Someone built a Super Mario Maker level that will give you nightmares

“Will you save your son?” may seem like a simple question, but in this harrowing Mario level, it’s anything but.

The question of what you might do to protect your loved ones may seem like a simple one, but in this harrowing Super Mario Maker level, it’s anything but.

Satirical game content designer Geoff the Hero has used one of his Mario Maker levels to take the user on a harrowing emotional journey called Will You Save Your Son? 

Players are divided on whether the level, which parodies dramatic decision-based choose-your-own adventure games, is effectively a black comedy or a nightmare in 16-bit form, but either way the votes tally for creepy, dark, and intense.

“You go through the mysterious pipe that indicates that you will stop at nothing to save your son,” intones an automated voice in a video in which he walks us through a quest with only one goal: Save your son. Over the course of the short level, the player must battle depression, risk alienating family members, and do the unthinkable—all for the sake of survival. Since we don’t know how the son is in danger, or how far the journey might be, the experience of going through these trials is strangely eerie—creepypasta meets Nintendo. And in true horror form, there’s a shocking double-twist ending.

What do you think? Skewering satire or Mario-style horror?

Screengrab via Geoff the Hero/YouTube

Aja Romano

Aja Romano

Aja Romano is a geek culture reporter and fandom expert. Their reporting at the Daily Dot covered everything from Harry Potter and anime to Tumblr and Gamergate. Romano joined Vox as a staff reporter in 2016.