After six years of effort and 4,368 hours of playtime, one Super Mario Maker creator has finally defeated his own impossible level.
Braden 'ChainChompBraden' Moor first built his level, called Trials of Death, in 2016. It's built in the Super Mario World style, and involves taking advantage of pretty much every little physics trick in the game. You can watch the successful run on Twitch, but if you're not already familiar with ultra-difficult Mario courses, it may not make a lot of sense.
Did you know you can stand on top of a P switch for a fraction of second to enter doors or jump to new heights? Imagine pulling off that sort of millisecond-precise trick dozens of times in the course of playing through what's already the most ridiculous Mario level you've ever seen, and you might have an idea of what Trials of Death looks like.
Moor completed Trials of Death on September 30, 2022, with The Rumbling, one of the Attack on Titan themes, appropriately blaring in the background. "Not only was I unable to process it then, but days later I still feel like I haven't processed it yet," Moor told Vice in the latest of the numerous interviews he's had with the outlet.
I BEAT TRIALS OF DEATH!!! NEARLY 7 YEARS LATER. THANK YOU EVERYONE FOR STICKING WITH ME!!! THOUSANDS OF HOURS ON ONE LEVEL I MADE!!!! pic.twitter.com/F4eZDf1l01September 30, 2022
Part of why the level's been so difficult to beat is that Moor has kept making it harder. In 2016, he told Vice that "Every time I found myself improving, I started feeling as though the level didn't meet my expectations in terms of difficulty. That's part of the reason why this has been such a long project. It's an endless cycle of improvement."
That was even true in the final months leading up to this accomplishment - he'd just tweaked one of the levels final jumps to make it harder just a few months earlier. On the final, successful attempt, he says "I was about to get my first chance at the 'new' jump, and I was ready to call that in itself the progress for the day. But to my - and everyone watching's surprise - I hit the jump."
If you're itching to try Trials of Death for yourself, there's bad news - this is a Super Mario Maker level, not a stage in Super Mario Maker 2. In the time since Moor started building this monstrosity, Nintendo shut down level uploads in the original Wii U game, so Trials of Death now exists only on his console. Maybe it's for the best that the rest of us are spared the pain.