VS Mode (also called Versus Mode) is a competitive wireless multiplayer mode that is exclusive to the DS version of Super Mario 64. It allows up to four players to fight and compete in battles to earn the most stars and coins on a given map. There are four maps available. Players can also attack and steal one another to force their opponents to drop out stars, wings, as well as use power-ups for aid.
To reach VS Mode, the player has go to the main menu and select the orange VS icon on the left side of the screen. The DS will begin looking for other players. For VS Mode, you only need one game card. The other players can use their Nintendo DS to download the game by going to DS Download Play from the DS main menu and the game will be found. They will be different colored Yoshis (red, blue, and yellow). The person (host) with the game card is the default Green Yoshi. All these Yoshis come from Super Mario World. It is possible for other players to continue playing after one person quits after round (not while playing the round). For example, if player 2 (Red Yoshi) quits after a round and two other players continue, then there'll be Green and Blue (player 3) without Red).
After everyone has tapped the "Touch to Start" button, the person with the game card, or the person who started the session, will decide which maps to play on. Press to reach the controller settings. Press to reach sound options and toggle the backlight on or off.
VS Mode maps can be also played in single-player mode to practice alone to know where all the stars, coins, caps are.
The Plumbers' Caps
Caps are special items only available in VS Mode. Yoshis can transform into Mario, Luigi, or Wario. Each cap is specific to one of the characters. If a character picks up a different cap (e.g. Mario picks up a Wario cap), then that character will transform into the one represented by the cap (e.g. Mario will turn into Wario). A transformed character takes on all of the new character's abilities. If a transformed character gets hit by another player, then the transformed character will return back to it's original form. If all players attack each other at the same time, then all will get hurt, rather than just one.
Each character has one or more special abilities that are only available in VS Mode.
- Wall Kick
This isn't an attack, but it allows him to jump from wall to wall in a small space, which is useful for climbing and evading enemies. Run towards a wall and press to leap into the air, then press once more as Mario reaches the wall to jump off of it in the opposite direction. Pressing whenever Mario is near a surface will allow Mario to jump higher and higher as he bounces from one wall to the next.
Luigi has three moves.
- Backward Somersault
- Water Run
- Swing and Fling
A VS Mode exclusive ability, Wario has only one ability. He can knock out opponents slightly longer, grab, spin, and throw enemies by approaching them and pressing to grab them. Then press the in a circle, over and over, to swing them. Press to let go when Wario is swinging them quickly to throw them really far, just like how you defeat Bowser. This is actually one of the best moves in VS Mode and can stun some opponents.
Yoshis can use their tongue to swallow other players and spit them out. This damages them and knocks their star out. Press to swallow nearby players or objects. Press while holding things in Yoshi's mouth to force him to spit them out. Though they cannot swallow transformed characters or characters with caps. Yoshi (slightly higher than Luigi's scuttle) can jump really high with the flutter kick Press and hold the button.
There are four courses to play in VS Mode.
In this course, there are some exclusive parts added in. When you go toward the 150 star cannon (see Castle Cannon, Roof, and Yoshi's Reward under Secrets), there is a staircase leading to an elevator (see Hazy Maze Cave) that will eventually lead to a power star. In addition, all the doors are blocked with red velvet rope. Also, there is a chain chomp bouncing across the front of the castle and there's a moving platform added to the lake, pond, and moat.
This course is in Peach's Rec. Room in the main adventure. In the main game, only Mario can use the wing cap, but in this version, there is a ! block with a feather in it that all the characters can use. Yoshis grow wings on their backs like in Super Mario World. In addition to what is regularly there, all of the enemies and objects have disappeared.
Princess' Secret Slide
The smallest level in this mode accessed in the character selection room. Stars here don't have star spheres and falling off causes players to return to the beginning of the slide. The end is the best place for attacking opponents. There's a hidden grey brick. To access it exit the tunnel, and turn right to long jump.
This is the largest course hidden in the boo's courtyard under the three brick blocks. In this version, all of the enemies are removed, except the black rolling balls, but only Wario can destroy these. This stage also has yellow boxes containing feathers.