Back in September, to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Super Mario 64’s North American release, Dave Pickett, the proprietor of the Lego-themed YouTube channel Brick 101, set out to recreate the entirety of Mario’s groundbreaking three-dimensional debut inside Super Mario Maker, the nifty build-your-own-Mario toolkit that Nintendo released last year. But here’s the thing: Super Mario Maker only lets you make 2-D games. For his conversion to work, Pickett had to use all the tools and tricks the game had to offer, along with plenty of creative license. The results are impressive, both capturing the spirit of their 3-D inspiration while still being clever, challenging puzzles in their own right. He’s been releasing these Super Mario 64 2-D levels since September and wrapped the project earlier this month, but today, Brick 101 posted a snazzy trailer that shows off some highlights of each stage alongside the original Mario 64 moments.
It gives you a great idea of how Pickett, whose creations we highlighted way back in the days after the game’s release in a roundup of levels made by Gameological readers, went about interpreting those Mario 64 levels, as well as just how clever those interpretations are. In Mario Maker, creators can drop in doors that only open after the player has collected eight red coins. Pickett used this concept to emulate Mario 64’s stars and the paths that only opened after you’ve collected enough of them. These five humongous levels, each representing a floor of Princess Peach’s castle, pack in several Mario 64 worlds, and after collecting their red coins, all of which are tucked into situations that replicate one of the original game’s stars, you open up a boss fight—with included Bowser stage, when appropriate.
Over on the Brick 101 channel, you can watch Pickett play through his creations bit by bit, commenting on how such memorable landmarks as the captive Chain Chomp of Bob-Omb Battlefield or the killer eel of Jolly Roger Bay made the transition to 2-D. And of course, if you have a copy of Super Mario Maker, you can fire up the game and play any of these levels for yourself. You can find all of them on Brick 101’s Mario Maker page, which will let you queue up the stages to be played on your Wii U.