Mario Kart 64 Title Screen
Image: Nintendo / Video Game Art Archive

The Nintendo 64 fan scene has been pretty darn busy lately, with the Zelda: Ocarina of Time PC port finally launching — and getting a shed-load of fun and unusual mods — and even more games rumoured to be made available through reverse engineering. Next on the list, however, is a very smooth and shiny update to a party game favourite.

Fan group Mario Kart 64 HD has been working hard to create an HD texture pack for Mario Kart 64, and over the weekend, the group revealed that they've finished recreating all of the characters. Now, you can race around as your favourite driver in beautiful HD visuals:

Looks flippin' good, doesn't it? The full pack is almost done — and as the video on Twitter shows, every single asset of the game will be updated. This means even items like shells and banana peels will be remodelled in HD. No stone will be left unturned.

The group uses the game's title screen and promotional art to guide them on what they want the models, courses, and items to look like. The team has been working on this for a number of years, with various updates, but this latest one is looking like the sharpest yet. Heck, even the menus are getting a make-over!

It's amazing to see just how much smoother Mario Kart 64 HD has made things look, and it makes a real difference. But the real eye-opener is seeing the portraits and characters from the HD pack and the original game side-by-side. The difference is staggering:

We're huge fans of everything we've seen here, basically. It looks just how we'd imagined it as kids on our CRT screens!

While the character models are available to download, the rest of the pack is still being finalised. And, again, this is another release that's possible because of the fruits of all that reverse engineering. You can check out what packs are available on GitHub, or join Mario Kart 64 HD's Discord to get more info.

Let us know your thoughts on this lovely texture pack in the comments!

[source videogameschronicle.com]