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Super Mario 64
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|Platform(s)||Nintendo 64, Nintendo 64DD, iQue Player, Virtual Console (Wii, Wii U)|
Super Mario 64 is a 1996 video game created by Nintendo for the Nintendo 64. The game was the first in the Mario series that used 3D graphics. Many fans and critics think that it is one of the best video games ever made.
Princess Peach makes a special cake and invites Mario to her castle in Mushroom Kingdom. As Mario arrives, he learns that Bowser took over 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 scattered among 15 maps and some secret maps. The player can get each of the stars by completing each of the 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.
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. Miyamoto came up with most of the ideas during the era of the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) and thought about using the Super FX chip to make it a SNES game, but decided to build it for the Nintendo 64 due to the SNES's technical limitations. 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.
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. 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. 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 to force players into Bowser's lair rather than to encourage exploration. The development team placed a great amount of attention, time, and effort on getting Mario's movements right. Before levels were created, the team was testing and perfecting 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 way to find two of the Power Stars. At first, the developers 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.
Shigeru Miyamoto's guiding design philosophy behind Super Mario 64 was to "include more details" than found in games prior to the Nintendo 64. 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." Super Mario 64 is also known for having more puzzles than earlier Mario games. It was developed at the same time as 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.
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 set in place, and the game was reportedly 50% finished, although most of the course design remained. Thirty-two courses were made 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.
Appearances in other games
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.
In Mario Party, Peach's stage is a large birthday cake which the player can travel through.
Sequel and remake
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.
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