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Hori Mini Pad

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The red Hori Mini Pad.

The Hori Mini Pad (also sometimes called the Hori Pad Mini and the Hori Mini) is a second party Nintendo 64 controller that was released exclusively in Japan by Hori late in the Nintendo 64's lifespan in several color variants. Unlike the first party controller, the Mini Pad comes with two Z buttons as opposed to one, and as such, two Z buttons are allowed on custom button layouts. Due to its scarcity, it has become a rare find and is highly sought after by competitive Nintendo 64 tournament scenes and collectors due to its high quality for a second party controller, to the extent that it is often referred to as the gold standard of Nintendo 64 controllers as well as one of the Holy Grails of gaming controllers in general. As such, it rarely appears in secondhand markets, and is typically sold for much higher than its original asking price. Despite its reputation, the controller isn't without its flaws. Its notably small size can cause it to be difficult for some people to hold. Additionally, the control stick, like other second party controllers, is noticeably more sensitive, which can make some games harder to efficiently play.

In competitive play[edit]

The Hori Mini Pad is widely considered as superior to the official Nintendo 64 controller. Due to its more conveniently-shaped and high quality design, the Hori Mini Pad is considered a tournament standard and is preferred by several top Super Smash Bros. smashers, including Revan, tacos, and EmmiZhang, for its ease of Smash DI, taunt cancels, and pivoting. This reputation took a while to cultivate due to releasing on in Japan with the rest of the world not having a proper chance to experience the controller. The rise of the internet and message boards, as well as online marketplaces like Ebay and Amazon, played a major part in spreading awareness and demand for the controller internationally.

Because of its rarity and popularity, several third party companies have made attempts to create similar controllers to the Hori Mini Pad. In 2018, Retro-Bit, a third party company that produces similar products, announced they had signed a deal with Hori to reprint the Mini Pad under their name. Their version of the Mini Pad has since been released on their website under the name "Tribute64", with the choice of either a Nintendo 64 or USB plug.