Dr. Mario 64
Dr. Mario 64 is a puzzle game developed by Nintendo and released for the Nintendo 64. This is the third installment in the Dr. Mario series and the final Mario game released for the Nintendo 64. In 2003, it was re-released along with Panel de Pon and Yoshi's Cookie in a Japan-only Nintendo GameCube game called Nintendo Puzzle Collection. In 2005, Dr. Mario & Puzzle League was released, with the Dr. Mario portion mostly taking visual and audio cues from the N64 version. The original game will be made available on Nintendo 64 - Nintendo Switch Online in North America, Europe, and Australia as one of its launch titles, marking its first release in the last two regions.
Dr. Mario 64 plays the same as its predecessors for the most part. Dr. Mario throws Megavitamins into a jar full of Viruses, and the goal is to line up a minimum of four of a color combination of Viruses and Megavitamins to make them disappear. There are three types of Viruses - the Red Virus (Fever), the Blue Virus (Chill) and the Yellow Virus (Weird), with a Megavitamin color designed to defeat them.
Dr. Mario 64 features many different modes of play (all of which have tutorials hosted by a Para-Goom). The player uses the to toggle with the different modes they wish to select. The first one is Classic mode, where Dr. Mario is playable like he was originally. In the second mode of play, Story mode, Dr. Mario or Wario must track down the stolen Megavitamins. This mode only has versus matches against computers. The third mode allows practice against a computer player, where any character found in Story mode can be selected. The fourth game mode is Flash mode, where only the clearing of flashing Viruses counts. The fifth game mode is Marathon mode, which is basically an endless mode (the Viruses never stop coming out of the bottom of the jar). The sixth game mode is Score Attack mode, where there are only three minutes to get both a high score and clear all of the viruses. Multiplayer mode supports up to four players, which adds a mode allowing four players to play on two teams.
Dr. Mario's story
Unlike past Dr. Mario games, this game has a storyline. It is flu season and Dr. Mario is using his Megavitamins to heal the infirmities of the citizens of the land. However, Wario attempts to steal the Megavitamins, believing that if he has them, he will be rich. Before he can do so, Mad Scienstein takes the Megavitamins. Dr. Mario chases Wario, believing he has the Megavitamins, and they duel. Afterwards, they both go after Mad Scienstein. Throughout their adventure they both meet many creatures, all of them villains from Wario Land 3. In the end, it is revealed that Mad Scienstein stole the Megavitamins for the diabolical Rudy, who wishes to cure his cold. Dr. Mario defeats Rudy, takes back his trusty Megavitamins, and makes Rudy happy by curing his cold. If Dr. Mario has not lost any matches, Wario will take the Megavitamins and consume all of them at once, transforming him into Vampire Wario.
Enemies exclusive to Dr. Mario's story
Wario's story is slightly different in that his story features enemies that Dr. Mario does not face. In his ending, he defeats Rudy, but then Mad Scienstein comes and runs off with the Megavitamins. Wario runs after him and the chase continues, seemingly with no end. If Wario has not lost any matches, Dr. Mario will try to get the Megavitamins back. Wario will rush away, but he will trip, causing the Megavitamins to spill out of the jar and onto Dr. Mario. Dr. Mario will swallow all of them and transform into Metal Mario. Since Wario is the playable character in this mode, his role as an opponent is switched with Dr. Mario.
Enemies exclusive to Wario's story
Overall, Dr. Mario 64 received mostly positive reviews. GameRankings gave the game a score of 70.03%, while Metacritic gave it a score of 71/100. GameSpot also gave the game a 7.0/10. Dr. Mario 64 was voted #76 in the Top 100 Games of All Time poll published by Game Informer Magazine in August 2001.
References to other games
Hitoshi Yagami, director of the original Dr. Mario, returned to director and game design duties for Dr. Mario 64. The game had a large number of graphic designers and character artists, all of which were professional anime animators with otherwise little to no involvement in the game industry.