MARIO, appropriately made by a man named M A R I O (yes, with the spaces) is a Super Mario World hack detailing an unknown point in Mario's life. Some theorize it is Mario turning evil, while some think it is his suicide. It was posted on the SMW Central forums by the user Adam, detailing his experiences with the hack in Creepypasta fashion. But unlike most Creepypastas, the hack actually exists.
The hack's levels are strange and empty, and the message boxes weird and unsettling. The game progresses through weird levels until you defeat the boss, after which a gruesome description of "Victim #1" is shown. A text file that comes with the game can be decoded to an image, turning into a very, VERY Nightmare Fuel type picture that fits the description of the victim.
The author appears to be done with this, as he became a "normal" forum member on SMW Central before getting banned. The ARG portion of the hack that was seemingly going to be a thing will not be done. The original game still stands on its own, though.
This monstrosity contains examples of:
- all lowercase letters: Some of the edited level names, such as "never come back" and "leave now."
- Alternate Reality Game: Had all the trimmings of one with hidden images and cryptic messages in Notepad.
- Bleak Level: The entire game is made up of these, with little to no enemies or hazards, and sometimes no music. Special mention goes to "Yoshi's Island 7" which is just a straight path to the goalposts.
- The Conscience: Yoshi's messages seem to try to get Mario to feel bad for whatever crime he committed.
- Dead Fic: The author never made another game after the sequel. He eventually got banned from SMW Central altogether, almost guaranteeing that there will not be a third one.
- Actually, there was a third hack.
- Driven to Suicide: Some theorize that the game involves Mario killing someone and then committing suicide because he can't face what he's done.
- Eye Scream: The description of Victim #1 notes that their eyes were missing.
- FaceHeel Turn: Heavily implied in the first game that Mario did something horrible and became a Fallen Hero.
- Jump Scare: The sudden loud helicopter noise in the beginning of "never come back."
- Lava Pit: "#1 GO BACK" (Iggy's Castle) has boiling grey lava on the ceiling. Touching it kills you instantly. ...Except not exactly; you can swim on it for a while, but if you go way too high, you'll die.
- The Most Dangerous Video Game:
- According to the original conversation, the image can set itself as your desktop background.
- While playing the game the person who wrote the story about it noticed his chatroom quiet up, only to bustle again when he was done playing.
- Not to mention the blood dripping down one guy's hand after decoding the image.
- Nightmare Face: The image.
- No Ending: The game just ends with a black screen.
- Nothing Is Scarier: Several of the levels are missing all or most of the enemies, objects etc. that they would normally have in the regular game. Also, the message blocks in the castle, when hit, just give a blank box with Yoshi's signature at the bottom.
- Number of the Beast: When the image sets itself as your background, it saves at a resolution of 666x666.
- Soundtrack Dissonance:
- The standard cheerful victory theme plays during Victim #1's Gorn-filled description.
- In "leave now," the Ghost House theme plays, even though there are no enemies, let alone Boos.
- Stylistic Suck: The levels are deliberately empty or barely hacked in order to achieve a creepy feel.
- Unwinnable by Design: The game deliberately crashes and gives you a black screen in Donut Plains 1.
Victim #3, the victim was found slumped over his computer reading an article on TV Tropes about a creepy Mario rom hack...