We're now three weeks deep on Man vs. Mario Maker 2, our ongoing round-ups of the most interesting and intriguing courses from the Super Mario Maker 2 community. As always, we're looking for a nice mix of courses for all players. Some of these will test your patience, some will test your skills, while others just have a cool theme.
This week, we're sticking with a specific idea for all our course choices. Every course here is based on another video game. Whether that's a level inspired by The Legend of Zelda, Castlevania, or Dark Souls, every level this week is a callback.
Dark Souls 1-4 - Blighttown
This first course is definitely on the "will test your patience" side of the tracks. That makes sense, as it's directly inspired by Dark Souls, From Software's monument to self-flagellation. This level, a homage to Blighttown, complete with a fight against a Mario Maker version of Chaos Witch Quelaag. The course creator, OMNISniper, has actually done an entire set of Dark Souls levels, all of which are available over on Reddit.
Super Contra Bros 3
Our next course is an homage to the first few levels of the original Contra. The course creator makes sure that you're always topped up in terms of firepower, offering a host of Fire Flowers to roast your enemies. After a side-scrolling section, you'll also have to contend with a upward scroller, on your way to the final boss. This one will strain your skills a little bit, but most should be able to complete it. Jump in with a friend for the classic Contra co-op experience!
Zelda OoT: Deku Tree
Fellow Nintendo property The Legend of Zelda gets a shout out in this level, which is based on the Deku Tree dungeon from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. This is a puzzle level, requiring you to figure out how to move forward, hitting switches and collecting keys. The course maker helps out, it's just a matter of putting your mind to work. And there's no "Hey! Listen!" to worry about.
Flying Battery Zone
There are lots of ways to fake the speed of Sonic the Hedgehog in Super Mario Maker 2. Some use clear pipes, some use conveyor belts, others add the Koopa Car for a burst of speed. This course instead tries to provide the feel of a specific Sonic level: the Flying Battery Zone from Sonic the Hedgehog 3. That means there's a bit of fire and a few drops into open air. I think it captures the feeling of the original quite well, even if the sense of speed is different.
Super Metroid Mario
This is a course that honors the spirit of the game, while at the same time giving a little love to the aesthetics. This time, it's a homage to Nintendo's Metroid series. In this course, Mario has to figure out how to grab a successive series of power-ups to proceed through the level. Warning: The mid-section of this level might be on the harder side for some folks.
Legend of Zelda 2 - Palace 1
Another course that calls back to The Legend of Zelda, though this time, it's a reference to the first palace in Zelda 2: The Adventure of Link. It's one of the more forgotten and maligned of the Zelda games, but if you loved it, this level will bring back some of those feelings. Although Mario can move and jump far better than Link could in his day.
This is an intriguing combination of a level theme and mechanics to create a different style of play. The Super Mario Bros style with the underground theme at night flips the entire world upside down as set up here. On top of that the course creator adds a winding track of Goombas to contend with. It's essentially Space Invaders, with Mario attacking through the use of falling icicles. There's a bit of skill needed for this one, but it's very cool to play.
Bonus: Rhythm Challenge: Gourmet Race
This course is themed after Kirby's Adventure, but not in terms of level design or aesthetics. Instead, this is a music based course, requiring pinpoint jump timing in order to see things through to the end. If you're ready for it, I will say that it's not very long overall.