Super Mario 64
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.
Though not the first 3D platforming game, Super Mario 64 codified many of the controls and designs conventions of the genre. 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. 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[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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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, 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.
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 has received various manga adaptations.
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
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, 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.
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.
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
Level design changes
Changes to the European and Australian release
These releases feature all the changes of the American release, plus the following additional changes:
Changes in Super Mario 64: Shindō Pak Taiō Version
This release features all the changes of the 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.
Super Mario 3D All-Stars description
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.
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, 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.
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.
Mario face programmer
Names in other languages