Super Mario 64: Memorable moments and cool Miiverse posts

 

Super Mario 64 holds varying significance to different people. For some, it was a shift that dramatically changed the face of gaming forever. For others, it was the very title that got them into video games. Others still cite it as their favorite game of all time. Even if you remove the nostalgia goggles, the fact remains that Super Mario 64 is a groundbreaking game that paved the way for pretty much all modern 3D adventures. And hey, it's still a really fun game, too (problematic camera notwithstanding). 

Following a fan-made Super Mario 64 HD project, Nintendo released the original Nintendo 64 version of the 3D platforming classic on the Wii U Virtual Console. As a result, Wii U owners have been playing the game and sharing their favorite moments across Miiverse. Whether it's their first time playing Mario's classic foray into 3D or simply a trip back in time with a cherished favorite, players are heaping endless praise on the old school Nintendo 64 title. It was difficult to narrow it down to just 10, but here are some of the most memorable moments from Super Mario 64, along with some cool Miiverse posts so we can all celebrate together.

Seeing Mario In All Of His Polygonal Glory For The First Time

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I mentioned this in the previous edition of The Greatest Game Ever...of the Week, but it deserves to be said again: that moment when Mario first jumps out of the green warp pipe at the start of Super Mario 64 just felt like a big deal. It's here that you got your first look at the new Mario, and in 1996 it was the first time seeing him converted from a flat, pixelated sprite to a fully polygonal 3D model. It was truly a glorious moment — arguably the greatest in the game. For new players, Mario's blocky appearance may be a bit archaic, but in the '90s, it was kind of a huge deal.

Jumping Into That First Painting In Princess Peach's Castle

Rather than putting you on a straightforward overworld map, Super Mario 64 went in an almost fairytale-like direction, prompting you to jump into paintings to access the individual worlds. No one knew what awaited behind that painting of Bob-omb Battlefield. We knew we wanted to see it, and we knew it would be unreal, but there was just no way of knowing the surprises that we'd discover on the other side of that magical painting. We braced ourselves, ran toward the painting, and jumped right in, only to witness a breathtaking 3D land. Even after nearly 20 years, it's still cool to enter the game's many worlds by literally jumping right into them. It's especially cool to see players on Miiverse having a blast anddiscovering things for the first time.

Messing Around With Mario's Face On The Title Screen

Before you could even start playing, the first thing you'd see upon powering on Super Mario 64 was the titular hero's giant mug. So what would you do? You'd pull and stretch his facial features around. Yanking on Mario's nose, mustache, ears, chin, and hat was silly, but it was a fun little distraction nonetheless. To be quite honest, it was kind of hard to refrain from stretching his face for at least a few seconds before starting the actual game. As it turns out, people are still having fun at Mario's expense.

Bosses Galore

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Okay, so I'm kind of cheating here since this memorable moment consists of several smaller memorable moments to create one grand experience. In any case, one of the best features of Super Mario 64 is its gallery of bosses. Though not every world included a boss battle, some worlds had multiple battles. Four of the stages in Big Boo's Haunt, for example, culminated in encounters with major enemies. Even the game's first Power Star is held by a boss — a boss who happens to have some pretty strict rules for defeating him.

Bowser Appears

Speaking of bosses, no encounter, for as cool as it may have been, managed to rival the first appearance by Bowser. From the moment you entered Peach's castle, you heard him taunting and laughing at you, and you just knew that when you finally saw him it would be a big moment. After getting through the Bowser in the Dark World course, it most certainly was. And just like seeing the polygonal Mario at the start of the game, seeing a 3D Bowser model for the first time was pretty incredible, even if he did look a bit goofy. There's just something about those Bowser encounters that resonates so strongly with people,especially fans who played the game in its heyday.

Did We Really Deserve Some Of Those Power Stars?

Whether you were defeating Bowser, taking out his enforcers, winning a race against Koopa the Quick, or performing death-defying jumps, there was a rewarding sense of satisfaction in Super Mario 64. This was a game that challenged players, so when you accomplished something, you definitely earned it. Well, for the most part anyway. I still don't know what I did to earn those Power Stars that Toad just happily gave away when I talked to him. Even chasing after MIPS the rabbit was kind of lame, especially since the critter had not one but two Power Stars. To be fair, though, maybe MIPS is causing some folks grief.

Going In The Volcano In Lethal Lava Land

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When I discovered that I could actually go inside the volcano in Lethal Lava Land, it was a total "WTF" moment. Well, I was kid, and it was the '90s, so maybe I wasn't thinking “WTF,” but that sentiment sure makes sense now. At first glance, the volcano just seemed like part of a set piece. It was an active, lava-spewing formation that  could hurt Mario. But when the volcanic eruption ceased and you felt the curious urge to jump in, you didn't know what to expect. It was as if you were entering a new world within a world.

That Ray Of Light In Peach's Castle

Collecting 10 Power Stars caused a beam of light to shine down from the ceiling on the first floor of Peach's castle, which you needed to stare directly at in order to access a secret Power Star and the Wing Cap switch. It was one of those things where, if you weren't paying strict attention to how many Power Stars you had, it seemed like a dynamic moment. Sure, it was just something that happened after you collected 10 Power Stars, but for first-time players, it made the world of Super Mario 64 seem that much more unpredictable and alive.

Collecting All 120 Power Stars

Super Mario 64 was fairly tough but never impossible (though some folks may have thought it was easy). At the time, collecting all 120 Power Stars seemed daunting, but it was a goal that fans wanted to achieve. As you got closer to 120, you couldn't help but to feel sheer excitement. Collecting all of the Power Stars made you feel like a winner ... even if your reward was pointless. What were you supposed to do with 100 lives after completing the game? At least you got to see Yoshi ... who really only makes a quick cameo appearance. Would it have been too much to have the ability to ride Mario's green dino buddy?

What The Heck Happened To The Penguin?!

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If you did decide to put those 100 lives to use by revisiting courses, chances are you came across the penguin you previously raced for a Power Star. Apparently, time wasn't kind to him as he put on quite a bit of weight. Despite letting himself go, the dude was still a pretty versatile belly slider. Honestly, I think witnessing the out-of-shape penguin was a bigger moment for me than having Yoshi give me 100 lives and then just leaping off of the castle in anticlimactic fashion.

Also, one more for good measure.