- Jul 15, 2020
Let us take another walk back memory lane to the days of Super Mario 64. Back in the days when owning a Nintendo console was an outstanding achievement. Today, Video game consoles are so many and very affordable. You can also run them on your computer and still enjoy the game.
Playing video games has been my hobby. One that I intend to keep for a long time. I think I am addicted to video games. I once tried to shut down the controller for a month, but it was damn difficult. I just couldn’t do it. I was back on it in a week.
I still play loads of games. Recently, I have been feeding my nostalgic tendencies with games that were released in the ‘90s and 2000s. And boy, the old classic games were just great. Both in design and fluidity of movement of the character. Yes, they were not as sophisticated and graphics intense as the new games today, but they were just as engaging and fun to play. More so, they were addictive.
Let us go back in time when video games were, well, basic and they were designed to bring joy and fun to the gamers. Those were days before RPG and all the geeky and techie stuff of today.
Over the years, I have played loads of video games. I spent much of my time between the 90s and 2000s playing video games. Before online gaming came about, all I had was an N64.
Back then, we did not have YouTube videos to get tips, tricks, or hacks. We learned by playing and discussing with friends. Its been a while since it tried playing an N64, but today the nostalgia did hit me and decided to write about it.
Brief History of Super Mario 64
Super Mario 64 was the first 3D game for the Nintendo 64 that was released in 1996. It features Mario, who tours the castle of Princess Peach, and he is supposed to save her from Bowser. Super Mario 64 has open world playability, freedom across the three axes in space, and has relatively wide areas that consist predominantly of actual 3D polygons, rather than only 2D sprites.
It emphasizes exploration in vast environments, requiring a player to complete different tasks in addition to often linear obstacle courses, as seen in other games.
Super Mario 64 retained several aspects of gameplay and characters of previous Mario games, including the visual styles.
Sigeru Miyamoto (Creator of Super Mario 64) got the idea for the 3D game design form Star Fox’s production of 1993. The development of Super Mario 63, managed by Nintendo, lasted about three years. The first year was design and development, while the next two were actually work on the game.
The visuals of Super Mario 64 were created with the Nichimen N-World toolkit, and Miyamoto added more details. Koji Kondo composed the music.
I loved the sound; Koji Kondo did some work to come up with an addictive tune. I can still hear the music playing in my head coming from the mono-speakers while I was busy exploring the castle. The flickering interlaced display of the console was another nostalgic take away from the 90s.
There were rumors that Mario’s brother Luigi was a hidden character in the game. Together with Pilotwings 64, Super Mario 64 was one of the first games for the N64, which was first released in Japan in 1996 and later in America and Europe.
Photo: Courtesy Venturebeat.
Super Mario 64 ranked among the best video games at the time and was the first game that was highly appraised by the Edge magazine. At the time, the game was considered ambitious, with good graphics, gameplay, and awesome music. However, it came with a poor camera system by the standards of the time.
It turned out to be Nintendo 64’s best seller with over 11 million copies sold by 2003. It left a mark on 3D game design with a dynamic camera system and 360-degree analog control with a 3D genre archetype like the one for Super Mario Brothers 3 for two-dimensional side-scrolling.
Many developers have attested to the power of Super Mario 64. It was reworked for the Nintendo DS in 2004 as a Super Mario 64 DS and has since been ported to other Nintendo Consoles.
Super Mario 64 Game Play
In this game, players control Mario in several different courses. Whereby a course is an enclosed world in which the player can walk in any direction and explore the environment without restriction in time and space.
The worlds are full of enemies who attack Mario, and also some good creatures help Mario by giving him information or seek favors like peaceful pin Bom-omb Buddies.
The player collects the stars in each course; some stars appear only after some activities have been done, as indicated by the name of the course. These challenges involved defeating a boss, solving some puzzles, competing against one another, and collecting coins.
As the player collected more stars, it allowed him to access more areas in the castle hub world. A player could open doors in the caster after obtaining the keys after defeating Bowser in the unique course.
There are several other mini-courses and other secrets, the majority of which contain additional stars needed to complete the game.
The Nostalgia behind Super Mario 64
Speedrunning the game was fun. I found a way to refine and shave all the seconds from everything I did. I understood Super Mario 64 like the back of my hand. I think I researched more on it than I did with my school assignments. I could quickly leap through the levels.
I could still get stuck in the ROM hack community that was the largest online community. Until today, people still build levels for the game, and some happen to be better than the original game.
The game was overwhelming as a kid. I had to work out everything by going through the earlier levels before I could take the controls and find ways to gain stars on my own. The fond memories that I hold dear about playing the game in the 90s, was the fact that I could spend hours jumping around a level as a way of learning the game. Now I cannot even do half of what I used to do back then.
The part for swimming around the castle before going in was amazing. There used to be a current flowing from the waterfall to the pond and so you could go really fast when you swim. I was amazed the first time I learned Mario could swim.
In other games at the time, water meant the end of the road. Or death. But for Super Mario 64, you could handle the water with good practice. All you needed to master is how to take the current.
You had to learn his swimming speed and how long you could stay underwater. I could swim around the moat and pond for several hours! When I became a speedrunner and became conscious of time, I would force myself to continue running because I had much time before bed to get the most out of it.
I miss this childhood moment, the curiosity and persistence it took to play the game was just on another level. It blows my mind that, as a kid, I was able to run, jump, and swim for hours around the castle courtyard. It sounds like nothing now, but at that time, it was something profound.
I could swim under the waterfall and found a small square hole in which I could swim in to, and the current could not drive you out. I remember reaching the end of the side and hoping that life would appear if I reached the back wall.
Even to this day, I still remember how I would play a game repeatedly because it was the only thing I had, and the only thing I could do.
What are some of your Super Mario Moments? Please share below.