One of the most beloved consoles of the millennial generation despite the fact that it was not without controversy, problems and limitations

This week is fulfilled 25 years since the Nintendo 64 console and Super Mario 64 video game were released. A combo that marked childhood and the first contact with consoles beyond watching your older brother play. The colorful, three-dimensional environment of Super Mario caught me for so many hours that I ended up with a spill in my eye, caused by rubbing my eyelids with enough energy when in sheer concentration I forgot to blink.

It was not a bad start despite maternal concern, dosing the game and blinking more frequently were key to continue enjoying one of the 20 best-selling consoles in history. In total, 32.93 million units during their life cycle.

To this day, she remains one of the undisputed queens of the new craze for retro that have unleashed both international youtubers and Rubius himself. This cartridge machine gave birth to the most influential games of the 3D era, franchises that still endure. It was not only the case with Mario, but also with Zelda and Donkey Kong, among others.

The cartridge was his slab

Despite being a Nintendo console and its technical superiority in certain respects, PlayStation wiped it out, selling 104 million units. One of the main reasons was that Nintendo continued to rely on cartridges while the competition had already shifted to CD-ROM.

The reasons were avoid hacking and avoid long loading times, although some experts point out that Nintendo also tried to maintain control over the production of cartridges, thereby obtaining revenue from their manufacture. This decision caused the company to lose several ‘third party’ games, that is, titles developed by studios that do not belong to the big companies in the industry (Sony, Sega, Microsoft, Nintendo).

The abandonment of Square Enix

Among these titles was Final Fantasy VII. A relationship between Square Enix and Nintendo that ended a long ‘vacuum’ for 10 years by the company that created Super Mario. After six deliveries developed for Nintendo, the company planted its new 3D installment for the Nintendo 64 but canceled the project to go with Sony, seduced by the benefits and promises of the CD-ROM.

Despite the technical superiority of the CPU made by Silicon Graphics, it was not enough. Several Square Enix members and creators of Final Fantasy VII have spoken on several occasions about this twist that changed the history of video games. Defending that the hardware that Sony offered at that time was what the new Final Fantasy delivery needed, they commented on the repercussion on the part of Nintendo. Five years without speaking and ten years without being able to enter the company offices.

In this way, the Nintendo was very far from the success of the company with the NES and SNES. The thorn with the issue of cartridges and CDs was so high that they even tried a disk game format through a peripheral called Nintendo 64DD, which only came out in Japan and which they later abandoned.

One of the most influential consoles

Regardless, the Nintendo 64 was one of the most influential and highly rated consoles. A triumph that Nintendo reaps with almost every console that it brings to the market. Even if it ran out of Final Fantasy VII, this machine managed to put together a catalog for which it will always be remembered. Several of these games required such hardware that it seemed impossible to run them outside of a PC, but Nintendo achieved that milestone with first-person shooter games like Turok, Perfect Dark or the famous GoldenEye 007. This game from the developer Rare, starring agent 007 played by actor Pierce Brosnan, is listed as one of the best ‘shooter’ in the history of video games.

Such an ambitious title, with such novel mechanics that, within 24 years, it has produced a lot of meme (and admiration, of course). The game that became the third best-selling game on the console, behind Super Mario 64 and Mario Kart, has multiplayer with up to 4 simultaneous players in split screen, something out of the ordinary for the time.

This way of sharing and playing up to four people, with the same video game and screen, was also another of the details that gave value to the console with titles such as Mario Kart 64, Mario Party O Super Smash Bros. Sagas that to this day continue to be updated with new deliveries for the Nintendo Switch.

Games unthinkable on another console

If you have to start with a game that would mark not only the jewel in Nintendo’s crown, but would influence the 3D games that followed, that’s it. Super Mario 64, the console’s best-selling title with around 12 million copies. No 3D platformer on 32-bit consoles was that great and complex like this title. The premise, inherited from previous installments, turned into an intricate maze of mansion, gardens, and basements through which the player hopped and screamed (fully integrated into long-term memory).

The basic idea was to rescue, once again, Princess Peach from the clutches of a king of an unidentified animal species, but with the appearance of a turtle, Browser. The execution of such a feat is simply masterful. Nintendo went from advancing with a clean head-butt against bricks and exploring pipes (which is why Mario is a plumber), to entering hidden worlds in a painting, flying and swimming in a 3D environment (with all the tedium that they entail even today game mechanics on water and air maps). Arriving to rescue a baby penguin to take it to its mother or throw it off a cliff, indelible memories.

Other titles that have marked several generations of players and that laid the foundations for future exploration, puzzle and adventure games were The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, considered a masterpiece. His combat mechanics with manual aiming was later imitated by many games of the same genre. While the complexity of its plot, it opened the door to future titles that made videogames level up as a cultural production, transmuting from a hobby with repetitive mechanics to a work in itself.

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