The idea behind the recent Lego Super Mario collaboration was to allow fans to create and play through their own real-world levels. Of course, it only took a month for someone to bring our favorite plumber back to the digital world by turning Lego Mario into a fully functioning controller for Super Mario Bros.
Lego Super Mario is special, in that you can create courses that sync up with a computer chip to keep track of your protagonist’s progress through them. Lego Mario may have come with some electronics, but the physicality of the toy was intended to be the its main draw; Just like with standard Lego sets, you can build and rebuild to suit your feelings. There are even expansion sets that you can buy if you want more props for your Nintendo-inspired creations. Nevertheless, this didn’t stop one particularly talented fan from using Lego Mario for a completely different purpose.
Nintendo Soup recently discovered a tweet wherein a self-proclaimed “hardware hacker” dug into the code for Lego Mario to make himself a controller. The hacker ran through the first level of Super Mario Bros. to show that Lego Mario could actually function as a controller. It does work by the looks of it, but the rig isn’t particularly responsive. Moving Lego Mario’s head back and forth will make the virtual Mario run in either direction. Making Lego Mario “jump” will similarly make digital Mario jump.
It’s unknown if the small grass block on the laptop is necessary for Lego Mario to function, or if that was simply an aesthetic choice. What we do know, however, is that you probably don’t want to play Super Mario Bros with a controller that has a half-second lag.
It’s a cool build if you’re trying to see what is possible with modifications — similar to turning a Wii into a Gameboy (although that project is more useful). The technical knowledge required to make Lego Mario a controller, combined with its responsiveness issues, means that your average person isn’t going to make this happen. That being said, it’s always cool to see what other people can do with their skills. So kudos to you for an entertaining video, @r1ckp!
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