This is Gamecube Classic ‘Super Mario Sunshine’ Running in VR


Another Nintendo classic title from the past makes it into virtual reality courtesy of Gamecube emulator Dolphin VR. This time it’s the turn of Super Mario Sunshine, returning here complete with high resolution texture hacks and running at 60 FPS.

Super Mario Sunshine, released alongside the Gamecube console in 2002 may not be the most beloved outing for Nintendo’s most famous mascot, but SMS still managed to pack in much of that inimitable Mario magic to place it at the top of its generation’s 3D platformers – and it’s still a classic in my eyes. So, the prospect of re-discovering the title, this time in virtual reality, is pretty tantalising.

See Also: Play Metroid Prime on Your Rift or Vive with Dolphin VR
See Also: Play Metroid Prime on Your Rift or Vive with Dolphin VR

We’ve written before about Dolphin VR, a fork of the excellent Nintendo Gamecube emulator that adds in VR specific hacks to decouple in-game cameras and effectively re-render the original game for VR use. Metroid Prime is an excellent example of what can be achieved with the software and an accompanying game profile. What’s more, recent releases of Dolphin VR have now added support for the latest consumer VR headsets, Oculus Rift CV1 and HTC Vive.

This video (embedded at the top of this page) shows a particular version of Super Mario Sunshine called “Painted Edition” running with a fan-made HD texture pack applied along with a hack which forces the game (which originally ran at 30FPS) to run at 60FPS and up, much more comfortable for virtual reality. Yes, it’s a little glitchy right now, and purists may not feel the texture mod does the game many favours, and running the title requires you apply ‘cheat’ codes and disable some visual features, but it is already playable and shows enormous promise. To be clear too, the texture pack is entirely optional.

HTC Partners with iFixit to Offer Parts & DIY Repair Guides for Older Vive Headsets

Before you embark on this immersive journey of nostalgia however, check out this Reddit thread for some important tips on how to get the most out of Super Mario Sunshine in VR and of course make sure you’ve grabbed the latest stable version of Dolphin VR by checking out the project developers blog here.

This article may contain affiliate links. If you click an affiliate link and buy a product we may receive a small commission which helps support the publication. See here for more information.

  • Charles

    I was a big fan of that game, and I tried playing it on both the Oculus DK2 and the Vive, but I got terrible judder in both cases, even with a GTX 980 Ti. Hopefully something on the Reddit thread will help with that – I’ll check it out.

  • yag

    Mario Galaxy 1 & 2 in VR is even better

  • Raphael

    I disagree.

  • TheRiverFlows

    Super Mario Sunshine is definitely a classic and the last of the great Mario 3D games. I wasn’t a fan of the squashed down Galaxy games or 3D World and liked Super Mario 64 and Super Mario Sunshine much more. The Galaxy games didn’t feel like real 3D adventure games and felt more like a series of mini worlds. It is great to also know Nintendo are still considering making a sequel to it but it is just a question of when it will happen.