There’s lots to be excited about when it comes to Super Mario 3D All-Stars, Nintendo’s solid new collection of three classic platforming games for the Nintendo Switch. But outside the realm of gameplay, many fans wanted to know one specific thing about the re-release: Can we finally read the “L is real” sign in Super Mario 64?
Quick recap, if you’ve never heard of this urban legend. When the revolutionary Mario game was released in 1996, some players noticed that a plaque in the castle courtyard appeared to read “L is real.” Well, if you squinted hard enough. The sign was extremely blurry, but all the same, many took it as evidence that somewhere, somehow, Mario’s brother Luigi was hiding in the game.
In some ways, that conspiracy theory has since been validated a couple of times over. We know that, at one point, Nintendo genuinely did want to include the green plumber in Super Mario 64, as unfinished assets within the Gigaleak this year attested. And of course, the Nintendo DS version of the game already made Luigi a playable character many years back.
Still, the ultimate validation would be to know whether the sign said those fateful three words all along, right? But as a video from GameExplain attests, unfortunately, the plaque is still completely unreadable on the Switch. What gives?
It’s important to note that, despite some additions and improvements in the collection, Super Mario 3D All-Stars is not a remake or remaster. Things are upscaled, sure, but the Nintendo Switch version of Super Mario 64 is still working with assets that were created in the mid-’90s for a much lower resolution. If a graphical asset was unreadable before, then it will still be fuzzy at a bigger size — after all, the textures themselves haven’t changed.
As our review says, “Any single-color objects in the world — like Mario’s overalls, or a koopa’s green skin — still look great, as single-color textures scale up perfectly to higher resolutions.
“But much of Mario 64’s world consists of textures that aren’t just single colors. The grassy hillside outside of Peach’s castle and the surface of the water in Dire Dire Docks both look like they use textures that were created two and a half decades ago, for a system running at 320×240.”
Word on the street from Nintendo hackers is that the collection is entirely emulated, which might also account for the sign’s unreadable status. The pixels haven’t been updated; they’re being upscaled, for the most part.
All the same, folks looking at the sign still swear they can slightly make out finer details now — even if they can’t say for sure. L will continue to be real until proven otherwise, it seems.
The higher res makes it look like Japanese text. The first character of the rightmost word of the first line looks like the katakana “ko” コfollowed by a hyphen
— LeftBelow (@below_left) September 16, 2020
Epic Games offers $10 vouchers for redeeming ‘Rocket League’
Rocket League has officially gone free-to-play on all platforms including PS4, Xbox One and Switch. Epic Games is keen that you play the rocket-powered-car-football-chaos on PC and Mac, though — and preferably by downloading the game through its own digital store. To make that option just a little bit sweeter, the company is offering a free $10 voucher that you can spend on anything that’s worth more than $14.99. Well, almost anything. You can’t put it toward a pre-order or special in-game currency, such as Fortnite’s V-bucks. Still, there’s plenty of software to choose from in the Epic Games Store (I just grabbed Supergiant’s well-received Hades.)
The best part is that you don’t have to download or play Rocket League. As long as you click the ‘get’ button, which merely adds the game to your library, you’ll be eligible for the deal. (Rocket League is great, though, and supports both cross-play and cross-platform progression.) The promotion runs until October 23rd and the voucher will be valid until November 1st. Patient players might want to wait and put the credit toward various October releases including Star Wars: Squadrons and Watch Dogs: Legion.
Google’s Nest Audio speaker revealed early by Walmart
One of the products Google is expected to unveil at its September 30th event is a Nest Audio speaker. You don’t have to wait until that day to confirm that it does indeed have a Nest branding and to see what its packaging looks like, though: Twitter user Marcos Frausto has posted photos of the device’s box, which was prematurely displayed in a Walmart. As 9to5Google notes, the box, which looks like most Made by Google product packaging, confirms that the product is named Nest Audio. This leak comes after Google itself gave the publication an official photo of the speaker and after WinFuture found renders of the device in white and charcoal. Clearly, the tech giant doesn’t have a lot of secrets to divulge about the speaker on the 30th anymore.
— Marcos Frausto (@SweetDaddy69) September 24, 2020
While the Walmart display didn’t a put a price on the product, WinFuture’s Roland Quandt unearthed a Lowe’s product listing that put its price at $100. As of this writing, the page still exists complete with a description for the speaker, but it doesn’t show how much the device is anymore. Part of the description reads:
Microsoft is releasing a non-subscription Office suite in 2021
In a blog post announcing the next version of its Exchange Server, Microsoft has slipped in a single line that’s bound to make those who hate paying subscription fees for Office apps happy. “Microsoft Office will also see a new perpetual release for both Windows and Mac, in the second half of 2021,” the tech giant’s Exchange team wrote (as spotted by Windows Central), confirming that a new version of Office you can purchase with a one-time payment is coming next year.
The company has been pushing Microsoft 365 for years now as the main way to get its Office apps. This subscription-based version of its suite gives you access to Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook and other apps for a monthly payment. While you can use some of those apps for free online with a Microsoft account, you won’t be able to install them on your PC like you’d be able to if you pay for a subscription.
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