So my wife and I, aside from playing a lot of video games, secretly enjoy doing crafty stuff. Or rather, she enjoys it, and I just sort of watch and dictate what she makes. For example, she was really good at crocheting stuff, and so she made a bunch of Mario themed crochet projects. They were pretty nifty!And a Psyduck, because Psyduck is awesome.But it wasn't for a while later when a friend introduced us to Perler Beads. Yeah, beads. For reals. Basically it's arts and crafts for people who suck at arts and crafts. You get several trays set in the shape of grids, and then you just stick beads into pins in designs. When you are done you iron them and the beads melt, sticking together, and viola: you have a...thing. It's like magic.It's fun for the whole family! Especially the crafting impaired!Well it turns out there's a whole sub devision of people these days who buy perlers just to make video game sprites out of them. Seems that it's really easy to translate 8 and 16 bit sprites into real life bead creations, translating single pixels into single beads. It's tricky, seeing as you have a limited pallet of bead colors (and have to buy them all to have a wide enough range to do more complex stuff) and some sprites get astronomically big, but seeing as I had a background in pixel art having made indie games before, I just couldn't resist!Several hundred dollars and tens of thousands (possibly hundreds of thousands) of beads later, and our apartment has turned into a video game themed shrine.We stick them to the wall with poster tack (also known as sticky tack) so our landlords won't get mad and we can rearrange them easily. But since we've made so much stuff over the past few months, I thought it would be fun to do a brief series on all the crap we've made, going by theme. So, without further ado, here is day one of Nathan (and his wife) vs Perler Beads.Part One: It's a me! Mario!First off we'll start with the most iconic gaming guy ever: Mario. To be honest, my wife did most of the regular Mario stuff, though I'll go into details as we get further in. We wanted to have something that showed Mario's evolution throughout the 2D platforming days: from Mario 1 all the way to Mario World and Yoshi's Island. So, after much creation, we made the "WALL OF MARIO!" (tm).First up: Super Mario 1.We started with something everybody would recognize: original Super Mario Bros. My wife did everything except Mario himself and the flying goomba, and I'd say she did a good job! I especially like the fish coming up from behind.Mario 2 is a real Mario game, ya jerks!Then we move on to Mario 2, one of my most favorite games of all time. I did scary face mask guy and jumping bird faced guy, while the wife did all the rest. I especially like Birdo, with he/she in his/her iconic pose. And of course we picked Peach; does anybody pick any other character when playing Mario 2?Mario 3, aka that one with the BOOT.Mario 3 is also great, and we basically just picked all our favorite stuff from that game. The angry sun, the flying goomba, the fire piranha plant, and of course...THE BOOT. Viewers with a discrete eye will notice it's the Super Mario Allstars version of Mario in the boot (in 16 bit, while the rest is 8 bit) but hey...it looked better. I also didn't do any of these.Super Mario World: Still awesome.And lastly, Super Mario World, another big favorite. I absolutely love the Wiggler here. This one's a bit cluttered because we kept wanting to add more! We just love Mario World! Also, 16 bit sprites look way cooler than 8 bit ones, but we love them all the same.Savin' the best for last.And finally, Yoshi's Island, a game my wife hadn't even heard of until we bought the SNES cart. Arguably the best Mario platformer ever, we can at least all agree it's the best game starring Yoshi. I absolutely love the art style in this game, and the flower-headed shy guys are just too hilarious to not make.A shot of the wall in (most) of it's glory.And finally...The DYNAMIC shot!So there you have it: all the Mario 2D games from Mario 1 to World and Yoshi's Island, all in a row. Looks pretty awesome, huh?So that's all the regular Mario 2D platformers we made...but wait! There's more! A lot more!And now "Fever" is stuck in your head.I am awful at Dr. Mario. My wife, on the other hand, completely crushes me every time. It's...a thing, I guess. Anyway, this Dr. Mario was a joint effort, though she made the good doctor and I made a virus and a pill (the blue one, who is lookin confident). For a sense of scale: the doctor is about as long as my forearm, with pill. Those little pills ain't gonna beat those fat viruses, I can tell you that much.The evolution of Yoshi.We also had some misc Mario stuff we didn't know where to put it, so we just plastered it nearby. The shell was from Mario World but was too big for some reason, so it got separated. We also did the evolution of Yoshi, which is awesome. I still think baby Yoshi is adorable, with his cute smirk."Toad and Bowser cartin'.My wife's favorite Mario Kart game is Super Mario Kart, so she made a collection from that! I only made Yoshi...who you'll see shortly.Yoshi always beats Mario, because Yoshi is the best!The tongue later broke off and we had to super-glue it back on...Koopa! Why didn't he make it to Mario Kart 64?Peach has seriously evil eyes in this picture.And the whole batch, racing around the corner of the Retro Room!Donkey Kong won! Yeah, like that ever happens! Plus he was smaller then the rest for some reason...but oh well, it works.Lastly, we have some from my favorite Mario game maybe ever. Here's a little spoiler of a work-in-progress photo I took...Power from his pants. And ignore the two on the left; they are spoilers for future episodes!You got it, Mario RPG. I attempted to use a limited color pallet of beads to pixel-sprite sprites that were originally 3D rendors compressed down for the SNES. Sounds tricky? Well...it was. But guess what. I did it. I won the perler.Booster is still my favorite Mario villain ever.Aw yeaaaah! The whole gang is here, with Booster of course. They are placed between the Yoshi chain and Dr. Mario, guarding the closet under the stairs that leads to all the Rock Band crap. All I can say is Booster's about to get his world rocked.And that's it for this installment of Nathan vs Perler Beads! Check back in tomorrow (or whenever I get it up) for the next installment, where we'll be looking at Metroid and The Legend of Zelda! Here's a teaser!More like a spoiler, but whatever.