MOVING THE GOALPOSTS
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.