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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.

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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Tom Phillips avatar

Tom Phillips

Deputy Editor

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

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