Paper Mario Color Splash: This character contains more polygons than Super Mario 64 as a whole

Play news Paper Mario Color Splash: This character contains more polygons than Super Mario 64 as a whole

Super Mario 64 is a cult game and it’s an understatement. In fact, it is one of the few titles that, in the very late 90s, laid the groundwork for 3D gaming with a free camera. A marvel of game and level design, the title has had many sequels, and hundreds of other Mario games have been released since.

The writings, documentaries, and reports of Super Mario 64 have been numerous. From its conception to its reception and its descendants, Nintendo’s games have been analyzed from all angles.

A cult game that witnesses the 3D revolution

Released on Nintendo 64 in 1996 in Japan and the US and then in 1997 here and in Australia, Super Mario 64 managed to find a place in the Pantheon despite the console’s “semi-error”.displaced by the tidal wave of playstation. It is simple, more than a third of the 32 million of Nintendo 64 owners have also bought Super Mario 64, sold at 11.9 million units. The game is still played today, whether it is in the classic way, through emulation, DS and Switch ports or speedrun.

But we tend to forget that the title is 25 years old and that it testifies from a time when developers used a lot of tricks to bring their projects to life. Some of these techniques are still used today, on a whole different level, but the increasing power of hardware has made it possible times the number of polygons on 3D modelsleading to increasing realism and the use of photogrammetry. In principleit is simple, the more there are, the more the model is able to be believable, “soft” or realistic.

A fun comparison to highlight the technical development of video games

Paper Mario Color Splash: This character contains more polygons than Super Mario 64 as a whole

Recently, a well-followed Twitter account, Supper Mario Broth, was highlighted the development of techniques rendering and computing power compares Super Mario 64 and Paper Mario: Color Splash, released for WiiU. The person keeping the account does not compare the whole two games, but had fun putting face to face the estimated number of polygons on the set from Super Mario 64 and a single character model by Paper Mario Color Splash.

In fact, according to data from, Super Mario 64 would have been created using 27,160 polygons. A figure surpassed by a single base model of Paper Mario Color Splash, Painturion, the pot of magic paint by Paper Mario. The latter alone would have been generated with 28,136 polygonswitness to the technical development of the machines.

Paintion’s model in Paper Mario: Color Splash is extremely soft, resulting in an extremely high polygon number. In fact, it takes more processing power to render Painturion than it would render the entire Super Mario 64 at once. “Processing power” here refers to an idealized scenario where the amount of polygons is directly correlated to the (reproduction) complexity. In practice, optimization techniques would make Painturion easier to reproduce. Hope the comparison of polygon numbers is still acceptable!

It is important to note that there is none no more theoretical limits in terms of the number of polygons that can be used to generate an object or character. To popularize excessively is the limit in the management of the resources required by the title to run on a given hardware. It is not no example not helpful to use hundreds of thousands or millions of polygons to generate each object in a set, as this would put consoles and most PCs in great trouble for no reason.

For example, and we still vulgarize because rendering techniques are complex, there is no point in using a confusing number of polygons to render a table with absolute realism. Optimization techniques and tools make it possible to have a very satisfactory result and therefore use the available resources to more important things.

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