Super Mario 64

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Super Mario 64
Developer(s)Nintendo EAD
Producer(s)Shigeru Miyamoto
Composer(s)Koji Kondo
SeriesSuper Mario
    • JP: June 23, 1996
    • NA: September 29, 1996
    • EU: March 1, 1997[1]

Super Mario 64 is a 1996 video game created by Nintendo for the Nintendo 64. It marked the first Mario game using 3D graphics. Many fans and critics think that it is one of the best video games ever made.[2][3]

Premise[change | change source]

Princess Peach makes a special cake and invites Mario to her castle in Mushroom Kingdom. As Mario arrives, he learns that Bowser occupied the castle and kidnapped Peach. To defeat Bowser and rescue Peach, Mario enters each worlds on painting walls. The main hub of the game is Peach's castle. The player can unlock doors by collecting stars. There are 120 of them on each separated levels. The player can get each stars by completing each achievements per level. One world requires two stars, for instance. Each locked door leads to more levels and challenges. Mario can also leave the castle and explore the small courtyard.

Development[change | change source]

Super Mario 64 was made in less than two years, but it was reported that Shigeru Miyamoto had thought about a 3D Mario game, called Super Mario FX, five years before, while working on Star Fox.[4][5] Miyamoto developed most of the concepts during the era of the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) and considered using the Super FX chip to make it a SNES game, but decided to develop it for the Nintendo 64 due to the former system's technical limitations.[6] On his Twitter Dylan Cuthbert stated that there was never a Super Mario FX game ever made, and that "Super Mario FX" was the internal code name of the FX chip.[7]

Nintendo started making the game with the creation of the characters and camera system. Miyamoto and the other designers were initially unsure of which direction the game should take; months were spent selecting a camera view and layout that would be appropriate.[8] The original concept involved the game having fixed path much like an isometric type game (similar to Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars), before the choice was made to settle on a free-roaming 3D design.[8] Although the majority of Super Mario 64 would end up featuring the free-roaming design, elements of the original fixed path concept would remain in certain parts of the game, particularly in the three Bowser encounters. One of the programmers of Super Mario 64, Giles Goddard, explained that these few linear elements survived as a means to force players into Bowser's lair rather than to encourage exploration.[8] The development team placed high priority on getting Mario's movements right, and before levels were created, the team was testing and refining Mario's animations on a simple grid. The first test scenario used to try out controls and physics involved Mario and a golden rabbit named "MIPS" by the developers (named for the MIPS-type CPU used by the Nintendo 64), the latter of which was included in the final release of the game as a means to obtain two of the Power Stars. The developers initially tried to make the game split screen co-op using both Mario and Luigi. Initially, the two characters would start at separate points in the castle and work their way through the game together. However, developers were unable to make the gameplay work.[9]

Shigeru Miyamoto's guiding design philosophy behind Super Mario 64 was to "include more details" than found in games prior to the Nintendo 64.[4] Some details were inspired by real life. For example, the Boos are based on assistant director Takashi Tezuka's wife, who, as Miyamoto explained, "is very quiet normally, but one day she exploded, maddened by all the time Tezuka 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."[10] 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 Ocarina of Time was released more than two years later, some puzzles were taken from that game for Super Mario 64.[11]

Information about Super Mario 64 first leaked out in November 1995, and a playable version of the game was presented days later as part of the world premiere for the Nintendo 64 (then known as Nintendo's "Ultra 64") at Nintendo Space World. The basic controls had at this point been implemented, and the game was reportedly 50% finished, although most of the course design remained. Thirty-two courses were created for the game. Miyamoto thought he would create more, up to 40 courses, not including bonus levels. The actual number turned out much lower in the final game, though, as only 15 courses could fit.[4][10]

Appearances in other games[change | change source]

In the original Super Smash Bros. for the Nintendo 64 console, Princess Toadstool's castle is a playable stage in which the fighters fight on top of the roof, Mario can be the owner of the area.

In Mario Party, Peach's stage is a large birthday cake which the player can travel through.

Sequel and Remake[change | change source]

In 1999, a sequel, titled Super Mario 64 2, was planned to be released for the Nintendo 64DD (N64 Disk Drive), but it was cancelled, due to the commercial failure of the Nintendo 64DD and unlike its predecessor, Luigi was going to be playable and there would be a multiplayer mode. Super Mario 64 DS is a 2004 enhanced remake made for the Nintendo DS console. In this game Mario, Luigi, and Wario all get a letter saying Peach baked a cake for them. Bowser has kidnapped Princess Peach, Mario, Luigi, and Wario and has jailed them in Princess Peach's castle, by Gomboss, King Boo, and Chief Chilly. Yoshi is told that he must save them. Yoshi finds a rabbit and unlocks the door to the castle. When the player finds keys, they save a character, and can play as them. Super Mario 64 DS also has a multiplayer wireless versus mode where up to four players can play and minigames which are unlocked by getting keys from rabbits. Here, there are 150 stars, 30 more than the original game.

References[change | change source]

  1. "Super Mario 64". GameSpot. CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on February 14, 2018. Retrieved February 13, 2018.
  2. "The Best Video Games in the History of Humanity". Retrieved 2006-02-11.
  3. "Citizen Game meets Game Man," Toronto Star, December 2, 2004, pg. G.11.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 "The Game Guys - (Spaceworld 1995)". Nintendo Power. Nintendo (80). January 1996.
  5. "IGN: Super Mario FX". 2010-09-13. Retrieved 2011-08-30.
  6. Grajqevci, Jeton (2000-10-09). "Profile: Shigeru Miyamoto Chronicles of a Visionary". N-Sider. Retrieved 2007-12-05.
  7. "165596909413728256." Twitter. Retrieved on February 19, 2012. "SNES Central @dylancuthbert I'm researching unreleased SNES games, was a game called "Super Mario FX" ever in development? Dylan Cuthbert @snescentral no, that was the internal code name for the FX chip"
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 "The Making of Mario 64: Giles Goddard Interview". NGC Magazine. Future Publishing (61). December 2001.
  9. "Mario 64 once had a co-op mode". Destructoid. Retrieved 2011-08-30.
  10. 10.0 10.1 "Miyamoto Interview". Nintendo Power. Nintendo (75). August 1995.
  11. "Miyamoto Interview". Nintendo Power. Nintendo (89). October 1996.