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Ten Things I Wish I Knew When I Started ‘Super Mario Odyssey’ – Forbes


Super Mario Odyssey

It has been a whirlwind adventure as I hard-shifted gears to move from Assassin’s Creed Origins to Super Mario Odyssey this weekend. I’ve “beaten” the game, aka faced down Bowser to prevent his unholy union with Peach, but I think I’m at best, halfway done with moon collecting.

Still, I have learned a lot in my time with the game so far, and it’s time for my traditional advice post as a result. Super Mario Odyssey is a game full of so many damn secrets it’s hard to cover them all, but I’m going to give some more general advice that will hopefully apply to a number of levels.

If you want to play Super Mario Odyssey completely on your own with no outside advice, I don’t blame you, as it’s fun like that as well. But here are ten things I wish I knew when I started Super Mario Odyssey.

1. Outfits Unlock Moons Sometimes

This is one of the first games where Mario changing into different outfits doesn’t actually give him special powers, because that’s all relegated to Cappy captures instead. However, don’t sleep on these outfits. There is likely going to be at least one moon per level that requires you to wear the “themed” outfit in order to unlock a door to get it, so shell out at least 15 world coins for the first outfit everywhere you go. Also they just look fun in their respective worlds.


Super Mario Odyssey

2. You Can Possess Characters You May Not Think You Can

This one may be obvious to some people, but it through me for a loop in a few worlds. For instance, in New Donk City there was a guy playing a little go-kart race game, and there was a moon at the end of the track. I tried to get into the cage, I tried to possess the race car. I tried to find my own race car. Nothing worked, until I figured out I simply had to possess the man himself and play that way. This was not my first thought because you can’t possess 98% of the other residents of the city, but when something is really confusing in a situation like this (this happened to me a few times) try to possess the actual character you’re talking to, it just may work.

3. Look Around Corners, Down Edge-of-Map Ledges

There is no hard and fast advice for how to find all moons, and they’re crazy diverse in their hiding locations. But if I was to give a bit of general advice about how to find moons or secret moon areas, anywhere there are ledges, see if they extend around corners a little further than you might think. Or if you’re at the edge of the map, angle the camera to look down to see if there are any secret platforms or outcroppings. I have found dozens of moon simply doing this alone, and I would recommend it on every single map.

4. There Are Alternatives To Motion Controls

I wrote an entire article about this earlier this weekend so I won’t get too deep into it, but for at least two moves, the hat spin and the downward hat throw, you can actually use controller inputs to do them rather than jerking around your controller or Switch in handheld mode. Not ideal, but at least it works for these two specific moves.


Super Mario Odyssey

5. Almost All The Maps Change Significantly Once Beaten

If you’re like me, you may want to spend a ton of time exploring a map before moving on in the “main questline,” as it were, as in solving whatever the main problem is on each map. But while this is fine, I would recommend probably just plowing through straight to the boss battles and “fixing” whatever kingdom you’re in. The reason? Each map changes significantly once you beat it, like the desert map unfreezing an opening up a ton of new moon-getting opportunities. Explore too long in the “early state” and you’ll keep running into dead-ends.

6. Some Moons You Can’t Get Until You Beat The Game

I won’t go into too much detail here, but if you’re freaked out by the moon list on each map that says there are 50-60 moons when you’ve explored the entire map and found maybe 30, don’t worry. Without saying much, something happens after the Bowser fight that will release probably 10-20 new moons in each level, and then you can start 100%-ing places. This has to do with those mysterious metal cubes in each level, so don’t bang your head against the wall trying to figure those out for too long either (like I did).

7. Two Keys Beat Almost All Boss Fights

There are a diverse array of boss fights in Super Mario Odyssey, but not that diverse, particularly when you’re playing as Mario and not a creature he’s warped into. The two skills you’ll need to master are the hat spin and running. The hat spin will cover your bases for swatting any and all projectiles away, like bouncing hats that are spinning around an arena, for instance. You can hit them with your normal throw, but the spin offers better coverage. Secondly, most bosses have phases where they will chase you around a map or line up a shot at you. Literally the answer here is to never stop running. If you do not stop running until the enemy is done chasing/aiming, they just cannot hit you. Sounds easy, but it works on a half dozen bosses at least.


Super Mario Odyssey

8. Return To Boss Stages

Speaking of boss battles, some boss fights have their own stages that are not larger worlds like the other maps, but seemingly tiny arenas. But after you beat the game, return to those areas and you’ll find there’s a lot more to them than meets the eye. These stages can have anywhere from 10-15 moons in them. Don’t forget about early levels too like the Cappy Kingdom which is more than just an introductory level.

9. There Are Two Levels Of Hints

Obviously finding every moon in Super Mario Odyssey is going to be tough, but the game offers some in-game hints if you want to avoid YouTube walkthroughs. The first is a parrot in every level that will at least tell you the name of the moon, which can be helpful or totally useless. Or, you can pay Toad 50 coins and he will actually mark the location of a moon on your map. He won’t tell you how to get it, but he’ll give you the general vicinity which can help. After that, YouTube away, I suppose.

10. Almost All “Hat” Rooms, Rockets And Pipes Have More Than One Moon

Sometimes Mario will leave the map to go into a specific doorway, or board a rocket to go to a new stage, or drop in a warp pipe. These separate arenas usually have one obvious moon if you get through the stage, but almost all of them will have at least two moons, with a second or third hidden somewhere in the map. A way to check this is to the leave the area and return. If there is a second moon, or even purple coins, Cappy will tell you that once you arrive, that you’ve missed something on your first run. Useful.


Super Mario Odyssey

Bonus: Amiibos Can Hunt For Moons Or Farm Coins

You may have seen a little Roomba hovering around near the hint Toad on maps. That is “Uncle Amiibo,” a device that will give you clues about moons if you tap Amiibos and wait a little while. Eventually he runs out of hints, but you can also keep using Amiibos to give you an injection of coins every so often just by using them. Not the most creative use of Amiibos ever, but it can actually be very useful for moon hunting and coin farming and doesn’t cost you anything (in-game, at least).

That’s all I’ve got for now. Happy moon hunting!

Follow me on Twitter and on Facebook. Pick up my sci-fi novel series, The Earthborn Trilogy, which is now in print, online and on audiobook.

Ten Things I Wish I Knew When I Started ‘Super Mario Odyssey’ – Forbes

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