The development of Super Mario 64 was full of surprises. These behind-the-scenes facts will change the way you see the game.
One of the most iconic and recognizable games of all time, Super mario 64 It is seen as a landmark game in terms of the development of great 3D titles and reaffirmed Nintendo’s status as the best of the best as games moved into a new era.
However, in games, development rarely goes completely to plan, and a game’s first design document will often look very different from the finished product. Creative changes can be made for all kinds of reasons, time, money, or a change in philosophy. Regardless of the reason, they are a host of entertaining trivia.
The Impossible Coins and Goomba Doomed
In any Super Mario game, one thing that is guaranteed is that the coins will be everywhere. Running through any level in 64 will award players at least 100 coins, and many will give a star for doing exactly that. As such, it might come as no surprise that developers get a bit excited about placing them.
In both Snowman’s Land and Tiny-Huge Island, there are rare coins hidden behind the walls that can be seen by carefully positioning the camera. However, that’s not all, as in Bowser In The Sky, there is a Goomba that should appear on a platform to attack Mario, but it doesn’t. Hackers finally found this Goomba, and it turns out that a bug causes it to spawn at the bottom of the world, where it quickly falls and dies.
Peach’s lack of speeches
In the English versions of Mario 64, the game begins and ends with a spoken segment of Princess Peach, the first time she speaks in the franchise. His voice was provided by the then senior editor of the Nintendo Power revista, Leslie Swan.
Interestingly, there is no equivalent speech in the Japanese version of the game, where Peach remains completely speechless. It is unknown why the decision was made just to give Peach an English voice, but Mario 64 Sprinters around the world thank Nintendo for that, as it makes the Japanese version of the game much faster from the get-go.
Placeholder voice clips
Charles Martine’s performance as Mario has become a mainstay of the franchise, as he still expresses the character to this day. However, before her brilliant performance was recorded, the designers needed placeholder voice clips to work with, and their choice is a bit odd.
To the surprise of many, they were clips ripped from Looney Tunes cartoons. It is unclear if this was due to some of the developers being cartoon fans or if they were best suited for how they wanted Mario to sound. Either way, they were all replaced before the game was released.
Tick Tock Clock Control
It’s no secret that players can control aspects of certain levels of the game. Tiny-Huge Island is Mario’s size determined by the portrait he enters, and the water level in Wet-Dry World is determined by how high Mario enters the portrait.
However, one that many players are still unaware of is the Tick Tock Clock. The level works like a clock, with platforms that move and rotate with the tick and tock of the clock. However, the player can control the speed of the clock. Entering the portrait when the minute hand is at 3 will make the clock move much slower while entering a 6 speeds up the level. A 9 will make everything move erratically and out of sync, while a 12 will make everything completely still.
Back on the horse
In 1998, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time was thrown to universal praise and created a new iconic character in Nintendo history. Link’s horse, Epona. Horses became a staple of the Zelda franchise from that point on, and other Nintendo franchises have left them alone.
So it is surprising that Super mario 64 It was initially supposed to feature a level where Mario could ride his own horse. It never made it to actual development, and the idea was dropped before construction began on the game, but it was discussed a lot in the early stages of pre-production.
The shared voice of Boo and Bowser
Reusing assets is much faster, cheaper, and generally easier for game developers, especially when storage space is a significant limitation. As such, there are two iconic laughs in the game in very different places. Boo’s high-pitched laugh and Bowser’s low, menacing laugh when Mario dies.
These two laughs evoke very different sentiments and have become tropes of the franchise in their own way. However, the truth is that they are exactly the same laugh. They both use the same recording, except where Bowser’s slows down and deepens, Boo’s speeds up and increases.
Real world background
Wet-Dry World is one of the most interesting levels in the game, with the different levels of water opening up a myriad of possibilities for players. When players first enter the level at the bottom, walls on all sides prevent players from seeing far away or falling off the level. However, when it is right at the top, the box is visible and there is something strange about it.
Instead of a generic sky-like view, like most levels, Wet-Dry World uses an image of a real-world city. Initially it was believed that they were from a Spanish city. However, after data miners found the raw image files, it was confirmed that they were shots of both Shibam in Yemen and the Mohammad Ali Mosque in Cairo, Egypt.
More playable characters?
While gamers now know that the extra playable characters in Super mario 64 they are nothing more than a fantasy, at the time, many believed that Luigi was hidden somewhere in the game and could be playable. Unfortunately, it wasn’t, and additional playable characters would only be added to the Nintendo DS remake where Yoshi, Wario, and Luigi were all playable as the franchise’s lore grew in scope.
However, that is not to say that it was never the plan. In fact, Luigi was intended to be playable in the game, along with a splitscreen multiplayer mode, but time and money constraints prevented it from becoming a reality. However, Yoshi finds himself in the game on the roof of the castle after it is 100% complete.
Numbers can be difficult for gaming consoles to handle, especially large numbers, which is why games place limits on the height of certain statistics. Mario’s coin counter on 64 it’s one of those stats, which typically only goes up to 999.
However, during the final fight with Bowser in Bowser in the Sky, King Koopa’s fireballs can be turned into coins, and it’s possible for Mario to collect one too many and push the coin counter to 1,000. However, this causes a strange error. Mario’s life counter changes to read “M25”, so if Mario falls off the level and dies, he will gain a life instead of losing it. Surprisingly, the reverse is also true, as getting a 1-Up mushroom will cause Mario to lose a life instead of gaining it.
Not a 64-bit game
Marketing is a complicated game, and making people believe that something is true is much more important than whether it is really true or not. While the Nintendo 64 absolutely had the ability to run 64-bit games, many still opted to go 32-bit. There are many reasons for this, including less storage space (especially for a long game like Mario 64 era) and generally runs faster.
What may surprise players is that Super mario 64 it is, in fact, a 32-bit game. The “64” in the title simply refers to the console, Nintendo 64, on which it was run. This allowed Nintendo to get away with a sneaky marketing stunt, largely implying that the game was 64-bit without ever saying it, and thus never technically lying in its advertising.