With the launch of Super Mario 64 DS in 2004, it was unfathomable for many that they were playing a portable version of a game released less than a decade prior. And while the game was impressive for its time, there’s no denying that the DS controls were cumbersome for some players. The DS remake of Super Mario 64 would make its way to Wii U Virtual Console, along with its imprecise control scheme, but a new mod looks to rectify things.
The original Super Mario 64 is one of the most influential video games in history, with Nintendo paving the way for dozens of 3D platformers to come out in the late 90s, early 2000s. While on the Nintendo 64 players control Mario with the center joystick and can adjust the camera with the C-directional-buttons, the game on the Nintendo DS is a bit harder to control and certainly less precise. Using the D-Pad or the touch screen will by default make Mario walk, requiring the holding of the Y button to make him run. Many hoped that with the port to the Wii U Virtual Console that Nintendo would have modified Super Mario 64 DS‘ controls, but alas, they remain true to the original game.
A mod for Super Mario 64 DS on the Wii U Virtual Console gives the game full joystick controls, bringing the game much closer to the original title. In a forum post on the independent gaming site, GBAtemp, user MikaDubbz praises this patcher, trying to expand its user base from the limited Discord group it was originally published in. The mod, created by user @LRFLEW on GBAtemp, in combination with another patch that enables control remapping, allows the player to put full directional control of Mario on the left analogue stick and complete camera control on the right. “Like now that this exists, it might become my definitive way to play Mario 64,” MikaDubbz speaks of the mod.
As the video by Jon Cartwright of NintendoLife shows, Mario controls with fluidity never before seen in Super Mario 64 DS. Between the eight cardinal directions on the D-Pad and using the touch stylus, getting Mario to run at full speed in a circle was nearly impossible in Super Mario 64 DS.
The original DS and Virtual Console versions requires players to compromise on either their comfort or their control: more comfortably play the game by using the run button and d-pad at the cost of precision, or use the stylus to gain back pin-point movement control but be pretty uncomfortable while doing so. With @LRFLEW’s patch, though, this choice no longer has to be made.
Super Mario 64 DS is a popular title in the series’ long history, making many interesting changes to the original game. In addition to Mario, Super Mario 64 DS let’s players become Luigi, Yoshi, and Wario, with each character being able to perform certain tasks. With the release of this mod, now may be the perfect time to visit (or revisit) Super Mario 64 DS.