Headscratchers: Super Mario Sunshine

  • Why is the airstrip out on its own little island off the coast of the main island? It's a bit of a hassle to land in a plane only to have to take a boat trip as well...
    • Have you seen Isle Delfino? There's no place to land a plane on the whole island. Presumably, the landing strip was added in once they became popular.
    • Truth in Television, sort of. Venice's Marco Polo International Airport is a bus and short boat trip away from Venice.
    • In fact, most airports are a good distance away from the cities they're associated with, for the simple reason that, well, you need a lot of room to land a plane safely, and a lot more room to make sure you have a buffer just in case things go wrong. When This Troper went throughout Europe, nearly every airport he landed in was a solid hour drive or more away from the city the airport was nominally in.
      • Not to mention planes are really freaking loud, which is why property values near airports are so low.
  • Why do the Yoshis dissolve when they touch water? Are they made of water soluble paint? And isn't it stupid that out of all the species of Yoshi in the world, it would be the island-dwelling ones who would be unable to swim?
    • A group of Yoshis got to the island a long time ago, and in later generations, they never learned how to swim. As for the dissolving thing, I got nothing.
    • Aren't most Yoshi island dwellers? It could be that they aren't real Yoshis. Since a large part of the plot was someone painting on the island, is it really out of the question that the Yoshis are also just painted things that Bowser Jr. created because he was trying to imitate one of his father's schemes?
  • There's a Noki woman with a baby standing outside of Pinna Park. The weird part is, when you talk to her, she never once suggests that it's her kid or if she's related to it at all, referring to it as "the child" and "this baby." Did she kidnap it? Is she babysitting it? Is she just really detached? It's a small detail to get hung up on, granted, but it still bugs me. (You see her again later in Noki Bay, but I can't remember if she says anything more revealing then or not. I don't think she does, but...)
    • Maybe she thinks Mario's smart enough to fill in the blanks. Maybe she just talks weird. Maybe Mario doesn't need to know every detail about her life.
    • I think the Japanese version for "this child" (この子) and related is common in that language for referring to one's child, and they just made the translation pretty literal.
    • actually, in her appearance in Noki bay, the grandson of the Noki elder tells Mario that those two are "his wife and child," guess that should be of help.
  • Isle Delfino gets cleaned up in the end, and everything is supposedly fine and dandy...but did they ever prove that it wasn't Mario who messed everything up? Does Mario still have a criminal record??
    • I think seeing Mario go the extra mile convinced the inhabitants that Mario is a good man. He only needed 50 Shine Sprites to restore Isle Delfino, but he tracked down all of the missing Shine Sprites anyway. Most of those, I'd bet, were not even stolen by Bowser.
  • How come no one ever questions what the two Racoons/Tanukis are doing charging Blue Coins in order to get Shine Sprites? I mean, the whole reason there's darkness over Isle Delfino is because the Shine Sprites fled when the pollution started and they're basically needed in order to restore the Island to what it once was. How come the two racoons/tanuki are allowed to withhold something that is that vital to the island and sell them without anyone ever questioning them or taking actions against what they're doing, especially since Isle Delfino is in danger? I even watched Chuggaconroy's Let's Play of the game and even he questioned this.
    • The Piantas themselves aren't that better, holding Shine Sprites for themselves unless Mario wins a contest. This is easily explained as that they didn't care too much about the story, they just wanted a reason for Mario to run around and collect things. From an in-universe standpoint, it could be suggested that perhaps some islanders were 'living under a rock' so to speak and didn't notice anything wrong, and the ones that were aware thought the problem to be so obvious that it shouldn't need to be explained. Or maybe the Shine Sprites only respond to someone heroic like Mario, and the Piantas couldn't get them back to the gate no matter how hard they tried.
      • The prosecutor for Mario's "trial" pretty much states flat-out that the situation is so obvious it would be nearly impossible for anyone to not be aware of it.
    • That explains why the people would hold onto them, but not why the authorities don't do anything about it. I mean, Mario pretty much had to face a Kangaroo Court at the start of the game, yet the government doesn't respond with the same heavy-handedness to the people who are hoarding Shines. And the police would presumably know about their importance, since the prosecutor did, and D.E.B.S. does, and one would think the police would have access to D.E.B.S....
    • I haven't played the game before, so I don't know whether this explanation holds up...but I suggested below that the Shine Sprites being sold by the Tanooki have all chosen to go incognito by passing themselves off as souvenirs until some heroic person like Mario comes and retrieves them...Again, there may be something in-game that specifically refutes this...Do the Tanookis ever concretely say that the shines they're given away are the same ones that are used to power the island, or could they just be [what they think are] replicas...?
    • The tanooki never explicitly refer to the shines by name. They just say: "So you're here for that?"
  • In the intro, the Pianta mumbles something twice: Once at the beginning (after saying, "Welcome to the sun-drenched paradise of Isle Delfino!") and again at the very end of the video. What is he saying, and why is he mumbling it?
    • I've heard it too, and it seems to be just some kind of chant. Maybe it's akin to saying "Aloha" if it were an ad for Hawaii.
  • The Delfino Plaza flooding makes absolutely no sense. Even if all that water was indeed inside Corona Mountain (which already raises several questions, being a volcano and all), once being released, it would have immediately fallen into the sea, thus making it impossible to flood anything. To flood a city surrounded by mountains, in a low area, you only need to pour enough water over it, since the geography will hold the water in place. To flood a whole island, you need to raise the sea level several metres, so it covers the island. And since the sea level is the same everywhere, you need to release enough water to cover the entire world- or else the water will immediately spread through the sea all over the globe, making the rise unnoticeable. Can Corona Mountain hold that much water? Really? And then, after defeating Bowser, the flood disappears in a matter of seconds...
    • Either the island is much bigger canonically than it is depicted in game which would make it so the flood would take some time to escape the city and go out to sea, or Magic.
      • Maybe the water is held in place by the ridiculous magical barriers that prevent you from swimming too far away from the island.
  • So Shine Sprites are the guardians of Isle Delfino's light. If the Pianta are aware of the Shine Sprite's importance to the island, why are they holding contests with the prize being Shine Sprites (a good example being the watermelon-growing contest)? Shouldn't they be more considerate - giving up the Shine Sprite so light can be restored? Shouldn't there be some government officials sent to retrieve them for that matter? Remember, Mario was only tasked with cleaning the island, not retrieving the Shine Sprites.
    • Maybe some of them were uneducated and don't realize their importance, or even what it is for that matter.
    • What about the introduction court scene, where the prosecutor says "Indeed, how can one not be aware of what is going on?"
    • Maybe Isle Delfino has some sort of Shine Sprite replicas that they sell as souvenirs, or as prizes in games and contests...only unbeknownst to them, the Shine Sprites in this case are actually real. If the sprites are to be viewed as sentient - I'm guessing they are since they have eyes - then perhaps they are remaining incognito as a means of refuge from Bowser Jr. and the graffiti he keeps spreading, waiting for someone heroic like Mario to come rescue them.
    • My theory is that the Shines are treated as some kind of treasure among the Pianta's, they probably hold the contests so that other Pianta's can win them. Providing the Shines are still on the Island and not being restrained in anyway, they probably still work.
  • I have a question about Sirena Beach's hotel. First, why would a 4-star hotel like this have secret passages, like the one that takes you from the men's room to a woman's bathtub? I know it's standard platformer game physics, but what are those passages doing there in the first place?
    • Maybe all the ghosts made them. At least a few of them, like the Boo painting, are ghost intervention.
    • King Boo basically made Hotel Defino like Luigi's Mansion, but with living inhabitants.
  • What are the purpose of those caged platforms around the pirate ships at Pinna Park? They serve no apparent purpose, visual or mechanical. Why are they there?
    • Reason: Maintenance. they are there in case workers need to make repairs to the ride.
  • Why, after being revealed, does Bowser Jr. still use his Shadow Mario disguise at all? I can understand that it'd be a definite spoiler if someone say, got to the levels where FLUDD is stolen or they have to chase Shadow Mario in the 7th episodes of one of the earlier levels before getting the 10 shine sprites required to get to Pinna Park, then yeah he should still wear the disguise as the cutscene hasn't played yet showing who he really is. But why bother after Pinna Park? Mario has been framed as much as he could manage by then, he has been seen by various people being chased by Mario before then in his disguise thus nullifying its use for further framing of Mario. But he still uses the disguise for seemingly no reason. When he is running around with parts for FLUDD he is still disguised. In the chase missions after the reveal he is still in disguise. Even when he is being chased for the Yoshi egg which only happens after clearing the first four missions of the level his disguise is removed in, he is still posing as Shadow Mario. And even for the people who have yet to see Mario chase after him before, during the chases after he tried to get Peach the first time, he doesn't even bother drawing his graffiti M's on the ground when he stops. So what's the point?
    • Maybe Bowser Jr. just wants to make sure that nobody knows who he is (except Mario, but nobody on the island listens to him anyway), so that people won't notice a pair of Koopas running around the island causing trouble. The residents already have difficulty telling Mario apart from Shadow Mario, but they'd probably notice Jr. in his regular form. If he got caught, he'd call attention to himself and it would put a damper on the vacation his dad planned. I know that Bowser could just do what he wanted anyway, given that he's Bowser, but maybe he was willing to (sorta) play by the rules to have a good time. Aside from kidnapping Peach, all really he does is go hot tubbing in Corona Mountain, so he was probably just personally aiming to kidnap Peach and piss off Mario, while letting Jr. do whatever he saw fit to get in Mario's way as long as he didn't get framed for it (ex. gooping up the island).
    • It could be that the Shadow Mario disguise is what lets him use Mario's moves. Without them, it wouldn't be hard for Mario to catch Junior.
      • Not necessarily. As we've seen through out the series, Mario chasing Bowser Jr. is a recurring trope, so Junior can stay out of Mario's reach just fine without his disguise.
  • It always bothered me that during the court scene, the judge just overrules Peach's objection without even hearing it. We're talking about a Princess here. Royalty. If Delfino is part of the Mushroom Kingdom, then he's basically telling the ruler to shut her trap. If Delfino is not part of the Mushroom Kingdom, then that attitude is just asking for a diplomatic disaster.
    • Peach isn't the kind of person who would want to start a diplomatic scandal, so it's somewhat understandable that she would just go along with Delfino's legal decisions, even if they're disrespectful and questionable.
  • When you are in Corona Mountain, there are chunks of what appears to be man-made bricks and tiles inside. What is up with those, and how on earth did they get there?
    • Maybe Bowser had the place spiced up.
  • Why does everyone keep saying that Bowser Jr. knew "all along" that Peach isn't really his mother? It's pretty clear from the ending that Bowser didn't know that Jr. already knew, so who's to say Jr. didn't figure out the truth somewhere after kidnapping Peach? If we assume that he did know from the beginning, but Bowser didn't know he knew, then what do we assume was Jr.'s real motive for playing along with the whole thing anyway?
    • Because he's a "Well Done, Son!" Guy who wants to fight alongside his father and for Bowser to be proud of him no matter what Bowser's plans or reasons for those plans are.
  • Shadow Mario (A.K.A. Bowser Jr.) could've just stopped Mario from saving Isle Delfino by breaking FLUDD after he steals it from him. But the fact that the thought never crosses his mind means he's either too stupid or too honorable. The additional fact that Mario gets FLUDD back after completing a secret course further points towards Shadow Mario's appalling stupidity: He steals FLUDD and just lets him reclaim it instead of trying to break it or even trying to hide it someplace where Mario will never find it.
    • Maybe FLUDD is indestructible? Just a guess...
      • Why did FLUDD suffer a catastrophic failure after the final battle then?
      • ...Perhaps because he'd just been put to use with the Rocket Nozzle multiple times in quick succession, while being attacked by blazing fire and an endless stream of Bullet Bills. Also, FLUDD wasn't totally destroyed in the final battle, if I recall, only use far beyond how he was expected to be and shut down for a time...Aren't the Toads shown to have repaired him fully later on? Maybe he was just tired. Really, really tired.
      • Not to mention, if Jr. breaks FLUDD, Mario can't perform his court-ordered community service by cleaning the goop off the island, which would probably cause some trouble with the authorities and possibly take some of their suspicion off of Mario, if it hasn't been already - after all, why would someone who's been cleaning the island diligently thus far do something to damage or purposefully misplace his only means of doing so, especially since by that point in the game, there's no telling how many witnesses there are to Mario chasing after his goop-spreading shadowy doppelganger throughout the entirety of Delfino Plaza?
  • The pre-fight cutscene for Mecha Bowser raises an interesting question. The opening has Shadow Mario leap over the pool of water in the park, which splits open and allows the absolutely gigantic Mecha Bowser to come out. The circumstances of this cutscene make it look like Shadow Mario's got a workshop/lab/storage facility/whatever down there, which has to be HUGE in order to fit a machine of that scale inside of it. So, here's the question... how did Shadow Mario have that kind of space constructed, in an amusement park, at a popular tourist location, without anybody noticing?
    • Well, the park director seems to think the whole shebang between Mario and Mecha-Bowser was just some expensive gimmick being hosted to draw in new customers. Wouldn't surprise me if Bowser Jr. was just storing the robot beneath the pool while citing this excuse to the director so it wouldn't raise suspicions.