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The most brutal Super Mario Maker 2 levels

Okay, we got frustrated on certain levels of Super Mario Odyssey, so you can imagine our rage at the deviously designed levels in Super Mario Maker 2. The follow up to the hugely popular Super Mario Maker, Super Mario Maker 2 has added some extra functions like a story mode, cat Mario, clear pipes, and creeping piranha plants to shake things up. This has made for the perfect planning ground for the most sadistic, evil-genius level designers to spread their wings and make some seriously brutal maps. These fans could never be hired by Nintendo: their games would be unplayable by anyone except for the most expert of players.

There was a level in the first title called — erroneously — "Lucky Draw." The odds of beating this level? One in 7.5 million. Many players tried, and very nearly all of them failed, to conquer "Lucky Draw." Now that Super Mario Maker 2 is out, there are many levels gaining equally infamous reputations for their brutal, hard-to-beat nature. Let's take a look at some of the best — or worst, depending on how you see it.

The infamous "1-1" … with a twist

Everyone knows that the very first Super Mario Bros. level is the easiest. It serves to introduce the player to Mario's 8-bit world, having them dodge a few Goombas and punch some blocks. There's nothing all that tricky about it, and if you've ever played a Mario game before, then it's a piece of cake. Twitter user Sunny decided that it was a little too easy. They wanted to shake things up, and thus they recreated "World 1-1" ... with a twist. 

"1-1 but with a twist" has quickly enraptured the internet due to its devilishly simple formula. The exact replica of "World 1-1" is covered in flame. Everywhere you look, there are twirling fire bars, meaning that the player is unable to stay still for long. Every jump must be expertly timed so as to avoid getting flambeed, which is naturally easier said than done. Sunny said it all in the title of their YouTube video: "I made the worst ever 1-1 remake in Mario Maker 2."

The garden of evil is "Pit of PePanga: DieVine Garden"

Super Mario Maker 2 allows for anyone with a Nintendo Switch to get hardcore creative. Making these levels, especially the near-unbeatable ones that require skilled techniques known as kaizo levels, requires a deep knowledge of each and every function of the various obstacles and power ups in the whole Mario franchise. We're going to go ahead and say that Super Mario Maker 2 player PangeaPanga has something of an encyclopedic knowledge of Mario. He's been crafting some of the hardest levels in Super Mario Maker history. 

Take the 3D world level "Pit of PePanga: DieVine Garden" (course ID: LM6-TM7-VKF) for example: this expertly crafted level makes full use of the new creeping piranha plants in a way that will make your palms sweat. Very rarely is the player actually on solid ground; rather, they're constantly bouncing off of enemies, lining them up just right in order to progress. PangaeaPanga added in some helpful arrows to direct players to where they need to go, but unless you have hair-trigger reflexes, those won't be able to save you from a quick death.

Super Mario Maker 2's escort mission from hell: "A Boy and his Box"

If there is one thing that has infuriated gamers over the years, it's escort missions. These missions have the player struggling to keep both themselves and a, sometimes helpless, NPC alive. It can get insanely irritating when said NPC lags behind, falls into obvious traps, and generally holds the player back. Now imagine an escort mission in Super Mario Maker 2, where players scramble to stay alive.

"A Boy and His Box" (course ID: 0LL-FRJ-2SF) by Twitter user 123zc is an escort mission from hell. Mario must navigate the level, all spikes, conveyor belts, and lava, while keeping a box from falling to its doom. The player has to toss the box into clear pipes and hustle to the other end to catch it. There are many instances in which Mario can't help but take damage, which means that the player has to take some calculated risk, all while keeping their eye on the box.

"Super Meat Bros. Forever" will have you playing forever

In Super Mario Maker, if one level became known above all others as rage quit-inducing, it was "Super Meat Bros." Crafted by the diabolical André GX, the map emulates the famously fast-paced indie darling Super Meat Boy. There are saw blades everywhere, oh so happy to grind Mario into mincemeat. The level has been played upwards of 16 million times, but only has a clear rate of 0.65%. Yikes.

André GX followed up "Super Meat Bros." with "Super Meat Bros. Forever" in Super Mario Maker 2 (course ID: TWQ-8TV-KRG), and as one might guess, it's just as impossible, infuriating, and downright evil. The course sidescrolls automatically, which means that players have to stay speedy despite the conveyor belts that impede them along the way. Players also need to have their spin-jump technique down, because there are quite a few large gaps that they must surmount. If (and that's a big if) the player can get to the end, they're treated to Super Meat Boy's Bandage Girl's smiling face as a congratulatory prize for their patience.

Welcome to the Upside Down: "Panger Things"

What's worse than having to play a Super Mario Maker 2 kaizo level? How about playing a Super Mario Maker 2 kaizo level upside down? Famed for making utterly brutal levels, player PangaeaPanga may have outdone himself with the level "Pit of PePanga: Panger Things" (course ID: QRF-6LX-LJG) because of the way it turns players' expectations on their heads. 

Rendered in the 16-bit pixel art from days of old, the level features a soft music box version of Mario's main theme. Don't let its dreamy quality fool you: this is the theme song of a nightmare. After designing the course, it took PangaeaPangahimself a half hour to beat it in order to ultimately post it for the public to play. Having built it from the ground up, he knew exactly what was required of him to clear the level, but that didn't make it any easier. Jumping upside down bends the mind, making players question their every move. Good luck taking on this topsy-turvy course. 

"Kai-Zero G" (before Nintendo killed it)

Nintendo has a beef with GrandPooBear. GrandPooBear has been called an unofficial ambassador of the Super Mario Maker games, dedicating his Twitch stream to the making and beating of some of the most super expert levels that the first game had to offer. And yet, you won't be able to find any of his courses because Nintendo took them down. It's theorized that this might have something to do with his username and it's questionable nature, but Nintendo has yet to give an official reason. 

Before it was taken down, his level entitled "Pile of Poo: Kai-Zero G" (course ID: NSL-6TY-VNG) became something of a sensation within the Super Mario Maker community. This low-gravity level presented players the unique challenge of floating through space and relying on conveniently placed springs to keep from falling into the cold abyss of outer space. As a testament to its difficulty, there are tons of YouTubers taking on his low gravity level, frustrated by its floaty nature and the troll save point at the very center of the course.

Don't touch the ground in Super Mario Maker 2's winter wonderland level

You might think that a Christmas-y, winter wonderland kind of level would be sugar coated, but there is nothing easy about "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" (course ID: NFY-BRB-LHG), crafted by Barb. In this snow-dusted level, even the likes of kaizo-level crafter GrandPooBear had trouble completing it. It's no surprise that at the time GrandPooBear played, the course had a whopping 0.02% clear rate. What made this holiday special so hellish? In order to clear the level, players not only had to survive whatever obstacles were in their way, but they also were not allowed to touch the ground. 

At first glance, the course doesn't seem too bad, but it quickly becomes apparent that avoiding the ground is incredibly difficult. Players have to climb trees, wall jump, and spring off of enemies to avoid the untouched snow below. This course takes timing, perseverance, and the ability to withstand the bright and happy music that plays while you fight for your life hour after hour.

Doki Doki creator creates a 0.00% clear rate level in Super Mario Maker 2

Real game designers are putting their skills to good use and getting in on the Super Mario Maker 2 craze. Dan Salvato, the mastermind behind one of our favorite genre-bending horror games, Doki Doki Literature Club, has crafted a level worthy of his reputation as something of an evil genius. "Lethal Ejection" (course ID: 974-00B-RSG) seems simple at first. Salvato's lone comment is, "Just jump after you hit the switch. Piece of cake." But the clear rate is much more telling: this course has a 0.00003% clear rate. It really is lethal. 

What's so deadly about it? It probably has something to do with all the spikes, pitfalls, and timed switches. This utterly silent, horrendously difficult level will make players feel insane. How can something that looks so easy be so impossible? There's nothing but spikes, Goombas, and a few switches; what could possibly go wrong? Just about everything, as it turns out. This nearly impossible level requires unparalleled technical skills.

Don't look now, it's a backwards-only level!

The impossible has been achieved. In the original Super Mario Maker, it wasn't possible for even the most clever of course designers to make a level that had to be played entirely backward. Super Mario Maker 2 has taken devious to a whole new level, allowing for the creation of the deviant backwards-only levels. Ceave Gaming has engineered a way to use Boos in order to make it so that the moment the player looks right, the whole ground turns into coins and they fall into the abyss below. 

So how is Mario even supposed to move forward? It takes some slipping and sliding in order to get anywhere with these backwards only levels. Using slick, snow-covered slopes, the player can build up enough momentum by jump spinning in order to get to where they want to go. What's next? A Super Mario Maker 2 level that you have to play blindfolded? Let's not give Ceave Gaming any ideas.

Super Mario Maker 2's "easy" kaizo level is still ultra challenging

Kaizo levels are known for being ultra difficult levels that only the biggest of masochists dare to try. YouTuber Jimbenator admitted to being something of a masochist when he tried out what has been called an "easy" kaizo level. Super Mario Maker extraordinaire PangaeaPanga called "Passive PePanga: Snake Charmer" (course ID: 9V8-RK1-2SF) his easiest level. There's a checkpoint in it, after all. And yet the level has a 0.05% clear rate. It's almost as if "easy kaizo" is an oxymoron. 

The snake on this Snake Charmer level is made up of three green blocks that stand between the player and death. They have to follow this train of slow-moving blocks while dodging fire, Goombas, Thwomp blocks, and spikes. Within an hour, Jimbenator racks up one hundred deaths, but he doesn't give up. After 160 deaths he reaches the fabled checkpoint only to realize that there's still a lot more level left. Good thing he's a masochist.

The Terminator can't be bargained with

If anxiety was a Super Mario Maker 2 level, it would be "The Terminator" (course ID: MSS-PYL-WLG). Aptly named by creator Barb, this level can't be bargained with. It can't be reasoned with. As the lava rises around you, you have to keep moving. Or die. It's little wonder that the game has a 0.06% clear rate. 

This brutal gamut requires nerves of steel and eagle eyes. There are boxes and bombs that the player must grab and take along with them in order to make it through the obstacles and enemies to come. Learning this takes a few failed runs, but there's no shame in that. Thousands have tried and few have succeeded in getting the timing down right for this incredibly demanding level. It took even an expert player like PangaeaPanga nearly an hour to clear the level, learning some new trick with each failure. It says something when those known for making sadistic levels feel the burn of a brutal Super Mario Maker 2 level.

"In the clear!" isn't so clear

What's worse than backward levels? Than zero gravity levels? Than levels where you can't touch the ground? We'd venture to say that one of the most anxiety-inducing tortures that video games can inflict upon their players are time trials. As the seconds count down, the player's panic increases and they become less focused, more likely to make errors that will cost them everything. Before they know it, they have to start the level all over again. 

That's what it's like for the Super Mario Maker 2 level "In the clear!" (course ID: LT1-3SG-RJF) by GlitchCat7. The player has just a minute to make it through a veritable maze of clear pipes and angry enemies. This course of well-placed pound blocks is poised above a bottomless abyss, meaning that timed jumping is everything. There is very little room, or time, for error. It is especially scary when the screen goes black and white, signaling to the player that time is running out.

Levels that can only be beaten with glitches

It is impossible to make an impossible level in Super Mario Maker 2. The creator of the course must first clear their creation before posting it for the public, so that at least one human being has confirmed that the level is beatable. This hasn't stopped players from trying and sometimes succeeding in breaking the game in minor ways. 

YouTuber Ceave Gaming has discovered and amassed a collection of levels that can only be beaten through tricks and minor glitches that only the most ardent of Mario Maker fans know about. Is this cheating? Maybe, because how is the average player supposed to know about disabling grabbing claws, using a block combination lock, or using a clown car to go back through one way doors? These aren't exactly things you just figure out along the way. These glitches were the results of hours of study and a wholehearted dedication to making ridiculously brutal Super Mario Maker 2 levels.