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Dr. Mario 64

Vital Stats
System(s): Nintendo 64
U.S. Release Date: April 2001
Current street price: $30.00
Save: Battery Back-up
Size: Four difficulty levels, 7 modes
Players: 1 -4 Players Simultaneous
ESRB Rating: E (Everyone)

In a nutshell
The doctor is in... again. Line up falling, colored pills to get rid of pesky viruses before the pills pile up. Some new modes, including a story mode, are added, but otherwise it's the same old Dr. Mario.

Story
Note: This story comes straight from the Dr. Mario 64 instruction book
Flu season has struck! Now Dr. Mario, armed with his mighty Megavitamins, is busier than ever treating patients. But wait-Wario and the mysterious Mad Scienstein are spying on Mario and eyeing his magic cure-all. Of course, Wario just wants to get rich, but who's Mad Scienstein working for? The intrigue is deep, and the action is fast and furious as all sorts of villainous types scramble to get their hands on Dr. Mario's Megavitamins.

Gameplay Overview
I doubt many people don't know how to play Mario anymore, but I'll outline it for you anyway. A continuous stream of pills are thrown into a large vial. Each pill has two sections, each of which is either red, yellow or blue. The pill can be flipped 90 degrees as it falls, until it lands on the bottom of the vial, on another pill, or on a virus (viruses are similarly colored red yellow and blue). When any combination of four pill sections/viruses are lined up in a straight line, they all dissapear. The goal is to use the falling pills to get rid of the viruses before the vial fills up. Sr. Mario 64 presents it's share of play modes, including: In four player play modes, you don't get to choose which opponent gets garbage dropped on them when you clear viruses. Instead, each player is assigned a color and garbage is dropped based on the first color of the virus(es) you clear.

What's the big deal?
The story mode:
Dr. Mario has been around for nearly as long as Tetris, with versions on the NES, SNES and Game Boy. Yet all these versions have existed in a void. We knew Mario was a doctor (which is hard enough to accept as it is, but that's another story), and we knew there were these viruses in a cup, but we had no idea why we were trying to destroy them. With the story mode, we finally have some idea of the motivation behind this pill-dropping madness. The addition of Wario and the new Mad Scienstein to the Dr. Mario mix only helps matters. Or, if you don't think this is that important, how about...
The bargain: Nintendo isn't stupid. They know most people aren't going to pay full price for a 9-year old game on a dying system. So the marketers at Nintendo offer Dr. Mario 64 at a bargain price of $30. At this price, the game is perfect for hardcore gamers looking for a bargain as well as casual gamers looking for a fun party game.

Notes of interest
Story mode uses flat, Paper Mario style graphics.
Dr. Mario is the only Mario franchise to be on the NES, Game Boy, SNES, and N64.
First 4-player Mario puzzle game.
First appearance of Mad Scienstein and Rudy.
One storyline told from two different points of view (Mario's and Wario's)

Quote
"I didn't steal the megavitamins! It was him! After him! Those are Wario's!"
-Wario

Ending
After Mario defeats Rudy, the mastermind behind Mad Scienstein's plans, he finds out that Rudy has a cold. He gives him some Megavitamins and he feels much less evil... "Now if only he would stop stealing." Wario's storyline ends with him putting the beats down on Mad Scienstein while Mario finishes off Rudy.



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