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Super Mario: Endless Earth is the fifth and final hack in the line of MarioFanatic64's hack series. The hack is currently in development, with no confirmed release date, but is scheduled for release some time in 2018.

The concept of this hack is to introduce a large open world to the Mario series, where game play combines elements of "Metroidvania" with typical Mario series tropes.

Development

In 2013, hack creator Mariofanatic64 mentioned during the development of New Super Mario Bros. 5: Clone Tag Team 2 that he was planning his fourth and fifth hacks, while also openly stating that his fourth hack (New Super Mario Advance + Take 2) would be a smaller project, and the fifth hack would be on a much larger scale.The idea for the hack went through a lot of changes from the original idea. It was originally conceived as a project that aimed to take elements from traditional 3D Mario games and implement them into the side-scroller 2D Mario titles, to compliment the official Nintendo game Super Mario 3D Land, which implemented 2D Mario elements to 3D Mario titles.

At this point in planning, Mariofanatic64 had many ideas up for consideration. At one point, the hack was going to re-imagine levels from 3D Mario games in a 2D space. This was a concept Mariofanatic64 had tried to do previously in New Super Mario Bros. 5: Clone Tag Team, with World 3 and World 8 of that hack paying homage to Super Mario Sunshine and Super Mario Galaxy respectively.

Eventually, the hack's goal changed from implementing 3D Mario tropes into a 2D game, to implementing an open world that expressed a level of freedom and exploration that early 3D Mario games like Super Mario 64 and Super Mario Sunshine tried to achieve. The point where the transition was made is unclear, but it seemed to stem from Mariofanatic64's initial disappointment that the Wii U's signature Mario title would be Super Mario 3D World, which like Super Mario 3D Land, maintains the same elements from ordinary 2D Mario games rather than the 3D Mario games that came before them. At a similar point in time, development on the New Super Mario Bros. Community Remix was focusing on the the possibility of constructing a hub world. Mariofanatic64 pitched ideas for Community Remix's hub world around the same time he was considering the possibility of having a similar, but much larger free-roaming area in his own hack.

Because this was such an ambitious project, Mariofanatic64 didn't say anything or make any promises until he was certain that he could pull off such a feat in a game that by definition works the exact opposite way. Exactly how the world functions isn't yet specified, but Mariofanatic64 promises to reveal it all in good time.

The hack was officially announced at midnight on December 31st, 2014, alongside the reveal and release of New Super Mario Advance + Take 2. The announcement came with the promise of a demo version that would give players a small sample of a 2016-screen overworld. After the confirmed cancellation of New Super Mario Bros. 5: Clone Tag Team 3, Mariofanatic64 mentioned that some elements from the scrapped Clone Tag Team 3 story will be migrated into the story sequences for Super Mario: Endless Earth.

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