The first level of 'Super Mario Bros.' is awesome in augmented reality

If you have played even just one video game in your life, there is a pretty good chance it is the original Super Mario Bros. Nintendo’s classic platformer still stands as one of the best games ever made and its first level is, without a doubt, one of the most iconic courses in gaming history. But what would it be like to play it in the real world with augmented reality? Now, we don’t have to wonder anymore.

Developer Abhishek Singh re-created level 1-1 of Super Mario Bros. for Microsoft’s HoloLens headset using Unity3D, and the results are both incredible and bizarre. Singh, dressed in Mario’s classic overalls and cap, walks through a park filled with the bushes, warp pipes, Goombas, and blocks found in the stage. Jumping and “touching” a block earns him a coin, while touching a mushroom makes him power up. As he is in the real world and can’t literally get larger, all other items displayed become slightly smaller, instead.

After collecting a fire flower, Singh even manages to take out a group of enemies by pinching his fingers together and pointing them forward. Encountering a Koopa, he knocks it out of its shell and then kicks it to send it spinning off the course.

The only thing the augmented reality demo doesn’t appear to replicate is vertical movement. As he approaches the block staircase that Mario can use to reach the top of the course’s flag, Singh is forced to walk off to the side and grab the flag from the bottom. Responding to a YouTube user’s request for the underground area of level 1-1 be included, he said that he would find a way to do that without “defying physics.” As there is not a physical object for Singh to stand on, he naturally would just return to the ground.

While it is strange seeing regularly proportioned human beings next to Mario, Nintendo is taking a similar approach with the Switch game Super Mario Odyssey. One world in the game, “New Donk City,” is a metropolitan region with human beings, traffic lights, and other “normal” objects that we don’t traditionally see in the Mushroom Kingdom. The game is currently one of our most-anticipated titles for the remainder of 2017 and earned the top prize in our E3 awards.

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