Like clockwork, every six months or so the Internet gets ginned up about some or another Flash game on Newgrounds that uses Mario sprites. Today it’s Super Mario Crossover, a thorough recreation of the first Super Mario Bros. but with five extra playable characters, all pulled from other NES games.

You can play the game as Mario and not see much of a difference, but you can also swap in Mega Man, Samus Aran from Metroid, Link from The Legend of Zelda, Bill from Contra and Simon Belmont from Castlevania.

What’s impressive about Super Mario Crossover, aside from the painstaking recreation of the original game, are how these six disparate characters all feel like they were ripped from their own classic NES titles, but fit in perfectly to the Mario levels. I’m impressed with the amount of tweaking this must have taken, to keep the integrity of the original characters but also make them work with the enemy behaviors and level designs of Super Mario Bros.

Author Jay Pavlina says it’s the first game he’s ever made. My advice would be to immediately start tweaking it into a parody in anticipation of Nintendo’s inevitable cease-and-desist order. Pavlina’s not entirely sponging off of others’ creations — the remixing is certainly a unique piece of art unto itself — but my understanding is that this falls far outside the boundaries of “fair use.”

Super Mario Crossover [Newgrounds]