A sequel to the original Super Mario Galaxy, Super Mario Galaxy 2 was released in 2010, three years after its predecessor. Like the previous game, Mario goes into space once again on a quest to rescue Princess Peach from a building-sized Bowser, who once again plans on creating an evil galactic empire at the center of the universe. Riding on a spaceship-planetoid built in Mario's likeness, Mario must once again save the universe. Also, Mario's brother Luigi and their buddy Yoshi tag along for the ride.Like Super Mario Galaxy, this sequel features both 2D and 3D platforming, as well as gravity-related challenges as the mustached one careens through the cosmos. It's much more challenging than the original; Shigeru Miyamoto has stated that the game is geared toward players who felt the first game lacked challenge.
And Your Reward Is Clothes: The Banktoad gets new clothes/items when you give him enough Star Bits. A shield and spear, a pickaxe, etc. Interestingly, though, he reverts to previous appearances if your "balance" dips back below what it took to get him them.
Antepiece: Nearly every boss level features a game mechanic or enemies with unique defeat strategies (if the boss is a King Mook) that will be used to defeat the boss at the end of the level. Here are three examples:
Digga-Leg, Megaleg's relative, is in a level introducing the Spin Drill powerup. The Spin Drill is activated by a spin and digs through planets. Digga-Leg is defeated by drilling through the planet and breaking the glass cage on his bottom half.
Megahammer, the unintentionally disturbing robot with suspicious features has this too. Anyway, the level before the fight focuses on Yoshi spitting Bullet Bills at glass cages to continue through the level. To defeat Megahammer, you have to spit Bullet Bills at the glass domes on its front and back. And then its head when it leans forward.
Glamdozer, the Queen Mook of the Pupdozers◊ is defeated both with a game mechanic and an enemy kill strategy. The Pupdozers have the several-pointed star-like Ground Pound symbol on their bellies. To kill them, you have to pound through a grate that will flip you onto the other side of the (flat) planet and wait for it to crawl onto the grate. Then pound again, and they will be tossed on their backs and die. Glamdozer, a giant, morbidly obese, female version of the Pupdozers is on a disk-shaped planet with such grates all over it. She is sleeping, and you have to wake her up by pounding the grate she is covering. During the fight, you will have to repeat the process three more times, but she is fast, so it requires good timing and patience to do so.
Most speedrun challenges take out all the checkpoints. However, the developers decided the last Bowser level is just too long and kept one checkpoint. This doubles as Suspicious Videogame Generosity overlapping with Continuing Is Painful, however, as if you die after the checkpoint, you start back at the checkpoint with a mere 30 seconds on the clock. A good player can reach the checkpoint with nearly twice that much time left, making the level much more manageable.
The Toad Brigade still mostly goofs off, and they don't appear quite as many times, but this time around you can get letters from more than just the princess, and one of the Toads even starts a Star Bit bank. Plus unlike before, they're with you at the ending.
There are now 120 Green Power Stars; in the first game, there were only three.
Attack Its Weak Point: Bowser Jr. tells you Gobblegut's weak point - the red bulging areas on his body. Regarding the Pupdozers in Flipsville Galaxy: "The soft bellies look so squishy!"
Badass: The Gearmo who punches Chomps. From a certain perspective, it looks like he just stands there and lets them roll into him. Which is even more Badass. Also, Mario himself, who punches a gigantic Bowser into a black hole during the final battle.
Badass Mustache: The Bob-Omb Buddies in Throwback Galaxy regard Mario's stache as this.
Bonus Stage: In almost every stage, there are pads that you can stand on that will warp you to a planetoid filled with enemies, coins, and Star Bits. Defeating all the enemies in the time limit will give you three 1-Up Mushrooms. You have to grab them before time runs out, though, otherwise it's all for naught. This also applies to all of the Hungry Luma Galaxies, and World S.
To even more of a ludicrous extent, Dino Piranha being the first game's first boss with Fiery Dino Piranha being the second game's last.
Grandmaster Galaxy counts as well: The music for Sky Station Galaxy (the first level in the game) is reused for the second portion of the last level (but not the last star), while the music for Good Egg Galaxy (the first level in the first Galaxy) is reused for the second portion of the last star.
Early on, when Mario is asked if he's trying to save Peach, the possible responses are "That's right," and "Yes".
Also done with The Chimp in one of the galaxies where you have to score 10,000 points to get his star. No matter how many times you say no, he'll keep asking you to take his challenge until you say yes.
Call Back: In the third Bowser Jr. level, you come across the destroyed body of Megahammer, the boss you fought in the second Bowser Jr. level. Its Bullet Bill cannons are still working, too.
Many of the signs and NPC dialogue, such as a sign that tells you not to fall into a lake of purple liquid that has skull signs sticking up out of it, or a Luma fifteen times bigger than Mario who tells you everything is big in the Supermassive Galaxy.
Cosmetic Award: If you get every single star in the game, Rosalina becomes a passenger on your spaceship. Also, if you max out your Star Bits on hand (as opposed to in the bank, which has a proper reward), then the coconuts turn into watermelons.
Damn You, Muscle Memory: The Star Spin. The control itself is unchanged, but several new levels and features seem designed specifically to punish those who are too reliant on it — notably, the platforms in the Flip-Swap Galaxy (and later, the Flip-Out Galaxy) and the limited-use Cloud Flower. The latter is particularly nasty in Shiverburn's Green Star 3, where you have to grab a Cloud Flower in the first section and reach the third section without taking a hit and retaining at least one cloud, meaning negotiating a moving-platform lava-planet mostly without the spin jump.
Rosalina, who remains unseen (except as the Cosmic Guide, and those who played the first game will probably recognize her) and just sends you letters, 1-Ups, and Star Bits. She only appears at the end of the game. Both ends.
The Boo Mushroom shows up once in the entire game. It doesn't even get a second appearance via Prankster Comets or Green Stars. The same can be said for the Spring Mushroom (which appears in only one galaxy for a grand total of two missions, one of which is a Green Star), but that's more forgivable. Luckily, the Fire Flower and the Rainbow Star, both of which are series staples, did not receive the same treatment.
The Bee Mushroom has significantly fewer appearances in this game as well, and is only in two galaxies. Pull Stars are also much rarer compared to the first game.
If you're playing as Luigi and read one of Peach's letters, it's still addressed to Mario. The Mailtoad remarks, "I'm sure she just made a mistake!"
If you lose enough lives to activate the Cosmic Guide but refuse to use it, when you finish the level, Lubba will give you a little pep talk for going the extra mile.
If you park Starship Mario near a portal on the world map, you'll be able to see the portal from the ship itself. Whether it's in front of or behind you depends on if you parked the ship near the world's entrance or exit.
Disney Villain Death: Subverted. After the fight with Bowser in his main base of operations, he shrinks back to normal and falls to his supposed death. However, when Mario goes to retrieve the Grand Star Bowser left behind, Bowser jumps back onto the platform and eats the Grand Star before Mario can reach it, setting the scene for the true final battle...
Flying Mario and Ice Mario from the first game, only accessible via hacking. While the latter transformation files have to be imported from the first opus, the former is still fully functional. However, putting via a level editor the ice flower and/or the flying star, it freezes the game. This is because the Red Star and Ice Flower objects were removed despite being fully functional. With some patching of the game's code, the objects can be added back in.
Many unused interactions in-game: The circular beam disappears into the ground while in Ghost Mario form, for example.
Easter Egg: The smokestack on top of Starship Mario actually serves as an alternate entrance to the ship's engine room, similar to a Warp Pipe.
Empathic Environment: Yoshi Star Galaxy does this after the boss fight in its second mission, Spiny Control.
Escort Mission: It seems that Goombas and Topmen are like pets for Gearmos. However, the little monster will likely get crushed under a boulder or fall to its death before you can lure it near its new owner. Also done with Chomps and their obstacle-filled paths.
Extended Gameplay: Beating the final boss unlocks the secret world. Beating that, and getting all the other stars, unlocks 120 Green Stars. Getting those unlocks the Grandmaster Galaxy. Beating thatand getting its Comet Medal andgiving 9999 Star Bits to the Banktoad will unlock the final Prankster Comet. You finish the final boss 2/5 of the way through the game, and even earlier if you didn't get all the stars up to that point.
Faceship: Trope Namer; Starship Mario is a planetoid-spaceship that is made in Mario's likeness.
Fake Difficulty: Present in most of the Green Star missions. Some of the green stars are located out in space, and due to the occasional bad camera angle, it's next to impossible to gauge with any degree of certainty exactly where you need to aim your jumps. Flipsville Galaxy's third star note where you have to fall upward from a gravity-reversed platform toward a star you can't really see is one of the best examples.
Fake Longevity: The green stars enabled Nintendo to double the length of the game without having to create any new levels.
Fertile Feet: On one planet in Supermassive Galaxy, flowers spring up everywhere Mario/Luigi steps. The goal is to cover the entire planet in foliage.
Fission Mailed: Losing The Chimp's challenge in Fluffy Bluff Galaxy, results in the screen blacking out, you losing a life, then the screen comes back and asks if you don't think you can beat his challenge. The only way to leave is by Game Over or choosing to leave during the challenge note A life is still deducted from your total, though.
Gravity Screw: A major part of the game in general, and the entire shtick of the Rightside Down, Upside Dizzy, and Flipsville galaxies.
A God Am I: Bowser's goal, though he doesn't state it directly, much like the last game. However, he takes it a step further, as instead of using the Grand Stars to power up reactors, he eats them to power himself up.
Guide Dang It: A few of the secret missions. For instance: to get the Hidden Star in Boo Moon Galaxy, you have to stay in the place where the launch star is for just a moment to wait for another platform to materialize just across from you. While you may catch a glimpse of it, there's absolutely nothing to tip you off that you need to do this.
The locations of many of the green stars fall under this as well.
Especially in Bowser Jr.'s Boom Bunker and Fleet Glide Galaxy .
Exactly how to unlock the Prankster Comet for the Grandmaster Galaxy. While Lubba does hint that getting 9999 Star Bits does something, you'll probably be too busy plowing through every single level trying to work out what you've missed. Add to the fact that a lot of players don't know whether the Star Bits need to be in the Toad Bank or in Mario/Luigi's person, PLUS the fact you only got a cosmetic reward last time for collecting 9999 Star Bits, and you get a galaxy sized load of people assuming the Star Bits are now pointless.
However, he only says that it does something when you have the 9999 Star Bits in your person.
Heli Critter: Choppahs; a type of enemy that looks like a green parrot-like plant and flies by using four spinning blades around its neck.
Hoist by His Own Petard: Giga Lakitu and Megahammer are both defeated by launching their projectiles (Spinies and Bullet Bills, respectively) back at them with Yoshi. A similar method is used to defeat Prince Pikante (with coconuts as the projectile of choice), but without Yoshi.
Infinite 1-Ups: Jump on a giant koopa in Supermassive Galaxy. We'll wait.
Informed Ability: The Chimp's gaming skills. In his challenges, you're supposedly beating the high scores that he set, but you never actually see him do this.
Also, the Toad Captain is apparently able to wall-jump (which is how he got so high in the Fluffy Bluff Galaxy).
Instant-Win Condition: The green stars take this to the extreme. Most of them require you to actually leap to your death. As long as you can manage to collide with the star along the way, you're golden.
Interface Screw: The boss of the first star in Spin-Dig Galaxy, unlike the rest of either game, is not controlled relative to Mario, but by turning the stick to where you want Mario to go.
Interface Spoiler: Players who have all 120 stars may find it odd that according to the World Map, they are still missing a galaxy in World S. Guess what happens later.
Plus the casino room on Starship Mario seems to be too big for just one die.
It's Up to You: A more standard subversion than the original's Double Subversion by having the option to switch out Mario with Luigi, as well as adding an orange Luma into the Co-Star mode (in the first game, it was only the second player's cursor that affected the gameplay).
Last Lousy Star: And how! And even before the Grandmaster Galaxy, there may be a few Green Stars that are rather tricky to get, such as the third one in Shiverburn (bring a Cloud Suit to the end of the level, with at least one cloud left) or the first one in Stone Cyclone (pull off a well-timed Triple Jump, and don't get crushed in the process).
Lethal Lava Land: The Melty Monster Galaxy is the most prominent example, but several galaxies have elements of it, including all of the Bowser levels. Shiverburn is one of these until you hit a switch and turn it into Slippy-Slidey Ice World.
Legacy Boss Battle: Boss Blitz Galaxy is a Boss Rush bonus mission, where all five bosses are ones from the original game not fought anywhere else.
Compared to the first game, literally. Every point in the first game where there was a dark starry sky, there is now a blue sky with clouds in the sequel, even on the cover art. Also, Bowser's first attack is much more nonsensical (growing himself giant) instead of Blitzkrieging Toad Town.
Where the first game took the effort to make a darker, more tear worthy story for the game and backstory for Rosalina, this game goes back to the basic story of past Mario games.
Long Song, Short Scene: The final boss theme is one of the most epic and amazing pieces ever composed in Nintendo history. If you know what you're doing, though, the final phase of the battle against Bowser won't last longer than a minute, not even long enough for the song to reach the halfway point.
Squizzard's theme also qualifies, since you're going to be spending the entire battle with the Fire Flower powerup. At least the remix of the Fire Flower tune is catchy enough to make up for this.
Luck-Based Mission: Boss Blitz Galaxy Speed Run. The fourth boss, Bouldergeist, has a random attack pattern (only one attack summons the Bomb Boos you need to defeat him). If you're unlucky, you'll run out of time. So yet again, a normally reasonable to beat boss makes the level much, much harder for the Prankster Star.
Mercy Mode: The Cosmic Guide becomes available for some stages if you die too many times. It is similar to the Super Guide from New Super Mario Bros. Wii in this regard. However, any stars you get will be bronze instead, preventing you from unlocking the Grandmaster Galaxy until you get it legit.
Mickey Mousing: In certain areas, the environment changes in direct response to the music. For instance, in Beat Block Galaxy, the yellow and green blocks alternate being solid in time with the beat, and in Upside Dizzy Galaxy, the gravity changes its orientation in sync with the beat.
Mission Pack Sequel: Was originally intended to be one, but after the game went through a bit more development, it ended up being made up of mostly new concepts. Lampshaded in the on-disc ID name: "Super Mario Galaxy More".
Mythology Gag: An infinite lives trick involves repeatedly bouncing on the shell of a giant Koopa Troopa in Supermassive Galaxy. This is an allusion to the level it's based on, Big Island/Giant Land from Super Mario Bros. 3, where an identical infinite lives trick was possible.
World S is an allusion to the Special World from Super Mario World. This is backed up by the fact that the name for World S is "Here We Go!", which is also the official name for the main theme of Super Mario World.
Nice Hat: The bros' caps change while under the effect of the different power-ups. Cloud Mario (or Luigi) gets an especially nice willowy turban.
Nonindicative Name: The Chimp, despite his name, is not a chimp. note He has a tail, and other characters correctly refer to him as a monkey. His name is possibly a pun on the word "champ", as he considers himself a champion game player.
Noob Bridge: A lot of people forget or never learn the long jump when playing the first Super Mario Galaxy. This is due to it never being mentioned in-game (but it is in the manual) and never required to finish the game. The long jump became required in SMG 2 starting in World 4, and these gamers got stuck; some have even accused people who use the long jump on Youtube videos of hacking.
The Stone Cyclone Galaxy is a reference to the Cyclone Stone from Beach Bowl Galaxy in the first game, and Mario Squared Galaxy is a reference to a part of the Toy Time Galaxy from the first game. The mission "Luigi's Purple Coins" also appears in both games, with the exact same name and premise in both, though the second game ups the difficulty with Cosmic Clones.
The Chimp's Stomp Challenge in Fluffy Bluff Galaxy and its successor, The Chimp's Score Challenge in Honeyhop Galaxy, are minigames based around Scoring Points from doing Goomba Stomps. The scoring is reminiscent of the 2D games, with consecutive stomps gaining extra points and 9 or more stomps in a row resulting in an extra life.
Old Save Bonus: All the star bits you bank are accessible to other save files on the disc.
Ominous Latin Chanting: Like the first game, Bowser's battles, but best of all... remixes it into the Super Mario 64 Bowser's Road theme. How to make good music better? Change it so half of it chants the tune in pseudo Latin.
To those of us who speak Latin, it's worth noting that, as in the first game, this is of the "only reminds you of ominous Latin chanting" variety.
One-Hit Kill: Getting crushed by the Thwomps, Tox Boxes, Whomps, Rhomps, etc; falling in toxic water and dark matter. In Daredevil Comets and the Fluzzard missions, anything can kill you in one hit.
One-Hit-Point Wonder: If a Prankster Comet shows up and makes a mission with the word "Daredevil" in it, that's you.
108: Exactly how many standard Power Stars are in the first six worlds.
Orchestral Bombing: Mahito Yokota once again provides his musical flair for the Bowser battles. Also, Gobblegut is the first non-Bowser boss that has orchestral music accompanying his battle.
Pivotal Boss: Subverted by the Boomsday Machine, as it becomes mobile once you get two hits on it. Megahammer and Squizzard are straight uses of the trope, though.
Platform Hell: The final Power Star mission, The Perfect Run. First, you have to swing Yoshi through a minefield, where even one mistimed jump can result in getting blown up, while also having to dodge the Choppahs and Bullet Bills. Then, you get a board of blue switches you have to activate while avoiding a Sentry Beam's lasers. After that, you have to use the Cloud Suit and navigate through a sidescrolling maze of electric fences. Then you have to go through a segment where all the ground is either green tiles that disappear when you step on them, or flip-flop tiles that switch positions whenever you shake the Wiimote. In this area, you also have to dodge lasers from spiky robots, and later on, Octurrets appear and start shooting at you, though thankfully, these can be killed by knocking a coconut back at them with a spin attack...but that flips the panels! (Not to mention that slowing down for even a second only makes it easier for the robots to kill you.) Then, you have to get through a section of moving electric fences using Pull Stars, the former of which move back and forth so quickly that you barely even have time to get past. Finally, you jump across a field of spinning platforms that try to flip you off (theplatforms!!) while dodging Hammer Bros, after which point you have to fight three Boomerang Bros at once. And if this sounds like it's just regular Nintendo Hard, keep this in mind; You only have one hitpoint, and there are no checkpoints, meaning that the slightest slip-up will send you all the way back to the Yoshi section.
Powerup Mount: Downplayed with Yoshi. Yoshi can flutter jump, use his tongue as a hook to swing over wide bottomless pits and to eat enemies, and transform into Dash/Light/Balloon forms as power-ups. However, this game is one of the few instances where Yoshi does not provide an extra hit point at all. Taking a hit will result in both Mario/Luigi losing a health wedge/life, and Yoshi fleeing.
Rule of Cool: Let's go fight a giant turtle-dinosaur-monster in the core of a black hole with meteors. Sounds like a blast.
Save Game Limits: You can only have three save files, as opposed to the original's six. And you can't copy to another file, again, unlike the original game. This is likely due to the Star Bits banking system. (See Old Save Bonus)
Scenery Porn: This game looks every bit as good as the last one did, possibly even better. To cite some examples: the lush foliage and waterfalls in the mountain pass in Wild Glide Galaxy, the cascading lava in Melty Monster Galaxy, and the gorgeous sunrise at the end of Slimy Spring Galaxy. World 3's backdrop on the spaceship hub is also gorgeous.
Space Zone: Technically the entire game, but Space Storm Galaxy is a classic example.
Speed Run: Some prankster comets will impose a speed challenge on you in order to snag a star and it will cost you a life should the clock run out.
There are two types of speed runs in this game: One's a Timed Mission and usually has a added gimmick, the other has you start out with a very tiny time limit which you have to increase by collecting clocks throughout the level.
Also, rather than saving best coin scores as in previous 3D Mario games, this game saves your best time to each star.
Stealth Pun: The mission "Bugaboom's Back" obviously refers to the fact that Bugaboom was in the first Super Mario Galaxy, but then you remember that Bugaboom's weak spot... is his back.
There's also the name of Honeybloom Galaxy's "Bumble Beginnings" mission. Beside the obvious "humble beginnings" pun, it's also the first time you use the Bee Suit.
The Spin-Dig and Flash Black galaxies are subtle puns on the terms "shindig" and "flashback", respectively.
There's also the Super Massive Galaxy. In real life, the term does exist, and the meaning is almost the same even, with the exception that while the galaxy itself is much bigger, the things within it are not.
Lubba has indulged in this as well. "Nice spaceship, yeah? More like a faceship, har har!"
Since it comes after a game over, the message seems threatening if anything.
Tactical Suicide Boss: Bowser attacks by summoning meteorites and punching very, very hard. Said punch is strong enough to both imbue the meteorites with energy and toss them right back out of the planet's crust. You then have to kick said meteorites back at him. If he didn't do any of this, he'd be invincible.
Just like King Kaliente in the first game, Prince Pikante mixes up his fireballs with coconuts which you can whack back at him. Again, if he'd just stick to fireballs, you wouldn't be able to beat him.
That's No Planet: Sorbetti is actually a planet Mario was traversing on just before the battle with it.
This Is a Drill: The Spin Drill power-up, used for burrowing through soft earth on some planets.
Timed Mission: The speed run comets, some of the purple coin levels, and several mini-games. Thankfully, in this game, the clock does stop once you complete your objective (assuming it's something other than simply reaching the star), giving you all the time you need to grab the star. (This was not the case in the first game.) Good thing, too, because the clock is much less generous in this game than it was in the first.
Time-Limit Boss: The speedy comet versions of Gobblegut and the entire Boss Blitz Galaxy.
Luigi can now actively help Mario without ''having to'' mess around. If the player is skilled, then Luigi might not mess around at all. And at any rate, he's much less of a Butt Monkey than in most other post-2000 Mario games.
Too Dumb to Live: Cosmic Clones. The fact that they tend to levitate when the ground's being removed from below them meant they should've known better not to copying Mario's every move to the point where they're willing to fall to their doom instead of floating away.
Under the Sea: Cosmic Cove and Slimy Spring Galaxy, and parts of Starshine Beach.
Unwinnable: Averted fortunately for the main game, but not so much with Green Stars missions.
The third green star in Shiverburn Galaxy requires the Cloud Flower, and is found on the third planet; however, the Cloud Flower is only found on the first planet. If you lose your clouds on the second or third planet before reaching the star, it becomes impossible to get, and you have to start the level over from the beginning.
In one mission, you have to lead a Goomba over to a Gearmo to receive a star (see Escort Mission). Unlike the Topmen in a similar mission, the Goombas don't respawn if they get killed, so if you run out of Goombas, it's back to the beginning of the level with you.
The third green star in Spin-Dig Galaxy requires you to drill through the dirt at such an angle that when you emerge from the dirt, your inertia thrusts you right into the star. If you miss it, you can't backflip or spin jump to the star since you're holding the drill, and there's no way to put it down... unless you take a hit from the Digga, in which case you'll lose the drill and you can backflip and spin into the star. However, if you miss the star and kill the Digga by landing on top of it, then the star becomes unreachable and you have to start over.
Actually, though you can't backflip with the drill, you can still side-somersault. Not many seem to know this, and you can simply side-somersault towards the wall, wall-jump off of it and get the star.
Any of the green stars in the Wild Glide and Fleet Glide Galaxies (both of which are Fluzzard levels) can potentially become this. If you miss them on the way (which is far too easily done given the controls), then you have no choice but to start the level over.
Variable Mix: As in all Mario games where he's ridable, getting on Yoshi adds bongo drums to whatever music is playing at the time.
Verbal Tic: The Jibberjays have a habit, habit of repeating words twice, twice.
As in the first game, the rabbits have one too, boiyoing!
The Very Definitely Final Dungeon: Bowser's Galaxy Generator. World 6 gets a special mention for being represented by a huge black hole comparable to the one in the first game.