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Mario can only obtain this form when he grabs a Red Star. In this form, Mario's hat and overalls become black, while his overall buttons and shoes turn red, but his shirt remains the same (Luigi undergoes the same changes, except with dark green instead of black and with green instead of red). While in this form, spinning while jumping allows Mario to fly. This is similar to the Wing Cap ability from Super Mario 64, except that the player has much more control, and Mario can fly the whole time, rather than having to gain momentum first. This form also allows Mario to attract nearby coins by spinning. After a limited amount of time, Flying Mario will revert back to normal Mario.
This form has many different controls. While flying, Mario can hold the button to hover in midair. He can then change his direction by tilting around, and the light streaks he leaves behind go in front of him as a guide to where he will go. Pressing once while flying causes Mario to stop flying, do a somersault in the air, and fall to the ground slowly. Mario can then press again to do a ground-pound.
This power-up's uses are quite minimal, since without hacking, it can only be used at the Comet Observatory and the Gateway Galaxy. Within the Comet Observatory, if Mario talks to the Pink Lumas besides the Domes and causes the Launch Star to appear, Flying Mario can reach the warp to the galaxy without using the Launch Star. However, this only works with the Pink Lumas next to the Terrace and the Engine Room. Strangely, Flying Mario cannot access the planet containing the Trial Galaxies on his own. Mario will hit an invisible wall and fall back down to the Comet Observatory. This was most likely done to prevent the player from using Flying Mario to get to the Trial Galaxies before getting the three Green Power Stars.
On the Comet Observatory, the powerup can be used to get hidden 1-Up Mushrooms scattered around the area. One is at the very top of the spire, another one is under the Gate, and one is under the Library.
Flying Mario, Boo Mario, and Spring Mario are the only power-ups in Super Mario Galaxy that can be worn off and deactivated by a Launch Star. Flying Mario, however, can only be deactivated by the Green Launch Star due to the Comet Observatory being the only place other than the Gateway Galaxy the power up is used, though there are no Launch Stars in Gateway's Purple Coins.
This power-up does not return in Super Mario Galaxy 2, though the form is in the programming.
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