Odds Of Beating A Particularly Devious Mario Maker Level Are 1 In 7.5 Million

Illustration for article titled Odds Of Beating A Particularly Devious iMario Maker/i Level Are 1 In 7.5 Million
Screenshot: Hiddencasual (Twitch)

There have been over two million attempts to beat a Mario Maker level called Lucky Draw, and seemingly all of them have failed because, well, they just haven’t gotten lucky enough yet.

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As first reported by Patrick Klepek over at Vice Games, Lucky Draw is a Super Mario Maker level that has rarely, if ever, been beaten despite millions of attempts. That’s because Lucky Draw, made by a Mario Maker creator named Phenotype, is part of a genre of Mario Maker level that’s governed entirely by a random number generator (RNG).

Players can’t actually control Maro in Lucky Draw. The level consists of a bridge of blocks over a pit of lava that Mario is automatically moved across. If the the magikoopas above him create anything that can fall on the P blocks below them, the plumber will meet a fiery end. Instead, the only way to safely traverse the hazard is for each magikoopa to spawn coins, since falling coins don’t trigger the P blocks and in turn make the bridge disappear.

All players can do during this is watch and hope for the best. If everything goes their way, Mario will safely make it to the other side, but so far that’s never happened. Based on all the factors at play, the odds of being successful are approximately one in 7.5 million according to user sass253 who recently posted their work on the MarioMaker subreddit.

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Since Nintendo requires creators to beat any level they submit, the consensus is that Lucky Draw isn’t impossible. Just extremely improbable.

The site that tracks Mario Maker level attempts, indicates that it has been cleared 13 times in 2, 667,110 attempts. As Klepek reports, there’s no video proof for those clears and a top Mario Maker streamer who goes by the name Jaku is skeptical due to the suspicious finish time and the low amount of deaths by the two players involved. As more and more players try it though, maybe someone will finally get lucky, and also be live-streaming it.

Kotaku staff writer. You can reach him at ethan.gach@kotaku.com

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DISCUSSION

since falling coins don’t trigger the P blocks and in turn make the bridge disappear

I don’t play Mario Maker, but the way I understood the reddit, coins trigger P blocks too. Otherwise, it wouldn’t matter if the coins moved left or right.

So my guess is, coins are needed because they don’t move around. When they spawn, they jump left or right, and then remain motionless. Other items would keep moving until they hit the wall, turned back, then dropped on the P block.

And here comes the fun part (probabilities, yay!): The math behind the 1 in 7.5 million is sound, but the statistics indicate a 1 in 100 thousand chance of success. People are 75 times more likely to clear this level than expected.

Therefore, it’s obvious that the probability of coins moving right is much higher than 50%. Assuming a 1/7 probability of spawning a coin and a 13/2667110 chance of clearing the game, the chances of a coin moving right instead of left is approximately 91.1483%.

This shows that Mario Maker’s RNG is exhibiting a clear pattern and is therefore not cryptographically secure!

TL;DR: Don’t encrypt sensitive information in Mario Maker! /joke

Alternatively: since the chances of coins moving right is suspiciously close to 100%, it’s possible that coins really do not trigger P blocks (sorry for doubting you, Ethan). In which case the math is wrong, and the probability of clearing this game is actually 1 in 100 thousand, which would fit the statistic pretty well.