Syobon Action しょぼんのアクション (also known as Cat Mario, dongs.exe, and Neko Mario) is a free Japanese flash game notorious for its punishing and unfair gameplay. While it may resemble the NES game we all know and love, classic Mario this is not. Who would make such an awful awful thing!?

Syobon Action hates you. You’ll find this out the hard way: every jump, platform, mushroom, pipe… even the cloud in the background is out there to kill you. In time, you will hate Syobon Action. And that’s why you’ll love it so much.

The game is so difficult because, unlike classic Mario, it contains concealed traps, nonsensical death conditions, and murder around every corner. The traps are everywhere and are activated only when the player is about to hit them. The game’s obstacles are so dastardly that it makes the game incredibly frustrating and extremely difficult to complete before you go insane. Sounds like fun, eh?

The artistic style of the game is very 2ch-ish. Some of you may remember 2ch being very briefly addressed in my Japanese Rage Comics post of yesteryear. If you troll around 2ch enough, you’ll see what I mean, but be warned – you can dig up some pretty weird/gross/permanently-life-scarring stuff there. Welcome to the internet.

You can also check out the official site of the game and play it here. Or if you wish to download the game so you can frustrate yourself endlessly even without internet access, you can download the game from SourceForge here. For all you folks who like a challenge, I suggest you play it before watching any of the videos below. Wouldn’t want to give yourself an unfair advantage now would you?

Cat Mario Videos and Chonny

There are also a lot of videos on YouTube depicting people’s experiences with this joyful game. Some of my favorite Cat Mario videos come from one of my favorite YouTubers, Chonny. He has four YouTube channels, MyChonny, YourChonny, ChonnyDay, and ChonnyGame. He’s hilarious. You should definitely check out his videos. The following gems are from his ChonnyGame channel. Enjoy.

[box type=”alert”]These videos contain very strong but hilariously appropriate language.
You’ve been warned!

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The Cat Mario Challenge

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The above video shows you how to beat the game without losing any lives. This video is for all you cheaters out there (or those of you who are so stuck and frustrated that you want to throw your computer out the window).

The video below is one of many Japanese language gameplay videos of the game. The player appears to be no master as he dies quite a bit. Still pretty funny though. Can you use your Textfugu Japanese skills to figure out what he’s saying?

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I only played through the first level but I managed to clear it with -3 lives left which is practically the best score of all time. Think you can beat me on your first try? Post your score in the comments below!

And if you’re too lazy to scroll back up to the top of the page, here’s the link to the game again.

P.S. Hate this game to pieces? Vent your frustrations on Twitter.
P.P.S. Already a Cat Mario pro? Check us out on Facebook and Google+.

  • ZXNova

    At first I thought Touhou was the hardest game ever… I was wrong. (If you don’t know what Touhou is, it’s a Danmaku [lit. Bullet Hell] STG game were thousands of bullets are flying at you and you must move through while shooting the enemies.)

  • John

    Ooh, I love shmups.

  • 1123

    .exe downloads make my mac sad ):

  • Yasawatse

    it only took 1 n=min of watching for my head to explode into confetti. thank you tofugu. (o^-^)/

  • Michael

    It reminds me of I Wanna Be The Guy, only easier! :D  Not saying it’s “easy”, just “easier”…

  • TofuguFan

    “double major in Japanese and economics with a minor in engineering sciences” :O John, did you do all the above uni studies in only 4 years??

  • MercyM


  • John

    6 years, lol.

  • Kiriain

    Really? I thought you used a time-turner to get to all of your classes. Or you just never slept.

  • John

    Oh if only.

  • Anonymous

    Took about two hours, but finally beat it.

    …it was torture, I tell you, torture!

  • John

    Well done!

  • Aterisk

    I dunno… Between lunatic and this it’s pretty close in terms of difficulty. CatMario vs Flandre.  This neeeds to be made bahaha.

  • Shollum

    Man! I suck at normal Mario! I don’t need to play that!

    Seriously though, not something you should play around people who don’t need to hear your vulgar language…

  • Lauren Madigan

    Chonny’s the best bro!!!

  • Kiriain

    You know, I have found that there are parts in this game where you’re stuck and need to end yourself to start over. So I have named this game 自殺猫, Suicide Cat.

  • Ils2

    アレで終わりじゃないぜ !まだ続きがあるんだ!

  • Ils2


  • Paulbrosnan

    I beat level one with -67 lives

  • The Missing Number