Super Mario 64

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Super Mario 64 was a launch title for the Nintendo 64 (N64) (along with Pilotwings 64 and Cruis'n USA in Europe), and is largely considered to be one of the best and most important 3D platformers of all time.

History

Super Mario 64 started development sometime before 1995. The first time Super Mario 64 was shown was at the Shoshinkai show in November of 1995, with the introduction of the Nintendo 64 (Ultra 64 at the time). Early footage of the show revealed the 50% complete beta version of Super Mario 64, in which it looked completely different than what the final product looked like.[1] The final product was supposed to come out in December, but it was delayed further, and the entire game was rebuilt. On May 16th, 1996 (E3 1996) the game was shown off and is almost like the final game.[2] The entire game was almost accessible, some details got changed before the release, such as the different star icon in the hud, a rock spike at the top of the mountain in Bob-omb Battlefield, and other small details that were changed. The game was rushed at the end of development as told by one of the programmers of Super Mario 64, and a couple of the team members never wanted to make games anymore due to being burnt out after working on Super Mario 64.[3] The game was released in Japan on June 23rd 1996, then on September 29th, 1996 in North America, and finally on March 1st, 1997 in Europe.

Game Versions

There are many different versions of the game, differing by where, when, how, and in what way they were released.

N64

The Nintendo 64 console is less robust than modern consoles, so its CPU is more likely to crash when confronted by unforeseen occurrences.

Japanese

V1.0

The very first version of the game, the Japanese 1.0 N64 has all the quirks of the Japanese 1.1 N64 version, as well as different timestop mechanics and other things (please add if you are reading this).

V1.1

Version 1.1 of the Japanese N64 version fixed some of the bugs from the 1.0 version, but still contains many that were later fixed, such as spawning displacement, the lack of a coin limit, and other things (also please add). It is notable because it contains less dialogue than the English version. For example, Mario does not say "Haha", nor does Peach narrate her "Dear Mario" letter. She also does not talk during the ending. This version is notable for being the fastest version of the game for the 1 Key category, but no others. This is because the text takes longer, but the lack of narration makes the game shorter. The text in the first Bowser fight is avoided during the 1 Key run, so the Japanese version becomes faster.

English

The English version of the game introduces voice clips like "Haha" and Peach's voice clips. It fixes some errors from the previous version, like the lack of a coin limit. It has, in general, less text than the Japanese version, but takes longer during the intro and ending due to Peach's narration.

PAL

The European release of Super Mario 64 supports language changing in the settings menu between English, French, and German. This is optimal for the ABZ Button Challenge because the Start button can be used to change language and the language with the least text can be selected. Due to Wii VC Round-To-Zero, however, the true optimal PAL version is not on N64. Outside of ABZ, PAL is little-used because changing languages wastes time and English is effectively identical if you do not change languages. Because of the PAL video format using 50hz instead of NTSC's 60hz, PAL runs at 25 frames per second rather than 30, another reason why it is suboptimal for speedruns/TASes.

Shindou

The final release of Super Mario 64 was once again in Japanese. It enabled a compiler flag to allow optimizations, so the game lags less. It also fixed the Backwards Long Jump glitch, which is why it is rarely used in speedruns, except in the BLJless category. Strangely, when grabbing a pole on this version, horizontal speed affects Mario's angle. The game introduced new voice clips like "Bye, bye!" when throwing Bowser. Some of Mario's voice clips are high-pitched in this version.

Wii VC

Main article: Virtual Console

The Wii acts differently from the N64. It is much less likely to crash. Unlike the N64, it does not crash from PU crashes, Bully angle crash, Bob-omb angle crash, or when Mario gets infinite speed. The Wii also rounds floats differently from other consoles.

Japanese

Japanese Wii VC is actually the Shindou edition, not the original Japanese version. This is why it does not have spawning displacement or other Japanese N64-exclusive glitches, nor does it have BLJs. It is almost never used for speedrunning for that reason.

English

English Wii VC is the optimal Wii VC for speedruns. It avoids the lack of BLJs in the Japanese version and the slower framerate of the PAL version. It is used for the A Button Challenge any% run because Bowser in the Fire Sea takes 0 A presses instead of 1 due to a rounding error.

PAL

PAL Wii VC is rarely seen because it is obscure and slow. However, it is actually the ideal game version for the ABZ Button Challenge, at least for any%, because it contains both language switching and the rounding error in BitFS.

Wii U VC

Main article: Virtual Console

The Wii U Virtual Console version has no known interesting glitches that set it apart from either N64 or Wii VC. It is identical to Wii VC, except that the rounding error is absent. Wii U VC is often joked by speedrunners for have a high amount of input lag and how it's mostly used by new runners.

Japanese

Much like Wii VC, Japanese Wii U VC is the Shindou version. This means that you still can't do BLJs or other patched glitches not present in the Shindou version.

English

Also like Wii VC, American Wii U VC is the US version.

PAL

Unlike on N64 or Wii VC, the PAL version runs at 60hz instead of 50hz. As a result of this, PAL Wii U VC will run at full speed like the American and Japanese versions.

iQue (Chinese)

The iQue version of the game runs on a similar console to the N64. Because there are no TASing tools available for this console, it is unknown how the console acts upon a floating-point truncation error, since BLJing and the Bob-omb and Bully angle crashes were patched. It is still being studied and has never been useful in a speedrun for similar reasons to the Shindou version.

64DD Version

Super Mario 64 DD Version or SM64DD (called Super Mario Disk Version on the title screen) was an unreleased version of the game for the 64DD, likely made to test the load times of the system. Only one public copy of this version exists, owned by adonfjv, who found it at a Japanese video game store in 2014[4]. The ROM (NDD) of this version has since been dumped.

SM64DD is effectively the Japanese version of SM64 ported to the 64DD, with most (but not all) sounds replaced with their PAL versions. For example, the red coin and the sliding star door sounds are the same as in the Japanese release. The title screen is vastly different, resembling the hidden debug mode's level select screen. Since it is on a disk, load times are increased.

The most major difference is that entering the inside of the island in Tiny-Huge Island, where Wiggler and red coins reside, will crash the game. The crash is console only, and seems to occur after Wiggler starts moving. Note that this area is apparently the only area with more than one warp in or out, with this or Wiggler's movement possibly being the cause of the crash.

References