Mario Golf (Nintendo 64)

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This article is about the Nintendo 64 game named Mario Golf. For the Game Boy Color game of the same name, see Mario Golf (Game Boy Color). For the Mario Golf series, see Mario Golf (series).
Mario Golf
North American box art for Mario Golf on Nintendo 64
For alternate box art, see the game's gallery.
Developer Camelot Software Planning
Publisher Nintendo
Platform(s) Nintendo 64, Virtual Console (Wii, Wii U), Nintendo 64 - Nintendo Switch Online
Release date Nintendo 64:
Japan June 11, 1999
USA July 26, 1999
Europe September 14, 1999
Australia September 14, 1999
Virtual Console (Wii):
Japan September 30, 2008
USA October 6, 2008
Europe January 23, 2009
Australia January 23, 2009
Virtual Console (Wii U):
Japan September 2, 2015
USA September 3, 2015
Europe October 8, 2015
Australia October 9, 2015
Nintendo 64 - Nintendo Switch Online:
Mexico April 14, 2022[1]
Japan April 15, 2022[2]
USA April 15, 2022[3]
Europe April 15, 2022[4]
Language(s) English (United States)
日本語
Genre Golf
Rating(s)
ESRB:E - Everyone
CERO:A - All ages
ACB:G - General
USK:0 - All ages
Mode(s) Single-player
1-4 player multiplayer
Media
Nintendo 64:
Game Pak
Wii:
Digital download
Wii U:
Digital download
Nintendo Switch:
Digital download
Input
Nintendo 64:
Wii:
Wii U:
Nintendo Switch:

Mario Golf is the first installment for the Mario Golf series and was released for the Nintendo 64 in 1999. It was developed by Camelot Software Planning. Though several sports games featured Super Mario characters in the past, Mario Golf is considered the first game in the modern "Mario Sports" line. It would be followed by several titles encompassing a variety of sports. Its Game Boy Color counterpart was released later that same year.

The game was re-released for the Wii's Virtual Console in 2008 and the Wii U's Virtual Console in 2015, and was released on Nintendo 64 - Nintendo Switch Online on April 15, 2022.

Introduction[edit]

Mario, Luigi, Peach, and Plum are making some shots on the golf course. As each of them make their shots, their names appear on screen. They are each complimented for their amazing shots, as they each try to make a hole in one. Later, as the four are fetching their balls, Mario already spots his ball. Peach then calls Mario over to see if the ball in front of her is hers. Mario checks to see, but the ball actually belongs to Yoshi (or Donkey Kong). Another ball suddenly zooms in, and the ball turns out to be Baby Mario's. Yoshi carries Baby Mario on his back (or Donkey Kong would carry Baby Mario), as their names appear on screen, surprising Mario and Peach, who laugh it off. Luigi then looks for his ball, but soon spots it, while spotting Toad with an O.B flag in the process. Luigi slaps his face, and shrugs, not knowing that Mario, Peach, and Plum are standing around him, laughing. Lakitu then flies by, as the game's logo appears on screen.

Gameplay[edit]

Mario Golf is a golf game which combines largely traditional mechanics and gameplay devices with a presentation from the Super Mario universe, featuring the Super Mario franchise roster and hazards.

The basic gameplay uses the typical "sliding bar" mechanism of most golf video games, with several variables which must be anticipated, such as character attributes, wind strength and direction, rain, ball spin, and course topography. The gameplay modes include speed golf, ring shot, mini golf and skins match. The sun sets when the player gets to the last six holes of the main courses, in any mode.

Players can play most of the multiplayer modes with CPU players by selecting a character and pressing A Button while holding down R Button. However, Club Slots and Mini-Golf do not allow CPU players.

In this game, the golf ball makes a different sound when it bounces on the green than when it bounces on the fairway. In later games, both terrains produce the same sound for the ball.

Scores[edit]

Depending on how many strokes the player required to take to hit the ball into the hole, players receive a score and a name for the score. The following is a list of them, from best to worst scores:

Name Image Description
Hole-in-One Hole-in-One The player has sunk the ball in the hole with one stroke. It is the easiest to receive in Par 3 holes, though possible in Par 4 or 5 holes as well.
Albatross Albatross The player has sunk the ball three below par. It is possible to receive only in Par 5 holes.
Eagle Eagle The player has sunk the ball two below par. It is most common on Par 5 holes, although it is possible to get on some Par 4 holes.
Birdie Birdie The player has sunk the ball one below par. It is the lowest score in tournament mode that gets the player birdie badges.
Par Mario receiving a par in Mario Golf. The player has sunk the ball without taking any extra strokes or having less strokes.
Bogey or more Baby Mario receiving a Bogey in Mario Golf The player has sunk the ball above par. When players have scored worse than a Bogey, a number indicating the number of extra strokes taken is shown instead.

Game modes[edit]

Mario Golf features 10 game modes:

Tournament[edit]

  • Number of Players: 1

This mode consists of a tournament between the human player and 29 computer players in an 18-hole course (though the computer players aren't seen except in the leaderboards). Despite this, there are only 14 playable characters in this game. The CPU player names range from characters from franchises such as Super Mario to The Legend of Zelda to Star Fox, as well as the first names of real people, usually localisers and voice actors. The player's objective is to finish the tournament in the top three positions to earn a Trophy. The player earns the most Course Points when they finish a tournament in 1st place. Birdie Badges can also be earned by finishing a hole with Birdie or better. While selecting a tournament, Boo Classic is misspelled as "Boo Clasic". While continuing a hole on either the Yoshi Championship or the Boo Classic, their tournament names will also be swapped.

Get Character[edit]

  • Number of Players: 1

The player competes in a Match Game against another computer player. In this game, the player with the fewest strokes gets a point. However, if the player in the lead wins enough points that they would be mathematically ahead even after losing all remaining matches, the game will end early. If the game is tied after 18 holes, Sudden Death starts. If the player wins, they unlock that character.

Ring Shot[edit]

  • Number of Players: 1

The player must shoot the ball through all rings while finishing at par or better. If the player does not make par, they must restart the hole from the beginning. There are six Ring Shot holes for each of the six courses, making a total of 36 holes. A new course is unlocked in Ring Shot after completing 4, 8, 12, 16 and 20 holes. If 30 holes are completed, Donkey Kong is unlocked as a playable character. One Power Shot is allowed for each hole.

Speed Golf[edit]

Speed Golf
Wario beginning a round of Speed Golf.
  • Number of Players: 1

The player must finish all 18 holes as fast as possible.

Stroke Play[edit]

  • Number of Players: 1-4 (CPU allowed)

A standard game of golf. The winner is the player with the fewest total strokes.

Mini-Golf[edit]

  • Number of Players: 1-4 (CPU not allowed)

Like Stroke Play, but in mini-golf courses. Despite the rules being the same, CPU characters cannot be played against. The player selects from two courses, and each hole is par 3. It has three settings: Green (green-themed with a normal ball speed), Slow (blue-themed with a low ball speed), and Fast (red-and-yellow-themed with a high ball speed). Luigi's Garden has the first nine holes looking like numbers 1 to 9 and the last nine holes looking like letters A to I. The first 17 holes of Peach's Castle look like the rest of the alphabet letters and Hole 18 resembles a question mark. In Training, Mini-Golf courses do not play the Training BGM and instead play their own.

Training[edit]

Driving Range logo.
  • Number of Players: 1

The player can play any course and hole, as well as change the weather settings. Driving Range is only available in this mode.

Match Play[edit]

  • Number of Players: 2 (CPU allowed)

Like Get Character, but with two players and there are no characters to be unlocked.

Skins Match[edit]

  • Number of Players: 2-4 (CPU allowed)

The winner of the hole gets a point. In a tie, the points are carried over. The winner is the one with the most points.

Club Slots[edit]

  • Number of Players: 2-4 (CPU not allowed)

Like Skins Match, but with randomized clubs (though the player can use the putter at any time). Despite the objective being the same, CPU players cannot participate.

Interactions with Mario Golf for Game Boy Color[edit]

Mario Golf for the Nintendo 64 has the ability to link and exchange data with Game Boy Color version of the same game. With the use of the Nintendo 64 Transfer Pak, the player can use the characters: Kid, Azalea, Sherry, and/or Joe from the Game Boy Color version to play through the Nintendo 64 version of Mario Golf. The unlockable characters from the Game Boy Color version: Putts, Grace, Tiny, and Gene are not transferrable.

Courses[edit]

There are eight courses plus a training range in the Nintendo 64 version of Mario Golf. They are:

1. Toad Highlands MG64 Toad Tournament Logo.png MG64 Toad Highlands Logo.png Toad Highlands Gold Trophy from Mario Golf for Nintendo 64
Toad Tournament
2. Koopa Park MG64 Koopa Cup Logo.png MG64 Koopa Park Logo.png Koopa Park Gold Trophy from Mario Golf for Nintendo 64
Koopa Cup
3. Shy Guy Desert MG64 Shy Guy International Logo.png MG64 Shy Guy Desert Logo.png Shy Guy Desert Gold Trophy from Mario Golf for Nintendo 64
Shy Guy International
4. Yoshi's Island MG64 Yoshi Championship Logo.png MG64 Yoshi's Island Logo.png Yoshi's Island Gold Trophy from Mario Golf for Nintendo 64
Yoshi Championship
5. Boo Valley MG64 Boo Classic Logo.png MG64 Boo Valley Logo.png Boo Valley Gold Trophy from Mario Golf for Nintendo 64
Boo Clasic[sic]
6. Mario's Star MG64 Mario Open Logo.png MG64 Mario's Star Logo.png Mario's Star Gold Trophy from Mario Golf for Nintendo 64
Mario Open
A. Luigi's Garden MG64 Luigi's Garden Green Logo.png
B. Peach's Castle MG64 Peach's Castle Green Logo.png
Driving Range MG64 Driving Range Logo.png

Mario's Star Holes[edit]

Characters[edit]

Playable[edit]

Kid about to be transferred through the Transfer Pak.
Kid about to be transferred from the Game Boy Color version.

The following is a list of default characters in the order of which they are unlocked, with Plum, Charlie, Peach, and Baby Mario being available from the start. Each character has three alternate colors to choose from (similar to the alternate costumes in Super Smash Bros.) (players can choose the colors by using the Right C Button, Down C Button, and Left C Button), and each character can be chosen multiple times if there is more than one player. Plum, Charlie, Sonny, Harry, and Maple make their first appearances in any game, while Metal Mario is absent from the Japanese version.

Kid, Joe, Sherry, and Azalea can also be unlocked through a Transfer Pak. In the Virtual Console port and Nintendo Switch Online, the Transfer Pak feature to transfer these characters from the Game Boy Color version was removed.

Default characters
Plum
Plum
Plum
"For a beginner, Plum has a good shot, but she could use a little more power."
Drive: 208 yards
Shot: Low and Straight
Nice Shot Effect: Ray
Charlie
Charlie
Charlie.png
"Charlie started playing golf just to be cool, but now he's hooked. His ability, however, is the real question..."
Drive: 210 yards
Shot: Low Fade
Nice Shot Effect: Ray
Princess Peach
Peach
Mario Golf (N64) artwork: Princess Peach
"Peach is an easy-to-play character. She lacks power but shoots straight."
Drive: 212 yards
Shot: High and Straight
Nice Shot Effect: Ray
Baby Mario
Baby Mario
Babymariogolf2.png
"Baby Mario has a powerful swing for someone who's shorter than most clubs!"
Drive: 215 yards
Shot: High Draw
Nice Shot Effect: Fireball
Default multiplayer characters (unlockable in single-player)
Luigi
Luigi
Luigi in Mario Golf (Nintendo 64)
"Always in the shadow of Mario, Luigi's fade ball forms the core of his attack."
Drive: 220 yards
Shot: Low Fade
Nice Shot Effect: Ray
To unlock: Character Match #1
Yoshi
Yoshi
Yoshi in Mario Golf
"Yoshi handles his clubs skillfully for nice, straight shots."
Drive: 230 yards
Shot: Standard Straight
Nice Shot Effect: Rainbow
To unlock: Character Match #2
Sonny
Sonny
Sonny.jpg
"A bright and happy golfer, Sonny is very talented and sticks to a traditional play style."
Drive: 240 yards
Shot: High Draw
Nice Shot Effect: Ray
To unlock: Character Match #3
Wario
Wario
Mario Golf (Nintendo 64) artwork: Wario
"Wario's distinct club-wiggling play is backed by a smooth and powerful swing."
Drive: 250 yards
Shot: Low Fade
Nice Shot Effect: Thunder
To unlock: Character Match #4
Harry
Harry
Harry
"Totally confident in his play, Harry's philosophy is "If I play my best game, I'll win!"
Drive: 260 yards
Shot: High Draw
Nice Shot Effect: Ray
To unlock: Character Match #5
Mario
Mario
Mario in Mario Golf for the Nintendo 64
"Mario is a popular character who boasts a highly-refined technique. He's always anxious to get out on the course!"
Drive: 270 yards
Shot: High Draw
Nice Shot Effect: Fireball
To unlock: Character Match #6
Unlockable characters
Maple
Maple
Maplegolfing.png
"This energetic gal is the best female player on the circuit."
Drive: 245 yards
Shot: High and Straight
Nice Shot Effect: Ray
To unlock: Collect 50 Birdie Badges.
Donkey Kong
DK
Donkey Kong from Mario Golf.
"With strength on his side, DK only needs one hand to swing his club around like a twig!"
Drive: 275 yards
Shot: Low Fade
Nice Shot Effect: Rainbow
To unlock: Collect 30 Stars in Ring Shots.
Bowser
Bowser
Bowser artwork
"Bowser can boast the most power on the course. Just looking at his massive girth is enough to blow you away!"
Drive: 280 yards
Shot: High Draw
Nice Shot Effect: Flame Ray
To unlock: Character Match #7
Western-only characters
Metal Mario
Metal Mario
MetalMarioSM64.png
Drive: 285 yards
Shot: High Draw
Nice Shot Effect: Fireball
To unlock: Collect All 108 Birdie Badges.
Transfer Pak characters
Kid
Kid
Profile picture of Kid from the Camelot Japanese Mario Golf website.
"A vibrant, active young boy. Kid's been playing golf since he could walk, resulting in an impressive golf technique for someone his age."
Initial drive: 202 yards
Initial shot: High Draw
Joe
Joe
Joe MGolf.png
"King of the dance floor, Joe brings the rhythm and stamina he's gained as a dancer and applies it to his golf game!"
Initial drive: 205 yards
Initial shot: High and Straight
Sherry
Sherry
Sherry
"Sherry's mother got her started playing golf, but her talent makes it clear that she's not just appeasing her mother."
Initial drive: 200 yards
Initial shot: High Draw
Azalea
Azalea
Azalea
"A former track star, Azalea's competitive spirit has put her at the top of her class!"
Initial drive: 204 yards
Initial shot: Low Fade

Non Playable[edit]

Boo Boo points in what direction the wind blows, and marks how fast it goes.
Bubba and Cheep Cheep Bubba Cheep Cheep One of these two fish may appear if the ball goes into a water hazard.
Goomba A Goomba appears from out of the hole if the ball is sunk from at least 30 metres/90 feet.
Fly Guy Animation of a Fly Guy in Mario Golf Fly Guy is shown being blown around when starting holes with strong winds.
Lakitu Animation of a Lakitu in Mario Golf Animation of a Lakitu in Mario Golf Lakitu holds a camera to use when viewing ahead far distances. He also holds a light at the beginning of Speed Golf.
Monty Mole Animation of a Monty Mole in Mario Golf Monty Mole pops out of the hole to look around if the ball is sunk from at least 10 metres/30 feet.
Toad Animation of Toad in Mario Golf Toad appears waving a flag when the ball is shot out of bounds.
Ukkiki Animation of an Ukkiki in Mario Golf Ukkiki slides down the pole when a pin shot is made.

Tournament board names[edit]

These appear intermixed with playable character names in the leaderboard in Tournament mode. Many are cameos and other references, including to real-life employees and associates of Nintendo at the time.

Gallery[edit]

For this subject's image gallery, see Gallery:Mario Golf (Nintendo 64).

Quotes[edit]

Main article: List of quotes from the Mario Golf series § Mario Golf (Nintendo 64)

Staff[edit]

Main article: List of Mario Golf (Nintendo 64) staff

Reception[edit]

Mario Golf garnered generally favorable reviews. GameSpot describes the game as easy to play, by having simple features and by "removing the guesswork for gamers who are not familiar with the subtle nuances of golf" that may put off many players. IGN stated "When it comes to the intricacies that make golf the most loved and frustrating game on the planet, Mario Golf has it all. Challenging, but you will be drawn into it because of the nature of golf and your fear that the "little cartoon game" is mocking you".

Reviews
Release Reviewer, Publication Score Comment
N64 Aaron Boulding, IGN 8.3/10 "Mario Golf is fun, plain and simple. It's better than Waialea Country Club hands down, offering a much richer game of golf. While I eventually learned to tune out the cartoon-style characters and focus on the tougher parts of the game, it may be tough to reel-in those 19 year-olds like Nintendo wanted because it just doesn't look like a game they'd enjoy. That's too bad because there's plenty of fun underneath all of those layers. There are better sports games out there to be sure, but right now, Mario Golf should be the golfing game of choice."
N64 James Mielke, GameSpot 8.7/10 "Although Mario Golf is a little on the cutesy side, anyone who wants a great golf game need look no further. There really isn't much of a choice, even if there were, Mario Golf would likely be your best bet anyway. This is a top-quality golf game, despite the cartoony premise. Anyone who would turn a blind eye to Mario Golf because of its exterior qualities will be missing perhaps the best golf game on a console. With an extensive amount of options in either single-player or multiplayer, Mario Golf is the game that will keep on giving. It's not like golf games suffer from the need to update on a yearly basis, like, say, hockey games. Therefore, to say that this game has lasting power would be an understatement. While a true golf fanatic would certainly enjoy this, perhaps the most important thing is that it's user friendly enough to appeal to the masses. As far as golf games go, and as a game in general, Mario Golf comes highly recommended."
Aggregators
Compiler Platform / Score
Metacritic 91
GameRankings 87.32%

Sales[edit]

Mario Golf is the 37th best-selling game for the Nintendo 64, selling approximately 1.5 million copies worldwide - 650,000 copies each in North America and Japan, and 200,000 elsewhere - and it would later be re-released as a Nintendo 64 "Player's Choice" title.

References to other games[edit]

  • Super Mario Bros. - One of Bowser's alternate color schemes in Mario Golf is the green skin that Bowser had in his first appearance. A cover version of the overworld theme plays in Mario's Star and during part of the credits. A cover version of the underground theme is heard during the player's attempt to score a birdie.
  • Super Mario World - Yoshi's alternate color schemes in Mario Golf is the Red Yoshi, the Blue Yoshi, and the Yellow Yoshi.
  • NES Open Tournament Golf - One of Peach's alternate color schemes in Mario Golf is her green dress and Daisy's blue dress.
  • Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island - Yoshi's sound effects were taken from this game.
  • Super Mario 64 - Names of several characters in this game appear on the score Board, and many sound effects from this game such as camera change are used. Also Metal Mario is playable and has the same sound effects. Mario's Hole-in-one animation is the same as his victory animation from this game.
  • Wario Land II and Wario Land 3 - One of Wario's alternate color schemes in Mario Golf is the monochromatic outfit he wears throughout these games, despite the fact that that outfit is a product of technical limitations, not artistic choice.
  • Mario Party - Many of the sound effects from Mario Party, such as "menu select", "go back", "your turn", "pause", and "not available", are used. If the character whose taking their turn is out of Power Shots, it will make the "go back" sound in any attempt to press the B Button when far away from the Green. One of Toad's voice clips from this game is reused. The coin sound effect is used for Birdie Badges.
  • Mario Kart 64 - Some of the sound effects from Mario Kart 64 are also used, such as "item drop" and "1st lap complete".

Regional differences[edit]

  • The international version's character select screen was changed to include Metal Mario, who is not present in the Japanese version. The European version also reordered the characters.
  • During gameplay, the Japanese version does not have the power indicator (leftmost gray bar) in the Power Meter. It was added in the US and European versions. In addition, the wind display was moved to the left slightly in the international versions and its font was changed to be more noticeable.
  • The European version uses a different song for the cutscene that plays during the intro. Oddly, the original song is still present on the cartridge, albeit unused.

References in later games[edit]

  • Wario Land 4 and early WarioWare titles - Some of Wario's voice lines were reused.
  • Luigi's Mansion - Mario's pose is reused for his portrait artwork.
  • Super Smash Bros. Melee - Plum appears as a trophy.
  • Wario World - Some of Wario's voice clips were reused.
  • Super Smash Bros. Brawl - Two of Wario's alternate costumes are his red and blue outfit and his black and white outfit.
  • Mario Golf: World Tour - In addition to being a sequel to this game, all six main courses in this game are available as downloadable content with updated music and visuals (though Shy Guy Desert, Yoshi's Island, and Boo Valley have been renamed to Layer-Cake Desert, Sparkling Waters, and Rock-Candy Mines, respectively, and the music for Mario's Star has been changed). In addition, Peach's hole-in-one and birdie animations are similar to the animations in this game, with the only difference being that she deliberately has her sport outfit transform into her trademark dress in World Tour.
  • Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS / Wii U and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate - Two of Bowser's alternate costumes are his blue skin and his green skin, two of Donkey Kong's alternate costumes are his blue fur and his yellow fur, and one of Luigi's alternate costumes is his dark green and yellow outfit.

Names in other languages[edit]

Language Name Meaning
Japanese マリオゴルフ64
Mario Gorufu Rokujūyon
Mario Golf 64

Chinese (simplified) 马力欧高尔夫64
Mǎlì'ōu Gāo'ěrfū 64
Mario Golf 64

Chinese (traditional) 瑪利歐高爾夫64[5]
Mǎlì'ōu Gāo'ěrfū 64
Mario Golf 64

Trivia[edit]

  • If all 4 players pick either Yoshi or Donkey Kong, a hidden song based on Palm Club from Mario Golf on the Game Boy Color will play.[6]

References[edit]

External links[edit]