Plenty of big news came out of Nintendo’s hyped reveal of the upcoming Switch console; from the Switch’s unique functionality to a new online service and big new games, including a Splatoon sequel, a Mario Kart upgrade, the boxing game Arms and a release date for the next Legend of Zelda installment, Breath of the Wild. However, perhaps one of the more surprising reveals was that for the game Super Mario Odyssey.
Footage from Super Mario Odyssey has thus far succeeded in leaving an impression on gamers, thanks largely to the spectacle of Mario exploring a “realistic” urban landscape apparently known as “New Donk City”. Now however, an ambitious YouTuber has reworked sequences from Grand Theft Auto IV with material from Super Mario Odyssey, in order to put an even stranger spin on the proceedings.
While most details of Super Mario Odyssey are yet to be revealed, the game’s first big reveal trailer shows off the broad idea of Mario using an aircraft and a new magic hat to pursue Bowser (who has once again absconded with Princess Peach) across a variety of new worlds; reflecting varied regions like a desert, forest, a world of giant food and one that appears to be grounded in Mexican and/or Latin American culture. However, what seemed to connect most with fans was New Donk City, thanks to the strange sight of Mario leaping around a “real” human city complete with realistically proportioned humans. This is what led to the Grand Theft Auto mashup video, featured above.
Utilizing a set of modded skins and character animations, the comedy video Super Real Mario Odyssey inserts a facsimile of Mario into the otherwise real-looking gritty world of GTA‘s Liberty City (a parody of New York City) to the tune of the music from the real Odyssey trailer. Amusingly, the aesthetic doesn’t look too far removed from the real game being parodied – until Mario begins encountering trigger-happy police, foul-mouthed street criminals and strippers; along with ragdoll physics that put his body through the kind of punishment a normal human might endure, trying to behave like the hero of a Mario game.
While amusing, both this video and the New Donk City level itself also demonstrate one of the more offbeat aspects of the Mario games: the ongoing question of where most of the series takes place and how Mario himself fits into it. Nintendo merchandising and game instruction materials from the ’80s and ’90s made infrequent reference to Mario and Luigi being ordinary human plumbers from Brooklyn, New York transported to The Mushroom Kingdom in a another dimension. However, that backstory has now been called into question multiple times – and New Donk City further confuses the matter, by showing the plucky plumber looking rather differently-proportioned next to “normal” humans.
Super Mario Odyssey is slated to be released for the Nintendo Switch in late 2017.