A simple fix: Modders correct trail of smoke animation in Super Mario 64

Super Mario 64

Super Mario 64 is an important game. It set the standard for 3D platformers and influenced video games for years to come. Since the title is so classic, the only way to keep it exciting is through modding. Recently, a team of hackers discovered the trail of smoke that follows Mario whenever he singes his butt is a visual bug. Truth be told, the correct asset for the animation has been hidden inside the game all along.

This Super Mario 64 error completely took me out of the game years ago

A coder by the name of zoinknoise lays out how swapping a single line of code changes the smoke effect for the better:

it’s now known that this texture is displayed in the wrong format by the game, resulting in black garbage pixels. Since video game smoke of this era was often depicted with black garbage pixels, the mistake went unnoticed for over two decades. This patch corrects the error by displaying the texture correctly as proper transparent smoke. It does not add any new art; the texture has been inside the ROM all along.

If your memory of Super Mario 64 is sketchy due to the passage of time, here’s a comparison shot:

Look at those impressive puffs! It’s way better than the animation that ended up in the final game. That one makes it look like Mario is spilling feces from his pants.

Either way, though, the Xs in Mario’s eyes always bugged me. He’s not dead, just in shock. Give me some circles to express surprise!

Enthusiasts, what are your feelings on this Super Mario 64 fix? Will you demand Nintendo update the particle effects if the classic ends up on Switch? Let us know below!

[Source, /Via]

Arthur Damian
Arthur Damian is a writer, editor, educator, and lover of video games. Based and living in Brooklyn, NY, he has been gaming since the age of five, from the NES to the Nintendo Switch. His favorite system is the SNES, his favorite game is Chrono Trigger, and you cannot convince him otherwise. He loves dogs, rainbow cookies, Spider-Man, and songs with intricate drum patterns. Arthur is also the Editor-in-Chief at That VideoGame Blog.