The hardest level in Super Mario Maker is only 17 seconds long, and in the final days before servers die it's crushing players even after 43,000 attempts

Super Mario Maker
(Image credit: Nintendo)

The title of "hardest Mario level ever made" will be a topic of debate for far better platformer players than me, but one very strong contender looks like the final roadblock for the Super Mario Maker fans who are rushing to beat every single level before the servers go down.

Wii U servers are set to shut down on April 8, taking the ability to play the levels uploaded for the original Super Mario Maker down with them. The ability to upload new stages was disabled back in 2021, so there's a finite - but massive - number of levels sitting on those servers. With all that in mind, a loosely organized group called Team 0% is working to make sure every single Super Mario Maker level gets beaten before the servers die.

A week ago, there were 178 levels left. Now, there are just nine. But those nine levels include some of the toughest challenges yet, including one stage called Trimming the Herbs. This level was uploaded back in 2017, and after nearly seven years, it remains unbeaten. It's the oldest unbeaten level, and the only one that didn't originate in Japan. The only person to have ever beaten it is its Canadian creator, Ahoyo, who uploaded the original clear video to YouTube

Take a look at that video. Cutting the intro and outro bits, the actual level is only 17 seconds long, and if you - like me - have watched some high difficulty Mario levels over the years without actually developing the skills necessary to play them, it doesn't even look that hard. Certainly I would've expected a minutes-long marathon like this to have been more challenging, but if you check out the Team 0% Discord, all the discussion is about just how ridiculous the challenge level of Trimming the Herbs really is.

Have another look at that video above, and try to zero in on Mario's movements. See how he keeps dropping the Bob-ombs and grabbing them again? Every single one of those drops and regrabs is apparently frame perfect, meaning you have exactly 1/60th of a second to make the correct input. And some players argue that isn't even the hard part - the real challenge is having to do it all while controlling your momentum with absolute precision.

According to the fan tracker at Is Super Mario Maker Beaten Yet? there have already been 43,004 attempts to beat Trimming the Herbs, and there are likely a whole lot more than that since the tracker can be slow to update. Team 0% is very much on pace to beat the final levels before the April 8 shutdown, but right now it's looking like Trimming the Herbs is going to be the final boss of this whole endeavor. 

3DS and Wii U servers officially die in 2024, but fans have already spent years building their replacements.

Dustin Bailey
Staff Writer

Dustin Bailey joined the GamesRadar team as a Staff Writer in May 2022, and is currently based in Missouri. He's been covering games (with occasional dalliances in the worlds of anime and pro wrestling) since 2015, first as a freelancer, then as a news writer at PCGamesN for nearly five years. His love for games was sparked somewhere between Metal Gear Solid 2 and Knights of the Old Republic, and these days you can usually find him splitting his entertainment time between retro gaming, the latest big action-adventure title, or a long haul in American Truck Simulator.