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Reminder: Even Nintendo ships games with jury-rigged features

Fresh appreciation for Nintendo game design is spreading today after a pair of images were published to a Mario blog that seem to show how Super Mario Galaxy designers jury-rigged a readable door.

A fresh wave of appreciation for Nintendo game design is spreading today after a pair of screenshots were published to a Mario fan blog that seem to show how Super Mario Galaxy designers jury-rigged a door with a readable note on it by hiding a readable sign object in the space behind the door.

While it's yet unclear how these screenshots (reproduced below) were captured or if they're actually legitimate, it's not hard to believe that a designer on the game would try to repurpose one type of in-game object to create something new. That is, after all, exactly what happened during development of the original Super Mario Bros., in which many of the bushes and clouds were recolored versions of the same sprite.

Many developers are now making games because of Nintendo, so it's perhaps encouraging to see that the company's designers do their fair share of improvisational game development. Nintendo isn't the only big-budget developer to ship games with jury-rigged features, either; Bethesda Softworks desingers are infamous for, among other things, generating some Skyrim tables by sinking bookcases halfway through the floor and creating a moving train in Fallout 3 DLC by replacing the head of a fast-moving NPC with a train car.

For more stories of last-minute hacks, fixes and improvised features, check out our classic feature on dirty game development tricks.

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