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Fans celebrate as Nintendo Gigaleak validates Super Mario 64 Luigi myth

Super Mario 64 conspiracy theories are alive and well in 2020, largely thanks to the revitalization of the “Iceberg,” a viral image that collects every myth for the iconic platforming game. One tall tale, for instance, swears that every copy of Super Mario 64 is personalized to the user. But perhaps the most popular long-standing conspiracy theory belongs to Luigi, the hapless Mario brother.

You’ve probably heard it before, summarized as “L is real.” In short, players want to believe that Luigi is hiding somewhere in Super Mario 64, despite not actually being playable. Years later, in the Nintendo DS port of Super Mario 64, Luigi did become a character in the platformer. But even so, fans have largely been fixated on the original version of the game, where, perhaps, mysteries are still abound.

Well, in 2020, it seems that everyone who held out on this seemingly dead myth turned out to be right. The recent Nintendo Gigaleak, which contains development repositories of classic games, happens to have Super Mario 64 files that nobody has seen before. And inside are a bevy of files related to the green plumber. L was real all along — and the internet is losing its mind in response.

What’s more, video game tinkerers are actually using the files contained within the Gigaleak to try and recreate Luigi, as he would have appeared had Nintendo fully implemented the character. I’ve been following along, and watching people try and frankenstein Luigi into the game in real time has been a bewildering experience. Early attempts looked like an experiment gone wrong.

Eventually, fans succeeded in their endeavor. The end result, while historic, isn’t that interesting to look at, because it appears exactly the way you’d expect. But even so, fans are having fun with the model they’ve ripped and reconstructed from the Gigaleak.

More importantly, the memes, fan art, and reactions to this Luigi news has been amazing. Everyone seems thrilled that they can say “L is real” and be right. The year of Luigi, it seems, never ends. Here are some of our favorite social media responses to Luigi in Super Mario 64.

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