The Evolution of Super Mario 64 Romhacking – A Documentary Preview


Logan Conrad

When activities are brought up at Penns Valley, they are about football, basketball, cross-country, musicals, academic decathlon, and all types of extracurriculars. People are praised for academic ability—grades and awards. People talk about different activities at the fair. But, what if someone was good at something other than that? How would they be recognized?

I have always been fascinated with creating video games. Ever since I played my first Mario game, I thought this way. When I looked around my room, I imagined Mario running around, jumping from shelf to shelf. I imagined him pulling the drain in the bathtub and hiding in cereal boxes. These were just dreams, however. I had never thought about actually making a Mario game of my own.

On the internet, there are plenty of places to learn pretty much anything. One day, I saw something I had never seen before. It was a modification of Super Mario 64 called Super Mario Star Road. It was like a completely new Super Mario 64 game, all made by one guy. It looked like Super Mario 64, but it had all new levels. This changed the course of my life. A man on the internet was able to make his own Super Mario 64. If he could do it, I could do it too.

Yet, I had no opportunities to learn how to do so. There are no coding classes at Penns Valley. No way to learn how games are made. No way to pursue my future. Nothing. So, I turned to a different source. I scoured the internet, finding out how to do it. I learned all the tools: how to import levels, move objects, change text, add music—the works. I made several modifications of Super Mario 64, entered several competitions and even won a few. I go by the name Luigiman04 online, and many people have played my creations.

Not many people at Penns Valley know about my endeavors in romhacking. Only my friends really know about this other world. So, I wanted to share this. I wanted to show people this amazing community on the internet. I wanted people to learn about this important part of my life. I, a Penns Valley student, made a documentary on Super Mario 64 modifications. It covers everything from the original Super Mario 64 to modifications of the modern day. There are explanations for what modifications and romhacks are, interviews of people who have made romhacks, and the evolution of how romhacks for Super Mario 64 evolved over time. The documentary can be found here. I hope that everyone enjoys watching it!

The Evolution of Super Mario 64 Romhacking

– A Documentary –