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Nintendo’s Super Mario Bros. was a hit almost immediately upon its release in 1985. Everyone who played it knew right away that it was fun, but what wasn’t so immediately apparent was just how solid, and therefore timeless, the basic game engine was.

You’ll find very few gamers today who remember, and even fewer who honestly care, about titles such as Comic Wartoad and Section Z, both of which saw release in 1985 and were moderate hits in their day. More than 30 years later, though, Mario still has a special place in gamers’ hearts. Now, even if you’ve played through all of Mario’s adventures, both new and old, the fun doesn’t have to stop, as Nintendo is releasing a new piece of software that’ll let you create your own Mario levels.

Details, and photos from the E3 show floor after the jump!

Assuming we’re talking about the franchise’s traditional, side-scrolling titles, you could actually map out the entire layout of a Mario game on sheets of graph paper. On the smallest level, the visuals are made up of tiny blocks of color, and barring a few flourishes like bouncing fireballs, almost all of the artwork is made up of tiles which are approximately the size of one small Mario.

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If you’re an artist, you could think of the game’s design as a mosaic. Alternatively, if you’re hungry, you could think of it as a bento box, with various tasty morsels filling the container. Once the base programming is set, creating a Mario level is largely a matter of selecting and positioning the ingredients you want to use, with everything from Goombas and Koopa Troopers to coins and spring boxes at your disposal.

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Nintendo has already taken care of the first step, and now with Mario Maker, announced during the E3 gaming expo as part of the Nintendo Digital Event, they’re leaving the rest up to you.

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Using the Wii U GamePad’s touchscreen, creative fans can create their own levels for Nintendo’s mascot to take on.

▼ We’re hoping that pipe leads somewhere, because all we see on the far side of it is a bottomless pit.

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Even with an old-school look, Mario Maker lets you pull off things the old NES never could. For example, the processor of Nintendo’s venerable 8-bit console would have choked under the strain of simultaneously animating all of these enemies. For the Wii U, though, it’s a piece of cake.

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If that still looks too retro for you, though, Mario Maker will let you swap the sprites, objects, and backgrounds from the original Super Mario Bros. with those from the newest side-view entry in the series, 2012’s New Super Mario Bros. U.

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Sadly, it seems like these are the only two graphics packages offered, so if you still consider 1990’s Super Mario World to be the pinnacle of the franchise, you’re out of luck (unless, of course, Nintendo is thinking DLC…?). Nonetheless, this is a still a very cool offering, and the easiest way to accomplish your dream of designing a Nintendo game without having to ever take a programming course.

We’ll leave you with some original photos taken by our reporters at E3. Enjoy!

▼ Nintendo proudly displaying its forthcoming Wii U title

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▼ Promotional videos show how to use Mario Maker, but it’s so easy even a preschooler could handle it

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▼ At last! A real use for the Wii U gamepad’s touch screen!

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▼ A few show attendees tap and doodle with the stylus, creating their own levels

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Source, promotional images: Jin
All other photos by RocketNews24