Super Mario 64

Nothing has ever been a bigger deal or more revolutionary for gaming than adding truly 3-D graphics like Nintendo did a quarter of a century ago. There were some very crude 3D games like Wolfenstein and Doom, but they were just turn left or right mazes with 2D sprites. Going from Super Nintendo to the N64 was like upgrading from a PSP to a PS4. It was magical. Nothing has ever been more exciting or fresh since.

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I rode my bike very far to the “Super Mall” in 1996 to get my hands on a new Nintendo 64 and had to purchase the Mario 64 cartridge separately. They were giving the game away for free if you could slide down the Princess’s Secret Slide in under 21 seconds, but they only gave you one try. The graphics may seem crude today, but it felt like something from the future back then. On a funny side note, my son saw me playing it on an emulator which he imagined was a Chinese ripoff and laughed at what he thought was a pathetic attempt to copy what he was used to on the Switch.

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I didn’t go to swimming practice or Karate and even played hooky a few times in our 17 day marathon of collecting all 120 stars. I was kind of a late bloomer. I was 16 in 1996 and while my best friend was busy mackin’ on babes, me and his younger brother escaped reality completely and hooked my N64 up to his giant (at the time) 50 inch screen TV. People who weren’t even into gaming were blown away by it’s awesomeness. I remember feeling proud that I had a processor way more powerful than any of my school’s computers. I didn’t want my mom to know I had spent over $300 on everything, so I hid it in a bottom drawer and drilled holes in the back for the power and AV cables.

Emulators

I would love to hook up an original Nintendo 64 to an old TV along with a Super Nintendo an Sega Genesis while I rap that when I was dead broke that I could never picture this, but emulators are what most of us have now. I was super happy when I was able to get it to work on my PSP back in the day. Thanks to Project 64, it looks great on PC and if you have a Bluetooth controller, you can play it on your phone too. I’ve had some problems with Linux. They have Mupen64 Plus which is inferior to Project 64, so I ran Project 64 through Wine which slowed down the PC making it unplayable. Good job Nintendo! You made the game so different that it can still be difficult to emulate even today. I fully expect to play this game in VR in future versions. Some people have redone some levels in Unreal Engine. You can see one example here:

Thank you for reminiscing about MARIO 64 with me today. I’m going to ask my mammamia for some spaghetti now. Have a great day. If you want to emulate N64, check out Project 64:
https://www.pj64-emu.com/

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3 comments

  1. Mario 64 was the best! I remember staying up all night for two weeks straight trying to get all the stars.

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