Smash Remix

Author: Smash Remix Team
Status: In development
ROM Size: 40MB / 320Mbits
Saving: SRAM
Works on real hardware? Yes
Expansion Pak required? Yes

NOTE: This feature concerns Smash Remix version 0.9.1. This game is still under development and may see new changes and features in the future.

N64 rom hacking has, for many years in the past, been a dream of many retro enthusiasts with a programming background. Super Mario 64 and Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time were two of the earliest games to receive modifications, often only functional in emulators. Slowly, more games would see mods and romhacks, such as F-Zero X and Banjo Kazooie.

Super Smash Bros. (N64) in particular persisted as a difficult game to hack, partly due to a lack of community interest in dissecting the game. By contrast, Super Smash Bros. Brawl has had an active modding scene for well over 10 years at this point, with Super Smash Bros. Melee slowly gaining mods like 20XX after over a decade of purist devotion from the competitive scene. There were early attempts to hack SSB64, most leading to nowhere. More recently, there was actually a Kickstarter campaign to add new characters to N64 classic, only for it to end up as a hoax, like some efforts before it.

Then, in 2019, something wonderful happened.


Smash Remix is a community project to bring new characters and stages to Super Smash Bros. on N64, many years in the making. The project started out as just individual work on new characters and stages, with some test builds directly replacing an original SSB64 character or stage with a new one. Since 2019, Smash Remix has introduced greatly expanded character and stage select screens, along with extra features and settings for casual and competitive play. The N64 Vault page for Smash Remix is very detailed and covers nearly everything, sort of like a program changelog. Here at Micro-64 though, we like to keep things more relaxed.

The Characters

The first thing most will notice is the significantly expanded character select screen. All your favorites are here, with newcomers Dr. Mario, Falco, Young Link, Ganondorf and Dark Samus, along with room for 7 additional characters. This is only in vs mode though, the 1P mode actually just shows the original 8 characters, if you're using a fresh save file. What's interesting is the character icons were shrunk down to accomodate the additional choices, much like what is often seen in Super Smash Bros. Brawl mods. The artwork for the new characters is excellent, all fitting very well with the original renders. The announcer voice clips seem to be a mix of SSB64 and Melee clips, it may not be perfect but it all works well enough.

Going by the description file over at N64 Vault, it doesn't sound like the original cast was balance fixed or changed. So, concerning the newly added characters, they are all official clone / echo fighters featured in future Smash games, based on characters first seen in SSB64. There are many big and small changes to Dr. Mario, Falco, Young Link, Ganondorf and Dark Samus, some adopting new attacks and receiving usual clone character changes. They're all largely what you'd expect to see from their original appearances in Melee and, in the case of Dark Samus, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.

Dr. Mario has his Melee taunt and forward-air attack, along with a new down-air spiking attack and his signature throwable vitamins. All this plus some additional balancing and buffing makes Dr. Mario significantly more offense-focused compared to standard Mario. He's a simple clone, but so was his appearance in Super Smash Bros. Melee, overall he's an excellent new addition.

Falco has been closely modeled after his Melee appearance, with nearly all the same attacks, similar gravity and attack power, appropriate sound effects and even the same taunt. His Melee Side-B attack is a most welcome addition to the unforgiving recovery moves in Smash 64. Sadly, this means Falco can't use his blaster anymore, as Smash 64 doesn't have actual Side-B attacks.

Young Link has perhaps the least flashy changes from the character he was cloned from (Link). He seems to have nearly all the same attacks, except his grounded up-smash. What makes Young Link interesting is his drastic balancing changes. He's significantly faster and lighter than Link while still retaining a good bit of power. Link has always been one of the more slow characters, especially in this comparison. The best buff for Young Link is undoubtedly his Up-B recovery move, finally there's a Link here that can actually make it back to the stage after being knocked off. If nothing else, it's just cool hearing Young Link's voice in Smash 64.

Ganondorf is definitely the most interesting. His model is directly based on his appearance in Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, instead of his altered Melee appearance. Although a few of his moves come from Melee, the Smash Remix Team created several new moves, including some that feature the spear used by Phantom Ganon, again seen in Ocarina of Time. Interestingly, his somewhat slow Warlock Punch seems to become uninterruptible once it is active, potentially making this move even better than the relatively fast Falcon Punch. Ganondorf is slow but powerful as he should be and he's a lot of fun to play as. Ganondorf is definitely one of the best characters in the game, so far.

Dark Samus, despite being just a clone of Samus, seems to have had a lot of work done to not only model her appearance from Metroid Prime 2, but also integrate her moveset from Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Her overall moveset is based around electrical attacks rather than fire. A few of her attacks like her up-smash, forward-tilt and forward-air have seen changes to better fit the electrical attack theme. Even her running animations were given an update. Overall she's an excellent addition and a cool heavy hitter variant of Samus.

The Stages

The stage select is particularly stunning, there are a whopping 50 stages to choose from, including the original 9. I think there were some inspirations taken from the recent Super Smash Bros. Ultimate to be honest, not just in which stages were chosen (SSBU has over 100 stages). Most of the new stages are taken directly from or are inspired by stages featured in later Smash games, notable cool standouts include WarioWare Inc. (Brawl), Mute City (3DS), Big Blue (Melee), Kalos Pokemon League (Wii U) and Smashville (Brawl). Perhaps the most technically impressive is Onett (Melee). The amount of detail in the building models is incredible. Really the only thing missing is the cars driving by, but all the stages here remain static, probably due to technical limitation. There's also several entirely custom stages that make you wonder why they never made it into the original SSB64, like a giant N64 logo to fight on, Deku Tree and Ganon's Tower from Ocarina of Time, Bowser's Stadium and Cool Cool Mountain from Super Mario 64 and even Muda Kingdom from Super Mario Land on the Game Boy. There's also two stages inspired by Banjo-Kazooie, those being Spiral Mountain and Mad Monster Mansion. Is this a hint we may see Banjo and Kazooie make an appearance in Smash Remix? Even Gruntilda would make a fun character.

Moreover, what's really interesting is all the oddball stages. There's the usual fan favorites like Metal Cavern, Battlefield and Final Destination, but also the desk and grassy showdown arena seen in the game's opening cutscene. I never thought I'd see those featured as stages in a Smash game outside of Brawl modding. By far the coolest is the test stage shown in early screenshots of Dragon King, the game that Super Smash Bros. (N64) was developed from. Now that's fan dedication.

Here's a full list of every stage in Smash Remix:

Peach's Castle
Congo Jungle
Hyrule Castle
Planet Zebes
Yoshi's Island
Dream Land
Sector Z
Saffron City
Mushroom Kingdom
Meta Crystal
Duel Zone
Final Destination
Mini Yoshi's Island
First Destination
Zebes Landing
Ganon's Tower
Spiral Mountain
Cool Cool Mountain
Dr. Mario
Bowser's Stadium
Deku Tree
Mad Monster Mansion
Muda Kingdom
Mute City
Dragon King
Frosty Village
Fray's Stage
Dream Land Beta 1
Dream Land Beta 2
How to Play
WarioWare Inc.
Kalos Pokemon League
Pokemon Stadium II
Corneria City
Great Bay
Fountain of Dreams
Tower of Heaven
Mushroom Kingdom BF
Mushroom Kingdom Omega
Delfino Plaza
Peach's Castle II
Big Blue

Other modes and menus

After you've finished mopping the floor with your friends with those new characters and stages, you'll see the familiar results screen, with one interesting new addition. There's now a more detailed view of the match statistics, like what was added to future Smash games. It's only seems to cover the damage dealt and received between the participating players, but it's a welcome addition nonetheless.

One particularly cool new feature here is hidden away where most seasoned Smash players probably don't spend much time in, the training mode. Everything looks fairly normal aside from the new characters and stages, but when you get into a stage in training mode and press start, you'll see some text for "press Z for custom menu". Here you can better fine tune your training experience. You can set percentages, CPU mode, costume and such, but the really cool feature is here you can select normally unplayable characters like Giant DK, Metal Mario and even the fighting polygon team. It's perhaps not as cool as seeing these characters in the actual Vs. mode, but it's still nice to have the option here.

Music can be a very tricky thing to change or modify in console games, often it never works quite right on real hardware. Smash Remix has a long list of new music tracks for each of the new stages, many hailing from future Smash games. Many of the tracks had to be simplified and downsampled in order to work on N64, but most sound quite good and still fit well with the rest of the SSB64 soundtrack. One of the more impressive tracks is Mute City, it's just as catchy as ever with superb instrument selection.

Once you get past all the stunning new content to fight with and on, you may find yourself wandering into the option menu. It's all been entirely overhauled with lots of customization options available. The first menu is Remix Settings, here you'll find general game configuration. There's various camera options, screen overlay meters and displays and the option to skip the results screen. Curiously, there is a "hold to pause" option, which likely came from the tournament scene where you can be disqualified for pausing mid-match. There's even an option to enable "Salty runback" for you tourney goers out there, which seems to work by pausing then holding Start + A + B + R + Z together. It just quickly restarts a match from the beginning, without having to return to the character select screen. Most interestingly, there is an Improved AI option. Despite being a Beta feature, it seems to be fairly robust and makes the AI significantly more difficult. This is a nice feature for when you are practicing behind your friends' backs. Lastly we have Widescreen, an incredibly cool feature and a welcome addition. Currently it only seems to work on the polygonal models and not the HUD elements like the stocks and percentage, but it seems to work very well with no bugs or visual issues.

Perhaps less showy for some is the music settings menu, where you can turn music on or off, globally across any stage you play, or by setting random music to on, you can pick and choose which tracks will feature in your random playlist of sorts. Curiously, it does appear there's some extra music tracks that are only accessible if random music is enabled. One neat little standout is Horror Mansion from Wario World. Now that's a GameCube game that deserves more love. The music settings menu here is not quite as feature packed as My Music in Brawl and later Smash games, but it's a nice feature regardless.

There is also a settings screen for the random stage select. There's not much to say about it really, just pick and choose which stages you want or don't want in the random stage "playlist".

One other thing to keep in mind is this mod seems partly meant for tournament play, with several options clearly being derived from the competitive scene, like "salty runback". This is in no way a bad thing, but it does mean there may not ever be work done on new items, or stages with hazards, or possibly even 1P mode content. Hopefully down the road we'll see the new characters available in 1P game modes.

Lastly, it seems the character info screen in the data menu still only has the original cast present. Maybe in a future update we'll see info added for all the newcomers. It's pretty minor, but it'd be nice to see as a last bit of polish once all the other important stuff is done.


Overall, Smash Remix is the kind of romhack all others should aspire to, even in its under-development status with some new features still in beta form. It has incredible polish, excellent new characters, a ton of new stages to fight on and a massive amount of settings to configure the game how you like it. There's even a widescreen option! Most stunning of all, it works on a real Nintendo 64 console, though it does require the Expansion Pak. If you're a Super Smash Bros. fan, this is a mod you absolutely have to try out. Even as of version 0.9.1, it already shows incredible quality and dedication. It will be a gruelling wait to see what the Smash Remix Team adds in the coming months and years. Heck, even if you only like the original 12 characters, this mod is worth it just for the new stages!

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Written by Aaron Wilcott
February 29th 2020