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Retro How Super Mario 64 changed the face of the games industry – 25th Anniversary

May 9, 2019
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Twenty-five years on, we catch up with the developers inspired by Miyamoto’s revolutionary platformer.

“What’s the right word? It was like a milestone, or a watershed – what am I looking for here…”

Tim Schafer, renowned developer and President and CEO of Double Fine Productions, takes a second to think: how exactly did Super Mario 64 impact him when he first played it?

“It was like an epiphany, that’s what I would say: Mario 64 was an epiphany.”

On June 23rd 1996, twenty-five years ago, Super Mario 64 was released in Japan as a launch title for Nintendo’s N64 console. Critics and players alike were astonished by the platformer, which took the world-famous plumber out of the second dimension and popped him into a vibrant, colourful 3D world. Mario himself was a smoothly-animated marvel, steered around with the analogue stick in the middle of the unusual N64 controller. Add in a camera-relative control scheme which was unparalleled at the time, an iconic soundtrack by series veteran Koji Kondo and open-ended, exploration-focused level design, and game developers were stunned.

“Apart from camera criticism, everyone thought it was amazing. It defined the 3D platformer as a genre,” says veteran designer, Co-Founder of id Software and Senior Creative Director for VR developers Resolution Games Tom Hall. “The industry hadn’t really figured out 3D platforming yet, and here it was, a masterwork that set the standard. And it kinda kicked the butt of everything on the N64 after it.”

Directed by the legendary designer and Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto, the impact of Super Mario 64 continues to be felt in many games created over two decades later. However, to properly tell the story of how Super Mario 64 changed everything, you have to start at the beginning.

Face to Face

When you boot up Mario 64, you’re greeted with a cheerful “hello” from the moustachioed plumber himself, grinning at you against a dark blue background. However, there’s something unusual and delightful about this innocuous title screen: Mario’s face can be twisted and turned like Play-Doh before springing back into its original shape like a rubber band.



The man responsible for this iconic intro is Giles Goddard, CEO of the Kyoto-based studio Chuhai Labs and one of Nintendo’s first western employees. Goddard left school when he was 16 and got his first job working with the now-defunct British development studio Argonaut Games in London. Argonaut Games had produced early 3D games like Starglider, released in 1986, and partnered with Nintendo after commissioning designer Dylan Cuthbert to reverse-engineer the handheld Game Boy console to produce a 3D game demo, eventually released as X in 1992.

“I was really interested in 3D,” Goddard says. “Within a year of starting at Argonaut, we started talking to Nintendo about the potential of doing 3D on stuff like the NES.”

Argonaut realised that more powerful hardware would be needed and subsequently designed the Super FX 3D chip for the SNES to facilitate the creation of games like Star Fox. Goddard moved over to Japan to work with Nintendo, aged just 19, and says that making enjoyable 3D games for the SNES that ran smoothly was challenging. However, 3D games were relatively rare at the time, which gave Goddard and Nintendo lots of freedom.

“You could basically come up with any idea and it would be new, so the world was your oyster,” Goddard says.

Nintendo collaborated with Silicon Graphics Inc on the hardware for what became the Nintendo 64 and Goddard, working in Nintendo EAD’s Research and Development department at the time, remembers receiving an exciting “Indy” workstation to experiment with, complete with a webcam. He wanted to see if the camera could detect him moving, sticking ping-pong balls to his face to be tracked on-screen, and his experiments caught the attention of Miyamoto.

“When I was doing it Miyamoto-san walked past and said ‘ooh that’s cool, why don’t we put it in Mario 64?’ It was really a thing that just happened,” Goddard remembers. “We were all just throwing stuff at a wall and seeing what would stick, basically. That’s kind-of how Nintendo made their games at the time – now they’re a bit more organised.”

“Because we were making games with no precedent and no model, we had no restraints in terms of process and were free to think however we liked about issues,” Takashi Tezuka, Senior Officer of Nintendo Entertainment Planning & Development Division (Nintendo EPD) and Assistant Director on Super Mario 64, told The Washington Post last September. This encouraged developers at Nintendo’s Entertainment Analysis and Development Division [Nintendo EAD] to create sandbox levels that “enabled a freer style of play that wasn’t limited to a single path”, according to Tezuka.

“There was no jumping actions in 3-D we could reference at the time, so we shared in the enjoyment of going through all the trial and error with Mr. Miyamoto and other team members,” Yoshiaki Koizumi, an Executive Officer at Nintendo and Assistant Director on Super Mario 64, said in the same article.

Catch ‘em all

Mario 64 was instrumental for the generation of ‘collectathon’ games which followed it, influencing the likes of Banjo-Kazooie, Donkey Kong 64 and Spyro the Dragon.

“There was a sense that this is going to change everything and that this is going to be the future,” Chris Sutherland, Project Director and Software Engineer at Playtonic Games, says. “It was going to be less of the 2D stuff that we’d been doing and it was going to be more and more and ultimately, almost exclusively 3D, because that was where the future lay.”

Mark Stevenson, Technical Art Director at Playtonic, remembers being particularly impressed by the game’s art, animation and analogue stick control scheme.

“It was pretty mind-blowing how they re-imagined it in a 3D world as well, kind-of captured the quintessential Mario experience but in 3D,” Stevenson says.

Both Stevenson and Sutherland worked on Yooka-Laylee, a crowdfunded retro-inspired 3D platformer developed by Playtonic and released in 2017. However, at the time of Mario 64, both worked for the acclaimed British development studio Rare, who had a close partnership with Nintendo throughout the nineties as a ‘second-party development studio’. Rare was working on ‘Project Dream’, an RPG originally in development for the SNES. The project was moved to the N64 upon the console’s release, shifting to a linear 2.5D platformer. However, Super Mario 64 changed the course of the game’s development into what eventually became Banjo-Kazooie.

“As soon as we saw an early version of the game that became Mario 64, it was like, clearly our technology looked really old in comparison and literally overnight we just thought: that’s gonna be the future of what 3D games are gonna look like,” Designer Gregg Mayles said in a documentary produced by Rare in 2015.

“In a way it made our lives quite easier because there was at least something to compare to,” Sutherland says.

Take camera controls for example. Sutherland likens Mario 64’s camera to a kite following the player on a string. Once you get a certain distance away, the camera follows Mario once the string is pulled ‘taut’. However, Mario can also get close to the camera and push it back. Mario 64 doesn’t give players complete manual control, instead using set angles which the player could adjust using the N64 controller’s face buttons.



In-game, the camera is ‘controlled’ by the Lakitu Bros, following Mario around on clouds with news cameras, an idea Goddard attributes to Miyamoto.

“Basically, the idea is that you have this floating thing that’s following Mario but not getting too close, not getting stuck into walls, and also occasionally showing Mario where he’s supposed to be going. It probably had 10 different modes that it could be in,” Goddard says.

However, creating this camera was a huge challenge for Nintendo.

“They didn’t know how to translate side-scrolling Mario into 3D and still make it fun. It went through so many different prototypes of Mario running around and the camera being all sorts of things,” Goddard says, estimating that the final camera was the result of hundreds of prototypes.

Although it wasn’t perfect – it’s safe to say that games have mostly left the idiosyncratic N64 controller far behind – Sutherland suspects the overall novelty of Mario 64 helped this to slip through the cracks.

“That was the first game of its type and at that point, it’s such a new thing that nobody knows if that’s an unsolvable problem or not, it’s just ‘well, that was slightly frustrating’. There was so many things that were just way up there in terms of being brand-new that it just blew any minor issues like that out of the water,” Sutherland says.

Hall agrees, saying that the camera “controls “were a good first start but had notorious problems,” but was blown away by Mario’s transition into 3D. “My first impression was that they really got the 2D to 3D feeling right,” Hall says. “I jumped when I thought it would land on a goombas head, and it worked perfectly. That was amazing.”

Schafer had been making “relentlessly 2D” games on PC for years when he directed Grim Fandango, a classic LucasArts adventure game released in 1998. The game used flat backgrounds and set camera angles with 3D characters, controlled using a character-relative ‘tank’ control scheme in the vein of older Resident Evil games. Essentially, pushing forwards or backwards on a joystick moved your character in the direction they were facing, whilst pushing the stick left or right rotated your character in place.

“We were like: ‘how else are you gonna control someone in 3D? You’ll be so disoriented’,” Schafer recalls. “The idea of navigating a character in 3D just seemed like this really hard [thing] – how do you map a 2D screen, 2D controller to a 3D environment? It seemed insurmountable. And then Mario just did it.”

In fact, Schafer was so inspired upon playing Mario 64 that ‘Mario controls’, as they were referred to by the LucasArts team internally, were then added into Grim Fandango. However, the impact of Mario 64 on Schafer can be perhaps best seen in the cult-classic game Psychonauts, a third-person platformer released in 2005. A sequel, Psychonauts 2, is due to release on August 25th, and we have Mario to thank for it.

“I think Mario 64 is why Psychonauts exists and I think it’s the biggest single influence,” Schafer says. “It was just the ease of navigation. After making adventure games for so long where you might click on a verb at the bottom of the screen, then click on an object on the top of the screen and then walk – you might click on ‘open door’ – you’re so used to that. But here’s Mario, he just runs around, he just runs through a door, pushes against it, it opens.

“I was like: ‘I think we can still have the magic of adventure games and puzzles but have them be as easy to use as Mario’”.

Digital architecture

Elements of Mario 64 also informed the design of the 3D platformer Spyro the Dragon, such as having levels with long views and distinctive architectural landmarks and a playable hub area, according to teaching professor at the University of Santa Cruz Michael John, who worked on the original trilogy of PS1 Spyro games. However, Insomniac was keen to use Mario 64 as a launch pad – for example, John remembers that they consciously ensured that Spyro had more collectibles than Mario 64. However, John says that the quality of Mario’s gameplay was the biggest influence on Spyro, making Insomniac focus on creating a character that was fundamentally fun to control.

“I think everybody understood that it changed everything; everybody was paying attention,” John says.

John also feels that the level design of Mario 64 holds up to this day and still uses examples from the game to teach level design. In 2D games, the player has an “omniscient” perspective of a level, meaning that designers will always know exactly what a player is seeing at any given moment.

“But in 3D, I don’t know – where are you gonna look? Who knows?” John says. “What direction are you looking? How far are your eyes focused – are you paying attention to the stuff right in front of you or the stuff off in the distance? It’s asking all these brand new questions that are really questions of architecture and, to some extent, landscape architecture, and not level design in the traditional sense.”

In Bob-Omb Battlefield for example, the player starts in a trench with the level’s central mountain directly in front of them, and are funnelled towards this initial goal. The level quickly spreads out, but guides the player through obstacles and enemies – an aggressive Chain Chomp, a bridge that rises upwards and knocks you off – until they end up right beside the mountain itself.



“It tells a story of where you need to go. You can’t just tell the story from left-to-right anymore, you have to tell the story in terms of: I’m going to establish space with an understanding and assumption of where players are going to go and where they’re gonna look, such that they are every bit as oriented as they were in those 2D platformers,” John says.

Many of the game’s most memorable moments are tucked away off the beaten track, a design philosophy guided by Miyamoto.

“Miyamoto wanted to let the player feel like he was literally allowed to go anywhere he wanted in the world without any constraints,” Goddard explains. “That was why they rewarded you – it was to encourage you to walk around and see all the different parts of the map from different angles.”

However, this design principle was also practical for Nintendo.

“Because the N64 didn’t have a lot of memory, you couldn’t really draw a lot, you had to make the most of a really limited amount of space,” Goddard explains. “They were just trying to get the most bang for the buck. It was less about trying to mimic [2D Mario], it was more about: how can we take this world and make it as replayable as possible?”

For Rare, constructing 3D levels was time consuming when compared to their previous 2D games, and Mario 64 was an important point of reference for the studio, according to Stevenson. For example, Banjo Kazooie’s hub world ‘Gruntilda’s Lair’ was directly inspired by Mario 64’s castle.

“That idea that you have a hub world which is actually played the same way you play the levels, that was a really neat idea. We liked that, so that was something that ended up in Banjo Kazooie,” Sutherland says.

The future of 3D platformers

When asked about the lasting legacy of Super Mario 64 in the games we play today, developers give a variety of answers. Sutherland and Stevenson point to the game’s focus on navigating a physical landscape and fluid movement, the DNA of which can be seen in AAA blockbusters like Assassin’s Creed. For Schafer, it’s the sense of exploration and discovering secrets, saying “the way that activates your brain in a way that nothing else does is something that, still to this day, is fun.” However, Hall sums it up neatly: “I mean, every single 3D platformer bows at its feet. Ratchet and Clank on the PS5 is fantastic, but you know who its great grandpa is, and it would not exist without it”.

3D platformers in the vein of Mario 64 have somewhat faded from the gaming mainstream since their heyday, although the likes of A Hat in Time, the recent remasters of the original Spyro and Crash Bandicoot games, Yooka-Laylee and Nintendo first-party titles like Super Mario Odyssey continue to fly the flag for the genre.

“When the PlayStation came along, I think gradually the core audience for games got a bit older and they looked for more mature stuff like Resident Evil,” Stevenson says. “By the time we came to Yooka-Laylee, I think a lot of those people that were now older were people that had grown up with our games like Banjo. There was definitely a sense that those people were looking for a step back into nostalgia, into their childhoods.”

Yooka-Laylee’s Kickstarter campaign was a success, raising over £2 million. However, finding a balance between developing a faithful spiritual successor to N64 platformers whilst updating the game’s design for a modern audience was a tricky balance for Sutherland and Stevenson.

For example, the game originally launched with a camera which assisted the player when possible, just like the older Rare titles, but some players who had grown accustomed to modern dual analogue control schemes felt frustrated. As a result, an optional ‘modern’ camera system was added to the game in an update. However, working on such an upbeat game with fun characters and a vibrant world was a breath of fresh air for the team.



“It was just great for me, because it had been quite a while since I got to do this kind of work,” Stevenson recalls.

When asked if Playtonic would consider revisiting the 3D platformer genre in the future, Sutherland answers “someday it might be nice to revisit that format.”

“There’s definitely a lot of things we’ve learned and we are fans of that genre anyway so I can imagine we aren’t done with it just yet!” Sutherland says.

One of the new wave of designers heavily influenced by Mario 64 is Dan Hurd, Creative Director at PeopleFun. Hurd was Game Director on Lucky’s Tale, Super Lucky’s Tale and New Super Lucky’s Tale, a trilogy of 3D platformers developed by Playful Studios.

“The experience of playing it shaped the way I thought about a lot of things but I didn’t realize it for a long time,” Hurd says, who also drew inspiration from reading about Nintendo’s development process. Hurd remembers being particularly struck by the game’s opening, where Mario can run around and explore the peaceful gardens of Princess Peach’s Castle.

“I spent a lot of time playing around. I wanted to climb the tree, [then] ‘ooh, look at this river, but there’s something down there’: that was such a revelation for me at that time,” Hurd says. “Even just later in my career, I still feel like that’s something I really deeply care about, is player driven exploration and curiosity even more so than a goal. If it’s fun to control Mario or Lucky or whoever, then it’s kinda like: that’s your game and then everything else is an extension of that.”

Variety was key for Hurd and his team, who approached designing the Lucky’s Tale games like playgrounds. He feels that this design philosophy is rooted in Super Mario 64 and can still be seen in many modern games.

“The type of player who stays and doesn’t go into the castle, even though the goal is to go in the castle, and is like: well, what’s around the corner? What’s over here? What’s that? What’s on top of the tree? That is something, I think, that’s a lasting legacy and you really see those echoes in Nintendo games like [Breath of the Wild],” Hurd says

Hurd feels there’s space left to explore in 3D platformers as a ‘proto-genre’ but is uncertain about their future. Although he acknowledges it’s hard not to compare these games to the high-quality output of Nintendo’s first-party titles, he feels it’s important to look for inspiration outside of Nintendo and games as a whole.

“You can see this in Roblox and I would hold Roblox as this important milestone for us as a gaming community. Where do they start? You’ve got a guy and he jumps around on a plane… there’s the baseline. From there, we have nigh-infinite experiences that go all the way from hardcore to casual. We’re nowhere near being tapped out,” Hurd says.

A lasting legacy

All interviewees have a different part of Mario 64 that’s their favourite, whether it’s being sucked into Big Boo’s Haunt through a magic cage, the simple act of jumping into one of the game’s level-selection paintings, or the excitement of unlocking the castle’s basement. However, development on Mario 64 was intense and Goddard notes that multiple developers left Nintendo after the game was completed because of this.



“Everybody knew it was their biggest thing because it was a platform seller, it was the leading game for the N64, so it had to be 100 per cent perfect. There was a huge amount of pressure on the Mario 64 team and they knew it right from the beginning,” Goddard says.

Goddard feels that focusing on fun was the key lesson he learnt working under Miyamoto. When starting a project today, he first makes a simple prototype without graphics, textures or colours, focusing solely on gameplay.

“If you get the controls right and it plays and it feels fun without the need for graphics or animation, then you’ve nailed it,” he says. “You could probably take the majority of the graphics out of Mario 64 and just replace them with anything you like and it will still be fun, I reckon.”

Super Mario 64 was recently re-released as part of the Super Mario 3D All-Stars collection for Nintendo Switch, but was only available to purchase for a limited period between September 2020 and March 2021. This frustrating limitation means that the game may be tricky for many to revisit on its 25th birthday. However, whether you bust out your old N64 cartridge, track down a copy of Super Mario 64 DS or watch one of the many impressive speedruns of the game available online, remember that this game was the beginning of something truly special.

Modern Mario is pretty good, too. Check out what we thought of the latest release in our Super Mario 3D World Switch review. A handful of Mario games can also be found in our video game release dates page.


One of the greatest video games of all time.
 

MvCSpiderman

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Mar 22, 2017
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Thinking it's one of the greatest games or not is an opinion, the later of which is held by the majority. You guys need to get used to the fact people have different views.

For example this article says Maro smashed games after it on the N64, many would say Banjo smashes Mario.

Notice the Banjo fans aren't melting down and tagging people in threads because the article said that.
 
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kingpotato

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Thinking it's one of the greatest games or not is an opinion, the later of which is held by the majority. You guys need to get used to the fact people have different views.

For example this article says Maro smashed games after it on the N64, many would say Banjo smashes Mario.

Notice the Banjo fans aren't melting down and tagging people in threads because the article said that.
I thought it was just a light-hearted tease to tag you because of the other thread. If you want to double, triple and quadruple down on unpopular opinions ... Well ... You do you.


Video Games Dancing GIF
 
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MvCSpiderman

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I thought it was just a light-hearted tease to tag you because of the other thread. If you want to double, triple and quadruple down on unpopular opinions ... Well ... You do you.
Definitive example of someone responding without reading what they quoted.
 

kingpotato

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Definitive example of someone responding without reading what they quoted.
I guess you didn't really give an opinion per say, but you used the reply to amplify an opinion others had shared that is likely unpopular at large. That plus what you listed as your OP in the other thread validates what I wrote. It's just an opinion mate... You need to get used to the fact that people have different views.
super mario star GIF
 

Old Retro

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Dec 17, 2019
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A milestone in gaming. First and last time I ever got a system/game on launch day. I would do it all over again if I had the chance.

Still have the cartridge in my game cabinet. Nintendo 64 console I haven't seen in years. :pie_crying:
 

Soltype

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Mar 30, 2015
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Such an incredible game, I just wish the industry had emulated more of the game outside of collecting.
 

MvCSpiderman

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Mar 22, 2017
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I guess you didn't really give an opinion per say, but you used the reply to amplify an opinion others had shared that is likely unpopular at large. That plus what you listed as your OP in the other thread validates what I wrote. It's just an opinion mate... You need to get used to the fact that people have different views.
You're incapable of realizing what that thread was about, if you were you wouldn't be posting gifs thinking they did anything, the only people who were mad where people disagreeing with ME not the other way around. You just proved this now by tagging me in this thread, because you couldn't grasp a basic simple understanding of what was happening in the thread, so you made up your own reality, pretending I was "against" M64 just because I didn't think it was best. You are back in preschool.

You guys really need to take a step back and go outside, you should not be this mad that most gamers don't think M64 is one of the greatest games ever, but if it bothers you that much then I hope you get the help you need because you guys seem stuck and I can't seem to break you free.
 
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kingpotato

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You're incapable of realizing what that thread was about, if you were you wouldn't be posting gifs thinking they did anything, the only people who were mad where people disagreeing with ME not the other way around. You just proved this now by tagging me in this thread, because you couldn't grasp a basic simple understanding of what was happening in the thread, so you made up your own reality, pretending I was "against" M64 just because I didn't think it was best. You are back in preschool.

You guys really need to take a step back and go outside, you should not be this mad that most gamers don't think M64 is one of the greatest games ever, but if it bothers you that much then I hope you get the help you need because you guys seem stuck and I can't seem to break you free.
You can personally attack me all you want, but literally 5 seconds of searching for "greatest games of all time" and I find a thread from 2011 that has.... You guessed it, Mario 64. Apparently MOST people DO think Mario 64 is one of the best games ever.

Take a breath friend.

Well, it took me a few hours to standardize all the names so I could get the final scores, but the results are in! As said in the voting, the results will be presented in three ways, all showing the top 50 results for each. A count of the total number of votes, a count of the total number of #1 votes, and a weighed score, giving a point value of 10 to #1, 9 to #2, and so on.

For the reporting, it should be noted that remakes, enhancements, and expansion packs got consolidated. For some examples, Pokemon Gold, Silver, Crystal, Heart Gold and Soul Silver all got compiled into one result. The PS1 and Gamecube versions of Resident Evil got compiled together. Street Fighter II, Super, Turbo, ect all got compiled into just one Street Fighter II, along with III, IV, and Alpha. StarCraft and StarCraft Broad War were combined into just StarCraft.


And now for the results.

Most Votes:
Code:
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time                        131
Resident Evil 4                                    98
Super Mario World                                90
Chrono Trigger                                    89
Half-Life 2                                    84
The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past                        83
Shadow of the Collossus                                78
Super Metroid                                    76
Super Mario Bros. 3                                75
Metal Gear Solid                                74
Final Fantasy VI                                64
Super Mario 64                                    64
Super Mario Galaxy                                64
Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater                            63
Metroid Prime                                    63
Final Fantasy VII                                61
Uncharted 2: Among Thieves                            55
Halo: Combat Evolved                                52
ICO                                        49
Deus Ex                                        48
The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask                        42
Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty                        41
Castlevania: Symphony of the Night                        39
Tetris                                        38
Street Fighter II                                37
StarCraft                                    36
Super Mario Galaxy 2                                36
The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker                        33
Diablo II: Lord of Destruction                            32
World Of Warcraft                                31
World Of Warcraft                                31
Half-Life                                    30
Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island                        30
Mass Effect                                    29
Pokémon Generation 1                                27
Portal                                        27
Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn                        26
Silent Hill 2                                    26
Demon's Souls                                    25
Final Fantasy IX                                25
Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic                        25
BioShock                                    24
Final Fantasy X                                    24
Super Smash Bros. Melee                                24
Final Fantasy Tactics                                23
GoldenEye 007                                    23
Mass Effect 2                                    23
Red Dead Redemption                                23
Planescape: Torment                                22
Pokémon Generation 2                                22


Most #1 votes (Only entries that got three or more #1 votes are shown, which is why there is less then 50)

Code:
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time    48
Chrono Trigger                14
Metal Gear Solid            13
Shadow of the Collossus            12
Super Metroid                12
Final Fantasy VII            12
The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask    12
Resident Evil 4                11
Super Mario Bros. 3            11
Half-Life 2                10
Final Fantasy VI            10
ICO                    9
Deus Ex                    9
Super Mario World            8
The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past    8
Diablo II: Lord of Destruction        7
Super Mario Galaxy            6
Halo: Combat Evolved            6
Metroid Prime                5
Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty    5
Castlevania: Symphony of the Night    5
Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island    5
Final Fantasy X                5
Xenogears                5
Super Mario 64                4
Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater        4
Super Mario Galaxy 2            4
World Of Warcraft            4
World Of Warcraft            4
Half-Life                4
Final Fantasy Tactics            4
The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening    4
Tetris                    3
Pokémon Generation 1            3
Silent Hill 2                3
Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4        3
Resident Evil 2                3
Shenmue                    3
Devil May Cry                3
Grim Fandango                3
Super Mario Bros.            3
Suikoden II                3
EarthBound                3
Shenmue II                3
Secret of Mana                3

And the weighted score:
Code:
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time                        1011
Chrono Trigger                                    573
Resident Evil 4                                    537
The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past                        531
Super Mario World                                517
Half-Life 2                                    506
Super Mario Bros. 3                                498
Metal Gear Solid                                493
Shadow of the Collossus                                490
Super Metroid                                    451
Final Fantasy VI                                448
Super Mario Galaxy                                388
Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater                            381
Final Fantasy VII                                376
Super Mario 64                                    360
Metroid Prime                                    354
Deus Ex                                        314
ICO                                        308
The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask                        306
Uncharted 2: Among Thieves                            267
Halo: Combat Evolved                                257
Super Mario Galaxy 2                                251
Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty                        228
StarCraft                                    217
Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island                        204
Diablo II: Lord of Destruction                            202
Castlevania: Symphony of the Night                        196
World Of Warcraft                                190
Half-Life                                    189
Tetris                                        187
Street Fighter II                                187
Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn                        173
The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker                        168
Final Fantasy X                                    155
Silent Hill 2                                    145
Planescape: Torment                                143
The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening                        135
Pokémon Generation 1                                133
Mass Effect                                    130
Final Fantasy IX                                128
Super Smash Bros. Melee                                126
Xenogears                                    125
Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4                            125
Pokémon Generation 2                                123
BioShock                                    122
Demon's Souls                                    120
The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind                        119
Portal                                        118
Final Fantasy Tactics                                117
DOOM                                        116


To start with, there was a much smaller turnout for this vote then the last. Roughly 450 people compared to the 880 last time. But some of the results still hold steady, like The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time still being far ahead of anything else. Mario Galaxy took a good plunge, from #2 last time to #13 now, Half Life 2 fell a bit but is still holding strong at #5 instead of #3, Super Mario 64 and Super Mario World have changed spots between the years, Metal Gear Solid has gone down several spots while Resident Evil 4 rose to #2.
But overall, things have held pretty steady, which does surprise to me to extent. I was expecting more newer games then Galaxy 2, and for some older ones to move more then they did.



Voting: http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showthread.php?t=420335
2009 Results: http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showthread.php?t=380379
Raw Spreadsheet: https://spreadsheets.google.com/pub...NlJsT0dJN295cVAtYnh0UWUxUkE&hl=en&output=html
 

Moonjt9

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Playing this for the first time after bringing my n64 home from toys r us is a core memory. Can vividly remember the moment I first moved Mario and just being in awe looking up at the screen. Honestly mario 64 is top 3 most important video games. A very good case could be made for it being the greatest game ever made.
 

MvCSpiderman

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You can personally attack me all you want, but literally 5 seconds of searching for "greatest games of all time" and I find a thread from 2011 that has.... You guessed it, Mario 64. Apparently MOST people DO think Mario 64 is one of the best games ever.

Take a breath friend.
Lol one thread, you are getting desperate, most top 10's, 20's, 50's onward didn't have Mario 64 with few exceptions just doing quick searches. Most of the ones that do are console centric from the obvious sites, and have none of the games or almost none of the games the lists without it have, and if they do they are bottom.

Just accept not everyone thinks it's not one of the best games ever, it doesn't mean it's bad. You need to get that out your head or get help coping with a simple opinion.
 

BlackTron

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Thinking it's one of the greatest games or not is an opinion, the later of which is held by the majority. You guys need to get used to the fact people have different views.

Like I said in your other thread man. Not thinking that Mario 64 is one of the greatest games ever made is perfectly fine (as is, I'm okay with people having different views).

However your assertion that the majority agrees with you, is just a bizarre piece of nonsense that makes it appear that YOU are in denial about it (not seeming very OK with the fact that people have different views).

Even the smallest amount of research would indicate how profoundly famous Mario 64 is for being one of the most influential, well-known, megaton games EVER released. It's so glaringly obvious that you're just being silly.
 

kingpotato

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Lol one thread, you are getting desperate, most top 10's, 20's, 50's onward didn't have Mario 64 with few exceptions just doing quick searches. Most of the ones that do are console centric from the obvious sites, and have none of the games or almost none of the games the lists without it have, and if they do they are bottom.

Just accept not everyone thinks it's not one of the best games ever, it doesn't mean it's bad. You need to get that out your head or get help coping with a simple opinion.
I only listed a GAF link (that took 2 seconds to find) so that you wouldn't say they "weren't gamers". You are very wrong and closing in quickly on troll territory. Google best games of all time and you will find many lists that include Mario 64.





I'm not going to list more because it's obvious you are having a hard time.
 
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BlackTron

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Lol one thread, you are getting desperate, most top 10's, 20's, 50's onward didn't have Mario 64 with few exceptions just doing quick searches. Most of the ones that do are console centric from the obvious sites, and have none of the games or almost none of the games the lists without it have, and if they do they are bottom.

Just accept not everyone thinks it's not one of the best games ever, it doesn't mean it's bad. You need to get that out your head or get help coping with a simple opinion.

So you are doing this the same way you made your strategy game poll, just looking up a bunch of web sites for some lists and take it from there.

Nothing wrong with that, but stop acting like such an industry know-it-all, jfc. Doing a few "quick searches", citing "obvious" sites, a bunch of wishy-washy crap that neither says nor proves anything. Even if you had actually cited anything real, can anyone give me a website whose opinion they would actually consider anyway? I thought it was practically well-known by this point that "gaming websites" are largely BS.
 

MvCSpiderman

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However your assertion that the majority agrees with you, is just a bizarre piece of nonsense
It's only nonsense to you because you didn't have common sense, most devs aren't influenced by it outside of consoles, within consoles it wasn't the only major super mega release that same year, adding on to that it's on a console that was nearly a major flop if not for hardcore fanboys in ONE COUNTRY, and most of the console developers were transitioning other genres to 3D, not platformers, and most of them had no influence from Mario 64.

On the gamer side, the lower presence of N64s was even more of a factor, while Mario 64 after launch was overshadowed by other big hits the same year and the next by it's more successful primary competitor.

Most neutral gaming sites dont even have Mario 64 on their lists or in top 10's and so dont their users and forum posters, why? Because they played more games and are familiar with other platforms. They didn't only have N64 or only brought games that were plastered on game informer, they have favorites you've likely never heard of but millions of others have, That's for the ones that still known the N64, there are many who never played one.

The problem is many of you WONT ACCEPT most people dont consider it the best game ever, to the point you dont use basic critical thinking to notice the points I made above.

This doesn't take away from the games quality or any other things it may have done, but that's the part you guys can't figure out, you mentally can't comprehend it, at the bottom of your post you listed irrelevant nonsense that had nothing to do with the conversation, I never argued about those. You're making yourself believe I'm saying Mario 64 is bad and didn't do anything period which I never argued, and you continue to argue with that flawed process. If you accepted that this wouldn't be a conversation.

It really is as simple as me saying I didn't think it's one of the best games ever and you guys having a crisis putting words in my mouth and trying to justify attacking me for a majority opinion.
 

MvCSpiderman

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I only listed a GAF link (that took 2 seconds to find) so that you wouldn't say they "weren't gamers". You are very wrong and closing in quickly on troll territory. Google best games of all time and you will find many lists that include Mario 64.





I'm not going to list more because it's obvious you are having a hard time.
What does a google bar have to do with anything? You're wrong period. It's the usual suspects and console centric boards that push the game the most.

If I type in best platformers or a similar term sometimes Bubsy will show up in the Google bar so does that mean Busy is one of the best platformers ever made it is it you not knowing how the Google bar works? It's the later.

Also lol Wikipedia, there are games considered best not even on the list, you can look at talk page archives and see arguments with Nintendo fans trying to get Sega games off the list from 2014 if you can find the original link to put on archive.org.

Then you list IGN proving my point entirely.

If you want we can choose a search term and count the sites together on Google to page 30, and see what their top games are.

This argument is old, it's been done for years, this isn't winnable for you. It's already been debunked, I already know most sites didn't have M64 on the list or top of lists, it's been done already multiple times for years, you can't win a list war. But if you're stubborn enough I'll let you try and lose. I'll even let you go first and I'll double your sites. You dont have the knowledge son. You are arguing based on limited information within a bubble.
 
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BlackTron

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It's only nonsense to you because you didn't have common sense, most devs aren't influenced by it outside of consoles, within consoles it wasn't the only major super mega release that same year, adding on to that it's on a console that was nearly a major flop if not for hardcore fanboys in ONE COUNTRY, and most of the console developers were transitioning other genres to 3D, not platformers, and most of them had no influence from Mario 64.

On the gamer side, the lower presence of N64s was even more of a factor, while Mario 64 after launch was overshadowed by other big hits the same year and the next by it's more successful primary competitor.

Most neutral gaming sites dont even have Mario 64 on their lists or in top 10's and so dont their users and forum posters, why? Because they played more games and are familiar with other platforms. They didn't only have N64 or only brought games that were plastered on game informer, they have favorites you've likely never heard of but millions of others have, That's for the ones that still known the N64, there are many who never played one.

The problem is many of you WONT ACCEPT most people dont consider it the best game ever, to the point you dont use basic critical thinking to notice the points I made above.

This doesn't take away from the games quality or any other things it may have done, but that's the part you guys can't figure out, you mentally can't comprehend it, at the bottom of your post you listed irrelevant nonsense that had nothing to do with the conversation, I never argued about those. You're making yourself believe I'm saying Mario 64 is bad and didn't do anything period which I never argued, and you continue to argue with that flawed process. If you accepted that this wouldn't be a conversation.

It really is as simple as me saying I didn't think it's one of the best games ever and you guys having a crisis putting words in my mouth and trying to justify attacking me for a majority opinion.

No, I'm not making myself believe that you think Mario 64 is bad. I am disagreeing with both your opinion that it's not one of the best games ever made AND disagreeing with your assertion that the majority agrees with you.

It is easy to point to evidence of SM64's reputation, and all you have in response is pointless details like "it wasn't the only mega release of the year" and even if it were true that is wasn't very influential outside of consoles, acting like "merely" influencing console developers takes away from it somehow, again it's silly. "Mario 64 is just a B-tier legendary game, didn't influence a single studio that didn't make games for Nintendo, Playstation or Sega." LOL WHAT

This is not about trying to act like you said Mario 64 never accomplished anything, it's about pointing out how baseless your remarks about the game really are. But it's clear now you will just twist things around to suit you no matter what people say lol.

Absolutely everybody here knows you weren't around for the time and are just being an armchair expert
 
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It had a lot of influence sure. But I'd say games like Tomb Raider and Resident Evil did a lot more to shape gaming into what it would become the next generation and beyond. I mean, the very first games that felt like action movies, that were the origin of today's action and adventure games DNA, those games didn't start on a Nintendo 64.
 
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Captain Toad

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you should not be this mad that most gamers don't think M64 is one of the greatest games ever

Yeah, Mario 64 - the cult classic. /s

You stating your nonsense as if it's fact, doesn't make it so. Whenever a conversation about the greatest or most influential video games ever made, it won't be long before the name Super Mario 64 comes up. You're delusional if you believe otherwise.
 
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kingpotato

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What does a google bar have to do with anything? You're wrong period. It's the usual suspects and console centric boards that push the game the most.

If I type in best platformers or a similar term sometimes Bubsy will show up in the Google bar so does that mean Busy is one of the best platformers ever made it is it you not knowing how the Google bar works? It's the later.

Also lol Wikipedia, there are games considered best not even on the list, you can look at talk page archives and see arguments with Nintendo fans trying to get Sega games off the list from 2014 if you can find the original link to put on archive.org.

Then you list IGN proving my point entirely.

If you want we can choose a search term and count the sites together on Google to page 30, and see what their top games are.

This argument is old, it's been done for years, this isn't winnable for you. It's already been debunked, I already know most sites didn't have M64 on the list or top of lists, it's been done already multiple times for years, you can't win a list war. But if you're stubborn enough I'll let you try and lose. I'll even let you go first and I'll double your sites. You dont have the knowledge son. You are arguing based on limited information within a bubble.
I'm sorry bud, I wasn't trying to hurt you. I hope you're ok.
 
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BlackTron

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This argument is old, it's been done for years, this isn't winnable for you. It's already been debunked, I already know most sites didn't have M64 on the list or top of lists, it's been done already multiple times for years, you can't win a list war. But if you're stubborn enough I'll let you try and lose. I'll even let you go first and I'll double your sites. You dont have the knowledge son. You are arguing based on limited information within a bubble.

So, THAT'S why you called the following a bunch of irrelevant nonsense that had nothing to do with the conversation:
Doing a few "quick searches", citing "obvious" sites, a bunch of wishy-washy crap that neither says nor proves anything. Even if you had actually cited anything real, can anyone give me a website whose opinion they would actually consider anyway? I thought it was practically well-known by this point that "gaming websites" are largely BS.

Because we can't have anyone take away your only source of power, sites like IGN lol.

Instead of accumulating "knowledge" from reading gaming websites (again, any that people actually respect?) I wonder what would happen if you looked at what actual real people were talking about.

This is not a rhetorical question, I am genuinely curious if there is a gaming site anyone here still respects.
 

MvCSpiderman

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It is easy to point to evidence of SM64's reputation, and all you have in response is pointless details like "it wasn't the only mega release of the year" and even if it were true
That "pointless detail" was in response to you bringing it up in your last post. You now aren't realizing your bashing yourself.

You're only proving my point you are desperately trying to find justification for attacking a simple opinion because you can't accept it, and this is a pretty clear example of that.

Most dont agree and I didn't agree, you think it is, that's basically all the conversation we needed, the reason why this is going on is because you didn't want to accept the former as did some other fans. It's just that simple, there are no complexities.

You didn't need to do this you can just disagree normally at anytime.

So, THAT'S why you called the following a bunch of irrelevant nonsense that had nothing to do with the conversation:


Because we can't have anyone take away your only source of power, sites like IGN lol.

Instead of accumulating "knowledge" from reading gaming websites (again, any that people actually respect?) I wonder what would happen if you looked at what actual real people were talking about.

This is not a rhetorical question, I am genuinely curious if there is a gaming site anyone here still respects.

Why are you quoting yourself? Are you losing it entirely now?

I'm sorry bud, I wasn't trying to hurt you. I hope you're ok.

You are the one seized up in the hospital bed. Go post more gifs in lala land.


Yeah, Mario 64 - the cult classic. /s

You stating your nonsense as if it's fact, doesn't make it so. Whenever a conversation about the greatest or most influential video games ever made, it won't be long before the name Super Mario 64 comes up. You're delusional if you believe otherwise.

Sorry man you live in a very loud echo chamber, you can't win a quantity argument. You just think it's a majority because you've heard it so much. Dont have the critical thinking to consider who had access to the game, which wasn't a lot. Or that some PC gamers may not have been as impressed.
 

MvCSpiderman

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It had a lot of influence sure. But I'd say games like Tomb Raider and Resident Evil did a lot more to shape gaming into what it would become the next generation and beyond. I mean, the very first games that felt like action movies, that were the origin of today's action and adventure games DNA, those games didn't start on a Nintendo 64.
Best post in the thread. I wonder if people will attack him for thinking he said Mario 64 is bad even though he said no such thing.
 
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Stephen Curry

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First Super Mario Bro's the movie revolutionizes the film industry, then Super Mario 64 revolutionizes the gaming industry just three years later. What a series.
 
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Or that some PC gamers may not have been as impressed.
Is that why you were comparing Diablo to Final Fantasy VII? Because PC gamers weren't impressed by the latter? If it's not Nintendo vs. SEGA, then it's PC vs. consoles, but quite honestly who cares? Just talk about the game itself. That's what the thread is for. A lot of people, including myself, like Super Mario 64 (and I'm a big fan of Sonic Adventure).

Also, what is your experience playing Super Mario 64?
 
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Best post in the thread. I wonder if people will attack him for thinking he said Mario 64 is bad even though he said no such thing.
I believe Zelda Ocarina of Time was more revolutionary than Super Mario 64, but of course SM64 had a big impact in the industry as well. The roles were reverse then, The Legend of Zelda was one of the first open world games ever but its impact was not as great or felt immediately as Super Mario Bros did in that era. SM64 was doing stuff not many games were doing so well, but it was Zelda OOT that time the one with a major influence and offering a glimpse of what would come later.
 
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I will never forget playing the Japanese version of Super Mario 64 at a local video game trading shop months before it hit the US. My jaw hit the floor. A seminal moment in gaming.
Here in Mexico street traders had the Japanese console months before it went on sale and they did a profitable business where they loaned it to you to play 20 minutes for $ 1 in a market.
 

MvCSpiderman

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The Legend of Zelda was one of the first open world games ever
Not gaming in general but on consoles absolutely. Only Coleco Alcazar is comparable imo but it didn't have a hub connect the "dungeons" like Zelda did. Also the protagonist used a gun.

Just talk about the game itself. That's what the thread is for. A lot of people, including myself, like Super Mario 64 (and I'm a big fan of Sonic Adventure).
I'm going to be straight with you since you seem genuine, the people attacking me are making up posts that never happened, I never said Sonic Adventure was better than Mario 64 or directly compared them in the other thread. But they lied about that and caused confusion as you just proved.

I also never said I hated Mario 64, I only said I didn't think it was one of the best games ever made, which is a high rank. Otherwise outside control and camera issues it's a perfectly fine game to have fun with.

Dint like the swimming though. Take those levels out.
 
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Dream-Knife

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Great game. I actually went through and actualy finished it for the first time last year. Way more fun than Odyssey.
 

blacktout

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This argument is old, it's been done for years, this isn't winnable for you. It's already been debunked, I already know most sites didn't have M64 on the list or top of lists, it's been done already multiple times for years, you can't win a list war.

I'm not sure what you're even trying to say here, and I'm not sure why I feel a compulsive need to keep arguing with you, but here are two sites that aggregate the results of multiple "best of all time" lists across as many publications as they could find:

https://gamicus.fandom.com/wiki/List_of_video_games_considered_the_best
https://jjmccullough.com/games.htm

Mario 64 is second on both aggregated lists, behind Ocarina of Time.
 
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MvCSpiderman

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I said not on lists or top of lists (for longer lists)

I'm not sure what you're even trying to say here, and I'm not sure why I feel a compulsive need to keep arguing with you, but here are two sites that aggregate the results of multiple "best of all time" lists across as many publications as they could find:

https://gamicus.fandom.com/wiki/List_of_video_games_considered_the_best
https://jjmccullough.com/games.htm

Mario 64 is second on both aggregated lists, behind Ocarina of Time.
Come on man, your first link is filled with bias sites and has strange weighted rule criteria which doesn't make sense for a clean simple discussion.

The second link says this:
However, some lists below are very clearly biased, and have generated controversy of a different sort.

In an ongoing outrage to many, I have chosen to include the occasional list that only includes games published on Nintendo-brand hardware platforms, and the occasional list that only includes games playable on the PC. I have not, however, included Sega, Microsoft, or Sony lists of a similar limitation.
That's two major flaws.

We could make better "aggregates" in this thread.
 
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Anyway, I didn't play any N64 games until 1998. In 1996, I was 5 years old playing Super Mario World, F-Zero, Donkey Kong Country and Kirby's Avalanche. But in 1998 to 2000, was when I transitioned to playing 3D games on the PS1, N64 and Dreamcast. All of it was pretty mindblowing to see the leap in graphics, moving characters in 3D and the sound design. I don't think I beat Super Mario 64 for N64 but when I picked it up again for the DS years later I did.
 
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It's too bad Mario Odyssey was such a massive disappointment. I had high hopes for a Mario 64 sequel with big open world and platforming challenges to explore with a modest amount of stars. Not hundreds of stars and worthless challenges. Felt like a Ubisoft game, not a Nintendo game.
 
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