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This 'Super Mario 64' ROM Hack Lets You Make and Share Your Own Levels

Modder gives 'Super Mario 64' the 'Super Mario Maker' treatment.

by Emanuel Maiberg
Jul 18 2017, 12:16pm

Super Mario Maker was a stroke of genius from Nintendo. Everyone understands how to play a Mario game, so the company just gave players simple tools to make and share their own levels with friends.

However, to be honest, Super Mario Maker never got its hooks into me because as much as I love those classic 2D Mario games, ever since Mario took his first step in the third dimension in Super Mario 64, I've been way more interested in 3D Mario games. Super Mario Maker only allowed players to make 2D Mario levels, so wouldn't it be awesome if there was a 3D Mario level editor—a Super Mario 64 Maker, if you will?

That is exactly what Nintendo 64 ROM hacker Kaze Emanuar did with the release of Super Mario 64 Maker, a Nintendo 64 ROM hack that lets players make their own Super Mario 64 levels with a simple interface and an N64 controller.

Essentially, Emanuar modified the files of the original Super Mario 64 (the ROM) to add a level editor. Users can download this modified ROM and play it with the N64 emulator of their choice. Once users make and save a level, they can send that save file to another player.

As for the actual level editing, Super Mario 64 Maker doesn't have the Wii U's touch screen that makes level editing so intuitive, but Emanuar did manage to map everything you could ever want to do to a controller (there are instructions on how to use the editor underneath the video's YouTube page).

Read More: Super Mario Isn't a Human Being

It's not as streamlined as Nintendo's official method of sharing Super Mario Maker levels, but it's fairly easy, and it works!

Emanuar told me over Discord chat that he started working on this ROM about a week ago.

"I've streamed myself working on it about 2 hours every day live on Twitch," he said. "I often get comments that say that I'm rather fast at coding with these romhacks."

If you know anything about ROM hacking and Nintendo fan games, you probably know that Nintendo doesn't always let projects that violate its copyrights slide. This fan-made Metroid prequel and Zelda Maker are just two recent projects in which Nintendo asked their makers to remove for download, though you can still find the fan games online with a little bit of sleuthing.

Emanuar, who made other popular Super Mario 64 ROM hacks like SM64: Last Impact and Super Mario Odyssey 64 said that Nintendo removed some of his previous games from file sharing sites like Google Drive and Mediafire using the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. But he's also not worried, so long as Nintendo doesn't send him a cease and desist letter.

"If I have to stop eventually, that would suck, but since some of my hacks have already gone viral and I haven't gotten a C&D, I'm not too scared," he said.