Dr. Mario 64

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Dr. Mario 64
Box art for Dr. Mario 64
For alternate box art, see the game's gallery.
Developer Nintendo (division unknown)
Publisher Nintendo
Platform(s) Nintendo 64, iQue Player, Nintendo GameCube, Nintendo 64 - Nintendo Switch Online
Release date Original:
USA April 9, 2001
China November 17, 2003 (iQue Player)
Nintendo GameCube:
Japan February 7, 2003 (included in Nintendo Puzzle Collection)
Nintendo 64 - Nintendo Switch Online:
USA October 25, 2021[1]
Europe October 26, 2021[2]
Australia October 26, 2021[3]
South Korea October 26, 2021[4]
Language(s) English (United States)
Chinese (Simplified)
Genre Puzzle
Rating(s)
ESRB:ESRB E.svg - Everyone
Mode(s) Single-player, Multiplayer
Media
Nintendo 64:
Nintendo 64 icon for use in templates. Game Pak
iQue Player:
Digital download icon for use in templates. Digital download
GameCube:
Compact disc icon for use in templates. Optical disc
Input
Nintendo 64:
iQue Player:
Nintendo GameCube:
Nintendo Switch:

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 was 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.

Gameplay[edit]

A screenshot from Dr. Mario 64.

Dr. Mario 64 plays the same as its pre­de­cess­ors for the most part. Vitamin capsules are thrown into a bottle full of viruses, and the goal is to line up a minimum of four of a color combination of viruses and vitamins 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 vitamin color designed to defeat them. The score obtained is based on the Speed, which also determines the speed in which vitamin capsules drop. The base score for Low, Med, and Hi respectively are 100, 200, and 300. If more than one virus is eliminated in a single move, every subsequent virus is twice the score of the previous, where the rewarded score is maxed out at the sixth virus, meaning that any virus after the sixth is scored the same (3200, 6400, and 9600 for the respective speeds). Several modes new to this series are added, including a Multiplayer mode where four players can compete with each other.

Much like the multiplayer in the previous Dr. Mario games, if a player creates a combo that involves clearing multiple lines in a single move, the opponent will receive up to four garbage pieces depending on how many lines are cleared, and even if more than four lines are cleared, only four garbage pieces will be sent. In any of the 4P modes, the mechanics in which garbage is sent is different. For this mode, the opponent to receive the garbage depends on the first color cleared in a combo, where blue lines will affect the opponent directly to the right, yellow lines affect the opponent two places to the right, and red lines affect the opponent three places to the right. The placement loops back to the left if necessary. If two colors are cleared simultaneously for the first part of a combo, two opponents will be affected. If any of the players retired for that match, they are skipped in the ordering. For Team Battle, the system on how the opponents receive garbage is slightly different. where garbage that would otherwise be sent to the player's teammate, garbage will be stored as stock, and will be added to the garbage from the current combo.

For this game, two new music themes are introduced in addition to Fever and Chill: Cube (Cough in later games) and Que Que (Sneeze in later games). Each of them can be selected when playing in any mode other than Story mode.

Game Modes[edit]

One Player[edit]

  • Classic: The original Dr. Mario gameplay, where the objective is to eliminate all viruses in the bottle. After the objective is reached, the player goes to the next level which starts with 4 more viruses than the last, for a maximum of 96 viruses.
  • Story: Play through 8 stages as Dr. Mario or Wario in a story about Dr. Mario and the Cold Caper. The amount of viruses and the speed is based on the difficulty. The player can continue from a stage for that specific character and difficulty if they have reached it with that specific character and difficulty, except for Stage 9, which must be reached normally every time. The S-Hard difficulty can be accessed by highlighting the Hard difficulty and pressing Z Button.
  • Vs. Computer: Compete against a CPU player to either eliminate all the viruses first, or to cause them to lose by stacking up garbage in their bottle.
  • Flash: Compete against a CPU player to eliminate all three flashing viruses, one of each color. The player can also win if their opponent loses by topping up their bottle. The amount of viruses (including the flashing viruses) in the Game Lv. for Easy, Normal, Hard are 30, 40, and 50 respectively.
  • Marathon: Viruses will continuously rise from the bottom of the bottle, indicated by if one of the three virus in the magnifying glass revolved and reached the marker. Once a virus reached the marker, a new row of viruses will push the stack up after a capsule is placed. It is possible to force a new row of viruses to be pushed up with L Button / R Button. If a capsule or virus is pushed up and reached past the top of the bottle, the game is over. If a combo is made, the viruses will temporarily stop moving, delaying the pushing up of the stack. If a specific color of virus are gone in the bottle, the virus in the magnifying glass will also disappear but it will not stop the stack from forcibly being pushed up.
  • Score Attack: Within 3 minutes, the objective is to eliminate all the viruses. The remaining time is converted to extra points after eliminating all viruses. If the 3 minutes is up or that the capsules reach the top of bottle, the game is over. The amount of viruses in the Game Lv. for Easy, Normal, Hard are 30, 40, and 50 respectively.

Two Player[edit]

  • Two-Player Vs.: Compete against another player to either eliminate all the viruses first, or to cause them to lose by stacking up garbage in their bottle.
  • Flash: Compete against another player to eliminate all three flashing viruses, one of each color. The player can also win if their opponent loses by topping up their bottle. The amount of viruses (including the flashing viruses) in the Game Lv. for Easy, Normal, Hard are 30, 40, and 50 respectively.
  • Score Attack: Within 3 minutes, each player competes for the highest score. Unlike in other Vs. modes, garbage is not sent to the opponent after clearing combos. Even if either player eliminates all viruses or got a game over, the other player can still proceed until they either eliminate all the viruses or get a game over. Once both players are done, any remaining time is converted to extra points after eliminating all viruses. The winner is determined by the player with the highest score. A draw will occur if both players' scores are the same. The amount of viruses in the Game Lv. for Easy, Normal, Hard are 30, 40, and 50 respectively.

Multiplayer[edit]

There are always four participants, regardless of whether or not they are AI-controlled.

  • 4P Vs.: Compete against other players or CPUs to either eliminate all the viruses first, or to cause them to lose by stacking up garbage in their bottle.
  • Team Battle: Teams are locked into P1 and P2 vs. P3 and P4. Both teams compete so that one of the players in a team eliminates all viruses, or to cause both players in the opposing team gets a game over.
  • Flash: Compete against other players to eliminate all three flashing viruses, one of each color. The player can also win if all opponents loses by topping up their bottles. The amount of viruses (including the flashing viruses) in the Game Lv. for Easy, Normal, Hard are 30, 40, and 50 respectively.

Controls[edit]

  • +Control Pad left / +Control Pad right: Move vitamin capsule left or right
  • +Control Pad down: Drop vitamin capsule quickly
  • A Button: Rotate vitamin capsule clockwise / Confirm menu selection
  • B Button: Rotate vitamin capsule counterclockwise / Cancel menu selection / Return to the previous screen
  • C Buttons: Turn Capsule Landing Effect ON / OFF (the translucent image on where the vitamin capsule will land)
  • L Button / R Button: Increase the number of viruses in Marathon Mode
  • R Button (hold): In the game settings for multiple players, apply the same settings for every player
  • START Button: Pause game / Confirm menu selection / Start a practice round in Multiplayer if the player is eliminated

Story[edit]

Unlike past Dr. Mario games, this game has a storyline, found in the Story mode. The story is titled Dr. Mario and the Cold Caper. In the story, a flu season occurs and Dr. Mario uses his Megavitamins to heal the infirmities of the citizens of the land. In one instance, Dr. Mario recovered Octo with his Megavitamins, where his actions are separately witnessed by both Wario and Mad Scienstein. In Wario's point of view, he wants to steal them so that he can use them to make himself rich. In Mad Scienstein's point of view, he reports his findings to a hidden figure, who orders him to steal them. When Dr. Mario leaves the Megavitamins at his house and temporarily leaves it, Mad Scienstein proceeds to steal them while Dr. Mario is out. Mad Scienstein is then caught in the act by Wario, who chases him because he wants the Megavitamins for himself. While the chase happens, Dr. Mario returns to find that his medicine is stolen, and in the ensuing chaos, he caught Wario and believes that he has them, and so fights him.

After battling Wario and finding out that Wario is not in possession of the Megavitamins, Mad Scienstein scrambled from the scene, to which both Dr. Mario and Wario chase him. Along the way, both Dr. Mario and Wario battles enemies from Wario Land 3, starting from Spearhead, followed by Webber. After both are beaten, the two enemies report to the hidden figure about Mad Scienstein being chased by both Dr. Mario and Wario, who is confident that Hammer-Bot will ensure that the heroes won't make it. On the way, both Dr. Mario and Wario faces three different enemies each. After that, they reach Hammer-Bot near the castle. In Easy, the chosen character will face Hammer-Bot alone, but in other difficulties, everybody fights for the Megavitamins. After the scuffle that leads to the destruction of Hammer-Bot, Mad Scienstein arrives at the castle to where Rudy is found. Regardless of the selected character, Wario will follow, but if Wario is the selected character, Dr. Mario is left behind. The selected character will battle Rudy, who is given the Megavitamins by Mad Scienstein.

In normal cases, if Dr. Mario is the chosen character, then it is revealed that Rudy has a cold, after which Dr. Mario will cure him while Wario beats up Mad Scienstein. Dr. Mario will then proceed to return home after that. If Wario is the chosen character, then Mad Scienstein comes and runs off with the Megavitamins, causing Wario to chase him to no end. However, if the player beats eight stages in Normal or higher difficulty without redoing any stage, including continuing due to losing, the outcome will be different. For Dr. Mario, Wario will take the Megavitamins and consume them, transforming him into Vampire Wario. After beating Wario, who reverted back to his normal form and fled, it is shown that Mad Scienstein pitied Rudy, after which Dr. Mario uses his Megavitamins to cure Rudy. Dr. Mario returns home after that. In Wario's case, after beating Rudy within the aforementioned criteria, then Dr. Mario catches up to confront Wario. Wario will attempt to run away, but he trips over Mad Scienstein, causing the bottle to fall onto Dr. Mario, leading to Dr. Mario accidentally consuming all the Megavitamins, turning him into Metal Mario. After beating Metal Mario, Dr. Mario reverted back to normal while Wario celebrates. After that, similar to the normal ending, Mad Scienstein snatches the Megavitamins, causing Wario to chase him to no end.

Stage Summary[edit]

The Speed is determined by the difficulty selected, which affects the vitamin capsule's drop speed and the earned score. For Easy, the Speed is set Low; For Normal, the Speed is set to Med; For Hard and S-Hard, the Speed is set to Hi.

Stage Music Opponent No. of Viruses
Dr. Mario Wario Easy Normal Hard / S-Hard
1 Cube Wario Dr. Mario 12 24 48
2 Que Que Spearhead 16 28 52
3 Cube Webber 16 28 52
4 Que Que Silky Appleby 20 32 56
5 Cube Jellybob Lump 20 32 56
6 Que Que Helio Octo 24 36 60
71 Cube Hammer-Bot 24 36 60
Mad Scienstein -
Wario Dr. Mario
8 Vs. Rudy Rudy 28 40 64
92 Cube Vampire Wario Metal Mario - 40 64

1 - In Easy mode, Hammer-Bot is the only opponent. In other difficulties, this is a four-way match.
2 - Only accessible after beating the first eight stages without redoing any of them. It cannot be accessed in Easy even if the criteria is met.

Playable characters[edit]

The final cast of characters.
The default cast of characters.
The final cast of characters.
The final cast of characters.

If selecting a multiplayer or a Vs. mode that requires competing with a computer player, one of the following characters can be selected. Each character can only be selected by one player or CPU each. Each of the characters have different CPU levels where the more stars there are, the more challenging they are. They can only be displayed when selecting the CPU's character, which are indicated by the amount of stars in brackets. If L Button is held and A Button is pressed, the CPU level is toggled to Hard, where the amount of starts is added by one for all CPU players, for a range of 2 to 6 stars. If L Button is held and B Button is pressed, the CPU level is toggled to S-Hard instead, meaning that the amount of stars is added by two for all CPU players, for a range of 3 to 7 stars.

Both Metal Mario and Vampire Wario are unlockable, where they must be beaten in the ninth stage without losing in Story mode for Wario and Dr. Mario respectively, which can only be reached from the beginning without losing a stage in Normal or greater difficulty.

Reception[edit]

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.

Reviews
Release Reviewer, Publication Score Comment
N64 Gerald Villoria, GameSpot 7/10 "While not as exciting or enduring as Nintendo's last puzzle game, The New Tetris, Dr. Mario is a legitimate and satisfying puzzle game that is executed rather nicely in this four-player-focused package. Nintendo has made the decision to value-price Dr. Mario 64 at $29.95, which--along with the excellent multiplayer format--makes it worthwhile as one of the last N64 games to be released."
N64 Fran Mirabella III, IGN 5/10 "To be honest, Dr. Mario 64 is just about everything I expected it to be. It was obviously an effort by Nintendo to get a game out for the month of April, and get it out quickly. There have been virtually zero upgrades outside of the four-player versus modes, which lends little reason not to go back and play SNES version which featured both Dr. Mario and Tetris. If you're dying for a multiplayer puzzle game that you can play with three friends, then Dr. Mario 64 is well worth it for around $30. Otherwise, I suggest sticking with The New Tetris or the well Pok¿mon[sic] Puzzle League. Dr. Mario 64 is more or less Nintendo's way of using Mario's name to sell a port of a very old game. This doctor's Ph.D. expired long ago."
Aggregators
Compiler Platform / Score
Metacritic 71
GameRankings 70.03%

References to other games[edit]

  • Dr. Mario - The basic formula for the Dr. Mario series is carried on from this game.
  • Super Mario 64 - Power Stars are used as indicators for whenever a character wins a match. When Dr. Mario wins, he spins and puts up a peace sign the way Mario does when he acquires a Power Star in Super Mario 64. Metal Mario is a power-up/character from this game.
  • Wario Land 3 - All characters apart from Dr. Mario, Metal Mario and the Viruses are from this game.

Gallery[edit]

For this subject's image gallery, see Gallery:Dr. Mario 64.

Media[edit]

Audio.svg Title
File infoMedia:DM64 Title.oga
0:30
Audio.svg Select a Mode
File infoMedia:DM64 Select a Mode.oga
0:30
Audio.svg Fever
File infoMedia:DM64 Fever.oga
0:30
Audio.svg Fever (Critical!)
File infoMedia:DM64 Fever Critical.oga
0:30
Audio.svg Chill
File infoMedia:DM64 Chill.oga
0:30
Audio.svg Chill (Critical!)
File infoMedia:DM64 Chill Critical.oga
0:30
Audio.svg Cube
File infoMedia:DM64 Cube.oga
0:30
Audio.svg Cube (Critical!)
File infoMedia:DM64 Cube Critical.oga
0:30
Audio.svg Que Que
File infoMedia:DM64 Que Que.oga
0:30
Audio.svg Que Que (Critical!)
File infoMedia:DM64 Que Que Critical.oga
0:30
Audio.svg Story Mode 1
File infoMedia:DM64 Story Mode 1.oga
0:30
Audio.svg Story Mode 2
File infoMedia:DM64 Story Mode 2.oga
0:30
Audio.svg Story Mode 3
File infoMedia:DM64 Story Mode 3.oga
0:30
Audio.svg Story Mode 4
File infoMedia:DM64 Story Mode 4.oga
0:30
Audio.svg Story Mode 5
File infoMedia:DM64 Story Mode 5.oga
0:30
Audio.svg Vs. Rudy
File infoMedia:DM64 Vs. Rudy.oga
0:30
Audio.svg Vs. Rudy (Critical!)
File infoMedia:DM64 Vs. Rudy Critical.oga
0:30
Audio.svg Round Clear
File infoMedia:DM64 Round Clear.oga
0:21
Audio.svg You Win
File infoMedia:DM64 You Win.oga
0:30
Audio.svg You Win (short)
File infoMedia:DM64 You Win short.oga
0:01
Audio.svg You Lose
File infoMedia:DM64 You Lose.oga
0:22
Audio.svg You Lose (short)
File infoMedia:DM64 You Lose short.oga
0:00
Audio.svg Credits
File infoMedia:DM64 Credits.oga
0:30
Audio.svg Let's Try Another Challenge
File infoMedia:DM64 Let's Try Another Challenge.oga
0:30
Help:MediaHaving trouble playing?

Staff[edit]

Main article: List of Dr. Mario 64 staff

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.

References[edit]