Panga's Super Dram World is a notoriously hard Super Mario World hack. Last week's sequel, Super Dram World 2, seems no less tricky.
Super Dram World is a hacked version of Super Mario World for the SNES that's much, much harder, garnering it cult appeal among Mario enthusiasts and speedrunners. Super Dram World 2 is a sequel to Panga's first hack, offering new, tougher platforming challenges, asking players for perfect button inputs and level memorisation.
One player, Linkdeadx2, was able to beat the game in under 19 hours and with over 2000 deaths. Grand POOBear, who holds the holds the record for Super Dram World 1 and ran it at Awesome Games Done Quick last year, has been making his way through Super Dram World 2. On one run he ate it to some very cruelly-placed Bullet Bills:
The community that's sprung up around hacks like Super Dram World is more about fun than negativity. When asked what the cruellest part of Super Dram World 2 was, Grand POObear said it was level 4, Bridge of Poly, which references his videos on Poly Bridge, a physics-based building game. "[Panga's] lack of respect for my engineering skills has to be it," he told Kotaku over email. This is basically fucking with your friends in the most high key way possible.
For Grand POObear, playing and speed running these super-hard hacks is about "the joy of accomplishment. You spend hours on some of these levels just banging your head against a wall trying to figure it out, get one step ahead of the creator." He described it as a chess game between the players and the creator. As the players try to beat the game — or exploit bugs to get through it faster — the developer will patch and update it to make it harder. In fact, Super Dram World 2 has already been updated twice, removing two bugs that allowed players to skip parts of levels just yesterday.
"It's a really awesome little community, weirdly built around watching your friends die in Mario games," Grand POObear said. As someone who once changed their friend's browser homepage to the search results for "two dick porn" and never told her who did it or how to change it, I think I understand the appeal.