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According to Video Games Chronicle, the DirectX 12 port isn’t simply an emulation of the original Nintendo 64 hardware the game ran on but rather, a native port of the title designed specifically for the PC. As such, users are able to crank the resolution (so long as their hardware permits) and even run it with ultra-widescreen support.
The publication speculates that the port is the result of a 2019 project that saw fans reverse engineer the game’s source code. This same project was also responsible for identifying a smoke glitch that went undetected since the game’s 1996 debut.
In related news, several publications are also reporting on the leak of more than two terabytes of data on 4chan over the weekend. VGC said the haul included the source code for the Nintendo 64, the GameCube and the Wii as well as documents and diagrams related to every system component. It’s unclear if there is any link between the fan-made port and the 4chan leak, or if the timing just happens to be a coincidence.
On a more positive note, Nintendo is said to be working on its own remaster of Super Mario 64 for the franchise's 35th anniversary.