Imagine the conversations this motley crew might have

Overly-creative gamers may, from time to time, wish that protagonists from different games would swap roles and see if the grass is indeed greener. We've often wondered what it would be like to have a Mario-centric GTA-style game, complete with unsavoury weapons and potty mouth. Well now it seems that a keen gamer has done his own 'mash-up' of sorts, by recreating the original Super Mario Bros. but with a host of completely controllable additional characters.

Going by the name of explodingRabbit (Jay Pavlina), the creator of the Flash game – entitled Super Mario Bros. Crossover – has made it possible for players to be Simon Belmont (Castlevania), Mega Man (Mega Man), Link (The Legend of Zelda), Samus Aran (Metroid), and a guy from Contra; and for the most part, each character will play like they did in their original games but with a few modifications.

Pavlina is surprised by the amount of positive reaction his tribute game has received, as the project is a solo effort and has taken him over a year to get to where it is today:

I just made this game for fun and didn't expect it to be so popular. People are putting it all over the Internet. It is strange that other people are making money off of my non-profit fan game. For the record, Newgrounds was the website the game debuted on and is the only website that I will update with bug fixes.The only official website for the game is Anything else is not my doing. People are free to put the game wherever they want, although I'd rather they not just do it to make money off their own ads.

The game can be played using a keyboard, but Pavlina recommends using a joypad if possible. Players should be aware of a bug though, which messes up the game if players touch the flagpole whilst using the star power-up. For more information including possible expanded versions or sequels, visit his Web site.