Super Mario 64
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Super Mario 64 for the N64 title screen

Release dates

Australia Unconfirmed
Europe March 1st, 1997
Japan June 23rd, 1996
N.America September 29th, 1996

General information

Platform: Nintendo 64

Developed by Nintendo EAD

Published by Nintendo

Players: Single-player

 on  Buy Super Mario 64 on

 

Quick links: Overview / Story / Gameplay / Levels and Zones / Enemies & Bosses / Mario's Abilities / Glitches, Mistakes and Bloopers / Reception / Videos: Trailers, Commercials & Gameplay / Mentions in other games / Trivia & Facts / Reference & Information / Media & Downloads

 

Overview

 

The N64's groundbreaking Super Mario 64 was the first 'true' 360 degree 3D game; released into a market that had been fiercely contested by Sega's Saturn and Sony's Playstation this was the title was oneMario ready for action in Super Mario 64 of three launch titles for the Nintendo 64 that really helped to turn heads in the direction of Nintendo's new console particularly in the U.S and Europe.

 

Graphics aside, a lot of new physics and moves were introduced as a result of the N64's enhanced controls and capabilities over its predecessor the SNES; we saw Mario's triple jump, ground pound, long jump and somersaults for the first time and not only that, but you didn't necessarily have to jump on an enemy anymore to kill them; Mario returned extra violent this time with kicking and punching finally becoming a viable means of disposing of his foes!

 

Originally this title had been intended for the SNES (or Famicom in Japan) but although this 16-Bit behemoth was strong, the development team decided that the SNES was not the right platform for this game, and as such Super Mario 64 was used to showcase the best use of the new N64 hardware whilst also acting as the basis for the N64 controller design; making this game potentially the most important factor in how well the Nintendo 64 would do.

 

Super Mario 64 has since been re-released, first of all as Super Mario 64 DS on the Nintendo DS on November 21st, 2004; largely similar to the original but with the added playable characters of Wario, Yoshi and of course Luigi; as most people were pretty perplexed about his absence from the original. Further down the line Super Mario 64 was released on the Wii's virtual console in November 2006, and as a VC title has only been outsold by Super Mario Bros (NES) to date.
 

Story

 

Super Mario 64 on the Nintendo 64 brings a long awaited third dimension to the classic Mario adventure games. The story goes as follows..

 

The letter that the Princess sent to Mario at the start of Super Mario 64

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

Mario: "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 gruff words.

Bowser: "No ones home! Now scram! Bwa, ha ha"
The sounds seem to come from everywhere.

Mario: "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...

Mario: "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.

Mario: "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.

Mario: "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."

 

Gameplay & Controls

 

At first sight, there are many differences between Mario 64 and its predecessors. Players who were used to the 2-bit side scrolling action have had to adapt to many changes. The biggest one is the look. Now you can see Mario at every angle. Manoeuvring with the analog stick instead of the standard D-Pad the biggest adjustment that many players have had to work with. This isn’t considered a game flaw by any means, adapting to the new console was a standard issue for many gamers who were used to playing on the standard NES or SNES systems previously. The 360 degree analog control of the N64 controller was considered both innovative and challenging at the time.


We got used to Mario having to run, jump and shoot his way through levels that were clearly marked, searching for the flag to annotate the course has been cleared. Mario 64 puts you directly in the middle of the action…Now considered classic RPG mode, you find yourself wandering aimlessly, unlocking keys, stumbling across coins, and excited to find that you have reached your target (for that moment).


Because of this, there are no time limits. You won’t find yourself shrinking into oblivion at 0:00 mark. You will, however, be surprised by enemies who are around the corner, as well as friends and allies helping you along the way.
Stars have and always will be a central focus of every Mario game that has existed. One of the objectives of Mario 64 is to search for stars. As each star is found, another world is unlocked, some of them are secret, others are standard. Each level has six stars. A seventh star can be attained if Mario gets 100 coins before clearing the level.


Once you get used to it, the gameplay is pretty exciting. You will find your heart racing as you jump, swim and duck to make your way through levels and zones.

 

Levels & Zones

 

There are fifteen different zones in Super Mario 64. This is almost twice as many as the seven or eight levels that players may be used to. The levels are as follows:

 

Bob omb battlefield

  • Course 1 Bob-omb Battlefield-- This course is ruled by a guy with an explosive personality. Can you find the three extra lives in this level?

Whomps Fortress

  • Course 2 Whomp's Fortress--You can't enter the fortress until you find one star! There are certain spots where Bullet Bills will attack you unexpectedly. Watch out!

Jolly Roger Bay

  • Course 3 Jolly Roger Bay-There are seven stars and 2 extra lives in this location. Look at the Goombas for a surprise!

Cool Cool Mountain

  • Course 4 Cool, Cool Mountain--You can't get into the mountain until you've gotten three stars. Once you do, be careful! You may find yourself sliding to survive.

Big Boo's Haunt

  • Course 5 Big Boo's Haunt-- Merry-Go-Rounds are supposed to be fun. That is not the case with the ghost filled carousel located in this course. Remember, never turn your back on a ghost, or you may find yourself among the dead!

Hazy Maze Cave

  • Course 6 Hazy Maze Cave-- Have you beaten Bowser yet? Did you find the Dark Key? Great! Now it's time to get lost in this crazy hazy maze of a cave.

Lethal Lava Land

  • Course 7 Lethal Lava Land--If you're looking for silver stars, you might want to play with a yellow shell. Try to avoid the little bombers at all cost!

Shifting Sand Land

  • Course 8 Shifting Sand Land--Are you tired of mazes yet? Don't get stuck in any dead ends. If you play the level right, you should come across six extra lives.

Dire Dire Docks

  • Course 9 Dire, Dire Dock--Once you get the first star, you will come across Bowser. This dock is dangerous so tread carefully.

Snowman Land

  • Course 10 Snowman's Land--Ice is supposed to be pretty and calming. This land is anything but. Beware the giant snowman in the middle of the level!

Wet Dry World

  • Course 11 Wet-Dry World--You can control everything in this world with switches. Do you need water to help you? Do you prefer dry land? Switch it!

Tall Tall Mountain

  • Course 12 Tall, Tall--There are many secrets in this world! How many can you find?

Tiny Huge Island

  • Tiny-Huge Island-- Everything here is either very huge or quite tiny. Mario can change sizes by warping through the tunnels. Take advantage of when you are on the small side of the island and watch out for the giant Piranha Plants.

Tick Tock Clock

  • Tick Tock Clock-- If you ever wondered what the inside of a clock was like, now you will know. There are crazy gears and other things that will stand in your way.

Mario on the rooftops on the Rainbow Ride stage

  • Rainbow Ride--Rainbows should be happy and fun. Enjoy riding the carpet down the rainbow but avoid all of the enemies you may meet along the way.

Secret Levels:

  • The Princess's Secret Slide - A large slide filled with 1-Ups and coins.

  • The Secret Aquarium - A giant fish-tank filled with eight Red Coins.

  • Wing Mario Over the Rainbow - A stage in the sky where Mario must fly around using cannons to collect eight Red Coins.

Enemies & Bosses

 

Enemies:

  • Amps--These balls of electricity cannot be killed. They are tricky, so be careful when around them.

  • Bill Blasters—These guys shoot Bullet Bills out of their cannons.

  • Bob-ombs--These guys explode Watch out! They tick when you least expect it.

  • Boos-Yes, this is the same white ghost you saw in the original Mario games. Look him in the eye to make him go away. Never, ever jump on him.

  • Bookends--Don't get too close to this book or he will get you! Throw a punch to get a prize.

  • Bubs--These are mini Bubbas. They follow you and will eat you.

  • Bubbas--These fish will follow you and devour you for lunch if you let them.

  • Bullet Bills--These bullet heads come out of Bill Blasters. They are shot out when you move far away from them.

  • Bullies--These guys will push you around if you let them. That's why they are called Bullies. Stand up to them and finish the course like the hero that you are.

  • Chain Chomps--This giant ball has even bigger teeth and will try to bite you. He is located at Bob-omb's Battlefield. Unfortunately, you can't kill him. You can stun hiim and get some coins, though.

  • Chuckyas--These guys fight a bit dirty. They will pick you up and spin you around. Try to get them from behind.

  • Fire Guys--These guys are pretty interesting. Beware! They shoot fire!

  • Goombas--Yes, it's the original bad guy. You know how to defeat him, so do your thing.

  • Grand Goombas--These are bigger versions of the Goomba. They are a bit scarier but nothing that you cannot handle.

  • Heave Hos--Another indestructible foe is the Heave Ho. They can toss you around with their dustpans and recharge themselves with their keys.

  • Killer Chairs-- These wooden chairs look harmless but will float around and get you good. Try to stay away from the two that you see.

  • Kleptos--This bird will steal your cap, so look out! If you are looking for the first star in Shifting Sand Land, then look up, someone may have stolen it.

  • Koopa Troopas--Yep! We have those flying turtles again. He's easy to kill. Grab the blue coin before he makes another shell.

  • Lakitus--These guys sit in their clouds and throw Spiny Eggs at you.

  • Mad Piano--This piano is at Big Boos Haunt. Even though you cannot kill him, once he comes out to "play", he'll give you a red coin.

  • Micro-Goombas--These guys are kind of cute. They don't hurt you but can get in your way while you are on your mission.

  • Moneybags-- He looks like a regular coin but he's just a villain in disguise. Keep away from him at all cost.

  • Monty Moles--These moles pop out of the ground and attack you. You can attack him while he's still underground. They cannot be killed. However, he can give you an extra life by jumping on him repeatedly.

  • Mr. Blizzards--These snowmen pop out of the ground and throw snowballs at you.

  • Mr. Is--Giant creepy eye. Need I say more?

  • Piranha Plants--These guys like to eat people for breakfast. You have to punch him after you creep up on him to get rid of him.

  • Pokeys--Getting this guy will give you a blue coin. Attack him to make him short.

  • Scuttlebugs--This spider is crazy! If you attack him you get three coins.

  • Skeeters-- Mario sure has a lot of spiders to fight. Jump on him to demolish him.

  • Snufits--This guy has a cannon for a mouth. If you get him, he will give you yellow coins.

  • Spindrifts--These pretty pink flowers are rather deadly. Jump on them with a spin jump and you will get three coins.

  • Swoopers--These bats are more annoying than deadly. You can kill him with any attack method.

  • Thwomps—Thwomps are like Whomps, only bigger.

  • Tox Boxes--Tox Boxes are giant boxes that will roll over you and kill you if you do not watch out.

  • Tweesters--this tornado will suck you up and spin you around.

  • Ukikis--He is another cute character that likes to take stuff. This monkey will take your hat. Once he runs off, he may be hard to catch.

  • Unagis--Unagis are eels that hide in the Jolly Roger Bay. If you swim in front of him, he will come out and try to attack.

  • Venus Fire Traps--Yes, Piranha Plants can shoot fire. Punch him to defeat him.

  • Whomps--Whomps are the worst in the world. He can squash you in a matter of seconds. Jumping on his back will give you five coins. Be careful, but be quick!

Bowser burning Mario's butt

 

Bosses:

  • Big Bob-omb

  • Big Boo

  • Big Bully

  • Big Mr. I

  • Bowser

  • Chill Bully

  • Eyerok

  • Whomp King

  • Wiggler

Mario's Abilities

 

Of course, Mario cannot find Princess Peach without some special gear. The following items gives our hero powers that make him fierce.

 

  • Wing Cap—With this cap, Mario can do a triple jump, shoot himself out of cannons, and fly.

  • Vanishing Cap—This lets Mario walk through walls and gates. He isn’t invisible but he cannot be hurt as badly as if he did not have it.

  • Metal Cap—No, this isn’t Mario’s way of listening to Slayer while out on a stroll. The metal cap likens the Star in other games because it lessens his vulnerability. He can jump higher (but not by much) and can travel deeper in water (he DOES have metal on his head, after all). Most attacks by enemies don’t affect him when wearing the Metal Cap.

Wing Cap Mario flying in a Super Mario 64 artwork

 

Glitches, Mistakes and Bloopers

 

  • If Mario gets to the level exit and is still one star too few, the message will still refer to the stars in plural form; it says "You need 1 more stars" instead of "You need one more star"

  • When you approach Yoshi on the rooftop of the castle he shouts "Mario! It that really you???" instead of "Mario!! is that really you?" - I feel bad for picking this out, we should be glad he speaks any English whatsoever, he is a dinosaur after all!

Wing Cap Mario on the castle rooftop with Yoshi

 

  • The backwards long jump: perhaps the most well known glitch in Super Mario 64, if a player performs this correctly it enables them to climb up any flight of stairs including even the Endless Stairs.

  • Using the above method you can also enter a room which some fans know as the 'Black Room of Death' which basically has Mario stuck in the castle walls

  • There are a number of invisible walls, objects in the game that you can stand on and use for leverage, one of the most commonly known ones is situated on Tall, Tall Mountain.

  • You are supposed to only be able to access the castles rooftop using the cannon once you've collected all 120 of the power stars - but there is one other way, it'll take a few attempts in most cases but with a perfectly executed Triple Jump on the slope adjacent to the castle you CAN gain access to the roof.

  • If Mario falls off the roof he will cling onto the corner of the castle, but he'll still lose a life and worse yet, his hat will come off!

Reception

 

Fans were extremely excited to see their first Super Mario adventure on the Nintendo 64 console, and even more excited to see that Mario had truly entered the 3rd dimension. This game ended up being the best selling N64 time of all time, by the beginning of 2010 it had sold over 11.62 million copies across the globe.

 

In terms of the response from critics, this title did amazingly well with Game Informer scoring it 9.75/10, GameSpot weighing in with 9.4/10 and IGN's rather impressive 9.8/10. The main critical praise being directed at the games groundbreaking 3D graphics, and full 360 degree world - no longer was this a linear side scrolling adventure but a huge world to explore in whatever way you saw fit. The games soundtrack also received praise across the board - the only negative point that stopped this title nailing some 10/10's was the camera man; with critics pointing out that the shifting of the camera angles could interrupt gameplay (Agreed).

 

Videos: Trailers, Commercials & Gameplay

 

 

A full playthrough of Super Mario 64

 

 

A North American TV Commercial for Super Mario 64

 

 

The Super Mario 64 Milk Commercial

 

Mentions in other games

 

  • At the beginning of the DS version of SM64, Yoshi jumps down from the castle roof, an acknowledgement that this is where Yoshi was when the events of the original game ended

  • Paper Mario begins in much the same way as Super Mario 64 with Mario receiving a letter from Peach; once Mario arrives he sees that the main room of Peach's Castle is near exactly like it was in SM64 (though thats where the similarities end as the doors then lead to different rooms)

  • In the Royal Raceway course of Mario Kart 64, Peach's castle appears exactly as it did in Super Mario 64.

  • The fourteenth zone of SM64, Tick Tock Clock appears in Mario Kart DS as a race track.

  • A long time later on in Mario Kart 7 for the 3DS, Metal Mario appears as a playable character.

Interesting Facts

 

  • First Mario game in full 360 degree 3D

  • Like in the Mario Kart games, Lakitu is camera man again

Lakitu, the camera man for the events of Super Mario 64

 

  • Some bob-ombs are friendly!

  • MIPS the rabbit in the castle basement is named after the company who made the N64 Processor, MIPS Technologies.

  • Mario can wear different caps. (Metal Cap, Vanish Cap, Wario's Cap etc)

  • The person who did Mario's voiceovers in Super Mario 64 was Charles Martinet, it wasn't the first time he'd done a Mario voiceover, he also did Mario's FUNdamentals ( a puzzle game collection from 1995 )

  • In the games title screen you can pull Mario's face into different shapes and positions

  • When a second controller is in use player 2 can control the camera views during both the ending sequence and the credits

  • Did you know that Mario 64 was the best-selling game on the Nintendo 64 console?

  • According to the January 2005 issue of Electronic Gaming Magazine, Super Mario 64 is the game that made 3-D games popular.

  • A sequel to the game was supposed to debut on the Super Nintendo Disc Drive. However the Super Nintendo DD never made it big. It is considered the unknown, mysterious, console that never was.

The fabled and mysterious Super Nintendo Disc Drive

  • 2-player mode was in the works. However, developers thought it would be impossible for two players to agree on movements thus making gameplay and navigation nearly impossible.

  • You have to fight Bowser three times in this game.

  • In the Japanese version of the opening screen it says “Press Start”. In the US and EU versions it just says “Start”.

  • In Japan, a rumble pack was released along with the game. Unfortunately, this never made it to EU or US markets.

The Japanese Box Art for Super Mario 64, complete with rumblepak

 

There are references to people / events outside of the Mario universe in this game in the following forms:-

 

  • There is a reference to the famous song "Somewhere over the Rainbow" by Judy Garland from the Wizard of Oz in that during the Rainbow ride course the sixth star along is called "Somewhere over the Rainbow". After this song.

  • Further to the above another of the stars (the second one along in Tick Tock Clock) is called "The Pit and the Pendulums" - the same name as the story by Edgar Allan Poe.

  • MIPS the rabbit is yet another punctuality-challenged critter, much like that of the White Rabbit from Alice in Wonderland.

Reference / Information

 

Media / Downloads

 

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