I won't say no to an out-of-the-blue update to this three-year-old, free, Mario-themed FPS demo

pointing cannon at King Goomba in Mario FPS demo
(Image credit: Sean Noonan)

The phrase "Super Mario FPS" conjures up a certain image for me: a custom Counter-Strike: Source gun game map maybe, or a really edgy Doom WAD like the so-rad-they-took-it-down Bikini Bottom Massacre. Something in the spirit of, ahem, "tribal" tattoo Mario, basically. Developer Sean Noonan's Super 1-1, on the other hand, is more of a wholesome, good-hearted take on the concept.

We first reported on Noonan's concept back in 2019, and the developer gave it a full release early the next year. Nintendo's crack legal division seemed to give it a stay of execution, and that looked like the end of things until just this week. On March 11, Noonan published an update to Super 1-1 that adds new collectibles, back-end tweaks, and rendering updates. The full changes are listed here:

  • Updated project from 4.26 to 4.27
  • Significant project cleanup
  • Added some new coin locations
  • Updated all models, animations, textures, effects and materials
  • Added foliage in the form of grass tufts, small rocks and other small details
  • New and improved water (!)
  • New and improved sky (!)
  • Fixed numerous LOD's
  • Fixed a bunch of shadow issues
  • Fixed depth of field
  • General performance improvements
  • Improved character controls
  • Additional game options
  • Added mouse control to in-game menus
  • Made trees "fun" :D [Editor's note: they have eyes that turn to follow the player as they pass now]

I remember being tickled by the concept three years ago, but I never actually loaded Super 1-1 and tried the game⁠—it's great! Mario's movements translate really well into first-person, and you're armed with a plunger-launching cannon that gets stronger as you collect mushrooms, an honestly pretty inspired bit of FPS weapon design that meshes perfectly with the Mushroom Kingdom. I also love seeing 3D platformer collectathon-style design hammered into an FPS⁠—it reminds me of the incredible Doom: The Golden Souls series of WADs.

For the sake of professional pride and journalistic integrity, I had to uncover its hidden level as well⁠—only I couldn't find out how anywhere. Alpha Beta Gamer's video on Super 1-1 shows them loading into it directly after 100%ing the base level, so I tried that, and then I tried it again in under five minutes all to no avail.

Shout out to xVioletRain on YouTube, who included the instructions how on their three-year-old speedrun video that I was only the 120th person to watch. You just put in the Konami Code on the start screen with your keyboard (up up down down left right left right B A). It's a cute, fully-linear sky level sort of deal, reminiscent of a lot of 3D Mario secret levels. I'm glad I saw it, and my great struggle to do so made it all the sweeter.

God willing, the demo's nearly four years online means that Nintendo's Terminator-like legal team will continue to abide its harmless existence. Super 1-1 is a fun and inventive project, and I recommend checking it out yourself on itch.io.

Associate Editor

Ted has been thinking about PC games and bothering anyone who would listen with his thoughts on them ever since he booted up his sister's copy of Neverwinter Nights on the family computer. He is obsessed with all things CRPG and CRPG-adjacent, but has also covered esports, modding, and rare game collecting. When he's not playing or writing about games, you can find Ted lifting weights on his back porch.