Super Mario 64
Super Mario 64 is a 3D action-adventure platformer game released for the Nintendo 64 in 1996. This game was one of two (three in Japan) launch titles for the Nintendo 64, along with Pilotwings 64, which helped drive initial sales of the console. As of January 7, 2017, it has sold over 11 million copies worldwide and is marked as the best selling Nintendo 64 game of all time. It is also the second most popular game on the Wii's Virtual Console after Super Mario Bros.
Being the first 3D Mario game, Super Mario 64 has introduced many moves that would be used in almost every later Super Mario title: triple-jumping, ground-pounding, long-jumping, diving, and somersaulting. Punching and kicking were also introduced but would not be used in any later main titles (besides its DS remake).
Though not the first 3D platforming game, Super Mario 64 codified many of the controls and designs conventions of the genre. It is widely acclaimed as one of the greatest and most important games of all time.
In 1996, there was a Nintendo 64DD disk version of the game shown at Shoshinkai 1996. In 2004, a remake of Super Mario 64 was released for the Nintendo DS, entitled Super Mario 64 DS. The remake has various differences from the original game, such as Luigi, Yoshi, and Wario becoming playable characters. There was also a sequel called Super Mario 64 2 planned for the Nintendo 64DD, but it was canceled due to the 64DD's commercial failure.
Super Mario 64 was rereleased digitally on the Wii's Virtual Console service on November 19, 2006, and again on the Wii U's Virtual Console service on April 1, 2015, making it and Donkey Kong 64 the first two Nintendo 64 games to be released on the Wii U.
The following is the story given on pages 4 and 5 of the Super Mario 64 instruction booklet. The colors given in the instruction booklet signify who is talking: Mario, , , and , with black being narration.
The player controls Mario in a variety of open environments of varying size and complexity, ranging from a small cubic room to large self-contained worlds populated by enemies, items, and friendly NPCs who can either provide limited assistance to Mario or are subject of one of the game's tasks.
To progress, the player must collect Power Stars by completing a variety of missions, ranging from tasks such as defeating a specific enemy, completing a puzzle, collecting a set amount of items, or besting a NPC in a friendly competition. There are a total of 120 Power Stars in the game, though only 70 need to be collected in order to complete the game. The Power Stars are split between the fifteen main courses, nine secret courses, and other objectives. The main courses contain six numbered missions each plus a hidden Power Star for collecting 100 coins. Though missions for a level are numbered, most missions can be performed out of order. Other missions, however, can only be completed by selecting a specific scenario from the course selection screen, as to prompt the appearance or disappearance of a character or object needed to complete the task.
The game is primarily set inside and around Mushroom Castle, itself divided in multiple rooms containing portals (most represented as paintings) that lead to the game's courses. Initially, the player can only access one of the paintings and a limited section of the castle, but as the player collects Power Stars, the player will be able to unlock doors leading to the other courses and open up other sections of the castle by collecting a certain number of stars and completing a Bowser level.
Super Mario 64 uses a majority of the buttons on the Nintendo 64 controller; the only buttons not used are the Control Pad and the Button.
Wii (Classic Controller)
To get around the courses in the game, Mario has to make use of several moves. Along with the standard moves listed above, there are several additional moves that can be done by using button combinations. A "->" implies combinations where buttons need to be pressed in succession, and a "+" implies combinations where buttons need to be pressed simultaneously.
Levels are laid out inside paintings in the castle, or sometimes the walls themselves. They can also be found in holes, portals, oil pits, and inside a clock. Each world has seven Power Stars. Within each, one of which is gained by finding one hundred coins in the level. The other six Power Stars are found by performing "missions", accomplished by fighting bosses, winning races, etc. Every course has boundaries to limit the player from going too far, either as a strict wall or an invisible boundary.
Castle Secret Stars
In addition to the main courses of the game and the Bowser Courses, there are also a few hidden courses that house several of the Castle's Secret Stars, as well as the three ! Switches.
Three of the Toads in the castle give the player a Power Star when talked to. One of the Toads is in a corner near the entrance to Hazy Maze Cave, another is under the staircase on the second floor, and the third is to the right of Tick Tock Clock.
There are various mini-bosses in some stages, but the primary boss is Bowser, who appears in three different levels. Each mini-boss holds a Power Star, except for Bowser, who holds a Big Key in his first two battles and a Jumbo Star in his third battle. This is a list of the bosses in the game.
Throughout the game, the player can make use of several items. Some items are out in the open, whereas others are found by breaking open ! Boxes or completing challenges.
Notable mistakes and errors
Those errors remained in the Virtual Console version. However, the former was removed and the latter was fixed in the remake, as Yoshi is a playable character, and the message that appears when Mario does not have enough stars to open a door is "You need (number) more."
References to other games
References in later games
Appearances in other media
Super Mario 64 is a part of the Kodansha.
Super Mario 64 DS is the remake of the game for the Nintendo DS, bearing some new features on its storyline, gameplay and graphics. Unlike Super Mario 64, Mario is not the only playable character (nor is he even available at the start, the only character available at the start of the game is Yoshi); Yoshi, Luigi, and Wario also join the adventure in order to rescue Princess Toadstool from the hands of Bowser. Other new features within the game include a multi-player mode, in which up to four players can play simultaneously on each Nintendo DS connected together locally; minigames to play with each character, and new additions to the story mode such as new missions and levels.
A Shindo Taio version of the original game was released in Japan on July 18, 1997, that included Rumble Pak support. This game is the same as the International release of the game, as it retains all of the glitch fixes as well as graphical and sound changes (except Mario calling Bowser by his name in the "So long-eh Bowser" voice clip, which was changed to "buh-bye"). The only differences other than one voice clip are the language being changed back to Japanese, a new title screen easter egg, fixing of the "backwards long jump" glitch and the Rumble Pak support.
An original soundtrack that is based on the game is released. It has thirty-six tracks from the game.
There are a total of four Nintendo 64 releases of Super Mario 64: The original Japanese version, the North American release, the European and Australian release, and the Japanese Super Mario 64: Shindō Pak Taiō Version re-release.
Changes to the North American release
Level design changes
Changes to the European and Australian release
These releases feature all the changes of the North American release, plus the following additional changes:
Changes in Super Mario 64: Shindō Pak Taiō Version
This release features all the changes of the North American release, plus the following additional changes:
Pre-release and unused content
One unused asset is the Blargg, which is still in the game's data, that would've appeared in the Lethal Lava Land, Bowser in the Fire Sea, and Wing Mario over the Rainbow stages. Also, Big Boo held a key instead of a Star inside of him. The purpose of the keys was to unlock a variety of the various doors in Big Boo's Haunt - there was even a "key counter". 32 levels were planned for the game, but only fifteen of them made it into the final product.
Super Mario 64 received critical acclaim, garnering a score of 9.8 from IGN, 9.4 from GameSpot, and 9.75 from Game Informer. Although it was criticized for its camera system and difficulty, it was praised for its graphics, level design, soundtrack, and the Mario series shift from 2D to 3D. Sometime after the game's release, rumors about secret glitches, stars, and hidden characters circulated. Among the most famous is the widely publicized hoax that Luigi was hidden and fully playable, causing bogus rumors to circulate on how to unlock him.
Super Mario 64 is the best selling game for the Nintendo 64, selling 11.62 million copies worldwide, as of December 31, 2009.
A famous glitch is the Backwards Long Jump, which will let the player slide upward on any staircase, including the endless stairs. Another famous glitch is the Black Room of Death, which traps the player behind the boundaries of the castle walls. It could be achieved using several ways, including using the Backwards Long Jump glitch. Another rather known glitch is the cloning glitch, often used to collect more coins than the actual number of coins in the game.
As in many other N64 titles, the cartridge can be tilted in the console to achieve messed up results, for example Mario's body will flip horizontally, but he can still be controlled. Also, the music will be heavily corrupted.
In the Japanese in multiple areas of the game, there are unintended invisible walls that the player can bump into. An example is the one in Tall, Tall Mountain just above the wooden log.
While collecting one of Bowser's keys, if the player can press and looks somewhere, Mario will keep looking that way during the key collection cutscene.
Using a good timed Triple Jump on the slope near the castle, the player can climb the castle without the cannon. Also, when Mario reaches a corner, he can fall down slightly and grab onto a ledge. The player can then pull themselves back up onto the roof, at which point Mario will lose a life. For unknown reasons, he also loses his hat.
When Mario enters the water, the angle Mario was facing before entering is preserved in a datum, therefore, when the player jumps and lands on dry land, the next dive Mario performs will start with this angle. A few frames afterward, the angle will fix itself and the dive will be completed correctly. Several things "reset" the angle, including grabbing a ledge, shooting from a cannon, changing areas and jumping while facing a slope. This glitch does not affect the dive itself, just the animation.
Mario face programmer
Names in other languages