Wallpaper Mario

Minimalist desktop wallpapers based off of classic RPG Paper Mario

Overview

I love graphic design. I love the classic N64 game Paper Mario and its GameCube sequel, Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door. I love wordplay, particularly in the form of puns and portmanteaus. What better way to unite these passions than by creating desktop wallpapers based off of these beloved games and calling the project Wallpaper Mario?

The Paper Mario games are known especially well for their flat, simple character designs with bold colour schemes. My aim was to hold fast to the spirit of these games through the design - boldly coloured wallpapers that represented the characters as simply as possible.

Process

I wanted the character designs to look as authentic as possible, so I began by locating high-resolution character images to trace out. Thankfully, because the characters are two-dimensional, I was able to locate plenty of high-resolution resources at The Spriter's Resource.

Screenshot of the Spriter's Resource page on Paper Mario sprites.

The Spriter's Resource, a repository for graphics and textures ripped from video games, was a great place to find Paper Mario reference images.

Once I had reference images downloaded, I plopped them into Illustrator and began to do simple vector tracings of the most important parts of the characters. I deliberately chose simple character designs, those with a single main colour, so that I could suggest form out of the negative space occupied by the bold colours of the wallpaper backgrounds.

Left: the original Lava Bubble sprite. Right: the vector tracing, which uses the red background colour to imply the shape of the enemy.

Left: the original Lava Bubble sprite. Right: the vector tracing, which uses the red background colour to imply the shape of the enemy.

Results

Although far from a serious project, I've grown to really like these wallpapers and the nostalgia they invoke. They're currently my very own desktop wallpapers and make me yearn for the good ol' N64 and GameCube days. Maybe I should fire up one of those old consoles...

Feel free to browse the wallpapers. You can also click on them to open up a high-resolution view and download them for yourself!

Red desktop wallpaper with Super Mario jumping. Brown desktop wallpaper with three Goombas in the middle.
Black desktop wallpaper with a cannon firing a Bullet Bill. Grey desktop wallpaper with two Boo ghosts saying 'Boo!'. Black desktop wallpaper with a Chain Chomp tied to a post. Green desktop wallpaper with two Clefts standing in the middle.
Red desktop wallpaper with a Lava Bubble in the middle. Purple desktop wallpaper with the three Shadow Sirens in the middle. Purple desktop wallpaper with a Swooper flying in the middle and another one hanging from the ceiling. Yellow desktop wallpaper with four forms of recurring miniboss Jr. Troopa.
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