With the huge success of Super Mario Odyssey (not unwarranted success, as our own Colm Ahern will tell you, having awarded it a 10 at review), we’ve decided to get ahead of the curve and pitch Nintendo some ideas for the sequel we assume will happen. You can have them, Miyamoto. They’re all yours. For free, and everything.
Super Mario Odyssey 2
The straight sequel option, this is much like Super Mario Galaxy 2 in that we all still think it’s great, but it’s basically the first game again. That’s okay, though, because Super Mario Odyssey is really good. Mario would revisit the same worlds, but this time trying to thwart some kind of evil birthday party Bowser is throwing for Bowser Jr. (and although we don’t officially know who Jr.’s mother is, Peach would be there and it’d be really awkward). Based on previous behaviours of both Nintendo and most other games companies, this is probably the pitch most likely to get picked up, which is fine, but Nintendo has shown with Odyssey that it’s still an innovative company that takes creative risks.
Super Mario Odysseus
A retelling of the original Odyssey, which casts the Italian plumber as the Greek hero from the epic poem. Rather than being kidnapped, Peach spends a decade waiting for Mario to return home to the Mushroom Kingdom after war with Bowser. Mario’s journey is a long and terrible one. His ship, the Odyssey, is crewed by an ever-dwindling group of Toads, as more hands are lost each time they encounter an unearthly challenge. Gameplay whiplashes between the boredom of uneventful sailing and the terror of fighting mythical beasts. Boss fights include escaping the giant cyclops, resisting the lure of the sirens, and delicately steering between a whirlpool and a six-headed monster.
In the final boss fight, Mario has to platform through 12 giant axe shafts whilst riding Yoshi (the only one to recognise him after all that time) and defeat Bowser, who has been trying to win Peach’s hand the whole time. The helpful signs around levels are just long tracts of Homeric poetry, making this surprisingly educational.
Super Mario Odyssey: What Women Want
Inspired by the Mel Gibson-starring rom-com from almost 20 years ago, this version opens as Mario is electrocuted whilst wearing Cappy and standing near Peach, resulting in him being trapped as Peach for almost the entire game. The platforming takes on a whole new dimension as players grapple with a combination of Mario’s faster, more aggressive style and Peach’s graceful floating, as both Mario and Peach’s minds fight for control of her body.
This sequel is more notable for its social commentary, though: as Mario travels through the Mushroom Kingdom this way, he realises that characters treat Peach differently, sometimes asking where Mario is, or commenting that she dresses like a princess all the time so it kind of looks like she wants to be kidnapped by a monster every few years. Gradually he realises that Peach doesn’t even like him that much: he’s a nice guy, and she appreciates the rescues, but when it gets down to it they don’t have anything in common, and she doesn’t have a moral imperative to be friends with him outside their business relationship. As they finish the adventure and eventually part into their own separate bodies again, we end on a touching scene of mutual understanding as the sun sets.
Super Mario Odyssey But It’s Just The T-Rex
Initially I thought: Super Mario Odyssey But There’s A T-Rex In Every Level. But why not dream big? The king of lizards wearing a Mario cap and with a little moustache perched on the end of his snout was the bit of the trailer that everyone instantly latched onto, because it was amazing. Getting to do it in the actual game was even more amazing. So why not just make an entire game of just the most amazing bit? Just 20 hours of stomping around as a big angry dinosaur with tiny arms. Tiny fork arms. Maybe the T-rex goes ‘Raaaah’ but in Mario’s voice. You can busk the details.