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Video Game: Syobon Action

"Billy Mays here! Telling you that you can get negative f***ing two hundred lives in no time flat, and we'll throw in one for free right now! But if you call now, you can fall through the f***ing floor and never be heard from again! Call now! Billy Mays!"

Syobon Action (also known as Cat Marionote , Neko Mario, Dongs.exe, and Shobon no Akushon) is a Japanese Platform Hell freeware game that basically takes Super Mario Bros. 1 and cranks the difficulty Up to Eleven. It has tons of cruel deaths, from platforms falling immediately when touched, to being shot out of pipes, to the freaking clouds killing you. In addition to having a lot of skill, a player must memorize the only safe way to get through the level and avoid all of the many death traps.

There are a total of three Syobon Action games. They are very similar in gameplay to I Wanna Be the Guy.

The game has become fairly popular for Let's Players on YouTube because the extreme difficulty of the game causes players to die repeatedly, often causing rage, fail, hilarity, or some combination of those.


This game provides examples of:

  • Black Comedy: Many seemingly harmless objects in the game can kill you, and there are horribly creative death traps everywhere.
  • Blatant Lies: While many hint boxes are technically true, some are blatantly lying. Stage 4, for example, says:
    "Congratulations on making it this far! This stage's difficulty is far easier than the previous, so don't hesitate to take your time to enjoy it."
  • Bloodless Carnage: No blood or gore, although you die over and over.
  • Death by Genre Savviness: The player, assuming that he/she is familiar with the general gameplay of Super Mario Bros. 1, will die over and over again precisely because the entire game is devoted to subverting that Genre Savviness and killing you. For example, that pipe that should lead to a secret area? Kills you. That star that should make you invincible? Kills you. That invisible block that should contain a 1-up mushroom? Contains poison mushrooms and kills you.
  • The Dev Team Thinks of Everything: Nearly every possible route through the levels was foreseen by the developers, and then all but one of those routes were all filled with unavoidable death traps to limit the player to using only a single precise route. For example, in the fourth level, there's a place where you needs to jump over a lava pit. Jump too close to the ledge? You hit an invisible block. Try to jump onto that invisible block and then jump over the lava pit? The invisible cloud kills you.
  • Didn't See That Coming: Many traps are well-hidden and come out of nowhere, such as jumping off a ledge, hitting an invisible block, and falling to your death.
    • Invisible clouds! —UNDERGROUND!!
  • Emoticon: Syobon, Buun, and Kuma are in fact 2ch emoticons given life. See Memetic Mutation entry below.
  • Escort Mission: In order to beat level 5, you have to guide a spiny enemy that jumps when you do through an upper path, while you travel along the lower path, which is naturally filled with traps. You need him to eat a mushroom and break through a wall.
  • Everything Trying to Kill You: Even the clouds want you dead. Even the stars want you dead. Even the pipes want you dead. Even the floor wants you dead!
  • Expy: Given that this is a Super Mario Bros. 1 parody, most enemies are expies of Mario enemies such as Goombas, Spinies, Thwhomps, and Bowser himself. Generally, they're cat-themed.
  • Fake Difficulty: A lot of the difficulty comes from all of the traps. However, the game does require quite a bit of skill and patience, so it's definitely not all fake difficulty.
  • Fan Sequel: There are many "sequels" to this game out there, and they are even harder than the original one.
  • Invisible Block: Placed in the most frustrating areas and will kill you, naturally.
  • Kaizo Trap: They're everywhere.
  • Let's Play: This is a popular game to watch Let's Players play. More often than not, Hilarity Ensues.
  • Malevolent Architecture
  • Meaningless Lives: Played literally. If you die on your last life, your counter just goes negative and acts as a death counter from there on out. Of course, these can be also used as a "score".
  • Mega Neko: The cat may be one of these — he's the same size as Mario would be.
  • Nintendo Hard: And that's just the first level. The rest are pure Platform Hell.
  • One-Hit-Point Wonder: You die in one hit from anything.
  • One Last Trap: The levels usually end in Kaizo Traps.
  • Platform Hell: And how!
  • Poison Mushroom: Every Power-Up is this.
  • Red Herring: The Bowser Expy and poison mushroom at the end of the last level. Either one kills you, but eventually you'll figure out that you're supposed to use the mushroom to kill "Bowser" instead... but, if you do so, all that does is lead you straight into one last unavoidable Kaizo Trap in the form of a giant chicken man standing in for Toad. To beat the game, forget about "Bowser" and the poison mushroom and instead let the throwing enemy carry you above the level, allowing you to bypass "Bowser" and "Toad" and find the real ending.
  • Rule of Funny:
    • Why else does this game dish out dozens of sadistic traps?
    • Your life counter before you start playing starts at x2 lives... and after losing your "last life," it will go infinitely into negative numbers. Many players die hundreds of times.
  • Shout-Out: The game is a parody of the old Super Mario Bros. games.
  • Slippy-Slidey Ice World: The ninth level.
  • Spikes Of Doom: Quite a few of these lying around.
  • Spiritual Sequel: rather, a spiritual remake: Eryi's Action.
  • That Poor Cat
  • The Many Deaths of You: Not only is Everything Trying to Kill You, but you will be dying constantly in many different ways. As soon as you avoid one trap, you often fall right into the next.
  • They Killed Kenny Again: And again, and again, and again...
  • Trial-and-Error Gameplay: Players need to memorize what will kill them and safe routes to get around everything deadly. Some of the puzzles require some trial and error, too.
  • Troll: Whoever made this game is one.
  • Video Game Remake: It got many remakes. Along others, "Open Syobon Action" and the countless Game Maker remakes of varying quality.
  • Violation of Common Sense: And you thought that clouds, pipes, flagpoles, and floors were harmless....
  • Yank the Dog's Chain: The game loves doing this to you.

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alternative title(s): Syobon Action
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