Up until the early aughts I’d been a Mario fanatic. I’d played and beaten every entry into the franchise including spinoffs like Super Mario RPG and Paper Mario. About the time the Wii hit shelves, my enthusiasm had unexplainably died down and, though I loved the new Nintendo system, I wasn’t buying in to another Mario game. Unbeknownst to me, I had deprived myself of the most insane, imaginable, downright wacky Mario to date: Super Mario Galaxy.
Luckily, Dan‘s here, and he made me sit down and fly my way though the Galaxy’s varied and ingenious landscapes. Its odd premise brings Mario into the cosmos, changing the “world” format from Mario’s early years ever so slightly into “galaxies.” Each galaxy is filled with planets, each with their own themes, enemies, and gravitational pull. All these things lead to some zany-ass platforming.
In the pantheon of Super Mario’s inexplicably bizarre history, Galaxy is truly the one most akin to an acid trip. Nintendo’s developers unleashed their psyche, putting anything and everything in these crazy galaxies to mind-fuck you into oblivion. Here are five of the most imaginative and most fucked:
Loopdeeloop Galaxy is what you would get if an insane water park owner made a dope-ass water slide, and then took the slide away and you were left with just the water. Seriously, this thing would fit right into Action Park (cause someone could die). And what do you do on a gigantic water slide with no bottom? Surf on a manta ray you fucking idiot! Just watch out because a giant floating body of water doesn’t have sides.
Mario continues his trip when he falls into a world bubbling with poisonous water! Holy shit, Mario! How do you go about traversing a landscape where the basic life-giving supplement of water is harmful to you! Oh…
Oh, you float around in a giant bubble? Of course…
In Bubble Breeze, an new mechanic is introduced. Instead of platforming, you use the wiimote to blow him (hah) around. It’s new, challenging and, unfortunately a one off. The mechanic is never returned too, may it rest in peace.
Besides that, Bubble Breeze has some pretty dope fauna.
As the name suggests, Toy Time is like David Copperfield went into your child’s room late at night, screamed “Fuck You!”, threw their picturesque toys into the air and made them float with magic. THEN little robot men inhabited them and started asking you to please get rid of the other, nastier robot men. I know it certainly makes me nostalgic for my childhood, in which I was afraid of David Copperfield (seriously, how does he do that shit!?).
Anywho, Toy Time Galaxy features my favorite sequence of the game, having you fly to a gigantic 8-bit Mario and traverse ever-diminishing platforms to get a star. It’s pretty hectic and it looks really sweet.
If any of these galaxies make the argument that Shigeru Miyamoto and Co. were into some hard shit while developing this game, it’s Matter Splatter. It’s a trip from the beginning, placing Mario in a temple looking structure floating in a green vortex… or something. The hook is this: the platforms you have to jump to only appear when these weird light droplet hits them, resulting in a ton of close calls.
This is my favorite galaxy of the game. It just looks sleek and is fun to play. Also, I’m tripping balls.
Oh man, Melty Molten. Of all the insane shit this game throws at you, this one’s the stupidest. I mean look at it!
It’s a Satanists wet dream! Flaming boulders!? A volcano!? A LITERAL tube of fire? And the shit they make you do in there is no joke. Look how close this bullet dude is to my asshole in this puzzle:
Come on dude! That tube of fire is the worst though, I still haven’t beaten it. They make you try ride on top of a ball like a fucking circus act. But, “we don’t grow when things are easy,” they say, “we grow when we face challenges.” Let’s put it to the test: