Nearly half a year after its original release, Super Mario Maker 2 keeps its current fans hooked. New fan-made maps coming out endlessly, so streamers and players alike don’t look like they’re slowing down anytime soon. Now, though, Super Mario Maker is adding one more tool that’ll make somehow even more endless possibilities — literally just transform into Link. Yes, that Link, from the Legend of Zelda series.
A new update coming this Thursday, December 5th brings a slew of cool new features. The Link item is not the least of them, of course. There’ll be some new general course parts, including the Spike from Super Marios Bros 3 and Pokey from Super Mario Bros 2. Plus, Nintendo’s throwing in some sanctioned speed-run challenges, much like the “ghost” mode of other racing games.
The most immense change, for practical purposes, is definitely the Master Sword. When you find it, the series’s iconic sword changes Mario into Link — and gives you plenty of powers to go with it. Obviously, you can just slash your sword at enemies and take them out, assuming you don’t get hit in the process. But if you’re feeling a little eager, you can also use his dash attack and down-thrust attack to charge into enemies. Of course, he also has a shield for defending oncoming attacks.
His alternate attacks are just as interesting. Link carries around his famous throwable bombs, which can probably be used for some creative environmental attacks and combinations. He’s also got his bow and arrow, which can shoot at three angles: straightforward, up-diagonal, and low-diagonal. In short, there are a lot of new ways you can make players clear your courses with a little bit of classic Super Mario Maker ingenuity.
If you’re more apt to traditional course-building, they’re bringing in some new elements to put in courses. The items come from a breadth of classic Mario titles:
- Spike — From Super Mario Bros 3. He spits out giant spike-balls, which can be interfaced with, whether for good or because you absolutely mistimed your jump.
- Pokey — From Super Mario Bros 2. More infamous from the desert levels in Mario Kart, this giant pile of spikey spheres either need to be punched out or jumped over.
- P Blocks — Plus P-Switches, of course, which first appeared in Super Mario Bros 3. The P-Blocks are impassible until you hit the P-Switch; then, the P-Blocks become solid for a limited amount of time.
- Frozen Coins — These appeared in Super Mario Bros 3, but are pretty straightforward. They’re just frozen blocks with coins. Hit them with fire to melt them.
- Dash Block — From Super Mario 3D World. Step on it to get a speed boost for a few seconds (which also enables longer jumps).
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Creative juices running low? Just sick of running into ridiculous user-made maps? (Probably not, but work with us here.) Want to try your hand at some Nintendo-official courses? Better yet, are you feeling a little competitive? Now there’s the Ninji Speedrun mode, which challenges you to beat courses made by Nintendo staff as quickly as possible.
If you’re trying to optimize the course, or learn it for the first time, the “Ninjis” give you a visual way to figure it out. Each “Ninji” that runs alongside you in the background represents another player’s leaderboard-worthy runs. They’re not exactly visually “non-intrusive,” but it’s a great way to keep up with the best of the best if that’s your thing. Oh, and of course, there’s a leaderboard.