Wow! A new 3D Mario is coming to the Switch. Not just any kind of 3D Mario, but a Mario 64-style sandbox Mario! While I loved Mario Galaxy and Super Mario 3D World, I’m excited to go back to being given a plot of land and a mission to accomplish. It’s not set to release until this holiday season, so that gives us plenty of time to speculate based off of the one short trailer that has been released. Without further delay, here is my list of 5 missions I would love to see in Mario Odyssey that are probably too ridiculous to make it into the actual game.
1. Mario vs Scapelli
At the start of the trailer, we see Mario pop out of the sewer in New Donk City—the city that was featured during Mario’s big debut in the game Donkey Kong. While it would be cool to see a cameo by the big ape himself, I would rather have the game explore the universe built in the Super Mario Brothers motion picture film. That’s right! Forget Mario vs. Donkey Kong, I want to see Mario take on Scapelli again!
In case you haven’t seen this… interesting movie, or have completely forgotten about the Scapelli subplot amidst the mirepoix of nonsense that is this film, let me recap. In the movie, Mario Mario (that’s right) and Luigi Mario (who is Mario’s adopted ward and not his brother) are struggling plumbers who keep losing contract after contract to the Scapelli Construction Company—a heartless rival company that appears to be the legitimate business operating within a mob syndicate. Eventually, one of the Scapelli goons sabotages a fossil dig (stay with me here) headed up by Daisy (“Hi, I’m Daisy!”), which leads the Mario Bros. (who aren’t actually brothers) to try and fix the leak caused by Scapelli, which leads to Daisy being kidnapped by Koopa’s goons (Koopa, who is a T-Rex-human hybrid, not a fire-breathing turtle), and thus sets the film in motion. Yeah.
In the beginning of the movie, Mario and Luigi hop in their dilapidated van and race to get a plumbing contract. In this universe, however, instead of getting estimates from various companies and hiring the contractor that provides the best value, they call various contractors and hire whichever company gets to the sight first.
For Mario Odyssey, the mission could be a timed mission. You drive your worn-down van while avoiding traffic and keeping your engine from overheating. Meanwhile, Scapelli is racing alongside you, sabotaging you on your way to the dig sight. It could be like a Sonic Adventure mission, except, you know, good.
I say this with not a shame in the world: I love Mario Party. Yes, it destroys friendships, induces heart attacks, and is the number one cause of divorce in the United States, but it’s still a blast to play. (Even the new ones with the bogus mini star system, to an extent.) Now why am I talking about Mario Party when this listicle is about 3D Mario adventure games? Well, if you would give me a minute, I’ll tell ya!
One of my favorite Mario Party mini games is from Mario Party 3. The game? Eatsa-Pizza. It’s another in the line of “mash the A-button” games, but for whatever reason, it stuck with me. Maybe it’s because I love the name. Maybe it’s because I just love pizza. Or maybe it’s because I have nostalgic memories regarding a period of my childhood, and my brain chose to associate this particular mini game with that time in my life.
Now I know what you’re saying. “But Dude On the Internet, what does this have to do with Mario Odyssey?” I’m getting to it! Sheesh! Why with all the rushing? The trailer showed that one of the worlds Mario travels to is inhabited by weird vegetable creatures who are fascinated with cooking. This makes Eatsa-Pizza that perfect candidate for a main series upgrade.
This mission is the fifth star boss fight mission. The vegetable people (People of Produce?) have baked you a fresh pizza pie to celebrate your completion of the prior missions. There’s only one problem: a giant Wiggler shows up and starts to eatsa your pizza! (See what I did there?)
Mario must defeat the Wiggler by leading it to a hot pepper pizza topping. When it eats the pepper, it burns its mouth and one of its body segments glows red. Mario must then attack the red segment with his hat or something.
3. Mr. Koopa, Tear Down that Wall
The Mario Odyssey trailer shows Mario visiting a vaguely-Mexican village featuring little skull dudes wearing sombreros. This is in reference to the Mexican holiday Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead. This is a holiday where people honor loved ones who have passed on by erecting shrines, painting their faces to look like skulls, and making decorative skulls out of sugar.
Now, I’m no expert on Mexican cultures or holidays, so I can’t really go into too much depth on this holiday. As a white dude from Washington state, my knowledge is based purely on that episode of Community where Annie dresses like a skeleton, the George A. Romero movie Day of the Dead (which is my favorite zombie movie, but has nothing to do with the holiday), and a quick skimming of the Wikipedia entry. What I’m trying to say, is that my summary of the holiday is, at best, basic.
What I do know about, however, is U.S. politics. “Ugh, can’t we go without talking about politics for a change?” We could, but I don’t want to because I’m building toward something here. Speaking of building, one of the big promises of the Trump administration has been to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. That has me thinking here: what if this Mexico stand-in has to deal with a new wall built by the newly installed autocrat?
It’s another boss battle. In this mission, you must free the calcified people (People of Bones?) from the tyranny of an imposing wall. The wall stretches across the field of vision, but your field of play is artificially limited by, oh, let’s say a bunch of cactuses and a crowd of cheering skeletons.
Sitting on top of the wall is an old favorite from Super Mario 2: Mouser. And just like in Mario 2, Mouser is tossing bombs at you in hopes of either killing you or scaring you away. Unlike in Mario 2, Mouser now sports a wave of horrible blonde hair and an oversized red neck tie. The goal for Mario is to grab the bombs and toss them back at Mouser. Each time you successfully blow him up, a piece of the wall crumbles. After three hits, he glows red and starts throwing three bombs at a time, two of which blow up instantly. Hit Mouser two more times and the wall crumbles and the skeleton people chase him away. You see, it’s both topical and fun! You know, for the kids!
4. The Turing Tour
“Fear of a Bot Planet”, the fifth episode of first season of Futurama presents a fascinating concept that was probably previously explored in some piece of literature or something unknown to my uncultured mind. The Planet Express crew makes a delivery on a planet only inhabited by robots (or “uninhabited”, as Fry insists). When Bender, the crew’s precocious robot, goes missing, Fry and Leela must pretend to be robots in order to infiltrate the mechanical society where humans have been banned.
In the trailer, we see Mario exploring a forested region featuring a beautiful lake and lots of greens. What we don’t see, however, are any living NPCs. While the NPCs that we do see resemble the island people of Delfino, they appear to actually be mechanical. That’s right, folks, we got ourselves a planet of robots, just like that Futurama episode. The contrast between a lush, living forest and civilization of robots excites me. How did they get there? Were they a forest clearing crew who went rogue and killed their human overlords? Were they abandoned? Maybe a little bit of both?
The game appears to have a hat switching (Hey, Switch! That’s the name of the console!) mechanic in it. Even if it doesn’t, let’s assume it does. For this mission, Mario has to wear a saucepan on his head, like Fry and Leela. He must pretend to be a robot and infiltrate their compound. The user must make Mario move in jerky, mechanical ways without losing the saucepan on his head. If he successfully pulls off being a robot, he is awarded with a Star (or whatever the collectables are in this game).
5. Horror Hotel Mario
Back in the early ‘90s, Nintendo was experimenting with a CD drive add-on for the Super Nintendo. Initially, they tasked Sony to build the device, but at the last moment went with Philips. This led to Sony releasing their PlayStation as a standalone device while Philips’ add-on stalled. Eventually, Philips would spinoff their failed add-on as a standalone as well. With the CD-i, Philips still held the rights to publish games featuring Nintendo properties. Amongst the three comically bad Zelda games were a few Mario titles, though only one actually made it to the market. That game was Hotel Mario.
Hotel Mario avoided the whole Super Mario platforming elements and brought the Italian plumber back into the world of puzzle games. In addition to being a medical doctor, Mario also, apparently, has a background in hospitality business management. Unlike his medical practice, Mario doesn’t seem very good at this whole hotel thing. The doors are constantly opening, and Mario must run up and down the floors shutting them. That and the place is infected with goons. Needless to say, Gordon Ramsay would have a field day if he stayed at Hotel Mario.
This one goes back to New Donk City, but at night. Mario opens a new hotel in New Donk City, but finds out that the hotel is actually—get this—haunted. Scary! Mario must investigate his hotel and shut all the doors while avoiding Boos, Dry Bones, and various other undead Mario villains. Eventually, he discovers the cause of all his problems: King Boo is on the top floor! It’s like Luigi’s Mansion, except Mario has to defeat the boo without the help of E. Gadd (who would look far too weird in the city filled with real-style humans).
So there you have it. While this version of the game would be a blast to me, it is likely too outlandish for their target audience. If by some miracle any of these end up in the actual game, well folks, you can’t say I didn’t warn you!