ICS Video Game: Mario Bros, Vati-Run Edition, v. 1.1

In my Introduction to Computer Science Course (ICS) at Chaminade College School, as part of the Independent Study Unit, students were required to create a video game on Scratch, which is a “free programming language […] where you can create your own interactive stories, games, and animations.” 

The Planning Stage – As part of my brand The Catholic Man, I want to create a game that has a Catholic aspect. I was thinking for sometime and suddenly, the image of St. Peter’s Basilica popped up in my mind. “A perfect game setting”, I thought. I also wanted to put include an aspect of Christianity today, the many persecutions that occur. Interestingly, I happened to bump upon an article recalling how a seminarian saved the Eucharist from ISIS and later on returns to the area as a priest. Therefore, the goal of the game is to collect all the Chalices but at the same time dodge the rocks. The rocks are a symbol of persecution. St. Stephen was the first martyr and he was stoned to death (cf. Acts 7:54-60). Today, there are many more gruesome forms of persecution of Christians. Mario also collects the flames, a symbol of the Holy Spirit. In the midst of persecution, Jesus reminds us, “…for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.” (Mt 10:20). In the end, after completing all three levels, each one progressing in difficulty, Mario sees Jesus whom He calls Mario, “good and faithful servant” as mentioned in the parable of the tenants Matthew 25:23.

Preliminary Sketches

Level 1 – Originally, I planned to use a various number of Sacred Objects that Mario should catch. However, I figured that collecting one specific vessel would be more meaningful. In my plans, I intended to have the devil popping up at random moments. After some time thinking about it, that feature was scrapped from my plans.
Level 2 – In level 2, I planned to have Mario catching stars, a Marian symbol. However, it would not seem reasonable to have stars falling from the sky. Level 2 was going to take place in the Crypt Chapel where the tombs of most Popes are located in St Peter’s Basilica. It was impossible to find a panoramic background of the Crypt Chapel and therefore, I had to change the setting for Level 2.  I also intended for my game to only have two levels. The two levels seemed too easy. Therefore, a third level was added which was a little bit more difficult.


Mario – He is the main character of the game. His mission is the save the Church from persecutors and from destruction.
Rocks – Mario must avoid these rocks. Rocks in the context of this game is a symbol of persecution.
Fire – Mario can collect these to boost up his scores if he is hit by the rocks. They are a symbol of the Holy Spirit which gives the Christian People strength to withstand persecutions.
Chalice – Mario must collect all the chalices in each level. They are a symbol of salvation, “The Cup of Salvation” (Psalm 116).
Jesus Risen
Jesus – After achieving the goal, after dodging much persecution, Maria sees Jesus, the “pot of gold”, Salvation. God is our goal in the after life after overcoming the many challenges of life… to meet God face to face in Heaven one day.


Box Art

Be sure to keep your eyes peeled at EB-Games as this might appear on the shelves one day!

Mario Vati-Runs box art


Well, the game might not be at EB-Games right now, but you can download it free-of-charge in the link below!

  • Version 1.1  << CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD >>
    • First edition of Mario Bros. Vati-Run Edition
    • First time Mario completes a mission through one of the holiest sites in the world!
    • Download the Scratch file and open it in Scratch
    • ***Minor glitches and notes*** (Please read before playing) 
      • The game may be run very slow. Please use a fast computer.
      • If “green flag” is pressed the first-time and things seem to be a little bit messed up, press the “green flag” again and everything should function correctly. It has been an error I have been unable to diagnose.


A special thanks to the following individuals who helped me throughout the process to make this edition of the game possible:

  • Mr. Mason (ICS Teacher)
  • Tyler Nguyen
  • Joseph Tran

Closing Remarks

Any recommendations? Leave them in the comments below!

About Vincent Pham

Vincent is a humanities student of the University of Toronto’s Trinity College of the Faculty of Arts and Science. He hopes to pursue a double major in Ethics, Law and Society, and Philosophy.
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