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Prerelease:Super Mario 64 (Nintendo 64)/1995

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This is a sub-page of Prerelease:Super Mario 64 (Nintendo 64).

Careful, you'll lose an eye.
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There's a whole lotta words here, but not enough pictures. Please fix this.
Specifically: Lots of bullet points made, but without enough images to illustrate the discoveries.

September - October

Earlier Builds (Shoshinkai 1995 Promotional)

Hmmm...
To do:
There are many more differences in this build.
SM64-UnknownLevelColorCorrected.png
SM64 BRoll WFThwomps.png
Mario64 BRoll Hoot.png

Little info is available about the specifics of these builds and their relation to the Shoshinkai build, but footage of them was interspersed with the Shoshinkai demo footage in promotional videotapes for the event that were given to visitors. More levels are available, and graphical tweaks have been made. These builds may show a more realistic view of how Super Mario 64 was developing at the time, instead of the demo, which only showed a specific set of levels. This footage was recorded a week or so before the Shoshinkai '95 event, these builds are also from that time period.

(Source: Promotional Video (Software)" - Nintendo 64 B-Roll (1995))
(Source: 1996 Nintendo Co. Ltd Company Report)
(Source: 1996 Nintendo Co. Ltd Company Report)
  • Mario's health has a more basic and linear design with a pie chart-type meter that would be implemented in the final version. There are two iterations of this power meter: one that says "POW" with the number of health pieces left overlaid onto the remaining health pieces, and one with a simpler texture with the text "POWER". The meter changing in the footage suggests there were two different builds recorded, with "POWER" likely being the earlier of the two. As health decreases, the color of the health meter changes from blue to red, similar to how the final meter works. Two of the Power Meters both resembles the shape of the Philips shield logo. But there are the differences of shape. "POWER" appears to have the similar shape and "POW" have the slightly rough edges on the bottom of the border.
  • The starting grass area on Whomp's Fortress in the POWER build is a small extension of wood. In addition, there are four Bomps that all synced instead of three that do not sync, and another fence is present. Later build would rebuild the grass area that is similar to Shoshinkai 1995 build.
  • Thwomps (or dosuns) stays the same position as the final, until in the later build; where the "POW" meter is; both swapped directions as seen here.
  • The Power Meter decreases clockwise, unlike the first and final meters, which decrease counterclockwise.
  • The builds show a HUD with a Star icon differing from the Shoshinkai demo and text with two digits instead of one.
  • Jolly Roger Bay is larger and crudely modeled. The sunken ship is bigger, less detailed, whiter, and has a mast.
  • Bowser (King Koopa in Japan) has his blue eyes, which is found in here. Bowser also has the different shell texture, which has the green color that is lighter than the final. There's also the green spot on each pattern.
  • The camera doesn't move but only focuses on Mario throwing Bowser. And his shadow were in the position where Mario is.
  • If Mario is standing in water, the Power Meter would show up.
  • Mario doesn't bounce back when punching the enemy like, for example, teresa.sou shown here.
  • In the castle courtyard, the sky is completely black, until the Spaceworld 1995 demo, which adds the skybox texture.
  • Mr. I shoots bubble with the texture that is similar to the one that seen in Water Land (Dire, Dire Docks in the final) and the sleeping Piranha Plant.

Unknown Areas

Removed Stage, "Castle"

SM64-mysteryarea.png
SM64-mysteryarea2.png

Footage exists of a location that does not match anywhere in particular in the final game. The footage was bundled with other footage from this second demo. The full model can be found within the leaked source code. It appears to be an expansive stone castle with several levels and stairs leading up to the top. The internal name of the stage in the source code is "castle". Interestingly the stage appears in two unused courses, stage1 and stage99.

  • Mario stands on a brick platform with a stone wall behind him. Inset in this wall is stairs. To the right of Mario is a lower floor with a dark pillar-like platform farther away.
(Source: YouTube)


(Source: "Gamesmaster Series 5 Episode 11 and 15)

Preliminary BBH Underground

SM64-BooLevel.png
Mario64-BooArea.png
So many Mr. Is!

A strange presumably hallway-like room with a blue carpet can be seen here. There appears to be extra space surrounding the carpet on either side of the wall, with a small painting or sign at the end. The . This stage is certainly what became BBH (Possibly the underground area), due to the presence of Boos and Mr. I's, both used in the final BBH, and more notably the texture used in ana.sou named "obakabe00_txt" meaning Ghost Wall.

(Source: "Promotional Video (Software)" - Nintendo 64 B-Roll (1995))
(Source: SM64 Research Discord server)
(Source: 1996 Nintendo Co. Ltd Company Report)

November

Shoshinkai '95 Demo

Information about Super Mario 64 first leaked in November 1995, and a playable build was presented days later as part of the world premiere of the Ultra 64 at Nintendo Space World. At this point, the basic controls had been implemented and the game was reportedly 50% finished, featuring 32 courses, although about 2% of mapping was complete. This build was compiled on November 15, 1995.

Being the first unveiling of Super Mario 64, these were the first assets available to the general public. Graphics-wise, this version of the game has little in common with the final, but several levels and key gameplay features are set in stone. Players could control Mario freely in each stage and explore the castle, as well as use a stage select that used early names for levels (for example, Bowser in the Dark World was originally named "Koopa 1").

According to the developers, many players at Shoshinkai described Mario's 3D controls as "wobbly", "slippery", or "less responsive to the button inputs". Mario uses his old head found in the July 2020 Nintendo leak. According to Giles Goddard (Programmer of the Mario Head), this build was just a snapshot of what was working at the time.

General Differences

Prerelease Final
Sm64betatitle.png MarioMiniSM64.png
(Source: Gamesmaster Series 5 Episode 11 and 15)

Gameplay and Physics

  • When Mario enters a level, there is a trail of sparkles (like in the special triple jump you get for getting all 120 Stars) as he falls from the sky.
  • Mario's triple jump causes him to twirl in the air (as if he'd jumped on a Spindrift) instead of doing a mid-air somersault. This ability would later be given to Luigi in the the DS remake.
  • Mario does not pause in the air when he performs a ground pound. The camera does not slow down or focus on Mario when he does a ground pound, either, unlike the final.
  • Mario does not cover his head with his hands when he crouches.
  • Mario, after taking large fall damage or respawning after dying in a painting world, visibly struggles to get up. This was changed in the final, possibly to keep the animation short (and less morbid); this can be seen here and here.
  • While running, instead of slanting forwards towards the direction he is going, Mario runs completely straight.
  • Mario doesn't jump when hit by fire.
  • When Mario enters a level, the camera doesn't approach the painting.
  • Mario seems to be almost always in the center of the camera.
  • Mario blinks more often than the final game.
  • Mario only punches and kicks at once, instead of punching twice and kicking one time.
  • Mario gets up with his arms out after doing the dive jump.
  • When Mario's doing the side flip, the jump height is lower than the final, which shown here in the B-Roll video.

Power Stars

Mario64 Shoshinkai3.png
  • Power Stars are two-dimensional animated sprites in this build. The Stars here were reused for the silver-and-red stars that float around Mario's head in the final title screen, and were also used in the design of the big sliding doors in the final as well.
  • The Stars are free-floating in certain areas within the four available levels, without any puzzles to solve to obtain them (other than completing the slide in Cool Cool Mountain).
  • Collecting a Star causes Mario to do the Star dance and exits the level, but it does not count towards anything, nor are any menus pulled up once Mario has exited the painting. This is most likely a demo feature.
  • When collecting a Star, the camera doesn't move away from Mario or approach his pose, staying the same as before collecting it.

SM64 star coin.gif

Coins

SM64-Maximum24.png

Instead of a star insignia, the coins have a rectangular indentation consistent with prior Mario titles.

SM64 early coin.gif
(Source: Game Zero's Shoshinkai 1995, Nintendo 64 and Super Mario 64 Demonstrations)

HUD

Prerelease Final
WFMinimap.jpg
FinalWF WO Map.PNG
(Source: Joypad International Supplement (January 1996))
Minimap A minimap is present in the upper-right corner, similar to the one from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. It can be toggled on or off. The larger view of a level seen when paused replaced the minimap later on in development. The minimap idea was resurrected in the DS remake, which displays a map on the Touch Screen.
Lives Mario's head is a flat, stylized face in profile with a comically large nose, closely resembling his sprite from Paper Mario (which was released four years after this game). In the Shoshinkai demo, the number of lives is expressed with a single digit, while B-Roll footage from an earlier build would use two digits. Mario also started with 3 lives (represented by the number 2) instead of 5 (shown by the number 4).
Stars Like Mario's head, the Star counter is also represented by a flat sprite, located at the center-right of the screen.
Coins Located directly below the Star counter instead of beside it. This placement makes room for the minimap.
Font A very standard bubble font with the numbers being different colors. The Xs are small and yellow, as opposed to silver in the final game.
Health Mario's health is displayed in a dial. His remaining health is also shown in numerical form, an idea later seen in to early media of Super Mario Sunshine and the final release of Super Mario Galaxy. At this point, Mario's health regenerates automatically if he is not underwater. It's also a bit transparent, and sometimes you can see the scenery behind the bar.
Camera There are no visible camera options in the HUD yet, but players can still use the C buttons to move the camera.

Audio Differences

Hmmm...
To do:
  • Find more source sound files. Like the "whoosh" entering the slide, etc.
  • Rip the early door and water footstep sounds.
  • Mario's voice clips are the most striking difference, featuring samples from Best Service Voice Spectral and the Warner Bros. SFX library. Those were most likely placeholders until Charles Martinet performed Mario's lines.
Description Early Final
Mario exclaiming "Yahaa!"
Mario grabbing on ledge
Mario taking fire damage
Mario taking damage
Mario getting a Star
Single Jump #1
Single Jump #2
Single Jump #3
Double Jump
Climb over ledge
Pickup item
  • Bowser's death sound originally played after he hit the bomb instead of when he hit the floor after hitting the bomb.
Description Early Final
Bowser death
Bowser Growl
Bowser tail grab/bomb
  • The coin sound effect is a single sample, rather than a sequence like in the final game. It's also very different from the final.
Description Early Final
Coin Sound
  • The penguin walking sound was very different from the final version.
Description Early Final
Title Theme
  • The title screen's music is faster, has different percussion and uses some of Mario's voice clips.
  • The music in Dire, Dire Docks uses a different instrument, taken from Digidesign SampleCell's Factory Library Disc 1, known there as Tine Piano C4. It can also be found in the Yoshi Touch & Go soundfont, labelled there as "Electric Piano".
  • The Peach/Bowser portrait room plays a strange high-pitched shrieking noise that gets quieter as Mario approaches.

Level Changes

Castle Grounds

Mario64 ShoshinkaiBeta2.png
(Source: Pocketneogeo's C-Band Wild Feed)

The player begins at the castle and is greeted with this text:

Text Translation
ようこそ
マリオワンダーランドへ
ぼうけんずきのひとは
めのまえのおしろへどうぞ
Welcome to
Mario Wonderland.
If you're the adventurous sort,
Pay a visit to the castle ahead.
  • The bridge has changed since the patent screenshots, adding guardrails and removing the stone pillars from the beginning. It still has a noticeable curve.
  • The "cloud" above the castle appears to have been removed.
  • The clock is still present above the entrance.
  • The brick texture is noticeably simpler than it would be in later builds of the game.
  • No wooden fencing surrounds the moat.
  • Some trees are positioned differently.
  • The flags on the castle are different and don't have any animations. It's hard to say because of the poor quality of the footage, but it looks like the flags have the old Mario icon on them.
  • For some reason, the Mushroom Kingdom's name was replaced with Mario Wonderland.

Castle Interior

SM64 clockpowermeter.png
(Source: Bad Influence Series 4 Episode 11, 13, and 14)

Upon entering the castle, this text appears:

Text Translation
このおしろは てんじかい
せんようです。
いろいろなせかいと
つながっているので
さきのとびらを ひらいて
ぼうけんして ください。
This castle is
exclusive to the show. 
It's connected to a
variety of worlds, so
open the doors ahead
and get adventuring.
(Translation: GlitterBerri)
Prerelease Final
SM64-Beta19.png
SM64-Castlefinal.png


(Source: Consoles + 050 (January 1996))
  • The walls are dark blue with a star-and-moon pattern on them.
  • The stairs are simply made up of two platforms.
  • A simple blue-to-orange color gradient decorates the bricks.
  • Doors to stages display white numbers (1-4) instead of red numbers over stars. These numbers correspond to the level select and do not appear to be Star requirements yet. This texture can be found in the July 2020 Gigaleak.
  • The room with the Bowser/Peach portrait has cracked stone walls, as opposed to brick castle walls in the final. An unknown high-pitched shrieking noise also appears to play in this room. The sound gets quieter as Mario approaches the portrait, indicating it may be Peach's shrieks.
  • Level placement is not final: the entrance to Cool, Cool Mountain is in the first door on the left (where Bob-omb Battlefield is in the final), the entrance to Lethal Lava Land is in the second door on the bottom-right (where Whomp's Fortress would be later on), and the second-floor door leads to the first fight with Bowser.
  • Two platforms lead to the double door, and the rest of the walkway (to two other doors in the final, nonexistent themselves in this build) on the second floor does not exist yet.
  • The paintings for Whomp's Fortress and Cool, Cool Mountain are not yet in their final forms.
  • The basement is not in this version, and the two doors that lead to the courtyard's hallway only lead to the courtyard's hallway.

Mountain (Whomp's Fortress)


(Source: Consoles + 050 (January 1996))
(Source: Consoles + 050 (January 1996))
(Source: Game Zero's Shoshinkai 1995, Nintendo 64, and Super Mario 64 Demonstrations)
(Source: Consoles + 050 (January 1996))
Hmmm...
To do:
Add what the textbox says when first entering this level.

The layout is similar to the final version, but its appearance is fairly different.

  • The path before the Piranha Plant at the top of the fortress is a red carpet.
  • The background features an overcast sky.
  • Many of the floors have circular stone textures. These textures can be found here in the July 2020 Gigaleak.
  • Thwomps have a darker blue color and angrier faces. They also have circular shadows. The model itself can be found in the July 2020 Gigaleak as well.
  • Piranha Plants have completely different sound clips for biting. The animation for them sleeping also shows their teeth.
  • Bomps look different.
  • The Star by the tower is not in a cage.
  • The rotating platforms with red coins have not been implemented yet.
  • The pole near the tower is closer to the Star and on the other side of the tower.
  • The elevator leading to the top Star has a red marking on its top.
  • The course's painting appears to show a picture of a field with two mushrooms instead of showing a picture of the course itself.
  • Whomps have a completely different set of textures. This model; again, found in the July 2020 Gigaleak.
  • When Mario is riding Hoot, the camera does not rotate above him and Hoot moves up slowly.
  • The tower's steps are triangular instead of rectangular. The triangular steps are still present in the final game, unused.
  • Bullet Bills lack a shadow. Shadowless Bullet Bills were found in the gigaleak under the name of killer.sou.
  • The cannon that shoots out Bullet Bills has different textures.
  • Piranha Plants lack the dirt patches they reside on in the final.
  • The fish appears to be jumping out of the water; typically some kind of Easter Egg; while Mario going to the cannon. This behavior code can be seen here.
  • There are one coin on each receding platform.

Fire Bubble (Lethal Lava Land)


(Source: Cyberflash TV Show: Episode 1, 32, 55, and 170)
(Source: Pocketneogeo's C-Band Wild Feed)

Arriving in this level, the text box reads:

Text Translation
みぎにいくか ひだりに
いくかは あなたのじゆう
Cボタンをうまくつかって
しんちょうに はやく!
Left or right?
It's all up to you.
Make good use of the C buttons
to move quickly but cautiously!
(Translation: GlitterBerri)

This map is mostly similar to the final. Features are present such as Mr. I, the sliding puzzle, the collapsing and tilting platforms, and the volcano exterior.

  • Mario starts on a path that is positioned to the right of the arch, instead of to the left.
  • Bullies only have one spike atop their head instead of two horns, similar to the Chill Bully enemy in the final game. These early Bullies can be found in the July 2020 leak.
  • There are no red coins on the puzzle.
  • All of the rock structures with 1-Ups and coins are missing.
  • There is no big Bully on the upmost platform. Instead, the Star and falling blocks are always present.
  • There is no volcano section. Attempting to enter the volcano causes Mario to get burned.
  • There is no teleporter in the hole underneath Mr. I.
  • A more devilish skybox is used.
  • Mr. I's bubble has the different texture.

Snow Slide (Cool, Cool Mountain)

SM64 EarlyCCM.jpg
(Source: Bravo TV - Nintendo 64(Computermesse) (01/28/1996))
(Source: Consoles + 050 (January 1996))
(Source: Cyberflash TV Show: Episode 1, 32, 55, and 170)
(Source: Joypad (France))
(Source: (Super Mario Stadium) Spaceworld 1995 Coverage)
SM64 earlypenguin.png
SM64 Slide SunMoon.png
CCMBottom.jpg
SM64 Slide DifferentSegment.png

Level intro text:

Text Translation
かぜを かんじたいひとは
ひだりの あなに とびこ
んでみるといいです。
すっごく きもちいいです
If you want to feel the wind
at your back, try jumping
in the hole on the left.
The sensation can't be beat.
(Translation: GlitterBerri)
  • Mario begins near the top of the mountain, which is made of ice and has a white stone texture on its side. The entrance for the slide is a hole atop a trapezoidal polygon with an igloo texture, similar to a cannon hole. One penguin is present.
  • The lower part of the course is composed of a white brick texture, intersecting with a stone pyramid structure behind the penguin area. These textures are later replaced by the cabin and other wooden structures. The flat area of the level essentially resembles the final version, with penguins, an ice pool, and a floating Star in roughly the same location as the one in Little Penguin Lost.
  • Mother Penguin and her baby, Tuxie, have different designs than they do in the final: their eyelids are droopy and their torsos are thinner. A total of three baby penguins can be seen in the demo. The Penguins' original design can actually be seen on a cereal box. These can also be found in the July 2020 Leak.
  • There don't seem to be any Mr. Blizzards or Spindrifts in this version.
  • The music for Bob-omb Battlefield plays in the level. When Mario enters the slide, the music restarts, as both maps share the music.
  • The slide area seen in this demo would later be repurposed for Tall, Tall Mountain in the retail release.
  • The course's painting appears to show some snowy mountains instead of the Headless Snowman, a Mr. Blizzard, and a tree.
  • While the slide area model has the similar layout from the final, there's the segment where you can go to the other way, unlike the dead end in the final as well.
  • When Mario pick up the baby penguin, it doesn't play the crying sound while holding.

Water Land (Dire, Dire Docks)


(Source: Consoles + 050 (January 1996))
(Source: Pocketneogeo's C-Band Wild Feed)
(Source: (Super Mario Stadium) Spaceworld 1995 Coverage)
  • A text box appears when Mario first falls into the water, but due to the footage that contains this cutting out the frames with actual text appearing, it is unknown what it says.
  • The Bowser symbol on the ship is the head portion of Bowser's artwork from Super Mario Bros. 3, which was also reused in the Bowser painting and Lethal Lava Land sliding puzzle.
  • The whirlpool hasn't been implemented yet.
  • There is a small platform at the beginning of the level.
  • Instead of sharp rocks, the background texture in the entry area is bricks layered on top of the lighter stone.
  • The Water Mine object that goes unused in the final version is used throughout the level.
  • The chests at the beginning of the level do nothing but release bubbles. This object behavior is present but unused in the final game.
  • Sushi is quite different. His body is segmented and his textures are very different from the final game. The old textures and model can be found in the July 2020 leak.
  • The arrow texture shows two yellow triangles, rather than a single yellow arrow. The area that they are spotted in is blue instead of grey.

Koopa 1 (Bowser in the Dark World)

SM64-Bowsercoins.png
(Source: Bad Influence Series 4 Episode 11, 13, and 14)

As was previously mentioned, Bowser in the Dark World was originally named "Koopa 1". Despite the level design being unchanged from the final build, there are still a few changes from the earlier build:

  • The level starts in Bowser's arena.
  • The skybox is changed to a dark blue sky texture.
  • Bowser's shadow disappears when Mario catches him by the tail.
  • Bowser shrinks, then drops 20 coins and a Star when he is defeated, as opposed to shrinking and spinning then dropping a Key.

Courtyard

Ssk Courtyard.jpg
SM64-POWmeter.png
(Source: Dengeki Nintendo)
(Source: Consoles + 050 (January 1996))
  • Boos are present, but their face textures have an earlier design and do not match the final version. These textures can be found in the July 2020 leak.
  • The fountain is textured differently, with dark bricks instead of light-gray stone. The brick texture of the fountain became the walls of the courtyard in the final game. There is no star statue in the fountain, either.
  • The ground texture for each side of the fountain is dark brown, implying dirt instead of grass.
  • A Mr. I is present in this area, which was removed for the retail version.

December

In the recent Nintendo 1996 Company Report, a build of the game between the SpaceWorld demo and the Inverted HUD build can be seen. This shows the HUD being placed like in the SpaceWorld demo, but with the final numbers and X symbol. There was no skybox in the Bowser fight in this level.

SM64 build between SW and IHB.png


(Source: 1996 Nintendo Co. Ltd Company Report)