Super Mario 64

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Super Mario 64
Developer Nintendo EAD
Publisher Nintendo
Platform(s) Nintendo 64, Nintendo 64DD, Virtual Console (Wii, Wii U), Nintendo 64 - Nintendo Switch Online
Release date Nintendo 64:
Japan June 23, 1996
USA September 29, 1996
Europe March 1, 1997
Australia March 1, 1997
Japan July 18, 1997 (Shindō Pak Taiō Version)
China November 17, 2003 (iQue Player)
Virtual Console (Wii):
USA November 19, 2006
Japan December 2, 2006
Australia December 7, 2006
Europe December 8, 2006
Virtual Console (Wii U):
USA April 1, 2015
Europe April 1, 2015[1]
Australia April 2, 2015
Japan April 8, 2015[2]
Nintendo 64 - Nintendo Switch Online:
USA October 25, 2021[3]
Japan October 26, 2021[4]
Europe October 26, 2021[5]
Australia October 26, 2021[6]
HK October 26, 2021[7]
South Korea October 26, 2021[8]
Genre Platformer
ESRB: - Kids to Adults
PEGI: - Three years and older
CERO: - All ages
ACB: - General
Mode(s) Single player
Nintendo 64:
Game Pak
iQue Player:
Digital download
Nintendo 64DD:
Magneto-optical drive
Digital download
Nintendo 64:
iQue Player:
Wii U:
Nintendo Switch:

Super Mario 64 is a 3D platformer game for the Nintendo 64, First released in 1996. 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. To this day, it has sold nearly over 11 million copies, and is marked as the best selling Nintendo 64 game of all time. It is also the second most popular game on the Wii's Virtual Console, after Super Mario Bros.

Super Mario 64 was originally in development for the Super Famicom, (SNES outside of Japan), but was moved to the Nintendo 64 after system limitations and the era of the SNES began closing[9], not to mention a lack of proper controls (as the game defined the design of the N64 controller[1]). Though it was not the first 3D platforming game, it revolutionized the genre, with many games soon following its formula using it as a sort of benchmark[10]. It is widely acclaimed as one of the greatest and important games of all time[11][12][13].

A version of the game was released in Japan on July 18, 1997, that included 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-eh Bowser" voice clip, which was "buh-bye" in all Japanese versions as he tosses him by the tail - this is because he is not known as Bowser in Japan; instead he is known as Koopa). The only differences other than one voice clip are the language being changed back to Japanese and the Rumble Pak support.

A remake of Super Mario 64 was released for the Nintendo DS entitled Super Mario 64 DS in 2004. The remake had various differences from the original game such as Yoshi, Wario, and Luigi becoming as playable characters. There was also a sequel called Super Mario 64 2 planned for the Nintendo 64DD, but it was cancelled due to the 64DD's commercial failure.


The Princess' letter.

Princess Peach sent a letter to Mario to come and have some cake with her in the castle. When Mario arrives, he finds one of the Lakitu Bros. who follows him around holding a camera and filming him. Together, they go inside and hear a familiar voice telling them to get out of the castle, actually being Bowser. Toad informs them that Bowser has kidnapped Princess Toadstool again and is holding everyone hostage inside the castle walls. He has also stolen the Power Stars and given them to his minions who are hiding in the paintings that are accessible from inside the castle. Mario must jump into each painting scattered around the castle in order to retrieve the power stars.

Toad informs Mario about a Bob-omb field where Big Bob-omb must be faced. The first of many power stars can be found here. By obtaining more Power Stars, Mario unlocks doors to more paintings in the castle including the Whomp's Fortress, Jolly Roger Bay, Cool, Cool Mountain and many more, and the ability to collect more stars.

Mario finds his first painting, an entrance to a level

When Mario collects 8 of the Power Stars, he can open the Star Door at the left side of the castle. He then falls through the floor in the room and enters the first Bowser Course, Bowser in the Dark World. After travelling through the course, he enters a warp pipe, which leads him to Bowser. After evading Bowser's attacks and grabbing his tail. Mario throws him into a bomb on the edge of the stage defeating him. Unfortunately, it turns out that Bowser doesn't have Princess Toadstool with him. Instead, he runs away, leaving a key for Mario to collect. Mario then obtains the key that allows him to enter the basement of the castle. The basement contains 4 levels, which are Lethal Lava Land, Shifting Sand Land, and Hazy Maze Cave. After collecting 30 stars, Mario is granted with the ability to open another star door in the basement. The Star Door leads to a room with the entrance to Dire, Dire Docks and the second Bowser course, Bowser in the Fire Sea. After navigating through the course, Mario founds and jumps through another a warp pipe that leads him to another battle with Bowser. This battle can be more challenging than the last one, since Bowser can now teleport and tilt the stage. Also, the distance between the arena platform and the bombs has increased. When Mario defeats [owser for the second time, Mario gains a key to the second floor leading to even more paintings. After Mario collects his 50th Power Stars, he can go up to the third floor. And once Mario collects 70 Power Stars, he can access the door into Bowser's final stage , Bowser in the Sky, and go through another one of his obstacle courses. After he finds the warp pipe at the end of the course, Mario finds Bowser waiting for him. The two then begin to engage in battle. This time, Bowser has to be blown up by a bomb three times. When Bowser gets blown up twice, certain parts of the arena fall away, leaving the platform in a shape of giant star. Bowser ends up defeated, and is surprised when Mario tells him there were some Power Stars he missed, the Castle's Secret Stars. Bowser gives up, and hands Mario the final Grand Power Star before he disappears. When Mario grabs the last power star, wings appear on his cap, allowing him to fly. He circles the star-shaped arena, and flies away. Eventually, he lands in front of the castle.

Mario, Peach, two Toads, and Yoshi waving goodbye.
Mario finally gets his cake.

As his wings fade away, Mario uses the power of the Giant Power Star to save Princess Peach and take her back at the front of the castle. The star goes into the stained glass window over the front door of the castle, the window flashes, and Peach slowly descends to the ground. Mario rushes up to her as she opens her eyes. Thanking him, Peach kisses Mario on the nose and says she will bake a cake for him. Peach and two nearby Mushroom Retainers walk into the castle. Mario starts to do so himself, but then pauses and turns around to look at the upward. Peach calls him, and he rushes after her. After the credits scroll, Mario, Peach and two Toads wave goodbye to the player, followed by the cake, with Peach and Mario figures, shown at the very end.


Mario in Bob-omb Battlefield, the first stage in the game.

Levels are laid out inside paintings in the castle, or sometimes the walls themselves. They can also be found in holes, gaps, 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", fighting bosses, winning races, etc. Every course has boundaries to limit the player from going too far, either as a strict wall or an invisible boundary. If Mario hits either, he falls down (quite often losing a life). Otherwise, Mario is free to roam the large expansive levels at his leisure.

Levels often feature pink Bob-ombs called Bob-omb Buddies. They open cannons littered around the levels for Mario to fly with. When the cannon is open, Mario simply falls into the pit where it is, and it raises. The player targets the cannon with a cross hair shot, and fires. This helps Mario reach high or far away areas. It is often a good idea to use the Wing Cap (see below) with cannons.

Bob-omb Battlefield Whomp's Fortress Jolly Roger Bay
Big Bob-omb on the Summit Footrace with Koopa the Quick Chip Off Whomp's Block To the Top of the Fortress Plunder in the Sunken Ship Can the Eel Come Out to Play?
Shoot to the Island in the Sky Find the 8 Red Coins Shoot Into the Wild Blue Red Coins on the Floating Isle Treasure in the Ocean Cave Red Coins on the Ship Afloat
Mario Wings to the Sky Behind Chain Chomp's Gate Fall Onto the Caged Island Blast Away the Wall Blast to the Stone Pillar Through the Jet Stream
Cool, Cool Mountain Big Boo's Haunt Hazy Maze Cave
Slip Slidin' Away Li'l Penguin Lost Go on a Ghost Hunt Ride Big Boo's Merry-Go-Round Swimming Beast in the Cavern Elevate for 8 Red Coins
Big Penguin Race Frosty Slide for 8 Red Coins Secret of the Haunted Books Seek the 8 Red Coins Metal-Head Mario Can Move! Navigating the Toxic Maze
Snowman's Lost His Head Wall Kicks Will Work Big Boo's Balcony Eye to Eye in the Secret Room A-Maze-ing Emergency Exit Watch for Rolling Rocks
Snowman's Land Wet-Dry World Tall, Tall Mountain
Snowman's Big Head Chill with the Bully Shocking Arrow Lifts Top o' the Town Scale the Mountain Mystery of the Monkey Cage
In the Deep Freeze Whirl From the Freezing Pond Secrets in the Shallows and Sky Express Elevator--Hurry Up! Scary 'Shrooms, Red Coins Mysterious Mountainside
Shell Shredding for Red Coins Into the Igloo Go to Town for Red Coins Quick Race Through Downtown! Breathtaking View from Bridge Blast to the Lonely Mushroom
Tiny-Huge Island Tick Tock Clock Rainbow Ride
Pluck the Piranha Flower The Tip Top of the Huge Island Roll into the Cage The Pit and the Pendulums Cruiser Crossing the Rainbow The Big House in the Sky
Rematch with Koopa the Quick Five Itty Bitty Secrets Get a Hand Stomp on the Thwomp Coins Amassed in a Maze Swingin' in the Breeze
Wiggler's Red Coins Make Wiggler Squirm Timed Jumps on Moving Bars Stop Time for Red Coins Tricky Triangles Somewhere Over the Rainbow

Secret courses

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.


Mario's "break dance" kick.
Mario punching and kicking.

In addition to Mario's signature jumping, a whole new host of abilities is given to the player. Mario can punch, kick, kick jump, hip drop (Ground Pound, something Yoshi and Wario could do in previous games), triple jump, long jump, back flip, somersault, and perform the wall kick (bouncing from wall to wall with timed jumps to reach higher areas). The usual Super Mushroom and Fire Flower are absent in this game. Instead as the game progress, Mario gains the power to wear new hats, in the form of colored Caps, with multiple abilities exclusive to each. The Power Gauge is also introduced in a circular form which became standard for future three dimensional "Mario" games, (though it made an appearance beforehand, in a vertical form, in Super Mario Bros. 2).

The Caps are found inside special '!' blocks littered around the every level. Initially empty, they can be filled by finding '!' switches (similar to the Switch Palaces of Super Mario World). There are three colors to the caps, and each cap lets Mario perform different abilities. Only one (or occasionally two) forms of colored caps are in each level. Normally, each cap is worn separately, but Mario can sometimes don two caps at once and combine the abilities of both.

  • The Wing Cap (red) allows Mario to transform into Wing Mario and fly around if he performs a triple jump or blasts out of a cannon. This is useful for reaching high or far areas, and finding secrets in the sky. Also, the Wing Cap lets Mario do a Triple Jump without having to walk/run.
  • The Vanish Cap (blue) makes Mario transform into Vanish Mario which makes him invulnerable to attacks. He can also walk through some walls to reach new areas, where he can find hidden items or Power Stars. Also, all enemies' attacks travel through him.
  • The Metal Cap (green) causes Mario to transform into Metal Mario, which makes him metallic and heavy. This lets Mario defeat enemies by walking into them, walk through streams of fire without taking damage, avoid water currents, and walk under water. Because of his weight, all Mario can do in this form is walk and jump.



Mario faces Bowser in Bowser in the Dark World.

There are various mini bosses in some stages, but the primary boss is Bowser. He appears three times in three different levels. This is a list of the bosses in the game.

  • Big Bob-omb - A giant Bob-omb in Bob-omb Battlefield. He appears as the first boss in the game, and the first star.
  • Whomp King - A giant Whomp on top of Whomp's Fortress. He appears as the first star, and after he is defeated, there is a tower on top of the fortress.
  • Bowser in the Dark World - Bowser appears at the end of this level. The player needs to swing him by the tail clockwise or counterclockwise and hurl him at bombs on the outside of his circular arena.
  • Big Bully - Two of these giant Bullies appear in Lethal Lava Land. On both occasions they try to knock Mario into the lava.
  • Eyerok - Two stone hands with eyes on their palms. They appear when the player blasts open the top of the Pyramid in Shifting Sand Land and ride the elevator inside.
  • Big Boo - A giant Boo which appears three times in Big Boo's Haunt. He initially appears once all the Boos in the mansion have been removed, again in the underground Merry-Go-Round, and lastly on the top balcony of the mansion (possibly what inspired Boolossus).
  • Big Mr. I - A giant Mr. I which only appears in the attic of Big Boo's Haunt.
  • Bowser in the Fire Sea - Bowser appears at the end of the level. Game play is the same as the first Bowser, except now his jumps make the arena tilt, causing Mario to need to run up the arena to avoid falling off. Bowser also gains a new move where he vanishes and reappears a short distance away.
  • Chill Bully - A large Bully made of ice. He tries to ram Mario onto a lethally frozen pond in Snowman's Land.
  • Wiggler - A giant Wiggler, which becomes angry when his home in Tiny-Huge Island gets flooded.
  • Bowser in the Sky - Bowser appears at the end of this level. He must be thrown into the bombs three times. Each time he falls off the arena, his jump back makes a piece of the arena fall off. After being hit twice, he stomps the ground and more of the arena will fall off, which then the remaining section of the arena becomes star shaped. Once Bowser gets hit the third time, he will be defeated, leaving behind a Giant Star, which is not added to the Power Star total after it is collected. The game will then be completed.

Notable mistakes and errors

  • When speaking to Yoshi on the castle roof, Yoshi says "Mario!!! It that really you???" instead of "Mario!!! Is that really you???".
  • If Mario is one star short of opening a door, it will still refer to the word needed in the plural: "You need 1 more stars" instead of "You need 1 more star."

Those errors remained in the Virtual Console version.

References to other games

  • Super Mario Bros. - A carving of Mario from this game appears on a pillar in Bowser in the Sky. There is also a small jingle used at the Power Star select screen which sounds identical to the first few notes of the opening theme in this game.
  • Super Mario World - The idea of Switch Palaces is in a way brought back. Also, when Yoshi is met, he says to Mario "It has been so long since our last adventure!", referring to this game. Also, the soundtrack follows the same composition technique used in Super Mario World in a similar way where there's a signature melody in the game that's heard across different levels in several variations (Bob-omb Battlefield, Snow Mountain, Slider).
  • Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island - The theme used for invincibility in this game, specifically the string instruments playing in the background, is reworked into Wing/Vanish Mario's theme for Super Mario 64.
  • Super Mario Bros. 3 - The boss theme in Super Mario 64 is very similar to the Dark Land theme from this game.

References in later games

Remakes and ports

Main article: Super Mario 64 DS

Super Mario 64 DS is the remake of the game for the Nintendo DS, bearing some new expanded 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); Yoshi, Luigi and Wario also join the adventure in order to rescue Princess Peach 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.

Official soundtrack

Main article: Super Mario 64 Original Soundtrack

An original soundtrack that is based on the game is released. It has thirty-six tracks from the game.


For this subject's image gallery, see Super Mario 64/gallery.

Beta elements

Main article: List of Super Mario 64 beta elements

The most notable beta element is the Blargg, which is still in the game's data, that would appear 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 widespread critical acclaim and is the best selling Nintendo 64 game. In May 2003, it sold over 11 million copies. Upon its release, Super Mario 64 garnered the following ratings from the respectively noted game review sites.


Upon its release, Super Mario 64 garnered the following ratings from the respectively noted game review sites.

  • IGN - 9.8
  • Gamespot - 9.4
  • GameInformer - 9.75 (changed to a 9.0 upon a later review)

Super Mario 64 has been praised for its gameplay elements, innovative graphics (due to the game's transition of the Mario series from 2D to 3D graphics), and for its musical composition. However, the game has received its fair share of criticism for its automatic camera following. Critics complained that the camera would sometimes shift erratically, interrupting gameplay.


Main article: List of glitches in Super Mario 64

The most famous glitch is probably the Backwards Long Jump which will let the player climb any stairs including the Endless Stairs. Another famous glitch is the Black Room of Death which is Mario being trapped in the castle walls.


Main article: List of Super Mario 64 staff

Game director

  • Shigeru Miyamoto

Assistant directors

  • Yoshiaki Koizumi
  • Takashi Tezuka

Mario face programmer

  • Giles Goddard

Course designers

  • Kenta Usui
  • Naoki Mori
  • Yoshiki Haruhana
  • Makoto Miyanaga
  • Katsuhiko Kanno


  • When Super Mario 64 was being localized for the English speaking countries, many small changes were made. For example, Princess Toadstool never reads her letter aloud in the Japanese version of Super Mario 64. In 1997, Super Mario 64 was re-released in Japan as Super Mario 64 Shindō Pak Taiō Version (スーパーマリオ64振動パック対応バージョン), along with Wave Race 64. It featured all the changes from the English game, plus Rumble Pak support.
  • In North America, Super Mario 64 was released three days before the launch of the Nintendo 64 system itself, much like when Luigi's Mansion was released one day before the release of the Nintendo GameCube.
  • If a second controller is plugged into the Nintendo 64, it can be used to control the camera while Peach congratulates Mario and during the credits.
  • This game defined the layout of the Nintendo 64 controller. The Control Stick was added for better multi-directional movement, and the C Buttons were added for free camera control. This implies that a lack of control options, not just the need for better processing power, was what pushed the game from the SNES to the N64.
  • Super Mario 64 was one of the games featured at The Art of Video Games exhibition at the Smithsonian American Art Museum in 2012. The game won voting in the "action" category for the Nintendo 64, beating out Banjo-Kazooie and Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire.
  • Two textures in the game are re-used in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. The perpetually locked doors in Wet-Dry World appear as common doors throughout Hyrule, and the plaque that appears in the gardens of Peach's Castle also appears in Dodongo's Cavern.

External links


  1. ^ Nintendo Direct Presentation - 01.04.2015. Posted to YouTube by Nintendo of Europe on April 1, 2015. Retrieved April 1, 2015.
  2. ^ Super Mario 64 for Wii U Virtual Console on the Nintendo of Japan website. Retrieved April 1, 2015.
  3. ^ Nintendo (September 23, 2021). Nintendo Direct - 9.23.2021. YouTube. Retrieved September 24, 2021.
  4. ^ Nintendo 公式チャンネル (September 24, 2021). Nintendo Direct 2021.9.24. YouTube. Retrieved September 24, 2021.
  5. ^ @NintendoEurope (September 23, 2021). "Play a growing library of Nintendo 64 and SEGA Mega Drive games anytime, anywhere with #NintendoSwitchOnline + Expansion Pack, a new membership launching in late October." Twitter. Retrieved September 24, 2021.
  6. ^ @NintendoAUNZ (September 24, 2021). "Play a growing library of Nintendo 64 and SEGA Mega Drive games anytime, anywhere with #NintendoSwitchOnline + Expansion Pack, a new membership launching in late October." Twitter. Retrieved September 24, 2021.
  7. ^ 《集合啦!動物森友會》將於11月5日發布免費更新(Ver.2.0),以及發售付費新增內容《集合啦!動物森友會 快樂家樂園》。 Nintendo HK. Retrieved October 16, 2021.
  8. ^ 「Nintendo Switch Online」을 더욱 즐겁게! 「Nintendo Switch Online + 추가 팩」이 10월 26일(화)부터 시작! Nintendo Korea. Retrieved October 16, 2021.
  9. ^ Profile - Shigeru Miyamoto
  10. ^ GameSpot - 15 Most Influential Games of All Time
  11. ^ GameFaqs - The top 10 games Ever
  12. ^ Edge Online - The 100 Best Games to Play Today
  13. ^ Official Nintendo Magazine - 100 Best Nintendo Games

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