Screengrab via ChainChomp Braden/YouTube

Mario Maker creator stumped by his own level for last 18 months

Will he ever get there?


Chris Tognotti

Internet Culture

Published Jul 9, 2017   Updated May 23, 2021, 12:31 am CDT

There’s something about accomplishing a Herculean task that just stirs the soul, whether it’s an epic feat of athleticism or intellectual rigor, or hey, even beating a fanatically difficult, sinister Super Mario level. But when even the level’s creator can’t manage to beat it, that’s a sure sign of an egregious challenge.

Mario Maker level creator named Braden Moor has sunk 1,500 hours into trying to beat his signature creation, and it’s unclear whether the end will ever be in sight.

The level in question is called “Trials of Death,” and when you consider how long and hard its creator has struggled to vanquish it, it’s basically the perfect name. It was created by Moor―known to the Mario Maker community as “ChainChompBraden”―in January 2016, meaning he’s been banging his head against this particular wall for 18 months.

In all, Moor’s reportedly sunk 1,500 hours into this grueling endeavor, which amounts to a full two months of his life. As he told Waypoint’s Patrick Klepek, it’s been a much bigger slog than he initially expected, but all things considered, he sounds pretty optimistic and even-keeled.

“I’m always seeing people say that it’s never going to happen, and that the whole thing is just hopeless,” he said. “That’s just an extra exciting reason for me to beat this level. I’ll get to prove a bunch of people wrong. If this isn’t an example of my stubbornness, then I don’t know what is. Perhaps most motivating of all, however, is that I simply enjoy this journey.”

Although Moor says he enjoys the long journey, at least part of the reason he’s so motivated to beat the level is that Mario Maker requires players to clear their creations before they can be uploaded to Nintendo’s servers and be enjoyed by the public. Whether “enjoyment” is really what Moor’s latest and most infamous level is offering, however, is an open question.

You can watch Moor’s latest―and likely last, it says―trailer for Trials of Death above. It’ll leave any Mario fans who fancy themselves experts with their eyeballs bugging out and their hearts humbled. The only question is whether Moor will ever actually vanquish his cursed creation and enable the rest of us to take a crack at it.

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*First Published: Jul 9, 2017, 1:34 pm CDT