[Nintendad Coffeehouse Lite] A Super Mario Sunshine Retrospective

Written by James Fairbanks

This Is No Vacation…

WHY ARE YOU SLEEPING!? THE ISLAND IS IN DANGER!

Mario has finally set aside time to take a vacation to a remote island that he, Princess Peach, Toadsworth, and a gaggle of Toads have been invited to.  While mysterious, it’ll be nice to see Mario get some downtime after all of his adventures.  Unfortunately, we all know how this goes.  Mario only ever gets invited to things if Bowser is involved.

New Year, Same TV

“Bet I can climb that.”

Super Mario Sunshine released when I was 8 years old and only expanded my want to make things as prolific as Super Mario games even further.  I knew at a young age that I wanted to make video games and watching yet another Super Mario adventure unfold on the same TV I watched so many other Mario adventures take place was a true gift.  It was an even bigger game, with an even bigger hub world, with even more things to do.  I was 8, my skills were more finely tuned, and I was ready to deliver fruit, find blue coins, and fight Bowser again!

This, unfortunately, was another game I had to beg my oldest brother to let me play, but I had a younger brother to help me beg.  Not only was I annoying, my thoughts and voice were echoed by my younger, louder, brother.  Our begging never worked however, and we were relegated to sitting on the couch and enjoying the adventure from there.  However, with more definition and depth to everything in the game, we were able to understand more of what was going on!  So we were not slumped over while things happened, no, we were on the edge of our seats watching our oldest brother traverse yet ANOTHER game with his uniquely incredible skills.  It was fascinating! 

Spoiler Warning!

“BUUUUUUUUUUURRRRRRP!”

One of my fondest memories of that game, that still gets me each time I see it [SPOILER WARNING] is when Delfino Plaza floods.  I remember completing one of the Shine Sprite missions in Sirena Beach’s hotel (one of my favorite areas in the game) and there was no familiar entry for Mario.  He did not start at the entry of the level found in Defino Plaza.  There was no familiar beginning jingle of the hub world.  Instead, Mario begins in the air.  The air?  Why am I flying-OH MY GOD WHAT HAPPENED!  Delfino plaza Flooded!  Yeah, it’s a remote island in the middle of the ocean, flooding is probably common, but it hasn’t happened yet!  Not only did this situation scare, and stun 8 year old me.  It irritated me. 

After chasing what can only be described as a shadow of myself throughout the game that ended up being Bowser’s kid, by now I have a pretty good idea who’s behind this.  As I swam above flooded houses, as I reached unreachable areas in bell towers for the first time, as I washed the Large Shine Sprite at the focal point of Isle Delfino, I was trying to figure out where I could go next.  The paths to each of the different worlds are cut off, so where do I go.  Then I noticed something.  There has been a cage blocking the entrance to the Volcano Isle Delfino juts off of.  That cage is now open, revealing my path forward…to the final battle.  A battle I, literally, did not expect to be with Bowser.  It surprised 8 year old me.  I thought it would be Mecha Bowser again.

SO! MANY! BLUE! COINS!

No More Blooper Races.

Super Mario Sunshine is a game I recently added to my “100% complete” list and I’m incredibly proud of myself for doing that.  Super Mario Sunshine is a difficult game.  It defies built in and regular Super Mario conventions of just running and jumping everywhere by adding in a Jetpack which allows you to jump higher, fly further, and do more.  Because of this, the gaps to jump were stretched further, the coins you needed to reach were just a little further away, the Shine Sprites are just a bit more difficult to grab.  Yes, each one in Super Mario 64 gives you a sense of accomplishment, but completing a run/jump course without F.L.U.D.D.D. on your back to correct any mis-jumps you may make is a new level of difficulty.  You’ll feel both proud and relieved each time you Get A Shine.  I know I did.  Also, those Blooper Races are some of the most difficult things in gaming.  I did not have fun with those.

Thank you for reading. Have a wonderful day.

Leave a Reply