The set’s official name, «Question Mark Block from Super Mario 64,» doesn’t sound very romantic and is a bit reminiscent of a construction site. But behind the unremarkable name lies a fascinating story: the set was released for the 25th anniversary of the cult game Super Mario 64 for Nintendo 64. Unfortunately, this console was rare in our country, so the game is not as well known to Russian gamers as the classic 8-bit Mario . However, it was Super Mario 64 that turned out to be so popular abroad that in 2007 it entered the Guinness Book of Records as one of the best-selling games in history, and fans are still looking for Easter eggs hidden in it. And they find it!
The spirit of secrets and mysteries was also transferred to the set: the Lego cube can be laid out like a box with a secret. Inside are three platforms with miniature scenes from the video game. We decided to take a closer look at them and look for references to the Mario universe.
The cube itself
For some reason, it is believed that the main occupation of Mario in games is the destruction of blocks with a question mark with his head. However, he always did it with his fist.
The most notable scene in the cube is Princess Peach’s castle. By itself, it has long become a meme. Indeed, in the classic Super Mario Bros. In 1985, at the end of each world, Mario is faced with the same problem: he is informed that the princess he is trying to save is in another castle. But the game Super Mario 64, on the contrary, begins with the very castle where Peach invites us to a gathering with a cake.
There are ten «figures» in the set. The quotation marks are here because these are not the usual Lego men, but miniatures made of details that only remotely resemble the characters of the Mario universe. For example, the protagonist himself consists of only three elements: the famous red cap, head and blue jumpsuit. This outfit came to him for a reason: weak 8-bit consoles could not reproduce the complex geometry of the hair, and the contrasting jumpsuit was necessary so that the players could see how the character’s hands move. If they were the same color as the torso, everything would simply merge into a single blue blob.
Pay attention to the mustache: this is the only element indicated on the face of the figurine. In the game, Mario added lush facial hair, also due to the imperfection of the graphics. The mustache was just more prominent than the mouth.
Toothed cannonball on a chain
Chomps, or kusalkins in the Russian adaptation, are recognizable opponents from the game. Chief game designer Mario Shigeru Miyamoto was allegedly inspired to create them by a childhood memory: one day a dog attacked him. Everything would have ended sadly if the chain had not held her.
Cannons placed on the level
And this is also a reference to Super Mario 64. If you collect all 120 stars in the game, then the cannon will shoot Mario on the roof of the castle, where the dinosaur Yoshi will meet him and thank him. Yes, it’s included in the set too! By the way, this is the very first and probably the most famous Easter egg from the game. And it was from her that the fascination of users with the search for other secrets began.
This easter egg was discovered only in 2017, two decades after the release of the game! After defeating the king of everything exploding Bob-omb (in the set he is shown wearing a crown and with a mustache), you will see a rolling cannon ball without any individual traits in the level. And the pink bombs roaming around here and there will say: «Big Bob-omb is nothing but a big dud now» — something like «Big Bob-omb is now nothing more than a big zilch», although dud can also be translated as «unexploded shell.» It turns out that before us was the body of the unfortunate king.
On the ice miniature you will meet two penguins, bigger and smaller. It was the same in the game: in one of the tasks, the cub had to be taken to the mother who had lost him. And even during the first passage of the Cool, Cool Mountain level, the penguin offered to compete and find out who would be the first to slide down the ice slide. If you return to the level after a while, you can stumble upon a pretty fat bird. It was much more difficult to compete with her, because she simply occupied the entire hill! By the way, it’s included in the set. To see it, you need to open the snow mountain.
Did you know that Bowser, the main villain of the series, has also been a good character? For example, in Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars, he joins — reluctantly, to put it bluntly — with Mario to deal with even more evil.
Wait, why isn’t Mario’s nemesis in the set? After all, he always steals Princess Peach. This is the main secret. There is an inconspicuous door on the front of the cube. Behind it lies the figure of Bowser. If you click on the stand on which the villain is standing, another secret section will open with another spinning platform. This is a reference to the boss fight from Super Mario 64: Mario grabs Bowser’s tail, spins it around, and… wins!