You can play Mario Kart 64 in Glorious HD with this fan-made texture pack

Image: Video Games Art Archive/Nintendo

The Nintendo 64 fan scene has been pretty darn busy lately, with the PC port of Zelda: Ocarina of Time launching – and getting a bunch of fun and unusual mods – and even more games meant to be made available through reverse engineering. Next on the list, however, is a very smooth and shiny update to a favorite board game.

The Mario Kart 64 HD fan group has been hard at work creating 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 your favorite driver in stunning HD visuals:

Sounds good, doesn’t it? The full pack is nearly complete – and as the video on Twitter shows, every item in the game will be updated. This means that even objects such as seashells and banana peels will be reshaped in HD. No stone will be left behind.

The group uses the game’s title screen and promo art to guide them on what they want the models, courses, and items to look like. The team has been working on it for several years, with various updates, but this latest seems to be the sharpest yet. Heck, even the menus are getting a makeover!

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

We’re big fans of everything we’ve seen here, basically. It looks like what we imagined when we were kids on our CRT screens!

While the character models are available for download, the rest of the pack is still being finalized. And, again, it’s another version that’s possible thanks to the fruits of all that reverse engineering. You can check what packs are available on GitHub or join the Mario Kart 64 HD Discord for more information.

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

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