unlicensed game. I found a new bootleg! Would it be hilariously awful? Only one way to find out!
I started up the NES emulator, FCEUX, on my computer and loaded up the ROM. I was greeted with the Super Mario Bros. title screen, although the “Bros.” was missing. Maybe Luigi was removed? I hoped not. I liked playing as Luigi, because he was basically Mario’s shadow; no one cared about him. I liked making everyone feel welcome and respected, so I treated Luigi better (well, better than Mario does anyway…). Strangely, the demo never played out after waiting for a bit. The two player selection was gone, so I just chose single player.
“World 1-1” the game said. I started in the first level. Everything was redesigned. The ground tiles had poor graphics, even for an 8-Bit system. The level was redesigned. But, worst of all, the engine changed. Mario’s physics were horribly wonky, and I could barely control him. I knew it was a “start-from-scratch” bootleg, because EVERYTHING was worse than the original. The HUD was there, like normal.
The music was from Super Donkey Kong - Xiang Jiao Chuan, the terrible song that lasts around 15 seconds, then loops. It was in this bootleg, for the strangest reason. Maybe the same people who made Super Donkey Kong - Xiang Jiao Chuan (if you’re wondering, it translates to Banana Boat), made this one.
Mario’s running animation, although just three frames, jammed horribly. I hated this bootleg already, but I’ve been known to withstand the worst of bootlegs until the end. I made Mario go through the level, and there were enemies. Goombas moved a lot slower than normal, and they took two hits to defeat. The Koopas took two hits to defeat as well, but their shell could not be kicked around. The person who made this bootleg knew almost nothing of Mario! I got to the end of the level, but there was no flagpole. Just a castle to go into.
“World 1-2” the game said. I was now underground immediately. No cutscene to show you. World 1-2 was re-done as well. There were no moving platforms, or any pits. Even piranha plants weren’t here. The underground theme from the obscure bootleg “Super Boy I” was playing. Off-key, and off-rhythm notes made me gag as I trudged on through this level. The level was a custom level, whoopee, but the tiles were still pretty bland-looking. Well, for an 8-Bit game, these tiles looked like something less than 8-Bit, maybe 4-Bit, if that was even a thing.
The level had a new enemy, one that didn’t appear until Super Mario Bros. 3, the Boos. Ghosts that try to sneak up on you made an appearance, but it was terrible. They moved like any other enemy, making this one have no gimmick that was annoying. I jumped on it and it disappeared instantly. It was similar to “Mario 4 - The Space Odyssey”, in which all enemy AI, even the final boss AI, was the same. I beat the level, which surprised me, because the level felt so difficult, even though if normal Mario physics were applied, it would be easy. The stage ended underground, the lazy bootleggers (if that’s even a word)!
“World 1-4” the game said. What? It had skipped a level! World 1-3 was missing entirely. This little skit made me laugh. The bootleggers knew how to make a joke, that’s for sure! I was expecting a castle level, but something was… off…
It was indeed a castle level, but it had those weird tiles that always appeared in World 1-3. The ones that look like mushrooms, but have a green plant on top. It played the default castle music from Super Mario Bros., not downgraded or anything. All enemies stood and stared at Mario as he passed by. They did not move. They just… stared…
I ran through the level, careful not to fall into pits of lava. There were no firebars, just the enemies that were in the other levels. It was such a strange level. I arrived at the end, ready for a fight with Bowser. But, there was no fire before the fight, and there was no Bowser!
I was in the place where you fight Bowser, but he wasn’t there. I went over and touched the axe, and the regular sounds played, but they were louder than usual. The fanfare when you rescue a Toad played, and Mario went into the place where the Toad is automatically. Mario walked up to the Toad.
The Toad said, “ПОЧЕМУ ВЫ СДЕЛАЛИ ЭТО, МАРИО?! ВЫ УБИЛИ 41 МОЕГО НАРОДА!!”. After the Toad’s words were said, the game faded out to black.
“World 8-1” the game said. Yep, it just skipped six worlds. What can you expect from a bootleg? The background was the default overworld background, but the sky was greyish. The music was the normal theme, in the key of G♭ Major scale, slowed down at a slower tempo, around 50-70 BPM. My HUD now had some new text, reading: “TOADS KILLED” with 41 after it. I still don’t understand how I killed them. I ran through the pretty tough place, and when I hit a brick block, the counter for the Toad’s deaths went up by one. And I even heard a slight pixelated moan from the speakers.
I was confused, but still trudged on. The more I hit the blocks, the more I noticed the background began to melt. This was a crazy game! The level was made out of brick blocks, and no coin blocks or mushroom blocks. And on top of that, there were no enemies! I ran through the level, but around halfway through, I saw a Toad standing. I approached him and the game stopped with a buzzing sound. It cut to black, and I sat staring at the screen for a while.
When the black screen went away, the next level loaded up. “World 8-2” the game said. I was now back in any other normal level. All the brick blocks, though, looked like either a mushroom, or Toad’s head. But since mushrooms were yellow and red, and this one was white and red, it resembled a Toad’s head. The same thing happened when I hit a brick block; the background melted more and more. I had enough! I shut the game down using the Task Manager and stopped playing this game.
After a week or so, I forgot completely about that bootleg game. It’s always nice to take a break from those bootlegs, anyway. I just felt like relaxing the next weekend, after school was over, for now.
I wondered more and more about the game. What did the Toad even say? I used Google Translate, and typed in Russian characters based off of a screenshot I took of Toad saying the Russian text.
When I put in the text, it roughly translated as: “Why did you do this, Mario? You’ve killed 41 of my people!”. I found this very strange. Killed? No Mario game EVER says that Mario kills people! I needed to know what this meant. I searched, and searched, but could not find anything about Mario being a murderer. Until my lucky day arrived, where I actually found some good information about this topic.
It was information about the original Super Mario Bros. manual. It states that the Koopa tribe used their black magic and turned the people of the Mushroom Kingdom into mere stones, bricks, and horsehair plants (something like that). That means that Mario had been killing the Toads every time I hit those bricks! No Mario game ever addressed that fact. Not even in Super Mario Bros.! It even gave you points for breaking them!
So, thinking about that bootleg again, I decided to start it up again. I had saved states when I was playing the game, because otherwise I couldn’t win. I loaded up my save state, and I was right back in World 8-2 before I quit. I played through the level, and tried not to break any Toad-blocks, but I still had 67 Toads murdered. I wasn’t going to harm any more Toads. I avoided all brick blocks this time around, and I was successful. I beat the level!
“World 8-4” the game said. Yep, skipped another level. I was now in the last level in the game. It was another castle level, and it was a fiery-red hue all over the walls and bricks. I ran through this rather unsettling place, and I was approaching Bowser, hoping he would be there this time.
Bowser was not there again, surprise! Instead, I found Luigi. Strangely, he had his Super Mario Bros. Deluxe colour palette. Even more strange, was the fact that there was text above Luigi’s head, that I SUPPOSED Luigi was saying. It read, “Марио, ты убийца! Я должен остановить террору!”. It seemed like I had to fight Luigi, one of my most favourite Mario characters. Luigi threw hammer as excessively as Bowser did in the final fight, but jumped more frequently.
I ran underneath Luigi as he jumped, and then touched the axe. Luigi did a similar animation to Bowser as he fell in the lava, but instead of the normal falling sound, a pixelated yell rang out. It sounded scratchy, like the SEGA chant on the Sega Game Gear.
Mario ran towards where Peach was being held captive, but instead, there was no Peach. Mario continued to run through the castle. After a long time running, the screen finally stopped scrolling to the right and stopped, with Mario still running. He ran off the screen, and the game faded out to black.
“World 9-1” the game said. What?! It’s still going, I thought. The level started up to reveal a black void. Nothing, just a black background and equally black tiles. I made Mario run over to the right, and what I saw as I kept going made me sick.
There were shattered blocks, but they resembled Toad’s heads more than bricks. They were everywhere, and as I kept going, the more they looked like Toads. Broken bodies of Toads were lying all over the place, whether it be the air, or the ground, or even under the ground. There was no blood, just randomly placed body parts.
Then, I saw it. A skeleton, with a green hat on. Luigi’s burnt corpse, I instantly thought. I stopped Mario to look at it, when suddenly, it’s eyes flashed yellow. It got up and started to walk around, similar to a Dry Bones from later Mario games. Except it always followed Mario. I jumped on the ‘Dry Luigi’, and he fell to pieces, but after a while got back up.
Every time Dry Luigi got back up, he’d always get faster. I kept on trying to run, but eventually he was faster than Mario. I jumped on him when I felt like he was going to get me, and after a while, his vertical position was linked with mine, meaning I could no longer jump on him.
I just decided to run away from Dry Luigi, but he started running after me. His running animation sped up as he seemed to be slightly outrunning me. I had no choice but to run from him as fast as I could go.
At last I found a flagpole and I proceeded to touch it, before Dry Luigi could get me. He faded into dust and blew away. I finished the level, and ran into the castle in the black void…
“World -1” the game said. World -1! The minus world is canon in this bootleg? When it started, I was in the infamous water level that never ended. The water level music started up normally. The controls were even worse than they were in the running sequences. I inevitably swam through the monstrous area where Bloopers and Cheep-Cheeps were, but none were there. I was swimming around for no reason. I also noticed that there was no time. I was stuck in here forever…
I must have passed through the pipe a dozen times already, when Dry Luigi showed up at the pipe at the end of the level. He looked at Mario with his lifeless sockets for eyes, and I tried swimming over him. Dry Luigi suddenly zipped forward, but I wasn’t letting him touch me. I avoided him narrowly, and swam through the pipe. This time, it led me to a black screen. Text faded in.
“Марио не человек... Марио является больным и скрученные монстра...” I recognized ‘Марио’ being ‘Mario’. The text faded back out, and I was dumped back to the title screen.
The title logo read ‘Super Mario’ this time, making it feel like it was just called ‘Super’. Mario was not there on the title screen. The choice to play as single player or multiplayer wasn’t there, either! I waited for a while, and finally text faded in. ‘Luigi’, the game showed. I selected Luigi by default and hit start.
After a couple of seconds in a black screen, English text appeared, reading: “This is the story of a young man, whose older brother was a twisted person who killed the very people he was trying to protect,” It faded out and more text read saying:
“The young man dressed in green tried his very best to stop this madman from his rampage through the peaceful kingdom. But he was always pushed around and revered as a coward. He now lives as a shadow of his brother…”
“This man, Luigi, is not a coward. He is the only one who can stop his brother’s maniacal ways. He’s come out of the shadow after long years, and plans on doing anything to stop him…”
“World 10-24” The game said. That wasn’t even a thing! Most Mario games nowadays have a World 9, but that’s it. Anyway, I was playing as Luigi now, with his colour palette being that of Super Mario Bros. Deluxe, like earlier. The controls now seemed to resemble that of Super Mario Bros. controls. It was a lot smoother, but not 100% perfect.
The level was a flat piece of terrain, with no background or music at all. I ran through the level, and it was flat throughout the entire level, with a few blocks here and there. I ran to the end, and I encountered Mario. Mario jumped to the left of the screen, over Luigi’s head, and I turned around to try and chase him, but the original Super Mario Bros. camera prevented me (where it only scrolls forward, not backwards at all). I just kept going until there was a flagpole.
As I touched it, Mario’s head flashed on the screen, with his official art where he’s looking at the person. I pressed a button out of reflex, and for some reason, the game froze when I did so, with Mario just looking at me.
I started to press any key on the keyboard, to get the game to work again, but it stayed frozen at this spot. I decided that was enough of this bootleg for one day, so I turned the computer off.
As the days went on, my curiosity grew stronger and stronger, encouraging me to play the game more. I ignored my curiosity for a couple of days, but I couldn’t help it anymore, I had to finish the game!
I hopped on the computer to start it up, and surprisingly, there was another file with the Super Mario.nes file. It was called Final Chapter of Mario.nes. Uh oh, I thought, there’s another file here. I decided that I should see what would happen if I didn’t press a button in the first game.
I started up Super Mario.nes, and I loaded up the save state after Mario jumped over Luigi’s head earlier. I ran over to the flagpole, and I touched it, bringing up Mario’s face, with a pixelated roar. This lasted for about a minute, until it cut to black, with text reading: “You couldn’t do it…”. I waited for something else to happen, but nothing was coming up. I waited for another three minutes, just to be sure, but nothing happened.
I decided that I should start up the other game, Final Chapter of Mario.nes. I booted it up, and it took around 30 seconds or so to start up finally. It began saying, “Made by Nintendo”. These bootleggers shouldn’t say it was made by Nintendo…
The Super Mario Bros. title screen popped up on the screen. It was, different, to say the least. The entire title logo lacked ANY text, so it was just a big brown box. Mario was absent from the title screen as well. There was no HUD on screen, as well as no ground. It was just a big brown box, and nothing else. The sky was a dark greyish colour, too. There were also no options.
I hit start, and to my surprise, it faded out to black. I started the level in World 1-0. And, of course that didn’t follow the Mario formula, but oh well, let’s just see how this one would work.
I ended up in the black void world from the last game, which was World 9-1. I was playing as Luigi, with the Super Mario Bros. Deluxe color palette. I ran through the stage, and I ended up finding the broken bodies of Toads yet again. I was getting annoyed with how Mario was acting. How could he do this?
I kept running, and I found him, Mario. I ran up to him and touched him, and when I did, the game froze with another buzzing sound, with text popping up, similar to the “Illegal Instruction” from Sonic the Hedgehog, but the text read: “Luigi’s End”. After a few seconds, a picture popped up, with Mario hitting a Toad block, and the pieces of Toad flying everywhere. Mario had a very satisfied expression on his face, as if he was enjoying the suffering he was inducing.
After another half-minute or so, it went to a screen filled with text. It read: “Luigi, help! I’m scared, really really scared!”
“I’m here, beside you.”
“Mario, what’s wrong?”
“The entity that controls us. It’s made me like this…”
“Oh, I know what you mean. A, creature, is controlling us. Making us do things we never wanted to do.”
“Luigi, it’s turned me into a madman!”
“No, brother! Don’t let it take you, too!”
“AHHHH…” It ended there. Not just the text, but also the game. I started up the task manager to close the game, and successfully turned it off.
I don’t know what to say about the game! It certainly was a very strange game, and it certainly felt like a cinematic game, sort of like the original Metal Gear games for the MSX2. The bootleggers sure were crazy! Just out of curiosity, I opened up the roms in HxD, the hex editor. The ROM header for Super Mario.nes was “Luigi Is”, while Final Chapter of Mario.nes was “No More. Stop this MADNESS 2401”.
I instantly thought Mario 64 was involved in this madness, because of the reference to the 2401 hoax, but instantly thought against it. I just tried to get back to that Russian website and ask them a few questions.