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Mario is invited to Peach's castle, but when he arrives Peach is nowhere to be seen. He soon learns from Toad that Bowser has once again kidnapped her. The Koopa King has also put a spell on her castle, imprisoning her subjects. So it is up to Mario to break the spell and rescue Peach.

Super Mario 64 is the first Mario game done entirely with 3D graphics. The core gameplay is similar to previous platform installments, focusing on jumping, avoiding obstacles and defeating enemies. Levels can be explored without time limits. Stars must be collected in order to unlock new areas, eventually gaining access to various parts of Bowser's castle. Defeating Bowser on each floor procures keys necessary to unlock big doors and enter other floors, which contain more areas.

Mario has more moves at his disposal in this installment. Besides running and jumping, he can now walk, crouch, crawl, climb, and punch enemies. Double and triple jumps, long jumps, wall jumps and backflips can be executed as well. Swimming underwater now depletes Mario's oxygen level. Items must be picked up and carried in some instances in order to solve puzzles.

Power-ups include the Wing Cap, which allows Mario to fly; the Metal Cap, which protects him from damage (including environmental hazards such as poisonous gas); and the Vanish Cap, which makes Mario ethereal, allowing him to walk through certain obstacles (such as wire mesh). Mario can also enter cannons and be shot from them; combining this with the flying ability grants access to high areas.


Super Mario 64 Nintendo 64 Hanging from a column in Whomp's Fortress
Super Mario 64 Nintendo 64 Moving platforms
Super Mario 64 Nintendo 64 Inside the castle
Super Mario 64 Nintendo 64 Its-a me! Mario!

Promo Images

Super Mario 64 Render
Super Mario 64 Screenshot
Super Mario 64 Render
Super Mario 64 Screenshot


Alternate Titles

  • "超级马里奥64" -- Chinese spelling (simplified)
  • "SM64" -- Common abbreviation
  • "Shindou Super Mario 64" -- Rumble Pak version title
  • "Chaoji Maliao 64" -- Chinese title
  • "슈퍼마리오 64" -- Korean spelling
  • "スーパーマリオ64" -- Japanese spelling

Part of the Following Groups

User Reviews

Every ardent gaming boy in the 90s grew up with this classic! John H. (59) 5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars
A True N64 Classic Matt Neuteboom (989) 3.83 Stars3.83 Stars3.83 Stars3.83 Stars3.83 Stars
Oomba goomba's have never gone out of fashion Horny-Bullant (59) 5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars
Did we really need a ‘Mario Raider’ game? PCGamer77 (3235) 3.17 Stars3.17 Stars3.17 Stars3.17 Stars3.17 Stars
Mario's first 3D adventure is great fun Kiara Cunningham (15) 3.83 Stars3.83 Stars3.83 Stars3.83 Stars3.83 Stars
Delayed this for way too long. Asinine (1006) 4.33 Stars4.33 Stars4.33 Stars4.33 Stars4.33 Stars
Putting The "Super" Back In Super Mario MasterMegid (902) 4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars
Great Mario Game to kick-off the N64! darthsith19 (70) 4.67 Stars4.67 Stars4.67 Stars4.67 Stars4.67 Stars
Its got all you need ThE oNe (184) unrated
One of the Best Games on the 64. Attila (582) 4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars

Critic Reviews

Geeks Under Grace Jun 21, 2014 10 out of 10 100
Super Power Jul, 1997 98 out of 100 98
Video Games Jan, 1997 96 out of 100 96
Nintendo Difference Sep 01, 2003 19 out of 20 95
GamesCollection May 28, 2008 9.5 out of 10 95
64 Power / big.N / N Games Mar, 1997 95 out of 100 95
Retroage Jan 19, 2010 9 out of 10 90
Game Revolution Jun 06, 2004 B+ 83
RetroGame Man Nov 20, 2016 8 out of 10 80
Gamer's Pulse Feb 24, 2001 75 out of 100 75


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1001 Video Games

The N64 version of Super Mario 64 appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.

Cancelled sequel

There was going to be a sequel done, for either the N64 or 64DD, that would have Luigi as a playable character too, but it was never completed. It is possible that this game later became Luigi's Mansion.

Collecting all stars

After collecting every star in the castle, Bowser will say a different message upon his defeat in the sky. Also, a cannon opens outside the castle to launch you onto the roof for a surprise.

First N64 game

Super Mario 64 was the very first game for the N64.

"L is real 2041"

One of the biggest mysteries surrounding this game is that of an inscription on the star statue in the castle courtyard (near the entrance to World 5). The inscription reads, "L is Real 2041" or "Eternal Star". However, a sign in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time also says this when you look at it (but reads something else when you read it). This sign is located in the Dodongo Dungeon, near the Gorons' home. Whether this was a gag by Nintendo or if they just decided to recycle textures is unknown.


  • EGM
    • September 1996 (Issue 86) - Game of the Month
    • February 2006 - #6 out of 200 of the "Greatest Games of Their Time"
  • Game Informer Magazine
    • Issue 100, August 2001 - #12 in the Top 100 Games of All Time (poll)
    • Issue 138 - October 2004 - one of the "Top 25 Most Influential Games of All Time"
  • GameSpy
    • 2001 – #11 Top Game of All Time
  • Retro Gamer
    • October 2004 (Issue #9) – #17 Best Game Of All Time (Readers' Vote)
    • Issue 37 - #4 in the "Top 25 Platformers of All Time" (poll)

Information also contributed by Big John WV, Brolin Empey, PCGamer77 and Tiago Jacques.

Related Web Sites

Chris Martin (1204) added Super Mario 64 (Nintendo 64) on Mar 29, 2001
Other platforms contributed by Michael Cassidy (21142) and Guy Chapman (2001)