There is a lot of horror to found in Super Mario 64, but this one is one of the uncannier choices. There has been a lot of talk about Super Mario 64 between the huge mega leak and the remake as well as the “Iceberg” video. This includes the “Negative Aura” surrounding Wet/Dry World.
To be fair there weren’t many people to talk to this about when I was younger but this level is probably my least favorite of all the courses in Super Mario 64. On one end it took me ages to realize how you jumped into the painting affected the water lever. It also took me a while to realize that the town was actually buried behind that large gate.
Speaking of, this is contextually horrifying as an adult. A town was boarded up and flooded with no proper way to escape and the actual level was built over the town sealing it all away.
On the other end there was just this oppressive atmosphere about the level. The music certainly didn’t help either. It’s weird as well because this was used in multiple levels including Hazy Maze Cave and the Pyramid in shifting sand land. I didn’t have a problem with it in those levels but in Wet/Dry world it just feels off. I’m not sure if it’s the design of the level with its enclosed spaces, or if it’s the lighting and the sky box that make it feel so… draining. Regardless it is what it is. At the very least I’m pleased to know that I wasn’t the only one who felt this way.