Nintendo has shut down a fan’s passion project to convert Super Mario Bros. to the Commodore 64. Earlier this week, mod creator ZeroPaige released a Commodore 64 port of the original Super Mario Bros. for NES. That might not sound like the most ambitious fan project out there, but it turns out that such a port requires quite a bit of work. Specifically, it took ZeroPaige about seven years of work in order to finally complete the game.
The port immediately caught the attention of Commodore 64 fans who praised the authenticity of the experience, the difficulty of the process, and most of all, the ability to finally be able to play one of the most important video games of all-time on one of the most beloved video game platforms of all-time. It certainly felt like a worthwhile endeavor.
Unfortunately, the port also quickly caught the attention of Nintendo, which worked to remove it from the internet just four days after its release. A tweet from the Commodore Computer Club reveals that Nintendo issued a DMCA takedown notice to websites that were hosting Super Mario Bros. 64. While it’s still technically possible to find the file here and there through less than scrupulous means (and videos of the game still exist), the more honorable and easy ways to download this passion project have unfortunately been affected by the takedown notice.
As is usually the case with these instances, the story here has less to do with the project itself (which was undeniably impressive) and more to do with Nintendo’s insistence on taking down these kinds of projects in the first place. We can understand why the company wouldn’t want fully-fledged fan Pokemon games or Metroid 2 remakes (aside from its own Metroid 2 remake) floating out in the wild, but this takedown feels a little extreme.
Unless Nintendo is planning on releasing its own Commodore 64 port of Super Mario Bros. (which…would be awesome), we’ve got to wonder who, exactly, this fan project is hurting.