‘World’s Biggest Troll Collab’ Is Ready for Nintendo to Ban Their Mario Maker Levels

Nintendo has a fraught relationship with its more hardcore players, which is why their upcoming stunt is basically a ticking time bomb.
Artwork from the video game Super Mario Maker 2
Image courtesy of Nintendo

Tomorrow, a level collection for Super Mario Maker 2 dubbed Super Wagon World will be released. Dubbed “the world’s biggest troll collab” and a “tribute to the history of trolling in Mario Maker,” Super Wagon World comes from a collection of designers from the still-vibrant Mario Maker community calling themselves The Banned Wagon. They also have a prediction: within 48 hours, the level pack will be removed from the game by Nintendo.


“I estimate that Super Wagon World will last 24 to 48 hours after release before being deleted,” said Marble King, one of the project’s organizers, to Waypoint recently. “If we manage to time it well to avoid the Japanese working day, it might stretch to 48 hours. As for Nintendo's view on the matter, we have no idea. [...] As I'm sure you're aware, the company is famously silent on internal practices and policies. What we do know is that if you post a troll level, it will usually get taken down under the clause ‘contains a bug in the game.’”

The team has backups of Super Wagon World, of course, but Nintendo can and will issue more stringent consequences, such as a console ban, if repeated offenses are detected. In other words, if you don’t play (and download) the levels to your own Switch before Nintendo takes action, the levels will disappear forever, barring a journey into complicated hackery.

Nintendo did not respond to a request for comment.

When I reviewed Super Mario Maker 2 in 2019, I flagged Nintendo’s frustrating approach to community management as a huge liability. Over and over, the company had shown a blatant disregard for its more hardcore fans, players and designers who pushed against the edges of what Nintendo’s tool sets were capable of—and were routinely punished. Their levels were deleted, often without explanation. This continued with Super Mario Maker 2


“This tension between what the world does with Mario Maker and how Nintendo portrays Mario Maker has always existed,” I wrote at the time, a sentiment that remains accurate.

“Everyone has their own pet theories as to how the internal moderation system works,” said Marble King, “but we do know that 24-48 is a reasonable timeframe to expect a reaction from Nintendo. Some suspect that it's a fully automated system gone rogue, but there are specific examples we've seen that indicate human involvement at some level in the process.”

Super Wagon World, in works since 2020 and comprising five worlds and more than 24 levels, is a mixture of fun world building, “high-quality troll levels” spanning different eras of the Mario Maker community, and “fun cooldown levels” to act as a mental counterweight.

The term “troll” in Mario Maker has a very specific meaning. When folks think of “troll,” they may invariably confuse it with kaizo, extremely difficult user-made stages that frequently involve and require the use of advanced techniques the Mario games don’t consider canon

One creator, Defender, wrote an 80-page guide to explain what makes a good troll level, declaring that designers brainstorming stages should “always remember that your goal is to make the player laugh and never to frustrate them.” It’s distinctly different from the ultra hard stages that are sometimes profiled, and maybe even takes someone six years to finally beat.


“The experience we aim to deliver couldn't be further from frustration and misery,” said Marble King. “A better name for the genre we make would be ‘deception levels’ or ‘comedy Mario,’ but it just so happens that the first few times it was done in Mario Maker, people referred to the levels as ‘troll levels,’ so the name stuck.

The best kind of troll level, according to Marble King, is one that takes advantage of the player’s history and institutional memory, subverting expectations on how Mario levels are “supposed” to be built. It’s less about tricking the game into pulling off hidden frame-perfect mechanics with a shell, a la kaizo, than it is a designer setting up a joke and a punchline.

“A punchline generally comes in the form of a trap for the in-game character,” said Marble King, “but as a player you can just try again on the next life if you fall into the trap. Comedy is paramount to the process: it's the difference between watching the traps unfold in the Home Alone movies as opposed to the SAW movies.”

Marble King used an example from Super Wagon World to explain what this means. 

In this scenario, Mario’s supposed to jump to the side and grab the mushroom, right? The visible box, however, suggests to the player there’s a hidden box that’ll prevent the jump from happening properly—an early and common form of Mario Maker trolling. The level’s designer, Click247, knows all this. Players have been trained to read the stage this way. 


But if players take the cautious route and check for the box, they’ll end up obstructing their way back. In other words, ignore the box—the box is misdirection. Just make the jump. 

“What this troll takes advantage of is that most players don't think more than one step ahead,” said Mable King. “This is especially funny because all of the necessary information to dodge the trap was available on screen right from the start. If the player falls for the trap, it's their own fault.”

What Super Wagon World does have in common with kaizo, however, is that it operates in the margins of level design, which Nintendo has historically shown to disapprove of. The company never speaks publicly about this behavior, but its level removals speak volumes.

“Whilst we can never know their true intentions,” said Marble King, “Nintendo's glitch moderation approach seems to be aimed at maintaining a level of homogeneity, consistency and predictability in the pool of uploaded levels, by eliminating the levels that contain unexpected features and quirks.”

It’s easy to understand Nintendo’s perspective, as a family-friendly company. When someone logs on to play a level, they want to ensure the level functions as advertised, that Mario can jump like normal. But the two worlds could live in harmony, if Nintendo had any interest in communicating. The series has never had a community manager, nor has it, to my knowledge, ever sat down with creators like Marble King, to see if there’s a way for these levels to exist and keep the community vibrant, while respecting Nintendo’s own intentions. 

“They never fix any of the ‘bugs’ that they take down levels for,” said Marble King. “The game seems to have been abandoned apart from the content moderation system.”

That Nintendo’s own system does not allow any way to communicate what’s wrong to players beyond saying it’s a “bug” speaks volumes. They can only talk with a sledgehammer.

“This is ultimately the reasoning behind Super Banned Wagon World,” said Marble King. “We're going to get taken down regardless of what we put in our project. If the response from Nintendo is the same regardless of whether the content is a stretch of the imagination to identify as a bug, or whether it uses big and obvious glitches in the game, we might as well go all in. We're going to get banned anyway, so we might as well push the boundaries of what's possible in the game and have fun whilst doing it.”

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