The Nintendo 64 era was one of, if not, the most revolutionary era in gaming. It was a generation where gaming systems could fully render 3D models. Thus, 3D video games became a reality and it made a major impact on the industry. Games that you loved in the past would look completely new and are re-imagined in a whole new way. Some of gaming's greatest games came out in that era on Nintendo 64 as well as the PlayStation.
The Nintendo 64 was home to iconic classics like Super Mario 64 and The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. These two games were among the most critically acclaimed games of all time, and to this day, are still considered some of the best games ever made. There were also plenty of popular classics and cult-hits that made the N64 a special system. Games like Super Smash Bros. Mario Kart 64, Star Fox 64, F-Zero X, and Pokémon Stadium made such an impression on young gamers and helped them become Nintendo fans.
Today, the tech and development of Nintendo 64 games is nothing compared to video games now. If you have the development skills, you could easily make your own Nintendo 64 game. As a matter of fact, fans have made their own mods for a few Nintendo 64 games. Most of them are based on Super Mario 64. There are plenty of other hacks that make other N64 games more interesting by including new levels, or just adding a cosmetic of being able to play as a certain character. Here we will explore 25 N64 hacks that you will want to see and perhaps even try for yourself.
25 A Fan-Made Sequel To Super Mario 64
Super Mario Star Road is a ROM hack that was created in 2011 by Skelux. The game was built with what a direct sequel to Super Mario 64 could potentially be like. It features 130 stars and similar level designs from the original game. Impressively, the levels are done using custom graphics and sometimes graphics from other N64 games.
This has been known as one of the most popular gaming mods there is.
Boss fights are also more varied this time around. Instead of fighting just Bowser, there are mini-bosses that you must defeat in order to advance through the game.
24 Ocarina Of Time: Four Swords
The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords games debuted after Ocarina of Time, but that didn't stop hackers from creating their own mix of both games. Much like being able to play online in Super Mario 64, hackers have created their own version of online co-op play in Ocarina of Time.
In this version, you can play through a couple of the base game's dungeons with three others. You also have the option of setting the camera angle to a top-down view, similar to how it was done in the Four Swords series.
23 Who's The Best Bond?
GoldenEye was one of the best games on N64, and it was the game that basically started the multiplayer heavy genre known as FPS. It had one of the best multiplayer modes among any game for its time. One of the biggest secrets of the game was that Rare originally had a cheat programmed into the game called the "All Bonds Cheat," but was removed, possibly due to legal concern.
Now one can finally decide which of the available Bonds were the best.
The "All Bonds Cheat" would allow you to play as multiple Bond personalities based on the character's history of actors. Among the options were Sean Connery, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton, and Pierce Brosnan. These character mods became available through hacking.
22 Pokémon Stadium Kaizo
Pokémon Stadium introduced the super popular handheld phenomenon into a 3D world for the first time. The game is mainly about competitive battling and surpassing many different challenges. Trainers had the option of transferring their Pokémon from Pokémon Red, Blue, and Yellow to battle, you could also choose from a preset selection of rental Pokémon.
In the Pokémon Stadium Kaizo hack, the game's difficulty and A.I. has spiked, making it more challenging.
They also modified the rental selection, giving you multiple Pokémon of the same species, but with different builds. It is a significant improvement as certain modes like Gym Leader Castle was relatively easy (especially if you used Mewtwo.)
21 Doing Barrel Rolls In Ocarina Of Time
One of the few hacks that was acknowledged by Nintendo themselves is the use of an Arwing from Star Fox 64 in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. Revealed in an Iwata Asks segment, the Arwing was programmed into the game's files to map out the flight pattern of the Fire Temple boss Volvagia. Hackers have been able to discover the Arwing model and even have it fly around in Kokiri Forest where it would shoot twin lasers at Link and explode when defeated.
20 Play Super Mario 64 Online While You Still Can
Last year, modders created a way to play Super Mario 64 online with up to 24 players. However, it would eventually be hit by a copyright claim by Nintendo. It appears that a new version may have popped up as a new name, Net64 2.0. This allows you to play in the world of Super Mario 64 but with others real time.
You could play as multiple characters including Mario, Luigi, and Peach, as well as Sonic and Knuckles, because why not?
There are also certain mini-game modes like capture the flag. With that said, who knows when the Nintendo ninjas will sniff this mod out and strike another claim so if you are interested you might want to look into it as soon as you can.
19 King K. Rool In Donkey Kong 64
A basic character model swap lets you play as Donkey Kong's longtime arch-nemesis King K. Rool in Donkey Kong 64. There isn't much else to the hack, it is a basic model replacement of Donkey Kong. Everything you do is as if you were playing as Donkey Kong, but under the skin of King K. Rool. The animations feature a lot of arm flailing, and it looks hilarious. Maybe this can tie fans of the villain over until he is (hopefully) announced for Super Smash Bros.
18 Pokemon Snap City Level Hack
Pokémon Snap was one of the most beloved games the Pokémon spinoff series. It was a unique game where the main objective was to take quality photos of wild Pokémon in their natural environment. Sadly, there would never be a sequel to the game despite some of Nintendo's later systems appearing perfect for a Pokémon Snap game.
Thankfully, a modder has developed a new level for the N64 classic. It is a level based in Saffron City where Todd (our Pokémon photographer) encounters Pokémon not seen in the original game like Marill. It surprisingly ends at a Pokémon stadium where Mewtwo and Mew battle each other. Mewtwo destroys Todd's vehicle, where he struggles to reach the teleportation back to Professor Oak's lab.
Additionally, there is also another level made based on Bob-Omb Battlefield from Super Mario 64.
17 Sonic Appearing On The N64!?
Modding allows you to put basically any character you want into any style of game. So of course at some point someone would do the unthinkable and give Sonic his very own N64 game.
The modded game is called Sonic Adventure 64 and it features a Mario character model, designed to look exactly like Sonic, running through bob-ombs and koopas to defeating the Whomp at the end of the level. The level used is Emerald Coast, the very first level of Sonic Adventure.
16 A 2D Super Mario Platformer In 3D
In 2016, Mario made his mobile app debut with Super Mario Run, a game where Mario is constantly running towards the right and the player can jump with a tap of the screen.
That same concept was done in a mini hack by Kaze Emanuar earlier that same year.
Super Mario Run 64 is a 2D side-scrolling platform where Mario is constantly on the move. Your objective is to collect as many coins as you can before you hit the checkered platform. You only get one life so if you fail you would have to start the level from scratch.
15 Rainbow Road In Diddy Kong Racing
While Mario Kart 64 was one of the most popular titles on the system, there was another racing game that caught a lot of people's attention. Diddy Kong Racing was a racing game developed by Rare, which starred, Diddy Kong, Banjo, and multiple original characters. The main feature was racing with different vehicles, you could race in a standard kart, hovercraft, or plane. Each vehicle had a different gameplay style and often times, unique paths.
There is a hack that allowed for Rainbow Road from Mario Kart 64 to be playable in Diddy Kong Racing. Although it appears you could only race with just the karts, but it is definitely worth looking into just to race on that track but in Diddy Kong Racing style.
14 Make Any Kind Of Board You Want
Another great multiplayer for classic gaming nights were the Mario Party games. The first three Mario Party games are still to this day the best three games in the long and milked out franchise. What is cool about this particular hack is that you can customize and create your own Mario Party board. You can even alter the background and design aesthetics. Now, who wants to play a Mario Party board set in the Legend of Zelda series?
13 Luigi's Mansion 64
One of the many mods based off of Super Mario 64 is one that turns the Nintendo Gamecube launch title, Luigi's Mansion, into a 3D platformer similar to Super Mario 64.
In Luigi's Mansion 64, you run around as Mario's forever player 2 brother and you jump through paintings and collect stars.
The game is basically a re-skinned version of Super Mario 64, but it has the look and feel of a Luigi's Mansion type game. Eventually, you will have to rescue Princess Peach (not Mario) from the clutches of King Boo. The tough part is that Luigi will have to rely on his own skill and not the power of the Poltergeist 3000 to defeat King Boo.
12 Extra Levels Playable In Super Smash Bros.
The Battlefield and Final Destination levels are a mainstay in every Super Smash Bros. game since Melee. However, while these levels were in the single player mode, they were not available to be selected in the original N64 game. There is a hack available that does allow for not only these levels to be playable, but also adds in the Metal Cavern, which was used when fighting Metal Mario. Now you can do a traditional competitive tournament in the original game.
11 A Fan-Made Paper Mario Remake
A few years ago, a game design student, going by the name of Nelde, started working on an HD remake of Paper Mario on the Nintendo 64. This remake is titled New Paper Mario.
It's good to see fans still give the original game some love after some of the series' recent disappointments.
The overall gameplay and dialogue remains unchanged, but there are updated visuals as well as some cosmetic changes. For example, the star-shaped Twink was changed into a Luma from Super Mario Galaxy. You do have the option on which texture pack you could include to which character.
10 Mario Lands Onto Kong Island
In a reverse role from the standard Super Mario 64 hack is one that puts Mario into Donkey Kong's world. Super Donkey Kong 64 is a hack that allows you to play as Mario in Donkey Kong 64.
There are updated power-ups and stage obstacles that are more suited for Mario. There are also Goombas and even Yoshi in this hack. Mario also gains new jumping abilities that allow him to reach places that his true N64 self would likely not be able to reach.
9 Hidden Levels In Bomberman 64?
Yep, it's him! Bomberman 64 was another one of those great local multiplayer games on the N64 system. It is considered by many the best game in the series and an iconic classic for some.
One of the amazing things about hackers diving into old games is that sometimes they discover things that were not revealed back when these games originally came out.
In the case of Bomberman 64, there were reportedly four unused levels that were recently discovered to have been programmed into the game. These levels were experimental and appeared to be very glitchy and lacked any kind of gameplay music.
8 Unlocking The Fighting Polygon Team
Super Smash Bros. games often have a battle in the single-player classic mode where you fight off a horde of enemies. They have varied from Miis to Wire-frames, but in the original, the main hoard was basically polygon versions of each of the playable characters.
There is a hack that allows you to change the form of your character into a fighting polygon form, that way you can have an entire match looking like an early beta version of the game. If you use them in single player, you'll be able to have multiple polygons fight your opponent. The polygons are chosen at random and have infinite lives.
7 Super Zelda 64 Both Ways
In the same way that Mario was playable in Donkey Kong 64's world, there is also a hack that allows you to play as Mario in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. The same is true vise versa, a hack that will make young Link playable in Super Mario 64. It is pretty crazy how just about any asset from any N64 era game can be used in any other game, none of the talk about using different graphical engines like nowadays or anything.
6 Bringing F-Zero's Most Recent Into F-Zero's Past
OK, "most recent" in F-Zero standards is still a very long time ago. F-Zero Climax was a GBA sequel to F-Zero GP Legend but released only in Japan.
There is a hack in F-Zero X that ports over the tracks from F-Zero Climax and the designs are faithful to the GBA game.
Since Climax never released outside of Japan, this could be a good opportunity to experience what the tracks were like in the style of F-Zero X. Anything "new" at this point is good for fans of the series.
5 Let Your Paper Buddy Wander Freely
The first two Paper Mario games had Mario travel with a few companions throughout his cardboard adventures. These companions had their own skills that could help Mario overcome certain obstacles, or provide helpful information. In battle, they had their own style of play and their own moves.
A hack became available that allowed a second player to control whatever ally character Mario has out and have their choice on what moves that character uses in battle. As cool as that sounds, it doesn't appear to be much use of it.
4 Bird And Bear At Peach's Castle
Another crossover hack, but this one puts Banjo and Kazooie in the world of Super Mario 64. The level designs are the same but there are all kinds of items, abilities, and enemies from the first Banjo-Kazooie game.
Having Banjo-Kazooie mixed in with Super Mario 64 works so well it almost makes sense.
There are many honeycomb pieces scattered throughout the levels, jiggy pieces and Jinjos cleverly hidden, and notes that are collected in order to unlock the next area. Much like F-Zero, having anything fresh to experience with Banjo-Kazooie can be meaningful to it's dedicated fans.
3 A More Ambitious 3D Mario Game
Want to play a bigger 3D Super Mario game? Try Last Impact. Last Impact is a ROM hack based off of Super Mario 64 that was created by Kaze Emanuar. This game features 130 stars, but completely new locations.
There are 15 levels in the game, one of them is called Rainbow Road, an inspiration from the Mario Kart series.
There are many new power-ups in this game that is not found in the original N64 game, some of these are power-ups like the F.L.U.D.D. that is seen in Super Mario Sunshine. As you first start, the game will come off as a bit more challenging than Super Mario 64, but as you make progress, the difficulty will decrease a bit in favor of the exploration factor of the game.
2 G-Diffusers Set To Max! We're Going Top Speed!
One of the few good moments of Star Fox Zero on Wii U was the level Sector Omega. In that level, Fox and the others used a special boost where they were flying through at an incredible speed. Disappointingly, that was the only time in the game that was used.
YouTube user Zallard1 posted a video of a hacked version of Star Fox 64 where the game is increasingly sped up, making the action go much faster and more intense. Of course, this would present some timing issues with how certain levels progressed, but it can really show how awesome it would be if Nintendo ever made a faster Star Fox game, but maybe not as fast as the video.