Mario Maker Level Lets You Compose Music And Play It Back

Some of the best creations in Super Mario Maker 2 often have extremely little to do with the experience of playing a Mario level. Consider the level “Music Maker - write a tune” by user knil (ID: 4MW-PJW-3JF). It isn’t a Mario course at all, but a really clever player piano of sorts that you can program simply by hitting item boxes and spawning mushrooms. It’s ingenious, and worth checking out.

The level has you start in front of a pipe, with flying music blocks on tracks leading somewhere off screen. Boxes controlled by an unseen blue switch keep you from doing anything other than going down the pipe.

Once below, you’re given instructions: the item boxes are for you to make your tune, and the blue switch is to play it. Go back down the pipe and you’re back where you started, only the blue blocks are no longer blocking you.

Walk a little to the right and you’ll see that the musical blocks are on tracks that are cleverly held at bay, their tracks incomplete until you hit the switch that completes the circuit and lets them play your composition.

Then you get to the meat of the level: twelve columns of eight notes marked by item boxes, with vines in between each so you can hit whatever box you want, which will spawn a mushroom for the musical boxes from earlier to hit, playing that note.

In their Reddit post sharing the level, knil used the contraption to play Mary Had A Little Lamb, which is pretty much the level of complexity we’re working with here. Since there are only twelve columns, you can only play twelve notes or chords, and there’s no way to adjust the tempo, play anything other than quarter notes, or move up or down a half step to sharps or flats.

That sounds like a list of complaints, but it’s not—even with these limitations, “Music Maker” is incredibly intuitive and easy to play. It’s also instructive for players who might have admired music-box Mario Maker levels that let you run through fun tunes (like this recent Halloween-themed level) but might need to see something a little more fundamental in order to understand how to make them work.

Just don’t expect to create any Westworld-style player piano covers of “Black Hole Sun,” and you’ll be alright.


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