Mushroom Kingdom Fusion (also known as MKFusion and MKF) is a fan game with modified Mario gameplay, crossed over with many different video game universes and elements. The latest public release is v0.53Beta, released March 31st, 2012.
- An overall dark atmosphere and story.
- Modified Mario-style gameplay, with SMB2 mechanics (veggie pulling, Subcon enemies) and guns.
- A roster of playable characters, both from within the Mario universe and outside of the Mario universe. Each character will have their own unique powerup system and gameplay mechanics, adapted to fit within the Mario-based gameplay.
- Extremely variable worlds and levels. Game worlds will feature a traditional Mario world at the beginning. Later worlds will be based off other video games. Other worlds will feature completely original levels. The plot centers around the Mario universe, with stories extending out to other video game universes and even an alternate version of our Earth.
This fangame began as a solo project by JudgeSpear, under the name Super Mario Fusion, on December 19, 2007. It is made in Game Maker 7 Pro. The game is based on the Super Mario Bros. Hello Engine 3 by Hello, heavily modified to meet the requirements of the game and to fix bugs.
After the release of v0.1 Beta RC2, several talented people offered their help to JudgeSpear, forming the Fusion Team. JudgeSpear stepped down as a core dev member and is working on the spinoff Super Mario Fusion: Revival, but still supports the project. Over time the team has undergone many personnel shifts. This team includes (as of August 5, 2012):
This group of developers are the ones calling the shots and making the major decisions as to what MKF will contain.
- Del (coder, level designer, planner)
- Lars Luron (coder, level designer, planner)
- AuraLancer (level designer, coder)
- Gladiacloud (level designer)
Emeritus core team
These individuals have been inactive for long periods of time on MKF due to personal obligations, but have made major contributions to the game:
- JudgeSpear (project founder)
- Hello (engine creator)
- Obreck2 (coder, level designer)
- Shodian (level designer, coder)
- NO Body (spriter)
Past MKF developers
These individuals are no longer part of the team. However, they have contributed to MKF in some form during its development.
- Tron Knotts (spriter - Mega Man Mario and Spartan Mario)
- ProjectTerra (AKA XavierGenisi: level designer)
- Riverroad (coder, level designer)
- Mew (storywriter, level designer)
- Starsims Universe (Mega Man consultant, level designer)
- Finlander (level designer)
- DC Hunk (spriter)
- Pouncer (level designer)
- Weird Bananas (level designer)
- JDogindy (level designer, spriter)
- Magnemania (coder, level designer)
- Ben66 (story ideas for World 5: Gehenna)
These contributors may not have been ever part of the MKF development team, but they have assisted MKF in some way, even by non-technical means such as promotional articles and videos.
- Bloodgrey (spriter)
- Yoshbot (journalist)
- Psychopath (coder)
- Tron Knotts (spriter)
- Impish (contributor)
- Uncanny Valley (coder, level designer)
- Sum Gai (aka Hadriex: videographer)
Mushroom Kingdom Fusion has had an interesting story behind it since its inception back in December 2007, and many changes have taken place since then.
The beginning: Super Mario MF (2000-2002)
JudgeSpear's vision for a self-made Super Mario game began when he first played Super Mario Land 2: The 6 Golden Coins for the original Game Boy. The idea, borrowing from SML2's creative level settings, and eventually leading to Mushroom Kingdom Fusion, began as a game made on Multimedia Fusion 1.2 Build 98, made in the year 2000.
It was called Super Mario MF (with MF standing for Multimedia Fusion). It featured a roster of four characters: Mario, Luigi, Sonic, and Mickey Mouse (he was later announced for reinclusion in MK Fusion as an April Fool's Day joke). Each character had their own strengths and weakness (i.e. Sonic runs fast, but has terrible momentum). Otherwise, they all played the same way.
There were four levels, including a Sky Pop level into Bowser's castle, and a fight against Bowser. The other levels include the now-infamous "Military War Zone" level (the idea of which would eventually become World 2: Alternate Earth) and a DOOM level (which would become translated and enhanced in MKFusion).
It started out promising, but soon there were fatal and insurmountable glitches that surfaced due to the poor memory management of Multimedia Fusion 1.2, such as random crashing and strange random glitches. Eventually, SMMF got scrapped because of the severe limitation of Multimedia Fusion 1.2. This Mario fan game ended up in the dustbin for over seven years.
Internet sensation Super Mario Fusion: Mushroom Kingdom Hearts (2007-2008)
On December 2007, JudgeSpear discovered Game Maker. He then found out that a full-featured open-source SMB3 engine was made for Game Maker (SMB3 Hello Engine 3), introducing him to the prolific Mario fangame creator, Hello. From that engine, Super Mario Fusion: Mushroom Kingdom Hearts was born. This game originally featured just Mario in a dimension-hopping quest to stop a dark force bent on subverting all realities. Mario had powerups based on other video games, like Megaman Mario and Spartan Mario from Halo. SMFusion borrowed two levels from Super Mario MF - The Entryway (World 1-1) and Tower of Babel (World 4-2).
Super Mario Fusion, within two weeks of the first videos posted on YouTube, became a large internet hit. It made it so far as to receive mention on Joystiq, Kotaku, Destructoid (from which an editor, Tron Knotts, offered to make sprites, becoming the first contributor to the game project), and even game-specific sites such as Planet Doom and halo.bungie.org.
Mushroom Kingdom Fusion is born (2008-2009)
Obreck2 originally offered to contribute a few Castlevania levels to the game project. Later on, this changed to an addition a vast array of new features, including a character change system and a host of miscellaneous fixes. Obreck2 even went so far as to introduce Arthur of Ghouls 'n Ghosts fame to the mix, bringing his own gameplay with him. Obreck made several contributions before, such as the graphics for World 4-2 (Tower of Babel). On MKF, Obreck2 became a co-programmer assisting with many aspects of the game, his years of Game Maker experience totally turning this project in a new direction.
JDogindy and JudgeSpear go way back before this Mario project (being part of the MUGEN community), beginning with exchanging resources with each other. JDogindy's first contributions to the Mario project included the Klampons from Donkey Kong Country 2, and World 2-1 (The Grand Canyon). He also made a whole design document for levels in Alternate Earth. JDogindy soon picked up Game Maker for himself and learned the ropes of using it. JDogindy became responsible for level designs chiefly for the Sonic world.
StarsimsUniverse first came aboard with a slew of excellent level design mockups and sprite submissions for Megaman-based levels, among other things. He even gave some interesting storyline concepts for the game, and how everything ties together. Intrigued by his brilliant contributions, JudgeSpear made an offer to him to design levels for the game. StarsimsUniverse became a chief contributor to the Megaman realm of the Mario game project.
Ben66 began by posting wonderful suggestions on the forums. Ben66 later received his own copy of Game Maker to help design levels, becoming the chief level designer of World 5: Gehenna.
Hello is the creator of the engine on which MKFusion is based. Hello offered to contribute his fantastic level designs to the project. With Hello being the creator of the engine responsible for MKF's existence, he was welcomed to the team with no reservation. Naturally, Hello became the chief level contributor of World 1: The Mushroom Kingdom.
With the advent of an extensive character roster, which includes non-Mario and non-Nintendo characters such as Link, Sonic, and even Arthur of Ghosts 'n Goblins fame, the game underwent a name change to the current name: Mushroom Kingdom Fusion.
Rough Seas (2009-2010)
With the creation of the Fusion Team and the love and dedication of its fanbase, Mushroom Kingdom Fusion progressed smoothly for a while. Its core cast was decided upon, the foundations for later additons were laid down, and ideas flowed freely. Stages were added, revised, and reworked, while the newer characters were programmed. And for a time of many months, all was well. But as is the nature of any project, rough patches were hit.
It can be argued that the initial cause was the addition of new characters. While it had been set in stone for a while that there would only ten plus hidden character R.O.B., eventually more were added. With Classic Mario and Protoman came the introduction of the clone system, which would bring even more characters into the mix. For a while, it was accepted, but soon disapproval of all these new additions set in and feelings that they subtracted from the core cast grew. The development team soon realized this and halted character creation to focus on the game.
Eventually, a new unrest grew with comments about the game itself. Some began to feel that it had diverged too far from its Mario roots and tried to involve too many genres at once. The dev team agreed and began to remove the extraneous elements, such as the SHMUPS system, the Anti-Coalition, and the Yashichi powerup. This was a quiet process that helped, but one more had yet to come.
New Horizons (2010)
Eventually, JudgeSpear handed over the reins of MKF to the rest of the Fusion Team. Still just a man, he could no longer continue to balance the pressures of his life with that of his fans. But most of all, the magic of working on the game was gone to him. He no longer felt the game was what he intended to be and he could no longer do anything about that. It is then that a resurrection of the previous game, Super Mario Fusion: Revival, was made. It is a sister project to MKF that will provide a game for those who want more focused Mario gameplay. Meanwhile, the Fusion Team continued to refine Mushroom Kingdom Fusion as usual. Though he had started distancing himself from the project, JudgeSpear would still support MKF. However, that came after...
Internal Solidarity (2011-2013)
The MKF development team was restructured, removing people who were inactive on the project for long periods of time and without the volume of contributions given their tenure. Several notable controversial people, who did very little for the project and brought unneeded drama to the team, were removed from the project as well. After a dramatic overhaul of the team, the current MKF development team was set in stone.
The team today (as of August 5, 2012) may be a fraction of the size it once was during MKF's peak, but with fewer dedicated developers working on the game instead of too many people on the team with creative differences, the project has finally been reined in and is on its way to being completed.
Indefinite Hiatus (2013)
As of June 7, 2013, MKF has been put on hold for an unknown amount of time, due to slow development and not enough spare time.
On October 20, 2013, JudgeSpear has officially announced the game's cancellation. The game was cancelled due to real life problems interfering with development, lack of motavation, the developers not getting along, and the developers not having enough time to work on the game anymore. JudgeSpear is considering releasing a final build with finished but yet to be implemented materials.
Despite this, JudgeSpear has also announced that the source code is going open source so, if anyone wishes to, people can pick up the project where they left off and finish the game. JudgeSpear also said that development may resume if the developers decide to pick it up again. JudgeSpear does not intend to go back to the project himself.
Not Quite Dead
On November 29, 2013, it was subsequently announced that the game wasn't as canceled as JudgeSpear made it sound. While several features were being cut, such as Twisted Reality in its entirety, the developers were still making levels and were pushing to release an official v1.0. In January of 2014, a showcase of three fresh levels, Fire Temple, Gelatinous Journey, and Moon Fortress was uploaded to Youtube.