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Even Super Mario 64 Has Ray Tracing Now

This version of Mario 64 requires a GTX 3090 to run.


If you've ever wanted to play a 1996 game with 2021 visual effects, I've got good news for you. As picked up by Nintendo Life, the Super Mario 64 PC port that Nintendo tried to shut down last year is still going strong, and one modder is working on a version of the game with ray-traced reflections and lighting effects.

The video is a couple months old, though it's still the most recent update on the ray-traced Mario 64 project. The modder is named Darío Samo, and the video shows Super Mario 64 running on an RTX 3090. As Darío points out in the video title, it's a $1500 GPU being used to run a 25-year-old game.

While the YouTube video showcases Wet-Dry world in its shallow-water mode, with some lighting effects provided by electricity-covered Amps and fire-spewing Keronpa Balls, Darío has also shared videos of other levels on Twitter. The most recent update shows the red-and-blue fire lanterns of the castle's basement, while an earlier video shows some of the complex shadows in Dire Dire Docks' red coin area.

The PC port caught the attention of Nintendo's lawyers last year when it launched, with the company taking steps to remove both videos of the unofficial port and the accompanying download links. Thankfully, it seems to have survived despite the DMCA crackdown.

In September last year, Nintendo re-released Super Mario 64 along with Mario Sunshine and Mario Galaxy as part of Super Mario 3D All-Stars for the Switch. All-Stars is designed to be a limited-edition game celebrating the 35th anniversary of the Mario franchise, with new copies no longer available to buy after March 31, 2021.

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