It’s rare mods get used to fix a game.
A programmer from Germany decided to use his modding abilities in an unanticipated way. Instead of breaking the game with his mods, he used those mods to fix Super Mario 64.
We all know the power of video game modding. Amateur developers have broken our favorite video games in unimaginable ways, delivering truly remarkable and unique experiences. However, we don’t always see those same mods employed to “fix“ a game.
According to a report by Kotaku, a German modder named Kaze Emanaur did that very thing to one of the most nostalgic 3D gaming experiences to ever be created. Super Mario 64 – as astonishing a game it was and still is – had its fair share of bugs and glitches. If you don’t know how badly broken the game was, ask the SM64 speedrunning community.
The programmer took up the daunting task of fixing the Super Mario 64 source code in its entirety. To specify, Kaze scrutinized over 100,000 lines of code with the purpose of optimizing via surgical edits and purposeful rewrites.
Kaze’s experiment was not in vain. He reports that his debugged version of Super Mario 64 now runs 6 times faster, allowing a previously impossible 30 frames per second on an original Nintendo 64. Kaze is proud to share that he spent hundreds of hours over the span of two weeks reprogramming the source code.
Super Mario 64 wasn’t the best game, but it was easily one of the most legendary classics of its era. The Nintendo 64 had several games considered to be “broken” by today’s standards. This is because the Nintendo 64 was the pioneer for 3D gaming at its time. The craft was very young and left much room for research and development from programmers during that generation.
Because of this, other franchises like Zelda, Donkey Kong, and Banjo-Kazooie all have arguably “broken” releases. At the time, those issues were overlooked either by the lack of gamer experience or the unadulterated fun factor.
However, gamers are now more critical than ever. It would be intriguing to see more titles get “fixed” as Kaze has done for Super Mario 64. Hopefully, he has inspired other modders and programmers to take on the challenge of delivering optimized experiences of more timeless classics.