Super Mario 64



Super Mario 64 is a video game for the Nintendo 64. It debuted in Japan on June 23, 1996, in North America on September 26, 1996, and in Europe on March 1, 1997. Along with Pilotwings 64, it was one of the launch titles for the new console. As the flagship killer game, it drove initial sales of the Nintendo 64, and has sold over 11 million copies in total.

Super Mario 64 was the first 3D game in the Mario series, and though it was not the first-ever 3D platformer, it helped to define the genre, much as Super Mario Bros. defined the 2D sidescrolling platformer. Super Mario 64 was considered so revolutionary that many consider to have set the standard for all later 3D platformer games and 3D games in general.

In going from two to three dimensions, Super Mario 64 replaced the linear obstacle courses of traditional platform games with vast worlds in which the player must complete multiple and diverse missions, with an emphasis on exploration. While doing so, it managed to preserve the feel of earlier Mario games, including many of their gameplay elements and characters. It is acclaimed by critics as one of the greatest video games of all time.

The story of Super Mario 64 begins when Mario receives a letter from Princess Peach asking him to come to her castle to receive a cake that she has baked for him. Upon arrival, Mario learns that Bowser has invaded the castle and imprisoned the Princess and her servants within it. Bowser has used the power of the castle's 120 power stars to transform many of the castle's paintings into portals to other realms, in which his minions keep watch over the stars. Mario embarks on a quest to recover the stars, rescue the Princess and restore order to the castle. In the end, Mario succeeds in defeating Bowser and rescuing Princess Peach and her servants from their imprisonment and restoring the power of the stars to the castle. The Princess rewards Mario by baking the cake that she had promised him.

As in the earlier Mario titles for the NES and SNES, Mario has to save Princess Peach from Bowser. To do this, Mario must find power stars scattered throughout Peach's castle, of which there are 120. Collecting 70 stars allows Mario to fight Bowser for the final time, although it is possible to do this with only 16 stars using glitches, but a secret reward awaits players that collect all 120. The castle itself serves as a central hub; most stars are found in the fifteen worlds, gateways to which are found mostly in paintings scattered throughout the castle.

Mario’s abilities in Super Mario 64 are far more diverse than in any previous Mario game. He can walk, run, crouch, crawl, swim, climb and jump at great heights or distances using the game controller's analog stick and buttons. As jumping was Mario's signature move in earlier games, particular attention was paid to this move. In addition to regular jumping, there are special jumps that can be executed by combining a regular jump with other actions, including the extra high double and triple jumps (jumping two and three times in a row, respectively), the long jump, and backflip. There are also special maneuvers, such as wall jumping (jumping from one wall to another in rapid succession to reach areas that would otherwise be too high).

Mario has a number of physical attacks in addition to jumping. His basic attack is the punch, which becomes a jump kick when performed in mid-air. Attacking while running will cause Mario to lunge forward. Crouching while in the air will execute a power stomp (also called the ground pound). Crouching while running and then immediately attacking will execute a slide kick, while crouching and moving the analog stick will make Mario crawl in the desired direction (usually to get through tight gaps). He is able to pick up certain items and carry them around, an ability which is used to solve various puzzles. Mario can also swim underwater at various speeds. His life slowly diminishes while underwater (representing how long he can hold his breath), and he must either find coins or air bubbles to replenish it, or return to the surface so as not to drown.

Each course is an enclosed world of its own. The player is free to wander around and discover the environment without time limits, and may go in all directions within the boundaries of the world. The worlds are filled with enemies that attack Mario as well as friendly creatures that provide assistance or information, or ask him for a favor. In order to gather the stars, Mario must pass various challenges in each stage. The challenges themselves vary; generally, Mario needs to defeat a boss, overcome obstacles, solve puzzles, race an opponent by running or sliding faster than it, or accomplish tasks such as finding a baby penguin for its mother or opening treasure chests in the right order.

Numerous stars throughout the courses can only be obtained by using one of three special cap power-ups. The first is the Wing Cap, which enables Mario to fly. The Metal Cap makes him immune to ordinary damage (including drowning and fire, but not falls) and allows him to withstand wind gusts and walk normally underwater. Finally, the Vanish Cap renders Mario partially immaterial, allowing him to walk through some obstacles such as wire mesh. The caps are obtained from cap blocks found around the courses, similar to the classic Mario "?" blocks (though they bear the "!" symbol instead).

Slides and races
On several occasions, Mario must race an opponent or the clock. This includes sprinting by foot against a Koopa Troopa named Koopa the Quick and sliding down long, curvy slides surrounded by bottomless pits. The ability to slide down a slope is one found in Super Mario Bros. 3, but expanded here to a larger scale.
Bosses
Some courses contain a star guarded by a boss. The bosses are generally larger versions of enemies in the game, which are often classic Mario enemies from earlier titles.
Cannons
In some of the courses, Mario can unlock cannons by speaking to the pink Bob-omb Buddies that operate them. After Mario crawls down into a cannon, he can be shot out to reach far-away places. Combined with the Wing Cap, cannons can be used to reach extremely high altitudes or fly across most of a level quickly.
Coins
In each course, one star is obtained by gathering at least 100 coins, which are recurring elements in the series dating back to the original Mario Bros. (in most Mario titles, this same feat provides the player with a 1-up). Another is obtained by collecting eight red coins, an element borrowed from Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island.

The castle consists of three floors and a basement, a moat, and a courtyard, which all contain entrances to main or special courses. As Mario collects more stars, he gains access to new levels of the castle, where the courses increase in difficulty. To go farther than the first floor, Mario must obtain keys by defeating Bowser in special courses called Bowser in the Dark World and Bowser in the Fire Sea. The third encounter with Bowser, Bowser in the Sky, ends the game.

First floor

* Bob-omb Battlefield is a bright grassland following the tradition of first courses from earlier Mario games. Here, Mario meets Big Bob-omb, who waits at the summit of a mountain as a boss character, guarding the first star in the game. In this course, Mario also meets a Chain Chomp and Koopa the Quick for the first time.
* Whomp's Fortress is a fortress floating in the sky. Here, Mario encounters Piranha Plants and the Thwomps as well as their larger, walking Whomp variations. One of the stars requires Mario to grab the talons of an owl (called a Hoot), ride it into the air, and drop off onto a platform high above the fortress (or use the cannon).
* Jolly Roger Bay is a mostly-underwater course centered around a sunken pirate ship and the treasure within and about it. A monstrously large eel named Unagi also lives here.
* Cool Cool Mountain is the first of two snow-themed courses in the game, featuring some Penguins in need and various snowy enemies. Additionally, there is a Penguin that will race Mario down a slide for a star.

Courtyard

* Big Boo's Haunt is a haunted house that features various Boos and other frightening enemies. Among the many haunted things in the house, there is an evil piano that grows teeth and attacks Mario if he gets too close, a library whose books hurl themselves at him, a haunted carousel, and a room filled with coffins that stand upright when Mario gets near, and then fall back down, squishing anything beneath them.

Basement

* Hazy Mazy Cave is a complex of caverns, reminiscent of dungeons from earlier Mario games (and using a remix of the same music). There is a friendly creature called Dorrie, a mine area filled with poisonous gas, plenty of Monty Moles and Swoopers, and the odd flying Snifit.
* Lethal Lava Land consists of platforms above a sea of lava, as well as a volcano that Mario can enter. The sea of lava makes this area difficult to traverse. Lava is a consistent recurring threat in the Mario series.
* Shifting Sand Land is a cruel desert that is home to a labyrinthine pyramid as well as a cap-stealing vulture named Klepto and the fearsome Eyerok. Throughout the course and on the course's edges, there's quicksand that can easily engulf and entrap Mario and kill him. It is reminiscent of the desert courses in Super Mario Bros. 2 (also featuring Shy Guys and Pokeys) and Super Mario Bros. 3. In terms of area, Shifting Sand Land is easily the largest level in the game.
* Dire Dire Docks is another underwater course. This one involves two main areas separated by a tunnel and a submarine that belongs to Bowser.

Second floor

* Snowman's Land, the second of two snow-themed courses, is centered around a giant climbable snowman mountain. The mountain, bizarrely enough, can talk.
* Wet-Dry World is a course in which Mario can raise and lower the water level to better accomplish his goals and gain stars. The initial water level corresponds to the height at which he enters the painting, and there are switches that can change the water level.
* Tall Tall Mountain takes place on an extremely steep mountain. It plays host to a cap-stealing monkey called Ukkiki as well as many precariously placed mushroom platforms.
* Tiny-Huge Island can be played either as a small Mario in a world where everything is larger than normal, or as a large Mario in a world where everything is smaller than normal, a theme similar to World 4 of Super Mario Bros. 3. Its two differently sized paintings allow Mario to start the course either way, and warp pipes within the level allow him to switch. It also features a rematch with Koopa the Quick and an angry boss, Wiggler.

Third floor

* Tick Tock Clock is the inside of a gigantic clock where Mario must navigate between moving parts such as pendulums and gears. The speed and direction of the moving parts in this stage are affected by the positions of the hands of the clock when Mario jumps into it. This level was reused as a race track in Mario Kart DS.
* Rainbow Ride takes place in the sky, with various platforms and floating buildings that can be reached by riding a magic carpet. The course's name, difficulty level and high altitude are reminiscent of the Rainbow Road courses from the Mario Kart games. This level was reused as an arena in Super Smash Bros. Melee under the name of "Rainbow Cruise."

The development of Super Mario 64 took less than two years, but the game had actually been in the planning stage for about five years. Producer Shigeru Miyamoto developed most of the concepts during the era of the SNES, and considered making it an SNES game (see Super Mario FX), but decided to develop it for the Nintendo 64 due to the earlier system's technical limitations [citation needed].

Development started by creating the characters and the camera. Months were spent selecting a camera view and layout that would be appropriate; the original concept involved the game having fixed path much like an isometric type game, before the choice was made to settle on a free-roaming 3D design. The first test scenario used to try out controls and physics involved Mario and the rabbit Mips, named for the MIPS processor in the Nintendo 64 (this scene remains as a minigame in the final game). Reliable information about Nintendo's new 3D Mario first leaked out in November 1995, and a playable version of Super Mario 64 was presented days later as part of the world premier for the Nintendo 64 (then known as Ultra 64) at Nintendo SpaceWorld. The basic controls had at this point been implemented, and the game was reportedly 50% finished, although most course design remained. At least 32 courses were planned, but the number turned out lower in the final game, as only 15 could fit.

Shigeru Miyamoto has stated that the guiding design philosophy behind Super Mario 64 was to include more details. Many were inspired from real life; for example, one character is based on director Takashi Tezuka's wife who "is very quiet normally, but one day she exploded, maddened by all the time he spent at work. In the game, there is now a character which shrinks when Mario looks at it, but when Mario turns away, it will grow large and menacing." Super Mario 64 is also characterized by featuring more puzzles than earlier Mario games. It was developed simultaneously with The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, but as Zelda was released years later, some puzzles were taken from that game for Super Mario 64.

The music was composed by Koji Kondo, who used new interpretations of the familiar melodies from earlier games as well as entirely new material. Sound-wise, Super Mario 64 was also one of the first in the series to feature the voice acting of Charles Martinet. It also features Leslie Swan as Princess Peach and Issac Marshall as Bowser (unlisted in credits).

A main difference between the Japanese and English versions, except the language, is that the characters speak more in the English version.[13] Sometimes different things are said, like Mario's "Bye bye" became "So long-a Bowser!" There are other differences, some of which remained in the English release of Super Mario 64 DS.

Super Mario 64 is often counted as the first among games such as The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Metroid Prime, Sonic Adventure, and Final Fantasy VII to have brought a series of 2D games into full 3D while maintaining their signature feel. The game was designed with the earlier Mario titles' maneuvers, power-up blocks, level themes (such as grassland, lava, desert, and so on), enemies, and other characters in mind. Super Mario 64's translation of traditional 2D platforming action into 3D was hailed as a great success by many players, and the game itself went on to effectively drive sales of the N64 console.

Super Mario 64 was praised in the gaming press, and is still highly acclaimed. It has collected numerous awards, including various "Game of the Year" honors by members of the gaming media, as well as Nintendo's own bestseller Player's Choice selection. It has placed high on many "greatest games of all time" lists, ranked #1 by Next Generation Magazine, #5 and #1 in Nintendo Power issues 200 and 100 respectively, #1 by Super PLAY, #5 by IGN, and #5 by Electronic Gaming Monthly. EGM awarded Super Mario 64 a Gold award in its initial review, and in Edge, the game was the first of only five games to ever score a perfect 10/10. GameSpot called Super Mario 64 one of the 15 most influential games of all time.

Super Mario 64 set many precedents for 3D platformers to follow.

Unlike 2D games, 3D games must emulate a real perspective of characters and events. Most existing 3D games at the time used a first person or fixed perspective, but the platform gameplay of Super Mario 64 required the use of a free camera. The game world is therefore viewed through an in-game video camera operated by Lakitu. Lakitu handles the camera automatically, but the player can change the perspective manually when necessary, since the camera programming occasionally makes the view get stuck behind walls or at odd angles. This was a useful innovation, as other games were sometimes unplayable due to an unfixable bad camera.

The Nintendo 64's analog control stick allowed for more realistic and wide-ranging character movements than the digital D-pads of previous consoles, and Super Mario 64 exploits this feature extensively. For example, Mario's speed varies depending on the degree of tilt of the control stick. The range and direction of many other movements can be controlled as well. The Bowser battles exhibit this by forcing the player to rotate the control stick in circles in order to swing Bowser around and throw him into mines placed around the arena.

Super Mario 64 was also notable for its sense of freedom and non-linearity. This was initially unfamiliar to many people, among them voice actor Michael Grayford of Liquid Entertainment:

Super Mario 64
When I first played Mario 64, I was very turned off. There were too many places to run around and too much stuff to do, and I didn't really see the point or the spirit of the game. I tried it again later, though, hearing from everyone how fun it was, and ended up playing it all the way through to the end. I was highly pleased. Each level brought some new unique cool gameplay element and I was never bored.

Super Mario 64

Warren Spector, former lead designer at Ion Storm Inc., gives the following explanation for the game's influence:

Super Mario 64
It's not possible to squeeze this much gameplay into a single game. Mario has, like, ten things he can do and yet there's never a moment where you feel constrained in any way. No game has done a better job of showing goals before they can be attained, allowing players to make a plan and execute on it. And the way the game allows players to explore the same spaces several times while revealing something new each time is a revelation. Any developer who wouldn't kill to have made this game is nuts.

Super Mario 64

A central hub, where controls can be learned before entering levels themselves, has been used in many 3D platformers since. In addition, the game's mission-based level design was an inspiration for other game designers. For one example, Martin Hollis who produced and directed GoldenEye 007 says that "the idea for the huge variety of missions within a level came from Mario 64."

Super Mario 64 has been re-released or remade several times:

* Super Mario 64 was re-released in Japan on 18 July 1997 as Shindou Super Mario 64. This version is compatible with the Rumble Pak, and the voice acting from the American version has been added.
* Super Mario 64 was re-released in America as a Player's Choice title in 1998.
* Super Mario 64 has been confirmed to be downloadable for the Virtual Console service for Wii. This release is a port with no visual or gameplay improvements or changes.
* Super Mario 64 DS for the Nintendo DS is a remake that features Yoshi, Luigi, and Wario as additional playable characters, additional stars and courses, touch screen mini-games, and a few minor multiplayer modes.

Super Mario 64 set the course for the future of the Mario series. Super Mario Sunshine for the Nintendo GameCube built on Super Mario 64's core gameplay by adding a water pump device and add-on nozzles, similar to the Caps.

Super Mario 64 2 was planned for the Nintendo 64DD, but canceled due to the failure of that peripheral, as well as a lack of progress in development.

Because of Super Mario 64's great popularity, rumors about glitches and secrets spread rapidly after its release. The most infamous rumor is that Mario's brother Luigi is an unlockable character in the game. This rumor was fueled by a blurry text on the pedestal of a statue in the castle courtyard that supposedly read "L is Real 2041" (or 2401), which caused rampant fan speculation. (Upon closer inspection, the blurry texture is illegible.) IGN received so many questions and supposed methods to unlock Luigi that the staff offered a bounty to anyone who could prove that Luigi was in the game. The number of false codes submitted to IGN dropped dramatically; no successful method was uncovered.

Photoshopped pictures of Mario with a green tint have been presented as evidence of Luigi being playable, but no one has been able to accomplish this feat in the game. Nintendo has consistently denied Luigi's playability, and never commented on the meaning of the supposed "L is Real 2041" except for the April Fool's Day 1998 issue of Nintendo Power. In this issue, the "April News Briefs" section says that the cryptic phrase will be discussed on page 128, but the magazine only has 106 pages. The "April News Briefs" section also featured a facetious article entitled "Luigi 64," commenting humorously on the rumors.

Super Mario 64
One of Nintendo's most famous second bananas finally gets his own game! Ever since Luigi was left out of Super Mario 64, players have been campaigning to get Luigi into a game of his very own. Now with this upcoming title, Luigi fans will get what they've been expecting: yet another game that doesn't feature Luigi!

Instead, the new N64 game will star the snowman from Super Mario 64. Remember the headless snowman from Cool, Cool Mountain? Neither do we, but he's getting his very own game, and just about every Nintendo character whose name isn't Luigi will be making an appearance in it! Some of the guest stars include: Mario, Link, Toad, Bowser, Samus, Fox McCloud, the Wave Race announcer, the bikini woman in Cruis'n USA, that bald guy from Blast Corps, the frogs in the meadow in DKR, and random audience members from Super Punch-Out!!

When we asked whether Luigi would be in Headless Snowman 64, the developers responded, "Luigi? Is that the name of one of the civilian women in GoldenEye 007? Because if that's who Luigi is, then she'll definitely be in the game."

Luigi is, in fact, a playable character in the enhanced remake, Super Mario 64 DS.

Among other Mario references, the suspicious texture reappears in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, a game based on a heavily modified version of the Super Mario 64 engine.Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, with no Front-Cover Texts, and with no Back-Cover Texts.
Virtual Magic is a human knowledge database blog. Text Based On Information From Wikipedia, Under The GNU Free Documentation License. Copyright (c) 2007 Virtual Magic. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.1 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts and no Back-Cover Texts. A copy of the license is included in the section entitled "GNU Free Documentation License".

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