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We happened to come across a Nintendo fan named Jonathan Major who took it upon himself to retrofit his room in the graphical style of Super Mario World and in part, Super Mario Maker. It’s a beautiful example of wonderful creativity and dedication to your most endearing memories.
What gave you the idea to retrofit your bedroom after Super Mario World?
A couple years ago, I watched a youtube video of someone decorating their wall with Super Mario World Perler Bead creations. I knew one day I would have loved to do the same thing. Years later, I finally decided to spend a couple months working on this type of project. Except instead of doing a section of the wall like the video, I wanted to do my entire wall.
Here’s the video Jonathan that helped inspire him to craft his own Super Mario themed room!
Very nice! I must say that video is very cool. I can see why you decided you do it yourself. Super Mario World is considered one of the greatest 2D Mario games of all time. When did you start working on your Mario room?
Thank you! I started in the middle of May 2016 and finished September 10th. I had to take about three weeks off at one point because of work. But I would work on it a couple times a week for a couple hours. I set my personal deadline before September 13th, so it could celebrate the 31st anniversary of the Super Mario Bros. franchise.
That’s right, Super Mario Bros came out on that date. Considering how far developers have advanced from the original Super Mario Bros, did you ever imagine that 30 years later we’d be able to design our own Super Mario Bros. level with Super Mario Mario Maker and share them with the world?
I was ecstatic when I heard about the release of Super Mario Maker. As you can see, I have a soft spot for retro games, and when I heard you could make your own Mario levels in three classic and one new theme I was very excited. I had always wanted to make my own Mario levels, but I think I was more excited about playing others!
Did you use Super Mario Maker to help design your room?
The room theme was very loosely based off of Super Mario Maker since there are many key elements missing. I posted the picture [a Facebook group page] since I thought the members would appreciate it. I wanted to replicate the original Super Mario World game as closely as possible with minor exceptions including some sprite colorations. I relied on the Bead it App, some enlarged game sprites, and some online searches for patterns to help me with my creation.
The levels in Super Mario Maker are insane! Some near impossible. What was the process used to get your Super Mario World themed room so that it would look correctly? Did you paint it or do something similar to what [YouTube] ukretrogameaddict channel did?
I wanted to make the wall as identical as I could to the original game. To start off the process, I planned what characters and objects I wanted to include on my wall and made a checklist. After I created the objects and characters out of perler beads, I had to think how the background was going to be done. I eventually decided I would find a way to print giant versions of the backgrounds on paper and rubber cement them to cardboard. It took a while to find the correct program to do this, but I eventually used rasterbator.com.
This website allows users to upload giant images, in which it will convert it to multiple pages in a PDF. After printing, I needed to cut the boards off the pictures and glue them together next to each other. This was personally the hardest part, since I had to be exact with my cutting. I did the ground last so I could measure how much I would need to create for the cardboard canvas. I wanted to do this out of pearler beads too along with the characters so it would seem to have a “pop” effect. Finally, I used velcro to place the perler creations to the cardboard. This way, I could remove them if I had to without ruining the paper behind it.
You put a lot of thought into this didn’t you? Of the four Mario themed templates from the game, which one did you choose and why?
It did take a lot of planning haha. I decided to do Super Mario World for a couple reasons. First of all, it was one of my favorite games growing up. It was also one of the first ones I [bought] too (Super Mario World: Super Mario Advance 2). I wanted to do this theme because of the extra challenge that came along with it. I had made perler bead crafts based off the earlier Mario games before [in 8-Bit design]. However, this game was released on a system which allowed enhanced graphics for its time. This meant more detail and shading within its sprites.
So it’s safe to assume that Super Mario Bros. is your all time favorite Mario game, correct?
Absolutely! The other classics do come in a close tie as well. But for nostalgia reasons, I have to say is [Super Mario World: Super Mario Advance 2] one of the top ones
Very cool. As for myself, Super Mario Bros. 3 for the original Nintendo is my favorite 2D Mario game. It showed me the potential what video games had as an interactive form of entertainment. Compared to the original Mario Bros., Super Mario Bros. 3 felt like jumping to a whole new generation, graphically speaking. Did you get any help from anyone?
I was able to construct the whole project myself. This surprised me because I was sure I would eventually need help with some aspects. I am usually the type of person to always have terrible but hilarious art fails. However, after taking my time and finding ways to fix errors, I was very happy with the end result!
What do your friends say about your Mario themed room?
They were impressed! Many of them did not know exactly what I was up to over those few months I was making it. After sharing my final product, many complimented me on my work, which I really appreciated.
What would you say to all the Mario fans out there who want to craft their own Mario themed room? Any words of encouragement?
Start at your own pace and don’t be discouraged! Really think about what you would like to do and how you plan to execute it. The more time and work you put into a project, the more you can reflect on your accomplishments. Celebrate each part of your project as [you] complete it and get closer to your goal. However, the most important step is to really enjoy the process. It’s for your personal use and enjoyment, not a competition, so have fun with it!
Is there anything you’d like to share about your project?
I would like to say thank you for interviewing! I am glad you have enjoyed my project enough to reach out to me.
Take a look at Jonathan’s finished project in this photo gallery.
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