Super Mario 64
In the three years since Mario made his first appearance as a polygon hero, a dayglo 3-D render dropped into an SGI urban cityscape, Miyamoto and friends have demolished architectural reality and built a whole new Mario World around him. Previous Mario games have been extraordinary enough, Super Mario World's title betray its ambitions, but despite its 100 levels, varied levels and innovative game design it remains plainly stuck within a highly artificial, 2-D environment. Only now, with revolutionary 64-bit hardware, has Miyamoto's ambitions as a creator of worlds truly come true. Even before it's a game, Super Mario 64 is a breathtaking, entirely 3-D environment of astonishing imagination.
The game begins, instantly in true cart fashion, with the Super Mario 64 logo springing onto the screen accompanied by a rare speech sample: "It's me, Mario!" We then see Mario's face, in full 3-D, light-sourced, Gouraud-shaded - the business. As a star circles around his head, Mario's eyes follow, his whole face mobile with varying expressions. It's a demo truly worthy of an SGI workstation.
Press Start and you get a choice of four save game slots, all on the cart itself- not the joypad memory system. Click past this and an intro begins with a 3-D rendered close-up of Princess 'Peach' Toadstool, again unhappily awaiting rescue by her Italian chum. She then fades away into the sky, replaced by Lakitu floating atop a cloud with camera in hand. He whizzes about the castle ahead, swooping under the bridge and over the beautifully translucent water, pulling you into the game without wasting any memory on FMV - the graphics are all real-time, even if they do look workstation quality.Lakitu's final pass ends with a familiar green pipe emerging from the ground, out of which springs Mario. Lakitu now becomes simply a game option: there are two basic views:Mario (which basically follows behind our hero) and Lakitu (which is more free floating). You can switch between these views using the controller's shoulder buttons, while the four yellow buttons rotate the camera angle left/right and zoom in/out.
The freedom of choice is initially overwhelming, but at this early stage you can go with almost anything - the intelligent camera usually provides a usable perspective.
Wherever you look in Mario, the game looks good, and sounds good.Although initially there's no musk, woodland sound effects are crystal clear and brilliantly create an involving atmosphere. As Mario stares ahead at the castle which, Tardis-like contains all the game's huge levels, butterflies flutter around his head with dreamlike realism. Standing still, Mario's head turns from side to side and his body heaves as if slightly breathless. To move Mario, you use the central analogue joystick. Although this moves freely in all directions, an octagonal surround provides a familiar eight-position template. Most of the time, you simply push as far and as fast as possible, making Mario sprint with surprising speed -especially considering how this huge Gouraud-shaded, mip-mapped 3-D environment moves in perfect lockstep. Almost instinctively, you'll set Mario running in huge looping circles, spinning the world around with breath-taking ease, powder puffs of dust rising at Mario's feet.
If you push more gently, Mario simply walks, by pressing the trigger button you can even make him crawl. The two main action buttons, green and blue make him punch and leap - use the trigger button while leaping and he does a bottom bounce. You can also use the green button to turn a leap into an Olympic dive if you're really desperate to get somewhere. This is, of course,just scratching the surface of Mario's abilities.
Walk off to the right and you'll see a line of trees. As you approach, a flock of birds fly off the trees, their plaintive tweets proving far more evocative than any CD rock soundtrack.
Accompanying the bird song, there's the sound of rushing water which intensifies as you approach a nicely animated waterfall. Leap over the guard-rail and you dive into the the water.Simply lying in the water gives you an opportunity to admire the blue, semi-transparent water which gently undulates as the current gently carries you forward. What other software house would bother with such fine detail?
Dive down and the surface of the water pans up, then disappears. While losing the blue overlay Is a little bizarre, it neatly denotes the transition between swimming on the surface and diving into the underwater environment. Pressing the jump button gives a small, slow stroke while the punch button provides more energetic movement. The moat proves to be as full of life as the trees, with schools of fish scooting about. Everything outside the castle is harmless, but it serves to generate a sense of being in a surreal world, complete with its own ecosystem, rather than simply another banal gamescape, where everything is locked into a rigid game design.
While there's plenty of hatches and even a door underwater, there doesn't seem any easy way to open them. Moreover, the more observant will notice the appearance of a Power Dial at the top of the screen. This monitors Mario's air supply - stay down too long and the plumber drowns. This dial also appears when Mario gets hit or caught in an explosion, warning of draining energy - which can be restored by collecting coins.
After climbing out of the water, you can walk around and finally enter the castle. A toadstool stands in a comer, one of a legion of friends, signposts and framed message providing advice in short, bite-sized chunks of text. Initially, all but one of the game's courses are locked. The one exception is up on the left Walk though the door and you enter a boring grey room with a picture of a bomb. What do you do now? Why leap through, with the picture's surface rippling In a way previously only possible on workstation demos. A screen appears, showing how many stars you can collect, but you can press by that and be, instantly, in a new world...
Friendly pink bombs amble around a lush green plateau with a cannon. A wooden bridge stretches off into the distance, virtually harmless lump-like creatures, called Goombahs, wander about to let you practice bottom - bouncing - rather more difficult in 3-D than 2-D, but to compensate the collision detection has been set on the generous side.
On every level, the objective is to recover stars - there are a 120 in all - and one star is quickly found, locked behind bars! To reach it, you must free Chain Chomp - a huge black ball with snapping steel teeth. Chained to a wooden post he's furious and will attack as you try to rescue him. Bottom-bouncing the post into the ground sounds easy, but with Chain Chomp circling about and the all intricacies of a 3-D perspective it's tricky. The control system which makes such a hugely ambitious 3-D landscape so much fun isn't, initially, as instinctive as you'd like under pressure to be quick and accurate.
If you quickly try the game in a shop, even walking across a bridge can seem difficult with the panning camera angles, the diagonal motion and Mario's speed when running. With practice, however, it soon becomes instinctive and beyond Chain Chomp, Nintendo have thoughtfully arranged a field packed with wooden posts and Goombahs for you to practice with. If that seems a bit boring, carry on and you'll find yourself at the foot of a mountain with huge cannonballs merrily rolling down the track which circles up to the top. Running up the mountain, while leaping over the cannonballs is excellent fun. Typical of the thoughtfulness of the design, the cannonballs don't simply follow a groove but randomly roll about to complicate things further. Reach the top of the hill and the King of Ka-Boom awaits. After a brief text message, battle begins. Combat is a form of 3-D wrestling, your objective is to circle around behind King Bob-omb, grab a leg and throw him: three times to finish him off. His objective Is to grab you leg, flinging you off the mountain top to reset his energy and drain yours - although there is an energy star nearby.
Defeating the Bomb King gives you a star and ends the level, bringing up a save option. You can now try another door, or leap back through the picture to find the landscape subtly changed with a new level of challenge. There are 15 exceptionally varied game worlds in all, each with seven stars, plus a wealth of secret levels and three dramatically different confrontations with Bowser. Although there are 120 stars in total, you can rescue Princess Toadstool with just 70 - bypassing entire worlds if you want Freedom is the principal characteristic of the game, the structure is incredibly nonlinear, giving players a huge choice of how and where they collect stars. Although some levels resemble a 2-D platformer stretched out into 3-D, most are fully formed world-lets which you can freely explore in any direction, the various leaps and hazards perfectly integrated into realistic landscapes. This freedom of movement is matched by the camera - In this game setting your camera angle can be as important as timing a leap.
Compared to 2-D Mario games, this is a markedly more sophisticated game. Mastering the controls (and camera system) is more complicated, but the environment is so much more realistic and involving it's unlikely anyone will lament the change. Nintendo embrace of 3-D gaming is so comprehensive, so well thought-out that it marks the biggest advance in game design since the business began. Moreover, the variety and scale of this ground-breaking title - all crammed into a mere 12MB cart - dwarves anything yet seen on the CD superconsoles. The sheer scale of the achievement, in originality; variety and technological muscle earns it a 'Best Game Ever' acclamation through sheer muscle, almost regardless of Its undoubted and typically Nintendo artistry.
To give you some idea of just how magnificent Super Mario 64 is, we've provided a complete solution to Course One, a partial solution to the first Bowser confrontation, plus mini-descriptions of all the major courses up to fifteen. There's also a full description of the first power-up location, and brief descriptions of the remaining two power-ups. Even this wealth of information only scratches the surface of this immense game: remember, there's seven Stars to find on each Course, with progressively more sophisticated puzzles to test Mario's hugely varied abilities. There's also numerous secrets (Including bonus levels) with a further 15 Stars.
Bob-omb Battlefield: Course One
Entry Requirement: None
Location: First door on left in Main Hallway of Princess Toadstool's Castle.
Description: This course is dominated by Big Bob-omb's mountain, a large, squat peak at the western tip of a large green field. A spiralling track to its summit is distinguished by huge cannonballs rolling down it. Big Bob-omb stands on the summit.**
Big Bob-omb on the Summit
Star 1 - Course One
Objective: Vanquish Big Bob-omb on the summit of his mountain.
Guide: You begin the Course on a dirt track which should be followed over two wooden bridges (the second acts like a see-saw!). Climb up the stone steps, then turn right and go through a gap in a metal fence. Watch out for rolling cannonballs and gaps in the track. If you do get hit, there's a transparent heart half-way up the mountain which will restore full energy.
At the top of the mountain, you'll find Big Bob-omb, wearing a little gold crown. To defeat him, you must grab him from behind, and then throw him. This must be done three times before he is defeated. The first time you grab Big Bob-omb he's very slow, but he gets faster with each throw and is particularly quick to grab you while sitting down. The easiest way to defeat him is to stand with your back to him, crouch down using the Z-button and press B to backflip over him - ideally positioned to grab him.
NEXT: Now you have one Star, Whomp's Fortress can be entered as well as the princess's room!
According to the pink Bob-omb Buddies, all was peaceful until Bowser gave Big Bob-omb a Power Star. From that moment, their peaceful land was transformed into a battlefield. If you can defeat Big Bob-omb, the Bob-omb Buddies might be able to help you...
FootRace with Koopa the Quick
Star 2 - Course 1
Objective: Get to the Mountain summit first!
Guide: Koopa is waiting for you at the start of the dirt track. Talk to him and accept his challenge, Instantly beginning the race. Koopa The Quick Is actually slower than Mario, but he uses a short-cut too steep for Mario. Don't follow him, but instead use the same route to the mountain top as for Star 1. If you get to the summit first, wait for Koopa to arrive and present you with a Star.**
Shoot to the Island in the Sky
Star 3 - Course 1
Objective: Collect Star from Yellow Exclamation Box on Island in the Sky.
Guide: Activate the cannons by talking to a pink Bob-omb Buddy at the start of the course. Follow the dirt track over the first wooden bridge, now run up the side of a large stone block and jump into the cannon concealed within. Aim the cross-hairs carefully above the island and then fire, be careful not to overshoot. Now simply jump into the Yellow Exclamation Block to make a Star number three appear!
Next: Now you have three Stars, Course 4: Cool, Cool Mountain and Course 3: Jolly Roger Bay are available.
Find The 8 Red Coins
Star 4-Course 1
Objective: Find and collect every Red Coin.
Guide: Coins can be collected in any order, but if you die then every coin you've collected is lost and must be collected again.
Red Coin 1: Above checkboard platforms between the two wooden bridges.
Red Coin 2: Above green rock before Chain Chomp.
Red Coin 3: Above wooden post by Chain Chomp.
Red Coin 4: Underneath stone bridge near steel fence at bottom of mountain.
Red Coin 5: At base of mountain. (Go through gap in steel fence and turn left. Run up grassy slope to collect coin.)
Red Coin 6: Above tree on Island in the Sky.
Red Coin 7: Training Post Ground -turn left after crossing See-Saw Bridge.
Red Coin 8: Training Post Ground -turn left after crossing See-Saw Bridge.
When you've got all 8 coins, the Star will appear between Coins 7 & 8.
NEXT: Since you really need the Wing Cap for the Star S, Course 1, why not visit course 2: wmomp's Fortress or one or the other courses until you get it?
Mario Wings to the Sky
Star 5 - Course 1
Objective: Collect five Special Coins floating by the Island in the Sky.
Guide: Although it is possible to use the cannons alone to collect all the coins, it is considerably easier if Mario can fly using his Wing Cap (see Red Switch Palace). Conveniently, there is both a cannon and a Red Exclamation Box on the Island in the Sky, so you can launch from there, pick up a few Coins and then land before the Wing Cap runs out. Each Special Coin is surrounded by a circle of eight, identical-looking Yellow Coins.
Next: If you've got the Wing Cap, you will also be able то visit Bowser Course 1.
Behind Chain Chomp's Gate
Star 6 - Course 1
Objective: Free Big Chomp.
Guide: Big Chomp is chained to a wooden post which must be pounded into the ground to free him. To do this, you must jump onto the post and then bottom bounce it three times. If you get hit, retreat and collect coins to boost your energy before continuing. Once you succeed. Chain Chomp will smash in the bars protecting the Star and then head off to the hills. The Star is too high to be reached with a normal jump, so stand with your back to it and press Z to crouch, then press В to backflip and collect the Star.
Collect 100 Coins
Course 1: Star 7
Objective: Find and collect 100 Coins (or equivalent).
Guide: Since so many of the Coins are floating in the sky, you really need the Wing Cap to have a chance.
Maximum Coin Score:
- 117 Yellow Coins (or equivalent)
- 23 Yellow Coins on the ground.
- 45 Yellow Coins in the sky.
- 6 Yellow Coins hidden inside Crates.
- 22 Yellow Coins won by defeating enemies.
- 1 Blue Coin (5 Yellow Coins) won by defeating Small Koopa.
- 8 Red Coins (16 Yellow Coins) located as above (Star 4).
Tower of Wing Cap
Entry Requirement: 10 Stars
Location: When you collect 10 Stars, a ray of sunshine will fall on the star emblem on the floor. Stand on the emblem, then look up at where light's coming from. Mario will be magically transported into the sky above the castle, wearing his Wing Cap.
Description: Consists of three rainbows above one of the castle turrets, with two tall towers either side of it. The Red Switch itself is on top of the turret.
Power Up: Once the Red Switch has been activated, any red exclamation box will give Mario a Wing Cap. Wearing it, he can fly either by being shot from a Cannon or from doing a double jump.
Underneath Stone Bridge. Collect all eight Yellow Coins around flower patch by Stone Bridge.
- After beating Quick Koopa to the Mountain Top, Small Koopa appears just before Big Chomp. He will run away from you, but if you successfully bottom bounce him you can surf on his green shell. If you then run over Small Koopa, you earn a Blue Coin.
- Throughout the game, if Mario runs around a wooden post three times, five coins will magically appear.
- After crossing the first brown bridge, leap over the fence on the right and walk into the centre of the yellow flowers.
- After crossing the See-Saw Bridge, walk straight on to the first yellow flower bed in this area between a sign post and red exclamation box.
- On the sides of the Mountain there are small caves from which appear large cannonballs. In the centre of the first one is a warp (don't worry about taking your time, when you enter the cave cannonballs automatically stop appearing).
- As above, but in the second cave near the Mountain's Summit.
First Bowser Confrontation
Damage Potential: 2 Units on Contact. Up to three Units on being caught by Bowser's fire Breath.
Attack Pattern: When Mario is relatively close, Bowser will slowly move toward him and use his flame breath. Individual flames will keep burning even after Bowser stops, so watch out for that. (When these flames die out. Yellow Coins often appear which are vital for restoring lost energy.) When Mario is further away, Bowser will leap toward him. His objective isn't too land on Mario, but the shock waves in the immediate vicinity of his landing drain 3 Energy Units (Mario can avoid this by either running away or jumping into the air as Bowser lands).
Guide: The instant Bowser ends his warning speech, Mario should run behind him and grab his tail using the B button. Rotate the joystick to spin Bowser around and then press B to release him. To defeat Bowser, Mario must throw him into one of the four spiked bombs which surround the circular battlefield. If you miss a bomb with your first effort (under normal circumstances, the nearest bomb at the start is just to the left), then one useful tip is to stand near a bomb so when he attacks, you can grab him and more easily hurl him against it.
Reward: After being defeated, Bowser will grudgingly hand over the Big Basement Key.
First Bowser Course
There are three Bowser Confrontations, each preceded by increasingly tough worlds.
Entry Requirement: 8 Stars
Location: Behind the Big Star Door on the left of the main hallway's staircase.
Description: The Dark World consists of a long, elaborate course which doubles back on itself with moving platforms, see-saw platforms and some nasty traps.
Objectives: Defeat Bowser and win the Big Basement Key: (There's also a Star to win by collecting all eight Red Coins.)
Guide: Walk forward, either leap over or tiptoe along narrow bridge. Watch out for ftamejet. Step on moving blue tile and let it carry you around. Walk up and around stone path - watch out for flame jet again. Drop down onto blue ledge and then jump onto rotating blue platforms. lump onto grey platform. Bottom bounce three Goombahs if you need extra energy. A Yellow Exclamation Box contains an extra life. Walk up the wooden bridge. The Blue Stone bridge is studded with blue crystals, around which rotate electric bombs. There's a Red Coin hidden here, by the third crystal, which you should watch out for if you need Energy. lump onto the yellow platform as it comes toward you and then onto the stone platform. Drop onto the yellow platform as it's moving away from you and jump onto the stone platform. Step onto the moving blue tiles, moving off onto the right moving tiles and then the blue stone platform. You will now see two see-saw platforms. Jump onto the nearest one and stand in the middle of its nearest half. Wait until it has see-sawed downwards, then run upwards and jump onto the second, higher see-saw platform. Jump onto the blue stone platform. Drop down onto the Purple Exclamation Switch and go up the staircase it forms. Read the sign and jump into the Green Pipe.
Power Up: Once the Blue Switch has been activated, any blue exclamation box will give Mario a Vanish Cap. Wearing it, he can walk through wire mesh fences and enemies won't see him.
Course 2: Whomp's Fortress
Entry Requirement: 1 Star
Description: A large grey and brown fortress floating in the sky, surrounded by three rotating green platforms. It's all a monument to paving stones; those boring grey slabs which are used to build houses, car parks and even roads, yet no-one ever says thanks. Giant Whomp, and his buddies, are out for revenge and will squish Mario flat If they can.
Jolly Roger Bay: Course 3
Entry Requirement: 3 Stars
Description: Despite the fact the Bay Is entirely enclosed within a large cavern, there's a Sunken Ship at the bottom of the Bay. Perhaps the exit was sealed off after the Cap'n scuttled his ship and set-up numerous booby-traps. Although the Cap'n never makes an appearance, there's a beautifully animated Moray Eel with spooky green eyes and a very nasty bite!
Cool, Cool Mountain: Course 4
Entry Requirement: 3 Star
Description: A large snow-covered mountain suspended in the air with a broad, fun snowslide spiraling from top to bottom. A long, narrow ice slide provides a narrower, trickier decent - connecting log cabins at the summit and foot of Cool, Cool Mountain. As with real mountains, getting down Is a lot easier than getting to the top - careful exploration is needed to find a way back to the start.
Snowy climes also provide a bizarre cast of new characters, including three different types of snowmen, but the most impressive creatures are a family of penguins! For the first time, a Course's main characters are friendly to Mario with snowy conditions, hidden areas and tricky jumps providing the main hazards.
Big Boo's Haunt: Course 5
Entry Requirement: 14 Stars
Description: A superbly atmospheric and very weird ghost house fitted out with all manner of hidden passages, a waterlogged celler, haunted attic, and even a house of fun complete with fairground music and rotating floors. Beside ghosts, watch out for attacks from toothy pianos and flying books!
Hazy Maze Cave: Course 6
Entry Requirement: The Big Key.
Description: A sprawling challenge which includes a maze filled with poison gas, a construction area and an underground lake contains a Loch Ness Monster. There's even a huge boulder to recreate that scene from Raiders Of The Lost Ark.
Lethal Lava Land: Course 7
Entry Requirement: The Big Key
Description: This daunting world is composed of a sea of lava with all manner of strange structures including a floating eyeball and two rotating circular paths (one around an erupting volcano and one around spitting flamethrowers. You can, of course, enter the volcano and even play a Bowser sliding block puzzle.
Shifting Sand Land: Course 8
Entry Requirement: The Big Key
Description: A gorgeous desert landscape surrounds a huge Egyptian pyramid. Notable features are swirling quicksand, a huge tornado and a flat stone maze with huge, tumbling blocks. Inside the pyramid, there's a whole other set of challenges!
Dire, Dire Docks: Course 9
Entry Requirement: 30 Stars
Description: This second aquatic world includes Bowser's submarine, a whirlpool, manta ray and shark. There's also some overhead poles which provide a very sweaty test of your timing and jumping accuracy.
Snowman's World: Course 10
Entry Requirement: 2nd Big Key
Description: Another beautiful snow world with a bizarre ice cube, a snow wave machine (0 and a huge snowman-type building. The water is freezing cold and there's vicious winds, but you can have great fun surfing with a green shell!
Wet-dry World: Course 11
Entry Requirement: 2nd Big Key.
Description: While some people write entire games about flippin' switches (c.f. Doom, Tomb Raider etc.), Miyamoto thankfully limits his switch fetish to just one level, and with an imaginative twist at that. Here a huge, box-shaped room plays host to watery antics with diamond-shaped switches allowing you to vary the water level. Enemies include Water Spiders and clockwork Pink Mice which hurl you into the air.
Tall, Tall Mountain: Course 12
Entry Requirement: 2nd Big Key.
Description: This is another huge, floating mountain with a track winding around to the top with giant mushrooms flowering beside it. There's plenty of gaps in the track requiring diving leaps. Watch out for moles and a monkey which steals Mario's cap!
Tiny-huge Island: Course 13
Entry Requirement: 2nd Big Key.
Description: This whimsical world sees the return of Mario's famous pipes, the difference being that this time they don't transport him anywhere - they either shrink or enlarge him! Watch as a tiny Venus flytrap is transformed into a monster and a minute minnow becomes capable of swallowing Mario In a single gulp!
Tick Tock Clock: Course 14
Entry Requirement: 2nd Big Key & 50 Stars.
Description: The inside of the grandfather clock is a daunting collection of cogs, gears and pendulums. Fortunately, if you enter at 12:00, or three hour intervals thereafter (don't worry, it's not realtime!) then the gears pause.
Power Up: Once the Green Switch has been activated, any green exclamation box will give Mario a Metal Cap. Wearing it, he becomes heavier and can walk -on the bottom of rivers, as fr well as being Invulnerable to A most enemies.
Rainbow Ride: Course 15
Entry Requirement: 2nd Big Key & 50 Stars.
Description: This extravagantly tough level is set among the clouds, with various floating buildings and Viking Ship linked by magic carpets which ride along rippling rainbows.
Bowser World Three
Although there are 120 Stars In all, you only need 70 to enter the final Bowser World. As you'd expect this is the most formidable challenge of all, with a devilish level preceding a final confrontation with Bowser at his most fiendish. Hot tip: Look around before you enter that final green pipe!
Super Mario 64 DownloadsSuper Mario 64 download
The game that started it all! Although it is technically eclipsed by Banjo-Kazooie, Mario 64 still offers plenty for gamers to discover.
Everything that's made previous Mario titles great, fleshed out into 3D. Without doubt, this has to be the world's greatest videogame.