Super Mario 64’s secret ‘unopenable’ door has finally been opened


One of Super Mario 64’s few remaining mysteries has been solved, thanks to a player who figured out how to open a previously “unopenable” door from the 1996 Nintendo 64 classic. We can thank a nearly four-hour YouTube video that exhaustively detailed how invisible walls work in Super Mario 64, and the tenacity of the game’s community for the new discovery.

That previously inaccessible door is located in the Cool, Cool Mountain world, where Mario memorably meets a mother and baby penguin duo — and also races against a giant penguin in the Big Penguin Race mission. (This serves as an amusing reminder that in the Mario universe, penguins are known as “penguins.”)

According to a new video from YouTube content creator and Super Mario 64 expert Scott Buchanan (aka Pannenkoek2012), the person who finally solved the game’s locked-door mystery was Alexpalix1, an experienced speedrunner who’s developed dozens of tool-assisted runs. Alex exploited the hit box of Cool, Cool World’s mother penguin to push Mario through an invisible barrier, but added a quick turnaround move to pull off a frame-perfect maneuver that lets Mario open that door — and not plummet to his death.

Intriguingly, Alex was reportedly inspired by Buchanan’s earlier video on Super Mario 64’s use of invisible walls. The three-hour and 45-minute video offers a technical deep dive on how Nintendo designed the 3D platformer to prevent players from accessing certain parts of the game.

Buchanan offers a very quick digest on how invisible walls work in Super Mario 64 and how Nintendo intentionally used them to prevent players from accessing the unopenable door in question. But his nearly four-hour video on Super Mario 64’s invisible walls is also a fun and informative watch, if you have the time.

For now, though, just enjoy a community of video game players once again doing what was previously thought impossible.


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