Super Mario 64
Super Mario 64

The PC’s never-ending march to add ray tracing to everything has now made it onto other platforms. Super Mario 64 RT (or ‘SMT64RT’ if you’re pressed for time) is the latest unofficial version of the Nintendo 64 classic for PC, grafting a lighting system onto the 24-year-old console game.

This proof-of-concept port displays real-time global illumination of Mario’s world. This is well thought out. All light sources must be placed manually by Dariosamo, the creator of the version, because the original game appears to have only light sources.

It’s so old that God hadn’t said “let there be light” yet. Now all the torches in the castle cast their own lights, and when you walk through the corridors, they will form lovely soft shadows.

Many 3D models have been added to replace the 2D sprites that make up the background, and all the original 3D models have been updated to maintain a consistent appearance.

Now any polished surface can reflect the world around it. When DF grabs Metal Mario power-up, this is the best way to display it, but it can also reflect things like door handles. The brass handles on Princess Peach’s castle doors have never been so polished.

None of this is easy. You have to compile the source code yourself and publish it, because Nintendo generally frowns when people provide their stuff for free in a playable form.

It Requires a graphics card with ray tracing capabilities. If you do have it and have compilation skills, you can get the version on the video from here.