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justin8571 25th January 2012 10:30 AM

Mario Kart 64 multiplayer?
Hello everyone,

I'm in need of help here please from technically gifted people!

Basically, me and three friends meet up once a week to play Mario Kart on my US N64 (I'm sure you're all aware that the NTSC version was 17.5% quicker due to running at 60 rather than 50Hz with the added bonus of no borders). We started back in '93 with Mario Kart on a US SNES and jumped ship to the N64 at the beginning of '97 when it first came out. We tried the Gamecube version but feel Nintendo lost its way and forgot what made the game so great, and needless to say we steered a mile away from the Wii.

Anyway, we're now all 40 and the game just gets better and better. We only play Koopa Beach due to the jump into the rock which makes it the best track ever to grace a consol. We don't play to win, it's all about not coming last as we have various rounds of first to lose five with various forfeits, which culminates in the ultimate loser round at the end of the night where the loser has to take home the two foot high trophy and wear the ultimate t-shirt that hums as you're not allowed to wash it. The competition between us just gets worse as we're all sore losers and love to relish in a friend's misfortune. I dread the day that I won't want to play it any more.

The best video connection I could find for the N64 was s-video which I've been running through my 42" nine year old plasma on 4:3 format as going 16:9 stretches it too much and doesn't look too good.

I recently bought a larger TV and MK64 looks dreadful on it so I started looking around for new ideas. I found it on the Wii's Virtual Consol that I'd never heard about. Got a second hand US Wii off Ebay, downloaded MK64 and couldn't believe my eyes with the quality. For years my group of friends and I have been desperate for the exact same game just with a higher resolution and there it was on the Wii, and has been since 2007.

Everything appeared to be perfect and I couldn't believe my luck, that is until we tried playing it on four player. One, two and three player modes are so fluid and perfect to play but four player is awful. I can't really explain what's wrong, you really need to play it for yourself to see the difference. It's just not fluid and makes the karts impossible to control to a decent degree. I've since read that Mario Kart was programmed to run at 30fps but it couldn't handle that on four player so some frames were dropped, and that the Wii plays at full speed which makes the dropped frames noticeable, or something along those lines. Anyway, due to the four player option the Wii has been dropped out of the equation. I've also tried it on a UK Wii and get exactly the same issues.

I then started looking on my PC for an emulator and found Project64 which is amazing. I now have MK64 and it looks great but I do have a couple of questions. The first one is that I get the impression the emulation is taken from the Virtual Consol version (text says"poomp" or similar on the kart during some contact unlike the original N64 version), so if this is the case will the four player mode have the same issues as the VC version?

My second question is, how do you select four players, or is that even possible? I see you can select a four player game from the menu but I can't seem to find a way of selecting a second, third or fourth player, only player one. I'm hoping to select four players just so I can see how it runs before getting N64 to USB controller adapters.

Basically, where I bought my new TV from said I can have 28 days to change my mind and return it, as my main priority is MK64. I think Project64 is my last hope, so if this doesn't work the TV's going back and MK64 will live on with my old plasma.

Thanks in advance for any help, I'd really appreciate any advice you can offer.


ExtremeDude2 25th January 2012 01:51 PM

I'm guessing the wii you bought is PAL? If so that's why it is so bad. Also I'd say the person that could help you most has been banned :o

justin8571 25th January 2012 06:34 PM

Hello and thanks for taking the time to reply. The Wii I bought is a US NTSC version. I've since played the game on a Pal version and it's just as bad.

I'm a complete emulator noob so I have very little understanding although I get the impression there are more than one emulator available of Mario Kart 64? I'm wondering if there's one out there where the four player mode works just as well as the NTSC 64 version.

Very interested in this person who might be able to help. Any ideas how I could make contact?

Thanks again.


justin8571 5th February 2012 12:22 PM

Hello everyone,

still hoping to find someone who might be able to answer a couple of questions for me.

If you've played Mario Kart 64 in four player mode on the Wii's Virtual Console then you'll have noticed it runs terribly, whereas one, two and three player modes are silky smooth. I'm under the impression that on the N64 frames were dropped in four player mode to keep it running smoothly (as it didn't have enough processing power for it to maintain 30fps), but this hasn't been taken into account on VC's MK64, so I think the Wii's version is running at 30fps but still with the originally dropped frames missing, hence the horrible feel to the game.

I have a version of MK64 (which looks great) from Brothersoft on my PC but can only get it to run in single player mode. Does anyone know if I can get it to run in four player mode to see how it runs, even though I don't have any N64 controller adapters?

Also, has anyone played a version of Mario Kart 64 on the PC that is smooth in four player mode, with the dropped frames corrected?

Thanks for your help.


ExtremeDude2 5th February 2012 01:00 PM

Well if you try 1964 and use the OC function it may work well, also the game is not the same as the VC one, if anything it is technically worse :D (due to lower res), BUT! this can probably be fixed by AA and up-scaling and such.

justin8571 5th February 2012 01:15 PM

Thanks very much for the reply. Can you elaborate a little on the OC function please with 1964? I've used the link to see the site and will try a download although I'm off to work shortly so that'll have to be later.

I take it the resolution is still an improvement on the N64 itself? My reason being that I'm hoping to run it on a modern TV where the original N64 looks awful due to the screen size. It's a shame Nintendo never sorted out MK64's four player mode on the VC as the resolution's great and it's crystal clear on my TV.

Thanks again for your time.


dsx_ 5th February 2012 02:10 PM

1) the original n64 version does say "poomp"
2) you are correct, frame skipping was used in 4 player mode
3) 4 player mode runs fine on Project64
4) to enable other controllers in project64, go to options > configure input plugin, then tick Controller is plugged in for all controllers

justin8571 5th February 2012 06:02 PM


thanks for your help with this. I'll have to take a look on my old 64 regarding "poomp" and get back to you. Funny if I've never noticed that after 15 years of playing, but it's quite likely knowing me. Maybe it's just because of the resolution that I can actually read stuff on the screen now and all of a sudden it appears new.

With regards to the 4 player mode running fine on Project 64, does that mean the frame issue has been corrected so the kart's handle normally etc? If this is the case and it runs well then this will be the holy grail I've been searching for.

Just to throw in a few other of questions for you, is there a particular N64 to USB controller adapter that I should go for or are they all much the same, and once connected do the joysticks operate as expected or do you get deadspots or other issues?

I'm at work right now but will try the controller options when I get home later tonight. Hopefully I'll find a way of actually selecting each of the four characters via the keyboard as I don't have any controllers.

I really appreciate your help with this, I honestly don't know how I made it through life before forums. Thank you.


justin8571 5th February 2012 11:29 PM


first off, "poomp", you're right! I plugged in my old N64 and there it was. The picture isn't exactly sharp, but that's the best excuse I've got for not noticing it before.

Thank you so much for your help with the controller settings. I've just managed to set it up with four players. I can't believe how good the resolution is, it's amazing. I've been able to select 1920x1080 with all the graphics settings on max and I'm blown away by how clear it is.

It also feels really smooth but the only issue is that it's way too quick, even on four player 50cc.

I see there's a limit FPS under system which I have selected on otherwise it runs at light-speed. Is there a way of slowing it down further to something like the NTSC version? I've had a look at all the settings but can't find anything further.

Thanks again for your help.


justin8571 5th February 2012 11:58 PM


in addition to my last post, I've just tried it on 3 player and the speed is as you'd expect from the N64, but four player feels about twice as fast which unfortunately isn't a good thing (I must be getting old).

Still can't get over how good it looks.

Thanks again for your help, it's greatly appreciated.


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