Mario Maker Style Romhack Released for Nintendo 64 | Mario Builder 64

An exciting piece of open source software has been released for creating, editing, and sharing levels for Super Mario 64. And it has been released as a Romhack of the game, which means it might be safe from no-fun Nintendo taking legal action against it. Let’s take a look at what we know so far.

With the recent shutdown of the Mario Maker WiiU servers, this is a welcomed new development for the Mario and Mario Maker communities hoping to keep reinventing classic Mario Titles. Mario Builder 64 is an open source romhack by developers Arthurtilly and rovertronic, seeing its first release a few days ago, as of this article’s writing.

It makes clever use of a virtual SD card system to load and share levels, which has been tested on real hardware using flash carts like 64Drive, Everdrive-64, Everdrive-64 X series, and SummerCart64.

Some in the Classic Mario community are already hard at work on level design contests, like CarlSagan42’s discord community. I think we can expect a lot of interesting content, especially once the software is in the hands of more users. Currently many user created levels are uploaded to Level Share Square. Others can be found on discords surrounding the project.

If you are familiar with Romhacking, creating your own version of Mario Builder 64 is fairly trivial. You will need to download the BPS patch from one of the mirrors. If you have a copy of your Super Mario 64 USA rom, it’s very easy to use one of many BPS patch compatible rom patching tools. See the end of the article for a few easy options, or use the built in patcher in the recommended emulator for the project.

While the patched ROM should theoretically run in any emulator, the developer recommends using Parallel Launcher because it supports the “Virtual SD Card” feature needed to save and load levels. It is also confirmed by the developers to be working on hardware with the above named flash carts with more testing to come.

While the romhack will load on MiSTer fpga, it is impossible to save/load levels as the core has no access to storage the way pixel launcher or the Everdrive do. I got an answer directly from Robert Piep, the developer from MiSTer, and the core is never likely to support Mario Builder as it is currently implemented. You’ll have to focus on using Mario Builder through emulator or Everdrive.

Be warned it is possible to build levels that go beyond the limitations of the Nintendo 64, creating crashes and slowdown, or is simply unplayable on real hardware. Users of programs like Lunar Magic will be familiar with this style of romhacking or editing, and any decent level designer will have to work within those limitations.

The software does appear to run impressively well for a first release. Youtuber and Twitch streamer CarlSagan42 creates a host of (awful looking lmao) troll levels, and the software holds up well… at least in the emulator. If Mario Builder 64 ends up sticking around as long as Lunar Magic, there is no telling how much impressive content can be released for this classic game, currently pushing 30 years old.

All of the relevant links to get started with Mario Builder 64 can be found below, some with multiple options. The setup guide is thorough and helpful and is a great place to start figuring out how to experiment with Mario Builder 64 in your own retrogaming setup.


Setup Guide for Mario Builder 64

Setup Tutorial video for Mario Builder 64

Download Mario Builder 64 Patch | Mirror

BPS Patching Tool – Beat EXE

Rom Patching Tool Online – Romhacking.net

Recommended Emulator – Parallel launcher

Super Mario 64 Cart and ROM

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