After the 1996 release of Super Mario 64, magazines for years mentioned Super Mario 128 that would feature both Mario & Luigi for release on the N64 or its 64DD add-on. In an interview with Level3 Magazine in Sweden Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto mentions the game as one of his lost projects. Here’s the quote:
“Super Mario 128 was just one of many experimental games we had. Suddenly, everybody started talking about it. I’m in the all-too easy habit of starting a project only to later on not do much of it. There is a great deal of unfinished work on my desk. I worked on a prototype for the Nintendo 64 game with Mario and Luigi in it for some time.”
Back in 2000 Nintendo showed a “Super Mario 128 tech demo” that, while simply featuring 128 Mario’s to show the GameCube’s power, had everyone guessing as to whether or not a Mario & Luigi 3D adventure would appear on GameCube. Well, a few years later Super Mario Sunshine appeared without Luigi and this is confirmation the idea simply got dumped in Mr. Miyamoto’s drawer.
Maybe with Super Mario 64’s DS revival, we’ll see Mario 128 show up as well, there are already new 3D Mario DS rumors going around. Here’s the year-2000 demo where 128 Mario’s are trying to kill each other:
However, elements of Super Mario 128 live on in future games! In the July 2006 issue of GamesMaster, a short interview with Mr. Miyamoto at E3 2006 reveals that Super Mario Galaxy on Wii is not necessarily Super Mario 128.
GamesMaster: What inspired Super Mario Galaxy and what does it mean for Mario 128?
Miyamoto: Well, Mario 128 was a collection of different experiments. Super Mario Galaxy takes a lot of the experiments from Mario 128 and implements them in the game. Because of that it’s partly 128 but there are also elements that existed in Mario 128 (running around a sphere and gravity). I don’t know when we’ll be able to bring those out. The End?
March 8th 2007 update: At the Game Developers Conference 2007 Shigeru Miyamoto said he’s always asked by people “what happened to Mario 128?” And he responded that most of you have played it in Pikmin on GameCube. He added that you’ll be able to play Super Mario Galaxy on Wii this year.