Super Mario 64

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Super Mario 64
North American box art of Super Mario 64.
For alternate box art, see the game's gallery.
Developer Nintendo EAD
Publisher Nintendo
Platforms Nintendo 64, Nintendo 64DD, Virtual Console (Wii, Wii U)
Release date Nintendo 64:
Japan June 23, 1996
USA September 29, 1996
Europe March 1, 1997
Australia March 1, 1997
Japan July 18, 1997 (Shindō Pak Taiō Version)
China November 17, 2003 (iQue Player)
Virtual Console (Wii):
USA November 19, 2006
Japan December 2, 2006
Australia December 7, 2006
Europe December 8, 2006
Virtual Console (Wii U):
USA April 1, 2015
Europe April 1, 2015[1]
Australia April 2, 2015
Japan April 8, 2015[2]
Genre Platformer
ESRB:ESRB's K-A rating symbol - Kids to Adults
PEGI:PEGI 3.svg - Three years and older
CERO:CERO rating A - All ages
ACB:ACB G.svg - General
Mode(s) Single player
Nintendo 64:
Nintendo 64 icon for use in templates. Game Pak
iQue Player:
Digital download icon for use in templates. Digital download
Nintendo 64DD:
Magneto-optical drive
Digital download icon for use in templates. Digital download
Nintendo 64:
iQue Player:
Wii U:

Super Mario 64 is a 3D platformer game released for the Nintendo 64 in 1996 for Japan and North America and in 1997 for Europe and Australia. 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. Since its release, Super Mario 64 has been widely acclaimed as one of the greatest and most important games of all time.[3][4][5]

Though not the first 3D platforming game, Super Mario 64 codified many of the controls and designs conventions of the genre.[6] Being the first 3D Mario game, Super Mario 64 has introduced several moves, including triple-jumping, ground-pounding, long-jumping, diving, and somersaulting, which would be used in most subsequent installments of the Super Mario series. Punching and kicking were also introduced but would not appear in any later title. The game popularized Charles Martinet's portrayal as Mario (being the first game of the Super Mario series to feature his voice) and Princess Toadstool's name as Peach in the West, and made them both series standards.

In 1996, a Nintendo 64DD version of the game was shown at Shoshinkai 1996.[7] A sequel, named Super Mario 64 2, was being developed for the Nintendo 64DD, but it was canceled due to the 64DD's commercial failure.

On November 17, 2003, Super Mario 64 was re-released for the iQue Player as one of the launch titles, and a timed demo of the game was bundled with every iQue Player. In November 2006, the game was digitally re-released for the Wii's Virtual Console service, and again for the Wii U's Virtual Console service in April 2015. Super Mario 64 was among the first games released on both Virtual Console services.

A sequel titled Super Mario Sunshine was developed for the Nintendo GameCube and released in 2002. In 2004, a remake was released for the Nintendo DS, titled Super Mario 64 DS. It has several differences, notably the inclusion of Luigi, Yoshi, and Wario as playable characters. An emulation of the 1997 re-release of the game is bundled in with Super Mario 3D All-Stars for the Nintendo Switch, though with upscaled graphics and a redrawn HUD.

As of January 7, 2017, Super Mario 64 has sold over 11 million copies worldwide[8][better source needed] and is marked as the best-selling Nintendo 64 game. The game became the second bestselling game on the Wii's Virtual Console after Super Mario Bros., as of June 2007.[9]


The Princess' letter.
Mario in front of a painting, which serves as an entrance to a level.

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, Princess Peach, Bowser, and Toad, with black being narration.

"Mario, please come to the castle. I've baked a cake for you. Yours truly, Princess Toadstool."

"Wow, an invitation from Peach! I'll head out right away. I hope she can wait for me!"
Mario is so excited to receive the invitation from the Princess, who lives in the Mushroom Castle, that he quickly dresses in his best and leaves right away.

"Hmmm, something's not quite right here... It's so quiet..."
Shaking off his uneasy premonition, Mario steps into the silent castle, where he is greeted by the gruff words,

"No one's home! Now scram! Bwa, ha, ha."
The sound seems to come from everywhere.

"Who's there?! I've heard that voice somewhere before..."
Mario begins searching all over the castle. Most of the doors are locked, but finding one open, he peeks inside. Hanging on the wall is the largest painting he has ever seen, and from behind the painting comes the strangest sound that he has ever heard...

"I think I hear someone calling. What secrets does this painting hold?"
Without a second thought, Mario jumps at the painting. As he is drawn into it, another world opens before his very eyes.

And so begins the grandest of all adventures!

Once inside the painting, Mario finds himself in the midst of battling Bob-ombs. According to the Bob-omb Buddies, someone...or something...has suddenly attacked the castle and stolen the "Power Stars". These stars protect the castle; with the stars in his control, the beast plans to take over the Mushroom Castle.

To help him accomplish this, he plans to convert the residents of the painting world into monsters as well. If nothing is done, all those monsters will soon begin to overflow from inside the painting.

"A plan this maniacal, this cunning...this must be the work of Bowser!"
Princess Toadstool and Toad are missing, too. Bowser must have taken them and sealed them inside the painting. Unless Mario recovers the Power Stars immediately, the inhabitants of this world will become Bowser's army.

"Well, Bowser's not going to get away with it, not as long as I'm around!"
Stolen Power Stars are hidden throughout the painting world. Use your wisdom and strength to recover the Power Stars and restore peace to the Mushroom Castle.

"Mario! You are the only one we can count on."


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, Mario 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 the Mushroom Castle, itself divided in multiple rooms containing portals (most represented as paintings) that lead to the game's courses. Initially, Mario can only access one of the paintings and a limited section of the castle, but as he collects Power Stars, he 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.


Nintendo 64

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 L Button Button.

  • Control Stick - Move Mario/cursor, climb poles, angle camera in second-person mode, fly (when wearing the Wing Cap)
  • A Button - Jump, swim, confirm
  • B Button - Punch, dive, grab, throw, cancel
  • Z Button - Crouch
  • Camera left Button, Camera right Button - Move camera
  • Camera up Button - Zoom in, enter second-person mode (which allows the player to look around)
  • Camera down Button - Zoom out
  • R Button - Toggle camera mode
  • START Button - Pause the game, show Power Star list (when in the castle) or pause menu (when in courses)

Wii (Classic Controller)

  • Nunchuk Control Stick - Move Mario/cursor, climb poles, angle camera in second-person mode, fly (when wearing the Wing Cap)
  • Classic Controller a Button - Jump, swim, confirm
  • Classic Controller b Button - Punch, dive, grab, throw, cancel
  • Classic Controller L Button - Crouch
  • Classic Controller Left Control Stick (left/right) - Move camera
  • Classic Controller Left Control Stick (up) - Zoom in, enter second-person mode (which allows the player to look around)
  • Classic Controller Left Control Stick (down) - Zoom out
  • Classic Controller R Button - Toggle camera mode
  • Plus Button - Pause the game, show Power Star list (when in the castle) or pause menu (when in courses)

Wii U

  • Control Stick - Move Mario/cursor, climb poles, angle camera in second-person mode, fly (when wearing the Wing Cap)
  • A Button - Jump, swim, confirm
  • B Button - Punch, dive, grab, throw, cancel
  • L Button - Crouch
  • Left Stick (left/right) - Move camera
  • Left Stick (up) - Zoom in, enter second-person mode (which allows the player to look around)
  • Left Stick (down) - Zoom out
  • R Button - Toggle camera mode
  • Plus Button - Pause the game, show Power Star list (when in the castle) or pause menu (when in courses)

Additional moves

Mario punching and kicking.

To navigate the courses more efficiently and complete certain missions, Mario has to use several moves. Along with the standard moves listed above, there are several additional moves that can be done by using button combinations.

In the following list, a "→" (right arrow) shows buttons to press in succession, and a "+" (plus sign) shows buttons to press simultaneously.


Name Description
Artwork of Mario smiling for Super Mario 64
The hero of the Mushroom Kingdom and the game's protagonist. He was invited to Mushroom Castle by Princess Peach, only to find that she had been kidnapped by Bowser. Mario has significantly expanded movement options to reflect the 3D environment of Super Mario 64. Some noteable new moves include the Triple Jump, the Wall Jump, the Ground Pound, and a punch-punch-kick. Unlike previous installments, Mario has a Health Meter and does not shrink in size if struck by an enemy.

Non-playable characters

Name Description Locations
Artwork of one of the Lakitu Bros. from Super Mario 64
Lakitu Bros.
A pair of cloud-riding Koopas that are documenting Mario's quest to liberate Mushroom Castle and rescue Princess Peach from Bowser. One Lakitu Bro is with Mario throughout the entirety of the game, serving as an in-game explanation for the title's 3D camera controls. He is generally unseen, but his reflection can be spotted in a large mirror on the second floor of Mushroom Castle. They work for the organization Kingdom News Network. All courses
Princess Peach
Princess Peach
The ruler of the Mushroom Kingdom. She invited Mario to Mushroom Castle for cake, but she is missing by the time he arrives. Toad informs him that she was kidnapped by Bowser and sealed away within the Castle's walls. The game follows Mario's quest to restore the Castle's Power Stars and liberate the princess. Castle Grounds[note 1]
Toad from Super Mario 64
One of Princess Peach's attendants and an old friend of Mario's. He is one of several Mushroom Retainers that have been trapped inside the Castle. He gives Mario hints, tips, and words of encouragement when spoken to. Some Toads give Mario a Power Star if prompted. Mushroom Castle
A Bob-omb Buddy.
Bob-omb Buddies
Friendly Bob-ombs that lack fuses. They reside in Bob-omb Battlefield, where they are at war with Big Bob-omb and his army. A Bob-omb Buddy is hidden away in nearly all subsequent courses. If spoken to, it prepares a cannon for Mario to use. The cannon remains open and accessible for all subsequent revisits. Bob-omb Battlefield
Whomp's Fortress
Jolly Roger Bay
Cool, Cool Mountain
Shifting Sand Land
Snowman's Land
Wet-Dry World
Tall, Tall Mountain
Tiny-Huge Island
Rainbow Ride
Koopa Troopa
Koopa the Quick
A large Koopa Troopa from Tiny-Huge Island. He challenges Mario to a footrace if spoken to and awards him a Power Star if beaten without using certain shortcuts. A diminutive enemy Koopa Troopa appears in courses that feature Koopa the Quick after he is beaten, which suggests some sort of correlation between the two. Bob-omb Battlefield
Tiny-Huge Island
Model of Hoot from Super Mario 64.
Hoot the Owl
A talking owl who roosts in a tree near Mario's starting position on Whomp's Fortress. Once woken up, Mario can grab onto Hoot's talons and be carried high into the air for a limited time. Hoot slowly descends while carrying Mario and drops him if he hangs on for too long, citing his weight. Whomp's Fortress
Artwork of Mother Penguin and Tuxie for Super Mario 64
Big, talking birds found in courses that feature snow. They are instrumental in several Power Star missions. The Mother Penguin found at the base of Cool, Cool Mountain awards Mario a Power Star if her lost chick Tuxie is returned to her, while the Big Penguin found in the cabin at the top of the mountain gives him a Star if beaten in a race. Revisiting this penguin after collecting all 120 Power Stars reveals that he has let himself go. The extra weight makes him a tougher opponent to out-sleigh. Cool, Cool Mountain
Snowman's Land
Rendered model of the giant snowman from Cool, Cool Mountain in Super Mario 64
Snowman (Cool, Cool Mountain)
A giant snowman. He is the focus of the mission "Snowman's Lost His Head". His head is on a pedestal halfway down the mountain, while his sentient snowball body appears towards the top, by Mario's starting position. Either piece asks Mario to help put him together when prompted. Once assembled, the snowman gifts Mario a Power Star. Cool, Cool Mountain
Rendered model of MIPS, the yellow rabbit from Super Mario 64.
Princess Peach's pet rabbit.[10] He is found in the Castle's basement and flees if approached. He gives Mario a Power Star if caught. While captured, MIPS claims to be late for tea. Mushroom Castle
Model of Dorrie from Super Mario 64.
A gentle giant that resembles a plesiosaur. It can be found swimming in an underground lake, where it can be ridden. Mario can steer Dorrie's body while standing on its back and lower its neck by performing a Ground Pound on its head. Hazy Maze Cave
Snowman's Land.png
Snowman (Snowman's Land)
An enormous snowman that can be climbed as if it were a mountain. Wooden platforms and slopes line his body, allowing Mario to ascend. Once he nears his head, the snowman starts to complain about an irritating crawling sensation on his body and tries to blow Mario off of him. A Power Star is one the very top of his head, and a deceptively spacious igloo can be found on his lower body. Snowman's Land
A mischievous monkey who steals Mario's cap when grabbed. Mario must grab Ukkiki again in order to get it back, but the monkey runs away if approached and must be cornered. During "Mystery of the Monkey Cage", Ukkiki appears on the summit and taunts Mario. If grabbed, he begs to be released in exchange for a Power Star. Tall, Tall Mountain
Model of Yoshi from Super Mario 64.
An old friend of Mario's. He is a dinosaur-like creature with a long tongue. He can be found on the roof of Mushroom Castle once all 120 Power Star are collected. Yoshi awards the player with 99 extra lives and a special Triple Jump for fully completing the game. After which, he disappears off the side of the Castle. Castle Grounds

  1. ^ Only appears here after the final battle with Bowser in "Bowser in the Sky".


Mario in Bob-omb Battlefield, the first stage in the game.

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 Mario from going too far, either as a strict wall or an invisible boundary.

Bob-omb Battlefield Course icon
Bob-omb Battlefield 64.png
Bob-omb Battlefield
Whomp's Fortress Course icon
Whomp's Fortress 64.png
Whomp's Fortress
Jolly Roger Bay Course icon
Jolly Roger Bay Star 1
Jolly Roger Bay
Star icon in Super Mario 64 Big Bob-omb on the Summit Star icon in Super Mario 64 Footrace with Koopa the Quick Star icon in Super Mario 64 Chip Off Whomp's Block Star icon in Super Mario 64 To the Top of the Fortress Star icon in Super Mario 64 Plunder in the Sunken Ship Star icon in Super Mario 64 Can the Eel Come Out to Play?
Star icon in Super Mario 64 Shoot to the Island in the Sky Star icon in Super Mario 64 Find the 8 Red Coins Star icon in Super Mario 64 Shoot into the Wild Blue Star icon in Super Mario 64 Red Coins on the Floating Isle Star icon in Super Mario 64 Treasure of the Ocean Cave Star icon in Super Mario 64 Red Coins on the Ship Afloat
Star icon in Super Mario 64 Mario Wings to the Sky Star icon in Super Mario 64 Behind Chain Chomp's Gate Star icon in Super Mario 64 Fall onto the Caged Island Star icon in Super Mario 64 Blast Away the Wall Star icon in Super Mario 64 Blast to the Stone Pillar Star icon in Super Mario 64 Through the Jet Stream
Cool, Cool Mountain Course icon
Mario sliding in Cool, Cool Mountain.
Cool, Cool Mountain
Big Boo's Haunt Course icon
Mario outside the mansion in Big Boo's Haunt.
Big Boo's Haunt
Hazy Maze Cave Course icon
Hazy Maze Cave start
Hazy Maze Cave
Star icon in Super Mario 64 Slip Slidin' Away Star icon in Super Mario 64 Li'l Penguin Lost Star icon in Super Mario 64 Go on a Ghost Hunt Star icon in Super Mario 64 Ride Big Boo's Merry-Go-Round Star icon in Super Mario 64 Swimming Beast in the Cavern Star icon in Super Mario 64 Elevate for 8 Red Coins
Star icon in Super Mario 64 Big Penguin Race Star icon in Super Mario 64 Frosty Slide for 8 Red Coins Star icon in Super Mario 64 Secret of the Haunted Books Star icon in Super Mario 64 Seek the 8 Red Coins Star icon in Super Mario 64 Metal-Head Mario Can Move! Star icon in Super Mario 64 Navigating the Toxic Maze
Star icon in Super Mario 64 Snowman's Lost His Head Star icon in Super Mario 64 Wall Kicks Will Work Star icon in Super Mario 64 Big Boo's Balcony Star icon in Super Mario 64 Eye to Eye in the Secret Room Star icon in Super Mario 64 A-Maze-Ing Emergency Exit Star icon in Super Mario 64 Watch for Rolling Rocks
Lethal Lava Land Course icon
Lethal Lava Land Start
Lethal Lava Land
Shifting Sand Land Course icon
Shifting Sand Land 64.png
Shifting Sand Land
Dire, Dire Docks Course icon
Dire, Dire Docks first area.
Dire, Dire Docks
Star icon in Super Mario 64 Boil the Big Bully Star icon in Super Mario 64 Bully the Bullies Star icon in Super Mario 64 In the Talons of the Big Bird Star icon in Super Mario 64 Shining Atop the Pyramid Star icon in Super Mario 64 Board Bowser's Sub Star icon in Super Mario 64 Chests in the Current
Star icon in Super Mario 64 8-Coin Puzzle with 15 Pieces Star icon in Super Mario 64 Red-Hot Log Rolling Star icon in Super Mario 64 Inside the Ancient Pyramid Star icon in Super Mario 64 Stand Tall on the Four Pillars Star icon in Super Mario 64 Pole-Jumping for Red Coins Star icon in Super Mario 64 Through the Jet Stream
Star icon in Super Mario 64 Hot-Foot-It into the Volcano Star icon in Super Mario 64 Elevator Tour in the Volcano Star icon in Super Mario 64 Free Flying for 8 Red Coins Star icon in Super Mario 64 Pyramid Puzzle Star icon in Super Mario 64 The Manta Ray's Reward Star icon in Super Mario 64 Collect the Caps...
Snowman's Land Course icon
Snowman's Land.png
Snowman's Land
Wet-Dry World Course icon
Wet-Dry World 64.png
Wet-Dry World
Tall, Tall Mountain Course icon
Tall, Tall Mountain in the game Super Mario 64.
Tall, Tall Mountain
Star icon in Super Mario 64 Snowman's Big Head Star icon in Super Mario 64 Chill with the Bully Star icon in Super Mario 64 Shocking Arrow Lifts! Star icon in Super Mario 64 Top o' the Town Star icon in Super Mario 64 Scale the Mountain Star icon in Super Mario 64 Mystery of the Monkey Cage
Star icon in Super Mario 64 In the Deep Freeze Star icon in Super Mario 64 Whirl from the Freezing Pond Star icon in Super Mario 64 Secrets in the Shallows & Sky Star icon in Super Mario 64 Express Elevator--Hurry Up! Star icon in Super Mario 64 Scary 'Shrooms, Red Coins Star icon in Super Mario 64 Mysterious Mountainside
Star icon in Super Mario 64 Shell Shreddin' for Red Coins Star icon in Super Mario 64 Into the Igloo Star icon in Super Mario 64 Go to Town for Red Coins Star icon in Super Mario 64 Quick Race Through Downtown! Star icon in Super Mario 64 Breathtaking View from Bridge Star icon in Super Mario 64 Blast to the Lonely Mushroom
Tiny-Huge Island Course icon
Tiny-Huge Island 64.png
Tiny-Huge Island
Tick Tock Clock Course icon
Tick Tock Clock
Tick Tock Clock
Rainbow Ride Course icon
Entrance of Rainbow Ride
Rainbow Ride
Star icon in Super Mario 64 Pluck the Piranha Flower Star icon in Super Mario 64 The Tip Top of the Huge Island Star icon in Super Mario 64 Roll into the Cage Star icon in Super Mario 64 The Pit and the Pendulums Star icon in Super Mario 64 Cruiser Crossing the Rainbow Star icon in Super Mario 64 The Big House in the Sky
Star icon in Super Mario 64 Rematch with Koopa the Quick Star icon in Super Mario 64 Five Itty Bitty Secrets Star icon in Super Mario 64 Get a Hand Star icon in Super Mario 64 Stomp on the Thwomp Star icon in Super Mario 64 Coins Amassed in a Maze Star icon in Super Mario 64 Swingin' in the Breeze
Star icon in Super Mario 64 Wiggler's Red Coins Star icon in Super Mario 64 Make Wiggler Squirm Star icon in Super Mario 64 Timed Jumps on Moving Bars Star icon in Super Mario 64 Stop Time for Red Coins Star icon in Super Mario 64 Tricky Triangles! Star icon in Super Mario 64 Somewhere Over the Rainbow

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 Mario 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.


New enemies

Returning enemies


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.

Image Description Location
Big Bob-omb
A giant Bob-omb in Bob-omb Battlefield. He appears as the first boss in the game and has the first Power Star. Bob-omb Battlefield
Whomp King in Whomp's Fortress
Whomp King
A giant Whomp on top of Whomp's Fortress. He has the first Power Star, and after he is defeated, there is a tower on top of the fortress. Whomp's Fortress
Mario and Big Boo on the balcony of the mansion in Big Boo's Haunt.
Big Boo
A giant Boo that appears three times in Big Boo's Haunt. He initially appears once all the Boos in the mansion have been defeated, again in the underground Merry-Go-Round, and lastly on the top balcony of the mansion. Big Boo's Haunt
Big Mr. I in the game Super Mario 64.
Big Mr. I
A giant Mr. I which only appears in the attic of Big Boo's Haunt.
Bowser's model from Super Mario 64.
Bowser appears in Bowser in the Dark World, Bowser in the Fire Sea (where the arena tilts), and Bowser in the Sky (where he must be thrown three times). Mario needs to swing him by the tail clockwise or counterclockwise and hurl him at bombs on the outside of his circular arena. Bowser in the Dark World
Bowser in the Fire Sea
Bowser in the Sky
A Big Bully render for Super Mario 64
Big Bully
Two of these giant Bullies appear in Lethal Lava Land. On both occasions, they try to knock Mario into the lava. Lethal Lava Land
Two stone hands with eyes on their palms. They appear when Mario blasts open the top of the Pyramid in Shifting Sand Land and rides the elevator inside. Shifting Sand Land
Chill Bully
A large Bully made of ice. He tries to ram Mario onto a lethally frozen pond in Snowman's Land. Snowman's Land
A giant Wiggler, which becomes angry when his home in Tiny-Huge Island gets flooded. Tiny-Huge Island


Throughout the game, Mario can make use of several items. Some items are out in the open, whereas others are found by breaking open ! Boxes or completing challenges.

Image Description Image Description
Artwork of a Yellow Coin from Super Mario 64
A standard Coin found in the levels. When collected, it restores one point of Mario's Health Meter. SM64 Exclamation Mark Block.png
! Box
A floating block that holds either coins, 1-Up Mushrooms, or Power Stars.
Artwork of a Red Coin for Super Mario 64
Red Coin
A red variant of the Yellow Coin, each worth two coins. Eight are scattered around most courses, and collecting them all will cause a Power Star to appear. They restore two points of Mario's Health Meter when collected. Artwork of a red ! Block from Super Mario 64
Red Block
A red ! Box that holds a Wing Cap. Will become solid once the Red ! Switch is pressed.
Super Mario 64 promotional artwork: A Blue Coin
Blue Coin
A blue variant of the Yellow Coin, each worth five coins. They usually appear after Ground Pounding Blue Coin Blocks or after defeating stronger enemies like a Mr. I. Artwork of a Blue Block from Super Mario 64
Blue Block
A blue ! Box that holds a Vanish Cap. Will become solid once the Blue ! Switch is pressed.
From the Super Mario 64 Official Nintendo Player's Guide
Spinning Heart
A large heart than spins when Mario walks through it, which will recover his Health. The amount of Health it recovers and how fast it does so is dependent on how quickly Mario moves through it. Artwork of a Green Block from Super Mario 64
Green Block
A green ! Box that holds a Metal Cap. Will become solid once the Green ! Switch is pressed.
1-Up Mushroom
1-Up Mushroom
A green spotted mushroom that will give Mario an Extra Life when collected. WingCap SM64.png
Wing Cap
Once collected from a Red Block, the Wing Cap allows Mario to fly for a limited time.
Koopa Shell 64.jpg
Shiny Shell
A shell from a Koopa Troopa that Mario can ride, defeating enemies he runs over and allows him to move around the course quicker. Pressing Z Button will cause the shell to disappear. If grabbed underwater by using B Button, Mario can hold onto the shell for a short time and move underwater easier. Vanish Cap
Vanish Cap
Once collected from a Blue ! Switch, the Vanish Cap turns Mario invisible, allowing him to pass through wired cages and ignore enemies.
Artwork of a Power Star from Super Mario 64
Power Star
The main objective of the game. Collecting enough of them will allow Mario to open up ★ doors. MetalCapSM64.png
Metal Cap
Once collected from a Green ! Switch, the Metal Cap turns Mario into metal, allowing him to walk underwater and defeat small enemies by simply running into them.

Notable mistakes and errors

  • At the end of the game, when speaking to Yoshi on the castle roof, he says "Mario!!! It that really you???" instead of "Mario!!! Is that really you???".
  • If Mario is one star short of opening a ★ door, it will still refer to the word needed in the plural: "You need 1 more Stars" instead of "You need 1 more Star."

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

  • Super Mario Bros. - A carving of Mario and a carving of Bowser from this game appear on a pillars in Bowser in the Sky. An arrangement of the overworld theme plays on the title screen, and the underground theme can be heard in the music for Hazy Maze Cave and Wet-Dry World. There is also a small jingle used at the Power Star select screen which sounds identical to the first few notes of the overworld theme in this game.
  • Super Mario World - The idea of Switch Palaces is, in a way, brought back. Also, when Yoshi is met, he says to Mario "It has been so long since our last adventure!", referring to this game. Also, the soundtrack follows the same composition technique used in Super Mario World in a similar way where there's a signature melody in the game that's heard across different levels in several variations (Bob-omb Battlefield, Snow Mountain, Slider).
  • Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island - The theme used for invincibility in this game, specifically the string instruments playing in the background, is reworked into Wing/Vanish Mario's theme for Super Mario 64. The idea of collecting Red Coins first appeared in this title as well.
  • The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time - This game was created using a modified engine of Super Mario 64's and was developed alongside it. Additionally, the notes for the Song of Storms are displayed as stars in the night paintings of the second floor in the Mushroom Castle[11].

References in later games

Appearances in other media

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This section is under construction. Therefore, please excuse its informal appearance while it is being worked on. We hope to have it completed as soon as possible.

It has been requested that more images be uploaded for this section. Remove this notice only after the additional image(s) have been added.

Super Mario 64 has received various manga adaptations.


For a complete list of media for this subject, see List of Super Mario 64 media.
Video.svg Bob-omb Battlefield - Big Bob-omb on the Summit star speed run
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Audio.svg Super Mario 64 - Title screen
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Audio.svg Super Mario 64 - Excerpt from Bob-omb Battlefield
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Audio.svg Super Mario 64 - Inside the Castle walls
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Audio.svg Super Mario 64 - Piranha Plant's lullaby
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Audio.svg Super Mario 64 - Wing Cap theme
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Super Mario 64 DS

Main article: Super Mario 64 DS

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.

Super Mario 64: Shindō Pak Taiō Version

Super Mario 64: Shindō Pak Taiō Version is a version of the original game released in Japan on July 18, 1997 that includes 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 kinga Bowser!" voice clip, which was changed to "Buh-bye!"). Other differences include a new title screen Easter egg and the fixing of the "backwards long jump" glitch. This version was re-released for the Virtual Console on Wii in Japan on December 2, 2006, then on Wii U on April 8, 2015.

Super Mario 3D All-Stars

Main article: Super Mario 3D All-Stars

Super Mario 3D All-Stars is a compilation game for the Nintendo Switch featuring high-definition remasters of Super Mario 64 (specifically Shindō Pak Taiō Version[12], its first international release), Super Mario Sunshine, and Super Mario Galaxy. It was released on September 18, 2020 as part of the 35th anniversary of Super Mario Bros. The game is displayed in 720p resolution and contains redone textures.


Main article: Super Mario 64 Original Soundtrack

An original soundtrack that is based on the game was released in 1996. It has thirty-six tracks from the game.

The soundtrack for this game was created using the Akai S1000 synthesizer, Best Service's Voice Spectral, Digidesign's SampleCell II CD-Rom Library #1, E-MU Systems' Proteus/1 synthesizer, ILIO's Synclavier World & Orchestral, Optical Media International's Universe of Sounds: Sonic Images Vol. 1, Q-Up Arts' The Danny Jaeger Private Collection Vol. 1, Rarefaction's A Poke in the Ear With a Sharp Stick, Roland's JD-990, L-CD702 Orchestral Family Vol. 1 and Sound Canvas SC-88 synthesizers and Spectrasonics' Bass Legends and Supreme Beats.[13]


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

Version differences

There are a total of four Nintendo 64 releases of Super Mario 64: the original Japanese version, the American release, the European and Australian release, and the Japanese Super Mario 64: Shindō Pak Taiō Version re-release.

Changes to the American release

Text changes

  • The script is exclusively in English.
  • Princess Peach signs her letter with a large, pink "Peach". In the Japanese release, she signs her letter in normal sized black text.

Audiovisual changes

Original Japanese Jolly Roger Bay Painting in the game Super Mario 64.
All versions beside the original Japanese version Jolly Roger Bay Painting in the game Super Mario 64.
  • The entrance to Jolly Roger Bay is changed. In the original release, it is a painting of bubbles in a blue frame. In the American release, it is a painting of a sunken ship in a gold frame.
  • In the Japanese version, the animation that plays when Mario collects a key after defeating Bowser depicts him dancing with a Power Star, as he does after completing a Power Star mission in all versions of the game. In the American release, this is changed to a new animation in which Mario dances with the key itself.
  • The unused "key" HUD icon is removed from this version. It is replaced with a corrupted graphic.
  • The J, Q, V, Z, %, &, !, and ‼ characters are removed from the game's multicolored font, and replaced with corrupted graphics similar to the key. None of these symbols are actually used anywhere in the game.
  • The Chain Chomp's bark has been changed to a completely different sound.
  • The Red Coin sound effect increases in pitch with each coin collected. In the Japanese release, all red coins make the same sound.
  • The intro cutscene has several additional sound effects not present in the original release:
    • The blowing of wind when Lakitu is flying.
    • The click of the camera shutter when the in-game camera moves to Lakitu's perspective.
    • The spring sound and voice line "Ha ha!" when Mario jumps out of the pipe.
  • A sound effect not present in the Japanese game plays when Mario exits a course through the pause menu.
  • When entering certain substages, such as Tower of the Wing Cap, the Power Star collection sound effect plays.
  • When Lakitu appears to explain things to Mario, a short tune entitled "Lakitu's Message" plays. Since this tune is not in the original Japanese release, it isn't found on the official soundtrack.
  • The American release adds more voice acting for Mario:
    • "Hello!" when Mario's face greets the player on the title screen.
    • "Okey-dokey!" when the player chooses a save file.
    • "Let's-a go!" when the player chooses a star before entering a course.
    • "Game over!" when Mario runs out of lives.
    • "Press START to play!" during the title screen demo.
    • "Boing!" when Mario jumps off a Spindrift.
    • "I'm-a tired!" and the names of various pastas when Mario is sleeping.
    • "Mamma mia!" when falling out of a non-painting course after Mario loses a life.
    • In the original Japanese version, Mario says "Here we go!" when he throws Bowser. In the American version, he only says "Here we go!" when throwing Bowser a short distance. When he throws Bowser a long distance, he instead says "So long kinga Bowser!".
    • Similarly, when Mario hits a wall in the Japanese version, he grunts. In the American version, Mario grunts if he hits a wall at a low speed, but says "D'oh!" if he Long Jumps or dives into a wall.
    • When Mario Triple Jumps in the Japanese release, he says "Yahoo!". In the American release, he randomly says any of "Yahoo!", "Wha-ha!", or "Yipee!"; however, he says only "Yahoo!" when using the improved Triple Jump obtained after talking to Yoshi.
  • All of Princess Peach's voice acting is new in this version of the game.

Fixed glitches

  • When Mario steps on one of the Cap Switches, a text box is triggered that explains the function of the switch. In the Japanese release, this text box causes the action in-game to pause until the text box is closed. If a Power Star is collected before this text box appears, the star will not vanish as it is supposed to do upon collection. In the American release, the text box does not cause the action to pause, which fixes this glitch.
  • If 1000 coins are collected, the coin counter is intended to immediately set itself back to 999 coins. In the Japanese release, it instead sets the life counter to 999. Because the life counter is stored in memory as a one byte wide signed field, this causes an overflow, and Mario's life total becomes -25. The American release correctly sets the coin counter to 999, rather than the life counter.
  • The first two times Bowser is defeated, he leaves behind a key. If Mario is standing where the key will land and the player presses Camera up Button to activate the first person camera, Mario will keep looking that way during the key collection cutscene.
  • In Shifting Sand Land's pyramid, collecting the fifth secret may cause the audio to stop playing. If this happens, attempting to leave the course in any way will trigger a game crash.
  • If Mario exits a course while standing on a moving platform, he will retain his momentum when the Mushroom Castle loads. This will cause Mario to spawn in an abnormal location.

Level design changes

  • In the mission Blast to the Stone Pillar, the Power Star is in a ! Box, rather than in the open as it was in the Japanese release.
  • In the mission Li'l Penguin Lost, the Power Star's spawn location has been moved from directly above the Mother Penguin to an empty area adjacent to her. This was apparently done because the penguin's hit box made it difficult to collect the star in its original location.

Changes to the European and Australian release

These releases feature all the changes of the American release, plus the following additional changes:

Text changes

  • The script can be switched between English, German, and French.
  • The American version's "Sound" menu has been renamed to "Options", reflecting the fact that the in-game language can be changed from this menu.
  • The characters Ä, Ö, and Ü have been added to the multicolored font, to allow proper representation of the German language. The Ü character is not actually used anywhere in the game. V and Z, which are present in the Japanese release but changed to corrupted characters in the American release, are restored in this edition of the game.

Audiovisual changes

The title screen
The American version.
The European Title screen in the game Super Mario 64.
The European and Australian versions.
The title screen with Mario's face in Super Mario 64.
The American version.
The PAL Intro Screen in the game Super Mario 64.
The European and Australian versions.
  • The copyright date on the title screen is changed to reflect the release year of the European and Australian editions. The trademark symbol was changed for unknown reasons, and the logo is slightly narrower.
  • The intro screen says "PRESS START" in the NTSC versions, but just "START" in the PAL version. The text was also moved slightly to the left in the PAL version.
  • The NTSC versions have slight letterboxing while the PAL version does not. This is most noticeable with the gap between the edge of the HUD elements and the edge of the screen.
  • In the intro, Mario jumps out of a pipe and a variation on the classic Mario pipe sound effect plays. In this edition of the game, the sound effect plays at a much quieter volume.
  • The sound of a Big Star Door closing is now more similar to the sound of the door opening.
  • The yellow coin collecting sound is slightly slowed down.
  • The sound effect of grabbing and then releasing Mario's face on the title screen is changed.
  • Mario's Double Jump sound is different.

Gameplay Changes

  • This version of the game outputs a signal compatible with the PAL television standard, rather than the NTSC standard used by the American and Japanese releases. Therefore, it outputs 25 frames per second instead of 30. This causes everything in the game to happen at 5/6ths of the speed that it happens in the American release.

Changes in Super Mario 64: Shindō Pak Taiō Version

This release features all the changes of the American release, plus the following additional changes:

Text changes

  • The original Japanese script is restored.
  • Text that mentioned pressing B Button to read signs in both the original Japanese and localized scripts now additionally mentions A Button can be pressed as an alternative.

Audiovisual changes

The title screen
The American version
The Shindou Edition re-release Title screen in the game Super Mario 64.
Super Mario 64: Shindō Pak Taiō Version
The easter egg and compatibility notice
  • The copyright date on the title screen is updated to reflect the release date of Super Mario 64: Shindō Pak Taiō Version. The trademark symbol is changed.
  • A notice in the lower right corner of the intro screen informs players that this release is compatible with the Rumble Pak.
  • If the player presses Z Button on the intro screen, the background will be filled with images of Mario's face. These faces are copied from the frame buffer, so they move in synchronisation with the the modeled Mario face.
  • The voice line "So long, King-a Bowser!" is changed to "Buh-bye!", likely since Bowser's Japanese name is Koopa.
  • Mario's Double Jump sound is a higher pitched version of the same sound from the European and Australian version.
  • One of Mario's single Jump sounds is higher-pitched.
  • Mario faces the camera after grabbing a tree.

Gameplay changes

  • The game is compatible with the Rumble Pak.
  • The "backwards long jump" glitch has been fixed. Although the move itself can be performed, the player is prevented from gaining high speeds.
  • The Power Star in Blast to the Stone Pillar is out in the open like in the original Japanese release rather than in a ! Block like in the international releases.

Pre-release and unused content

Main article: List of Super Mario 64 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.

Release Reviewer, Publication Score Comment
N64 Doug Perry, IGN 9.8/10 "In fact, this game is exactly as one might hope it would be: Mario in 3D. More freedom, more space, more options, better graphics, improved and elaborated control schemes -- it's all there. Possibly the greatest videogame achievement ever. Don't rent. Buy."
N64 Gamespot Staff, GameSpot 9.4/10 "Mario 64 is a game that rewards the curious, the original, and in some cases the bludgeoningly stubborn and tenacious. If Mario 64 is even a rough indication of what's to be expected from Nintendo, or from games in general, then we just might have a revolution of sorts in our very hands."
Wii Corbie Dillard, Nintendo Life 10/10 "Finishing the game won't take you too long but as with most Mario games that's not really the point, it will take you weeks (and quite possibly months) to discover all the secrets contained within this game. "
Compiler Platform / Score
Metacritic 94
GameRankings 96.41%


Super Mario 64 is the best selling game for the Nintendo 64, selling 11.62 million copies worldwide, as of December 31, 2009.

Super Mario 3D All-Stars description

  • "Princess Peach has invited Mario to her castle to enjoy some cake! On his arrival, he's greeted by an eerie silence...until Bowser's laughter echoes through the halls. Thus begins an adventure to rescue the princess by exploring the magical worlds within the castle's many enchanted paintings. This first 3D action game in the Super Mario series launched alongside the Nintendo 64 system. The introduction of the analog Control Stick set a new standard for later games in the series."


Main article: List of Super Mario 64 glitches

A famous glitch is the Backwards Long Jump, which will let Mario slide upward on any staircase, including the endless stairs. Another famous glitch is the Black Room of Death, which traps Mario 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 Mario can bump into. An example is the one in Tall, Tall Mountain just above the wooden log.

The frozen head glitch.

While collecting one of Bowser's keys, if the player can press Camera up Button 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, Mario can climb the castle without the cannon. Also, when Mario reaches a corner, he can fall down slightly and grab onto a ledge. Mario can then pull himself back up onto the roof, at which point he will lose a life. For unknown reasons, he also loses his hat.

Angled Dive

When Mario enters the water, the angle Mario was facing before entering is preserved in a datum, therefore, when Mario 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.


Main article: List of Super Mario 64 staff

Game director

  • Shigeru Miyamoto

Assistant directors

  • Yoshiaki Koizumi
  • Takashi Tezuka

Mario face programmer

  • Giles Goddard

Course designers

  • Kenta Usui
  • Naoki Mori
  • Yoshiki Haruhana
  • Makoto Miyanaga
  • Katsuhiko Kanno

Names in other languages

Language Name Meaning
Japanese スーパーマリオ64
Sūpā Mario Rokujūyon
Super Mario 64
Chinese (Simplified) 神游马力欧 (iQue Player)
Shényóu Mǎlì'ōu
超级马力欧64 (Super Mario 3D All-Stars)[14]
Chāojí Mǎlì'ōu Liùshísì
iQue Mario
Super Mario 64
Chinese (Traditional) 超級瑪利歐64[15]
Chāojí Mǎlì'ōu Liùshísì
Super Mario 64


  • Super Mario 64 was one of the games featured at The Art of Video Games, an exhibition held at the Smithsonian American Art Museum in 2012.[16] The game won voting in the "action" category for the Nintendo 64, beating out Banjo-Kazooie and Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire.
  • Like most Nintendo 64 games at the time, Super Mario 64 does not use the full 64-bit capabilities of the console, but actually runs in 32-bit.
  • The music which plays while climbing the endless stairs is a Shepard tone, a sequence of notes which are made to sound as if they are infinitely ascending in tone when in fact they are looping.
  • Super Mario 64 is one of the few mainline Mario games, along with Super Mario Sunshine, to not have a single reference to Luigi that can be accessed through the normal course of play (as model and texture assets exist in the source code for Super Mario 64, but go unused). However, he is playable in the game's DS remake.
  • Despite Super Mario 64 and its remake both receiving an official China (Simplified Chinese) release by iQue, Super Mario 3D All-Stars does not include Chinese script in-game and only offers menu translation for the Chinese-speaking audience.
  • During the development of Super Mario 64, the title screen featuring Mario's face came from 3D struggles leading Shigeru Miyamoto to suggest playing with Mario's model like a programmer. Additionally, Miyamoto took up swimming at the time, which is reflected in Mario's breast stroke move.[17]


  1. ^ Nintendo Direct Presentation - 01.04.2015. Posted to YouTube by Nintendo of Europe on April 1, 2015. Retrieved April 1, 2015.
  2. ^ Super Mario 64 for Wii U Virtual Console on the Nintendo of Japan website. Retrieved April 1, 2015.
  3. ^ GameFaqs - The top 10 games Ever
  4. ^ Edge Online - The 100 Best Games to Play Today
  5. ^ Official Nintendo Magazine - 100 Best Nintendo Games
  6. ^ GameSpot - 15 Most Influential Games of All Time
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^ Shogakukan. 2015. Super Mario Bros. Hyakka: Nintendo Kōshiki Guidebook, Super Mario 64 section, page 85. 「ピーチ姫の飼っているウサギ。」 ("Princess Peach’s pet rabbit.")
  11. ^ HiteiGG's Twitter post, showing the Song of Storms in Super Mario 64
  12. ^ Master0fHyrule (September 18, 2020). 5 MAJOR Differences In Super Mario 64 That You Will Miss! (Super Mario 3D All Stars). YouTube. Retrieved September 23, 2020.
  13. ^
  14. ^ 《超级马力欧64》、《超级马力欧阳光》和《超级马力欧银河》。 3款历代的3D马力欧收录在Nintendo Switch的《超级马力欧 3D 收藏辑》,将于9月18日发售! Nintendo HK. Retrieved September, 2020.
  15. ^ 《超級瑪利歐64》、《超級瑪利歐陽光》和《超級瑪利歐銀河》。3款歷代的3D瑪利歐收錄在Nintendo Switch的《超級瑪利歐 3D 收藏輯》,將於9月18日發售! Nintendo HK. Retrieved September, 2020.
  16. ^
  17. ^ MacDonald, Keza (September 14, 2020). Super Mario at 35: Mario's makers on Nintendo's most enduring mascot. The Guardian. Retrieved November 15, 2020.

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