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Old 09-08-2010, 11:10 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Infinite Adaptive Mario for masochists who thought The Lost Levels were easy

Though it's been a mere four months since the release of the latest Mario, Super Mario Galaxy 2, its ancestor Super Mario World has been soaking up far more of the limelight-whether it be speculation about the game's inclusion in the upcoming Wii repackaging of Super Mario All-Stars or a string previously unheard of glitches like Yoshi walking on lava. Hell, Yoshi can't even do that in Galaxy, so maybe there's a reason the game continues to prove itself as an enduring classic.

The newest reason to keep paying attention to World comes from Ben Weber, a Ph.D. candidate in computer science at UC Santa Cruz, who tinkered under the game's hood to create Infinite Adaptive Mario. Basically, it's a self-aware Mario that custom fits the difficulty to how well you're playing. It starts off easy enough, and if you have any amount of skill, expect to be beat down. Then, Weber explains, "Infinite Adaptive Mario scales up difficulty by increasing the frequently of gaps, average size of gaps, variation of ground height, and number of enemies." A new level is generated after you either beat the ridiculous challenge set before you, or you die three times. And you will die many more times than that, because you'll most likely want to throw yourself into a bottomless pit than process the sight of a winged, flickering Bullet Bill.

Before you get too cocky, check out this video Weber uploaded of pitting Robin Baumgarten's AI agent designed to beat Mario against Infinite Adaptive. It isn't doing so well, is it?

Have fun. (Download link.)
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