Details You Never Knew About Super Mario 64

Nintendo has been around for decades, and some of its fan-favorite characters have become full-fledged video game icons. The Super Mario franchise is one of the most recognizable series of all time. In 1996, Nintendo released Super Mario 64 for the Nintendo 64 console. The game is a piece of gaming history, but for Super Mario fans, it is a time machine filled with heavy nostalgia. To this day Super Mario 64 remains a fan favorite.


Super Mario 64 is timeless. Literally, it has been 24 years and the community still is able to find new topics for discussion — it probably helps that the title was re-released for the Nintendo Switch. But Super Mario 64 changed the gaming landscape when it was introduced. It set the bar incredibly high during a period where video games were going through a sort of evolution. 

Gamers who have played Super Mario 64 probably think they know it like the back of their hand, but there are some cool things that you might never have heard.

Mario 64 almost had horses

Similar to another fan favorite Nintendo game, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Mario was going to be given access to his own horse. However, the final version of the game had no horses to be seen. Still, the thought would have been nice — traversing large distances at faster speeds. 


According to Nintendo developer Yoshiaki Koizumi, the plan to use horses for Mario 64 was dropped relatively early in development, then incorporated into Ocarina of Time. It is possible that the developers weren't necessarily invigorated by the idea of having its video game icon riding anything other than Yoshi.

In fact, data miners have revealed that Super Mario 64 had an unused animated texture for a Yoshi egg. It seems that even though Nintendo removed the concept of Mario riding a horse, the developers still may have wanted a riding mount to travel across the lands.

It takes two

Super Mario 64 features many of the franchise's classic characters. Mario, Peach, Toad, and Bowser all appear in the game, but one notable missing character is Luigi. The second Mario Bro, Luigi has been a staple since he was originally introduced into the franchise. It is a bit odd to see that Nintendo would not allow the player to choose between the two brothers in Super Mario 64.


Although Luigi was not included in the game, there was an original concept that saw Luigi in Super Mario 64. Deep into the game's coding, data miners have unearthed traces of Luigi in the source code. The developers wanted Luigi to be a playable character for Super Mario 64, apparently as part of a multiplayer mode. 

An interview with Shigeru Miyamoto clarifies that Luigi was not included because of "memory issues." The source coding allegedly contains various audio clips that belong to Luigi. Unfortunately, Luigi never made it into the original version of Super Mario 64.

Super Mario SNES?

Before the game was dubbed Super Mario 64, there was a really good chance that the title could have been Super Mario SNES. When the game was first being developed, 3D rendering was not exactly a new concept. In actuality, numerous video games had already been utilizing 3D animation to varying degrees. Super Mario 64 had simply improved what had been done before.


It could have been different. The Super Nintendo had the capabilities to run 3D game similar Super Mario 64. The graphics may not have looked as smooth or refined, but the system was still capable, and there have been rumors from fans suggesting that Nintendo was considering making just such a title for the SNES.

YouTube channel Green Ham Gaming used the SNES' Super FX chip to show fans what a SNES version of Super Mario 64 could have looked like. The Super FX chip was used in the development of many titles that utilized 3D models, games such as Star Fox.

It's unclear how close to reality this version of the game may have come (if it ever existed at all), but the concept itself is pretty captivating.