N64 with Super Mario 64
Image: Gavin Lane / Time Extension

As spotted by GoNintendo, a popular Super Mario 64 modder named Kaze Emanuar has uploaded a new video showcasing a beautiful level from their upcoming "Return To Yoshi's Island" mod.

In December, the modder previously posted a short video of the same level on Twitter with the caption "Making games for the N64 in 2022 looks like". This video demonstrated a custom Mario 64 level featuring an impressive amount of moving parts, in addition to high poly-count textures, and cool lighting effects, all running smoothly on real N64 hardware.

This immediately drew a ton of questions from people wondering how the modder had managed to achieve such stunning results on the original N64 hardware. And now, in a new video, uploaded on January 28th, the modder has revealed some of the secrets behind this impressive level.

Some of the topics discussed in this new video include how he took advantage of baked vertex colours and the N64's directional lights to create "fake" point lights and used multi-textures in the environment to reduce repetition.

According to Kaze Emanuar, the project The Return to Yoshi's Island is roughly 70% done at present and is intended to have over 160 stars in total (including four cap courses and 3 Bowser levels). It's being created in collaboration with Biobak and the musician Badub. You can keep up to date with Kaze Emanuar's progress on his Twitter or over on YouTube.

We'll also be keeping a close eye on the project to see how it develops.

What do you make of the results? Comment and let us know!

[source youtu.be, via gonintendo.com]