Mario ROM community on pins and needles after popular hacker promises their "magnum opus"

Mario and crew against a forest background in Super Mario World
(Image credit: Nintendo)

Well-known Super Mario World ROM hacker, Stivi, has revealed that they're now working on their next project - which they're calling their "magnum opus." 

The project is still "very early" in development and hasn't got a title yet, but we do know that it will be based on one of Stivi's previous projects, Super Mario Travellers, which only got to the demo stage of development. We also know that right now, the hack is "still very early in development," and at the time of writing this is currently untitled. 

According to the developer themselves, this new ROM hack will be "my best and likely last full-fledged hack," because of this though, Stivi plans to go all out with it. Thankfully, Super Mario Travellers won't be completely cast to the side, as the new project will borrow several components from the previous game, for example, level themes, world themes, level ideas, aesthetics, and more. 

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Stivi's next project will feature hand-drawn graphics, a brand-new soundtrack, seven distinct worlds, new enemies, clever new gameplay features, secret levels, and more.  As you can guess from a workload that large, the project isn't quite ready to play yet and its creator isn't even sure when it'll be ready to show off - however hopefully we might get some kind of trailer in the next year or so. 

Luckily for us, Stivi has shared some screenshots of their "magnum opus" as well as a gif, which you can see for yourself above. One portion of the game the developer was eager to show off was a tropical-themed level that has been repurposed from Super Mario Travellers. In this level, Mario will have to work fast to avoid the rising water level beneath him which begins to travel up the screen as the rain falls. It will also feature a lightning mechanic that can hurt Mario and kill enemies if they're in the water when it strikes. 

This project is already shaping up to be something worth waiting for, as several other Super Mario World fans in the replies to Stivi's tweet have demonstrated. "This looks so amazing! I honestly can't wait to play this," one Twitter user replied, "that background water in the first shown level is beautiful! Overall this looks genuinely amazing," another added

Other fans of the upcoming project also asked questions about a possible demo, its release date, and if you can play as Luigi in it, to which Stivi replied: "Maybe." We'll have to keep an eye out for this one. 

While we wait for this project to release, find out what else you can play with our best Mario games list. 

Hope Bellingham
News Writer

After studying Film Studies and Creative Writing at university, I was lucky enough to land a job as an intern at Player Two PR where I helped to release a number of indie titles. I then got even luckier when I became a Trainee News Writer at GamesRadar+ before being promoted to a fully-fledged News Writer after a year and a half of training.  My expertise lies in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, cozy indies, and The Last of Us, but especially in the Kingdom Hearts series. I'm also known to write about the odd Korean drama for the Entertainment team every now and then.