The Switch may now be hailed as Nintendo’s most innovative console of recent years but, back in the days, that title was briefly held by the Nintendo 64. Often promoted as the first 64-bit gaming system, part of the console’s legacy were the games available for it, like The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time and, of course, Super Mario 64. The latter is now seeing a slight revival, not through some Nintendo paid service, but through a free expansion mod titled, what else, Super Mario 64 Land.
More than just a launch title for the Nintendo 64, Super Mario 64 is remembered fondly for its open-world gameplay and freedom as well as being the first in the franchise to use fully 3D graphics rather than 2D sprites. It was, after all, supposed to demonstrate the hardware chops of the new 64-bit system and it did so quite successfully.
Twenty-three years later, famed Super Mario modder Kaze Emanuar is breathing new life into the classic. Super Mario 64 Land promises 32 new levels, 8 new bosses, 75 music tracks, and much more. That “more” comes in new powerups that include, amusingly, a yellow catsuit.
As fun as it may sound, you will have to sweat out a bit to experience the new parts of the game. As a mod, Super Mario 64 Land requires that you have a ROM of the original game to patch and run on an N64 emulator. A trivial task for a seasoned emulator gamer, not so much for a simple Super Mario 64 fan.
And, of course, there will always be the gray area of legal matters. Only time and lawyers will tell how long before Kaze is hit by a DMCA notice which Nintendo is quite infamous for. Then again, now that it’s out on the Internet, there’s no putting the Super Mario Catsuit back in the bag.