Thanks to an impressive modder, classic Nintendo 64 games are getting a major upgrade in their graphics with the addition of ray-tracing technology.
Thanks to an impressive modder classic Nintendo 64 games are getting an upgrade with ray-tracing. Technology has improved so much over the last 25 years and fans want to see what their favorite games would look like with much better graphics. Since the N64 celebrated its 25th birthday last June, it is no surprise that the community was celebrating by reminiscing about their favorite games and wanting to play them with an updated and more modern look.
Nintendo 64 was the home of many iconic games that players still enjoy today. Super Mario 64 and Goldeneye 007 are two of the most well-loved games from the Nintendo 64 and are also some of the most modded games on the console. Different mods have included added set pieces from iconic games into others, like adding Peach’s Castle to Goldeneye 007 or even making Switch games playable on the console. There are also games being made playable for older consoles, which are known as “demakes,” like Portal being modded for the Nintendo 64.
VG247 reported on a tweet by Twitter user dariosamo where they shared the mod they were making for their Nintendo 64. This mod brings realistic lighting to games in order to make them look more realistic. This project is no easy task, as the graphics on the Nintendo 64 were very different than today’s standards. The games that dariosamo showcased were The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Paper Mario, Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards, Mystical Ninja Starring Goemon, Snowboard Kids, and Rocket Robot on Wheels. This mod not only adds ray-tracing but also includes 60 FPS, DLSS, and the ability to play widescreen. Though this is a very new mod and it is not fully complete or ready for the public, dariosamo has worked hard within the last month. Their goal is to have it complete in a few months, but there is no exact timeframe yet.
I’d like to reveal that RT64, the path tracer behind sm64rt, is evolving into an N64 emulator plugin.
Here’s a small reel of footage I’ve captured from games that are already showing results.
Ray traced lighting, object motion blur, widescreen, DLSS and 60+ FPS. pic.twitter.com/qLJHzGfKUc
— Darío (@dariosamo) June 3, 2022
This, like the Super Mario 64 ray-tracing mod, are able to be played through PC emulation plugins, so they are not playable directly on the Nintendo 64. Breathing fresh air into games that are nostalgic for many people is always something that makes fans happy. Many commenters replied to dariosamo’s tweet with other games they hope to see get these updated graphics, with Banjo-Kazooie and Star Fox 64 being high up on the list. There are many games fans would love to see have updated graphics, but these take a lot of time and effort to create and perfect, so it is likely that adding these games to the list will take a while.
The modding community always makes fun upgrades to classic games, and players who have a strong sense of nostalgia will enjoy seeing their favorites reimagined. Though some games are playable on new consoles, like the re-release of Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards on the Switch, they are not without their problems. Some fans have encountered game-breaking glitches and unplayability, so hopefully, patches are on the way. The PC ports of classic Nintendo 64 games are still most fans’ favorite ways to play their old favorites, with little risk of experiencing something game-breaking.
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