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Watch a hamster navigate a rodent-sized Super Mario level

A chubby-cheeked hamster steps into the role of Mario and handily conquers a custom-built gaming course.

There's a hamster in Japan that's way better at Super Mario than I am.

YouTube user yutako55 built a real-life Super Mario level for a pet hamster. The diorama includes popular obstacles, features and enemies from the retro video game. There's a piranha plant extending out of a green pipe, a Goomba that looks like a small mushroom, a question-mark box and a little Mario figure jumping on the wall.

The hamster attacks the course with gusto, examining the paper blocks and checking out a tiny Mario hat. The pipe is of particular interest, giving the cute little critter a place to explore. It leads down into a hidden compartment that runs the length of the diorama.

What really makes this exercise in hamster/retro gaming absurdity work are the vintage gaming sound effects and Mario theme music.

The intrepid hamster conquers the obstacles, tames the course and settles into the castle at the end, though Princess Peach is nowhere to be seen. The hamster would no doubt prefer an actual peach to the princess. The video has so far racked up over 560,000 views and yutako55 is now promising to build another level so we can enjoy watching Mario-Ham tackle another round.

(Via Laughing Squid)