”I drew Super Mario in my notebook” says amazing artist, but this isn’t any bored-in-class doodle.

World 1-1 of the original Super Mario Bros. is one of the most important things in the history of video games. The level is beatable in under a minute, but by the time it’s done, the player has been introduced to not only the majority of the major gameplay systems for the classic Nintendo title itself, but really for the side-scrolling platformer genre in general, with several of its innovations continuing to influence game design decades later.

Truly, World 1-1 is a work of art, and so it’s only fitting that Japanese Twitter user @KisaragiHutae6 has used his artistic skills to entirely recreate the level in an entirely unexpected place: the pages of a notebook!

“I drew Super Mario Bros. in my notebook,” @KisaragiHutae6 casually tweeted, and if you’re expecting a few doodles of the Nintendo mascot, think again. The talented artist has recreated all of World 1-1, and once again, don’t underestimate him, because he didn’t just sketch the level layout either. In the video @KisaragiHutae6 shared, Mario is fully animated as he runs, jumps, smashes blocks. and stomps enemies.

Even the game’s power-ups make an appearance, with the World 1-1 Super Mushrooms, Fire Flower, Invincibility Star, and even 1-up all appearing exactly where they do in the game.

▼ And yes, the powered-up Mario does shoot fireballs!

But as cool as it all looks, what exactly is going on? Is this some sort of digital animation with effects and filtering to make it look like paper, sort of like what Nintendo does with its own Paper Mario games?

Nope. @KisaragiHutae6’s video is all meticulous stop-motion animation. He started by drawing and cutting out all of the background pieces and character character poses he’d need.

Then he opened up two notebooks and placed them side by side, giving himself a renewable canvas four pages wide to work with, and set to work photographing each individual frame in the video.

On the one hand, working with an early 8-bit motif made the project easier, since it meant fewer different frames of animation needed to be drawn, as older games on lower-spec hardware were all about skillfully reusing the same visual assets over and over. Even still, it took @KisaragiHutae6 three hours to draw all the art he’d need (using ballpoint pens), and after that he spent 14 hours rearranging the pieces and filming the animation.

▼ The same video, posted to @KisaragiHutae6’s YouTube channel

While fidelity to the source material was obviously a major goal, @KisaragiHutae6 takes a few creative liberties to add some flourishes that would only be possible with actual paper, such as crumpling up Mario as he transforms from his small to large size, singing the paper of enemies who get hit by a fireball, or tearing them to pieces as Mario runs through them in his invincible mode.

Amazingly, stop-motion illustrations aren’t even @KisaragiHutae6 primary creative outlet. Most of his art involves recreating Nintendo characters with beads, like this look back at Mario’s pre-Super days.

He’s also a Pokémon fan, and so old school that his artwork is done in the gray scale of the original non-color Game Boy graphics.

▼ All 151 original Pokémon, which took @KisaragiHutae6 three months to craft

Again, the only art materials @KisaragiHutae6 used were a pair of notebooks, some pens, and a craft knife to cut out the illustrations. Even then, the notebooks were spares he had lying around that he had no use for, and it just goes to show how much a dedicated artist can accomplish. Of course, Super Mario Bros. goes all the way up to Level 8-8, so hopefully one day we’ll get to see some more of the series reimagined in this awesome way.

Sources: Twitter/@KisaragiHutae6, IT Media
Images: YouTube/如月二重6 Kisaragi Hutae 6