The Mario Maker series offers creators an expansive suite of tools with which to build punishing, unique, or thought-provoking levels. A recent level uses these tools to meticulously recreate the first-person adventure style of old-school dungeon-crawlers like Ultima and Might and Magic in Super Mario Maker 2.
Uploaded last week by Japanese creator Negitendo, “3D Maze House” is a spectacular example of the Mario Maker 2 engine’s potential. Negitendo uses the game’s new forced perspective tools and some very clever item layouts to mimic first-person hallways and rooms. The level faithfully recreates dungeon-crawlers of yore, complete with some basic puzzles like figuring out how to grab out-of-reach coins. There are also enemy encounters: One bit at the end, for instance, uses two different sized Wigglers to evoke the feeling of a single monster moving from one end of a room to the other.
The screen layout is different than one would expect in a regular Mario Maker 2 level. A main window occupies much of the screen showing, essentially, what Mario sees in a first-person perspective. The window in the bottom-right corner is how one moves through the level, choosing pipes and doors with the actual Mario to decide which direction they want to go based on what’s being shown in the first-person window. There’s even a rudimentary mini-map to keep players on the right path.
Without spoiling too much of the experience, the goal of the level is to explore a haunted house for three red coins. While “3D Maze House” might be a little hard to understand at first due to its almost complete departure from Mario Maker 2’s running and jumping mechanics, it comes together once you wrap your head around the design.
My only complaint with “3D Maze House” is that it’s over just as it seems to really get going. But now that Negitendo has put this idea out into the world, hopefully their fellow creators will grab the baton and start making first-person levels of their own.
If you want to check out this interesting Mario Maker 2 level for yourself, use level code P59-698-55G. (h/t VICE Games)