The Deep Things of Super Mario 64

by Billy Gard

Introduction
Interesting Places to Get the 100-Coin Star
A Word About Game Shark
Special Luigi Section
How Could the Game Be Better
The Mystery of World Boundaries
Mario 64 Musings
Cheats for Dreamers
You Know You're a Poor Player When...
Somewhere: A Song by Mario
More Pages
Other Sites

You know you play too much Mario 64 when you refer to your vacation photos as "screenshots".

Introduction

Explore here those hard-to-find glitches. I go way beyond the Mario hat factory and the high-jump into Wet-Dry World to show you how you can beat the game with 16 stars, reactivate the defective firespitters in the downtown, swim in Whomp's Fortress, get inside that other "black room of death" down in the moat, make Wiggler squirm without draining the lake, and more "impossible" glitches.

Super Mario 64 is the premiering Mario game of the Nintendo 64, where the old conveyer belt graphics give way to a 3-dimensional walk-through virtual reality. No later Mario game for this console has exploited the 3D graphic capability like this one did. In fact, one game is quite acknowledging of this fact and contritely calls itself Paper Mario. Then there is Super Smash Bros, which could easily have been done on SNES.

This site is aimed at those who have become well familiar with this game and its levels, i.e., for the Mario 64 lords. There are no directions here on how to collect the 120 stars, not even the so-called “secret” ones, or how to find the cap switches, teleporters or 1-ups (although I do mention a few 1-ups I found interesting). Not even the so-called secrets like the one about the position of the clock’s hand (which the nearby Toad points out anyway) or the butterflies that turn into bombs. Rather, I intend to stick with those features of Mario 64 that I find especially intriguing, those things that are just too easy to miss, the converstion starters, the curiosities, the things that may be bugs or “easter eggs”. I also don’t use numbers for courses. Even a veteran Mario 64 lord may draw a blank when you mention “Level 12”. (Can anyone name all 15 levels quickly in order without stuttering?) Instead I’ll name them. The information given here is not authorized by nor done in cooperation with Nintendo, but is from my own experimentation and from browsing sites of other Mario connoisseurs.

Warning: This site contains spoilers. The conversation is really geared toward those who know how to get 120 stars, find the three cap switches, and save the princess. By that time you should have a strong “Mario 64 sense”, with a good familiarity with the game’s capabilities and its challenges, and consequently an appreciation of what is a “trick”. You cannot impress an outsider, for instance, by saying you got to the Big House in the Sky without a flying carpet, or battled Eyerok without standing tall on the four pillars (Like huh?). They wouldn’t get your drift when you express your longing to wander out into the blue woods around Big Boo’s Haunt, or get goosebumps when you tell them you figured out what is written on the courtyard fountain, or saved the princess with 31 stars.

Slide kick down the stairs to the clockroom

Interesting Places to Get the 100-Coin Star

Many of you have heard about getting the 100-coin star to appear above the water in Dire, Dire Docks. When you collect it, Mario lands on the bottom of the lake and does his jig. Then he immediately surfaces afterward. Probably the most spectacular trick is picking up the star where there is nothing under you, a trick that can be done in Whomp's Fortress and Rainbow Ride, the second being better because it's a longer fall and depends less on chance. Another idea I came up with depends on whether it is possible to collect 100 coins in Lethal Lava Land without entering the volcano, which is alledgedly the case. Pick up the 100th coin from the top of the lava. Then you can make Mario stand on the lava doing the thing he does. It would be great if you could make the star appear directly above the black hole in Hazy Maze Cave. If he were to pick it up, he would probably fall to the underground lake and do his V sign there. The coins under the mesh won't work because the star created by them appears above the mesh and Mario can't reach it there. If you could kill a spider near the start point and nab a coin by jumping over one of the pits so the star appears above it, I wonder where Mario would fall to before doing his jig. I figured he would fall into the water below and collect it. But someone messing with the game said that the black hole has a floor and that is where he falls.

A Word About Game Shark

I'm sure the one of the times you were out in the courtyard you happened to turn around and look up at the top of the castle and think “If only I could just get up there and walk around on the roof.” Maybe you thought that by bouncing on the ghosts a certain way they would give you a boost there. Let me reveal a little secret. With a little help from a little highly fragile piece of plasic called a “Game Shark”, I moon jumped into the air and looked down at the roof from above. Surprise! The roof doesn't exist. All I saw was the ocean. I also found an invisible barrier blocking me from passing over the top of the castle. I also confirmed my suspicion that there is an invisible barrier preventing you from climbing over the garden wall near the flanks of the castle where it appears you should be able to go.

Among other things I found out with my little affair with the game shark is, if you go up through the skylights above the secret underground lake in Hazy Maze Cave, you lose a life. Evidently when you go up here you end up inside the black hole which is directly above. For some reason, when I got thrown out of the course my health meter remained low. However, this could have been a side-effect of activating the “moon jump” code that made all this possible.

I also drained the water from theWet-Dry World's "downtown" and moon jumped up to the pipe. So I walked through the dry pipe. But I was about halfway through it, and suddenly SPLASH, I changed to swimming. I turned to swim the other way past the same point, suddenly plop, I was back on my feet walking. Since only the water’s surface is visible, you can’t see any water here. So the switch takes you by surprise.

If you were wondering if you could aim at the hole in the ceiling to jump back out of the pyramid sublevel, you can’t. I moon jumped into that hole and it’s plugged shut. The same is true of trying to reenter the exit from the secret slide in the tall tall mountain. Another gamer found out that the hole at the top of the volcano sublevel is also plugged shut.

One last note about the Game Shark. I asked Nintendo if they provide technical support for it. They said that The Game Shark is not a Nintendo Product, and doesn’t recommended its use, warning of possible damage to the game with this. My experience with the Game Shark bore them out. But luckily only the Game Shark suffered. If you are one of those lucky people who can make a light bulb last you 7 years of daily use, or can build a sculpture out of soap bubbles, then go ahead and get yourself a Game Shark. As for me, I’ll only get one again if I find it in a free grab box at a rummage sale.

I close with my definition of a Game Shark: A device that shows you what are in your presents under the tree, and then stops working on Christmas day.

Special Luigi Section

It sounds like Luigi has become a kind of Elvis figure in the Mario world. I have read a whole slew of rumored sightings of Luigi in the game, and of supposed codes that let you unlock Luigi in Mario 64. And many of them border on the ridiculous. The overall consensus of respected sources is that Luigi is not in Super Mario 64. Even with that in mind, still the idea of trying to find him, and making up ways do it, tend to inspire nearly mystical thoughts, kind of like a grownup getting up to look outside on Christmas Eve to see if just by chance he sees Santa's sleigh.

One procedure code I found for getting Luigi involves restarting the game in an oddball way involving the joystick, getting particular stars from different levels in a certain order, and getting 164 coins from Bowser’s first battle. (Does this include the pre-battle course coins?) And important information is left out of the code, such as the question of how far you are set back if you lose any lives during the procedure, or pick up too many coins. Do you have to start over? And what about after you get Luigi? Can you save your progress? I would judge that the writer of these instructions is pulling our leg, based on what I know of my own mischievous instincts. It is a hallmark of a hoax that the instructions are inherently ambiguous and cannot be followed as written.

One detail that pretty much settles this procedure as a hoax is its exploitation of the fact that from the top of Whomp’s Fortress the “blast-away” wall looks as if it’s been removed, revealing the star underneath it. However if you jump down onto the star from the top of the fortress as directed, the wall reappears and you hit that wall, not the star under it. Conclusion: the instructions are impossible. It is a secondary case against the procedure that it tells you to jump on the pirate ship and wait for the toxic chest to move back and forth exactly 64 times before buttslamming it. Those very words are so equivocal as to be inexecutable. Exactly when must you begin counting? When you touch down on the deck? And what position is the “starting” position, fore or aft? Maybe they mean buttslam it when it reaches the position it was in when you touched down on the ship, after it has moved 64 whole rounds. And maybe the position has to be utterly exact!

The code is so written that it is impossible to prove it doesn’t work, because of the many ambiguous instructions. You only know it is a hoax because you read them with a rational sense of discernment. It is exactly the kind of wording which a prankster would use. I am reminded of one of my grandma's neighbors who pointed out a tall cactus, and said that if I climbed it there would be a wonderful toy on top of it.

Add to this the fact that Nintendo has formally given us their word: Luigi isn't there. They even said this was done intentionally to make room for more levels. And if you have read the Luigi code, you know there are not enough people in the whole world to figure it out by trial and error. There is more chance of finding the whole Declaration of Independence in a bowl of alphabet soup. So they would have had to get these instructions “under the table” from one of the game programmers, or else they would have to be good software hackers who found Luigi programmed into the game code.

Ever notice how the websites that contain definite proof of Luigi’s extistance are all - naturally - former websites? I am thinking in particular of a rumored site once at Fortunecity that said he found Luigi in the basement. But don’t you think that if information this explosive were made available that Luigiphiles would have copied it to millions of other Mario sites? And yet all the information has vanished from the entire internet without a trace, leaving only a rumor that it once existed. Hmmmmm! Sound to me like a serious case of “I tell you it was there!”

One of the websites has a page that says that they finally found the one true Luigi code, and even provided a few screen shots to convince us. Isn't that so exciting? But wait. Don't forget to note the date this page was posted. See it for yourself.

The ultimate proof against Luigi’s existance is that those who’ve hacked the game to come up with the Game Shark codes would know about it. And they haven’t given us any code for becoming Luigi, now have they?

But a case could be made for believing it, however weak it may be. The very behavior of the toxic treasure chest suggests that it must be there for some reason other than to be in the way. And the existance of the stacks in the mirror room and the entrance to the final battle, the crookedly stacked blocks in the volcano and in Eyerok’s tomb, and the heiroglyphics in the pyramid, all seem to imply some great mystery in the game yet to be found. Maybe Luigi is walking around somewhere in the art gallery on the second floor, if only we'd walk quietly enough in the hallway to hear his footsteps. Maybe the programmers snuck in the Luigi code as a sort of “easter egg” without registering it with Nintendo.

Someone else says they had a Luigi sighting in the game. First here is the text as I got it.

I found Luigi. Sort of. Get 120 Stars, then go up the castle [sic] with the cannon. Talk to Yoshi. Then get the three other 1-ups that are close to there. Then, get the wing cap, and fly down to the cannon, but touch nothing but the cannon, if you touch the grass, it doesn’t work. Then fly up the castle [sic] with the cannon again. Then fly to the waterfall. You won’t get inside, and you’ll fall down the water [sic]. Then get outside the water, and inside the castle. Then go to Level 6: Hazy Maze Cave, and go to the Green Switch, Metal Cap level. Once you’re in, turn right, and you’ll see the waterfall. But you’ll see a greenish shadowily figure of the body of Luigi! You can’t talk to him, and he doesn’t move, but I’m positive it’s Luigi!

Now here is the way I interpreted these instructions:

Having already got 120 Stars, I shoot up to the castle roof from the cannon. I talk to Yoshi. Then I get the three 1-ups that are close to there. Then, I get the wing cap, and take off from the roof and fly around until I settle to a speed where I can watch my shadow move over the cannon, and then drop straight down into it. (In one of the attempts I dropped onto the platform around the cannon instead) I shoot myself back up to the castle roof. (In one of the attempts I picked up another wing cap at this point) Take off flying from the roof again, land in the waterfall and slide down it into the water. I Swim out and go into the castle (I’ve tried both entrances). I Go into the Hazy Maze Cave level (In the attempt where I hit the platform before entering the cannon, I got attacked by a bat next to the rolling boulders; this never happened before) and into the Metal Cap Course. I kill the first two mask-guys as I go down the hall. (In one of the attempts I didn’t) Finally I go look at the waterfall on the right. Sorry, but all I see is water.

If anyone has made this work and can show me something I did wrong here, let me know. Am I supposed to fly into the waterfall, or only to it and then drop out of mid air? Does losing power at any point disqualify you? I hate to sound like a broken record, but maybe this only works for one of the beta versions.

If you stare at the falling water in the hole long enough, you begin to see a marbling effect. And as your eyes shift around it you are bound to see green afterimages of Mario’s firey-red cap. Maybe those whose persuit of Luigi has approached a near cultish quest think when this appears that they are seeing Luigi.

I'm actually surprized he didn't think this greenish figure might be Yoshi. After all he said talk to him first. And when you do, he jumps into the reservoir where the waterfall is. So maybe he still kind of sits in midair right outside the waterfall, visible from the cave.

Another Luigi clue rumor I heard involves the blurred inscription on the courtyard fountain. This texture seems to have become the big topic of conversation on gaming boards. The message has been thought to read “L is real 2401”, “L is real star” and “Eternal star”. People really think that this is a reference to Luigi. Supposedly, there are 2045 coins in the game. I suppose the idea is that if you collect 2401 coins you will get Luigi. But what order must the coins be collected? Must they all be collected without resetting the game? If you don’t get all the coins in one level, how far back does that set you? But it's hard to believe that this says anything significant for this particular game since the same inscription image can be found on a rock in Dodongo's cavern in Zelda: Ocarina of Time. I believe the Zelda lords have their own ideas of what L stands for.

Among the claims of where Luigi is found: in the lava falls inside the volcano (Yeah right! Give our Mario the hot foot why don’t you); in a warp from Big Boo’s Haunt (obviously appealing to the mystique of the game’s scariest course); in the mirror; jumping out of the fountain when you butt-slam the star sculpture; on a distant island visible from the castle yard (now appealing to the mystique of things far away). One person claims that Luigi appears on the face of the Moon. Of course to see it you have to look at the moon after picking up the star - Naturally.

If it is of any comfort, Luigi is a playable character in Super Mario 64 DS, as is Wario and Yoshi. It may be of no surprise to know that the search is now on for Waluigi in that game.

Do you suppose the heiroglyphics plaques in the pyramid tell us where Luigi is hidden? It appears that these really show an ancient Japanese inscription that says “Whoever is still trying to find Luigi here may as well be trying to find E.T.”

I saw somewhere a code for playing the game as Princess Peach. But the code is so impossibly monotonous it isn’t worth discussing here. The only question I have is does she save herself or does she save Mario when she wins.

If you really want to study some Luigi cheats, click here. Herein lies evidence that these Luigi codes were actually written to make light of our quest to find Luigi in the game.

How Could the Game Be Better?

Certain things could have been different to make the game more satisfying. Finishing the game, for one thing. They could have left in Luigi and riding Yoshi. Adding the bonus for which you walk quietly in the hallway, and the one associated with the stacks in the mirror room. And how about giving the “playing blocks” in the volcano and in the tomb some work to do. Since they look as much like anything in the game as something left unfinished, they are highly symbolic of the game as a whole.

For some reason the programmers made the blunder of disabling the stop cam feature when you're inside the castle. There must be something in there they don't want you to see, like what is really going on at the endless stairway as Mario tries to go up it.

For Toad to simply give Mario some of the stars looks to me like a last-moment decision because the programmers ran out of time and wanted to get to the nice round number 120. Back of these must have been three bonus courses that were deleted from the final release.

Probably the biggest misnomer in the game is giving a course its own door entrance from the main lobby, and its own anteroom, and calling it Princess’s "Secret" Slide. Either take Secret out of the name or hide it in a crack in the wall or something. Dittos for the Metal Cave. The other cap switches are somewhat hidden, but this one is behind - ta-daaa - a door. And in case you miss it, a sign near-by even tells you: “Right: Metal Cave” Well duh! The only reason this was the last cap course I found was because I just assumed it would be hidden cleverly in the overworld like the other two.

Nintendo's idea of the game being over and the fun just beginning is 99 lives, a fatter penguin and a glittery triple jump. First of all, the "enhanced" version of the game should be launched when the princess is saved, not when you finish all the stars. Then maybe 99 lives could serve a purpose. Secondly, more enhancements could be added like additonal cap blocks in courses, more updrafts, and possibly a surprise for Mario from those idled fire spitters in downtown Wet-Dry World.

The Hazy Maze Cave would be a more funky adventure if there were no maps or signage, and you were simply on your own.

The signs should be directly readable rather than sprouting a text box. The letters can be blurry and mysterious and still be readable. Likewise, Other characters in the game should be given the gift of speech rather than use text boxes. If they could do it for Peach, they could give Bob-Omb Buddy something more to say than "thibidibudu."

There should be more “useless” areas in the course. They should let Mario access the narrow spaces on the sides of the castle that appear to be accessible from the courtyard. There should also be roof access there. Give the shed at the top of the Red Slide course a roof and let Mario try to get on it. And allow Mario to get on top of the wire mesh in Dire, Dire Docks.

I think there should be secret bonuses that let you enable built-in Game Shark-like abilities such as the moonwalk, going through walls, and unlimited cap power.

Toad should have said nothing about the clock's minute hand. Gamers figure out much more obtuse things than that on their own. Dittos for jumping height into Wet-Dry World. Probably the one bonus that got the proper treatment is the bunny in the basement. That one you had to figure out.

It is my judgement that the instructions appearing in the game by no means require a sharp mind. Some of them almost spoon feed you the answers. When Toad says to look "carefully" for anything that’s "not" reflected in the mirror, we who are the Mario 64 lords would like to believe that there is some subtle detail in the room which you really have to screw up your eyes to notice, and which is missing from the reflected room. But if it was actually referring to the entrance to Snowman's Land, the instructions overassume its subtlety. It should really have said to look for something in the mirror that doesn’t belong there.

There is too much “handicapped access”. I believe some of the areas should be accessible only by difficult and elaborate maneuvers, such as flying or riding updrafts. My example of a perfect hidden bonus would be this: on a mountain course you hit a Spindrift, then whirl around the mountain to the other side, and at the last moment before you fall out of the course, you spot a cleverly hidden hole in the bottom of the cliff that you can enter by aiming right at it. The lowest ledge of Cool, Cool Mountain would have been a good candidate if it weren’t plainly visible from the mother penguin’s area and accessible by cannon. I actually found it the first time by hitting a Spindrift and floating down to it.

I would like it if there were updrafts in courses with wingcaps.

The Mystery of World Boundaries

After playing the game awhile, one comes to realise that polygon surfaces, such as walls, cliffs, etc. are different from world boundaries. There are many polygon glitches in the game that allow you to go through a wall. But I don't know of any situation where it is possible to bring Mario outside the actual world boundary of a course. In fact, there is one place on the castle roof where an attempt to do this kills you.

In many courses, you can go through the ground or cliff and be underground, where Mario is not really supposed to go. This glitch seems to occur only in "floating mountain" courses, which, as the name suggests, have a ground surrounded entirely by a cliff from which it is possible to fall out of the course. In these courses, there is a "fall zone" near the bottom of the course that triggers a falling death event when it is entered. This particular dying event doesn't show a laughing Bowser.

One's first intuitive guess would be to think that the actual world boundary of any course is shaped simply like a rectangular box, as if to keep Mario's positional (x,y,z) coordinates within a certain range. But if you examine the invisible wall in back of the castle roof you can see that this wall has an oblique angle in it. So it seems that world boundaries can in fact have any shape. Maybe in the indoor and "flat" courses, the ground and hills themselves have an attribute set that makes them act as a world boundary, thereby eliminating the possibility of Mario going through them.

One thing that adds to the confusion is that some areas have graphics outside the world boundaries, tempting one to believe that you can get Mario out there. An example can be found in the courtyard. You can see the sides of the castle over the stone wall. But if you try to jump over it, you get that feared Bowowoioioingggg sound.

Another possible example is the moat water which extends like a lake under the entire castle. There is reason to suspect that the surfaces of the ground, castle walls, and the moat are actually part of the world boundary, which would rule out the idea of dropping through the ground and swimming under the castle. Even if one person were to get Mario down there, it would prove either that the ground above it is not a world boundary, but only a normal polygon surface, or that world boundaries can be circumvented. The encounter with ubiquitous "rubber walls" in the black room of death and in the shaft above it also seem to indicate that the world boundary wraps around the castle front, the front door jam, and the interior of the black room.

But the complexity of these rubber walls, such as the one that keeps you from just walking through the wall out of the black room, calls into question whether many of these invisible "rubber walls" are really true world boundaries or just another kind of polygon surface put there just to confine Mario's playing space. They have the elusive rubber texture of a world boundary, but are otherwise of the nature of other objects that would block Mario. That being the case, maybe it is possible to find glitches in these as well.

It is a theory of mine, from observation, that in order to implement a general "boundary" rule that is easy to code, the game has been programmed so that there has to be a ground under Mario at all times. In at least the "plane" and indoor courses, invisible walls seem to be present precisely at the point where the ground under Mario ends. A most striking example of this can be found in the black room of death. Since the programmers surely didn't intend that Mario would be in that room except when doing the entry cinema, there would be no reason to make the front wall of the room collision-resistant on the inside. Yet if you try to jump through that wall, you hear the inviolable boioioing. Furthermore, that barrier occurs precisely where the crack in the ground begins, through which you can see the watery void below.

Evidence is also available that if this boundary rule is circumvented and Mario manages to move into any space that has no ground under it, the game (probably while trying to cast Mario's shadow), discovers this and kills Mario, playing the Bowser cinema. One well-known instance of this is on the castle roof. If you hang off the back right corner and try to lift yourself up too close to the back boundary, Mario will be forced out of range and die. Another instance, though less known, is in Bob-Omb Battlefield. If you take a cork box to the crevasse at the bottom of the mountain, which has a steeply slanted wall, and use the box as a wedge to get through the wall, the moment Mario's "hotspot" is through the wall, he freezes in place and dies.

One challenge I got to this theory of mine is that Mario can float over the cliff in many places and have only sky under him, and not die. However, evidence is extant that in floating mountain courses, an invisible floor runs under the whole world which functions as the course's true "ground". This is the ground Mario lands on when you do the Somewhere Under the Rainbow glitch. This may also explain why these seem to be the only courses where Mario can use polygon errors to get inside the ground.

One casual observation you can make is to stand with your face against any invisible boundary wall, such as the back of the castle roof, or the inside of the black room's front wall. You will see Mario's shadow blink in rhythm with his breathing. This is because Mario's center of gravity moves back and forth, and the shadow thus moves on and off the edge.

Mario 64 Musings

I found an entry at supercheats.com's Mario 64 section which at first doesn't seem to have anything to do with Mario. But if you read it a few times, you have that aha moment and realize the instructions are very familiar ones. First let's look at the text as written:

When you collect 130 stars go to the shore in front of where the sub comes out and there will be a canoe in there then aim above the picture of a peach and you will find Yoshi.

Now let us slightly reword it for those of us who don’t stay up all night looking for Luigi:

When you collect 120 stars go to the shore in front of where you come out of the sub course and there will be a cannon in there then aim above and to the right of the picture of Princess Peach and you will find Yoshi.

It is true you end up at the fish pond if you get sucked out of the sub course. However, thanks to a tree you cannot see Peach's picture from the cannon. If he was revealing something I totally missed in the game by all means let me know. I'd love to ride in a canoe I can "aim".

Sometimes people come up with the announcement that Nintendo changed its mind about putting Luigi in Mario 64 because of time. I can’t help wondering what other things they may have begun and then decided not to finish for a similar reason. Would this explain all the red herrings in the game like the saddle on Yoshi? The nonfunctional fire spitters in downtown Wet-Dry World? The pillars near the Mirror and near the entrance to Bowser’s third battle stage? The “playing blocks” in the volcano and in Eyerok’s tomb? The “tunnel to nowhere” hidden in the bowels of the cloudy maze? The window in front of the castle tower which you can go through, from which you now just fall behind the front door? The only unique painting in the whole building: the clouds-and-stars? The “Shh” sign on the second floor? Toad’s decision to give you three of the stars? I would think the programmers would be more tidy after deciding not to put something in, rather than leaving the loose ends as evidence that they simply couldn't finish their work.

One of the things I have always wished I could do is somehow circumvent the world boundaries and head out into the mysterious terrains that appear in the distance. These clever background scenes no doubt are merely bitmaps that function just like the “wallpaper” in Windows, showing through wherever no graphics are displayed. I’ve been attracted by the mystique of these scenes.

Probably the most alluring back-drop of all to me is the mysterous shadow woods around Big Boo’s Haunt. Those bare tree branches just beckon you to come out there. You don’t suppose, do you, that the Toadstool royal family have declared this an “environmentaly sensitive” area and don’t want Mario trampling it.

When I saw the Go to Town for Red Coins star I pictured the idea of being able to head out into the vast monotony of what look like old ancient Roman ruins surrounding Wet-dry World. I’ve gotten up on the scaffold around the tunnel entrance so I could walk right up to the world boundary and look nearly straight down at these buildings. You can also look straight down at these by standing with your back against one of the corners of the room and zooming up so you can look around. Then look straight down and rotate the camera. I discovered while doing this that the perspective is warped when you do this, as you still can only see the buildings’ fronts, not the tops.

Of course to get real, even if you were by some glitch in the game to get Mario out there, Mario would probably die because he went out of bounds. The dying trick on the castle roof may attest to this, being one instance of Mario being able to place his "hotspot" just outside the course boundary, into the “illegal” netherworld beyond. Add to this the fact that as you head in a straight line in any direction, you will note that you never gain on the background objects, i.e. they are “infinitely” distant. I guess Mario’s aspirations of being able to head out there remind me of Dorothy’s wish to go over the rainbow.

I also kind of have a hunkering for a walk through the endless desert that you can see off in the distance in the Shifting Sand Land. More cool would be either a swim in the sea that appears as an extention of the reservoir next to the grated cannon when the water is still high, and possibly finding secret islands with thick woods or heavy fog. Or how about a long snow-shoing expedition in the alpine country around Cool, Cool Mountain. Maybe there are cabins scattered out in those mountains Mario can enter if he finds them, and meet a mountain man who smokes a fine pipe: "Why howdy. You must be Mario. Remember me? Luigi? I was sent here on sabbatical by Nintendo to get some rest". I never got to see Cool, Cool Mountain from far away, however I have seen it from below...

It would have been more imaginative if in Shifting Sand Land Mario would lose about one level of meter power after every minute spent in the outdoor part of the course, and he would have to keep collecting coins or dipping in the oasis to regain power. Add to that increasing degrees of gasping as the health meter goes down. And on the lowest level he can only crawl.

Here is a common creepy nightmare revisited: Does anyone know of a way to break into the upstairs before you have picked up the key? If you did that, I suppose that you could head back down to the doorway, and find that you need a key to get back out! If just thinking of that gives you goosebumps, imagine getting trapped this way in the basement!

In actual fact, there is a way to do this with the door leading to the clock room. You will find that in my page of secrets.

There are a countless number of things to try just to see if you get brought to any interesting levels, things like:

Do you suppose it’s possible to strategically hop on top of one of those rolling boulders just as it’s about to go into the black hole, and be taken to a hidden level such as the Thwomp’s Basement?

Maybe the sign on the fountain sculpture is telling you about something that you can do with the L button.

Can you jump off of the floating ship in Rainbow Ride and land on top of the moving oars?

Can you get the Rainbow ship to dock at the big house?

Do you suppose if you could make it to the toxic treasure chest as metal Mario, you could break it open?

Do the windows on the castle and on the four towers in the Tower of the Wing Cap lead anywhere? The only one I know about now is a window that you can fly into and land in the “black room”, which is right above the wall you can run through to get there.

Is there a way to penetrate out through the windows in the Secret Aquarium into the sky and clouds visible therethrough?

Is there a way to reenter Jolly Roger’s ship after it has surfaced?

I was hoping that even if any still unknown courses don’t provide stars beyond 120, that they provide treasures that give Mario abilities such as levitation and going through walls. Anyone know of such courses? I may actually try the ideas if they don’t involve something ridiculous like beating the penguin 30 times in a row or swimming through the waterfall 300 times.

Is there some special place in the game where you can get only with the new glittery triple jump? After all, Yoshi says the game is over but the fun is not. Maybe they mean it.

Is Luigi hidden in the game in the same place where he is found in the Super Mario 64 DS?

Cheats for dreamers

Someone gave what I believe to be a Mario cheat hoax: Fly into the top of the waterfall and you will wind up in the Metal Cave. This is an intriguing idea if you have exited from that cave by this route. But my response to this is some Mario cheat hoaxes of my own:

Swim underwater in the fish pond. If you hit the big rock underneath in just the right place, you will wind up underwater in Dire, Dire Docks.

Fly from the top of the steeple and head over the fish pond, getting as much elevation as you can. If you fly over the right spot with enough altitude, you will wind up on the highest cloud in Wing Mario Over the Rainbow.

In Huge Island, Run around the sign that says “I take no responsibility whatsoever for those who get dizzy and pass out from running around this post.” six thousand times. You will hear that short “you just did something important” music. Then go up to the top lake and swim into Wiggler’s hole. Your aim has to be exact or the hole will act “closed”. When you get in there, Luigi will be there in place of Wiggler. If you have trouble getting in the hole, see the Dry-Clean Wiggler entry in the Billy's Mario 64 Secrets page.

In Dire, Dire Docks, when the sub is present, pick up the vanish cap. Hurry to the top of the sub's fin. If you are still vanishing, you can jump through the scaffolding above you and walk on top of it. Do a triple jump to get over the yellow stripes. You will fall to the water outside the wall. From here you can swim to the water around the outside of the walls in the first area. Notice that the cliff wall around the first area is visible on both sides.

In Big Boo’s Haunt, get on the roof. Switch to look-around mode and stare at the moon until the music starts to get eerie. Then do a long jump off one end to get over the cage surrounding the course. Head out to the tree that is partially fallen on top of the other tree. When you get there you will find an old farm house behind it with porches all around it. Explore the inside of the house and clues hidden there will lead you to Luigi.

Go to the courtyard. Facing the castle door, go to the left and jump over the wall to the area on the left side of the castle. Then climb up the grass slope in back to get on the roof of the castle. On the back of the tower is a painting of clouds and stars, the same painting as the one at the bottom of the stairs to the clock room. This painting can be entered, leading to the Milky Way course.

In the pyramid, look for the plaques with the heiroglyphics on them. If you jump at just the right height and press B, you will find that these act like regular signs and a text box will appear. Each plaque will show you how to enable a different Game Shark code but without the need of a Game Shark. Examples of these codes are moonwalk, walk through walls, cycle through Mario-Luigi-Toad-Peach, Walk up all slopes, switch between swim and walk mode in any environment, and disable death event (The last one is fascinating as it allows you to fall to the bottom of a course and walk on the sky).

When you talk to Yoshi, hold down while he talks to you and instead of being paralyzed you can get on him, and ride him to whereever he goes when he jumps into the waterfall. As it turns out, he takes you to his secret Jurassic World for the ride of your life. You can hit Z anytime to land and begin exploring the course.

In Snowman's Land, go to the largest skatable ice patch. If you look down at it from the cliff above at the right angle, you will barely notice a dark mysterious opening beneath the ice surface. Do a triple jump from the cliff, hitting B at the top of the jump. You will get stuck in the ice head first. Before Mario pulls himself back out, hit A several times, and he will slowly burrow even deeper into the ice and be entirely submerged. Keep going down and you will enter the hole. He will eventually come out the bottom of the ice and drop down into a cave. In there you will see Luigi walking back and forth. Go up to him and press A. He will thank you for saving him and talk to you about how bowser trapped him here. Then he will give you the ability to switch between characters. Enter the tunnel leading out of the cave. At the other end you will see a conveyor of triangular snow ridges. Walk into them and they will push you back out into the main course where they emerge in the water area.

I once actually had a dream that there was a course in the game which I almost forgot about simply because it was too difficult and tedius to mess with. It was some sort of infernal sea that navigated in some kind of boat.

Land on top of all three pillars in Princess's Secret Slide in one play, and you will hear that "you just did something significant" music. You will find that: 1) the large skatable ice patch in Snowman's Land has melted, making it easier to get to Luigi's Dungeon, 2) you can now enter the Milkyway World painting at the foot of the stairs leading to the third floor, and 3) more vanishing caps will appear in the game allowing you to go through the mirror and enter Unagi's lair. If you can land on the three pillars in ascending order, go to the Snowman's Land and you will find that the moving snow ridges are now moving into the cliff, thereby allowing another way into Luigi's Dungeon.

Start a new game and go to where the "Phantom Lakitu" appears in front of the castle entrance. Hit B with the right timing and you will grab his fishing pole. Bring it into the Jolly Roger Bay anteroom. You will find that you can hold the pole through the aquarium windows. Now fish. Eventually a guppy will grab the line and pull Mario into the aquarium.

Enter the Secret Aquarium before you have collected the first star in Jolly Roger Bay (when the fog is still over the water). And you will find (pun intended by programmers, maybe) a frog swimming around. Catch him and you will be able to play as Warp. An additional ability of warp is swimming through the windows out into the sky that surrounds Secret Aquarium. Because this course's default medium is "water", you will continue to swim, even outside. And the Warp character also doesn't need to come up for air, which can be useful in other courses too.

You Know You’re a Poor Player When...

Some of the entries are collected from a topic post at GameFAQs, various signs
that your Mario skills may need brushing up:

You can’t reach the cannon at Whomp’s Fortress because you can’t swim.
You die trying to get the star In the Deep Freeze.
You think the water balls in Bob-Omb’s Battlefield will heal you.
You try to find Mario 64 glitches at Nintendo.
You think jumping inside of Bubba will bring you to a secret level.
You’re trying to find Luigi inside the lava fall.
You manage to lose health in the mirror room.
You still think the secret of the clock hand position is a “cheat”.
The actually do become the sea monster’s lunch.
You drown trying to figure out the Secret Aquarium.
Peach says “Oh. Mario, Mario.” and has to save you.
You think you beat the game with zero stars because you got the “Game Over” message.

Somewhere: A song by Mario

Somewhere over the backdrop, way out there,
There’s a level I’ve heard of once in Nintendo Power,
Somewhere over the backdrop coins are blue,
And your dreams of finding Luigi really do come true.

Someday I’ll grab a power star
And wake up where the Bowser’s far behind me,
Where goombas melt like lemon drops,
A way above the castle tops,
That’s where you’ll find me.

Somewhere over the backdrop, 1-ups fly,
Shrooms fly over the backdrop,
Why then oh why can’t I?

More Pages

List of Mario 64 Secrets
List of Mario 64 Questions
A Backward Look: Super Mario World
Super Mario 64 DS
Bizarre Screenshots
Billy's home page

Other Sites

Nintendoland
David Wonn's Unique Video Game Glitches Contains some little known glitches from a great number of games.
Beyond 120 Stars Walton Dell's Mario 64 website, lots of glitches.
System Crash Dom Duncs gaming site, including a Mario 64 section.
Super Mario 64 Cheats
Super Mario 128 Central
GameFAQS A meeting place for gamers; has boards devoted to specific games, including one for Super Mario 64. Look for Bullet Bill.