Nintendo World Championships conclude with hellish Super Mario gauntlet

It all came down to Mario in the final moments of Sunday night's Nintendo's 2015 World Championships, held in Los Angeles. The two final competitors, going by John "John Numbers" Goldberg and Cosmo Wright competed in a frantic run through Super Mario levels - only ruled by a ticking timer and a sadistic streak. The never-before-seen stages, spanning different eras of Mario games, were custom-made in Super Mario Maker. Oh, and they were so, so evil.

Having survived several elimination rounds across Nintendo games like Splatoon, The Legend of Zelda and Mario Kart 8, John Numbers demonstrated impulsive mastery of truly weird Mario levels. His rival, Cosmo, also performed well in a gauntlet composed of towers of flame, nonsensical doorways, an endless horde of Cheep-Cheeps and terrifying Goomba giants. One room was just full of trampolines?

The Super Mario Maker climax ended Nintendo's championships on a pitch-perfect retro note, and cleverly demonstrated just how malleable the do-it-yourself Mario game can be. Members of Nintendo's Treehouse studio contributed the evening's levels, using the tools and interface that ships with the Wii U game, later this year.

Meanwhile, John Numbers was ultimately crowned Nintendo's World Champion, which gets you a lovely trophy and a Nintendo 3DS signed by Shigeru Miyamoto. The revered designer came out to congratulate the victor as well, but a cheeky smile suggested he came to enjoy what he had wrought: The Era of Dark Mario.

Ludwig Kietzmann

Ludwig Kietzmann is a veteran video game journalist and former U.S. Editor-in-Chief for GamesRadar+. Before he held that position, Ludwig worked for sites like Engadget and Joystiq, helping to craft news and feature coverage. Ludwig left journalism behind in 2016 and is now an editorial director at Assembly Media, helping to oversee editorial strategy and media relations for Xbox.