Strange as it is to say, the first thing that crossed everyone's minds when Nintendo revealed Super Mario Maker is, "Oh boy! I can't wait to make other games with this!"
Granted, Nintendo included dozens of character costumes from games outside the Mario franchise, so it probably knew what kind of monkeyshines we'd get into as soon as the game hit our Wii U. "Oh, Capcom won't make a new Mega Man game? There, there. Use our fun game-builder to put together one of your own."
Mario Maker owners happily obliged. There are some very cool tributes and level re-creations on the servers already, and more pour in every day. Here's a sampling of the most fun and imaginative levels.
The Legend of Zelda: Overworld and Eagle Dungeon (ID: 4431-0000-001D-58A4)
Brick 101 is a YouTube channel that typically showcases cool stuff built (and animated) out of LEGO, but channel steward David Pickett took a little time away from interlocking plastic blocks to show off his skills with Super Mario Maker.
Pickett's re-creation of the first dungeon from The Legend of Zelda is one of the most impressive Super Mario Maker level tributes to date. He even drafted the whole thing on graph paper before going to town. It's pretty interesting to hear him discuss his enemy choices, and observe how he successfully managed to turn a 2D action game into a top-down adventure.
Mega Man 2: Wily Stage 1 (ID: 5BDE-0000-001A-318F)
Megacocorock re-created one of the best-known 8-bit action stages of all time.
There are some interesting enemy substitutions on-hand here, including Koopa Paratroopas that carry Buzzy Beetles in lieu of egg-bombing Pipi birds.
But how does Megacocorock tackle the iconic battle with the end stage boss, Dragon? Get equipped with a Fire Flower and find out.
Sonic the Hedgehog: Green Hill Zone, Act 1 (ID: 5048-0000-0016-C599)
TheRealSonicFan's tribute to gaming's most famous first level outside of the original Super Mario Bros' World 1 - 1 makes some neat adjustments to Sonic's breakout run. There are mushrooms instead of trees, coins instead of rings, Cheep-Cheeps instead of Choppers, and Koopa Paratroopas instead of Buzz Bombers.
No need to cook up a substitute for Sonic's springboards, of course. As far as those objects are concerned, Sega does what Ninten…does.
Kid Icarus: Stage 1 - 4 (ID: EF5F-0000-0038-4111)
Maybe we'll get another Kid Icarus game someday, but it's probably not a good idea to challenge yourself to sleep on a bed of glass shards until one arrives. Nintendo rarely talks about poor little Pit, let alone offer up any kind of clue that he's still committed to the fight against Medusa.
So for now, Kid Icarus fans may want to sate themselves with CubeView Advance's clever Mario Maker re-creation of Stage 1 - 4 (the NES game's first dungeon stage). Thankfully, it's an eggplant-free zone.
Super Mario Kart
This all-purpose tribute to the Mario Kart series doesn't exactly require a lot of skill to play. Really, you just need to lounge in the back seat while Mario does all the driving. It's still fascinating to watch, however, especially since Mario gets up to all kinds of shenanigans as he tries to outrace a "Blue Shell" that's just waiting to pounce and steal his lead.
There's no escaping the shell. Ever. In any game. Why is the world so cold?
Pac-Man (ID: A2B9-0000-0023-0241)
If you've got a touch of Pac-Man fever but can't medicate yourself at home or at an arcade, give BluHawk's Mario Maker version of Pac-Man a try. Coins are used in the place of dots, but that's not enough to stop Pac-Man's feeding frenzy. Then he presumably dies of heavy metal poisoning off-screen. At least you got your Pac-Man tribute though, right?
Animal Crossing (ID: 839F-0000-001D-57D5)
Show Tom Nook exactly what you think of capitalism by literally bringing down the house in Mon Nintendo's Animal Crossing-inspired level.
Super Mario Maker is a phenomenally deep game, but it doesn't offer a lot of resources for anyone who prefers planting trees and collecting Gyroids to stomping Goombas (that's a full letter grade off your end-of-term report card, Nintendo). Ergo, "Animal Crossing: Rénovations" focuses on the joy of destruction and disorder. You know, the kind of chaos the Villager secretly dreams about at 3 a.m..
Unless he's awake and digging for bones at that hour.)