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Things You Didn't Know About Popular Nintendo 64 Games

March 16, 2021 142 votes 36 voters 1.5k views14 items

List RulesVote up the most impressive facts that made you say, "Whoa."

When it comes to the console champion of all time, it's hard to discount Nintendo. While sales may be dwarfed by its modern competitors, Nintendo's history in the console market cannot be ignored. While the company released several highly successful consoles over the years, one of the most enduring is the Nintendo 64.

For anyone who fired up an N64 when it was first released, it was a literal game-changer. The advancements made possible by the console's chips brought 3D gaming to life, and who could forget the games? With classics including GoldenEye, Mario Kart 64, Perfect Dark, and so many more, the console remains one of the most popular of all time.

Still, even if you're a huge fan, you probably don't know everything there is to know about some of the N64's greatest games. Take a look down below, and if you see something you didn't already know, be sure to give it a vote!

  • 1

    'GoldenEye 007' Was Made By Only Nine People Who Threw Multiplayer In At The Last Minute

    Photo: Nintendo

    Typically, licensed video games based on movies are terrible (see E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial for the Atari 2600 for evidence of this). That said, every once in a while, a licensed game manages to break the mold and actually be fun and entertaining. GoldenEye 007 is one such game, but it wasn't just entertaining; it revolutionized the first-person shooter genre and permanently solidified itself in popular culture as one of the best multiplayer games of all time.

    That's all well and good, but there is one fact about the game that's incredibly surprising. Only nine people made it, which isn't a lot for a game of this scope and magnitude. Even more interesting is that eight of those people had never worked on a video game before in their lives, which makes GoldenEye 007 a rare gem in the video game industry. It's not only an exceptional licensed title but also an excellent video game made by a small number of people with no experience.

    In fact, the multiplayer mode was added at the last minute. It wasn't planned for the game at all; it was thrown in without the knowledge or support of the management at Rare or Nintendo. This fact was revealed by Steve Ellis, the programmer responsible for making the game's multiplayer mode:

    One of the things that always strikes me as crazy in retrospect is that until something like March or April of 1997, there wasn't a multiplayer mode at all. It hadn't even been started. It really was put in at the last minute - something you wouldn't dream of doing these days - and it was done without the knowledge or permission of the management at Rare and Nintendo. The first they knew about it was when we showed it to them working. However - since the game was already late by that time, if we hadn't done it that way, it probably never would have happened.

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  • 2

    'The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time' Is The Best Game Ever Made

    Photo: Nintendo

    While the title says The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time is the best game ever made, that's certainly open to people's opinions. Some people just don't like playing Zelda games, but that being said, the game does hold a particular distinction that makes the title technically true.

    According to Metacritic, which is an aggregate rating site for various media, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time is the highest-rated game of all time. In fact, it's the only game with a rating of 99 (there aren't any with 100), which makes it objectively the highest-rated game ever made.

    That score was derived from 22 professional critic reviews, which aggregate to a 99. The user score is a bit lower, though it is based on far more reviewers. As of January 2021, nearly 6,000 users rated it to an aggregate score of 9.1.

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  • 3

    'Super Mario 64' Was Used In A Study To Show That Video Games Are Good For Your Brain

    Photo: Nintendo

    Video games have long been falsely associated with causing aggressive behavior, so when you read about a study centered around the medium, that's usually at center stage. Fortunately, there are more studies than those, and one, in particular, found an interesting connection between playing video games and "a volumetric brain increase."

    To conduct the study, scientists in Berlin asked adults to play Super Mario 64 for 30 minutes over a period of two months. These test subjects were compared with a control group that didn't play any video games during the same amount of time. An MRI was used to measure the brain volume of each subject, and the results were fascinating.

    The study concluded that the subjects who played the game had increases in gray matter, which are the cell bodies of the nerve cells within the brain. The changes were noted in the right hippocampus, right prefrontal cortex, and cerebellum. Those brain regions deal with spatial navigation, strategic planning, memory formation, and fine motor skills of the hands.

    Simone Kühn, senior scientist at the Center for Lifespan Psychology at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development, and the leader of the study, explained "While previous studies have shown differences in brain structure of video gamers, the present study can demonstrate the direct causal link between video gaming and a volumetric brain increase. This proves that specific brain regions can be trained by means of video games."

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  • 4

    The Starting Characters In 'Smash Bros.' Are Sorted In Chronological Order

    Photo: Nintendo

    Super Smash Bros. for the Nintendo 64 was a massive success and has since launched a huge franchise spanning five consoles. When it was first released on the N64, it had an interesting feature most people didn't notice. The starting eight characters are all sorted in chronological order of their appearances from other Nintendo titles.

    They are placed in the following order:

    • Mario & Donkey Kong - Both characters debuted in Donkey Kong (1981)
    • Link - Made his first appearance in The Legend of Zelda (1986)
    • Samus - She first arrived in Metroid (1986)
    • Yoshi - Yoshi first appeared in Super Mario World (1990)
    • Kirby - This cute puffball first appeared in Kirby's Dream Land (1992)
    • Fox - Fox flew onto gaming consoles in StarFox (1993)
    • Pikachu - The first time this Pokemon appeared was in Pokémon Red/Blue (1996)

    The remaining four unlockable characters are Luigi, Ness, Captain Falcon, and Jigglypuff, though they aren't displayed in a similar order.

    Fun fact?