Jumping Over It with Nathaniel Bandy

Jumping Over It is a Nintendo 64 homebrew hack of Super Mario 64 made by Kaze Emanuar and released in April 2018. The game is a hack of Super Mario 64 inspired by Getting Over It with Bennett Foddy.

You can get the ROM for this file from the Mega link provided by Kaze, or the mirror hosted on N64 Squid by using the password “nathanielbandy”. If you’re having trouble running the ROM, remember to set your memory to 8MB. If the ROM loads, but you only see a black screen with music playing, set the self-mod code method to ‘cache’.

Normally, I’d record my own footage for a video. However I couldn’t make it past the timed block section after an hour of trying so I’ll just share the trailer, which amounts to the same. Screenshots are mine though.

Why did I make this? This horrible climb over an impossible mountain. I would have made something you would have liked… A game that was fulfilling. That would save your progress and handhold you steadily forward. Since success is delicious, that could have been fun. Instead, I must confess, this isn’t fun. It tastes of bitterness; it’a capricious. It probably has gay baby jails. It lacks lenience. It’s bracing inhumane, but not everyone’s the same. I created this game for a certain kind of person. To hurt them.

This hack is based off of Getting Over It with Bennet Foddy, a game where you have to scale a mountain using a hammer and very strange mouse controls. It’s hard to explain, but the gist of the game is to swing your hammer in very precise and creative ways to overcome obstacles. If you fail at an obstacle, you fall back down and have to do the obstacle again.

Throughout the game, there’s a narration that tells you about the game design that went through the game. When you lose a large amount of progress, the narrator either comforts or taunts you.

The game is pretty much this.

How does this translate into Super Mario 64? Well, you can’t use a hammer, obviously so the platforming is still done with jumping. But the same style of tricky jumps plus progress loss remains.

Jumping Over It is a 2D platformer using the Mario 64 engine, which makes it a bit weird, since you can have Z-momentum if you don’t orient yourself correctly.

The game is fairly short if you do it all in one go, but it’s kind of like an old game from the 80’s: its length lies in its difficulty.

I managed to get past a few obstacles, so I’ll make a short guide on how to overcome these hurdles.

Initial hump

The initial jump can’t be beat by a double jump, you need to do a triple jump from the position above (more or less) to succeed.

On top of that, you have another bump. For this one, you don’t need any momentum, just jump and dash (B) at it till you get over.

Upward tunnel

This is one of the tunnels you see all the time in Mario games where you have to do wall jumps. Too bad wall jumps in Mario 64 are extremely unresponsive and need to be timed perfectly.

To get it right, press A and tilt the joystick in the opposite direction at the same time as you hear the ‘thud’ from colliding with the wall. Practice makes perfect. The jumping positions for your triple jump are as follows:

Next, jump back and forth till you grab the ledge on the left. Note that there’s an area that you can’t wall jump off of, marked below in red:

Jumping the chasm

Oopsie! You ended up on the left side of the chasm but needed to be on the right (not that you could go there directly any way). For this, you’ll need to do a compressed triple jump, plus a B-dash at the apex.

The important thing about this step is to make the first jump stationary so that you can better aim the landing point of the second.

Timed blocks

This is the section that I couldn’t beat. It’s a switch with some timed blocks that you have to traverse. Hit the switch while running from right to left to get the most momentum and time saving.

The do a single jump and ledge grab to get on the first block. Then do a triple jump on the next three to clear them quickly.

The next part is where I’m stuck. I managed to clear them twice, once with a stationary double jump, and another time with a jump-kick. Though I’m not confident enough to recommend a best course of action.

Jumping Over It conclusion

As frustrating as it is, Jumping Over It covers what it feels like to play the original game. The game design does depend on a lot of very specific and precise jumps that you need to make, making the game feel like something a speedrunner would enjoy since it feels like playing with trial and error.

Kaze does make some taunts at you throughout the game if you fall from very high, but they’re usually very muffled and hard to make out: “Mercy does not exist”, “There’s zero skill involved, it’s just stupid dumb luck” or even “Why am I doing this? Because the hack exists and I have to do it, that’s why.”

Not being able to make any progress and being sent back all the time makes me wish I could at least see the rest of the game though.

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Jumping Over It with Nathaniel Bandy is a Nintendo 64 hack of Super Mario 64 taking inspiration from Getting Over It with Bennett Foddy.
Article published on N64 Squid

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