LEGO’s Super Mario building sets let you craft your own real-world levels, with complex terrain, coins, enemies, and an intelligent Mario figurine. Now, a hacker named Rick (@r1ckp) is using the LEGO Mario figurine as a Super Mario Bros controller by translating the toy’s movements into on-screen actions.
Unlike your typical LEGO minifig, the LEGO Mario toy is packed with screens, speakers, a gyroscope, a color-identifying camera, and a Bluetooth transmitter. The toy can tell a Bluetooth receiver when it’s jumping, leaning forward, or standing over a colored LEGO block, which is how Rick manages to use it as a Mario Bros controller.
Some people asked for it, so here's how shooting and pipes work pic.twitter.com/OACZYurh5u
— Rick (@r1ckp) September 3, 2020
Of course, you can’t just connect your LEGO Mario to a game console and use it as a controller. Rick is using special code to turn LEGO Mario’s movements into real-time controls, along with a few extra LEGO blocks to help Mario shoot fire and go down pipes. As Rick shows in the above video, Mario shines a light out of his butt to identify bricks, so you can hover Mario over a red brick to trigger the B button in an NES emulator.
The LEGO Mario controller is a little laggy, but it takes “playing pretend” to a whole new level. We hope to see more LEGO Mario innovation as LEGO introduces add-ons for the Super Mario playset, including new outfits and foes.