Super Mario 64's Glitchy Smoke Has Been Fixed After 24 Years

For all this time, over all these decades, we’ve all been playing Super Mario 64 with a visual glitch: The smoke that comes off Mario’s butt when you catch fire is broken.

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Yup, turns out the MS-Paint-lookin’ effect we’re so used to isn’t how the smoke is supposed to look. Rather, after some poking around in the code (and thanks to recent efforts to decompile the entire game), a “patch” for Super Mario 64 has been released by zoinknoise that restores the effect to how it was originally intended.

Turns out the “texture is displayed in the wrong format by the game, resulting in black garbage pixels.” The fix simply “corrects the error by displaying the texture correctly as proper transparent smoke. It does not add any new art; the texture has been inside the ROM all along.”

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Here’s what it’s looked like since 1996:

Illustration for article titled iSuper Mario 64/is Glitchy Smoke Has Been Fixed After 24 Years

And here, after the patch, is what it’s supposed to look like:

Illustration for article titled iSuper Mario 64/is Glitchy Smoke Has Been Fixed After 24 Years
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Much better! If you’re, ahem, playing the game on PC, you can download the patch here.

Luke Plunkett is a Senior Editor based in Canberra, Australia. He has written a book on cosplay, designed a game about airplanes, and also runs cosplay.kotaku.com.

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DISCUSSION

VenerableSage
VenerableSage

I... like the glitchy, pixel-y mess more, to be honest. The fixed smoke just looks so out of place with the rest of the visuals.

Also, since when are there 175 stars in Mario 64?