It's a well-known fact that adding Mario to anything vastly improves it. With his arsenal of long jumps, backflips, and fireballs, the red-capped plumber is a crowd pleaser for sure. And thanks to a new add-on, you can now add a controllable Mario to whatever weird Blender projects you're working on.
Designed by game developer Jeremy Burns, the add-on works through Burns' own creation "libsm64," which is a library that adds a readable interface to the behind-the-scenes code governing Mario in Super Mario 64. Though libsm64 could technically work on almost any game engine, Burns specifically designed the Blender add-on to test custom Nintendo 64 levels on the fly in another Blender utility called Fast64. Artists are already having a field day with it.
While we can definitely see the use case for the add-on if you're building custom Super Mario 64 levels, it's mostly an impressive work of engineering. This low-poly form of Mario is arguably his best 3D incarnation, if not the most iconic, and it's nice to see him bound around some more.
As one of the most popular platformers of all time, Super Mario 64 has been the subject of a lot of reverse-engineering and experimentation. Libsm64 itself grew out of a project that decompiled the entirety of the game, which later led to the game being ported to modern devices, including Windows PCs.
As usual for Nintendo, the company issued copyright claims in order to try to remove the port from circulation, but you can still find it with some clever Googling. Those ports now have ray-tracing, mod support, and other fancy features, so if you’re interested in playing the N64 classic in a whole new way, it’s not that hard to set up.