Dynamic Level Rearrangement, more commonly abbreviated as DLR within the community, is the name given to a percieved algorithmic change to levels in Super Mario 64, intended to bring a fresh experience to new playthroughs. Seen as an instance or branch of Nintendo's experimental personalisation A.I., it involves modifying level assets such as textures, object positions and object banks, and on rarer occasions text string changes and music rearrangement.
Dynamic Level Rearrangement is perhaps one of the most common and well-documented changes within personalised copies of Super Mario 64, spanning a wide scope of changes that can affect gameplay. It is not to be confused with Dynamic Level Arrangement, a similar algorithm that takes pre-existing assets to create a new, original level.
The Dynamic Level Rearrangement system is able to alter stages. In most cases, the system rearranges the objects of a level to create a brand new mission objective. This is presumably done to make the mission easier or harder for the player and their skill level, which is the naive reasoning for the A.I.'s existence. It can also change the textures and skybox of a level to change it aesthetically, though why the A.I. does this is unknown.
In more rare cases, Dynamic Level Rearrangement changes the text strings of signs and the music played in the background. For text, this seems very buggy as it can often repeat words on loop for seemingly no reason, or just bug out and have "null" lines. For music however, the system seems a lot smarter and is sometimes able to create brand new compositions for the stage.
Dynamic Level Rearrangement pulls from multiple sources within Super Mario 64's code, even if it's scrapped content. Unused content frequently appears as a result of Dynamic Level Rearrangement, whether it be unused textures or strings being pulled from memory or inaccessible areas opened up from the newly arranged pieces of level.
Because of the experimental nature of this algorithm, many bizarre and unintended oddities can happen through the use of Dynamic Level Rearrangement. In likelihood, many players who have experienced a crash when loading a level in Super Mario 64 might have experienced a type of Dynamic Level Rearrangement that's incompatible with a retail Nintendo 64.
There are other instances of anomalous changes to levels that appear to be related to Dynamic Level Rearrangement, though happen frequently on their own without the other features of DLR. These phenomena are as follows:
- Notable Star Relocation, a phenomenon in which the position of a Power Star within a course changes as well as the central objective. This appears to be Dynamic Level Rearrangement, though the fact these new star positions come with names make it seem more specialized than just an instance of DLR.
- Enemy Discoloring, a phenomenon in where the colour and sometimes behaviour of an enemy is changed. Some of these changes happen in conjunction with Dynamic Level Rearrangement to change the general theme of a level, and borrows similar conventions of taking existing textures and altering model colours.
- Coin Discoloring, a phenomenon where the colour and behavior of a coin in the game is changed to fit the needs of the player. This is seen mostly in major instances of Dynamic Level Rearrangement although some reports have said that it can be found in minor Dynamic Level Rearrangement.
- Dynamic Level Arrangement, the aforementioned instance of a unique level being created from pre-existing assets within Super Mario 64. While using the same conventions of Dynamic Level Rearrangement, here it creates an entirely new level as opposed to rearranging an existing one.
- Star Discoloring, A phenomena where the colour and behavior of a Power Star is changed, usually in a significant way.
There have been frequent and recurring instances of Dynamic Level Rearrangement that multiple users have recorded, possibly inferring that these instances are predetermined rearrangements of the level that the A.I. may choose.
|Bob-omb Battlefield||Perhaps one of the most prevelant instances of Dynamic Level Rearrangement is the texture change to Bob-omb Battlefield that makes it look more like a sunset. This version of Bob-omb Battlefield sports a notable orange haze, as well as a recoloured sky texture which turns the blue vibrant sky into a warmer orange one.|
|Whomp's Fortress||Nicknamed as the Ruins by the community, a common rearrangement of Whomp's Fortress gives it a desolate and decrepit look. It appears that this might've been an intentional change to Whomp's Fortress pulled from deep within the game, as the few who have seen this level claim to encounter NPCs that talk about what happened to this place.|
|Lethal Lava Land||A more simple instance, the stage Lethal Lava Land is recolored to be blue. It is also changed to resemble night, as the skybox is usually a dark blue starry sky; and the textures, barring the lava, are darker. While typically all or most of textures in the stage are recolored, occasionally only the lava is, giving the course a weird contrast. An associated instance of Dynamic Level Rearrangement is the bullies being replaced with the unused small Chill Bullies. Curiously, nobody has reported the Big Bullies being replaced yet.|
|Big Boo's Haunt||A common occurance of Dynamic Level Rearrangement makes it so that the outside ground is retextured to look like dirt, scuttlebugs appear more often inside and outside, and trees are placed around Big Boo's Haunt, rarely even appearing inside the mansion. People typically claim the trees are either the same as the trees in the courtyard, or unique leafless trees. They are usually just for aesthetics, but sometimes there is a 5 Secrets mission with the secrets hidden in the tops of the trees. Oddly, sometimes Hoot may be found in a tree, despite the level's design not really requiring him. He can act as an easy way to get to the top of the mansion, although nobody has reported him appearing before the Second Floor is unlocked.|
There have been reports of DLR from players over the years, but for a long while there hadn't been any authentic evidence of it ever happening. There hasn't been any video evidence up until recently with the advent of modern technology and the spike in intrigue with Super Mario 64 phenomena.
A part of jefftastic's series, the Youtuber had discovered one of the most frequent instances of DLR within Bob-omb Battlefield, being the sunset aesthetic. The star locked behind the Chain Chomp's gate had been moved around to the top of the mountain. A row of coins had replaced the star's former location. Shortly afterwards, the footage cuts to him collecting the star on top of the mountain. After beating the stage, his game crashes there.
This other player had Dynamic Level Rearrangement affect Hazy Maze Cave, changing the textures to a blue tint and giving the walls a brick texture as opposed to the rocky walls of the original. This more closely resembled the original underground levels of Super Mario Bros.. All of the Scuttlebugs had been replaced with Goombas.
The most striking change was the second mission, now named "Gold Mine for 8-Coins". The red coins, which used to be situated in one room only, had been moved around the entire stage. This included replacing the place of another star, which had seemingly been moved as well. The player hasn't commented on where this star has moved.
Another player encountered the ruined version of Whomp's Fortress.
Dynamic Level Rearrangement is commonly theorised to be a positive branch of Nintendo's personalisation A.I., intended to change up every player's experience with Super Mario 64 for every new playthrough of the game. It could be intended to adjust the difficulty of the game for more experienced players too. On the surface, Dynamic Level Rearrangement doesn't appear to be very malicious nor unintended, leading many to assume that Nintendo added it with positive intentions. Assuming that the original A.I. was merely adopted not created by Nintendo, it can be inferred that Dynamic Level Rearrangement is merely the innocent patchwork of a more devious and maladjusted creation.
- Many players who have experienced Dynamic Level Rearrangement also claim they've seen the White-eyed Chomp beforehand, including jefftastic. While it's unknown whether or not the two anomalies are related, the White-Eyed Chomp usually appears when the game is bound to be personalised.