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Super Mario 64 Gets A Next-Gen Remaster With Ray Tracing

Super Mario 64 Gets A Next-Gen Remaster With Ray Tracing

Written by 

Tom Chapman

Posted 

9th Feb 2021 15:19

The year is 2021, you put down your copy of Cyberpunk 2077 and park your interest in Resident Evil Village. You boot up your Nintendo Switch and ask why isn't there a next-gen version of Super Mario 64? Yes, you've conquered the castle and tucked into Princess Peach's cake a thousand times before, but do you still want to play again? Hell yeah you do. Although there have been plenty of remastered and remodelled versions of the beloved Nintendo 64 game over the past 25 years, players can now get a look at what a truly next-gen Super Mario 64 could look like.

Back in 1996, Mario celebrated his 11th birthday and embraced 3D technology with his first ever 3D outing. Super Mario 64 stuck on a Wing Cap and flew onto the Nintendo 64 in style. The side-scrolling days of the NES and SNES were put behind us, as Mario nestled alongside GoldenEye 007 and The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time as the console's very best. More than just being the best the N64 had to offer, all of the above have rightly earned their place as some of the greatest video games of all time. With this in mind, someone has created Super Mario 64 with ray tracing. 

 

What does Super Mario 64 with ray tracing look like?

Posting on YouTube, Dario shows of a ray tracing version of Super Mario 64 running on PC with the use of a RTX 3090 graphics card. There's something odd about seeing the crystal-clear skies of Wet-Dry World reflected in the water as the pixelated Mario and his bulbous nose run around the course. Still, it shows how relatively easy it would be to remaster the charm of the original for those who want a modern update. 

Adding ray tracing to Super Mario 64 is the latest step in a fan project to get the beloved title running on PC. Avid fans have got the classic up and running on PC with a bit of an upgrade and PC emulation. As they continue to refine the experience, how much longer until Mario himself is swapped out for a more modern version? Since Super Mario 64, we're seen that portly plumber take on a new look in the likes of Super Mario SunshineSuper Mario Galaxy, and Super Mario Odyssey. Then again, there's a question about how long the game retains its originality when you start making it look like a modern Mario outing. 

 

Should Super Mario 64 add ray tracing?

The announcement of Super Mario 3D-All Stars was big news as it lumped Super Mario 64 with Sunshine and Galaxy, however, it was a pretty standard port with little else to report in terms of graphical improvements. The PC version of Super Mario 64 has been a labour of love, which underwent its own milestone last year thanks to the release of a 4k textures pack. There was only so much that devs could do with textures made in 1996, meaning the texture pack gave the project a giant leap forward. 

Super Mario 64 was groundbreaking for the time and included a plethora of wild and wacky levels that gave plenty of variety. There were plenty of water levels and reflective surfaces that seem made for a modern feature like ray tracing. The port previously added shading to make things a little sharper, but it's nothing compared to seeing the potential of ray tracing. As the Super Mario 64 PC port continues to evolve, we can't wait to see what's next. All we need now is for Nintendo to actually get off its backside and create an official remaster. 

 

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Images via YouTube Dario | Nintendo

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