Memoirs of a Galaxy

I’ve been feeling nostalgic lately about one of my favorite video games. Could you all please bear with me as I gush like a little kid about it?

. . .

Well, I guess I don’t need to ask you to bear with me. I mean, if you’re not interested in this topic, you have every right to not read it. So . . .

IT’S GUSHING TIME!!!

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NOSTALGIAAAAAAA

Well, then. This is it. Super Mario Galaxy. The first Mario game I ever played.

Okay, technically I had played Mario Kart Wii before I played this, but that doesn’t really count. By “Mario game,” I mean one of the mainline platformers. You know. Super Mario Bros. Super Mario World. Super Mario 64. All of those games.

Anyway. I remember about five years ago when I went to Wal-Mart with my dad, Christmas money in hand — just waiting to be spent on a brand-new Wii game. I stood in the game section trying to decide between 3 titles: Mario Kart Wii, LEGO Star Wars: The Complete Saga, and Super Mario Galaxy. My dad was a great help in my ultimate decision. The conversation went something like this:

Dad: “Well, let’s do process of elimination. Why do you want the kart game?”
Me: “Well, I’ve played it with my friends before, and it’s really fun.”
Dad: “What about the LEGO game?”
Me: “I played the first two LEGO Star Wars games on the PS2 and I really liked them. This one is both games in one, with some updates.”
Dad: “Hmmm. Well, why don’t you get the game you haven’t played yet? I’ve actually heard some really good things about that one. It’s supposed to be really fun.”
Me (after thinking for a moment): “Okay, that’s probably the best way to go.”

My dad might read this later, so I think I’ll put this here: THANK YOU!!!

I brought the game home, slipped the disc carefully into my Wii, and launched the game. I was greeted by Mario joyfully shouting the title of the game, followed by the main screen that I put further up this post (*points upward*), which was accompanied by some absolutely gorgeous music that instantly grabbed my attention. Here, have a listen!

Eagerly, I started a file and began to play. Not even five minutes into the game, I already knew that I had found an absolute gem. I was hooked, and I would not be let go for weeks and weeks.

It wasn’t just that the game was fun to play, but that was definitely one of the biggest parts of it. I loved moving Mario around, doing triple jumps, shaking the Wii remote to spin, bouncing on enemies, and a myriad of other things. But what really grabbed me about the game was the atmosphere it exuded. Let me give you an example by describing the first few minutes of the game a bit.

You (Mario, that is) start out at this event called the Starbit Festival, on your way to Peach’s castle to receive a gift from her. There’s revelry in the air as you traverse down the road, passing little Toads as they say hello. It’s a beautiful, starry night — take a look!

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But then, when you reach the castle, all hell breaks loose. Bowser and his fleet of ships come along, attempting to kidnap the princess. They don’t just settle for the princess, though — they lift the whole castle into the air and shoot off into space, sending you flying off to who knows where, the princess’s call for help echoing in your ears.

When you wake up, all is quiet. You’re woken by a strange rabbit with stars on its ears, and you’re soon chasing after it on a small planetoid in a quiet, starry galaxy in some far-flung corner of the universe.

Sorry for the so-so picture quality here. It was the best screenshot of this part that I could find. Seriously.

Sorry for the so-so picture quality here. It was the best screenshot of this part that I could find. Seriously.

As you walk all around this thing, a soothing piece of music with prominent piano serenades you. Once you’ve caught the rabbit and its two friends, a coliseum-like structure appears on the planetoid. When you reach the top of it, you’re greeted by a stranger: a mysterious guardian of the galaxies who calls herself Rosalina.

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She’s the one who officially sends you on your quest to save Princess Peach. And you’re off! After the initial level that subtly walks you through how to play the game, you reach the Comet Observatory — Rosalina’s starship that requires Power Stars to get enough fuel to take you to the Center of the Universe, where Bowser is keeping Peach prisoner.

This is where the adventure really begins. One by one, you travel from galaxy to galaxy, completing challenges and collecting Power Stars in tons of different ways.

I can’t even begin to describe how incredible this game looks, sounds, and feels. It’s more than just a game. It’s an experience, and one that sticks with you long after you’ve beaten Bowser. I kid you not, sometimes I would stop playing and just listen to the music, or I would put the camera in first person mode and just stare at the starry backgrounds, also while listening to the music. Just drinking it all in. Super Mario Galaxy really is a beautiful game. I know that might sound weird to people who don’t play games, but it’s true. It’s breathtaking.

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Okay, I think you get the picture.

This game is positively bursting with creativity, atmosphere, and — yes — beauty. The amount of work that was put into the design and appearance of each galaxy is inspiring and gorgeous to look at. The game is a blast to play, and a true challenge at times. The soundtrack is phenomenal and unforgettable, with some truly knockout pieces throughout.

And . . . what’s my point, you ask?

Absolutely nothing. I just adore this game and wanted to gush about it. So there. :P

Anyway. If you have a Wii and you haven’t played this yet, GO GET IT AND PLAY IT. NOW. If you don’t have a Wii, GO BUY A WII AND BUY THIS GAME TOO. Then play it. Seriously.

Okay, fine, I understand that you’re busy. But really, if you ever find that you’d like to play a game you haven’t gotten around to yet, and this game is one you haven’t tried, PLEASE give it a shot. I think you’ll find it quite good.

Actually, that’s an understatement. This game is an absolute must-play. (Don’t forget the sequel, either! It’s just as good! Overall, though, I think I prefer the original for a few reasons, the main one of which is probably sheer nostalgia.)

Oh, quick fun fact: because I first played through this game during the winter, we almost always had this portable heater running in the basement while we were down there playing games. It gave off a particular smell, and to this day whenever I smell that heater, I instantly think of Super Mario Galaxy. Weird, I know.

That’s all. But before you go, have a couple more songs from the game.

Assuming you’re still reading this, see you in two weeks!

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2 Comments

  1. I still have not properly played this game all the way through, although I have played various snippets over the years (including that evil Luigi purple coin mission at the end … *shudders*) that I also have some nostalgia. It’s got such a great atmosphere and soundtrack … !

    Liked by 1 person

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