Every few days, I stream Mario Maker on Twitch, and sometimes people send me the levels they’ve made. I was not prepared for young Tristan’s creation.

I don’t have time to play everything, so I told people the way to guarantee I’d play a level is by sending me a letter with a Mario-related drawing. A few people have actually taken me up on this, including 8-year-old Tristan from Toronto.


No joke, when this letter showed up, I may have teared up a little bit. It wasn’t because a fan had taken the time to write me such a kind note, it was knowing Giant Bomb’s Dan Ryckert had actually influenced them.

Ryckert, if you recall, has been my tormentor in Mario Maker. He’s put me through the ringer several times, and though I’ve beaten most of his creations, he eventually bested me.

At some point in the not-so-distant future, I’ll be forced to attend a WWE event and lose my prized, mostly terrible facial hair, all thanks to Ryckert. I’m still upset about it.


In any case, I wasn’t sure how Ryckert could have truly influenced someone so young, but I found out today.

The level seems innocent enough, giving players a chance to play as Yoshi. Soon enough, though, Tristan’s Jailbreak Level 3 takes a dark, Ryckert-like turn.


Poor Yoshi. Poor Tristan.

I expected Tristan’s level to be pretty simple, something I’d waltz through in a couple of minutes, letting me give the kid a shoutout on my livestream. We’d all feel good about ourselves, and move onto the “real” levels. This is not what Tristan had in mind, however. No, no, no. Tristan’s plans were more complex.


(For the record, I spoke with Tristan’s dad. Tristan designed the stage, though he had help from his father, who ultimately beat it so it could be uploaded.)

Tristan’s tricks were numerous, from the dreaded box in:


To carefully navigating a series of spiked ice platforms:


Or this horrible nightmare:


All told, it took me more than 20 minutes to navigate Jailbreak Part 3, and was genuinely impressed with out how many creative fakeouts Tristan packed in.

And oh man, I seriously held my breath when I took the final leap:


Nicely done, Tristan. Let me know when you’ve got another one ready to go.

You can play the level for yourself right here, and watch me play it below:

You can reach the author of this post at patrick.klepek@kotaku.com or on Twitter at @patrickklepek.

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