Super Mario 64 DD Edition Discovered on Disk

Gahars

Bakayaro Banzai
OP
Member
Joined
Aug 5, 2011
Messages
10,255
Trophies
0
XP
14,568
Country
United States
Yn8dpg9.jpg

In an attempt to compete with newcomer Sony's Playstation, Nintendo released a little add on called the 64DD. No, it wasn't a Super Smash Bros. Bra, but rather a disc drive, which was meant to allow for different games to come to the console. Unfortunately for Nintendo, the thing failed to sell, and it ultimately never left Japan before being discontinued (disk-continued?). The fact that there were so few games for it probably didn't help.

Well, don't worry 64DD owners, because it seems that you have another game after all... sort of.

At SpaceWorld 1996, Nintendo demonstrated a disk version of Super Mario 64 to attendees to showcase the new hardware, although that would supposedly be the last time gamers would see this version of the game - at least until now.

As of recent the dedicated French Nintendo 64 collector and blogger jimmy130 has been revealling his latest purchase online - the unreleased 64DD version of Super Mario 64. As the hit platformer was never released on disk format, many retro gamers were doubting the existence of this obscurity, while many others wanted to know more.

This doubt, however, soon waned once videos of the disk in action were posted to YouTube. While appearing to be near identical to the cartridge version of Super Mario 64, this unreleased 64DD version presents several differences such as its title screen appearance and quicker load times, along with some game breaking bugs.
:arrow:Retro Collect
[prebreak]Continue reading[/prebreak]
I hope it was worth the wait, guys.

If you want to see the game in action, there are two Youtube videos demonstrating the disk version in action.

I know that this doesn't mean much for most people, including myself, but I figured some of you guys might enjoy this news. If you've got peripheral vision, then this must be out of sight.
 

finkmac

Well-Known Member
Member
Joined
Nov 9, 2011
Messages
458
Trophies
0
Age
32
Location
Over there
Website
www.epicwinrar.com
XP
276
Country
Canada
Wow, quite an interesting find… I wonder if this will be an incentive to develop a 64DD emulator?

Oh yeah, it's also not a "disc" drive, it's a "disk" drive… "discs" are round, while "disks" aren't.
 

Foxi4

Endless Trash
Global Moderator
Joined
Sep 13, 2009
Messages
28,429
Trophies
2
Location
Gaming Grotto
XP
25,893
Country
Poland
By the time the N64 was released it was already dead for a year. It wasn't competition, I'd sooner call it decomposition. :tpi:
Quicker load times for a CD based release than a cartridge one? yeah not buying
It's absolutely possible in the case of the N64. Access time to storage does not equal loading times - N64 cartridges had low capacity and a lot of content had to be heavily compressed - the DD offered larger capacity and thus assets could be practically raw, requiring less decompressing and by proxy also time to actually load. The width of the bus also plays a huge role, not to mention that DD disks are not exactly CD's, they're magneto-optical disks, more akin to these: http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magneto-optical_drive
 

Vappy

Well-Known Member
Member
Joined
May 23, 2012
Messages
1,508
Trophies
1
XP
2,143
Country
Quicker load times for a CD based release than a cartridge one? yeah not buying

Zip disk, not CD. Magnetic media.

Is it just me, or does the music sound a little richer when Mario is in the castle?

The music in this version is the same as that in the Japanese retail release of SM64, which is slightly different to the western release.

Wow, quite an interesting find… I wonder if this will be an incentive to develop a 64DD emulator?

Doubt it. Who's going to go through all that trouble just for a very slightly different version of Mario 64? :P
 

FAST6191

Techromancer
Editorial Team
Joined
Nov 21, 2005
Messages
34,116
Trophies
2
Website
trastindustries.com
XP
23,033
Country
United Kingdom
Quicker load times for a CD based release than a cartridge one? yeah not buying

Raw speeds may not have been faster but the 64DD came with the memory pak if memory serves. You increase the memory (in this case literally doubling it) and do the right things in the right way and that is not so far fetched an idea. Not to mention Mario 64 was a launch title so it is unlikely they had fully optimised code.
 

CathyRina

Digimon Tamer
Member
Joined
Feb 1, 2014
Messages
1,677
Trophies
1
Location
File City
XP
1,574
Country
Germany
Wow, quite an interesting find… I wonder if this will be an incentive to develop a 64DD emulator?

Oh yeah, it's also not a "disc" drive, it's a "disk" drive… "discs" are round, while "disks" aren't.

maybe the "Disc" is in the "Disk" so that kids wont break it as easily as they can be broken.
 

Foxi4

Endless Trash
Global Moderator
Joined
Sep 13, 2009
Messages
28,429
Trophies
2
Location
Gaming Grotto
XP
25,893
Country
Poland
Zip disk, not CD. Magnetic media.
Zip diskettes are high capacity magnetic storage, they're floppies. This is an MO disk, it's quite different and optical.
Doubt it. Who's going to go through all that trouble just for a very slightly different version of Mario 64? :P
It wouldn't be a lot of trouble, other than alternative storage the device did not add much to the system. As for the "who would do it", the answer is "die-hard fans" or devs who are crazy about the completeness of their emulator, see BSNES. :P
 
  • Like
Reactions: finkmac

ForteGospel

Well-Known Member
Member
Joined
May 29, 2008
Messages
643
Trophies
0
XP
330
Country
United States
By the time the N64 was released it was already dead for a year. It wasn't competition, I'd sooner call it decomposition. :tpi:
It's absolutely possible in the case of the N64. Access time to storage does not equal loading times - N64 cartridges had low capacity and a lot of content had to be heavily compressed - the DD offered larger capacity and thus assets could be practically raw, requiring less decompressing and by proxy also time to actually load. The width of the bus also plays a huge role, not to mention that DD disks are not exactly CD's, they're magneto-optical disks, more akin to these: http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magneto-optical_drive
both the cartridge and the magneto optical disks offered up to the same limit - 64 MB.

from wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nintendo_64DD#Hardware

the cartridges were faster, the DD did had 4 additional MB ram and some more polished code would make the difference, yet many games got around that problem in spite of the low ram through smart use of the cartridges
IGN64: What strengths and weaknesses did the N64 have when porting this game over from the PC?
Factor 5: The big strength was the N64 cartridge. We use the cartridge almost like normal RAM and are streaming all level data, textures, animations, music, sound and even program code while the game is running. With the final size of the levels and the amount of textures, the RAM of the N64 never would have been even remotely enough to fit any individual level. So the cartridge technology really saved the day.
In terms of weaknesses we fought hard against the fill-rate limitations of the N64. We loved Hi-Res on Rogue because of its crisp look, but the framerate was questionable. So when starting the engines for both Indy and Naboo, the main goal was to get a high framerate in Hi-Res. This meant not using the Z-Buffer, because it alone uses quite a bit of the N64's fillrate.
 
  • Like
Reactions: filfat and Foxi4

oddMLan

Member
Newcomer
Joined
Oct 24, 2009
Messages
23
Trophies
0
XP
168
Country
United States
The loading times are actually slower in the videos (compared to the original cartridge release). Also, the castle music indeed sounds a little bit different,
 

Foxi4

Endless Trash
Global Moderator
Joined
Sep 13, 2009
Messages
28,429
Trophies
2
Location
Gaming Grotto
XP
25,893
Country
Poland
ForteGospel Nice, never saw that table before, thanks for the clarification - it's nice to know the access time and transfer rate of such oddities. Perhaps it was a matter of the integrated RAM or the code.
 

Mario92

Well-Known Member
Member
Joined
Feb 20, 2010
Messages
878
Trophies
0
Age
29
Location
Finland
Website
steamcommunity.com
XP
261
Country
Finland
Is it just me, or does the music sound a little richer when Mario is in the castle?

I wouldn't say. It's more like notes are just longer than usual which for me makes it sound worse. As music is closer to midi than mp3 I would assume there's just bug which makes those notes play longer than they should.

It seems just like Super Mario 64 played with super expensive peripheral. Of course it's nice to see some rare things popping up but there doesn't seem to be much at all to it.
 

matpower

The Mad Scientist
Member
Joined
May 5, 2012
Messages
1,074
Trophies
1
Age
22
Location
Best state in Brazil
XP
1,937
Country
Brazil
The holy grain of a N64DD collection, huh :P
(I wonder if the N64DD works on an USA console...)
Now I wish that more N64DD beta stuff leaked, I would love to see Mother 3 and Pokémon RPG. :D
 
General chit-chat
Help Users
    Veho @ Veho: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X-7CaIA4ilE