Super Mario Odyssey Facts
Released for the Nintendo Switch on October 27, 2017, Super Mario Odyssey has already become a fan favourite. Even at its announcement at E3 2017, the game was regarded as the events most popular game on social media and was even considered best in show among developers in attendance. This was even before it was released!
Since the actual release of the game, Odyssey received "universal acclaim" from critics. Famitsu went as far as giving the game a score of 39/40, which was the same rating as Super Mario 64 and the highest score for a 3D Mario game since then. IGN and Gamespot also praised the originality of the game and awarded it a perfect 10/10 score.
Above critical acclaim, the game has also sold incredibly well. Over two million copies of Super Mario Odyssey were sold worldwide three days after its release, with more than 500,000 of those copies being in Japan alone. By March 2018, Super Mario Odyssey had sold over ten million copies worldwide, making it the bestselling game for the Nintendo Switch so far.
Despite the game being robust and seemingly complete, there were actually quite a few ideas during the early development stage that didn’t make it into the game.
According to Super Mario Odyssey’s producer, Yoshiaki Koizumi, Pauline was going to be originally convinced to be the princess of New Donk City. Of course this idea was later scrapped and she became the mayor of New Donk City instead. In a quote by Mr Koizumi he said: "In the past we used to have a game taking place in a city, and Mario also appeared in it(which pointed towards Pauline). At first they wanted to make her the princess of New Donk City, but the world setting of that city doesn’t have princesses. That’s why she became the mayor instead.”
Speaking of Pauline, Yoshiaki Koizumi said in an interview with Polygon that she made a comeback in this game because Nintendo wanted to give players something familiar to the mushroom kingdom, given odyssey is set in a strange place.
“When we were deciding which Kingdoms to have in the game, we knew we wanted the city environment, and we wanted something that would have resonance with players. We knew that players know Pauline so we of course wanted to make her the mayor of New Donk City. It's important to note that though they are called Kingdoms, they do not necessarily have royalty, and that's why she's the mayor.”
Further to Pauline’s development Mr Koizumi also said the rather catchy song 'Jump up, Super Star!', came from developing Pauline as a character.
In a quote he said "As we were developing Pauline more as a character, we know that she was going to be interested in jazz. It was interesting for us to have the first song in a Mario game with vocals. Have you guys been finding yourself singing it?"
In answer to his question, yes we have! Interestingly during the song "Jump Up, Super Star!" by Pauline, the 25m theme from Donkey Kong can be heard when she sings "Odyssey, ya see". Also whilst she sings, to add a bit more nostalgia, her dance moves mimic her sprite movements in the early Donkey Kong game. Talk about attention to detail!
Whilst we are talking about music, funnily enough actual cooking utensils were used to make the Luncheon Kingdom soundtrack. That’s right kids, bust out those pots and pans and you too can become a video game music developer! In an official tweet by Nintendo of America they said “Mandolins and accordions were used in the Luncheon Kingdom’s Peronza Plaza melody. Behind the melody, you can hear kitchen knives and other familiar sounds of cooking that perfectly capture the feel of this kingdom!”
It might seem like Odyssey based it’s levels on real-life locations, such as New Donk City being based on New York City and Tostarena being based on Mexico. However the development team didn’t actually intend to base their stages on these particular cities. Instead, the stages were made to fit in with certain gameplay systems and gimmicks that the team wanted implemented and then later they put in the scenery to fit with those ideas.
Interestingly developer Kenta Motokura really likes Mexico and his trips to the country left a lasting impression. So much so that he wanted to reflect his love of the country in the game. This of course resulted in Tostarena!
Koizumi also received warm responses from those in America who said New Donk City “looks like New York!” and from fans in Mexico who said, “Thanks for putting our country in the game! Please come to Mexico, you can enjoy Mexican cuisine!”
This love of Mexico even found its way into the original box art for the game. It originally featured Mario in his sombrero outfit from the Sand Kingdom in the bottom left corner. When the game was officially released however, this scene was instead replaced with one of Mario in his snorkelling outfit from the Seaside Kingdom. Whilst there was no official explanation as to why this change was made, it has been assumed that it was due to being cultural appropriation. Considering this, Nintendo may have removed sombrero Mario to avoid offending any potential customers.
Super Mario Odyssey is a game that is full of references to other games and Easter eggs. One cool example was caught by Ghost catcher on Twitter and featured in a Game explain video. Essentially Ghost Catcher spotted the layout of the Super Mario 64 level Bob-omb Battlefield inside a map that Hint Toad is seen holding. You have to seriously zoom in to see it but what a neat little Easter egg added by the developers!
Since the game hasn’t been out too long this was one of the main Easter eggs found so far, but who knows what other cool little bits and pieces are just waiting to be discovered in the game.
There is even a bizarre little glitch in the game where the in-game jump counter ticks up by one every time you talk to an NPC. So that’s something to consider if you are going for an official no-jump run of the game!
Surprisingly Super Mario Odyssey is the first ever game in the Mario series to receive a B rating by the CERO in Japan. All of the previous installations have been rated A for everyone! A similar rating was given in North America where it is the first Mario game to receive an “Everyone 10+” ESRB rating where all prior games were just rated E for everyone.
The ESRB said this rating was given for a few pieces of content in the game, such as: the ways the enemies are defeated, the capture of a cartoony military tank (the enemy known as Sherm) to fire large cannonballs at Mechawiggler and the large explosion that occurs upon the defeat of Mechawiggler, it also stated that the various punches landed at Bowser during fights and even the pink liquid trails that the Cookatiel spits out towards Mario during a boss fight were a rating problem.
So all and all, unsurprisingly, there wasn’t too much gore in Super Mario Odyssey. However, as with any game that connects to the internet you have to be a little bit careful of user added content.
In fact, Redditors have now spotted a hack in Super Mario Odyssey that is quite graphic in nature, which makes us all a bit concerned for the children. Spotted by Redditor ewasion, some people are modifying their own personal avatar in order to post pornographic images into the game.
In the new mode called Luigi’s Balloon World, where players hunt for balloons that have been hidden somewhere in a level, users can have their own Mii avatar showing on these balloons whilst they are playing the game. According to Redditors however, people have managed to insert their own personal picture in there instead of a Mii and well…that has lead to people searching for a balloon with pornography smashed on it’s side.
Nowhere on the internet is safe!
And finally, if you consider yourself a bit of a speedy Mario player you can have a go at beating the current world speedrun record of 1h 02m 15s held by Suisaiga. Now that’s some speedy Odyssey!
Official Super Mayhem Video on these facts: