Mario Monday - Mario Paint

Monday, July 13, 2009

This week we return to the normal Mario Monday feature with a look at a game that is not exactly a game, but a creative tool. The Super Nintendo was one of the greatest video game systems, and Mario Paint was probably one of the more innovative ideas on the system.

As someone who spent many hours in my younger days both playing Mario games and drawing lots of things like the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, original game level designs and mazes, imaginary super heroes and more, Mario Paint, I feel was made just for me.

In 1992 when Mario Paint was released I was already finding myself playing around with MS Paint, packaged with Microsoft Windows, but wishing there was a more fun way aside from Kid Pix, which was starting to be outgrown by me.

Mario Paint took the fun of Kid Pix, mixed in some Nintendo flavor and added some entertaining features like music composition, animation, and an addictive game.

Mario Paint allows the creative gamers to draw whatever they want using tools like a pencil, paint brush, or rubber stamps. Aspiring artists can use a slate of Mario influenced sprites that are available to use as well as create their own stamps. Mario Paint was so detailed one could actually recreate an exact scene from a classic NES title, and some SNES titles.

One of the most popular parts of Mario Paint was probably the music composer, which gave the musically inclined a number of different icons that represented different musical instruments. While the notation was limited to the key of C and just sixteen bars of 4/4 time if you were creative enough and edited your pieces just right you could recreate some famous works of art.

Here is one compilation of music from Super Mario Brothers 3 using Mario Paint's music mode...

Here is another piece inspired by the character select screen in Super Mario Brothers 2...

Evidence that the music feature of Mario Paint was the best part comes in the form of Mario Paint Composer, a piece of software the takes the guidelines of the original music feature and expands on it greatly. This program is the music editor of choice for expert Mario Paint musicians, as the program provides an expanded instrument selection and allows the composer to utilize sharps and flats.

Here is one example of a remixed song using Mario Paint Composer...

Using the animation feature opened up a new realm of creativity, bringing all of the features of Mario Paint together. The animation mode allowed gamers to combine their illustrated backgrounds, customized music, and four, six, or nine frames of animation in one piece. Or if you wanted to mix things and edit things on your own, you could put together a real masterpiece...

Another shining example of how with enough creativity Mario Paint can really open the doors for you is Homestar Runner. Did you know that the very first Homestar Runner cartoon, which has gained a cult following on the internet, was animated through Mario Paint? As Homestar himself might say, "It's true."

Of course, to use Mario Paint Nintendo fans had to use the innovative SNES Mouse, which came packaged with the game along with a sturdy mouse pad. Much like Windows came with Solitaire and Minesweeper as a way to get people familiar with the computer mouse, Mario Paint came with an addictive game that pushed your mouse moving and clicking to expert levels; Gnat Attack.

In this game the player uses a fly swatter to rid the screen of an onslaught of insects and flying bombs. At the end of each stage is a show down with Watinga, a giant robotic insect set to destroy your fly swatter.

It is no secret that Mario Paint is one of my favorite games on the Super NES, although it is hard to consider this a true game on many levels. Regardless, the dream of one day being able to dive into an updated version on the Nintendo Wii, which would have so many possibilities at this point, remains just that; a dream.

What are your thoughts on Mario Paint? Were you as big a fan of this game as I was or did you quickly find yourself bored with this and inserting your copy of Pilotwings or F-Zero back into your Super NES? Go ahead and share your thoughts in the comment section.

Blog Archive

Statistics Tracked By

  © Blogger template On The Road by 2009, modified by Kevin McGuire.

Back to TOP