Return to Yoshi’s Island 64

Return to Yoshi’s Island 64 is a hack of Super Mario 64 by Kaze Emanuar. A demo was released on 27 Feb 2021, but a full version is still unreleased. The game is about Bowser kidnapping the Yoshis and then Mario has to collect stars to save them.

You can download the ROM here by using the password itsameyoshi, or by using the Mega link. You’ll need to patch a SUPER MARIO 64 (U) [!].Z64 ROM using BPS/FLIPS.

Return to Yoshi’s Island 64 story and gameplay


The story is fairly simple. The Yoshis are relaxing on their paradise island when Bowser arrives and baits them into a net with some tasty fruit. It’s then up to Mario to collect enough Power Stars to save them.

Bwahahaha! Those stupid dinosaurs have no idea what is about to hit them!

That trick keeps working! Now I’ve captured all of these stupid Yoshis! Time to make them work! Bwahahaha!

– Bowser


The gameplay follows the same structure of the base Super Mario 64 game. You start off in an overworld where you can explore and choose a level Then each level has a bunch of stars that you can collect one at a time, including a 100-coin star. There are 23 stars included in the available demo with a planned total of 44 in the full game.

The stars are similar to what you’d find in other mods, but this time there is one with a little bit extra. The final star (you need to get 22 stars first) requires you to get 8 red coins in the first stage again but jumping only two times or fewer.

Mario moves a little bit differently. Like in other hacks by Kaze, you can ground-pound jump, wall slide and double jump like in Mario Odyssey.

There are also a few new upgrades like Cloud Mario, Bomb Mario and Submarine Shell Mario.


There are three main levels and one bonus level. The main levels have 7 stars each (five objective stars, one 8 red coin star and one 100-coin star), and the bonus stage has only a 8 red coin star. There is a bonus star in the first stage for getting all eight red coins without jumping more than twice.

Bunny Brushwoods

The first level is Bunny Brushwoods, which has a forest theme with bunny-eared goombas jumping around. It’s fairly simple to navigate and has a very cheerful atmosphere so it’s appropriate for a first stage.

All Alone Bubbledome

The 2nd stage is located inside the submarine one the beach. It is a deep sea area covered in water so keeping your oxygen levels up is a must. There is a very interesting contrast between the open ocean and the Bioshock-esque domes where you can stand up and walk around.

Rainbow Grotto

Rainbow Grotto is the mine level in Return to Yoshi’s Island 64. It is a level that changes with each star that you get. First a new section gets mined out, then you get a ghostly companion following you and end up fighting a Piranha Plant boss in the biter’s lair.

I particularly like the infinitely expanding red coin room. It’s something that’s really cool to experience in a Nintendo 64 game.

Cloud stage

This is the stage where you unlock the cloud block. Required to complete Rainbow Grotto (unless you exploit some glitches). There are a bunch of ships flying in a circular path with cloud platforms in the middle and around them. The objective is to unlock the cloud hat and collect 8 red coins.

Conclusion and review

I really like this hack of Super Mario 64. It is a bit more difficult than the base game so it’s a good gateway drug into the more difficult ones. The atmosphere is also very chipper and upbeat so it just helps to emphasise how easy-going it is.

Unfortunately the full version was never completed so we’ll have to be happy with just playing the demo. It’s still a proper short game so what we get is still pretty complete for what it is.

Return to Yoshi’s Island 64 also runs on real hardware, so that’s always a plus. I’d love it if Kaze could get more of his mods to work like this since it helps with the authenticity of the experience.

Articles across the web

Return to Yoshi's Island 64 Is a mod for Super Mario 64 by Kaze where you have to save the Yoshis by gathering stars in 3 unique levels.
Article published on N64 Squid


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