Mario 64's hidden RNG decoded

Blink and you'll miss it.

A hardcore Mario fan has decoded the hidden RNG system in Super Mario 64 - and discovered how it affects nearly every frame of the game.

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In the video below, YouTuber pannenkeok2012 begins by laying out how the RNG system actually generates its numbers. The game is then able to produce a number within a certain predetermined range.

This formula is then applied to every frame where an item or character calls upon the system.

For example, a bob-omb calls the RNG system every frame to determine whether it should blink its eyes. It uses the system to generate a number from the predetermined RNG range, of which a small fraction will trigger the bob-omb's blink animation.

Defeating a bob-omb and generating a coin calls the RNG three times - to determine the coin's horizontal and vertical speeds and also its angle. In each of these cases, the number generated is split into ranges for each possible value.

It's eye-opening to see so many things relying on this formula, and how so much goes on behind the scenes just to generate a single frame's worth of movement.

And this was all coded back in 1996.

So, next time you curse RNG for your luck in a game, remember everything which happened in the background to get there. It's nothing personal.

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About the author

Tom Phillips

Tom Phillips

News Editor  |  tomphillipsEG

Tom is Eurogamer's news editor. He writes lots of news, some of the puns and makes sure we put the accent on Pokémon.

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