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Super Mario 64 Beta Archive is a YouTube channel covering various unused content found in early builds of Super Mario 64.

The channel is run by Eric, a tester for Argonaut Software who worked on an experimental feature of the Nintendo 64 which would read the player's thoughts through the controller to customize the game, and later on accompanied by Meg Moberly, who developed a GUI for the game.

Note that none of the content seen in this channel is real, as it is just a rather unique take on the Mario 64 iceberg meme, but with how convincing the videos look, it’s no surprise that one would think these are legit at first.

In January 2021, "Eric" announced that he would cease uploading videos. Some of the team behind this channel would go on to start a Denser and Wackier Self-Parody Spin-Off channel called Ultra Mario Brothers Alpha Archive that same month, ran by a man simply known as Tim, who apparently hates Eric and Meg's guts.

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Tropes:

  • Arc Symbol: Water. It's a reoccuring symbol across multiple videos, one of the people running the channel is even afraid of it.
  • Call-Back:
    • One of the renders shown in "Render Showcase" is of Mario looking at an N64 cartridge in confusion, the same render from "Anti-Piracy Screen".
    • N64 Employee Tape references Developer Animation Showcase, Developer Crash Handler, and Early Castle Grounds.
  • Copy Protection: Anti-Piracy screen is somewhat of a convincing video, as it's vaguely threatening rather than downright creepy.
  • Cut Short: The series abruptly ended with the video "Summer '95 Build", with Eric citing the (In-Universe) reason being that he and Meg decided that they wanted to return to a normal life. A community post was uploaded shortly afterwards confirming the end of the series.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: The first video, "1995/07/29 Build Rejected Commercial" (taken down but re-uploaded elsewhere), was a lot less subtle than later videos and ends abruptly with a flash of monochrome. Later videos would go down the route of being just slightly unsettling.
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  • Instructional Film: N64 Employee Tape instructs employees both on how to clean the console and how to set up a playtesting session.
  • Just Friends: In the community posts, Eric and Meg both insist that they're not romantically involved with each other.
  • The Most Dangerous Video Game: This channel's personalization mechanism, Game Sync, seems to read the player's brain waves. Strong negative emotions, like guilt and grief, mess with the system in a way that can cause serious harm to the player. Consider the following text, from "Wing Cap Tower GUI":
    GAME ASSETS AND LEVELS AT RISK.
    PRESS A FOR MORE DETAILS.
    PLEASE REMOVE ALL STAFF FROM THE ROOM.
    PLEASE SEEK MEDICAL ATTENTION.
  • Mysterious Note: Eric receives an encrypted zip file in an anonymous email and uploads it in a community post. The subscribers brute force it open and find design documents that belonged to him.
  • Nightmare Face: The "Developer Crash Handler" screen from an early debug mode features a somewhat disturbing small photo of Mario smiling with his eyes obscured in darkness, along with a text in Japanese, and a percussion-only version of the Game Over theme.
  • Side-Effects Include...: N64 Employee Tape tells employees to stop a playtesting session if the playtester shows signs of a panic attack, is sick or needs a break, begins to experience Déjà Vu, the game crashes or locks, background music stops playing, cases of extreme lag for seemingly no reason, or the game displays the playtester's name.
  • Snuff Film: "Developer Animation Showcase" features a shot of Mario drowning that's a bit longer than in the final (real) release. Innocent enough, until you read the description.
  • The Television Talks Back: One of the signs in "Early Castle Grounds" will repeat Eric's thoughts.
  • The Unreveal: "Early Castle Grounds" shows a secret entrance at the rear of the castle, and ends just before we get to see where it leads.

Say thanks on the way out.
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