While god knows what awaits on the ter­rain in be­tween, ev­ery Mario level must have a be­gin­ning and an end, and the lat­ter has al­ready proven ripe for sub­ver­sion. Even Nintendo’s at it, stack­ing gi­ant en­e­mies to the same height as the flag­pole in one of the ex­am­ple stages, drop­ping them a few pix­els from the end and giv­ing you two stark choices: place your jump per­fectly, or die. There are count­less vari­a­tions on that theme al­ready, though ob­sta­cles af­ter the flag­pole are even more pop­u­lar. Some place tram­po­lines to mark your suc­cess with a cou­ple of au­to­mated hops. Oth­ers wall off the exit door, com­pletely flum­mox­ing Mario, who turns back and forth then stands still, crouches, and sim­ply waits for the fade to black.

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