Thanks to some long-lost N64 footage released on the Now in Game Youtube channel, we can finally see the Mario 64 multiplayer that never saw official release.
The Nintendo 64 home console was originally intended to feature online multiplayer functionality. But this concept was later scrapped, except for in the very limited release of the 64DD peripheral in Japan.
But thanks to this rediscovered archival footage, we can get a short glimpse into the intended multiplayer experience for Mario 64.
Famicom Space World
The recent footage comes directly from a Japanese variety show documenting the Famicom Space World event from November 1995.
There were many Super Famicom games being shown to consumers, as well as a bunch of early demos of games like Kirby’s Air Ride 64, Pilotwings 64 and Mario 64.
The event also featured a live Q&A with Nintendo’s Shigeru Miyamoto himself, breaking down the current state of the Nintendo 64 home console and working N64 game titles.
Of course, when I say “current state”, we mean the state of developing games back in 1995. And needless to say, the games were looking quite different back at that time.
A Different Mario
It is wild to think that games that would go on to become some of the best N64 games of all time were once just rough concepts.
And because Mario 64 is such a familiar title to so many retro gaming fans, it is easy to spot the differences in what was shown back in 1995 from the final release.
In particular, people noticed a slightly different HUD design, the game running at higher frame rates at times, as well as short glimpses at the rumored multiplayer.
Besides a hint of that long-lost online multiplayer functionality that never saw official release, we also got an even quicker glimpse at a playable Luigi.
Sadly, the footage is very old and very poor quality, as it would likely be coming directly from a home video camera and later digitized to share for us now.
So our view of the Luigi player model is for just a few seconds, and is not even the focus of the particular shot.
But longtime fans of Mario 64 would certainly find this long lost N64 footage extremely interesting; it feels like something from an alternate universe.
If you’d like to check out the footage, you can see the full release here, with the Nintendo 64 content begining at around 13:10.
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Anthony has been a video game lover ever since he can remember. He became a fulltime nomad in 2018, living throughout most of Asia. He focused his passion in retro gaming and began creating a game for the Game Boy Color while living in Nara, Japan during the 2020 pandemic. He is now in Chiang Mai, Thailand, where he spends most of his time gaming, going on long walks and meeting as many stray dogs as possible.