Mario Golf (マリオゴルフ64 Mario Gorufu Rokujūyon, Mario Golf 64) is a game for the Nintendo 64 that was developed by Camelot, a games studio especially famous for making the Golden Sun series and is the first installment for the Mario Golf series. Mario Golf was published by Nintendo and released in 1999 worldwide. Though several sports games featured Mario characters in the past, Mario Golf is considered the first game in the modern "Mario Sports" line. It would be followed by several titles encompassing a variety of sports. Its Game Boy Color counterpart was released later that same year.
Mario Golf is a golf game which combines largely traditional mechanics and gameplay devices with a cartoonish presentation, and a roster of characters and hazards taken from the Mario universe.
The basic gameplay uses the typical "sliding bar" mechanism of most golf video games, with several variables which must be anticipated, such as character attributes, wind strength and direction, rain, ball spin, and course topography. The gameplay modes include speed golf, ring shot, mini golf and skins match.
Players can play most of the multiplayer modes with CPU players by selecting a character and pressing A while holding down R. However, Club Slots and Mini-Golf do not allow CPU players.
- Baby Mario
- Princess Peach
- Donkey Kong
- Metal Mario
Ring Golf Star List
Mario Golf garnered generally favorable reviews. GameSpot describes the game as easy to play, by having simple features and by "removing the guesswork for gamers who are not familiar with the subtle nuances of golf" that may put off many players. IGN stated "When it comes to the intricacies that make golf the most loved and frustrating game on the planet, Mario Golf has it all. Challenging, but you will be drawn into it because of the nature of golf and your fear that the "little cartoon game" is mocking you".
Mario Golf is the 37th best selling game for the Nintendo 64, selling approximately 1.5 million copies worldwide - 650,000 copies each in North America and Japan, and 200,000 elsewhere - and it would later be re-released as a Nintendo 64 "Player's Choice" title.
References to other games
- Donkey Kong - One of Wario's alternate color schemes in Mario Golf is the blue shirt and red overalls that Mario wore in his first appearance.
- Super Mario Bros. - One of Bowser's alternate color schemes in Mario Golf is the green skin that Bowser had in his first appearance. A cover version of the overworld theme plays in Mario's Star and during part of the credits. A cover version of the underground theme is heard during the player's attempt to score a birdie.
- Super Mario World - Yoshi's alternate color schemes in Mario Golf is the Red Yoshi, the Blue Yoshi, and the Yellow Yoshi.
- NES Open Tournament Golf - One of Peach's alternate color schemes in Mario Golf is her green dress and Daisy's blue dress.
- Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island - Yoshi's sound effects were taken from this game.
- Super Mario 64 - Names of several characters in this game appear on the score Board, and many sound effects from this game such as camera change are used. Also Metal Mario is playable and has the same sound effects. Mario's Hole-in-one animation is the same as his victory animation from this game.
- Wario Land II and Wario Land 3 - One of Wario's alternate color schemes in Mario Golf is the monochromatic outfit he wears throughout these games.
- Mario Party - Many of the sound effects from Mario Party, such as "menu select", "go back", "your turn", "pause", and "not available", are used. If the character whose taking their turn is out of Power Shots, it will make the "go back" sound in any attempt to press the B when far away from the Green. One of Toad's voice clips from this game is reused.
- Mario Kart 64 - Some of the sound effects from Mario Kart 64 are also used, such as "item drop" and "1st lap complete".
References in later games
- Luigi's Mansion - Mario's pose is reused for his portrait artwork.
- Super Smash Bros. Melee - Plum appears as a trophy.
- Super Smash Bros. Brawl - Two of Wario's alternate costumes are his red and blue outfit and his black and white outfit.
- Mario Golf: World Tour - In addition to being a sequel to this game, all six main courses in this game are available as downloadable content with updated music and visuals (though Shy Guy Desert, Yoshi's Island, and Boo Valley have been renamed to Layer-Cake Desert, Sparkling Waters, and Rock-Candy Mines, respectively, and the music for Mario's Star has been changed). In addition, Peach's hole-in-one and birdie animations are similar to the animations in this game, with the only difference being that she deliberately has her sport outfit transform into her trademark dress in World Tour.
- Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS/Wii U - Two of Bowser's alternate costumes are his blue skin and his green skin, two of Donkey Kong's alternate costumes are his blue fur and his yellow fur, and one of Luigi's alternate costumes is his dark green and yellow outfit.
- Various names from The Legend of Zelda series appear on the scoreboard.
- In the North American version of the game, there is a password screen, accessed while holding A+Z+R while having Clubhouse highlighted on the main menu. There are only 3 known passwords, 2 of which gain access to the Hyrule Cup, and the other unlocks a Special Tournament Mode.
- Wario's in-game model shows that he is wearing pink shoes instead of green. However, they are green in the game's artwork and his shoes are changed to the correct color in Mario Tennis.
- Two of Wario's alternate costumes, his red and blue outfit and his black and white outfit later appeared as one of his alternate costumes in Super Smash Bros. Brawl.
- This game marks the first appearance of Gold Mario, predating the power-up for Mario in New Super Mario Bros. 2 by thirteen years.
- This is the first game where Baby Mario wears a shirt and overalls (similar to his adult counterpart).
- This is also the first Mario game where Jen Taylor voices Princess Peach.
- The six courses in this game were later ported into Mario Golf: World Tour, but with updated graphics and elements from New Super Mario Bros. U.
- The European/PAL version of the game has a different intro theme.
- Interestingly, if Peach gets an Eagle or better, her sport dress extends to the ground.
- While selecting a tournament in Tournament Mode, Boo Classic is misspelled as "Boo Clasic".
- The sun sets when the player gets to the last six holes of the main courses, in any mode.
- The ball makes a different sound when it bounces on the green than when it bounces on the fairway. In later games, both terrains produce the same sound for the ball.