Ray tracing is coming to the N64 thanks to this awesome mod

A mod is in development that will bring ray tracing to some classics nintendo64 games like Ocarina of time and paper mario.

A while ago, self-proclaimed modder turned software developer Darío released a mod that added full ray tracing to super mario 64. For those unfamiliar with the technique, to put it simply, it can add very realistic lighting to games. Sure, it’s a modern technique that’s becoming increasingly common with the latest generation of consoles, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t look good on older games too.

Now, that same modder Darío has shown off an N64 emulator plugin that can apparently add ray tracing to any game on the console.

“I would like to reveal that RT64, the path tracer behind sm64rt, is evolving into an N64 emulator plugin,” Darío wrote on Twitter. “Here’s a little reel of footage I’ve captured from games that are already showing results. Ray-traced lighting, object motion blur, widescreen, DLSS, and 60+ FPS.”

Starting the reel is classic Ocarina of Time, though the effect is a little subtle due to the fairly bright lighting in Kokiri Forest. If you look in the clip, the most notable instance of real-time shadows would be the plank bridge, which isn’t in the original game.

The next game featured is even more subtle, Paper Mario, but it really looks good with shadows, adding a lot of depth to the original game.

A few other games were also featured, like Kirby Chapter 64: Crystal Shardsand Mystical Ninja with Goemon. Classic snowboard game Kids Snowboarding was also included, which looked particularly good with the improved lighting.

As Darío noted, the mod will also include things like object motion blur, widescreen, DLSS, and 60+ FPS, all of which add up to great looking games.

Margie D. Carlisle