Super Mario Disk Version aka "Super Mario 64DD" (found unreleased Nintendo 64DD port of 3D platformer; 1999)
The title screen.
Date found: Jun '14
Found by: afonfjv (aka jimmy130)
Super Mario Disk Version (also known as Super Mario 64DD) was a planned port of Super Mario 64 for the Nintendo 64 Disk Drive. Originally set to release in 1999, it would have served as a launch title for the Disk Drive add-on.
In 1996, Nintendo had launched their newest console, the Nintendo 64. While other systems such as the Sony PlayStation and Sega Saturn had moved onto using discs for their consoles, the Nintendo 64 fell behind as it still utilized cartridges. Instead of cutting the Nintendo 64's lifespan, Nintendo opted to try an add-on for the system to allow for disk usage. In 1995, Nintendo announced the Nintendo 64 Disk Drive one year after announcing the system itself. The add-on would utilize magnetic disks instead of the standard game cartridges available for the system. Despite this early accessory release, the Disk Drive missed many launch dates, but eventually came out in Japan on December 1st, 1999, with a planned US release for the near future. The add-on was a massive failure with those who owned the console and was discontinued in 2001, never seeing release outside of Japan. Due to this, several games and expansion packs that were in development for the Disk Drive were subsequently cancelled, including an enhanced port of Super Mario 64.
Before being found, very little was known about Super Mario 64DD aside from the fact that it had the same graphics and style as its predecessor, and that Luigi had become a playable character. There was reportedly a demo of this concept, but there was a lack of any legitimate images or videos to prove this. While Super Mario 64DD was never officially released, Super Mario 64 DS can be seen as the fruition of these ideas. Many fans speculated that the game was going to be the rumoured Super Mario 64 2. The magazine Famitsu claimed to have sources close to the project that confirmed Super Mario 64 Disk Drive was to be a sequel to Super Mario 64. This can be debunked by the fact that the found disk drive shows no new game, but instead an enhanced port of Super Mario 64.
In June 2014 footage of the Disk Drive release of Super Mario 64 surfaced online when a French collector found a copy of the port at a second-hand shop in Japan. The only real discernible differences between the Disk Drive variant and the original game are some slightly better textures, different music for Peach's castle, buggy encounters with the Wiggler boss in Tiny-Huge Island and longer loading times. It's unknown if any further development of the game was made, but it's speculated that this version of the game was just a tech demo for the Disk Drive that Nintendo made to show the hardware's potential to the press. The disk has since been dumped, and the game's ROM is available to download on 64dd.org.
- Nintendo 64DD (partially found miscellaneous video games from Nintendo 64 add-on; late 1990s-early 2000s)
- Super Mario 64 (lost Spaceworld '95 demo of Nintendo 64 3D platformer; 1995)
- Nintendo announces the Disk Drive. Retrieved 17 Feb '18
- IGN confirming the Disk Drive's launch date. Retrieved 17 Feb '18
- IGN covers various N64 DD games. Retrieved 17 Feb '18
- Retro Gamer article announcing the game's discovery. Retrieved 17 Feb '18
- The download link to the game's ROM file. Retrieved 12 Sept '19