Super Mario 64 is one of those games that you know was ground-breaking and genre-defining when it was released back in 1996 even if you aren’t a big fan of Nintendo. Despite the fact that the Nintendo 64 used cartridges with flash memory in an age when disc-based media was pretty much the standard on home consoles, games like Mario 64 were technical marvels that were able to do an awful lot with the limitations of onboard memory (the game is only 64 megabits, which is only 8MB of total memory!).
For many, many years, modern emulation through programs such as Project64 have made it possible to load new textures into these nearly 20-year-old games like this. Only a handful of games have texture packs available for them, but for those that do, they really do beef up the experience quite a bit. There’s no shortage of packs available for Super Mario 64, and in the video here, I’m making use of what I think is one of the best ones: “Retro Mario Sixty-Four” by Risio. It really adds a much crisper, cleaner, and more vibrant look to the game, and fits perfectly with the overall aesthetics intended by the game’s original developers.
This is a casual play and is in no means a speedrun of any kind. Here, I get the first eight Power Stars and fight Bowser in the first of three fights against him in the game. Whether or not I do a follow up and keep playing is partially up to viewers, so don’t be afraid to let me know what you think!