Super Mario Galaxy

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"Welcome to the Galaxy!"

Mario...IN SPAAAACE!!!

Mario is on his way to visit Princess Peach so that they can observe a comet streaking past the Mushroom Kingdom together, but suddenly, Bowser returns once again to kidnap Princess Peach. The attack launches Mario into space and he awakens on a strange small planet, where he meets Rosalina[1], a mystical being that protects the cosmos and living star-shaped creatures called the Lumas. After taking Mario to her Comet Observatory, she explains that Bowser has stolen all power from the Comet Observatory to fuel his army and create a new kingdom for himself. Mario must retrieve all the stars for Rosalina so the Comet Observatory can venture to the center of the universe where Bowser awaits...

Released in 2007, Super Mario Galaxy is a Platformer for Nintendo's Wii with gameplay similar to Super Mario 64. Though unlike Super Mario 64 as well as Sunshine, the gameplay is noticeably more linear with less focus on exploration. In this game, Mario flies around from planet to planet with the help of Rosalina and The Lumas to retrieve Power Stars. There are additional gameplay elements with the Wii Remote such as spinning to attack enemies and jump higher. Power-ups return to this series, two of which are from the original game that started it all.

The game is also notable for being the first Mario game to feature music played by a live orchestra. Though Mario series veteran Koji Kondo was in charge of the soundtrack, the orchestrated bits were done by Mahito Yokota, who was previously the composer for Donkey Kong Jungle Beat. As a result of working on this game, Yokota has become the go-to guy for orchestral arrangements for games that Kondo has composed for.

A direct sequel, Super Mario Galaxy 2, was released on May 23, 2010.

Tropes used in Super Mario Galaxy include:


SPECIAL NOTE: Please add any examples about the sequel, Super Mario Galaxy 2, to its own page, and not here. Also, please help us by moving any entries about it that are already here over there.

  • Alliteration: The names of many galaxies. The Kitchen observatory alone gives us the Beach Bowl, Bubble Breeze, and Buoy Base galaxies.
  • Already Done for You: After you rescue him from the haunted mansion, Luigi will go out looking for stars on his own. However, he invariably gets stuck in whatever galaxy he's in, forcing you to go rescue him to obtain the star. There are also several galaxies in which Toads have already retrieved the star, you just have to go get it from them.
  • Always Accurate Attack: Doing a Ground Pound just after spinning in midair allows it to home in on enemies.
  • Alternate Company Equivalent: Just as the original Super Mario Bros. had The Great Giana Sisters as one two decades ago, Galaxy has Duludubi Star.
  • Apocalypse How: Class X-4 during the Gainax Ending.
  • Art Major Physics: Put all tropes relating to it under this one. First thing, most galaxies aren't made of a few planetoids small enough to walk around in minutes. Remember though, Rule of Cool and Rule of Fun applies.
    • Mario Can Breathe in Space: Actually justified for Mario early in the game (his Luma presumably gives him this ability). As for everyone else, though, the trope applies.
    • Baby Planet: Practically all of them. Heck, some planets aren't much bigger than Mario himself, yet still have enough gravity to hold him down. The most extreme example is in Deep Dark Galaxy, where Mario will encounter a bonus planet that, once he undoes a screw to reveal a circle of coins, is constantly shrinking, and no matter how small said planet gets, Mario won't escape from its gravitational pull until the planet vanishes completely. Also quite literal as some Lumas (which are literally babies) will explode into planets when you feed them enough Star Bits. Some will explode into galaxies later on in the game.
    • Convection, Schmonvection: So off the wall here, it had to be mentioned twice. The final fight between Bowser and Mario have them fighting on an exposed battleground inside an artificial sun. Not to mention Melty Molten Galaxy, which takes place on a planet made of lava!
    • Gravity Sucks: The sizes of some of the black holes are pretty ridiculous by astronomy standards...
    • Sci-Fi Writers Have No Sense of Scale: Those are not galaxies, those are clusters of asteroids, or small moons at best. in there is no reason to assume Mario is doing more than visiting the part of the galaxy relevant to him but each gateway looks more like it's selecting from a solar system. Also, along with that, Bowser Jr.'s airship armada can not be viewed that huge a couple of thousand miles away, as that "galaxy" is smaller than even the other galaxies in the game.
    • Selective Gravity
    • Space Does Not Work That Way
    • Space Is Magic
    • 2-D Space: Notably Averted.
    • Black Holes Suck: Several are localized around planets and are only a couple of feet in diameter. And the black holes are extremely picky about what they want to suck in. In real life, all those black holes in Honeyhive Galaxy (for example) would suck in the entire level and everything in it, not just Mario!
    • Weird Moon
  • Attack of the Town Festival: How the story of the game begins.
  • Attention Deficit Ooh Shiny: The penguins in Beach Bowl Galaxy can't concentrate on their swimming lessons because they're distracted by the "sparklies"[2] in the ocean.
  • Backstory: Shows perhaps the most in any Mario platformer game... ever. See also Tear Jerker.
  • Bait and Switch Boss: Bowser Jr.'s final appearance in the game.
  • Battle Tops: One of the bosses, Topmaniac, is a top. He is the leader of the Topmen, smaller sentient tops.
  • Big Boo's Haunt: Several galaxies. Ghostly Galaxy is the classic haunted mansion iteration, while Deep Dark Galaxy is an underwater variation.
  • Big Eater: A lot of the Lumas will ask for large amounts of star bits - so large, in fact, that they explode and somehow create planets.
  • Bonus Stage: Some of the pipes lead to underground areas where you can collect more star bits, coins, or 1-ups.
  • Book Ends: The first boss in the game is Dino Piranha, and the last boss is Fiery Dino Piranha. In fact, Dino Piranha is the first star in the first level (not counting the Gateway Galaxy), and depending on how you count Hungry Luma Galaxies, the Trial Galaxies, and the Grand Finale Galaxy, Fiery Dino Piranha is the last star to become available in the game.
  • Bootstrapped Theme: The Gusty Garden galaxy theme, particularly at around 1:26, is pretty much the main theme of the Galaxy series now, and was featured prominently in the Super Mario Galaxy 2 soundtrack.
  • Boss Arena Idiocy: Topmaniac would be invincible if he would just get rid of that electric fence around his arena.
  • Boss Arena Recovery: Many of the boss arenas have little lights or plants on the ground that you can shoot star bits at to produce coins to restore your health. Some of the fights even have coins and star bits in the arena itself. And as if you weren't constantly picking up Star Bits during both the preceding level and boss fight, hitting a boss enough times to start their next phase usually causes dozens of Star Bits to pop out of them.
  • Boss-Only Level: Bonefin Galaxy.
  • Bottomless Pit Rescue Service: Just in the hub.
  • Breather Level: Gusty Garden Galaxy comes near the middle of the game, but has a relaxed pace and feel-good atmosphere like Good Egg Galaxy at the beginning. On the other hand, controlling the pieces of fluff that you use to cross gaps in the level may require several tries to get right, so you should probably bring a good number of extra lives anyways.
  • Bubbly Clouds: Gusty Garden, while not having any clouds to walk on, definitely has the same feel with multiple platforms being suspended in the sky.
  • Butterfly of Death and Rebirth: When Mario wakes up in the new galaxy in the ending, there is a butterfly sitting on his nose.
  • Butt Monkey: The non-playable (until you collect all 120 stars with Mario) Luigi always gets captured or trapped while he is looking for a star. At one point, he gets trapped on the top of a small house that Mario can easily triple jump on top of.
  • The Cameo:
    • Yoshi actually makes a brief appearance in this game as two different planets: one in the save file screen, and the other in Space Junk Galaxy. Also serves as an Early-Bird Cameo, since in the sequel, Yoshi finally appears in space in person.
    • During the prologue, when Bowser captures Peach and carries both her and her castle high up into space, when Mario starts to go after Bowser as he is about to fly away with his airship brigade to save the princess, a Magikoopa immediately swoops down and attacks him, sending Mario toward a small planetoid nearby and knocking him unconscious. According to the tie-in trading card game, that Magikoopa is actually Kamek.
  • Camera Centering
  • Camera Screw: Most of the time, you can't control the camera's position; several challenges in this game would be a lot easier if you could actually see what you're doing (though the game is a lot better than Super Mario 64 in this regard).
  • Canon Shadow: In the New Game+, there are two Luigis; the one you play as, and the one you don't.
  • Cerebus Syndrome: For all its cheerful charm, the game includes some melancholy elements. This includes Rosalina's Tear Jerker storybook, as well as the ending, where the entire universe is destroyed due to a massive black hole and all of the Lumas throw themselves into the black hole to neutralize it and recreate the universe.
  • Chainsaw Good: Topmaniac has a red-hot one.
  • Chasing Your Tail: Dino Piranha and Bowser.
  • Colossus Climb: Megaleg and Heavy Metal Mecha-Bowser. Also present in the first level of Honeyhive Galaxy, where Bee Mario has crawl all over the Queen Bee's massive body in order to collect the five star chips embedded in her hair.
  • Convection, Schmonvection: Ice Mario can freeze lava. As said below, Rule of Cool.
  • Co-Op Multiplayer: The Co-Star Mode in both games. The sequel expands on it by including an orange Luma.
  • Cosmetic Award: Get 9999 star bits? The coconuts turn into watermelons.
  • Coup De Grace Cutscene
  • Critical Annoyance: The "low battery" sound and icon implemented in the game for the Wiimote. Really just there to annoy you since they game will helpfully pause the game when the battery finally bites it.
  • Deadly Dodging: Many levels require you to lure Bullet Bills into crashing into things you need blown up.
  • Deliberate Injury Gambit: Sometimes it pays to let an enemy hit you in order to lose an inconvenient power-up. (I'm looking at you, Spring Suit.)
  • Dem Bones: Kingfin and Dry Bones.
  • Diabolus Ex Machina: Meta-example: it'd be impossible to fall off of most planets if it weren't for the Unrealistic Black Holes.
  • Divergent Character Evolution: The five different-colored Toads from Super Mario Sunshine are back, and this time, each one has his own distinct personality.
  • Divine Assistance: Rosalina, for the one or two parts she actually decides to aid you.
  • Do Well, But Not Perfect: In the levels where you have to swim behind Guppy and go through the rings that he puts out, if you're such a fast swimmer that you actually catch up to Guppy, the knockback from when he hits you can easily cause you to miss a ring.
  • Dramatic Wind: Bowser's flapping hair is rather hypnotic, isn't it?
  • Dub Name Change/Gratuitous English: The galaxies all had English names even in the original Japanese version. A few of them stayed the same, but most were changed despite the fact none of them really sounded very Engrish-y and arguably better in some cases (for instance, Melty Molten Galaxy was called Hell Prominence Galaxy in the Japanese version).
  • Dummied Out:
    • The sheer amount of unused stuff found upon cracking the game open is enough to make one's head spin. Everything from unused boss designs to unfinished planets can be found in there.
    • An almost-finished planet, the Starman Fort, resembling an excavation site, still has its files inside the game, albeit with messed-up gravity, but nevertheless is much more complete than some of the planets that made it to the final version. It was even supposed to house a bunch of missions, and even the first boss battle according to a concept art!
    • There is also the alternative hub planet shown at the E3 2005, and an urn-shaped planet with a question mark on it. Another planet has a dozen of climbable poles with some spiked urchins down.
    • Mario himself has some unused moves, such as punching and tennis moves. An unused 3D model for a kart exist also, along with Donkey Kong Jungle Beat models. The titular Super Mushroom is unused, both in this game and its sequel. It was saved for 3D Land.
  • Dynamic Loading: The Launch Star animations were used to hide the game loading the next planet.
  • Easter Egg: If you look very closely while on the third planet in Toy Time Galaxy, you can actually see a tiny model train inside one of the cracks in its walls.
  • Electric Jellyfish: There's a huge one guarding the entrance to the underground lake in Deep Dark Galaxy.
  • Eternal Engine: Several, most notably Battlerock and Dreadnought.
  • Everythings Better With Bunnies: Especially when they help you find stars.
  • Everything's Better with Penguins: Ditto.
  • Everything's Better with Spinning: Mario's main attack after jumping. In fact, it even makes enemies drop Star Bits instead of coins!
  • Lava Adds Awesome
  • Everything's Even Worse with Sharks: Kingfin, which is basically a skeletal shark.
  • Excuse Plot: The main plot is as simple as most Mario stories, but the extensive backstory to Rosalina given in the storybook isn't.
  • Family-Unfriendly Death: Some of the death animations involve Mario getting disintegrated, suffocating in quicksand, and electrocution, leaving behind a skeleton!
  • Fixed Camera: Save for some areas.
  • Flight of Romance: Mario and Peach have such a moment after he delivers an epic beatdown to Bowser at the end. He catches her as she falls from Bowser Jr.'s airship and whisks her away with the final Grand Star.
  • Floating in A Bubble: The Bubble Breeze and Bubble Blast Galaxies. You can also use a bubble to obtain a secret star in the Gold Leaf Galaxy.
  • Floating Water: Loopdeeloop and Loopdeeswoop Galaxies, most notably.
  • Flunky Boss: Topmaniac, Kamella, and Kingfin.
  • Flying Saucer: Cuts out Princess Peach's castle and lifts it up in a beginning cutscene.
  • Four-Legged Insect: The bees
  • Free Rotating Camera: Just a few areas.
  • Free Sample Plot Coupon: Mario's goal is to retrieve the Grand Stars that fuel the Comet Observatory built by Rosalina. Luckily for him, the first of these Stars is the only one that isn't guarded by any of the bosses, in fact its power hasn't been fully used yet. Also a case of Back From the Brink.
  • Gainax Ending: Mario watches as a huge black hole forms in the center of the universe as the Lumas fly into it and cause the hole to implode at first, sucking Mario, Bowser, Peach, and everything in the universe into it, then explode violently. After that, Mario faces a huge Rosalina that says new baby stars are being born as a result (complete with baby crying). After that, Mario and the gang wake up in the Mushroom Kingdom, only it's now a fusion of all the worlds that he visited.
  • Game Breaking Bug: Although this game has received top-notch QA, some glitches exist, making Mario die if he spend too much time orbiting around a planet without actually landing on it (especially frequent with Luigi, by abusing the long jump/lock-on spin, or with some glitchy planetoids like that bouncing ball), but they merely send you at the start of the level. However, it is painfully played straight under some circumstances. In the final level in front of Bowser, no less!
  • Gang Plank Galleon: Deep Dark Galaxy hosts a pirate ship that shows up in several missions.
  • A God Am I: Not quite as literal as in the sequel, perhaps, but Bowser has definite shades of this trope in this game. Seriously, he's trying to destroy the universe so he can recreate it as his own galactic empire. With Princess Peach as his [probably unwilling] queen. Granted, it blows up in his face at the end (rather literally, too), but then the universe nearly gets destroyed in the aftermath anyways.
  • Gravity Screw: A major aspect of the game.
  • Green Hill Zone: Gateway Galaxy and Good Egg Galaxy.
  • Guide Dang It: The Cosmic Comet races become much easier once you learn the technique to get a speed boost at the beginning; in fact, this speed boost is practically required to beat Cosmic Luigi. The only problem? The game not only does not tell you how to get it, it doesn't even tell you it exists.
  • Hailfire Peaks: Freezeflame Galaxy, natch.
  • Have a Nice Death: If you get to the end of the Battlerock or Dreadnought Purple Comet missions without all the purple coins, the Gearmo will mock you for not trying hard enough and then take away one of your turns.
  • Heavy Sleeper: The yellow Toad.
  • Helpful Mook: Plenty! Cataquacks, Koopas, Bob-ombs, Bullet Bills, and green Topmen, to name a few.
  • Homage: What with the tiny planets, way of slinging around space, and the plot of the storybook (not to mention Princess Rosalina herself), the whole thing seems to be inspired by The Little Prince.
    • The Jaws music plays during the Kingfin fight.
  • Hornet Hole: Honeyhive and Gold Leaf Galaxies. At least the bees are friendly.
  • Hub Level: The Comet Observatory in the first game is probably the most rudimentary example yet in the Mario series; all it does is connect the various worlds, with no secrets or bonus stars of its own, unlike Super Mario 64 or Sunshine.
  • An Ice Person: Ice Mario.
  • Incendiary Exponent: Fiery Dino Piranha.
  • Infinite 1-Ups: There are several 1-up mushrooms scattered around the observatory hub which respawn if you enter a door and come out again, not to mention the frequent letters you get from Peach containing five 1-up mushrooms each (20 if you're Luigi).
  • It's Up to You: Double subverted. Hey, looks like Mario doesn't have to get all the stars himself. Luigi and the Toads are going to help him! But then they get captured or stranded, so in the end, you still have to do all the missions, same as if they weren't helping you.
  • Jaws First Person Perspective: The battle with Kingfin opens with one.
  • Just Before the End/Kill'Em All: The entire universe is destroyed. Sure, everyone gets reincarnated, but still, everyone dies. In a Mario game, no less.
  • King Mook: Several. Examples include Dino Piranha, Topmaniac, and Major Burrows.
  • Knight of Cerebus: Surprisingly, Bowser. Whenever he appears, the atmosphere gets much more tense.
  • Leap of Faith: Freezeflame Galaxy's purple coin run. You do get a hint of how it's to be done, though.
  • Lethal Lava Land: Both Freezeflame Galaxy and Melty Molten Galaxy.
  • Level Ate: The Sweet Sweet Galaxy and "Bouncing Down Cake Lane" in Toy Time Galaxy.
  • Lost Woods: Honeyhive and Gold Leaf.
  • Macro Zone: The Toy Time Galaxy.
  • Made of Explodium: Airships, Megaleg, Mecha Bowser, some bosses and enemies... and apparently Kingfin. Yes, an exploding, semi-biology-fail, skeleton shark.
    • In Battlerock Galaxy in particular, whenever Mario does a mission that requires him to go inside the Battlerock, an explosion inexplicably occurs whenever he leaves it.
  • Made of Iron: Bowser gets punched right into a sun at the center of the galaxy, and then shows up unscathed in the next cutscene lamenting the collapse of his empire. And then dies. And then wakes up in Peach's front yard.
  • Meaningless Lives: It's pretty easy to stock up on lives. Good thing, since you start with 4 lives whenever you begin playing (regardless of how many you had when you finished your last session), and some of the later levels can get pretty goddamn tough.
  • Miles Gloriosus: The self-appointed leader of the Toad Brigade. One of the other Toads lampshades this. In the Grand Finale Galaxy, upon learning that the captain is being promoted to Royal Guard Commander, one Toad says "But the leader is the least brave of all!"
  • Moon Rabbit: Just in case you're wondering why there are rabbits living in planetoids.
  • Multi Stage Battle: The first two thirds of the final battle against Bowser take place on two different planets; the third and final stage takes place inside a sun.
  • Musical Gameplay: Coins that pop up out of blocks or bushes will have their usual coin SFX be in tempo and harmony with the backing music. Additionally, when fighting King Kaliente, every time you hit one of the coconuts (or it hits him) a musical cue plays.
  • Mutually Exclusive Powerups
  • Mythology Gag: The red shells home in on nearby enemies.
  • Never Say "Die"
  • New Game+: Getting all of the stars with Mario unlocks and lets you play through again as Luigi. He runs faster and jumps higher than Mario, but has less traction and is flung farther when an enemy touches him. He also loses extra oxygen when spin-boosting through water. And, his Cosmic Comet races are very difficult.
  • Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: Kingfin is a skeletal shark. That summons robot fish.
  • Nintendo Hard: Dreadnought Galaxy in general, Sling Pod Galaxy, the Trial Galaxies, etc. In short, anything that you do not have to do to beat the game with the bare minimum of stars is going to be Nintendo Hard. Some Prankster Comet missions are prone to this too:
    • Speedy (red) Comets make you do forced speedruns, typically of levels that required you to think more (and, therefore, take more time).
    • Daredevil (white) Comets give you only 1 HP, typically on levels where taking damage was easy, especially on difficult levels.
    • The Cosmic (blue) Comets, which force you to race through the stage against a "cosmic" version of yourself. Cosmic Mario is hard unless you spam your long jump (Koopa shells and boost rings in Sea Slide Galaxy) and get that boost at the start (and if you hit a wall while long jumping, you crash and lose time!). Cosmic Luigi is even harder than Cosmic Mario, to the point where he's a cheating bastard.
    • The rare Fast Foe (yellow) Comets (there are only two) make you fall victim to Damn You, Muscle Memory! by speeding up the enemies. Worse yet, they only occur in sections with Tox Boxes and Thwomps, which kill you in this game (as opposed to merely hurting you in previous games).
    • Finally, the Purple Coin Comets make you scour the area for Purple Coins. Sometimes these are timed, or maybe you'll have to dodge the obstacles. There are also levels that combine these attributes, though they attempt to make it easier by placing 50 extra coins. The timed ones put you under intense pressure with a strict time limit, while the untimed ones are very tedious and you'll often jinx yourself into dying on your way over to the Star after getting all 100 coins.
  • No Damage Run: The daredevil comets force you to complete a challenge without taking any damage. Usually it's redoing a boss fight, but one of the more sadistic ones - "Lava Spire Daredevil Run" in Melty Molten Galaxy - forces you to replay an entire level like this, namely, the "The Sinking Lava Spire" mission. There's also the second segment of "Scaling the Sticky Wall" in Honeyclimb Galaxy, when meteors can, in a single hit, rob you of your bee suit, and send you falling to your death by black hole.
  • Nominal Importance: For some reason, the English translation didn't give names to any Lumas, while the original Japanese (which called them Chikos) did indeed have names for some of them. You know the Luma that grants Mario's ability to spin? The one that Rosalina introduces with the line, "To save your special one, you'll need to power to travel through space. Luma can give you this power. I will entrust you with his care"? He is named Tyke in the Japanese version. They also didn't mention the name of the black/dark brown Luma who is always at Rosalina's side and in the observatories. His name is Polari, after the star Polaris. This oversight makes the storybook a tad confusing in the English version, since upon meeting the Lumas for the first time, Rosalina makes a point of thinking up names for all of them.
  • Not Cheating Unless You Get Caught: In the second mission of Beach Bowl Galaxy, "Passing the Swim Test", you have to retrieve a golden shell in the ocean and bring it back to the coach in order to pass the test and get the power star. However, there aren't any golden shells lying around on the ocean floor. One of the other penguins eventually clues you in that the actual way to pass the test is to find a penguin carrying a shell and steal it from him.
  • Not So Harmless: Dino Piranha is the first boss of the game and a pretty easy one at that. The fiery version is That One Boss for many, using the same attacks as the first one, as well as using its fire powers offensively and defensively.
  • Number Two: Polari, the black Luma who's always at Rosalina's side or in the map domes, appears to fulfill this role aboard the Cosmic Observatory.
  • Ominous Floating Spaceship: How Bowser kidnaps Princess Peach.
  • Ominous Latin Chanting: Bowser's battle theme invokes this for both the regular boss battles and his final boss battle, although no actual words are spoken; it's a choir singing "ah" and "ooh" in the style of ominous Latin chanting.
  • One-Hit Kill: Thwomps and Tox Boxes.
  • One-Hit-Point Wonder: The daredevil challenges.
  • Opening the Sandbox: If you collect all the stars in the galaxies as they become accessible to you, you'll very quickly reach the point where you can take the remaining star missions in pretty much any order you want.
  • Oxygenated Underwater Bubbles: As in Super Mario 64.
  • Palette Swap: Gold Leaf Galaxy is an autumn-colored mirror image of Honeyhive Galaxy.
  • Palmtree Panic: Beach Bowl and Sea Slide Galaxy.
  • Pass Through the Rings: Both times you meet Guppy, he asks you to swim through eight rings.
  • Pivotal Boss: King Kaliente, Tarantox, Bouldergeist, and the Undergrunt Gunner.
  • Power-Up Magnet: One of the uses of the pointer.
  • Racing Mini Game: Several. To start with, there are the four Cosmic Comet races (eight if you count doing them again as Luigi). In two levels ("A Very Spooky Sprint" in Ghostly Galaxy and "Racing the Spooky Speedster" in Boo's Boneyard Galaxy), you race a helmet-wearing Boo to a Power Star. You also race a group of penguins in "Faster Than a Speeding Penguin" in Sea Slide Galaxy, and there are at least four levels in which you encounter rabbits who want you to chase them. Then there's the "Surfing 101" mission in Loopdeeloop Galaxy and the "The Galaxy's Greatest Wave" mission in Loopdeeswoop Galaxy, in which you have to make three laps around a watery course on a manta within a (fairly generous) time limit. The game designers apparently think players can't get enough racing.
  • Rainbow Speak
  • Recurring Boss: Topmaniac has to be fought four times: twice in regular battles ("Topmaniac and the Topman Tribe" in Battlerock Galaxy and "Revenge of the Topman Tribe" in Dreadnought Galaxy), once in a daredevil battle ("Topmaniac's Daredevil Run" in Battlerock Galaxy), and once as part of a speed run ("Topman Tribe Speed Run" in Dreadnought Galaxy). Kamella and Bowser have to be fought three times each (Kamella in "Kamella's Airship Attack" in Space Junk Galaxy, "The Underground Ghost Ship" in Deep Dark Galaxy and "Ghost Ship Daredevil Run" also in Deep Dark Galaxy, Bowser in "The Fiery Stronghold" in Bowser's Star Reactor, "Darkness on the Horizon" in Bowser's Dark Matter Plant and "The Fate of the Universe" in Bowser's Galaxy Reactor) and there are several other bosses you have to fight twice. Special mention goes to Dino Piranha who is fought in the first level ("Dino Piranha" in Good Egg Galaxy) and the second to last level (as Fiery Dino Piranha, in "Fiery Dino Piranha" in Melty Molten Galaxy). The first version is pretty much your standard Warmup Boss while the second is a freaking That One Boss. Talk about Taking a Level In Badass!
  • Recycled in Space: Super Mario 64 IN SPACE!
  • Reincarnation: A major theme of the game. Lumas are born from star dust, and grow into stars, which then form suns, moons, and planets, the latter of which have people on them. Eventually, they decay and crumble back into star dust, which goes on to create new Lumas. When you add in the ending, this game looks very, very Buddhist.
  • Remilitarized Zone: The airships from Super Mario Bros 3 show up in a couple of levels. Battlerock and Dreadnought Galaxies also have shades of this.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: Lumas. You can feed them Star Bits and they'll thank you and spin around (one of the little ones responded with "Happy!"). You can't help but Squee!
  • Ring Out Boss: Topmaniac.
  • Rise to the Challenge: "The Sinking Lava Spire" in Melty Molten Galaxy. "Sunbaked Sand Castle" in Dusty Dune Galaxy is an unusual example; Mario is trying to make it to the top of a tower before it fills up with sand, but the game turns the controls upside down, so it appears that the ceiling is trying to crush Mario before he gets to the bottom.
  • Royal We: The Queen Bee speaks this way.
  • Rule of Cool and Rule of Fun: This is definitely one of the least realistic games in the series, what with all of the Art Major Physics and stuff. All in the name of fun, though.
  • Save the Princess: Acceptable thanks to the Grandfather Clause, because it would not be Mario if it wasn't required.
  • Scenery as You Go: The platform maze in the "Pull Star Path", "Pull Star Path Speed Run" and "Purple Coin Spacewalk" missions in Space Junk Galaxy, as well as the ice bridges in Bowser's stage.
  • Scenery Porn: Just look at some of the space backgrounds. They look absolutely amazing. For example, in the first level of Melty Molten Galaxy, there's a sequence which consists of Mario shooting through several launch stars in a row. The main point of the sequence seems to be to show off the impressive graphics of the volcano level.
  • Self-Imposed Challenge: Getting all 150 purple coins in "Luigi's Purple Coins" in Toy Time Galaxy or "Purple Coins on the Puzzle Cube" in Gusty Garden Galaxy (only 100 are required for the star). Yes, both are actually possible! Not enough for you? Here's a bunch more! The developers also made it so that getting Starshrooms are optional. Add that to avoiding extra lives by avoiding Star Bits and 1-up Mushrooms, and the game gets Nintendo Hard.
  • Sequel Escalation: This game is more of a successor to Super Mario 64 than Super Mario Sunshine, and it begins with Bowser stealing Peach's castle. Super Mario 64 took place entirely in and around that castle, and Bowser just hoists it off like it was nothing. That's a clear sign that the stakes are much higher this time.
  • Shifting Sand Land: Dusty Dune Galaxy.
  • Shout-Out:
    • As mentioned before, the game's concept of visiting miniature planets has been compared to the story of The Little Prince. The drawings in Rosalina's storybook are also in the same style as those in the classic French tale.
    • The planet shaped like a Poké Ball in Buoy Base Galaxy. It even opens like one.
    • Also, in Space Junk Galaxy, Mario walks on Olimar's ship.
  • Single Biome Planet: Tons of them.
  • Sliding Scale of Linearity vs. Openness: The levels are mostly linear compared to Super Mario 64 and Sunshine.
  • Slippy-Slidey Ice World: Half of Freezeflame, in addition to a couple of other mini-levels.
  • Space Zone: Naturally, the strongest example being Space Junk.
  • Spinning Out of Here: You activate teleport pads by spinning on them.
  • Spring Coil: The dreaded Spring Mario powerup.
  • Stealth Pun: The Dirty Tricks of Major Burrows. As in, the dirt that he digs through! Most of the levels are like this to some extent.
  • Surprise Creepy: The whole game is level after level of pure joy, but at the end, the universe ends and the Lumas give themselves up to bring it back.
  • Suspicious Videogame Generosity: There is always a Life Shroom just before a boss or difficult section, often sold by a Luma Shop. And a Musical Spoiler where it changes to the 'Tension' theme. Both of these are in the sequel, too.
  • Tactical Suicide Boss: Several examples. The Bomb-Boos that Bouldergeist spits out are the only way to defeat him. Same deal with King Kaliente and the coconuts he occasionally lobs at you. If he'd just stick to fireballs, he'd be invincible.
  • Tennis Boss: King Kaliente.
  • Timed Mission: The speedy comet challenges, as well as the ammo depot mini-games. Some of the purple coin missions are timed as well.
  • Title Scream: Just like the rest of the 3-D platformers.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Bowser. In previous titles, his goal is just to kidnap Peach. In Galaxy, capturing Peach seems to just be a bonus for him; his real goal is the conquest of the entire universe. (See A God Am I above). Thought that Fiery Dino Piranha would only be slightly harder than the normal one? WRONG!
  • Toy Time: Toy Time Galaxy is the Trope Namer, of course.
  • True Companions: The overarching theme of the storybook is how Rosalina and the Lumas are like this.
  • Tunnel King: The Undergrunts
  • Turns Red: Pretty much every boss in the game gains new attacks once you get a couple of hits on them.
  • Under the Sea: Three main galaxies[3] and four mini-ones[4].
  • Unlockable Content: Luigi.
  • Unmoving Pattern: Cosmic Mario has Mario's character model with an unmoving texture of a night sky.
  • Underwater Boss Battle: Kingfin.
  • The Unfought: Guppy looks like a boss and acts like a boss; however, you never actually fight him. Both times you meet him, he'll ask you to swim through eight rings; if you do, you get the star.
  • Variable Mix: All over the place:
    • Gateway, Battlerock, Beach Bowl, Buoy Base, Sea Slide, and Freezeflame Galaxies all feature instrument variations in their background tracks depending on what you're doing or where in the stage you're at. Other tracks that change up at will include stage select domes, the ball rolling minigame, rabbit chasing, and any boss fight with Bowser. That a significant number of these tracks were recorded by a full orchestra makes the switchovers all the more impressive.
    • Additionally, no matter what stage you're in or what song is playing (including Rainbow Star, Fire Flower, or Ice Flower tracks), touching a Sling Star adds a matching harp to the music, with the arpeggio varying in intensity with how big the star is.
  • Verbal Tic: The rabbits have one, boiyoing!
  • The Very Definitely Final Dungeon: Bowser's Galaxy Reactor, taking place in the center of the universe.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: During one mission in Space Junk Galaxy, you'll encounter a Toad trapped in a sling pod. To progress, you have to get him out of the sling pod so you can use it yourself, but the game progresses whether you fling him to a safe spot or kill him by flinging him out into space. Many players get a sadistic kick out of doing the latter. (Not that it ultimately matters, since he shows up again on the Comet Observatory either way.)
  • Voice Grunting: In place of the full Voice Acting from Super Mario Sunshine.
  • "Wake-Up Call" Boss: Bugaboom is the first boss who's likely to give players a challenge. He isn't exactly hard, but if you don't have your jump timing down yet, he can be very tricky to beat.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?:
    • The flying saucer seen in the opening, which is equipped with lasers capable of slicing through the ground effortlessly, and which is obviously not from Earth, is never mentioned after the opening.
    • At the start of the game, Peach tells Mario to come to the Star Festival because "there's something I'd like to give you". We never find out what that something is.
  • What the Hell, Player?: In Buoy Base Galaxy, if you talk to the Gearmo after destroying the weight that's keeping the fortress from rising to the surface, he says, "You destroyed the weight! So you just go around breaking stuff, eh? You think that's OK? Breaking stuff?"
  • Wide Open Sandbox: You only have to get half the stars in the game to be able to take on the final boss, giving players who aren't going for 100% Completion a lot of leeway in deciding which missions to play.
  • Willing Suspension of Disbelief can be broken for the more scientifically-minded in regards to the Art Major Physics (see way above) when Rule of Cool and Rule of Fun just don't cut it. Describing all the ways this game fails physics may be an exercise better left to the discussion pages.
  • World Shapes: There are many others, not just spherical ones.
  • X-Ray Sparks: In addition to the standard usage, if Mario (or Luigi) is killed by a shock, he dies as just a skeleton.
  1. Known, oddly enough, as "Rosetta" in the Japanese release.
  2. star shards
  3. Beach Bowl, Sea Slide, and Deep Dark
  4. Buoy Base, Drip Drop, Bigmouth, and Bonefin