There's a speedrunning trick in Super Mario 64 where you can collect the star "Blast Away The Wall" in Whomp's Fortress without using the cannon.

A bizarre side-effect of collecting the star without a cannon is that, once collected, the in-game music will stop playing entirely, leaving Mario to celebrate in silence.

Initially I thought this may have been a cartridge specific bug or an emulation issue, but I've seen this glitch happen consistently during both Console Verified and Tool Assisted Speedruns.

I've been wracking my head around why this could be happening, but I'm completely stumped. I've only ever seen the music cut out when performing this speedrunning trick in Whomp's Fortress. As far as I can tell, the glitch is unique to this one specific star.

Why does collecting "Blast Away The Wall" without a cannon mute the in-game music?

  • 13
    The obvious answer is "it's a bug"
    – Powerlord
    Jul 17, 2017 at 2:50
  • 1
    This question has a meta discussion, please contribute your thoughts there.
    – Robotnik
    Jul 22, 2017 at 22:41

1 Answer 1


The reason why the music cuts out is because of the piranha plant nearby. Normally when you walk close to a sleeping piranha plant, the music fades out, and the lullaby music plays instead. When Mario walks far enough away, the music turns back to normal.

The reason that the music fades out completely for cannonless is because of the downwarp after collecting the star. When Mario grabs the ledge to collect the star, he is still in range of the sleeping piranha plant's lullaby. After the downwarp the game recognizes Mario significantly out of range of the piranha plant, so the game cuts off the lullaby at the same time that it would normally start playing the music for the course. Due to this, any music that tries to load is cutoff, and we can only hear Mario speaking.

To verify, try killing the piranha plant then doing the cannonless setup vs just doing the cannonless setup when leaving it alive. The music will only cutoff when the piranha plant is alive.

SM64 is actually pretty stable in the crashing regard. As far as I'm aware, there's only one specific reproducible crash due to a null read when looking for sound. This is the infamous sound glitch in SSL, where the game essentially tries to play too many sounds at once, glitches out, and stops playing any sound at all. This sound glitch was patched out in the US release anyways, and is only possible on the J 1.0 release of SM64.

If you want to know the answer to similar questions to this one, I'd recommend checking out the SM64 TASing Discord where people analyze and TAS the game.

  • 5
    Well done. +1 for a technical explanation without any gritty technical details, and simple steps to verify. Jul 24, 2017 at 11:22

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