Imagine Mario, Sonic, Mega Man, Link, and Tails got together to duke it out, all in their original 8- and 16-bit art styles.
It would look pretty sick, and that's what the fan-made game Super CLASH Bros hopes to accomplish when it's released.
The nearly-completed fan game takes cues from Super Smash Bros., Nintendo's mega-popular mascot fighting game. But while Smash Bros. gives its heroes and villains a makeover, rendering them in very pretty 3D models, CLASH Bros changes absolutely nothing. It pulls the graphics straight from the old games.
The reason the characters seen in the above video look so true to the original is because the game's creator, Jeremy Eden, used a process sometimes called "sprite ripping," in which special tools are used to extract the pixelated artwork (known as sprites) from the original game files.
Players are free to choose the original character design, or pick a variant skin from a sequel. Want to play as Mario's original blocky self, as he appeared in Super Mario Bros. for the Nintendo Entertainment System? That's an option. However, if you prefer the more detailed sprite of Mario from Super Mario World for the Super Nintendo, you can play as that one instead.
Eden, who has been developing CLASH over the past year, went to great lengths to be true to the spirit of his inspirations. The health systems of each classic character, for instance, are cleverly repurposed for the sake of a fighting game. Sonic has rings, Link has hearts, and Mario loses his power-ups when he takes damage.
Outside of how the characters look, the game is crammed with as much fan-service as possible. All the stages are made up of assets that have been taken from the original games. Likewise, the power-ups from those games work the same way, from Mario's Hammer Suit to Mega Man's Magnet Missile.
As of right now, Super CLASH Bros seems to be lacking computer-controlled characters to fight against. For the time being, four players square off in local multiplayer battles, with Eden considering the possibility of adding in online connectivity sometime in the future.
In a recent blog post, the loving homage is nearly ready for its public debut, with only a few more tweaks to be added, such as Link's sprite from Zelda II: The Adventure of Link.
Assuming Nintendo, Capcom, or Sega don't threaten Eden with legal action first, Super CLASH Bros set to appear in playable form August 10 - 13 at Super Smash Con in Chantilly, Virginia.