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One thing that you might remember from the classic is the odd smoke animation given off by Mario’s backside when he falls into a lava pit. Something always felt a bit off about the visual – it just didn’t really match the look and feel of the rest of the game.
As it turns out, what we got wasn’t what was intended at all, but rather, the result of a bug in a line of code.
(The bugged animation is on the left, the correct version is on the right.)
As a new ROM hack for the game highlights, the smoke animation we are familiar with is the result of an error on line 47 of the “/actors/burn_smoke/model.inc.c” file. Remarkably, it has been overlooked (or perhaps ignored by Nintendo) since the game’s launch in 1996.
A simple correction calls for the correct smoke artwork to be displayed which looks much less out of place than the “original.”
With any luck, perhaps Nintendo will address this minor bug in its rumored high-definition remaster of Super Mario 64 that’s reportedly in the pipeline as part of a 35th anniversary celebration of Super Mario Bros. later this year.