Someone Turned Lego’s Super Mario Into a Controller for the Super Mario Bros. Video Game

Lego’s Super Mario building sets were created to bring the experience of playing the Super Mario games into the real world. But a clever hacker has taken things full circle and come up with a way to use the Lego Mario figure to play the original Super Mario Bros. video game with the toy’s real-life movements translated to the on-screen character.

On Twitter, Rick (@r1ckp) bills himself as a hardware hacker, and he backs that claim up with what could be one of the more compelling reasons to grab Lego and Nintendo’s first collaboration. In addition to screens, a speaker, and a camera for recognising objects, the oversized Lego Mario figure also features a built-in gyroscope for detecting the motions of the toy and a wireless Bluetooth collection for sharing that data with an app — or in this case, some custom code Rick created running a MacBook.

Lego’s Super Mario Is Perfect If You Suck at the Video Games

Approximately 40,000 years ago, back in March when time still had meaning, Lego and Nintendo made nerds weep with joy when the companies announced their first collaboration: a high-tech Super Mario that lets you build real-life video game levels for out of Lego bricks. A real-life Mario Maker, if you will....

Read more

With a copy of the original Super Mario Bros. running through an emulator, the Lego Mario figure can control his digital doppelgänger’s running movements by leaning the toy forward or back, and it can make him jump using subtle IRL hops.

The digital Mario’s power-ups can also be controlled using some extra Lego pieces and the figure’s ability to recognise colours as well as the special sticker codes included with the Lego building sets. The video game version of Mario can shoot fireballs and even traverse warp pipes without the need for a gamepad, although this controller alternative definitely isn’t for speed runners or novice gamers. There’s a definite delay between the movements of the Lego Mario and the on-screen character, which could get particularly frustrating once you roll up on your first boss battle.