Mario Artist: Paint Studio

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Mario Artist: Paint Studio
Mario Artist: Paint Studio coverart
Developer Nintendo EAD
Software Creations
Publisher Nintendo
Platform(s) Nintendo 64DD
Release date Japan December 11, 1999
Genre Creative
CERO:A - All ages
Mode(s) Single player, multiplayer
Nintendo 64DD:
Magneto-optical drive
Nintendo 64:
Serial code(s) NUD-DMPJ-JPN

Mario Artist: Paint Studio (マリオアーティスト ペイントスタジオ) is a game released on December 11, 1999 for the Nintendo 64DD, as part of the Mario Artist series. It was one of the only games released for the system and was never popularized as a result. Mario Artist: Paint Studio is considered the spiritual successor to the Super Nintendo Entertainment System title Mario Paint, as both games are graphics editors that came bundled with a mouse controller, making the games resemble art programs used on a computer.

Mario Artist: Paint Studio was primarily developed by British developer Software Creations, who had a stable relationship with Nintendo and had earlier assisted in the development of the Nintendo 64 console. Nintendo took full control of the game's development during its final stages. Due to the failure of the 64DD in Japan, the game, along with the rest of the Mario Artist suite and the 64DD as a whole, were never released in the Western world.


The game has four modes, total. The modes are as follows:

  • 2D Paint, for traditional painting like in Mario Paint. There is a unique four player drawing mode where four players could collaborate to make one drawing together. Pre-existing pictures of some other Nintendo characters could be used and manipulated on screen, and additional images could be imported from an RCA source using the capture cartridge or a Game Boy Camera. The stock Nintendo-themed graphics include all first 151 Pokémon, and various renders from Banjo-Kazooie, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Star Fox 64, Pilotwings 64, Wave Race 64, Diddy Kong Racing, Super Mario 64, Mario Kart 64 and Yoshi's Story. There are much more additional pre-made stock images, such as animals and food.
  • Animate, which can be used to create multiple frame animations in a flipbook type format. The max amount of frames for these animations are 35 frames long. It was possible to import animated figures into a player's city as a citizen in SimCity 64.
  • 3D World, where players can explore various worlds and interact with it. The player can explore three worlds: Mars, Underwater and Dinosaur Land. The player can travel through these environments and take pictures of the creatures who inhabit it. This feature is similar to Pokémon Snap. In addition, players can edit the environment's textures, adding their own drawings and creations to surfaces. Once a photo is taken of a creature, the player is also given the ability to edit their textures.
  • Gallery, acts as a sort of slideshow. The player can create a slideshow of their images with music.

Mario Artist: Paint Studio is also the only Nintendo 64DD game to use the Transfer Pak.


Software Creations was commissioned by Nintendo in 1995 to create a sequel to Mario Paint in 3D for the Nintendo 64. It was initially pitched as a 3D "living playground" called Creator where the user edits the attributes of premade models such as dinosaurs—playing with sizes, behaviors, aggression, speed, and texture design. It was then re-named Mario Paint 64[1] and later to Picture Maker (shown at Nintendo's Space World 1997 trade show in November 1997), with the last working title being Mario Artist & Camera. Nintendo's Japanese departments eventually took control of the project, rejecting many of Software Creations' and Nintendo of America's ideas, before finally releasing the game in December 1999.

According to an image shared by Nintendo of America's Twitter account on Mar10 Day 2023, the Mario face in Super Mario 64 was taken from the prototype of what eventually became Mario Artist: Paint Studio,[2] previously referred to by Shigeru Miyamoto as Mario Paint 3D.[3]

Prototype "Gnat Attack"[edit]

The version of Gnat Attack in a pre-release build of Mario Artist: Paint Studio.

An early prototype build of Mario Artist: Paint Studio was found and preserved in June 2020. This build of the software features a fly-swatting game, similar to Mario Paint's Gnat Attack; it was completely removed in the final product.[4][5]


Cover and packaging[edit]



Transfer Pak[edit]


References to other games[edit]

  • Mario Paint: As the game began development as a sequel to this game, various assets, ideas, and concepts are borrowed and reused. A dog's head serves as the "Undo" icon, as a reference to Undodog.
  • Pokémon Red and Blue Versions: Artwork of all the Generation I Pokémon can be used as stamps.
  • Super Mario 64: Various different artwork from this game can be used as stamps, including original artwork of Wing Mario never previously used.
  • Pilotwings 64: Artwork of characters from this game can be used as stamps.
  • Wave Race 64: Artwork of characters from this game can be used as stamps.
  • Mario Kart 64: Various different artwork from this game can be used as stamps, including all playable characters from this game.
  • Star Fox 64: Various different artwork from this game can be used as stamps.
  • Diddy Kong Racing: Artwork of various playable characters from this game can be used as stamps.
  • Yoshi's Story: Artwork of characters from this game can be used as stamps.
  • Banjo-Kazooie: Artwork of characters from this game can be used as stamps.
  • The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time: Artwork of characters from this game can be used as stamps.


Main article: List of Mario Artist: Paint Studio staff