Mario Artist was a series of art utilities meant to be used with the Nintendo 64's ill-fated "64DD" add-on. Four titles were released during the system's lifespan:
- Paint Studio was a Spiritual Successor to Mario Paint that let players draw and animate 2D pictures. The game also included a "3D World" feature, where players could explore a small 3D sandbox and edit the textures of various characters they encounter.
- Talent Studio was an animation program similar in function to The Movies where players could create characters and program scenes for them to act out. Nintendo's Mii system is heavily based on this game's character creator.
- Communication Kit was a utility that let players connect with the now-discontinued RandNet service and share their creations with other players.
- Polygon Studio was a 3D modeling software in which players could sculpt polygonal blocks and assemble them into models. The player could then take pictures of the models in various scenarios or use them to navigate an open 3D world called "Experimental World". The game also included two minigames:
- Boom Beat, a fast-paced minigame collection that would later be retooled into the WarioWare series.
- Go-Go Pack, a game in which the player "winds up" their model and tries to get it to stop in a certain location.
An additional four titles, Game Maker, Graphical Message Maker, Sound Maker, and Video Jockey Maker, were planned, but never released.
In February 2018, a group of fans released English translations for Paint Studio, Talent Studio, and Polygon Studio. They can be downloaded here.
Tropes present in the series as a whole:
- No Plot? No Problem!: Aside from Polygon Studio's "Experimental World", there's no plot to be found in these art utilities.
Tropes present in Paint Studio:
- The Cameo: The game includes stamps and pre-made backgrounds using artwork from Super Mario 64, Mario Kart, Yoshi's Story, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Pokémon Red and Blue, Star Fox 64, and even Banjo-Kazooie.
Tropes present in Talent Studio:
- Gratuitous English: The music for the Catwalk sequence opens with a high-pitched voice saying, "Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the...Talent Studio!" in perfect English.
- Variable Mix: The BGM in the editor will gain and lose instruments depending on which feature you're currently editing.
Tropes present in Communication Kit:
- Musical Nod: One menu uses a remix of the Clu Clu Land theme as its BGM.
Tropes present in Polygon Studio:
- Easter Egg: The baby face from Mario Paint will occasionally fly by while you're in the Model Rocket cockpit. Clicking on it will play its signature "akkun" sound.
Tropes present in Experimental World:
- Ability Required to Proceed: The starting area is surrounded by terrains that can't be crossed without having a certain kind of wheel or leg on your model. This continues even after you gain the ability to fly, as each flying power block has a Cap for how high it will allow you to go.
- And Your Reward Is Clothes: Along with Power Blocks, which let your model move and cross various terrains, there are also plenty of decorative blocks called "? Blocks" strewn about the Experimental World, some of which are even harder to access than Power Blocks.
- Awesome, but Impractical: The Airship block has the highest height cap of all flying Power Blocks, but your ascension speed will be stuck at a relatively slow 40-50 km/h (for reference, by the time you get it you should be able to easily reach over 200 km/h) and it will constantly pull you upwards as long as it's active.
- Background Music Override: If your model has Sound Blocks on it, the background music (what little there is) will be replaced with the sounds your blocks make.
- Baleful Polymorph: Somehow, both the Baker and his brother get turned into Blocks from training so hard. You can collect them and put them on your model, but they don't serve any purpose other than decoration.
- Canon Character All Along: A very odd example. When you make it to Sky Gardens Polygona, it's revealed that the Baker and his brother are actually the two exercising men from the Easter Egg cutscene in Mario Paint.
- Floating Continent: Sky Gardens Polygona, an abandoned city that you can only access after getting every block in Polygonecia.
- The Ghost: The mysterious Baker, who leaves messages for you on slices of bread. After collecting enough blocks to build a tower to the heavens, he leaves to go do some training and his brother takes over. You can find both of them by travelling as high and as far from the map as possible, which is no easy feat.
- No Antagonist: Your only "enemies" in the Experimental World are creatures that resemble fried eggs and creatures that resemble some kind of oblong, tube-shaped pastry. The former will ram into your model when you get close, and the latter will slowly chase your model in an attempt to eat it. According to the Baker, they're a protected species, so you can't attack them (not that you really have any means of attacking).
- Patchwork Map: Polygonecia features a meadow, a jungle, a desert, a lake, and a snowy mountain all right next to each other.
- Planet Heck: Frontier Inferno, an area you reach by travelling very far away from the main play area. It's nothing more than a small red-tinged room populated by the Baker with a barred window showing the Baker's brother on the other side.
- Transforming Vehicle: Putting Power Blocks of more than one kind on your model will turn it into this, giving you the ability to cycle through different "modes" for each Power Block type.