[ Or, to those with trouble seeing the video, here’s a direct link! ]
Super Mario Bros. Z was a massive fan undertaking by one Mark Haynes, also known as Alvin Earthworm, that began way back on Newgrounds in 2006, acting as a crossover between the Mario and Sonic the Hedgehog games with gorgeous Dragon Ball Z-inspired fighting sequences layered on top.
With the seven Chaos Emeralds warped away from a Mobius reduced to ashes, it was up to Mario, Luigi, Yoshi, Sonic, and Shadow to gather the mystical gems and keep them from the tyrannical Mecha Sonic’s clutches, all while dealing with Bowser’s latest attempt at conquering the Mushroom Kingdom.
The animated webseries earned a phenomenal following in its heyday, until production ultimately ceased following the eighth episode, “The Great Doomship Defensive”, in 2009. Due to a busier life offline and waning investment (which is, all in all, completely understandable), Mark withdrew from the Super Mario Bros. Z scene and laid the series to rest, as SMBZ then became an object of nostalgia for many of the web’s denizens while time marched on.
The inaugural battle between Mario and Metal Bowser, the brawls between Team Mario, the Koopa Bros, and the revived Axem Rangers X, the destruction of Yoshi’s Island, the 8bit battles that rocked the fabled Minus World, the introduction of Fire Sonic, that Mecha Mario tease… Needless to say, SMBZ had a lot of memorable high points.
The last that was heard from the series was a rather bizarre 2010 April Fools’ short and an upload of what would’ve been the intro from Episode 9…
…until Mark spontaneously released an animation test back in October 2013 – a remake of SMBZ’s very first scene. He advised fans not to get too excited, or to take it as confirmation that he would be working on the series again, but spoke of a number of alterations he would perform to the story, some of the fight scenes, and dialogue if he went ahead with rebuilding the series from the ground up.
Well folks, get ready to party like it’s 2006, because it is happening. Attributing the introduction of Flash-to-HD Video software Swivel as a major plus, the returned Alvin Earthworm has formally announced that Super Mario Bros. Z is being revived, and that the first episode is indeed on the way!
And, to build up hype for fans old and new, Mark has even gone and redone the opening sequence for the series to kick things off. Compare with the old opening on Newgrounds! Revisit and marathon the old series (NG / YT)! Get in touch with your old Internet friends from way back when and spread the word! Don a banana suit and shout “I LOVE CEREAL!” to the heavens before spontaneously com–––okay, okay, don’t do that, but hey, you get the idea! GET EXCITED!
Super Mario Bros. Z is BACK!
Mark Haynes, Alvin Earthworm, all the best to you, and glad to have you back!
Were you around during the first run of SMBZ? What were some of your favourite moments, or your most favourite battles from the show? Is this the first time you’ve heard of the series as it is? Let us know below!
And if I may add anything else… might I just say that this really takes me back to the old VGLan days.
…wow, I feel old.