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How A Fan Pushed Super Mario Into A New Dimension With Unreal Engine 4

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If Nintendo is following this situation right now, it had better keep the legal beagles in the dog house and possibly consider hiring this guy instead. Very few game franchises have the fan following and staying power of the arcade classic done many times over, Super Mario. Mario and his brother Luigi have graced many platforms over the decades since the early 80s, from consoles to handheld devices.

Debuting way back on arcade machines and eventually making it to the Atari platform, powered initially by an 8-bit MOS processor at 1.19MHz with 128 bytes (not K bytes) of RAM, it was a humble beginning to be sure. However, eventually the franchise saw many re-incarnations across a myriad of platforms, racking up hundreds of millions in sales over the years with dozens of versions for the NES, GameBoy and Wii platforms alone.

There have been many ports and adaptations of Mario and Mario Bros. over the years as well but perhaps none so cool and nostalgic as the concept work Youtube user aryoksini has pulled together employing the cutting-edge Unreal Engine 4 graphics engine.

If you’re unfamiliar, Unreal Engine 4 by Epic Games is a current generation game engine the employs some of the latest graphics rendering technologies available on on any console or PC platform. The engine is DX11 and DX12 compliant and Epic describes its high level feature list as supporting “advanced DirectX 11 & 12 rendering features such as full-scene HDR reflections, thousands of dynamic lights per scene, artist-programmable tessellation and displacement, physically-based shading and materials, IES lighting profiles and much more.”

And when you re-render Mario’s spunky little sprite in the world of Unreal Engine 4, things really kick up a notch. The video demo itself shows a lively as always Mario bouncing around in a marble and glass citadel with some impressive lighting and reflection effects, as well as very realistic and natural materials, textures and environments. Or, if you prefer a more “classic” experience, there’s a cartoon mode that runs much more Mario-esque landscapes and scenery.

It’s an interesting proof of concept that Mario could be reinvigorated with some seriously cool new chops but Nintendo would have to situp and take notice for it to come to fruition in any significant effort. Still, it’s kind of cool to take a stroll down memory lane with a fresh coat of paint and some extra tessellation to spruce up the terrain.  Hey Nintendo, you need something interesting and unique these days. Maybe it’s a good idea to drop ol’ aryoksini a line on this one?

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