Curious Hacker Turns Super Mario Toy Into An Actual Game Controller

Super Mario Lego
Image courtesy EFTM

Super Mario might be one of the oldest titles we know but also one that has a lot of ways to play. You can get to use a regular controller or even other toys like a Guitar Hero guitar, Donkey Kong’s famous or even an actual drum set. But what if we actually used a real-life Mario to play the game by turning it into a physical controller?

@r1ckp, a self-declared “hardware hacker” decided to bring his imagination to life by using a Mario action figure that was released as part of the Lego Super Mario toy set. As you can see from the videos below, @r1ckp is able to just tilt the Lego backwards and forward in order to move around the game world of Super Mario Bros. With the right movements, Mario can also jump, shoot fireballs and run down pipes as he would with a regular controller.

This is all possible because Mario’s figurine contains some rather interesting tech. The toy is equipped with an accelerometer, colour sensor, gyroscope and Bluetooth driver. All these are then used to connect to the computer via an emulator built by code. They are then plugged into the emulator’s controls and you have your bizarre controller.

According to the individual, the whole setup took up to 4 hours as the complicated stuff was figuring out the Bluetooth protocol. “Then it‘s just simulating keypresses at certain events.”

He also added that he would be sharing the code at some point in order to allow other curious minds to duplicate this hack and have fun for themselves.

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