Super Mario 64’s BLJ returns with Nintendo Switch Online

Publication date of the original Japanese article: 2021-10-26 17:12 (JST)
Translated by. Nick Mosier

On October 26, Nintendo began offering their new membership plan, Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack, and subscribers of the new offering are able to play select Nintendo 64 and Sega Genesis titles on their Nintendo Switch. Among the available titles on NSOEP, Super Mario 64 is getting fans talking due to the return of the BLJ (Backwards Long Jump).

Even today, the speedrunning community continues to research Super Mario 64 looking for techniques and glitches that can be helpful for runs. And since the techniques that are usable can vary between different versions of the game, the community is also interested in the revisional differences of ported versions.

The version of Super Mario 64 that’s available with the NSOEP revives one of these speedrunning techniques—the BLJ. The BLJ is a versatile glitch that makes it possible to move Mario at extremely high speeds. Performing the BLJ sees Mario quickly jumping backwards away from the camera, so if you watch speedrunning videos, you’ll often see Mario shooting backwards yelling, “ya-ya-ya-ya-yahoo!” along the way. It’s a relatively well known glitch.

But there are versions of the game where the BLJ isn’t usable. For example, in the Super Mario 64 Shindou Pak Taiou Version (Rumble Pack Support Version) that was released in Japan, the BLJ glitch has been fixed. It is known amongst the speedrunning community for not having the BLJ.

The version of Super Mario 64 that was included in Super Mario 3D All-Stars also doesn’t have the BLJ glitch because it was based on the Shindou Pak Taiou Version both in Japan and internationally.

However, this time a version close to the original North American release of Super Mario 64 was ported to the North American NSOEP, which means the return of the BLJ. Japanese Super Mario 64 speedrunner Mogamin has been looking into the ports and sharing their findings on Twitter. Players are sharing their joy over the revived technique on Twitter, and many North American users are probably happy to see its return, especially after being sealed away in the previously mentioned 3D All-Stars.

The BLJ is not possible in the Japanese version of NSOEP, though, since the Japanese version is based on the Shindou Pak Taiou Version.

It’s unlikely that the general audience for the game will even be aware of the differences between versions. But seeing Super Mario 64 gathering the spotlight once again shows just how long this game has been beloved by fans. It’s also interesting that NSOEP titles are based on the versions available in their respective regions.

Service has only just begun for the Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack, so crafty speedrunners will probably only continue to uncover new insights for us to enjoy.