Mario Builder 64

Mario Builder 64 is a homebrew hack of Super Mario 64 that allows you to create your own SM64 levels, in the same way that Mario Maker on Wii U/Switch lets you. It was made by Rovertronic and Arthurtilly, and released on the 18th of May 2024.

You can get the ROM patch from its download page on N64 Squid by using the password mariomaker64, on Game Banana or ROM Hacking. You can then apply the patch to a Super Mario 64 ROM called Super Mario 64 (U) [!].z64 using Flips. If you are using an Everdrive, be sure to add this line to your save_db.txt file: 0xFD30499C=3 (Mario Builder 64)

What is Mario Builder 64?

The point of this hack is right there in the title – it’s to make your own Super Mario 64 levels. You’re dropped into a level creator that allows you to make levels using 3D ploppable tiles.

The editor itself contains several different block types:

  • 12 blocks
  • 7 collectables (coins and stars)
  • 16 environment objects (obstacles, switches etc)
  • 34 enemies (including 3 bosses)
  • 1 NPC (running koopa)

If you choose Cursed Mirror mode, there are even more custom objects and enemies that you can add to your level.

You can place each of them into a 3D grid which will then comprise your level. The interface is very easy to use, and it provides a wide variety of tiles that you can choose from. The block tiles stick together great and the grass textures adapt so that they have a natural feel to them.

There are also a bunch of different level settings. You can of course choose to make your level in grassy style like Bob-omb Battlefield, but you can also choose Hazy Maze Cave’s theme or one of the snow themes.

The only ‘issue’ with the building mode is that it is limited to working with a grid-like shape, so the levels do end up looking fairly blocky since everything has a 45/90 degree angle. Also there’s no cannon object.

Sharing levels

One of the most impressive things about Mario Builder 64 is that it allows you to export, share and load these levels to and from the internet. If you use Parallel Launcher, you can use a virtual SD card; and if you use a flash cart, it’ll save directly to the file system there.

You can then upload your .mb64 file to the internet to share it with the world. Or do the process in reverse to play something that someone else has made.

Review and conclusion

Though this was just released last week, I felt the need to write about it right away because of how unique it is. This lowers the barrier to entry to SM64 hacking tremendously, allowing just about anyone to create their own levels tile-by-tile.

Not only that, but it’s an application that runs natively on a Nintendo 64 so you don’t have to deal with things like PC-exclusive 3D modelling tools or level editors.

I think I had a bit of an issue with my SD card after running it since the save-file folder was corrupted (I keep a backup, so I’m not worried), but it’s worth letting others know to keep a backup of your flash cart for safety’s sake. Here’s what ls -la looks like:

Do give it a try even if it’s on an emulator to build a level and share it with the world.

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Mario Builder 64 is a homebrew hack of Super Mario 64 where you can create your own levels to play and share with your friends.
Article published on N64 Squid


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