You don’t need Mario’s wing cap to soar across the levels in Super Mario 64. Thanks to the noclip.website, you can freely explore levels from popular games like Super Mario 64, The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, and the Super Mario Galaxy series.
It is sort of like Google Maps but for popular 3D video games. All you need to do is go to the website, load up the game, and pick a level. The library of retro classics includes PC, Xbox, and PlayStation 2 titles as well as Nintendo classics.
Noclip was primarily coded by site creator Jasper, along with a team of contributors. In the site, FAQ, they describe Noclip as a place to “explore and deepen your appreciation for some of your favorite games.”
The FAQ elaborates on how Noclip was made. “In order to put a game on the website, I first need to take apart the game, extract the data, and then figure out how to put it back together,” Jasper writes.
Noclip allows visitors to load up specific levels and explore them by clicking and dragging the mouse and using the WASD keys. In some games, interacting with the environment is an important part of seeing all of it, and Noclip allows for that as well. For example, in Pokémon Snap, you can throw fruit to unlock new scenarios in the game. In Noclip, players can also throw fruit to see these scenarios and explore the game. Not every game and level is a perfect recreation, but Jasper and their collaborators aim to make fully accurate versions of each game.
It’s a genuine delight for any fan of the games, although some spots are more interesting to look at than others. The 3D Mario worlds are especially fun, since you can see everything from the top down, but Luigi’s Mansion is harder to explore because everything is indoors. Still, it’s cool to see old games from a new perspective — and one you don’t usually get in third and first-person adventures.
As with all fan projects that use assets from big companies like Nintendo, this one also runs the risk of being taken down. However, Jasper said they’re not concerned; they don’t see noclip.website as copying or competing with any Nintendo game. “It’s more of a museum, not a game,” they said. At the time of publication, the website was still up and running.