Super Mario 128

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Super Mario 128
Super Mario 128 as shown at the SpaceWorld event in August 2000.
Developer(s) Nintendo EAD
Publisher(s) Nintendo
Series Mario
Platform(s) Nintendo GameCube/Wii
Genre(s) Adventure, platform

Super Mario 128 was a series of development projects that were originally to be used only to create a sequel to Super Mario 64. As debuted at Nintendo's Space World trade show in 2000, the demonstrated graphics and physics concepts were gradually incorporated into various games across many years. This includes the rapid object generation in Pikmin, the "sphere walking" technology used in The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess and Super Mario Galaxy, and the physics of Metroid Prime. It is also one of the two cancelled Mario games after Super Mario's Wacky Worlds.[1]


Super Mario 64 sequel[edit]

The name Super Mario 128 was first used as early as January 1997 by Shigeru Miyamoto, as a possible name for a Super Mario 64 sequel.[2] This rumored expansion and sequel to Super Mario 64 called Super Mario 64-2 was said to be developed for the 64DD, but ended up being cancelled due to the 64DD's commercial failure.[3] Shigeru Miyamoto mentioned at E3's 1997 convention that he was "just getting started" on the project.[4]

We're in the middle of preparing Mario 64-2 for release on the 64DD. I'd like to take advantage of the 64DD's ability to store information. As of now, Luigi's also a full part of the game, but we haven't started thinking about 2-player gameplay with Mario and Luigi yet. We'll tackle that once we've got the system ironed out—we've figured out the processing power issues, so we could do it if we tried.

— Shigeru Miyamoto, December 1997[5]

In November 1999, Shigeru Miyamoto said, "Well, for over a year now at my desk, a prototype program of Mario and Luigi has been running on my monitor. We've been thinking about the game, and it may be something that could work on a completely new game system."[6][page needed] The game had only a demo of one level made for it. Miyamoto claimed that multiplayer functionality was the first aspect of the game that he wanted to include.

Nintendo Power: How about the sequel to Super Mario 64?
Miyamoto: We've been thinking about the game, and it may be something that could work on a completely new system.
Nintendo Power: Are you planning on making a two-player game with simultaneous, cooperative play?
Miyamoto: We've actually been considering a four-player game with simultaneous play, but each screen would need to be very small, and we would have to implement new camera work. But it's these sort of problems that I like to tackle.

— Shigeru Miyamoto, Nintendo Power Subscriber Special, 1998[7]

Tech demos[edit]

Super Mario 128 was referred to again at the SpaceWorld event on August 1, 2000 when Nintendo showed a technology demo titled Super Mario 128 to display the power behind their then-upcoming Nintendo GameCube game console.[8] In the demo, a large 2D Mario split off into 128 smaller Marios across a circular board. The demo went on to display the technical power of the GameCube by rendering additional Marios at once until the number of characters on the screen reached 128. The terrain in the demo was manipulated, rotated, and spun to show the physics abilities of the system.

One year later, at SpaceWorld 2001, Super Mario Sunshine was unveiled as the next Mario game; it was released in July 2002 in Japan and a month later in North America. In an interview after E3 with Computer and Video Games, Miyamoto confirmed that Super Mario 128 and Super Mario Sunshine were separate games.

In the case of Mario, obviously we were doing work on the Mario 128 demo that we were showing at SpaceWorld, and separately we were doing work on experiments that we made into Mario Sunshine.

— Shigeru Miyamoto[9]


On December 10, 2002, IGN reported that according to an interview in Japan's Weekly Playboy magazine, Miyamoto had confirmed the continuing development of Super Mario 128.

Rumors later surfaced that the reason for Nintendo not having shown Super Mario 128 at E3 2003 was because the game was very innovative and Nintendo did not want other developers stealing the ideas from the game.[10] However, Miyamoto later confirmed that Super Mario 128 was still in development and that the development team had planned to take the Mario series in a new direction.[11]

In 2003, Nintendo's George Harrison stated that Super Mario 128 may not appear on GameCube at all.[12]

It was thought that Nintendo would unveil the title at E3 2004.[13] Miyamoto again confirmed the existence of Super Mario 128 in an interview during February 2004, but the game failed to surface. Some believed this was due to the announcements of The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess and the Nintendo DS, both revealed at the 2004 show.[citation needed] GameSpy asked Miyamoto about the game after E3:

It's moving along secretly like a submarine under the water. When developing, we often look at the different hardware and run different experiments on it and try out different ideas. There have been a number of different experiment ideas that we have been running on the GameCube. There are some that we have run on DS, and there are other ideas, too. At this point I just don't know if we will see that game on one system or another. It is still hard for me to make that decision. I am the only director on that game right now. I have the programmers making different experiments, and when I see the results, we will make the final decision.

— Shigeru Miyamoto[14]

IGN later in the year got a similar response. Miyamoto again asserted Super Mario 128's experimental nature.[15]

At the GDC 2005, Nintendo of America's VP of Marketing, Reggie Fils-Aime, stated that Super Mario 128 would be shown at E3 2005, probably in the form of a noninteractive video.[16] However, for the third year in a row, the game once again failed to surface during E3. During a GameSpot video interview at E3, Reggie Fils-Aime stated, "I can only show what Mr. Miyamoto gives me to show." When a reporter asked if it exists, he responded, "I've seen bits and pieces." In an interview with Miyamoto from 2005, a Wired News reporter confirmed that Super Mario 128 would not be produced for the GameCube, but rather that it had been definitively moved to the Wii (then code-named Revolution).[17]

In September 2005, Shigeru Miyamoto gave his least ambiguous comments regarding Super Mario 128. Questioned as to the status of the game by a Japanese radio station, he revealed that Mario would have a new character by his side and reiterated that the game would appear on the Wii with a different name. He mentioned that Super Mario 128 had played a large role in the conception of the Wii console (then known as Revolution), like Super Mario 64 had done for the Nintendo 64. He went as far to say that the Wii was based around "this new type of game".[18]

In an interview in the September 2006 issue of Nintendo Dream, Miyamoto answered some questions about Super Mario 64 2, stating that he had forgotten whether it had been prototyped for the 64DD, and that "it's become other games". When asked whether he meant that the demo's gameplay functions are being used in other titles, Miyamoto responded, "From the time that we were originally making Mario 64, Mario and Luigi were moving together. But we couldn't get it working in the form of a game", echoing his statements from 1999. He also hinted that some elements of Super Mario 128, such as running upon a spherical surface, had been incorporated into Super Mario Galaxy.[19]

On March 8, 2007, Miyamoto delivered the GDC 2007 keynote speech. He mentioned that Super Mario 128 was merely a demonstration to illustrate the power of the GameCube and restated that several techniques from Super Mario 128 had become foundational gameplay concepts of the Pikmin series and the upcoming Super Mario Galaxy series.[20][21][22]


  1. ^ "Super Mario 128 (GameCube)". IGN. 
  2. ^ "Nintendo Power". Nintendo Power. January 1997. Archived from the original on September 27, 2011. Retrieved November 23, 2017. 
  3. ^ "Super Mario 64 II (Nintendo 64)". Retrieved August 8, 2016. 
  4. ^ Imamura, Takao; Miyamoto, Shigeru (August 1997). "Pak Watch E3 Report "The Game Masters"". Nintendo Power. Nintendo: 104–105. 
  5. ^ Miyamoto, Shigeru; Itoi, Shigesato (December 1997). "A friendly discussion between the "Big 2" (translated text)". The 64 Dream: 91. Retrieved January 14, 2015. 
  6. ^ "Nintendo Power". Nintendo Power. Nintendo. November 1999. 
  7. ^ "An interview with Shigeru Miyamoto". Nintendo Power. December 1998. 
  8. ^ Croal, N'Gai; Kawaguchi, Masato; Saltzman, Marc (September 3, 2000). "It's Hip to be Square". Newsweek. 136 (10): 53. Retrieved February 7, 2015. 
  9. ^ "GamesRadar+". Retrieved August 8, 2016. 
  10. ^ IGN Staff (June 20, 2003). "Mario 128's New Idea". Retrieved August 8, 2016. 
  11. ^ "Nintendo Official Magazine". Nintendo Official Magazine. September 14, 2003. Archived from the original on September 27, 2011. Retrieved November 23, 2017. 
  12. ^ "No more Mario?". CNN. November 4, 2003. Retrieved May 24, 2010. 
  13. ^ Doree, Adam (May 7, 2004). "Kikizo | News: E3 2004: Nintendo's All-Star Line-Up". Retrieved March 17, 2018. 
  14. ^ "GameSpy". GameSpy. May 24, 2004. Archived from the original on April 19, 2010. Retrieved November 23, 2017. 
  15. ^ IGN Staff (November 29, 2004). "Nintendo Supports Cube". Retrieved August 8, 2016. 
  16. ^ Fils-Aime, Reggie (March 9, 2005). "GDC 2005: Reggie Talks Revolution" (Interview). Interviewed by Matt Casamassina. Retrieved November 23, 2017. 
  17. ^ "The Man Who Keeps Nintendo Cool". Wired. June 15, 2005. 
  18. ^ Miyamoto, Shigeru (September 3, 2005). "Interview" (Interview) (in French). Archived from the original on February 11, 2009. Retrieved August 8, 2016. 
  19. ^ Gantayat, Anoop (August 21, 2006). "Miyamoto Opens the Vault". IGN. Retrieved January 28, 2015. 
  20. ^ Martin, Matt (March 9, 2007). "GDC: Shigeru Miyamoto's Keynote Speech". Games Industry. Retrieved August 8, 2016. 
  21. ^ Shigeru Miyamoto (2007). Shigeru Miyamoto: "A Creative Vision" – Keynote at GDC 2007. Event occurs at 1:09:08. 
  22. ^ "GameSpy: Miyamoto's Creative Vision - Page 2". Retrieved August 8, 2016.