I am usually quite an avid gamer during the summer. Last year I put nearly 200 hours into Monster Hunter Tri alone. This summer I might have done half of that with gaming combined; I only finished two games: Dante’s Inferno and Limbo.

Why the sudden turn off from games? I have a lot of back stock to play therefore no need to purchase anything. Instead I spent most of the hot months watching Netflix and various television shows.

However, recently I decided to go back to my roots. I dug deep into the dustiest of boxes and pulled out an old N64. Yes, the final cartridge based home console lifted high above my head. I could almost hear the Legend of Zelda treasure chime in the background.

I started with one of the best launch titles any console has seen: the famed Super Mario 64. It seems that countless nights of University partying has not dampened my memory as I was able to completely wrap the game, even remembering that time trial star on Peach’s slide. I saw Yoshi’s big green nose and knew that this is where my Fall gaming would be going.

I don’t have the most extensive collection anymore (I mentioned in my Phantasy Star blog that I once sold an N64 and all the games). However, I was able to snag Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask so it seems I’ll be hearing that treasure chime again. But what I am really excited for is the trio of Rareware titles I grabbed: Donkey Kong 64, Banjo Tooie, and Perfect Dark. Unlike my previous N64 I now own an expansion pack. In the past I had to borrow it from friends. I’ve also got the cult hit Space Station Silicon Valley

What does this all mean? Perhaps in the coming months I can turn these playthroughs into something eventful. How about tips and tricks for some of the hardest parts of the games to remember? Sure…lets do that for now. Lets try it out with Super Mario 64:

1: I mentioned this early in the post. There is a sign that tells you about Peach’s slide in one of the first rooms. What it doesn’t tell you is that the staff set a trial time. If you beat this time you actually get a second star! Many people forget this because there is no indication of it existing and since you already get a star from the slide it is easy to forget.

2: In Bowser’s first world there is a red coin directly beside you floating in the air. In order to get it you need to hit a switch that creates blocks. But that isn’t the part to remember. When you start the world it is not in your camera view. So One may just run ahead, get to the end of the level, and only have 7 coins. What a nuisance to run back to the beginning! Especially when there are many places to fall and have to start over.

3: Hazy Maze Cave: This is one of the most annoying worlds to get the 100 coin star for. They are very spread out. Worst of all, you need to hit a blue coin switch. Without those coins a total of 100 is not possible. What is confusing is that the coins to see when heading for the switch aren’t enough to make that total. This is probably the shortest lasting blue coin switch int he game. After pounding it you need to immediately retrace your steps. Also defeat all the enemies beforehand. One hit from them and you’ll run out of time.

4: In Wet Dry World there is town that you need to cannon through a hole to get too. Not hard to forget. What is difficult to remember is how to get the red coins on top of the roofs of the buildings. Now, I’m sure I did this incorrectly because I did not use the Metal Cap at all and I remember it being needed in order to get them. But hey, there are alternate ways to everything if you are a badass. This is where perfecting your wall jump comes into play. Find the tight spaces and you should be able to get to the top of all the buildings while the water is NOT flooding the city. I am positive this is not how it is done but it worked. Maybe partying has taken its toll…..nah.

So there you have it…the spots I had to do some memory work on. I am amazed how much of it has stuck around since the early 2000s. Hopefully if you are going to give Mario 64 another go this will help. Or maybe you have a file going already that is missing that time trial star.

Anyway stay frosty folks.