Retrospective Super Mario: Super Mario Galaxy

With the launch of Super Mario Odyssey around the corner we wanted to look back and review the whole saga. This article belongs to a series in which we investigate and analyze the most influential deliveries of the main saga for the new game of the plumber with mustache.

Mario has a creator, Miyamoto, and you need Mr. Miyamoto when you're doing a Mario game. We shared thoughts from one side to another, Yoshiaki Koizumi, director of Super Mario Galaxy (among others) the interview for Wired what we have already reviewed the previous article. Over time, as all of these common ideas are defined a little more carefully, the feedback becomes a little more subtle, until it finally reaches the point where Miyamoto gives us feedback, and the only person An idea of ​​what that means is me. And all the others in this email from Miyamoto have absolutely no idea what he is talking about.

Through a relationship of full confidence in which there is one-sided communication that nobody else can understand, Miyamoto has succeeded in releasing Koizumi to manage Super Mario Sunshine and later Super Mario Galaxy. Koizumi receives abstract concepts from Miyamoto; they never had a subject, they were dependent on the context and sometimes even Miyamoto didn't even know what he wanted to say. It can deliberately just be vague to stimulate thinking, just to give people the opportunity to develop their own ideas and not limit themselves to the kind of solutions they might find. And it has always been so. Koizumi was able to interpret and work from these cryptic messages, and that is how Miyamoto wanted to oversee what he did with his work without actively participating. According to Koizumi, the best example to understand this way of working is the initial concept of Super Mario Galaxy. For a long time, Miyamoto says nothing more specific than what he hears, can you do something with spherical worlds?

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Super Mario Galaxy comes to us as a glove to come to a conclusion to all these reflections, ideas and articles, so much so that it is deliberately done. Mario, his mechanics and his way of playing, are somehow sacred and inalienable, but what makes him truly eternal is how he can rediscover himself in every major delivery. Turn on the formula, add & # 39; a key variation, expand in & # 39; new direction, or see yourself from another prism. The latter is the one I would most like to apply to the Galaxy case, which explains why it is the idea of ​​the game itself: Super Mario Galaxy is literally a change in position. As it was the three dimensions, although in a lesser extent, this 3D version takes as a starting point and changes other variables of the equation to get another result. In this case, and in the first place, it's about gravity, applying the Mario jump under completely new rules, less obviously but more incident in the game with the surfaces.

If we represent any action by Mario as a grammatical or a mathematical equation, it has been simple so far. The launch of 3D in Super Mario 64 has already led to a certain depth and multiplied the playable possibilities by the way it marked the difference with 2D, but it is still a superficial complexity, even argaïs. But the rapture of Mario 64 did not go the same way: it was an extension of possibilities, space, freedom, but not so much of reforms or structures. Super Mario Galaxy, however, says. It was time, and it changed everything. In the beginning, Mario could only walk from one side to another, and despite different heights and materials, there was only the surface or its absence. With 3D, the same surface has not changed, but it has expanded and Mario could now run 360 degrees, as long as it was on a physical and stable surface. Super Mario Galaxy breaks all the schemes here and forms a universe where Mario must first run through surfaces of variable state, with changing physical characteristics and where the element plays a leading role.

Gravity is the first important point because it is the most important change and one we can internalize first. The jump and Mario's each is nothing more than an ingenious application of the small object that feels attracted to a bigger one, and it has always been one, the ground. The second important point is the surfaces, because in the Super Mario Galaxy that element once was one, hundreds, thousands or millionsand both Mario and we have to learn from scratch to move every space, every little planet or attractive object, each with different characteristics to each other. Finally, ending with the unification of such a uniform mixture are the perspectives. So important is where Mario moves from where we see him, because Mario's movement is now the result of the sum of these two elements. Earlier, in the vast majority of events, the direction of Mario translates into a persistent stockpile. Right is equal to the right and north-west means northwest. In Super Mario Galaxy, right does not always mean right, or the same bat always means the same direction, since changing Mario's shoes constantly changes. The minimum sample unit is that it runs straight from A to B, involves making several corrections to the stick during the movement, depending on the perspective and the nature of the surface, and it takes a new dimension terms of the game. In addition, in the Super Mario Galaxy, the perspective is a more authoritative problem, as we don't have as much control over them as in Mario 64, where the camera was a major element of the game. In the Milky Way, Mario's control is changed enough so you don't have the camera or the camera, so the game makes it easy for you and you can concentrate on learning and internalizing this new variant.


Deca my friend Enrique Alonso in An article for AnaitGames, Nintendo is always a quality guarantee, but it's just absolutely great when it comes to constraints. Working under a certain pressure, forced or self-imposed, they enabled a unique adaptability and versatility when designing new ideas. Super Mario Galaxy, under the responsibility of re-learning the player to control Mario under completely new conditions, shows that they have not lost the balance between learning, challenge and fun. This progression improves with the control, with distance measurement, in visual perception and in the three-dimensional spatial vision, and the game ends with several combinations of all the concepts. One way or another, the greatest value of Super Mario Galaxy, is exactly what Nintendo dominates: that adaptability, the ability to respond to changes and complications, and the idea culminates in a spectacular way in its successor , crowned one of the best in Nintendo history. It is not nonsense to think that Mario's saga is the slim of this reflection, as it has developed at the same time as technology and has grown by eliminating limitations. The expressive limitation, limiting three-dimensionality, limiting freedom, limiting perspective and surface and now, with Super Mario Odyssey, limiting control in many ways. That is why these changes, the obstacles that are overcome, feel like they always would have been: Mario's formula in its most primitive form has always been the same, but over the years Miyamoto and his heirs can take different aspects of that equation and free them from their chains every time in an overwhelming way.

As the Galaxy is considered by many to be the true successor of Mario 64, due to its features, Odyssey is positioned as an authentic sequel to the alternative action that Koizumi began through the abstractions of Miyamoto, Sunshine. A line of design that differs from the ordinary that looked dead and abandoned by the doubt that sembr, but it comes in style that makes it clear that it is more lively than ever and comes to be the most ambitious and great Mario game we've ever seen. . Odyssey feels like being final: a colossal extension of the concept Hakoniwa, and a coherent element that somehow starts in both previous deliveries with concepts and spirit mix 2D and 3D.

As I have mentioned a few paragraphs above, Super Mario Galaxy is perfect to make a conclusion because it was born from the intent to study the formula from a different point of view. A view such as that of Koizumi, now that of Kenta Motokura, and generally that of the new and younger generations. Certainly, it seems that Miyamoto has a reason to use this level of abstraction, Koizumi continued in the same interview as before. I feel that you are making our work to solve these puzzles because it is a process that evokes creativity on our side. Although Miyamoto may have some ideas, the fact that all these challenges are set before us is very grateful because it helps with the process.

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After passing several relays, Koizumi changes as a producer with the new director, Kenta Motokura, with the new ways to see the saga through new creators. Mario meets years, his creators too, and there's a point where you have to stop the witness. When asked if the time came when he left Miyamoto and he was the one asking such questions to someone else, Koizumi responded that it would be right if that happened. But I already feel I have included that style of work. Indeed, it is likely that this moment has already arrived and spread among all its companions. Maybe Koji Kondo Mahito Yokota helped with the soundtrack in the same way, being the theme of Odyssey the first in all its history with lyrics and main voice. Perhaps Koizumi and Motokura scored in record time to build a band as strong as Miyamoto and Koizumi built in ten years. And Motokura could possibly have translated an abstraction from Koizumi, from which Super Mario Odyssey will be born: let Mario leave the neighborhood.

I really have no idea about that, but there are things that are certain now. After a long journey, trying to analyze twenty-five years of history, playing almost all of the saga titles and trying to keep the secret of the success of & # 39; an intact but changing formula at the same time find, I think I got answers. Answers that are reflected in each line and in each paragraph, but in reality are insufficient, because there are things that cannot be conveyed with words. In them all, there is a common element, a constant, and that is something intangible, spiritual, from a spiritual state that repeats itself. It seems that behind all these complex combinations, mathematical equations and exhaustive analysis is a much less methodical and pure purpose than the process itself, a process at the disposal of emotions. Every game, every world, every level and everybody jumping with Mario, somehow, is always tasted like little injections of happiness, and because of the inexplicable human level that comes out, it looks magical.

The infallible famous formula is because it responds to natural needs such as abstraction, as Miyamoto did, and to smile, to be happy for a few moments, and it doesn't even understand ages. The recipe for happiness doesn't exist, it's an impossible comparison to solve, and that's because we've persecuted it for centuries without really understanding what it means. English, we believe happiness was a state that could be extended in time, but it has never been: happiness is measured in small capsules for small moments, in short drinks. By believing that those moments were not enough and that we could stretch them indefinitely in time, we underestimated them and harmed ourselves. But now, a little more mature, we have it much clearer, and Mario, giving away many of those little caps of happiness, helps us never forget. You should have seen the smile drawn on my face every time I get a new star … but what I'm going to tell you is the vast majority of you already know what I'm talking about. Now they will be moons, but the sensation is, and that is something that will not change.

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