Photo by Sean Hollister / The Verge
I never thought I’d be writing about my baby’s Fisher-Price gamepad again, but here we go: a modder has turned the cheap tune-filled toy into a complete Xbox gamepad with everything you’d need to play Elden Ring. And incredibly, he did so without losing any of the Fisher-Price Game & Learn Controller’s built-in sound effects — meaning you can now pair your Malenia run with such classic kiddie hits as “1, 2, 3, 4, up goes your score!” and “Orange, purple, white and pink, green, red and blue, woohoo!”
here’s the Fisher Price Xbox controller in action!
let me know what games you’d like to see me play with it
— Rudeism (@rudeism) May 1, 2022
This may not be surprising if you’ve heard the name Dylan “Rudeism” Beck before, because this is actually one of the less ambitious controller stunts the New Zealand native and Twitch streamer has pulled — he’s the guy who beat Dark Souls 3 with a single button “Morse code” controller, built a motion-controlled lightsaber and Force power glove for Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, and rigged up his own flap, waddle and honk controls for Untitled Goose Game. You can see all of those in the tweets below:
Dark Souls 3 has been beaten with Morse code!
19 bosses, 258,250 button presses. (DLC to come)
And just because it can be beaten with one button doesn’t mean games like Dark Souls shouldn’t have accessibility & difficulty options! pic.twitter.com/DporRqC15E
— Rudeism (@rudeism) October 24, 2021
Jedi: Fallen Order.
Motion controlled lightsaber.
Motion controlled Force powers.
Grand Master difficulty.
We’ve come a long way, but we’re nearing the end of our journey! pic.twitter.com/ZUmi6YPTX1
— Rudeism (@rudeism) December 18, 2019
Voice-activated honking. Motion-controlled flaps. Moving by waddling your feeties.
THIS is how Untitled Goose Game is meant to be played.
— Rudeism (@rudeism) October 2, 2019
But Rudeism tells The Verge that the new Fisher-Price mod is one of his favorite builds nonetheless, “purely due to how clean it looks.” After some fiddling, he was able to cram an entire Arduino Pro Micro clone in there, a two-axis joystick (since Fisher-Price’s original “joystick” was really just a button), and a few microswitches to turn the original’s clicky-but-non-electric “shoulder buttons” into real buttons as well.
All the original Fisher-Price buttons still work, though — right down to the Konami Code easter egg — because he’s got the Arduino set to piggyback off their inputs by soldering directly to the pre-existing board. So yeah, he’s largely playing games with the actual Fisher-Price gamepad, not just using a Fisher-Price gamepad as a shell. You do have to plug it in, though: “Not much space for batteries sadly,” he says, since the Arduino is taking up that room.
BUT IT WON’T CLOSE pic.twitter.com/kIq9EbwXYW
— Rudeism (@rudeism) April 30, 2022
How does he get every Xbox button out of these limited controls, you might ask? Well, you can’t get ‘em all at once. But he did rig up the Fisher-Price slider as a mode selector that can let you have either a left or right analog stick at any given moment, as well as access to Start, Select and Guide buttons on A, B, and C. The “bumpers” can be both bumpers and triggers all on their own because they’ll press a different switch depending on whether you rock them left or right.
The yellow slider makes the stick work as either LS or RS, and it changes the ABCD buttons to handle Start/Select/Guide
— Rudeism (@rudeism) May 1, 2022
Rudeism says it was a two-week backburner project, and started as a joke: deal hunter Wario64 tweeted that the gamepad would be “perfect for Elden Ring,” and he decided to put that to the test. Unfortunately, there’s no footage of Rudeism destroying bosses with the baby gamepad quite yet, but he says he’s planning on beating the whole game this way (he’s also working on a YouTube build video if you want to try it too). The total budget was $20, including the controller itself — but admittedly not the old 3D printer he used to make mounts to keep the joystick and switches in position.
I don’t know if I’ll build one of these with my now-two-year-old’s pad, but it is a joy to see this hunk of plastic and circuitry in the headlines once again.