Let’s Interview Mario Modder, Challenge Gamer and YouTuber Mayro!

Whether it’s Mario Maker levels or Super Mario Galaxy 2 hacks, Mayro has done a lot throughout his career on YouTube. Indeed, in a world where everyone else seems to be narrowing down on a niche, Mayro seems to be bucking the trend, offering a level of variety almost unseen in the world of YouTube gaming.

Mayro Photo

And it’s working pretty damn well for him too. With more than 20,000 subscribers (many of which only found his channel in the last few months or so), it’s clear his YouTube channel is going from strength to strength at the moment, with thousands of Nintendo fans finding his work every day.

But behind every creator is a story, and dozens of questions about their work. How does Mayro come up with the challenges he takes on? What does he look for in a video game mod or ROM hack? What inspires his own levels in Super Mario Maker?

Well, it’s time to find out! Because in today’s interview we’re talking to him to all that and more.

So if you want to find out what makes Mayro tick (or just what he thinks about all the games he’s ever played on his channel), keep reading!

It’s gonna be one hell of a ride…

Which all starts with the usual personal background question. So Mayro, who are you? Who is the person behind the Mayro pseudonym?

I don’t feel comfortable giving my legal name, but most people offline know me as “Sossie”. I’m sure you can find my legal name online with enough digging but uhh… please don’t. Anyway, I’m a Welsh student who studies Music Tech, Computer Science, and Mathematics and I spend way too long trying to master my favourite games for no real gain other than personal satisfaction. I also play classical guitar but I’d like to just learn some video game tunes instead if I’m honest.

And what does your username mean anyway?

Although people offline know me as “Sossie”, I wouldn’t call it my nickname. For years, my nickname has been Mayro. So when I created my channel I wanted to make sure my viewers called me the same thing my offline friends would call me. This would allow me to connect with them more easily. As for the “SMM” part, that stands for “Super Mario Maker”. When I first created my channel, I was super active in the Mario Maker community and I wanted my username to reflect that. Besides, “Mayro” is also quite the meme character and nobody would be able to find me if that alone was my username.

How did you get into gaming?

When I was younger, we went to visit family in Northern Ireland. My cousin was playing through Luigi’s Mansion for the GameCube and I remember being fascinated by it. I was too scared to ever try it but all I did while I was there was watch him play. Funnily enough, I’ve still not played that game because I’m still too scared to try it.

Luigi's Mansion Artwork

Or for that matter, the Mario series? What was your first Mario game?

My cousin also showed me Super Mario 64 DS and that was the coolest thing ever. Being able to explore so many worlds was the most fun thing in the world for me. I never tried to get any of the stars – I just explored all the levels for hours and hours. Before I really got my own consoles, I also remember trying Mario Kart Wii when visiting different family and I loved shooting the items even though I never hit anything other than walls.

Mario 64 DS Artwork

For a bit of contrast, what about now? What games are you playing at this moment?

When I’m not working, I normally goof around in Super Mario Odyssey or play Minecraft with friends. I also love the Mario and Luigi games. Bowser’s Inside Story is my favourite game of all time, so I gotta get myself ready for the remake in 2019! Generally speaking, I don’t play much other than Mario games. Other platformers feel sloppy to me and I think I’m just too attached to the Mario series’ characters. Oh, and sometimes I practice Super Mario 3D World so I can play better in my Coinless series. Although its community has explored it pretty thoroughly, I have not so I would like to do that.

Okay, onto YouTube now. What made you want to start a channel there?

I used to watch Nathaniel Bandy and TWD98 a lot, and I wanted to be just like them. My early content blatantly ripped them off but that’s private now, bwahahaha. It wasn’t for fame, though. I loved watching back my own videos so the process became pretty easy for me.

And how did you choose what topic you were going to cover? Why Super Mario Galaxy 2 and the likes?

Back in January of 2017, I had a strange urge to play Super Mario Galaxy 2 again. I think it was the knowledge in the back of my mind that I had never unlocked the green stars and I had never attempted Grandmaster Galaxy. And as I was playing through, I uploaded a couple of small challenges onto my channel for fun. I never really took it seriously at first. In fact, I had absolutely no intention to focus on it at all. Instead, I wanted to focus on let’s plays. There was this custom “episode” for a fan game called “Super Mario Bros. X” which was basically a remake of the original NES Super Mario Bros but with added slopes, decoration, and themes to make the levels feel more modern. This “episode” was called “Super Mario Bros. 1X” and I wanted more people to be able to see it. So I decided to make a short let’s play on my channel showcasing it. The playthrough never really took off, though, but I decided to keep making more let’s plays on more mods rather than fan games. These playthroughs eventually took off and I started building my own audience. However, at one point I was going on a family vacation and there was no way I would be able to finish enough playthrough episodes to schedule over the week I was gone. So I went back to Super Mario Galaxy 2 and tried every challenge I could think of. Uploading 5-7 of these in a row sort of established challenges as a series and since I already had a backlog from the early days of my channel, people were subscribing for the challenges rather than the let’s plays. So I ended up doing both in the end.

Did you have any other ideas for YouTube channels before this one?

Oh gosh, do you really want to know? Yes, I’ve had channels before this one. A lot of them. My first channel was called “marionose1” and I still use it to this day. I’ve always been active on it but it never really had a theme until recently. Most of the old videos on there are private, and many more will be going private soon so browse while you still can. These days, I focus on ripping musical sequences from old games and using updated instruments to remaster them. Over the past few months, I’ve built up a small audience of Mario and Luigi fans so it’s been difficult having to be active on both channels at the same time.

I had various other attempts at channels over the years. I tried making a Minecraft channel based around blowing things up with TNT at one point but that failed after a week or so. I then tried making another Minecraft channel at some point where I just uploaded timelapses of me building things in building minigames. I killed that one off too. Then there were probably three separate spam accounts where I intended to post “behind the scenes content” but since marionose1 didn’t really have a theme, every attempt at doing that was just forgotten about. I also never even advertised these channels anywhere so nobody had a clue what they were for.

Lastly, there’s Soundfont Guy. I created Soundfont Guy to be an archive account showing various meme soundfonts I had made. If you’re unfamiliar, a soundfont is a bit like an instrument which can be applied to digital sequences of notes. Most programs have a soundfont with the same set of instruments, but on Soundfont Guy I would upload completely custom ones. For instance, when We Are Number One was a relevant meme, I created a soundfont out of Robbie Rotten’s saxophone. There was a time where I was posting actively to MayroSMM, marionose1, and Soundfont Guy at the same time. However, as my main account grew, I genuinely needed a spam account and I didn’t want a fourth channel to try and check. So I renamed Soundfont Guy to Special Mayro and that became my hub for shitposting. I upload random remixes of my friends to request while they’re streaming, raw footage from collab projects, random parts of my own videos (e.g. a full version of an acapella I did for April Fools’ Day), and more “great” content like that. I guess since this was made after MayroSMM, it doesn’t really answer your question. But it’s close enough, I suppose.

Still, onto Galaxy 2. What were your thoughts on the game before you made videos on it?

I remember liking it a lot but there were a lot of galaxies that I didn’t like because they were too slow or boring. Ironically, the transformations were probably my favourite part. I’ll be honest, though, I still think most of the game is boring unless you’re trying to completely destroy the level design. The first Galaxy game is far superior!

You used to make quite a few challenge videos for that game, and that’s become a sort of common trend on your channel in general over time. What made you decide to focus on that stuff?

As I mentioned earlier, I sorta created this massive backlog of challenges over time. When I realised there was interest, I wanted to impress my new audience so I would gradually try harder challenges. It felt good making those videos because honestly, I’ve never really been good at video games until I started making these challenge videos. It wasn’t even a full year ago that I unlocked Grandmaster Galaxy for the first time. I also got to meet great people through challenges such as DGR and FearsomeFire and since they ended up making similar content, seeing a fresh new take on the idea motivated me to keep going with it.

How did you come up with the challenges you were going to take on anyway? Like Flipswap Galaxy without red panels or Super Mario 3D World while not collecting coins?

As I said, I’ve never been that great at video games. When I first played this game, I really enjoyed it but it took a long time for me to beat it. When I got stuck on a level, instead of sitting down for a few hours trying to beat it, I went back to my favourite levels and just played those again. I probably played levels like Chompworks dozens of times which led to me wondering if I could do them without the powerups provided by the level. I would say that 80% of the challenges I uploaded before that batch of scheduled uploads were just stuff I did goofing around when I was younger. Doing stuff like this definitely made me better at the game, though, and I started learning tricks which I previously thought would only be possible through TAS (I’m not calling myself a God, I was just clueless about how to do certain things like cloud jumps without the cloud flower). I still have a lot to learn, but my number 1 goal for Super Mario Galaxy 2 is to beat the game without touching a single powerup. So far, I’ve made it to World 5 but I need two more stars to unlock the boss level.

As for not collecting coins, it all started with New Super Mario Bros. Wii. This was another game I played around the same time as Super Mario Galaxy 2 and I remember being somewhat good at it. I wanted to take it to a similar level that I took Super Mario Galaxy 2 to but I couldn’t really find any interesting challenges. For instance, in 2-1 there are sand geysers which are the main gimmick of the stage. I tried beating the stage without them but at the end they became the only thing to stand on and I had to conclude that the challenge was impossible. This happened in almost every stage I tried. A couple of people in the comments suggested that I tried doing stages without collecting any coins, so I gave it a shot and the series took off. I ended up completing every level in the game without coins. This is really great way for me to combine let’s plays and challenge videos since I’m both progressing through the entire game and doing so in a much harder manner. So I decided to do the same thing with Super Mario 3D World. Not for any reason, really. I just wanted to play Super Mario 3D World again because it’s been a while.

Did you ever come up with one and realise it simply wasn’t going to work in a video? Like one that simply wasn’t possible?

So many times. SO MANY! I could list so many, but the one I’d like to bring up was my attempt to beat Super Mario Galaxy 2 without powerups. As I mentioned earlier, it turned out to be impossible. However, I had incorrectly planned it to be possible, forgetting to take prankster comets into account. So I did a 7 hour livestream attempting to beat a new save without any powerups (Cloud Flower, Spring Mushroom, Bee Mushroom, Dash Pepper, etc…). The worst part was that I had spent an hour or so grinding out the Boomsday Machine mission without the Cloud Flower using Mario’s limited jump height before this stream as it was my only roadblock in planning. But I never got that far in practice. Even worse, I planned to do a scripted video on this for 20,000 subscribers in a similar style to Gamechamp3000’s VG Myths series. Maybe one day.

You’ve also made a lot of videos on Mario Maker as well. What did you think of that game when Nintendo announced it?

When Nintendo announced it, I was super excited. Probably the most hyped I’ve ever been for a Nintendo announcement. Sorry, Smash Ultimate.

Super Mario Maker Artwork

Heck, how did you come up with some of your levels for that game anyway? They always seemed to be on the more difficult side…

Actually, my goal from the very start was to be responsible for some of the good levels in Mario Maker. My first levels were very poorly made and I deleted most of them. I regret removing them from my system since it would be fun to look back on them, but even some of the old ones I still have are pretty badly designed. I used to spent all of my time over on the r/MarioMaker, a subreddit filled with all the best level creators. Did you ever hear about that Mecha Bowzilla level? Kiavik, the creator, was often found lurking around there as well. I entered a lot of their weekly “level of the week” contests which helped me improve my level design a considerable amount. There was one contest called Mario Maker Madness, I believe, and it was a knockout tourney where two creators had to present a level and participants would vote on who made the better level. I was ill at the time so I created some of my favourite levels I’ve ever made specifically for the tourney. If you’re a Mario Maker player, be free to try out these codes: 307F-0000-0266-63DD, C3C5-0000-026E-C5A2, 41E-0000-0275-97FC. All my levels have a set theme which I try to develop through a series of mini challenges. Or at least, that’s how it was. These days, I don’t have time to make well designed levels like that. They would take me anywhere up to six hours to design sometimes. So now I just make troll levels for my friends. There’s also one super difficult wall jump level I’m trying to upload because wall jump levels used to be my favourite type of stage. It’s a harder version of my level “Dashie’s Spike Gauntlet” which was a level I made for Dashie despite having never watched any of his videos.

What were your thoughts on other people’s levels here? The game had a fair few awkward stages, but you certainly seemed to have a knack for finding the better designed ones…

100 Mario Challenge is filled with crap, the event courses are arguably worse. It’s beyond me how Nintendo’s own developers don’t know to fill in walls a decent amount or use background elements properly. If you check the Star Rankings, you can often find some pretty cool levels but a lot of them got there by luck, I think. Some good concepts but they don’t appear presentable. The best levels are lurking over at r/mariomaker in their level contests, I’d say. CarlSagan42 also shows off some really creative puzzle levels and troll levels. Good troll levels punish you for knowing the game inside out rather than just lying to you about a jump’s safety.

Onto ROM hacking and mods now. Did Mario Maker’s limitations inspire any of your interest in these things?

Surprisingly, no. It’s actually the other way around. I don’t even know how long I’ve been modding but my New Super Mario Bros Wii levels were never any good when I was younger. Most people in the modding scene do not share this opinion, but I think Mario Maker’s limitations are amazing because they force you to get creative. Having less objects to pick from has helped me work on my level design and now I can create a somewhat decent level in New Super Mario Bros Wii, I think.

How did you choose which games to play mods for? Seems you’ve covered everything from Super Mario World to New Super Mario Bros Wii and Mario Kart Wii on your channel here…

When I was much younger, I would always stalk modding sites with no idea how to install anything. So now that I do know how to install things, I pretty much know every corner of the internet that modifies a game I care about. Generally, I like to try and cover mods that other people haven’t so smaller creators get a chance to shine. We’ve all seen Newer Super Mario Bros Wii playthroughs, but smaller mods like Newer Apocalypse and RVLution Wii get completely overlooked. I also have to please my 3D Mario audience that I’ve built, though, so I’ll pretty much show anything if it’s related to Mario Galaxy.

Which one has been the most enjoyable to play so far?

Probably Neo Mario Galaxy. The level design is fitting for both experienced players and new players alike, and there’s also a new mode I haven’t played yet which removes checkpoints and kills you in one hit. Now that’s my kind of game >:)

What about the least? Any hacks or mods you regret playing?

I like to try and show everything I play in a positive light because I want to encourage my viewers to play it for themselves. However, Super Mario Galaxy 2 Kaizo Edition was much too large of a project for me to take on and I shouldn’t have promised it as a subscriber special. I never released an episode past episode 6 due to a lot of it not being possible to complete or practically unchanged. I’d like to return one day, though. I gotta know what was done to Grandmaster Galaxy.

And what ones are you looking forward to anyway? There’s some pretty insane stuff coming out of the various Mario modding communities nowadays…

Newer Super Mario Bros. Wii Deluxe, Super Mario Galaxy: The Lost Levels, Super Mario Galaxy Run, Super Luigi Odyssey, Super Mario Endless Earth, Super Mario Maker: Vanilla Revamped, and Super Mario Bros. Next are the ones on my mind right now. I’d say Super Mario Galaxy 64 but that’d be biased since I’m a team member >:)

Above: Newer Super Mario Bros Wii Deluxe

Above: Super Mario Galaxy: The Lost Levels

Above: Super Mario Galaxy Run

Above: Super Luigi Odyssey

Above: Super Mario Endless Earth

Above: Super Mario Bros Next

Above: Super Mario Galaxy 64

One interesting mod you’ve played was Super Mayro Galaxy, a mod based on your very own channel. Did you expect to see something like that?

Absolutely, positively not. Especially not a Super Mario Galaxy 2 mod. The galaxy series are incredibly difficult games to modify not only due to the whole gravity aspect and the fact that they’re 3D, but also because they’re so prone to crashing.

What did you think of it anyway?

Shockingly good. You can thank the first level of Super Mayro Galaxy 1 for making me good at the game. Although, after fighting so many Bouldergeists, I’ve entered eternal Bouldergeist burnout. Mind you, although I’m honoured to have two hacks about me, I’m sad that I can’t recommend it to other talented Galaxy players who aren’t fans of my channel. They’re obnoxious, but fair obnoxious. Yes, I just said that.

Are there any common mistakes you often see with hacks and mods? Like say, level design mistakes that often crop up with them?

I’m certainly no master mod creator, but I think there are a few things that people need to remember when creating levels.

  1. The player is stupid so treat them as if they’re stupid. Put arrow sign boards pointing at pipes even if it seems stupidly obvious. Put coins to guide the player across jumps. You won’t be there to show the player where to go so the level needs to do it instead. Expecting them to run right isn’t enough. But obviously don’t overdo it either.
  2. Give the player lives. The only thing a Game Over does is force the player to replay parts of the level they already completed. This isn’t an official game that they put their money towards so they’re not going to be as motivated to beat it. If they’ve already reached your checkpoint, they’ve already proved that they can do it so let them move on.

Those are honestly my main complaints. I don’t like not knowing where to go and I don’t like redoing parts of levels I already completed.

Okay, a few last video Qas now. Firstly, what makes you decide to stop with a series/challenge?

If I’m not having fun, I’ll normally ditch it. I often get really good ideas but after making one episode of it, I realise the extreme workload that would come with making it a series. For instance, the planning that went into my video about planet skipping in Super Mario Galaxy 2 is definitely too much for me to repeat for the other 6 worlds. I set high standards for my presentation but meeting them is often a bit too much for me to manage. I also dislike doing scripted commentary because my tone comes off as fake and I don’t like to come off as fake. As for challenges, I usually don’t quit unless I think there’s absolutely no chance of me ever clearing it. For example, one time I tried to clear Beat Block Galaxy without touching a single beat block. FearsomeFire did it after I told him about my struggles but I don’t have the motivation to try again, honestly.

And what made you decide to go from text commentary to voice commentary? It certainly seems like your channel’s popularity went up quite a bit at that point…

I stopped enjoying text commentary. It became too tedious for me having to type out what was going through my head. To this day, I still feel burned out as soon as I try to commentate anything through text. I was always afraid to use my voice because I thought people wouldn’t understand my accent. And while this is still true to some extent as I’m finding a lot of people are misunderstanding a lot of what I say, it’s not really happening to the extent I feared. I’ll admit that I feel a little uncomfortable using my voice still for this reason, but it’s honestly the same offline and there’s no getting around it there, heh.

Did you ever expect your YouTube channel to get as popular as it is?

Absolutely not. Never ever. My DREAM goal was 10,000 subscribers. I didn’t expect to actually reach it. I still can’t believe I actually reached it. I’m almost at 25,000 subscribers and… am I? Am I dreaming? Maybe one day I’ll get that Play Button after all. That feels so wrong to say but maybe it’s true? I dunno, I’m still not over my 10k milestone.

Are there any other channels you’d recommend on the platform?

Alright, prepare for a long list. I’m gonna describe a ton of people I watch who I think are severely underrated as well as a few big guys. Some of them are music guys that I met from doing music, some of them are just Nintendo fans. You probably only wanted a few but tough luck >:)

  • Cochu U: One of the best musicians I’ve met and one of the best friends I’ll ever meet. Obsessed with Splatoon, also.
  • DGR: One of the most genuine people on YouTube. He’s massively into retro gaming and the Mario series as a whole and sometimes does challenges like I do!
  • FearsomeFire: Super Mario Odyssey speedrunner and general fan of the Mario series. His personality really shines in his livestreams.
  • DannTheMan: If you wanna keep up to date with the latest mods for Nintendo Switch, Dann is indeed the Man! He’s also one of my favourite streamers.
  • Mashibro: The non-TAS “challenges” guy for Super Mario 64. He’s always up for some memes, too.
  • Lucidityy: The human embodiment of sarcasm, as well as a Super Mario Odyssey speedrunner.
  • Pillbawks: A very down-to-earth streamer who’s always very fun to talk to through chat.
  • KevinVG207: Custom track creator for Mario Kart Wii! He always finds a fun, new direction to take the game so check him out if you’re a fan.
  • Koretato: Mario YouTuber with a lot of unique and unexplored ideas for videos.
  • MusiMasta: Transforms music by rearranging it with as many notes as possible!
  • JAndrews15: The master of video game mashups. Rather than just playing two songs at once, this guy can play over 100 and still make it sound good.
  • Jugebox98: Creates very unique sounding video game and anime remixes and has been a great friend to me for years!
  • BeardBear: Known for his video game walkthroughs but has recently been exploring Super Mario Odyssey to its fullest!
  • JoshhMarshh: The poor guy’s been stolen from a few times which sucks because his music deserves wayyyy more recognition than it gets.
  • TWD98: A very knowledgeable Mario Kart Wii player. He was one of my biggest YouTube inspirations.
  • Nathaniel Bandy: One of the most passionate Mario YouTubers, and one of my biggest inspirations. We’ve also done a few projects together.
  • Panman14: He’s not the most active on the platform, but his music rivals and exceeds the standards set by Nintendo.
  • Tater-Tot Tunes: Pumps out an insane amount of NES-style arrangements. They probably already covered your favourite song. I see they’ve been interviewed on here recently, in fact.
  • Kaze Emanuar: Insane programmer who pushes Super Mario 64 to its absolute limits.
  • SpikySpikes: Very creative and underrated Super Mario Odyssey challenger.
  • Purple1222119 (Bryan Hermus): This guy has re-orchestrated the entirety of Mario and Luigi Superstar Saga, Partners in Time, and more.
  • Skawo: One of the best let’s players and developers.
  • I could write more but I’m pushing it a bit, heh.

    What’s your fall back plan if YouTube fails/hurts creators more?

    I’m a music student so I’d love to be able to use that for something further down the line. But honestly, I’m not currently affected by any of YouTube’s wack features. Nintendo’s Content ID claims give me way more trouble.

    Would you move to Twitch full time if that happened?Finally, what advice would you give people wanting to start up their own channel?

    Stay motivated, and only do what you enjoy. But try to make yourself stand out in some way. And remember that success doesn’t happen right away. You aren’t gonna make 1 let’s play and magically grow from it. But maybe after you’ve done 3 or 4, more people are gonna start noticing you and they’re going to see this massive backlog of videos combined with seeing that you still upload frequently to this day. It’s disheartening when your work isn’t recognised but one day it will. I promise. Collaborate with other channels your size and give yourself a good impression in the community. Be seen how you want to be seen, not as dishonest or “that self-advertiser”. Even if you’re younger, you can still give it a good shot if you believe in yourself!
    And you know what?

    Mayro’s right here. Success isn’t an overnight thing.

    Really, it isn’t. Oh sure, there are probably a few exceptions to that rule, like the guy who made Flappy Bird or what not.

    But those aren’t the majority of creators. No, the majority of creators become successful through months or years of hard work.

    They toil away at their art (or book/game/channel/whatever) for years, and then build up an audience over time.

    And that’s true of basically everyone we’ve interviewed on Gaming Reinvented. Shesez of Boundary Break? Started off pretty small until Reddit, Nintendo forums and this very website discovered his work. Slopes Game Room? Same sort of story there too. He made dozens of fantastic gaming videos before the mainstream discovered his work.

    The list just goes on and on.

    So listen to Mayro (and us) and stop beating yourself up over your channel’s perceived lack of popularity. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and your channel likely won’t be either.

    Forget the complaining, keeping working hard and make the videos you always wanted to make. That’s how true success stories come about, and that’s how you’ll gain your audience.

    Not by chasing trends and trying to win the ‘eceleb’ lottery.

    Still, what do you think? Did you like the interview or Mayro’s videos in general? What do you think about his words of advice for the YouTubers or tomorrow?

    Tell us your thoughts on social media or on the Gaming Latest forums today! We’re always listening!

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