Super Mario 64 (1996)

by Nish
6 minutes read


Super Mario 64 stands as a monumental achievement in video game history, setting the standard for 3D platforming with its innovative gameplay, memorable levels, and iconic characters. It is a testament to Nintendo’s creativity and engineering prowess, delivering an experience that is as enjoyable today as it was upon its release.


Super Mario 64 revolutionized the platforming genre by introducing Mario to a 3D world, where exploration and discovery were as crucial as the gameplay itself. Developed by Nintendo for the Nintendo 64, this game marked a significant turning point in video game design.


Super Mario 64, released in 1996, is a groundbreaking 3D action-adventure platform game developed and published by Nintendo for the Nintendo 64. It was the first Super Mario game to feature 3D gameplay, combining traditional Super Mario gameplay, visual style, and characters in a large open world.

The game begins with Princess Peach inviting Mario to her castle for a cake she has baked for him. However, upon his arrival, Mario learns that Bowser, the primary antagonist of the Super Mario franchise, has invaded Princess Peach’s castle. Bowser has hidden the castle’s sources of protection, the Power Stars, in many different worlds inside magical paintings.

As Mario, players embark on a quest to collect these Power Stars. Each Star unlocks more areas of the castle, and collecting enough Stars allows Mario to face Bowser in a final showdown. The ultimate goal is to rescue Princess Peach and restore peace to the Mushroom Kingdom.

Super Mario 64 was a significant departure from the 2D Mario platformers. It introduced a mission structure and gameplay focused on exploring a larger area. The game also introduced several new moves, including triple-jumping, ground-pounding, long-jumping, diving, and side-somersaulting. These moves have since become staples in subsequent installments of the Super Mario series.

The game was highly anticipated and received critical acclaim upon its release. Reviewers praised its ambition, visuals, level design, and gameplay, though some criticized its virtual camera system. It is the best-selling Nintendo 64 game, with nearly twelve million copies sold by 2015.

Retrospectively, Super Mario 64 has been considered one of the greatest video games of all time. Numerous developers have cited it as an influence on 3D platform games, with its dynamic camera system and 360-degree analog control establishing a new archetype for the genre.

Despite its name, Super Mario 64 runs in 32-bit, like most Nintendo 64 games at the time. The game popularized Charles Martinet’s portrayal as Mario and Princess Toadstool’s name as Peach in the West, and made them both series standards.

“Super Mario 64” is not just a game; it’s a landmark in the history of video games. Its innovative gameplay mechanics, immersive 3D world, and memorable characters have left an indelible mark on the industry and continue to inspire game developers today.


Mario, the iconic plumber and hero; Princess Peach, the damsel in distress; Bowser, Mario’s archenemy; and various inhabitants of the castle’s worlds, including Toads, enemies, and allies.


Super Mario 64 introduced groundbreaking 3D movement and camera controls. Players can run, jump, swim, and fly, exploring vast levels to find Power Stars. The game is known for its non-linear level progression, allowing players to tackle challenges in their preferred order.


Super Mario 64 is not just a game; it’s a landmark in gaming history. Its influence can be seen in countless 3D platformers that followed. Even decades later, it remains a masterclass in game design, offering a blend of exploration, challenge, and fun that few games have matched.

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