Late last week, a retro computer developer going by the handle ZeroPaige culminated what he said was seven years of development on Super Mario Bros. 64, a complete and highly authentic port of the original NES side-scroller for the original Commodore 64 computer. The 109KB file is an incredible achievement, coded for a computer with a clock speed of around 1Mhz (about 55 percent of the NES’ speed) and which wasn’t really designed to handle smooth full-screen scrolling at all.
Last night, though, Nintendo reportedly issued a DMCA notice for the game, leading to its removal from many hobbyist sites and upload services. “Due to a DMCA takedown notice we had to remove the Super Mario Bros. 64 download from our website blog post from 4 days ago,” The Vancouver-based hobbyist group Commodore Computer Club tweeted last night. “Hopefully everyone enjoys the Commodore 64 game who was able to snag it.”
The ROM file, which can be run on emulators and real C64 hardware, is still floating around online, if you know where to look. But the takedown notice continues Nintendo’s long history of using legal muscle to stifle everything from ROM distribution sites and fangames to online emulators and even certain game mods based on its properties.