Super Mario Galaxy
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Super Mario Galaxy is a 3D action-adventure platformer game for the Wii console, first released in 2007. It is the third Mario 3D platformer, and the follow-up to Super Mario 64 and Super Mario Sunshine. However, unlike the previous two 3D adventure installments for the Mario franchise, this game takes place in deep space. Most of the game's levels consist of many small planets and planetoids, while others have bigger planets. Upon release, Super Mario Galaxy received some of the highest review scores and appraisals of any Wii game to date, and of any game overall. Since its release, the game has sold over 12 million copies, making it the eighth best-selling Wii game, and earning a Nintendo Selects re-release. Super Mario Galaxy received a sequel titled Super Mario Galaxy 2 which was released for the Wii in 2010.
Every hundred years, on the eve of the Star Festival, a comet passes over the Mushroom Kingdom and causes magical stars and stardust to fall to the planet below. Peach invites Mario to her castle to join in the festivities and receive a special gift. As Mario arrives in the Castle Gardens, Bowser suddenly attacks the Toads with his airships and freezes them in crystals. He "invites" Peach to the creation of his brand new galaxy and cuts the castle off the ground with a UFO to carry it to the center of the universe. Before Mario can reach Peach, Kamek casts a spell at him, sending him into space. A Luma, whom Peach was carrying before her abduction, flees to look for Mario before Kamek warps the castle away with another spell.
When Mario later wakes up on a small grassy planet he meets Lumas and eventually Rosalina, a mysterious woman who acts as the protector of the galaxies and the mother of the Lumas. She tells Mario that her ship, the Comet Observatory, had its Power Stars and Grand Stars stolen by Bowser. Without these, the Comet Observatory is unable to move through space. Rosalina asks him to rescue the Grand Stars in order to defeat Bowser. Mario also receives help from Luma, who grants him spinning powers. Mario and Luma complete missions from galaxies in opened domes in order to receive Power Stars. Once a mission is completed, Mario collects a Power Star and unlocks the next mission. There are normally five galaxies per dome, and once Mario has collected enough Power Stars, the next galaxy in the current dome would be an enemy base where either Bowser or Bowser Jr. would be using the power of one of the Grand Stars. His next mission would be to defeat Bowser or Bowser Jr. and rescue the next Grand Star. Rescuing the Grand Star unlocks the next dome. When enough Power Stars and Grand Stars are collected, the Comet Observatory takes Mario to the center of the universe.
Here, Mario defeats Bowser in his brand new galaxy, retrieves the last Grand Star, and rescues Peach. Just then, the sun of Bowser's near-complete galaxy undergoes a supernova and becomes a supermassive Black Hole which begins pulling in everything. The Lumas from the Comet Observatory, including the Luma who had accompanied Mario throughout his adventure, throw themselves into the Black Hole in order to neutralize it, and it soon disintegrates in a massive explosion. Mario appears in front of Rosalina, who saves him from the cataclysm and tells him that this is not the end, but a new beginning for the universe, which repeats its cycle, albeit imperfectly.
Mario later awakens in the Mushroom Kingdom near Peach's Castle. He sees everyone he's met throughout his adventure celebrating, while Bowser and Peach lie next to him with no recollection of the past events. When he looks in the air, he notices the reconstructed galaxy, and exclaims "Welcome! Welcome new galaxies!" as the camera zooms out into space, revealing the reconstituted universe. If 120 Power Stars are collected, a special cut scene plays after the credits. There, Rosalina thanks Mario and says "I'll be watching you from beyond the stars." before flying off with the Comet Observatory. The Luma that accompanied Mario is shown to be alive, inside a derelict Starshroom on a small planet.
Gameplay is somewhat different from previous Mario titles, as rather than being played strictly in 2D or 3D, the game occasionally shifts from 3D to 2D and vice versa (although the core gameplay is largely in 3D); the game also utilizes sphere walking. Even with these changes, however, the gameplay heavily resembles Super Mario 64 and Super Mario Sunshine, with a similar camera system and similar gameplay mechanics.
The game has several innovations and additions to the basic 3D Mario game concept. Mario is controlled with the analog stick and can jump with the . The works just as the trigger did in Super Mario 64. The player uses it to make Mario crouch, do Somersaults and do Long Jumps. Mario can also triple jump by jumping with precise timing three times, each time jumping higher than before. The centers the camera behind Mario, while the can adjust the camera angle manually. By pressing , the player can enter a first person perspective.
The game also uses the motion-sensors of the Wii Remote. The pointer of the Remote appears as the Star Cursor on the screen. The Star Cursor is used to perform a variety of actions, such as using Pull Stars, manipulating Sling Pods, and collecting Star Bits. Shaking the Wii Remote or Nunchuk makes Mario perform a Spin.
By pressing , players can fire a Star Bit. When enemies are hit by a Star Bit, they are stunned and can be defeated with a touch, releasing Star Bits. Mario can also defeat most enemies by jumping on them, which creates a healing coin. Using the Spin to defeat enemies is also possible. Spinning may also stop an enemy from attacking; if Bowser and Mario both Star Spin at the same time, both moves get canceled. Also, if Mario or Luigi Long Jumps then lands on the ground and quickly does a Spin, they will do a small pirouette. The player can use any of these tactics or only one of them during the entire game, as a specific tactic is never required to defeat a regular enemy. Only special enemies such as the Giant Goomba in the Gateway Galaxy might require a Spin. Several enemies are, however, much easier to defeat by shooting them than by jumping on them. As in Super Mario Sunshine, Mario can jump on NPCs to gain extra height or annoy them.
Swimming is fairly simple. Mario can change his direction by using the analog stick and can dive by pressing Z. Breastsrokes are possible by pressing A repeatedly while swimming forward. Mario must return to the surface or collect air bubbles periodically in order to refill his air supply. Failure to do so could result in losing a life.
Skating is a technique used when on ice. Mario merely needs to spin while walking, and he starts to skate.
There is also a move that is not explained in the instruction booklet. If the player, while airborne, both shakes the controller and presses (to spin and ground pound at the same time), they perform a special ground pound that homes in on nearby enemies (much like Sonic the Hedgehog's Homing Attack). If there is no enemy nearby, Mario does a fancier Ground Pound. This move returns in the game's sequel, also unexplained in the packaged materials.
Featured in Super Mario Galaxy is a multiplayer mode named Co-Star Mode. By simply connecting a second Wii Remote, another player can join in and assist the first player by controlling a second Star Cursor, and in doing so can accomplish a variety of different things, some of which the first player can do, but many of which the first player cannot do. When Co-Star Mode is active, "1P" appears below Player 1's Star Cursor, and "2P" appears below Player 2's Star Cursor to help differentiate between them. When Co-Star Mode is not in use, these indicators no longer appear beneath either player's Star Cursors, until such time as Co-Star Mode becomes active again. The second player can collect Star Bits and fire them at enemies to briefly stun them. When the second Star Cursor is pointed at Mario and is pressed, the second player can make Mario perform a Co-Star Super Jump. Combining both jump techniques can make Mario jump higher than when only controlled with one controller.
Mario's Life Meter
Mario's life meter has been decreased to three total. Originally, the creators of Super Mario Galaxy thought of giving Mario a 12- or 6-part health meter, but this idea was eventually considered far too easy. There is no longer a separate health bar for underwater levels which decreases slowly. Instead, Mario has an air meter which decreases and hurts Mario's health when it hits zero. The Life Mushroom replenishes any lost health and adds a second health meter, making Mario's max health six. When Mario's health drops down to three again, the second health meter smashes and the effect of the Life Mushroom is lost.
Mario explores a 3D world with planets which have their own gravity. Several levels have arrows which Mario can turn around with a Spin, changing the direction of the gravity. The Launch Star allows Mario to launch off of a planet and go flying to the next. There is little or no warning that a boss might be located on the next planet, and there is also little indication that Mario may be facing something terrible or something peaceful on where he's headed next, and there are also no loading times and screens. The game also contains side-scrolling levels reminiscent of New Super Mario Bros. with classic enemies such as Goombas and Piranha Plants. These side-scrolling levels may also contain directional gravity, allowing Mario to walk on the walls and ceiling.
"Super Luigi Galaxy"
Collecting all 120 Power Stars and defeating Bowser once more unlocks "Super Luigi Galaxy" mode, which replaces Mario with a playable version of Luigi and presents a few gameplay differences to reflect this change. Like in a number of previous Mario games, Luigi boasts higher jumps, but lower traction compared to Mario. Luigi is also faster than Mario, but loses air faster while underwater. Cosmic Luigi is more challenging than Cosmic Mario, and Luigi receives 20 1-Up Mushrooms from Peach's letter (although if Luigi's 1-Up counter grows too high, he only receives five). Outside of these changes, the storyline is almost completely unchanged, and even includes the original NPC Luigi. When the player has defeated Bowser again and continues with "Super Luigi Galaxy", Rosalina again says if Luigi collects all 120 stars, the player can travel to a new world. When the player collects 120 Power Stars, they can travel to Grand Finale Galaxy, which shows the celebration of the Star Festival and is where the 121st Power Star is found.
Power Stars make a comeback, last being seen in Super Mario 64. The main goal of the game is to collect a minimum of sixty stars and defeat Bowser. Similar to Princess Peach's Castle in Super Mario 64 and Delfino Plaza in Super Mario Sunshine, the Comet Observatory acts as the game's hub area. There, Mario can access the galaxies from domes. New areas in the Comet Observatory become accessible as Mario gains Power Stars and Grand Stars. A minimum number of Power Stars is required to have enough power to go to each multi-star galaxy, single non-Grand Star galaxies with a ? Block icon when locked are bonuses for finishing certain star missions. The game has a level intro for each star, as in Super Mario Sunshine.
Mario encounters Luigi in four levels (located in the Good Egg Galaxy, the Honeyhive Galaxy, the Battlerock Galaxy, and the Ghostly Galaxy). In Ghostly Galaxy, Luigi is at the end of Luigi and the Haunted Mansion holding a star. After Luigi is rescued, he can be seen in the observatory and helps Mario reach secret stars that he could not get alone. When Luigi is in other galaxies, Mario receives a letter from Luigi every time Luigi has found a Power Star, including a picture which helps Mario find Luigi. After the main game is finished, Mario can return and collect up to 120 stars. Super Mario Galaxy contains a few different types of stars, including red, green, and comet stars. The Green Stars are secret stars which are used to unlock the Trial Galaxies and one Red Power Star appears when Mario returns to the gate, which allows usage of the Red Star in the Comet Observatory.
After finishing a level, Mario's highest score of coins for the galaxy is recorded and the collected Star Bits are transferred to the Comet Observatory, where Mario can later use them to feed Hungry Lumas. The requirements for opening up each galaxy is listed below, with Star Bits if the galaxy is created by a Hungry Luma. Note, however, that some galaxies are not unlocked by simply obtaining a number of stars but by completing a specific star. This is true for all Hungry Lumas except the first, and all bonus galaxies from Buoy Base Galaxy onward.
There are a total of forty-two galaxies in the game.
The amount of Power Stars and Star Bits listed after a galaxy is the amount of the corresponding collectibles that is required to unlock the galaxy.
Galaxies marked with an asterisk (*) are unlocked by feeding Hungry Lumas. Missions marked in green are Green Star missions, orange are Grand Star missions, and red is the single Red Power Star mission.
Prankster Comets are objects which interfere with a Galaxy, giving it an extra attribute. The 30 comet stars are obtained by completing special challenges in the major galaxies, such as speed runs of certain missions, "daredevil" runs (in which Mario is defeated if he takes a single hit), racing cosmic clones of Mario or Luigi, and doubling the speed of enemies and obstacles. They only appear after the corresponding regular level (e.g. Ghostly Galaxy's Bouldergeist battle) is completed, sometimes immediately, and at other times, only after another galaxy's level is completed. In some cases (like the Space Junk Galaxy), the entire galaxy has to be beaten first. There are two Prankster Comets in each of the 15 major galaxies: one of the comet types just described, plus one purple prankster comet that appears after beating Bowser's Galaxy Reactor for the first time, forcing missions where the player must collect 100 Purple Coins.
Mario encounters many new and old characters in his adventure through the galaxies. Most of these are met in one or more galaxies, though Rosalina, the Toad Brigade and the Lumas are found on the Comet Observatory.
The game has old enemies such as Goombas from Super Mario Bros. and Piranha Plants, enemies which make their 3D platformer debut such as Magikoopas and Dry Bones, as well as new enemies, which include the Octoombas and Mandibugs.
Sixteen bosses are in the game. Some of them are fought more than once. The numbers below include Prankster Comet encounters.
Throughout the game, Mario can use many new and returning items that allow him to do things that he's never been able to do before.
Mario regains his ability to attain different abilities via special mushrooms, flowers, and stars, similar to Super Mario 64, in which he could obtain the Wing Cap, the Vanish Cap, and the Metal Cap to gain new powers. In this game, Mario uses seven Power-Ups to gain new ablities.
The minigames appear during multiple missions, usually as the goal of the mission, and all except Bob-omb Blasting appear in the Trial Galaxies.
Once the player beats the game and gains 120 stars as Mario, they can fight Bowser again by talking to Rosalina. If Bowser is defeated once more, the player gets to do the whole story all over again, this time as Luigi. He is slightly faster and jumps a bit higher than Mario, but he has less traction, and the Cosmic Luigi stars are more difficult to obtain, due to Cosmic Luigi using shortcuts and techniques not used by Cosmic Mario. Luigi's Spin also takes slightly longer to recharge, and he has less air capacity than his brother. Luigi also loses air for every time he uses the Spin underwater, although he swims faster in general, and his underwater Spin gives him a larger speed boost than that of Mario. Once the player beats the game and collects 120 stars as Luigi, the 121st star becomes available.
If the player collects 9,999 Star Bits, all the coconuts in the game turn into watermelons. Both fruits have the same use.
At various points in the game, the Mailtoad gives the player a letter, which is sent to the Wii Message Board.
Whenever Luigi needs to be rescued after initially saving him from the Ghostly Galaxy, the letter says the following:
After rescuing Luigi each of these times, the letter says the following:
After getting the 121st and final Power Star from the Grand Finale Galaxy, the letter will say the following:
Dear (Mii's name),
Super Mario Galaxy: Original Soundtrack
A soundtrack for the game was released, called Super Mario Galaxy: Original Soundtrack. It was exclusive to Club Nintendo members in Japan and Europe. There is a one-disc edition and a two-disc Platinum edition.
Super Mario Galaxy finds its roots in the Super Mario 128 demo. Yoshiaki Koizumi, the director of the demo, wanted the part where Mario moves freely around a saucer-shaped platform to be included in an actual game, but found that implementing the concept would be technically demanding. Shigeru Miyamoto remained interested in the concept, and after Donkey Kong Jungle Beat's completion, asked the newly formed EAD Tokyo if they wanted to make a high-profile game starring established Nintendo characters, which led to one of the staff member suggesting that they had the skillset to make a Mario game. Yoshiaki Koizumi felt that the Jungle Beat team had the ability to make spherical platforms work and said he wanted to make the game for the Wii.
Koizumi then gathered several other members in order to create a prototype. The outer space theme was chosen due to him finding that most players would interpret spherical shapes as planets, and gravity was added. The prototype was shown to Nintendo after three months of development, which approved it.
Although Miyamoto was not working full time at EAD Tokyo, he frequently visited the studio to share ideas and oversee development. One of his suggestions was to include a delay between spinning instead of having Mario spin continuously by shaking the Wii Remote, so that the game would be more challenging and interesting to play. A setup was eventually created so that both the Kyoto and Tokyo offices could playtest the game.
The development team made heavy use of play-testers due to the studio's experience while developing Donkey Kong Jungle Beat. One of Koizumi's main concern were the camera angles and the motion sickness they caused. He thought camera-induced motion sickness was a problem with 3D action games, and found neither Super Mario Sunshine nor Donkey Kong Jungle Beat's solutions satisfying.
EAD Tokyo was pressured to finish the game close to the Wii's launch, as several executives were disappointed by Super Mario Sunshine not being a GameCube launch title and thought that an earlier release could have helped the GameCube's commercial performance. However, EAD Tokyo decided that making a polished Mario game was more important.
Super Mario Galaxy has been met with universal acclaim, receiving a GameRankings score of 97.64% from 78 reviews, making it the highest rated game on the website, while scoring a 97/100 on Metacritic, the third-highest score on the website.
Famitsu Magazine has given Super Mario Galaxy a score of 38/40. The Official Nintendo Magazine UK gave the game 97%. It was called the best game of the decade and praised for having excellent graphics, sound and gameplay as well as a mixture of new features and classic features. Australia's longest-running unofficial multi-format gaming magazine, Hyper, scored the game 97 out of 100, tied for the highest score ever given in the history of the magazine, running since 1993. Also, it was voted by readers as the Game of the Year for 2007. The game placed 51st in the 200th Issue of GameInformer's "Top 200 Games of All Time". Nintendo Power ranked it as best Mario mainstream title in their May 2012 issue.
Super Mario Galaxy is the 8th best-selling game for the Wii, selling 12.72 million copies worldwide as of September 2016.
Pre-release and unused content
Rosalina was intended to be related to Princess Peach, and Rosalina had a very similar appearance reflecting this. Bonefin Galaxy was intended to be much darker, as was Deep Dark Galaxy. These were changed in the interest of playability. Guppy was originally a dolphin, and a friendly character. Some art of the Sea Slide and Beach Bowl Galaxies suggests that they were conceived as a single galaxy, with beach bowl's main planet in the center of Sea Slide's ring. A piece of concept art labeled only "fortress" is captioned as a piece that is very memorable to the SMG development team, since it was one of the earliest drawings of Galaxy. Ironically, the planet shown in the art is nowhere in the final game.
Super Mario Galaxy was the first Mario game to be translated to French for Quebec; that market had previously received Mario titles in English rather than French. This followed a deal between the Office québécois de la langue française and the video game industry to have every game available for that region in French by 2009. In the Quebec localization, NPCs (particularly the Lumas and the Toad Brigade) make heavy use of Joual accents and slang. This translation choice sparked a minor controversy, with representatives of the OQLF and the Union des artistes criticizing it for promoting poor literacy to children. A Nintendo representative responded that the translation was made with "localizing for the market" in mind, as the Quebec market made up 25% of sales for Nintendo of Canada at the time.
Following the negative reception to the localizations of Super Mario Galaxy and The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass (which featured a similarly Joual-heavy translation), later American French translations would be written in Standard French (with the exception of the similarly-translated Paper Mario: Sticker Star, as well as the Pokémon series which would simply retain its European French translations and corresponding slang).
A team of 100 individuals were involved in the development and publishing of Super Mario Galaxy, not counting those who merely localized the game for American and European audiences. The game's diverse staff ranged from Mario franchise veterans to complete newcomers.
Shigeru Miyamoto conceived the game and was its co-producer with Takao Shimizu. Yoshiaki Koizumi was the director and chief designer. The level design was directed by Koichi Hayashida, the programming by Naoki Koga, and the sound by Masafumi Kawamura. Characters original to the game were designed by a team of six people — Atsushi Mishima, Daisuke Watanabe, Rikuto Yoshida, Masanori Esaki, Kazuhiro Saito, and Takumi Ishii. Koji Kondo co-wrote the game's soundtrack with Mahito Yokota.
Super Mario Galaxy Trading Cards are trading cards that were released to celebrate the release of Super Mario Galaxy. These helped amplify the publicity of the game. Each booster pack would have two regular cards, one trivia card, one standee, and one FunTat.
References to other games
References in later games
Names in other languages