Relive those Super Mario Bros. days with these musical LED sprite pieces

Remember the days of slipping a Super Mario cartridge into your Nintendo console? Who could forget those distinct chiptune soundbites that ensued hitting a power-up?

If you recall, the retro game included a multitude of power boosters, such as Starmen and Super Mushrooms, which allowed Mario to morph into Super Mario and experience temporary invincibility, respectively.


Inspired by the ‘80s pop culture phenomenon, Maker Baron von Brunk has created mini 3D pixelated versions of the iconic Starman and Super Mushroom entirely from LEGO pieces, and impressively, rigged with a circuit to play sound and flash LED lights. Inside each model lies an ATtiny85, which is programmed with an Arduino code that enable the eyes to blink in sync with the tone music (not WAVs or MP3s) with a push a small tactile button.


First, von Brunk designed three stars (glowing yellow, ice blue, gold) to play the invincibility theme, whilst the fourth star (rainbow) emits the Super Mario Bros. 3 “Coin Heaven” music and uses color-changing eyes.

Similarly, in his second build, the Maker tasked various colored mushrooms with various sounds. For instance, both of the green mushrooms (white with green dots and green with white dots) use an Arduino melody version of the “1-up” tune traditionally used in the Super Mario franchise, while the red hat variants sound small segments of both Super Mario World’s “Overworld” and “World Ending” themes.


“You’re absolutely free to deviate from my musical codes and swap out any music you’d like, so long as you know how to tweak the Arduino code and manipulate notes. I personally recommend using the Super Mario World and Super Mario 3 songs for their corresponding mushrooms to maintain video game accuracy,” von Brunk notes.

Ready to spark up some gaming nostalgia? You can access a detailed breakdown of both projects on the Maker’s official Instructables page here. Meanwhile, watch both creations in action below!

1 thought on “Relive those Super Mario Bros. days with these musical LED sprite pieces

  1. Pingback: Bringing some iconic 1980s tech back with tinkering | Bits & Pieces from the Embedded Design World

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