Friday, August 17, 2012

The V Files: L is Real 2401

On the first post of the V Files, which takes video games myths, legends, and lore and analyzes them, I've decided to go with one of the most famous (or infamous) legends of video games. The L is Real 2041 legend.

In Super Mario 64, there is a courtyard which contains a small fountain or pond. In the pond is a statue much like the one you see to the left. It's in the shape of a star with scribbled words below it. Fans everywhere have created such a ruckus over these words that in turn created a mystery and legend almost as big as the game itself (Well, maybe not THAT big.)

Many people who played the game didn't even notice the texture. Others thought it just read "Eternal Star" referring to the final obtainable star in the game. But then, there were the few that took it to a whole new level. They claimed that the awkward spacing of the letters couldn't possibly spell out the word "eternal" and the "star" looked more like a number.

They claimed it to read "L is Real 2401"

But what does this mean? L is universally understood to refer to Luigi, who does not appear in Super Mario 64. Hopefuls everywhere took it that the cryptic message was proof that Luigi could be playable in Super Mario 64 . . . or perhaps in another game altogether.

Could Mario's green clad brother be behind this mystery? All theories point to Luigi being the subject. In fact there was a picture [below] in Nintendo Power that showed Luigi standing right behind Mario just outside of Princess Peach's Castle. Although it turned out to be a badly Photoshopped hoax, it nonetheless fueled the flames of Luigi's existence in the classic 64 title.

Here are a few possible explanations that fans have come up with to explain the odd text:

Luigi will appear in the game after 2,401 coins are collected.
This theory was debunked quickly as many gamers who have collected every single coin in the entire game still come up a couple hundred coins short of 2,401.

The text refers to Luigi's appearance in Paper Mario

Luigi appears in Paper Mario which released on the Nintendo 64 about five years after the release of Super Mario 64. People claim that the 2401 refers to the date that Paper Mario released which they claim is February 4th, 2001. There are a few things wrong with this explanation, however. First is the length of time between SM64 and PM. It is highly unlikely that Nintendo planned a whole generation ahead for a single game let alone boast about the appearance of a secondary character. Second, Luigi appeared in many other games such as Mario Kart 64 and Super Smash Bros. before the release of Paper Mario. And finally, Paper Mario was released on February 5th not the 4th.

Many people have put various Latin lettering, Chinese, Russian, and Japanese characters to fill in the markings of the plaque but the only things that do fit are in fact "Eternal Star" and "L is Real 2401" Not much has been determined about the scribbles below the legendary text as it is much too blurred to make any real claim about it.

Most Logical Conclusion:
The blurry text on the plaque may be nothing at all just referential images to take the
place of words, much like the lettering on every other sign in the game. If anything the
programmers just tried to make the blur spell out "Eternal Star". People just made it into much
more than it was supposed to be allowing Nintendo to run with it and put it again Ocarina of
Time to further increase interest. Oh, Nintendo, you so curazey.

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