Mario Paint

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This article is about the game Mario Paint. For the WarioWare: Touched! microgame based on the game, see Mario Paint (WarioWare: Touched!). For the WarioWare: D.I.Y. microgame based on the game, see Mario Paint (WarioWare: D.I.Y.).
Mario Paint
Mario Paint
For alternate box art, see the game's gallery.
Developer Nintendo R&D1
Intelligent Systems[1]
Publisher Nintendo
Platform(s) Super Famicom/Super Nintendo Entertainment System
Release date Japan July 14, 1992
USA August 1, 1992
Europe December 10, 1992[2]
Genre Miscellaneous
ESRB:ESRB's K-A rating symbol - Kids to Adults
(Player's Choice version)
Mode(s) Single player
Super NES:
SNES icon for use in templates. Game Pak
Super NES:

Mario Paint is a title on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. It was originally bundled with the Super NES Mouse accessory and was one of the few games to support it. The game received a Player's Choice reissue.

Title screen[edit]

The title screen of Mario Paint.
Several objects falling after the player clicks on the star.

The title screen is notable for being highly interactive - each letter causes a different effect on the game title screen.

  • M - Shrinks Mario. If clicked again, returns him to normal size. Similar to the effects of getting hit or gaining a Super Mushroom.
  • A - The letter A will fall down through the screen, and then go back to its place. If Mario is under the A when it falls, he'll be knocked off-screen along with it, and also come back.
  • R - An eye will appear on the R, and it makes a baby noise, and crawls off and back on screen. It makes the noise again. If the noise is played backwards, it sounds like a voice saying, "Nintendo", and slowing it down makes it sound like the original voice saying it.[3]
  • I - Causes all black and white colors on screen to invert, including those on Mario. Also causes the title music to become distorted.
  • O - O grows a fuse and explodes like a bomb. After this, Kazumi Totaka's famous song plays. (Totaka is famous for hiding this song in almost every game he's worked on; it has gone on to be included in Super Mario games such as Yoshi's Story, Luigi's Mansion, and Yoshi Touch & Go.)
  • P - Replaces the title setting with a green field with trees, cars, animals, UFOs, shooting stars, and other moving objects, most of which make a sound when clicked. Clicking P again returns the title to normal. The music changes during this sequence, to a slower version of BGM 1 from the main game.
  • A - Yoshi runs across the screen, along with drum sound effects while he's visible.
  • I - All text on screen begins shaking, and the music is distorted.
  • N - Credits appear onscreen. The music continues, but is accompanied by some extra background instruments not normally audible. If the game is started when the programmer is credited while the player is holding down the right mouse button, the following bonus features will be available:
    • Right-clicking on the canvas in Art Mode or on the music score in Music Mode will remotely activate Undodog.
    • Right-clicking on the canvas in Stamp Mode will select the color of the pixel under the cursor.
    • Four more rotation options for stamps will become available: 90° counter-clockwise, 90° clockwise, 90° clockwise flipped horizontally and 90° counter-clockwise flipped horizontally.
    • Ability to reset the game quickly by pressing L Button+R Button+Start Button+Select Button on a SNES Controller plugged into the second player port. The player would have to re-enable these features again upon reset.
  • T - The player can draw using a rainbow texture with a thick crayon. The title music slows down, but keeps playing.
  • Clicking on Mario will start the main game.
  • Clicking on a falling Star after clicking on P will cause several objects to rain down the screen. The music will then change to harp music.

Play Modes[edit]

Art mode[edit]

Art Mode in Mario Paint
Art mode

The open canvas is the main part of the game. Here the player can draw with three sizes of pencil tools, paint, and use preexisting sprites (called "Stamps" by the game) of things from basic houses and trees to sprites directly from Super Mario World. The player can cycle through all the different colors and stamps offered by the game by clicking on Mr. Crayon. Additionally, the player can use a straight line tool, and add numbers and letters from a text menu. Erasing images can be done with a traditional erase tool, as well as several amusing screen transitions which wipe the screen clean. There is also an option to completely fill the screen with a certain color, texture, or sprite. To undo an action, the player has to select Undodog's icon.

Stamp mode[edit]

Stamp mode

In addition to the default stamps, the game has room to save 15 custom sprites at any given time, which can be made in the Stamp menu. The player is given a grid and can create sprites pixel by pixel using a variety of colors. If a single pixel wide stamp is created it can be used as a pen that is much thinner than the one the game normally allows the player to use.

Music mode[edit]

Music mode

In addition to creating visual works of art, the player can also create their own songs in Music Mode. Using a set of stamp icons to represent different instruments, they can be placed along a music score, creating a melody. Songs can be written in 3/4 or 4/4 time. The game has three default songs: an arrangement of Super Mario Bros.'s Ground Theme and Super Mario World's Ground Theme theme by Koji Kondo, an arrangement of Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star, and an arrangement of the song used in the Japanese commercial for Mario Paint. The songs created here can be used in Animation Mode. Undodog also appears in this mode helping players undo previous actions.


Animation mode[edit]

Animation mode

The player can create their own looping animation, frame by frame with a frame limit, and then set them into motion on top of the background they have displayed in their main canvas. Additionally, if they so choose, their animation can be accompanied by their selected song in Music Mode.

Gnat Attack[edit]

Main article: Gnat Attack
Gnat Attack

Not an art creation section, but a minigame in which the player must use the Super NES Mouse to swat different fly-like enemies. Completing stages causes Super Mario characters to walk across the screen.

This game was also a microgame and minigame in WarioWare, Inc.: Mega Microgame$!. It can be accessed by clicking the toolbar arrow on the bottom bar, and then, in the same bar, clicking the coffee cup icon. The game also appears as one of 9-Volt's microgames in WarioWare: D.I.Y., and later as a microgame in Gamer from Game & Wario, under the name "Super Fly Swatter".

Other features[edit]

Pressing A+B+Select on a controller in the second player port while on the title screen of Mario Paint will display the most recently saved image/animation/music or if the file is empty will instead display "No Save Data".
Attempting to view saved work on an empty file.
  • BGM Setting - The player can choose one of three background songs (or no music) to accompany them as they draw and paint. If the music is turned off, the sound of Undodog sneezing occasionally plays.
  • Mouse Speed - Choose between Slow, Medium, and Fast.
  • Save/Load/Coloring Book - The game can save one canvas at any given time, and it can be brought back up using the Load option. These sequences are accompanied by the image of a robot processing data with techno music. Coloring Book has four default black and white saved canvases that can be quickly loaded onto the screen.
  • Frame - Simply gets rid of the upper and lower menu option icons, and replaces them with a black frame. Clicking the option again goes back to normal mode.
  • Quick Start - Pressing A Button+B Button+Start Button on a SNES Controller plugged into the second player port allows the player to instantly start the game.
  • View Save Data - Pressing A Button+B Button+Select Button on a SNES Controller plugged into the second player port allows the player to view the most recently saved image, animation and song. If there is nothing saved to the file, it displays "NO SAVE DATA" instead.


Mario Paint was rated the 162nd best game made on a Nintendo System in Nintendo Power's Top 200 Games list.

Release Reviewer, Publication Score Comment
SNES Nintendo Power[4] N/A George — "While Mario Paint might seem like a real special interest program, it's so well made that I think that anyone who has even a remote interest in creating drawings, animation or music will really like it"
Rob — "I think that this program is really cool and will be a blast for people of any age."
SNES Ed Semrad, Electronic Gaming Monthly[5] 8/10 "Nintendo has always strived to introduce accessories and enhancements to their systems and this time it's a mouse peripheral and pad. This device simulates the feel of an artistic tool and allows anyone the ability to design their own masterpieces. Coupled with an animation and sound studio, this cart is a solid hit!"
SNES N. Somniac, GamePro[6] Graphics: 5.0/5.0 "Although accessible to players of any ability, Mario Paint's cheerful demeanor and whimsical icon-driven format indicate that it's primarily geared towards a younger audience. The SNES mouse and its user-friendly options make this the perfect introduction for kids to computers. However, there's definitely enough interaction, complexity, and options to keep older gamers just as interested. A nice change of pace from other SNES fare. Mario Paint's a work of art!"
Sound: 4.5/5.0
Controls: 5.0/5.0
Fun factor: 4.5/5.0


Prominent video game developers have cited Mario Paint as an inspiration. Masahito Hatakeyama, one of the designers for WarioWare: D.I.Y., cites Mario Paint's drawing and music creation tools as inspiration for the drawing and music creation tools in D.I.Y., while several staff members of the development team cited it as the game that taught them the joy of developing video games.[7] One of the sound staff from Mario Paint, Hirokazu Tanaka, later went on to work on EarthBound. Some of Mario Paint's sound effects and musical instruments were used in both games.

The music mode has become a viral hit and many song compositions can be found on YouTube and other gaming sites. The Music Mode was recreated as a fan-made Windows program called Mario Paint Composer and added several features such as longer song length, more notes per beat, more sounds, and the ability to save. This program lacks the jumping Mario which was shown when a song is played.

Instead of being delivered in Flash format like the rest of the series, the first episode of Homestar Runner was animated using Mario Paint. A primitive introduction video made with Mario Paint can be found in the museum of the site. A later short in the series, Strong Bad is a Bad Guy, was made using Mario Paint.


The results and winning entries of the "Mario Paint Contest"
All of the winning submissions from the contest

In Volume 41 of Nintendo Power, the "Mario Paint Contest" was held.[8] To enter, participants created an art piece using the game, recorded it onto a video tape, and sent the tape to Nintendo Power's PO box. The "most creative entries" by sixteen participants were to be shown in a future volume of the magazine. The grand prize winner received five SNES Game Paks while fifteen runner-ups received just one Game Pak. The contest ended on December 1, 1992. In Volume 47, the sixteen winners and their pieces were shown.[9] The grand prize was given to Stephen D. Miller from Tuscon, Arizona.

Satellaview versions[edit]

The picture hidden inside "Mario Paint - Yuushou Naizou Ban"
The hidden picture inside Mario Paint Yuushou Naizou Ban.

Mario Paint was re-released in two minor variations on the Satellaview:

  • Mario Paint BS Ban (マリオペイントBS版) is a version of Mario Paint which had joypad support. For this release of the game, a Mario Paint contest was held, in which contestants of exceptional Mario Paint artistic skill made artwork pieces.[10] This contest was held in November 1997.[11]
  • Mario Paint Yuushou Naizou Ban (マリオペイント優勝内蔵版) is similar to Mario Paint BS Ban, but it also has a hidden picture - identified as "Dreaming of the Moon" (「月を夢見て」) by Mizota Hiroko (溝田 祐子) from the Mario Paint contest - which can be found by using the "Load" option in "Save/Load/Coloring Book".


Main article: List of Mario Paint staff


For this subject's image gallery, see Gallery:Mario Paint.


For a complete list of media for this subject, see List of Mario Paint media.
Audio.svg Title
File infoMedia:Mario Paint Title.oga
Audio.svg Fan Chant
File infoMedia:Mario Paint Fan Chant.oga
Audio.svg Mysterious
File infoMedia:Mario Paint Mysterious.oga
Audio.svg Fly Swatter ~ Level 1
File infoMedia:Mario Paint Flyswatter Level 1.oga
Help:MediaHaving trouble playing?

References in later games[edit]

Black Tuxedo
Painter Outfit
Conductor Outfit
Outfits in Super Mario Odyssey referencing Mario Paint
  • Mario Artist: Polygon Studio: The "exercise" cutscene from Mario Paint is recreated in this game, and the two figures within it appear as helpful NPCs, with one of them being referred to as "the Baker". The Baby Face also occasionally appears in the background of the polygon viewer and makes its signature noise when clicked on.
  • WarioWare: Touched!: A microgame based on Mario Paint appears in this game. The Turntable souvenir features an arrangement of the art mode background music, which is also used in the microgame. The Wario Paint souvenir is based on the game's art mode.
  • Wii: In the Photo Channel's doodle mode, a recreation of the rocket ship erase animation is played when "Undo all" is selected.
  • WarioWare: D.I.Y.: Another microgame based on Mario Paint appears in this game, as well as a record of the main theme. Many elements in the game are also based on Mario Paint, such as when making a microgame.
  • Super Mario Maker: Several features return from Mario Paint, such as Gnat Attack, the Undodog, and the interactive title screen. The Baby Face appears as a sound effect, and the Baker and his brother reappear in loading screens in Course World.
  • Super Smash Bros. for Wii U: An arranged medley of songs from Mario Paint can be played on the Miiverse stage in this game.
  • Super Mario Odyssey: Multiple Crazy Cap costumes are based off of Mario's appearance in some pieces of Mario Paint artwork.
  • WarioWare Gold: The Baby Face, along with its sound, makes several appearances.
  • Super Mario Maker 2: The pig from Music Mode reappears as part of a sound effect. Additionally, the Baby Face sound effect returns from Super Mario Maker.
  • WarioWare: Get It Together!: If a crew member has the Baby Face special skin applied, the baby noise from Mario Paint plays while its face appears whenever they talk.

Names in other languages[edit]

Language Name Meaning
Japanese マリオペイント
Mario Peinto
Mario Paint
Chinese (Simplified) 马力欧画画
Mǎlì'ōu Huàhuà
Mario Paint


Attempting to save while the canvases in both Art Mode and Animation Mode are filled up enough for them to become too large for the game to compress will cause the game to be unable to save the works, displaying the message "Data Over Flow".
"Data Over Flow" error
  • Upon starting the game, a short cartoon will play. This cartoon involves two primitively drawn characters, one of which is doing situps while the other holds his feet. The cartoon is almost entirely white save for the outlines of the characters, and takes place in an iris shot in an otherwise black background. During the cartoon, chanting can be heard, after which the chanters say "Mario Paint!" and an unseen audience yells "Whoa!" as the situp man does a handstand. On other times that the game is running, the audio will instead be cheering, accompanied at the end by a little fanfare.
  • The game Mario Artist: Paint Studio was a direct sequel to Mario Paint at some point during production, titled Mario Paint 64. The game was later reworked into being the first title of its own series.
  • If the player manages to fill up both canvases in Art and Animation Modes to cause the resulting work to become too large to compress down to fit into the cartridge's 32kb SRAM, attempting to save the work will cause it to fail and display the error "DATA OVER FLOW" along with a unique animation of smoke emitting from the sides of the robot's head. This can easily be replicated by using the spray tool with every color. [12]