Headscratchers / Super Mario 64

  • Why exactly is Big Boo's Haunt located inside of a tiny birdcage in the Castle Courtyard, instead of a painting? Is there some context to it that isn't obvious, or is it just a weird size gag?
    • Considering that Lethal Lava Land's painting is Nightmare Fuel, I think that Nintendo drew the line there, and didn't make an even scarier painting for the Haunt.
    • On the subject of levels that don't have paintings, what about Hazy Maze Cave, Shifting Sand Land, Dire Dire Docks, Snowman's Land, Tick Tock Clock, and Rainbow Ride?
    • Snowman's Land had a painting, Dire Dire Docks was a specific stall tactic on Bowser's part, and Tick Tock Clock is located inside of a clock, which it milks for all it's worth. As for the others... probably so they didn't just keep repeating the same motif over and over.
    • One could assume that because Big Boo's Haunt was located in the castle's backyard, a painting would look really out of place in there (same logic for potential Hazy Maze Cave and Shifting Sand Land paintings being out of place in a flooded basement. The Lethal Lava Land painting can be justified as being too creepy to hang on the upper rooms).
  • Why does Bowser surround his levels with bombs?
    • In hopes that you really are a loser and will run straight into 'em
    • I assume that the "levels" aren't actually made by Bowser, but rather, he is simply making use of them, in an effort to protect the keys.
    • The same question can be asked of why Bowser fights in places designed like the ones in the original Super Mario Bros, where he gets dunked into lava, with a similar answer - he didn't make those levels, he just utilized them.
    • You'd think after the second time, he'd at least choose a different type of venue...
    • He gets smart in the last area, he makes the bombs VERY hard to reach.
  • "A gentle sea dragon lives here. Pound on his back to make him lower his head. Don't become his lunch" (talking about Dorrie). What's this about becoming Dorrie's lunch?
    • Supposedly, you could slip off of Dorrie's head before he raised it, resulting in Mario landing in front of his mouth and getting eaten accidentally. As far as this troper knows, this wasn't actually possible, and was either just a joke, a rumor, or perhaps a small feature that got scrapped in the final game.
      • Seemed to be a scrapped feature, which made it more obnoxious by the Narm Charm applied when Dorrie looked more Yoshi-like in the DS remake.
  • Are the painting worlds entirely created by Bowser, or are they links to places that already exist?
    • Considering the Throwback Galaxy, I'm inclined to believe it's the second option.
    • This troper thinks of the courses as the paintings themselves, and Mario as an intrepid fictioneer. It would explain how he is able to jump between different points in time within the painting world, apparently temporarily replacing the past version of him who originally obtained that particular power star, but how it will just be an outline and history will only be rewitten if he succeeds.
  • Why do the cannons have question marks on their sides?
    • Maybe whoever made them was a REALLY bad shot?
    • Given the ? Blocks everywhere in the Mushroom Kingdom, it probably so they could blend in with the environment more easily.
    • It's not likely to be the real reason, but this troper can't help but think of it as the cannons asking, "Where to?"
    • Kind of pointless, because they're already pointed in the direction Mario needs to go.
  • Why did Bowser leave the door to Bob-omb Battlefield unlocked? If it wasn't for that level, you wouldn't be able to get any stars.
    • Anti-Frustration Feature, maybe? In-universe, probably this is part of the effort the Toads are doing to save the Princess, they were able to open that door, and we can do the rest.
    • Or what if—work with me here—what if Bowser used some sort of consumable resource to lock the doors? Let's call it Anti-Star Power. He started by locking the door leading to Bowser in the Sky, and in order to provide powerful protection to his final stronghold, he blew 70 Anti-Stars on it. He used 50 Anti-Stars to lock the door to the castle tower as an added layer of protection, and 30 to lock his secondary stronghold in the basement. By this point he was running severely low on Anti-Stars, so started doling them out in single-digit quantities to the remaining accessible doors. He miscalculated and ran out before he could lock Bob-Omb Battlefield. He also didn't realize that Mario would retain possession of the Power Stars after using them to unlock doors, or he would have been a lot smarter about distributing the Anti-Stars.
    • Bowser hadn't gotten around to locking that door by the time Mario made it to the castle.
    • He Figured Mario would be to afraid of lava, ghosts, toxic gas, and shifting sand.
      • It makes sense to leave a pathway open to force your enemy through. Bowser believed that Mario would be killed in a warzone between fueding, sentient bombs, which by all rights would be one of the most dangerous scenarios one could be forced to run through. He just didn't account Mario being good enough to get through that.
    • But Bowser took the time to lock a door that—to his knowledge—had no stars behind it. The secret slide was hidden from Bowser, so no troops were in it, and had not one, but TWO stars hidden within that Bowser knew NOTHING about. Therefore, wouldn't it have made sense if the room with the secret slide was the first unlocked room that Mario got Stars from, and Bob-omb Battlefield was the first level he'd be able to unlock after getting one of the slide's stars, and so on? The secret slide isn't even all that difficult to find, nor long or hard to navigate either, so it's not like new players would get confused by it.
      • Jumping into one of three stain-glass windows? New players who had not been introduced to paintings would have found that trivial to find. In the DS version, there's the rec room stuff in here, so it makes a bit more sense, but it was possible that Bowser was locking as many doors as he could, just in case. I mean, Peach is vain, but surely a room with nothing in it but her face would have some significance that, even if Bowser had no idea what it meant, Mario would have?
      • It would have been trivial. The message in Peach's room states that the secret entrance is right there in that room. And what is the first thing that gets your attention? The stain-glass windows. In fact, they're the only thing of interest in that room apart from the sign. Therefore, finding the secret entrance is a 1/3 chance. How's it any more confusing than figuring out how to get to Big Bob-omb, let alone beat him?
      • Remember, by your train of thought, new players wouldn't yet be exposed to jumping through paintings/windows. Bob-Omb Battlefield may be (somewhat) unfamiliar territory, but at least you can see where you can and can't go. Plus, every boss announces their weakness, and there's multiple stars initially available. At some point, we'll have to concede that Bowser wasn't too good at the whole 'foresight' thing (notice how Mario, to the best of my knowledge, has yet to beat Bowser in a straight confrontation?)
  • How did Koopa the Quick get from Bob-omb Battlefield to Tiny-Huge Island?
    • Jumped through the painting?
    • Technically, it should be the other way around, since he states in Tiny-Huge Island that it's his home course.
    • Maybe he walked from one location to the other manually?
    • He had two stars originally, and gave one to Mario after being beaten in the race. Then he somehow 'collected' his other star, ram through the castle into Tiny-Huge Island, and jumped into the painting. The same star let his get out of Tiny-Huge Island in the first place, and Bob-Omb Battlefield was an open room he could enter. The reason he never appears in any other levels is that he has no other stars and no way to get any because Mario took them all.
  • Speaking of Koopa the Quick, cheating is looked down upon when racing him, but unless you aren't a considerable distance ahead of him/he sees you do it, how exactly does he know you cheated?
  • Fridge Brilliance courtesy Medibot and MyNameIsKaz while they were playing Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga: the Princess' Secret Slide is basically an emergency escape tunnel in case of whatever. (Unfortunately for her, she hasn't been able to make use of it, ever.)
  • What do the Power Stars do in this game? I know that in Sunshine, the Shine Sprites bring sunshine to Isle Delfino and the Power Stars in Galaxy and Galaxy 2 serve as fuel for the Comet Observatory and Starship Mario, but is it ever explained what they do for Princess Peach's castle?
    • In-story they just produced a general magical effect. The more of them were brought together in one place (Mario's pocket or wherever he keeps them), the weaker Bowser's hold over the castle got. Hence how the more stars you had, the more doors you could enter. Now as to what they did before Bowser stole them all, I don't think that ever gets explained.
  • One for the DS remake... why do the characters wearing caps share the disguises Idle Animations? In most cases, its not too bad... but when you see Mario or Luigi scratching their butt as Wario, you begin to question why they bother.
    • If the caps give you the character's appearance and abilities, I don't think it's a stretch to think they'd give you the person's mannerisms as well.
    • So that the developers didn't have to animate multiple idle animations for each character.
  • Why can't Yoshi enter Big Boo's Haunt?
    • Because as we all know, it's illegal to eat ghosts.
  • Why was there water in the basement of the castle anyways?
    • Leaking pipes?
      • They should call a plumber.
  • What was the point of most of the rooms in the castle anyways? Most of them only had paintings and there was no sign of any kitchens or bedrooms anywhere.
    • There was no gameplay purpose to have bedrooms or kitchens. The true point of the rooms from a gameplay perspective was to prevent Mario from progressing to new courses until he got enough stars to enter them.
      • This. Paper Mario showed that the rooms had furniture in them.
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