The 'Shroom:Issue LXVII/Character Comparison
Happy Halloween readers of the Zombie 'Shroom! This month, those of you with weak constitutions may want to turn back. For I will be comparing some of the most affrighting, horrendous, terrifying, mysterious abominations in all of Mario lore. Incidentally, we know less about the creatures I am going to discuss than any others in Mario's world. I can't even assign them names. But perhaps that is what makes them so creepy, the fact that these entities are so, in a word, mysterious. For indeed the imagination is a powerful thing, and what we can't know about them causes our spines to tingle. It may even horrify us.
Hell Valley Sky Tree
The first creatures I am going to be discussing are the coterie of unidentifiable beings of the Hell Valley Sky Tree. That is the name of the game texture name of these beings, most commonly believed to be aliens, in the Shiverburn Galaxy of Super Mario Galaxy 2. While in first-person mode, Mario must look up at the glacier to see them. Nothing can be known about these creatures except one thing: They're watching you. They can also be seen spying on Mario in the Grandmaster Galaxy by the Pull Stars as well. There is no way to get closer to them, as they are part of the background. Perhaps we will never know more about them. But one noteworthy question remains unanswered: What are we to make of that mysterious UFO in 1-3 of Super Mario 3D Land? Could that have been their ship? Were they spying on Mario for a second time?...
The Level 4-4 Ghost
...Which brings us to our next creature, to whom our first trio is being compared. That, my friends, is the fiend that appears at the very end of 4-4. Let's call him the Unidentified Shy Ghost'. Unlike the Hell Valley Sky Tree creatures, which we do not know with absolute certainty are aliens, we do know with absolute certainty that this creature is indeed a ghost. Many people believe he resembles a tall, slender Shy Guy. If he were indeed the ghost of a Shy Guy, it would not be the first time such a spirit was seen. Ghostly Shy Guys of course were in Luigi's Mansion, and though their masks could be sucked off, their faces still could not be seen due to it being too dark and shadowy under their hoods. But none of them could compare to the unnerving terror of the 3D Land ghost. It is located just past the Flagpole, near the gate. As you can see in my video link, it suddenly appears out of nowhere. It begins to brightly flash, and then it's mouth eerily opens huge and wide. He then fades away into the blackness from whence he came, in pure dismay. He is truly a somber apparition. And he strikes terror into the souls of unsuspecting gamers unfortunate enough to stumble upon him. Like the Hell Valley Sky Tree entities, the Unidentified Shy Ghost is also an Easter Egg. What are some other Easter Eggs that have scared gamers the world over?
Luigi may not have seen a Shy Guy (or the spirit thereof)'s face in Luigi's Mansion, but a few years later, in Mario Power Tennis, he did! This happened during one of the Award Ceremonies. We, the player, did not see it, of course. But let's get back to Luigi's Mansion. Some creepy elements were taken out of the game because Nintendo did not want to scare small kids. For example, there was originally going to be a hunter ghost in the Safari Room who planned on adding Luigi's head to his list of trophies. While head-hunters had been mentioned in Cool, Cool Mountain a half-decade prior, they had never been seen. I, for one, think the decision to remove the ghost and leave us with an empty (of Portrait Ghosts) Safari Room was stupid. Having such a character is no worse than what may have been in a Disney kid's film of the 1940s. But there is an Easter Egg from the game that makes the nixed hunter pale in comparison on the creepy scale. I'm referring to, of course, the Hanging Luigi Shadow in the Telephone Room. While talking to either Toad or E. Gadd on the telephone, when lightning strikes, an image of Luigi hanging from a noose can briefly be seen on the wall. Perhaps it is an illusion created by the Boos or any of the other evil spirits in the mansion to scare Luigi out of there. But it's there. The noose can clearly be seen wrapped around his neck. The rest of the rope cannot be seen simply because the screen does not go up far enough. Some say it is even stranger than it seems because there is no window in the room. But there is, on the south wall, and can only be seen with the Game Boy Horror. Some naysayers say that it is not an Easter Egg but a glitch, or a pixel error. If that is true, why did this only happen once in the game? Nintendo may have said it was unintended, but I believe they are lying. It is true that you can not depict a lynching, real or imagined, in an E rated game, and it would get recalled for inappropriate content. But the fact that this is an Easter Egg makes it a horse of another color. I think the developers wanted to have a little fun, and I love this spooky little piece of Mario history. The developers can sneak little stuff like this is, so don't think they can't. For example, much covert and a few over sexual innuendos were snuck into two Rareware N64 games about a certain bear and bird...
When it comes to chilling our bones, they are all winners. Really, they are all great, they are all scary, and they are all mysterious. Besides, even if there were a real winner, I dare not pick it, for the loser(s) might come after me and turn me into another enigmatic Easter Egg...