Best Level from Super Mario 64

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Great poll idea.

No love for Tall Tall Mountain? I can't remember any of the specific puzzles but I thought it had a cool 'feel'. I hated any of the ones that felt too contained in an obvious box - especially Lethal Lava Land. Wet-Dry World had a solid gimmick but suffered from this IMO. Kind of claustrophobic. The more 'landscapey' ones I think brought out that sense of majesty or peacefulness. I could say a lot more but it's late.

Doctor Casino, Sunday, 3 February 2013 08:09 (six years ago) link

i approve of this bomb ass remember the 90's thread. My favorite level was the ghosthouse, and wave race was my jam. Ghosts were so cool.

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sleepingbag, Sunday, 3 February 2013 08:51 (six years ago) link

playing through this again and I'm leaning toward tiny-huge island atm

ron paulstretch (crüt), Friday, 8 February 2013 01:35 (six years ago) link

two weeks pass...

Automatic thread bump. This poll is closing tomorrow.

System, Thursday, 28 February 2013 00:01 (six years ago) link

Yeah, I'm going Tall Tall Mountain, seems like an underdog and I just love how spatial it is - moreso than some of the others you get the sense of "oh yeah, now i'm above that place I was before" and so on. Also just hits that sweet spot I loved about Tomb Raider and even a shitty game like Ultima 9, these early 3D worlds where it was just so much fun to explore. It's a pretty small area but it feels more about roaming and experiencing the ambitious, death-defying landscape than it does about solving little polygonal puzzles.

Doctor Casino, Thursday, 28 February 2013 01:32 (six years ago) link

This game is pretty damn sweet, but all the tweaks they've done since then and Super Mario Galaxy 2 is a WAY more enjoyable experience. For instance, the camera pretty much never is a problem anymore. Also, in 64, it seems like items are much smaller, so it's more difficult to collect them. Having never played 64 til now, til after SMG2, it's pretty clear that most of the innovations were born there and I have to give mad props to Nintendo for inventing them, and perfecting them over several series of games.

Emperor Cos Dashit (Adam Bruneau), Thursday, 28 February 2013 03:07 (six years ago) link

I love camera problems in 64, because you can imagine the lakitu just got tangled up and couldn't track you fast enough

( ͡° ͜ʖ͡°) (sic), Thursday, 28 February 2013 03:39 (six years ago) link

Automatic thread bump. This poll's results are now in.

System, Friday, 1 March 2013 00:01 (six years ago) link

four years pass...

picked up an N64 a month or so ago and been collecting games, catching up on stuff i missed. i grew up w a SNES but kinda stopped gaming once things got 3D. it's been fun to go play the games i missed.

that said i beat Super Mario 64 last night (w 75 stars) and Cool Cool Mountain and Big Boo's Haunt are both highlights. Shifting Sand Land also really grew on me, it was one of those stages i absolutely hated at first but soon grew to love once i figured out how to get around and where all the fly caps were. the pyramid interior was pretty cool as well. Hazy Maze Cave was pretty great for the atmosphere and honestly i wish there were more later levels like this or in this direction, these spooky kinda abstract underground 3D caves. right now i'm going back to Tiny-Huge island to get ie. the Wiggler star and it's brilliance is becoming more and more clear.

main my criticism of the game was not enough though this was compounded by (1) reaching the upper floors and seeing all those paintings only to realize you can only jump in a few of them (and most are duplicates or earlier paintings) and (2) repeating music tracks. not gonna blame the game for these choices as it's really only valid when comparing it to games that came after, compared to the SNES/NES of course the game is a breakthrough in every way.

the Bowser stages are all really cool. Tick Tock Clock is a great late-game platformer. Rainbow Ride i still haven't beaten so my initial negative reaction will likely change once i start collecting missing stars. ditto Wet-Dry World and Snowman's Land, my least favorite stages, also the ones i've played the least. it's almost like the levels are little puzzles that have a learning curve.

anyways i would vote Peach's Castle for the best stage. it has the best music in the game, it is the best hub world in any video game. looking forward to getting 120 and finding Yoshi!

AdamVania (Adam Bruneau), Saturday, 10 February 2018 17:14 (one year ago) link

can't remember what i voted for but think that choice is prob otm. jolly roger bay is the most beautiful tho and swiping the star from the eel's tail (rather than Killing the eel in a Boss Fight) is v nice.

rainbow ride rly is annoying but it is also one of the sui generis levels, less an environment than a series of choices and branching paths and skill checks (even the red coin star iirc is "can you do a bunch of wall jumps in succession"). cool that the game mixes up its level types in this way (this and tick tick clock are two of the oddest prob-- or the most like 2d marios. so they're in a gallery together just like a museum.)

as a kid my favorites were prob hazy maze cave and the 'haunt. just gonna wildly challop that the latter is scarier than any resident evil. wish there were another boo level. bowser in the boo house. love boos.

i hadn't thought much about the 2d-3d shift, which happened when i was v young, and i'd grown up on the faux 3d of doom and wing commander before i ever saw this game, which i prob mention upthread i repeatedly dreamed about after playing once at a friend's house. but i just realized that the single precedent for how the wing cap made me feel (not just flying: flying through places you have come to know on the ground) was the fly spell in ultima underworld. so it is about 3d. the closest i've seen to this in the vr era is prob subnautica.

difficult listening hour, Sunday, 11 February 2018 02:45 (one year ago) link

(the wing cap is way cooler than the fly spell in ultima underworld.)

difficult listening hour, Sunday, 11 February 2018 02:46 (one year ago) link

probprobprobprobprob

difficult listening hour, Sunday, 11 February 2018 02:49 (one year ago) link

I love Shifting Sand Land and Hazy Maze Cave, because of the mini-boss and Dorrie respectively

When I first played through this thing I remember thinking the Bowser levels were far better than the world-y world levels, but now I feel differently

I too am playing a lot of SNES and N64 lately. I got an SD-card loaded N64 cartridge so I could play everything and sell my old cartridges.

flamboyant goon tie included, Tuesday, 20 February 2018 13:50 (one year ago) link

one of the things that's pretty unique about this game (especially if you watch the speedruns) is that you can tell they had an eye on using up too much memory, which I think caused the levels to be pretty crammed together. as a result they all feel like a well-defined space, where you can find unique ways to get from one place to another. you could be on your way to get one star and accidentally happen across another one. the more modern games (haven't played Odyssey yet mind you) don't seem like that - on Galaxy for example, nearly every little planet or challenge is walled off, there's nothing like (say) reaching the top of Rainbow Ride and seeing if you can long jump all the way to the beginning platform

frogbs, Tuesday, 20 February 2018 14:08 (one year ago) link

yeah, that's my fave thing about the tall, tall mountain. that same Raumplan of spaces interrelated in section as well as plan, without the profound sense of the cubic outer edge constraining everything.

Doctor Casino, Tuesday, 20 February 2018 14:29 (one year ago) link

you can tell they had an eye on using up too much memory, which I think caused the levels to be pretty crammed together. as a result they all feel like a well-defined space, where you can find unique ways to get from one place to another. you could be on your way to get one star and accidentally happen across another one

you should play Odyssey - it does this really well! they don't kick you out of a level for finding a moon, so you are free to explore and collect. the level design is similarly tight like SM64, with lots of shortcuts and inter-connected areas. New Donk City for one has lots of areas where you can jump from building to building. once you figure out how to do the multi-jumps, you can use it to explore the more out of reach areas (and shortcut win the turtle races). i agree Galaxy feels far more linear. compared to that, SMO feels more like a direct sequel to SM64.

it's a testament to Miyamoto's genius that they spent 50% of the time just working on Mario and his controls. the reason these levels work is because traversal is not just possible but above all fun. a Shifty Sand Land without the triple jump or the god-tier flight controls would be a pain. the controls of Mario really are half the game.

I remember thinking the Bowser levels were far better than the world-y world levels, but now I feel differently

yeah i like these levels but they kind of are the most traditional in the game. they almost feel like Super Mario 3D World, the kind of standard 2D platform jumping but with an extended Z dimension. i really like how they sort of wind up and into the air (verticality is a big design feature of this game). the fact that they take place on free floating platforms in space means the camera has nothing to bump into and so these tend to have the best camera controls in the game.

Hazy Maze Cave (Adam Bruneau), Tuesday, 20 February 2018 14:58 (one year ago) link

hmmm guess I'll be buying a Switch then

I did play one level, my little brother's got it. you transformed into some Q-bert lookin thing and flicked the stick around. was pretty fun. and yea, the moons not booting you out is pretty nice. how great would the Mario 64 speedruns be if you didn't have to keep jumping back out of the paintings?

frogbs, Tuesday, 20 February 2018 15:18 (one year ago) link

theres a modded rom that lets u stay in the level iirc

lag∞n, Tuesday, 20 February 2018 15:20 (one year ago) link

find DC's repeatedly expressed architect's love for tall tall mtn v heartwarming

difficult listening hour, Thursday, 22 February 2018 11:22 (one year ago) link

hahaha aww

Doctor Casino, Thursday, 22 February 2018 13:36 (one year ago) link


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