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 refers to 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.[citation needed]


Super Mario 64 sequel[edit]

The name Super Mario 128 was first used as early as January 1997 by Shigeru Miyamoto during an interview for Nintendo Power, as a possible name for a Super Mario 64 sequel.[1] This rumored expansion and sequel to Super Mario 64 called Super Mario 64 2 was said to be developed on the 64DD, but ended up being canceled.[2] Shigeru Miyamoto mentioned at E3's 1997 convention that he was "just getting started" on the project.[3]

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[4]

In a Nintendo Power interview with Shigeru Miyamoto in November 1999, 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."[citation needed] The game only had a demo of one level made for it, and nothing was done beyond that. Miyamoto claimed that multiplayer was the first aspect of the game that he wanted to include. It is rumored that elements from Super Mario 64 2 were eventually transferred over to Super Mario Sunshine and Super Mario 64 DS.[5]

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, "An interview with Shigeru Miyamoto", Nintendo Power[6]

In an interview in the September 2006 issue of Nintendo Dream, Miyamoto answered some questions about 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.[5]

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.[7] In the demo, a large 2D Mario split off into 128 smaller Marios across a kind of 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[8]


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 Nintendo did not show Super Mario 128 at E3 2003 because the game was very innovative and Nintendo did not want other developers stealing the ideas from the game.[9] However, Miyamoto later confirmed in an interview with Nintendo Official Magazine UK that Super Mario 128 was still in development and that the development team had planned to take the Mario series in a new direction.[10]

In 2003, Nintendo's George Harrison stated in an interview with CNN Money that Super Mario 128 may not appear on GameCube at all.[11]

It was thought that Nintendo would unveil the title at E3 2004.[citation needed] 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[12]

IGN later in the year got a similar response. Miyamoto again asserted Super Mario 128's experimental nature.[13]

In 2005, at the GDC, Nintendo's VP of Marketing, Reggie Fils-Aime, stated that Super Mario 128 would be shown at E3 2005. This was the point where most people thought that the game would finally surface.[citation needed] 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).[14]

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. Interestingly, he also mentioned that Super Mario 128 played a large role in the conception of the Wii (then known as Revolution), like Super Mario 64 did for the Nintendo 64. He went as far to say that the Wii was based around "this new type of game".[15] It was later confirmed that Super Mario Galaxy (the first Mario platform game for the Wii) was not Super Mario 128 when Miyamoto stated at E3 2007 that Super Mario Galaxy was "created by the team that made Donkey Kong Jungle Beat, and development began as soon as that title was finished,"[16] (2005)[17] while Super Mario 128 has been in development since at least 2000, when the technology demo was first shown. In 2006, Shigeru Miyamoto finally confirmed that the project was no more, and that bits and pieces of the concept had evolved into the Wii title Super Mario Galaxy.


During the GDC 2007, Miyamoto mentioned that Super Mario 128 was merely a demonstration to illustrate the power of the GameCube. He also stated that most of the elements of Super Mario 128 were incorporated into Pikmin, in that the player controlled a large number of characters on screen. Other elements such as walking on 3D spheres are seen in Super Mario Galaxy.[18][19]


  1. ^ Miyamoto Shrine: Shigeru Miyamoto's Home on The Web
  2. ^ IGN: Super Mario 64 II
  3. ^ Takao Imamura, Shigeru Miyamoto (1997). Nintendo Power August, 1997 - Pak Watch E3 Report "The Game Masters". Nintendo. pp. 104–105. 
  4. ^ Miyamoto, Shigeru; Itoi, Shigesato (December 1997). "A friendly discussion between the "Big 2" (translated text)". The 64 Dream: 91. Retrieved January 14, 2015. 
  5. ^ a b Gantayat, Anoop (August 21, 2006). "Miyamoto Opens the Vault". IGN. Retrieved January 28, 2015. 
  6. ^ "An interview with Shigeru Miyamoto". Nintendo Power. December 1998. 
  7. ^ Croal, N'Gai; Kawaguchi, Masato; Saltzman, Marc (September 3, 2000). "It's Hip to be Square". Newsweek 136 (10): 53. Retrieved February 7, 2015. 
  8. ^ Gaming News, Screenshots, Movies -
  9. ^ IGN: Mario 128's New Idea
  10. ^ Miyamoto Shrine: Shigeru Miyamoto's Home on The Web
  11. ^ "No more Mario?". CNN. November 4, 2003. Retrieved May 24, 2010. 
  12. ^ Miyamoto Shrine: Shigeru Miyamoto's Home on The Web
  13. ^ IGN: Nintendo Supports Cube
  14. ^ "The Man Who Keeps Nintendo Cool". Wired. June 15, 2005. 
  15. ^ IGN: The Maker of Super Mario Opens The Vault.
  16. ^ E3 2007 - E3 '07: Miyamoto shows off Super Mario Galaxy - Wii News at GameSpot
  17. ^ Donkey Kong: Jungle Beat for GameCube - MobyGames
  18. ^ Shigeru Miyamoto (2007). Shigeru Miyamoto: "A Creative Vision" - Keynote at GDC 2007. Event occurs at 1:09:08. 
  19. ^ GameSpy: Miyamoto's Creative Vision