In context: Earlier this year, a brave, anonymous PC user launched their own proper Mario 64 port for PC, without warning or fanfare. Though Nintendo was quick to crack down on download links, the port already made its way out into the wild, and modders have been having a field day with it ever since.
Some mods uncap the game's framerate (which we don't recommend), remove the draw distance limit so you can see objects and enemies from further away, and even add in entirely new HD models for several key characters.
More impressive than all of those, though, is a mod made by Twitter user Darío that adds true ray tracing to the game.
Next-gen developers: Raytracing hardware is so great, we can finally do accurate reflections on water puddles and car windows!— Darío (@dariosamo) October 11, 2020
Me: raytraced metal mario motherfuckers pic.twitter.com/07ioVkZhpz
It's not available to the public yet, but the modder has been posting regular progress images on his Twitter page.
For now, Darío has only polished up his implementation of ray traced reflections, and it looks quite good. So far, we've seen a ray traced version of metal Mario, and a ray traced droplet of water (or, at least, we assume it's water), which you can see in the images above.
We look forward to seeing Darío's progress over the coming months, and we'll certainly let you know if his mod ever releases to the public or receives any major improvements.