In celebration of Nintendo’s stellar (har har) Super Mario Galaxy 2, today The Big E is all about The Big M. Sure, millions of gamers might recognize gaming icons like Master Chief, Cloud Strife or the WoW Murloc, but let’s be honest: They ain’t Mario. He’s one of the most iconic and beloved characters of all time, and the face of gaming to pretty much everybody who can’t tell a PS3 from an Atari Jaguar.

There are also quite a few Mario-related videos on the internet, from music videos to hacked levels to speed runs. As part of our Escapist Mario Party, we thought we’d sift through the chaff and pick out what we thought were the fifteen best of the bunch. You may have seen a few of these before, but it’s a safe bet that you probably haven’t seen all of them.

Are these all of the awesome Mario videos online? Not a chance! If we missed your favorite, just post it in the comments!

But that’s enough talking: Here-a we a-goooooo!

Don’t Stop Mario Now

It’s hard to put my finger on just what makes this combination of Queen’s jubilant anthem and Super Mario Galaxy work so well. It’s an extraordinarily well-edited music video, sure … but the song and the footage just match up so perfectly. You can just feel Mario’s exhilaration as he soars through the skies with his stubby arms held wide. Oh, and Queen is awesome, too – in fact, it’s not the last time the dulcet tones of Freddie Mercury will show up on this list.

The Super Mario Land Rap *WARNING: LYRICS NWS*

Rapper/gamer Duane Zuwala (aka 8bitduane) has made a reputation on the quality of his retro gaming raps, and his Super Mario Land video is no exception. Mario Land is an oddity in the franchise – why do Koopa shells explode? Where the hell did the plane come from? – but the lyrics are witty, and the video well-done. Just don’t listen to it on speakers when your grandma is around.

The People’s Mario

With its working-class hero clad in red working to overthrow a tyrant king, are Mario games secretly filled with communist propaganda? Of course not – Mario won’t be trading in his hammer for a hammer and sickle anytime soon – but that doesn’t mean you can’t make fun of it in a video like this.

Down with the capitalist Koopa pigs! Er, turtles.

Real-Life Mario Kart

This video is the brainchild of notorious French prankster Remi Gaillard, known for real-life videogame stunts like his Pac-Man supermarket escapades. The premise is simple: Dress up as the famous plumber, hop into a go-kart, and re-enact the Mario Kart games by throwing banana peels into traffic and getting arrested by the police.

Wait, I don’t think that last one happens in the game.

Donkey Kong Time Lapse (From Here)

What happens when a bunch of engineers at the UC Santa Cruz School of Engineering go a bit stir-crazy? The answer: They make a massive, three-story mural depicting Donkey Kong, using 14,000 Post-It Notes. The above video shows the construction of the mural, from start to finish. Sadly, such a beautiful thing was not long for this world.

Do the Mario!

We miss you, Cap’n Lou.

Super Mario Bros. Frustration

We kick off the so-called “Mario hacks page” with easily the cruelest one of them all: the aptly-titled Super Mario Bros. Frustration. Part of the fun is seeing just how sadistic one hacked Mario Bros. level can get, but the best part is the narration from an increasingly-frustrated Nintendo veteran as he dies over, and over, and over again.

Scripted? Possibly. Hilarious? Definitely. Super Mario Bros. Frustration just seems unfair – how could any one person be expected to beat that?! Hmm, I wonder…

Nico Nico Douga Mario

Unlike the previous video, this hacked Super Mario World level is so easy, it practically plays itself! Wait, it actually plays itself. Huh.

Then again, that’s the point: the level is designed so that its sound effects perfectly fit to the accompanying music. The music is “Nico Nico Douga,” a medley collection of famous tunes from various anime series and videogames, like The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, Higurashi, Super Robot Wars, Mega Man 2, and Super Mario RPG. It’s just so … cheerful! How can anyone possibly top this?

The Incredible “Don’t Stop Me Now” Mario Hack

Oh, that’s how. Remember me saying on the front page that we weren’t done with Freddie Mercury yet? That was because of this video: Combine the underlying principle of the above “Nico Nico Douga Mario” with Queen’s “Don’t Stop Me Now,” and turn the craziness up to eleven, and you get this.

Like “Nico Nico Douga,” this Mario hack is carefully designed so that its sound effects time up with a song, but this one utilizes four Mario World levels playing simultaneously. The guy who made this even uses coins to write words across all four levels at once! Really, is it any wonder that Tom Goldman believed this video was proof of an android invasion?

Super Mario 64 Beaten In 15:53

It’s true that this isn’t the fastest Mario 64 speed run out there: Others have beaten Mario’s classic 64-bit outing more quickly, and with fewer stars – but somehow, that video doesn’t quite feel as fun as this one does. You want to see him get the stars that he does, pulling off acrobatic feats that we mere mortals could barely imagine. Hell, I’d love to see a speedrun of somebody getting all 120 stars, just to see how they’d do it.

The next time somebody calls Mario “fat,” show them this clip, because he sure can move.

Super Mario Bros. 3 Beaten in 11 Minutes

Another speed run, this time of the timeless Mario 3. While this video is devoid of Mario wall-kicking his way around town like he’s the Prince of freaking Persia, it’s still awesome – and shows off someone who remembers SMB3 down to the last pixel.

As with the previous speed run video, this is a TAS (tool assisted) video, which means that the people are playing the game on a special emulator designed to help them perfect their run frame by frame. Some consider it cheating, but I just think of it as a way to squeeze pure perfection out of your triumph. What’s more awesome than getting the most perfect run that a game possibly allows?

Super Mario Bros. Frustration Speed Run

Remember Super Mario Bros. Frustration from the last page? Remember how I asked, “how could any one person be expected to beat that?” Was it truly impossible?

Nope. Not only is this video somebody beating Mario Frustration, it’s somebody speed running Mario Frustration, and beating it in 3 minutes, 21 seconds. Unlike the other two videos, I don’t think this is a TAS – you clearly see the player backpedal once or twice, which probably isn’t intentional. Unless it is. With a mod like Frustration, who can tell?

Mario Theme on Double Guitar

How many videos are there online of people playing the classic Super Mario Bros. theme on their electric guitar? Probably too many to count – but how many videos are there online of people playing the classic Super Mario Bros. theme on two guitars at the same time?

Probably not very many, other than this one. Now that takes some serious skill (not to mention hand coordination).

Mario a Capella

An a capella singing group introduces their next number, prefacing that it is “experimental,” and all “original work from Japan.” Naturally, it’s the Mario theme. That’s not all, though: They quickly branch out, tackling tunes from other Nintendo classics like Zelda and Tetris – hey, wait a minute, that’s not Japanese at all!

Oh well, one goof-up doesn’t make this any less awesome.

There Will Be Brawl

Okay, okay, this last one is technically cheating, but it makes an even 15. If you missed the incredible film-noir take on the Mushroom Kingdom in the excellent There Will be Brawl last time around, just know this: It’s epic as hell. If you like Mario, Luigi and the rest, you owe it to yourself to watch (or re-watch) this amazing series.

For more Mario fun, be sure to check out our Mario Party!

Review: Super Mario Galaxy 2

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