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A fully functioning PC port of Super Mario 64 has been released online.
The fan-made port, which was first shared on social media sites this weekend, was made possible by a 2019 recompilation project which saw fans reverse engineer the game’s source code.
Unlike PC emulators which imitate the conditions of the original N64 hardware, the DirectX 12-powered port allows players to run Mario 64 at far higher resolutions without compromise, such as native 4K or in ultra-widescreen mode.
It’s even possible to add modern visual effects to Super Mario 64 via third-party app Reshade, including primitive ray tracing.
The native PC port should also have significant implications for Mario 64’s active mod community, which had previously required an emulator for its projects.
It’s not yet clear if the Mario 64 release has any relation to a recent significant leak of legacy Nintendo console data, or if the timing is coincidental.
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The data could, in theory, be used to create illegal clone hardware able to run software and operate exactly like the original systems.
The PC emulation community could also theoretically use the data to improve their software so that it imitates the original systems perfectly. However, since the leaked documentation has been illegally obtained this would put them in murky territory.
As first revealed by VGC, Nintendo will reveal plans to re-release most of Super Mario’s 35-year back catalogue this year, remastered for Nintendo Switch, including 1996’s Super Mario 64, 2002’s Super Mario Sunshine and 2007’s Super Mario Galaxy.
Nintendo will also release several other Mario titles in 2020. That includes a Deluxe version of 2013’s Wii U game Super Mario 3D World, which will be bolstered with new content and levels.
The platform holder is also preparing to announce a new instalment in the Paper Mario series.