Super Mario 64 Box Art "Globe" Logo Mistake Explained

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by: Hairball

With the arrival of Super Mario 3D All-Stars, we are re-introduced once again to Super Mario 64. We're seeing a load of Super Mario 64 content right now, but there's something interesting that I noticed recently. It turns out there's a mistake in the Super Mario 64 logo that few might have noticed.

Super Mario 64 logo with a world

Take a look at this Super Mario 64 logo - it is a "globe" with some in-game elements that is featured in the game's box art. The North American box art only features the top part of this globe on the front (though the penguins can be visible on the side of the box), whereas the Japanese one features the entire globe logo more prominently on the front cover.

If you look at the artwork as depicted of this world - it would strongly imply that Mario is travelling the world to rescue Princess Peach from Bowser, similar to how he does in Super Mario Odyssey. But in Super Mario 64 he isn't travelling the world at all, all the action takes place within the castle walls.

Super Mario 64 'world' depiction
Peach's castle can't possibly co-exist in the same "world" as in-game elements as they are actually contained within the castle itself in paintings

Princess Peach's castle is prominently featured on the top of the "world", one side of the world has a snowy area with the blue penguins (which we see in Cool, Cool Mountain and Snowman's Land), the remaining visible side has a Pokey and Bob-omb with a palm tree - implying this is probably Shifting Sand Land, the only course where Pokeys appear.

But, wait, think about it for a moment. Remember how warp paintings are used as a method of transport to different courses? The "world" that we encounter within the game's courses are actually creations of Bowser, as explained in the Super Mario 64 instruction booklet, and also by Toads that you speak to inside the castle will also say that it is a world that Bowser created with the power of the stars.

It isn't all wrong though, a Boo is depicted next to the castle, and this is accurate since Boos are lurking around in the courtyard, however there are no Goombas roaming around outside the castle - another error.

Super Mario 64 plot explained from the manual
Super Mario 64 plot explained from the manual (Source: mechas64castles.net)

Toad explaining the warp paintings in Super Mario 64
Toad telling you that Bowser created his own world inside the paintings

Since the courses of Super Mario 64 are contained inside the paintings (and other areas) of the castle are Bowser's creation - this means it would not make any sense for Princess Peach's castle to co-exist with areas that are essentially in a "fake" world that only exists inside the castle itself. Since Bowser's world is only inside the castle walls, it isn't possible for elements of this world to be outside of the castle walls as depicted in the artwork.

The manual does state that "the monsters will soon begin to overflow from inside the painting", which could be an explanation of why the in-game elements exist outside the castle on the artwork - but this never happens in the game, all the enemies encountered in the game take place inside the castle walls.

This means that the box art "globe" artwork is actually inconsistent with the plot behind Super Mario 64, and therefore the Super Mario 64 box art has been wrong all along!


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