These Super Mario Maker 2 Link Power-Up Levels Show How Ingenious a Zelda Maker Could Be

These Super Mario Maker 2 Link Power-Up Levels Show How Ingenious a Zelda Maker Could Be

The bar for Master Sword mastery is really, really high.

Last week, Super Mario Maker 2 finally received its first substantial content update since launch. The headlining addition is the new Master Sword power-up, which transforms the player into Link and grants the hero's sword, shield, bombs, and arrows. While the update might not be a long-lasting boon for the Mario Maker 2 community, creators are already churning out levels that make us hope for a proper Zelda Maker.

Since the update's release on Thursday, Mario Maker creators have been experimenting with surprising interactions between Master Sword power-ups and other elements, such as the new spiked balls. Three minutes into a new video by Mario Maker streamer Ryukahr, he plays a level that takes advantage of both. Named "Baller" (F35-FH5-GPF), it's a deceptively simple course that highlights how Link's downwards sword strike can be used to pogo across the spiked balls:

The most versatile of Link's tools might be his bow, which players can fire off at three different angles to attack enemies and activate switches. Redditor Colin637's "Link's Archery Challenge" (5P2-XBY-FKF) puts players' aim to the test under a tight time limit. As a bonus, it also shows off Super Mario Maker 2's exclusive 8-bit version of the horse race theme from Ocarina of Time.

Think of both previously mentioned levels as requisite training courses for Alex "PangaeaPanga" Tan's "Link's Nightmare" (5C5-QC6-5LG), an absurdly hard creation that utilizes close to every known tool and trick at Link's disposal. Tan specializes in creating Kaizo levels, which take their name and general design philosophy from the legendarily difficult Kaizo Mario World romhack.

In his video showing off the level, Tan makes clearing "Link's Nightmare" look easy—only it's anything but, even by Kaizo standards. Since the Master Sword grants so many movement and attack abilities at once, challenging Link levels can require the player to continually juggle those various options—and their unique inputs—from start to finish:

The Master Sword power-up also lends itself well to traditionally Zelda-inspired levels, such as this dungeon stage (KY3-JSH-HPF) that reserves a corner of each room to display a map screen built from course tiles.

These creations only scratch the surface. In time we'll surely see levels that put Link-only doorways, night theme-enabled walking bombs, and P-Switch nudging (an art known only to Hyrulian warriors) to good use.

While Super Mario Maker 2's Master Sword might be more of its own thing than a proof of concept for a proper Zelda Maker (or a case for a Zelda 2 Maker), it makes a better case for the idea than the dungeon creator in Link's Awakening. If Nintendo isn't taking notes for a real Zelda Maker, then hopefully the community's embrace of the Master Sword leads to more substantial crossover updates—like adding Samus's Power Suit, perhaps—in Mario Maker 2's future.

Sometimes we include links to online retail stores. If you click on one and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. See our terms & conditions.

Mathew Olson

Reporter

Mathew Olson is a writer formerly of Digg, where he blogged and reported about all things under the umbrella of internet culture (including games, of course). He lives in New York, grew up under rain clouds and the influence of numerous games studios in the Pacific Northwest, and will talk your ear off about Half-Life mods, Talking Heads or Twin Peaks if you let him.

In other news

NPD: Marvel's Avengers and Mario 3D All-Stars Top September's Best Sellers List

Yup, a game with player retention issues and a widely criticized collection both did quite well.

Sega Says It Didn't Mean to "Dredge Up Painful Memories" With Golden Axe Prototype

The publisher responds to one developer, surprised to see a reportedly crunch-ridden project brought back to life.

Here's What the PS5 User Experience Looks Like

We've finally seen the interface of Sony's next-gen console.

Spelunky 2 Will Have Its First World Rebalanced in a Patch Coming Soon

Please, Derek, please do something about the moles and arrow traps.

Need help?

Super Mario Odyssey Power Moon Locations Walkthrough, Unlock Secrets in Each Kingdom, Collectibles Guide

The complete guide and walkthrough to collecting all power moons in Super Mario Odyssey on Nintendo Switch. Plus how to unlock the secret characters and kingdoms, and metal cubes/moon rocks explained. Find the power moons in Cap Kingdom, Cascade Kingdom, Sand Kingdom, Wooded Kingdom, Lake Kingdom, Cloud Kingdom, Lost Kingdom, Metro Kingdom, Seaside Kingdom, Snow Kingdom, Luncheon Kingdom, Ruined Kingdom, Bowser's Kingdom, Moon Kingdom, and Mushroom Kingdom.

Mario Maker 2 The Keymaster Walkthrough

Not all of the levels in Super Mario Maker are created equal. Here’s how to clear the devilishly difficult Keymaster stage.

Super Mario Odyssey Moons - All Power Moon Locations Walkthrough, Unlock Secrets in Each Kingdom, Collectibles Guide

The complete guide and walkthrough to collecting all power moons in Super Mario Odyssey on Nintendo Switch. Plus how to unlock the secret characters and kingdoms, and metal cubes/moon rocks explained. Find the power moons in Cap Kingdom, Cascade Kingdom, Sand Kingdom, Wooded Kingdom, Lake Kingdom, Cloud Kingdom, Lost Kingdom, Metro Kingdom, Seaside Kingdom, Snow Kingdom, Luncheon Kingdom, Ruined Kingdom, Bowser's Kingdom, Moon Kingdom, and Mushroom Kingdom.