Blog Post

Mario Paint Logo

Ever since I was a kid, I always wanted to recerate every page in the 1993 Mario Paint Player's Guide. At various points, I did recreate many pages in Mario Paint itself -- but due to the hardware limitations, the storage memory availalbe in the Mario Paint cartridge was limited... meaning I always had to destroy old work to create new ones. Around 1996 or so, we got our first home computer with a copy of Windows 95, and with it MS Paint! For the first time, I was able to take a lot of my Mario Paint creations and save them as BMP files. No more SNES cartridge save batteries, and the larger storage space of a dedicated hard drive also meant I didn't have to erase old work to save new work.

Despite this, I never did finish the Mario Paint guide, as I tended to get distracted by the new realm of possibilities of computer art that MS Paint (and the internet) allowed me. I started focusing mostly on original digital artworks, and also finding archives of Nintendo and SEGA sprites online.

Several months ago, I deiced I wanted to actually want to finish that Mario Paint Guide. Partly because I realized that many of these original artworks found in the guide had never been properly archived online in a raw pixel form. There are scans of the book itself, but the pixel art is blurry and photographed from a CRT screen -- as far as I could find, the actual pixel art itself has never been recreated and preserved. So, I set out to do just that.

Last night I completed a significant milestone in my Mario Paint Player's Guide project -- I recreated every single stamp in the book. It took me several months (and likely a hundred hours) but it's finally done. Here is is the last sprite that recreated:

Frankenstein's Monster, from page 103.
Frankenstein's Monster, from page 103.
Along with a few other choice stamps.

This isn't the last image in the book itself, as I worked on the stamps in which ever order I felt like (and also only when I had spare time). Overall, the whole process was sort of meditative -- since I was just copying pixel grids from the book, I didn't have to think too much and could just zone out and relax.

For the next phase of this project, I want to also recreate all the Music as well as Animations in the book. That might take a bit more time.

For a later phase, I would like to find a way to compile all the stamps into a sort of "interactive guide" that can be flipped through online. But that's for further down the road.

Right now, I'm just excited that I actually finished all the stamps. :)