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Mario is serving some serious looks in this stunning, innovative PC port of Super Mario 64

Ed Nightingale May 6, 2021
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Super Mario PC port

SMT64RT. (Digital Foundry)

Everyone’s favourite plumber Super Mario has received quite the glow up in a PC port of his iconic N64 adventure.

With a new rendered model and plenty of fancy lighting effects, Mario has never looked better. Could this be a taste of what the ubiquitous Italian daddy will look like in future?

Digital Foundry got a special look at the port, known as SMT64RT, built from source code from modder Daríosamo and additional elements from Render96, a project that aims to improve the models and textures of Super Mario 64.

Of course, this isn’t an official PC port of the game. The source code of the original game was decompiled and made available to modders.

That means the game can be played on PC, but you’ll need to compile the code yourself.

So what’s going on in this special render?

The main effect is ray-traced lighting, an advanced visual lighting effect that’s become a bit of a buzzword in next-gen gaming.

Essentially it adds real-time lighting, with accurate shadows and reflections. In the video, Mario can be seen with a green glow while running around grassy areas, plus shadows realistically transition between light sources. 

You can even see a reflection of Mario in the shiny door knob as he enters Peach’s iconic castle.

Refreshed character and object models from Render96 allow for the ray tracing effect to take place, with new light sources introduced to really show off the effect.

There’s no denying that the SMT64RT port is stunning and it’s available to download as a technical preview.

Nintendo themselves ported Super Mario 64 to the Switch as part of its 3D All Stars compilation, alongside Super Mario Sunshine and Super Mario Galaxy.

Nintendo didn’t touch the game too much, though, merely sharpening the visuals for HD output. If anything it shows up the graphical flaws of the original even more.

The compilation is now no longer available as it was released purely for the 35th anniversary of the Mario series. No new physical versions will be made and it’s been removed from the eShop.

This is why many fans joked that Mario is dead. But if this port is a sign of a graphically improved future, fans will soon be in Mario heaven.

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Related topics: gaming, pc games, Super Mario

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