Mario may have racked up billions of kills during his decades-long career, sending Goombas, Koopas and Bloopers to their deaths. But Mario's not generally considered violent. Steven Lefcourt's "8-Bit Fatalities" series may change that assumption.

Lefcourt explores the gorier side of traditionally non-violent video game characters, including Pac-Man, Mario and Kirby, giving us a peek at the "offal" reality of the medium's icons.

"The idea behind the project stems from growing up at an arcade, and my eventual love affair with Mortal Kombat," Lefcourt explains on his Flickr photostream. "Before Mortal Kombat, violence in video games was largely unheard of or ignored because of its extreme pixelized simplicity."

"Just because you didn't see Pac-man violently tearing into the ghosts with his jaws, or Mario smashing in the brains of a goomba, that's what I knew was happening," Lefcourt writes, indicating that the differences in violence between a game like Mortal Kombat and, say, Kid Icarus are just reflective of differences in perception.

Check out the full set at Flickr.

8-Bit Fatalities [Flickr via GameSetWatch]