Despite being such a popular Nintendo character, Waluigi has never had a game to call his own. But a new Super Mario 64 ROM hack, Waluigi’s Taco Stand, finally corrects this grave injustice.
This new N64 game is the work of renowned Super Mario 64 modder Kaze Emanuar. They’ve made a number of mods, including the recent mash-up Super Zelda 64: Ocarina of Time.
What’s Waluigi’s Taco Stand about?
Waluigi’s Taco Stand is based on a fanfiction of the same name.
After blowing all his coins at the local casino, Waluigi is unable to make his rent. To repay his debt and avoid eviction, he must run his Koopa Troopa landlord’s taco stand.
But it’s not a case of simply handing over tacos to hungry customers. For every single order a sombrero-wearing Waluigi must enter a mini-level and personally source the ingredients.
Customers are very picky. So it’s important to remember what they’ve ordered. If you don’t collect exactly what they ask for, you’ll have to do the whole order again.
The game is set across four stages. As you make more tacos, you’ll rank up and progress to the next stage.
Unsurprisingly, Waluigi’s Taco Stand plays almost exactly like Super Mario 64. Waluigi has the same innate jump and attack abilities. He can also use the classic Wing Cap power-up.
However, Waluigi’s clearly superior physical prowess has not been forgotten. He can’t take any damage from enemies or falling great heights. What a champ!
Searching for taco fillings is fairly straightforward. Tomatoes and lettuces are found in the ground, whereas meat ingredients come from enemy creatures.
If you ever thought beef came from cows then you’re wrong – it’s actually Goombas. Slightly more worrying is the fact that Goombas also endorse cannibalism, given how many of them order beef tacos at the stand.
Some ingredients are surprisingly tricky to get hold of. To source chicken, for example, you have to use the Wing Cap and fly into a Klepto.
Once you’ve collected every item you need, you can then choose to serve the taco using the pause menu.
Waluigi’s Taco Stand is short, simple and endearingly silly. It re-uses a lot of Super Mario 64’s assets, but also includes music and sound effects from other N64 games, such as Mario Kart 64 and The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.
Best of all, there are plenty of Waluigi voice clips to give the game a truly authentic feel. There’s more than enough “WAH” factor here.
How can I play Waluigi’s Taco Stand?
You must download the files and patch them to a clean ROM of Super Mario 64.
You can find a link to the files in the Waluigi’s Taco Stand launch video description. However, you will have to find the Super Mario 64 ROM elsewhere. This may be a bit difficult as many ROM sites are currently closing down.
The video below provides an overview of the patching process. The Waluigi’s Taco Stand download files include patching software, so you don’t need to source this separately.
Will it run on original hardware?
Yes! This is one of the very few Kaze Emanuar mods that actually works on original N64 hardware.
You will need to use a flashcart, such as an EverDrive 64, to load Waluigi’s Taco Stand on an N64. The game also requires an Expansion Pak in order to run.
We played through the entire game on original hardware, and initially didn’t encounter any performance issues. However, the game froze during our second playthrough when we tried to pick up the Wing Cap power-up. So your mileage may vary – it may be that we just got lucky the first time round!
It’s nice to see Nintendo’s hugely under-represented anti-hero get the sort of attention he deserves. And that fact it’s on the N64 – the very console where Waluigi made his first appearance – makes it all the better.