Mario and the Mushroom Kingdom are the star and setting of a new Lego set that’s basically makes Mario Maker into a real world thing. You can use it to make levels, which you’ll be able to move Mario through, gaining points, and taking down baddies along the way.
What Nintendo didn’t communicate through its promotional materials is that it actually creates a horrifying image of the jumping man. If you were hoping to maybe just display Mario in Lego form on your shelf, you should probably be aware of what the figure looks like at rest when it’s turned off.
To catch everyone up, the Mario figure uses LCD screens for his eyes and mouth, allowing him to be expressive while playing through the levels. Get some coins? Mario will look reasonably jazzed about that. Get hurt by one of Bowser’s lackies? Mario will not be particularly happy about that. He also has a speaker so he can make appropriate sounds, like his iconic “yahoo” and “owowowowow” for the previously mentioned events. So this dude is just eating up battery life while operating as intended.
So he’s gotta turn off, right? What does a man with light-up eyes and mouth look like when he’s turned off? Well…like this:
Oh yeah, it is… pic.twitter.com/44lsVn4rWF
— Daan Koopman (@NintenDaan) July 13, 2020
The longer I stare at Mario’s lifeless face, completely devoid of his eyes and the inner workings of his mouth, the more it feels like a prop for a doll-themed horror movie. It’s like the bright light of Hell’s fire could escape from his eye sockets at any moment, accompanied by the anguished screams of souls trapped there. What was the alternative? Perhaps Lego could have given him eyelids that could close and hide his lack of eyes when he’s not in use? A low powered state that would dim the screens? Maybe even close his eyes in that state like he’s taking a good ol’ Mushroom Kingdom snooze? There were alternatives. But none of them were probably cost effective or energy efficient.
Just know that this monstrosity could be on the cover of a horror movie blu-ray and it would not seem out of place.
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While your mileage may vary on the Lego Mario, Nintendo’s plummer boy is doing other things in 2020 that I’m sure we can all get excited about, right? We’re only days away from the launch of Paper Mario: The Origami King on Switch, which will be out on Friday, July 17. If that’s not your particular cup of Mario tea, there have been reports that Nintendo has extensive plans for the series’ 35th anniversary, including several remasters of classic games on the Switch. While this news has yet to be officially announced, if it is coming, it was likely planned for Nintendo’s E3 adjacent Direct presentation, which has reportedly been delayed until the end of summer due to coronavirus complications.