Video Game / Super Mario Sunshine

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Time to let the sun shine with Mario's new adventure.

"On a tropical island far from the Mushroom Kingdom, among a people enchanted by sunshine, Mario has taken a break from the hopping, the bopping, and saving the princess to take a well deserved vacation... or so he thinks."

Everyone's favorite portly plumber, Princess Peach, five Toads (Red, Green, Yellow, Blue, and Purple) and Toadsworth go on a vacation. When they arrive at scenic Isle Delfino, they find that the place has been polluted and plastered with graffiti. Additionally, the Shine Sprites that power the island have disappeared. The culprit is a guy who looks suspiciously like Mario. Everyone's favorite plumber is promptly arrested as he arrives, falsely accused of vandalizing the island. He is put on trial, found guilty, and ordered to clean up the graffiti and recover the Shine Sprites. To help with the cleaning, Mario uses a water/jetpack thing called FLUDD. Wacky hijinks ensue, Peach gets kidnapped again, and Bowser is behind it all (and he has a son to boot).

Notably features voice-acted dialogue for all the main characters except Mario. Subsequent games in the main series have returned to dialogue boxes, along with voiced sound effects. Overall, this was the 3D Mario to break away from the "Mario formula" the most (tellingly, Goombas and regular Koopas are nowhere to be found, and Mario's nowhere near the Mushroom Kingdom).


TROPE-ICAL ISLAND: THE TROPICAL TROPE-LISTING TRAIL

  • Absentee Actor: As in Super Mario 64, Luigi doesn't appear or get mentioned at all.
  • Absurdly Spacious Sewer:
    • Ricco Harbor's sewers are very open, so much so that a Blooper race with large obstacles is held down there in Episode 2.
    • The sewers of Delfino Plaza are just large enough for Mario to walk around in. You can use them as a shortcut to get around town.
  • Air-Vent Passageway: Sirena Beach's Hotel Delfino has a very spacious air vent system in the ceiling above the third floor. Mario can go through it to get into some locked hotel rooms, which is required in Episode 3 to get the Shine Sprite.
  • All or Nothing: If Mario fails in the Balloon game at Pinna Park or loses any of the Il Piantissimo races, he will lose a life. Subverted in the Ricco Harbor Blooper Race. Crashing will get Mario instantly killed, but if he simply doesn't finish the race in time, Mario will just be transported back to the hub world.
  • Amusement Park: Pinna Park is the island's amusement park.
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: Once 100% Completion is achieved, you unlock a special Shine Sprite shirt for Mario to wear whenever he equips the sunglasses.
  • And You Thought It Was a Game: The director of Pinna Park thinks that the boss fight between Mario and Mecha-Bowser is a staged event designed to lure in tourists.
  • Apathetic Citizens:
    • The residents of Delfino Plaza are not only unwilling to lift a finger to help recover the Shine Sprites or capture Shadow Mario, but at multiple points, there's a man running around on fire and nobody else seems motivated to try to help him. The man on fire doesn't even help HIMSELF. He runs back and forth endlessly along the same few feet of sidewalk, despite the fact that he's only a few yards away from a huge body of water.
    • The manager of Hotel Delfino lampshades this. He asks Mario to get rid of Phantamanta and acknowledges that he doesn't even know who Mario is, just that he looks like someone who is very capable.
    • The citizens of Isle Delfino are in a lather because the Shine Sprites need collecting so they can brighten up the Plaza, yet a ton of said citizens, not the least of which being in the Plaza, already have a number Shine Sprites in their possession. But instead of just pooling them earlier, or giving them to Mario so the island can be brightened sooner, they putter around and make him collect blue coins for them or break crates or whatnot. The keeper of the blue coin Shine Sprites in particular has one-fifth of all the Shine Sprites in his possession, yet he requires ten blue coins each before he'll let any one of them out. Outside of the plaza is slightly better, such as the hotel on Sirena Beach, one of the Piantas guesses that the shiny object in Drone Dram blocked room is a Shine Sprite, not actually knowing what they look like, while those in the plaza have a giant statue of one looking over them, and thus really have no excuse.
    • The one exception is a level where you have to traverse a series of platforms by getting Piantas to throw you to them. And even then, if you talk to them from the wrong angle, they'll throw you into the bottomless abyss, essentially murdering you.
  • Armless Biped: The cataquacks which are large duck-like creatures with no arms or wings, however they make up for it with their large bills that they use to fling Mario into the air.
  • Artifact Alias: Bowser Jr. initially disguises himself as a double of Mario (Shadow Mario). But even after his true identity is discovered, Bowser Jr. still often shows up as Shadow Mario. In most cases this is justified by Bowser Jr. wanting to continue ruining Mario's reputation, but Shadow Mario continues to appear in the cutscenes in which he steals Mario's FLUDD, where only Mario is there to see him.
  • Ascended Extra: Petey Piranha debuts here as an average boss. He's not remembered as that, though.
  • Asimov's Three Kinds of Science Fiction: The game falls under Adventure Science Fiction — the paintbrush causes the problem, and the FLUDD is the solution to it.
  • Asteroids Monster: Phantamanta splits into smaller versions of itself whenever it takes enough damage. Once they get small enough, they will disappear when hurt.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: Bowser is HUGE in the final battle.
  • Backpack Cannon: FLUDD is a multipurpose water pump created by E. Gadd. It's worn like a backpack, and one of its functions is basically being a super-powerful water hose.
  • Balloon Belly: Petey Piranha, when overfilled with water. The player has to use that ability to their advantage, forcing Petey to drink enough water that he tips over and exposes his belly button.
  • Bee Afraid: The beehives in certain levels are more dangerous than most of Shadow Mario's minions.
  • Big Bad: The main villain and Final Boss is once again Bowser, as it was his idea to frame Mario and ruin his vacation. However, he's content to just lounge around enjoying his own vacation while his son does all of the work.
  • Big Boo's Haunt: Hotel Delfino at Sirena Beach acts as the game's haunted house level, as it's filled with Boos.
  • Bilingual Bonus: Most of the location names have Italian words in them. For those curious:
    • Delfino: Dolphinnote 
    • Bianco: White
    • Ricco: Rich
    • Gelato: Ice creamnote 
    • Pinna: Fin
    • Sirena: Mermaid
    • Pianta: Plantnote 
    • Corona: Crown
    • Il Piantissimo: ... The Very Plant, The Most Plant-iest... or "Very Pianta."
    • Noki: May be an alternate spelling of "gnocchi", a type of short pasta or for small potato dumplings of the same name. The Noki themselves are kind of round and lumpy, so they kind of look like gnocchi. In the Japanese version, Nokis are the Mare (sea) people.
    • There are signs around Delfino Plaza with the word "Benvenuto", or welcome.
  • Buffy Speak: On the airstrip at the beginning, after the Shine Sprite appears, one of Toads says "A shiny! It came out of the yucky!"
  • Camera Screw: The camera has a bad tendency to let scenery elements get in the way of your view of Mario. Also, it's impossible to move the camera when you're right in a corner outside of the auto-center feature.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Possibly the Bowser pad on the lighthouse roof. These are littered around the edges of the final boss arena and are used the same way; if you didn't do the one on the lighthouse, you might not have known immediately what to do. But then again, it doesn't appear in any place other than the two mentioned.
  • Clam Trap: There is a ride at Pinna Park containing several giant clamshells. Mario can open one by spraying it with water and climb in, but if he lingers too long, the clam snaps shut and hurting him.
  • Climax Boss: Mecha Bowser, the only boss aside from the Final Boss to be connected with the main plot, is fought almost exactly halfway through the game, and is fought differently from all the others.
  • Continuity Cavalcade: When FLUDD is scanning Mario, the camera switches to FLUDD's point of view. A small screen in the corner of its HUD shows scenes from Super Mario Bros., Super Mario World, and Super Mario 64 Mario during the scan.
  • Continuity Nod:
  • Convection Schmonvection: The final level has Mario traverse the inside of a volcano. By guiding a boat through the lava. A boat made of mud.
  • Cosmetic Award: The sunglasses and Shine Sprite shirt (before you beat the game, you just get the sunglasses after getting 30 Shine Sprites). The sunglasses aren't completely non-functional, as they turn down the game's brightness by a degree once it starts getting too bright. However, this doesn't affect gameplay in any way, unless the player just prefers a darker screen.
  • Criminal Doppelgänger: The reason why Mario is sentenced to clean the entire island during his vacation is because Bowser Jr. is impersonating him and causing trouble.
  • Damn You, Muscle Memory!: Mario can't long jump here, unlike in Super Mario 64. Compensated by FLUDD's hover nozzle.
  • Deus ex Machina: The flooding of Delfino Plaza. Once you've cleared all the Shadow Mario challenges, a flash flood from Corona Mountain submerges the coastal city in a half-dozen meters of water. What causes it is "record breaking rain fall", all of which happens off screen; it cleans up the city and satisfies the conditions for Mario to be set free after his arrest and being tasked with removing all the graffiti.
  • Distressed Damsel: Princess Peach gets kidnapped and held hostage after 10 Shine Sprites are recovered.
  • The Dragon: Shadow Mario aka Bowser Jr. making his debut as his father Bowser's official Dragon.
  • Dual Boss: The Final Boss is a fight against both Bowser and his son. Bowser breathes fire at you and tips the tub to splash you with hot water quite often, while a barrage of Bullet Bills is fired at you from Bowser Jr.'s submarine.
  • Dummied Out: Only in the original Japanese release does there exist text files for what seem to be a train station system, with a list of harbors leading to levels, even ones that aren't part of the final game at all. The text for what could be a messaging tree also includes buying tickets and stamps.
  • Easter Egg: One of the levels involves shrinking and getting into a glass bottle. By crawling into a hole in a wall and rotating the camera around, you can see a book behind the wall. It's the only one in the game and nobody knows what it's doing here. Supposedly the original point of the mission was to find the book of the guy who sent you into the bottle, but they later changed it to a red coin hunt, and they never bothered to remove the book model.
  • Escort Mission: Episode 8 of Gelato Beachs requires rolling oversized watermelons to a juice vendor to be judged for an contest. Complicating matters are the cataquacks roaming the beach, as they can and will throw the melons into the air and smash them via gravity.
  • Excuse Plot: Seemingly averted at first; the game has a legitimate reason for Mario to clean up the island, and each area has a noticeable subplot, but subverted later when the overarching plot is abandoned in favor of collecting the rest of the shines and saving Peach.
  • Family-Unfriendly Violence: Recurring Boss Gooper Blooper must be defeated by unplugging the cork from his mouth, requiring Mario to get in the squid's face, seize the object, and yank as hard as he can before it snaps back. Gooper Blooper fights back by trying to bludgeon Mario with his tentacles, but don't worry — Mario can crush and tear his limbs off one-by-one to make the job easier.
  • Fetch Quest: 56 of the games 120 shines are centered on collecting coins, be it finding 100 yellow coins, finding 8 Red coins or finding and trading in Blue coins.
  • Fishbowl Helmet: Mario wears a fishbowl helmet during the missions "Red Coins in a Bottle", "Eely-Mouth's Dentist" and "The Red Coin Fish". The helmet doesn't allow him to breathe underwater forever, though, it just slows down the Oxygen Meter.
  • Fluffy Tamer: A female Pianta that lives in Pianta Village has a number Chain Chomps — recurring Super Mario mooks known for being dangerous — as pets. She treats them like her precious babies and gets very upset when they start suffering from being overheated.
  • Frame-Up: Mario was framed for messing up Delfino Island by Bowser Jr. disguised as Shadow Mario.
  • Free Rotating Camera: The camera can be manipulated with the controller's C-Stick.
  • Fungus Humongous: Giant mushrooms large enough to stand on can be found all over Pianta Village.
  • Fun with Acronyms:
    • FLUDD stands for Flash Liquidizer Ultra Dousing Device.
    • The Delfino Emergency Broadcast System is known as D.E.B.S.
  • Goofy Print Underwear: Electrokoopas are wearing pink underwear (or possibly pink swim trunks) under their shells.
  • Gotta Catch Them All: Mario can reach Bowser with as few as 50note  Shine Sprites; however, Mario can't just choose any 50 to go after. There is a mandatory path of missions to complete, and any other Shines outside that path do nothing but boost Mario's overall Shine Sprite count. Which means that over half the Shine Sprites in the game serve no other purpose than collecting them for 100% Completion.
  • Gratuitous Italian:
    • Most of the place names in Delfino have an Italian component (including "Delfino" itself), and signs around Delfino Plaza say "Benvenuto".
    • Mario sometimes says "Arrivederci" (Good-bye) when he dies.
  • Green Aesop: Oil spills are bad.
  • Grimy Water: Polluted water can be found in some levels, and it will harm or outright kill Mario if he falls in.
  • Guide Dang It:
    • Many Blue Coins are lying out in the open, or have some sort of tell (e.g. graffiti) that lets you know to spray/investigate/etc. Then there are the Blue Coins that require spraying random spots at Gelato Beach and Pinna Park without any sort of indication that they're there, necessitating the use of a guide to find them.
    • Some Shine Sprites are in extremely obtuse locations or have a bizarre trigger to obtain, with little to no hints to help you. There are such gems as "Spray a random yellow bird", "Spray a random patch of ground", and "Spray water at the sun from a specific spot."
  • Hard Levels, Easy Bosses: The boss fights are largely simplistic, and not much of a challenge as a result. The normal levels tend to be much more difficult, as a number require doing tricky platforming or throw curveballs on what needs to be done to obtain the Shine Sprites.
  • Hawaiian-Shirted Tourist: Whenever Mario visits the sunglasses vendor after clearing the game, he can wear a Shine-Sprite-patterned shirt in addition to the glasses.
  • The Heavy: Bowser Jr. may not be the Big Bad, but he is the most recurring antagonist and the one to drive the plot. He frames Mario for polluting Delfino Island and shows up at every level at least once to screw with him.
  • Hell Hotel: Hotel Delfino is haunted by heat-stricken Boos.
  • Helpful Mook: Pink Boos are non-hostile, and will turn into platforms when sprayed with water.
  • Hijacked by Ganon: When Shadow Mario reveals his true identity as Bowser Jr., he also reveals it was Bowser who wanted Mario to be framed.
  • Horse of a Different Color: Yoshi, as usual. His color also affects the color of juice he spits, which has different effects as well. If he's out of juice he turns his iconic green color and spits water. And then disintegrates in 5 seconds. He also turns green and disintegrates if he jumps into a body of water more than knee high.
  • Hub Level: Delfino Plaza acts as the game's hub, granting access to all of the main areas and some bonus levels.
  • Humongous Mecha: Mecha-Bowser. There were mechanical Bowsers before, but this is the first bona-fide giant robot facsimile of the Koopa King.
  • Hypocritical Humor: In the cutscene before the final boss, Bowser will complain about Mario ruining his vacation, despite the fact that the he did that exact thing to Mario's.
  • Idiot Ball:
    • There are many instances where Isle Delfino citizens can see Shadow Mario running around stealing things, leaving many a litre of goop in his wake; he is usually followed a few seconds later by the real Mario, the latter often stopping to scrub the former's mess. Yet the court's decision never gets reversed...
    • Some of the inhabitants have Shine Sprites that they give to to Mario when he completes a mission. Whether they're too stupid to hand over the Shines to the authorities, or they're willfully hoarding them and the authorities are too stupid to arrest them is for the viewer to decide.
  • Infinite Stock For Sale: The raccoon merchant trades Shine Sprites for blue coins, both of which are in limited quantity. When he's sold the last one, he wonders what he'll do for a living now.
  • Invisible Wall: There's one in the middle of the ocean which not keeps you not only from going out too far, but also from sequence breaking by selecting a mission in one area and then swimming directly to another. For instance, Delfino Plaza and Ricco Harbor are practically right on top of each other, but if you try to swim from one to the other, you'll almost make it, then smack right into the invisible wall and have to go back. D.E.B.S. does mention losing contact with the various levels Mario needs to find entrances to.
  • Item Get!: Whenever Mario gets a Shine Sprite, he does a pose while the camera zooms out.
  • Jerkass: Il Piantissimo is an egotistical braggart who challenges you to flag races and will trash-talk you if you lose.
  • Kangaroo Court: Mario does not receive a defense attorney or witness testimony. He is arrested on the sole premise that his face is the same as the one on a poster, despite multiple witnesses being able to attest that he had just arrived on the island. The one objection he does receive is instantly overruled, despite it coming from Princess Peach.
  • Kill It with Water: Many enemies in the game can be killed by spraying them with water, and the ones that don't get killed will be stunned.
  • Lava is Boiling Kool-Aid: Corona Mountain. The lava is actually Grimy Water that is colored yellow and orange. If Mario falls into it, there is a water splash, he instantly dies, and his silhouette can be seen floating like a dead corpse. If you use a cheat code to keep your life meter full at all times, you can actually swim under the surface just like in regular water, too.
  • Lethal Lava Land: Most of Corona Mountain's interior is a giant lava pool.
  • Levels Take Flight: Gelato Beach's "The Sandbird is Born" episode has Mario riding the titular bird through a cloud-filled course to collect red coins.
  • Lily Pad Platform: The lake at Bianco Hills has a number of very large lily pads that Mario is able to stand on.
  • Luke, You Are My Father: Bowser Jr. claims Peach is his mother. He's wrong, of course, and knows it.
  • MacGuffin: Mario needs to Shine Sprites to restore Delfino Island's sunlight but no one uses them directly for anything.
  • Machine Monotone: FLUDD's voice is largely monotone and electronic.
  • Making a Splash: FLUDD lets Mario shoot water at enemies.
  • Mama's Baby, Papa's Maybe: Gender Inverted, probably thanks to the stork in earlier Mario games. It's obvious to everyone that Bowser Jr. is Bowser's son, and Peach isn't his mother.
  • Man-Eating Plant: Petey Piranha, of all the Piranha Plants.
  • Mascot Mook: Averted. The iconic Goombas and Koopa Troopas are nowhere to be found in the game. The former is replaced by the functionally identical Strollin' Stu, while the latter only has variants of the turtle appear.
  • Mirror Boss: Both Shadow Mario and Il Piantissimo have the same moves as Mario when facing them.
  • Mind Screw: The secret levels where Shadow Mario takes FLUDD, if not just for the backgrounds.
  • Mutually Exclusive Powerups:
    • Besides the always-accessible Spray Nozzle, there are 3 secondary nozzles for FLUDD (Hover, Turbo, and Rocket) that Mario can equip. These nozzles cannot be on Mario's person at the same time, and if Mario gets a new one it will replace the old one.
    • FLUDD cannot be used when riding Yoshi. While Yoshi can spit juice to functionally substitute for the Spray Nozzle, none of his other abilities replicate the other three nozzles.
  • Mythology Gag: "Delfino" is Italian for "Dolphin", the development name of the Nintendo GameCube.
  • No Cutscene Inventory Inertia: When you return to Delfino Plaza after defeating Bowser, an "X" graffiti can be seen on the side of one of the buildings during a cutscene, regardless of whether you cleaned it off during the course of the game.
  • Nostalgia Level: The FLUDD-less levels, which strip away all the gimmicks in favor of old-school platforming. The music and some of the backgrounds add to the nostalgic effect.
  • Nothing Is Scarier: If Eely-Mouth traps Mario in its mouth, FLUDD will say "It is dark...I feel fright...".
  • Only Sane Man: The owner of Hotel Delfino is one of the few people who can tell that Shadow Mario is an imposter and not the real Mario.
  • Palmtree Panic: The game's tropical setting means that there are several levels that take place at the beach, with Gelato Beach being the purest iteration due to its focus on classic beach imagery in its aesthetics and level design (there's a nearby coral reef, open-air beachside stores/dining, sand castles, etc.). While Pinna Park and Sirena Beach are an Amusement Park and Hell Hotel, respectively, they both have a part of their maps at the beach and a couple of their Episodes dedicated to that section.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Shadow Mario. Despite his totally blue color and watery texture (and the fact that his eyes occasionally go completely red), he is obviously Mario doing all that vandalism.
  • Le Parkour: You can waste a lot of time just running, diving, sliding, and wall-jumping all around the hub or levels.
  • Pinball Zone: The Pachinko Machine level is not quite a pinball machine, but it does treat Mario as the ball.
  • Playable Menu: The file select screen has Mario on a 2-D plane, with the files selected by hitting blocks. Mario can use all his regular platforming moves to play around the blocks.
  • Police Are Useless: The only time the Delfino Police attempt to do their jobs is when they arrest Mario — the wrong guy. The worst example of their uselessness comes near the beginning of the game when Shadow Mario attempts to capture Peach, and Mario has to chase him down. The police not only do nothing to stop the kidnapping, but they still refuse to acknowledge that Mario is not the real criminal even though the entire scene unfolds right in front of their eyes, and prefer to accuse him of slacking off.
  • Portal Picture: Most stages are reached by finding a large "M" painted by Shadow Mario that shows an animated image of the next area, spraying it until the goop covering the front is gone, and jumping next to the M. Mario will dissolve into the paint and wind up in the level depicted.
  • Port Town: Delfino Plaza is a port town. By the nature of the whole game's setting and story, it's also quite the tourist spot.
  • Plant Hair: Piantas have a palm tree on their heads.
  • Racing Minigame: The three races with Il Piantissimo.
  • Railroading: In stark contrast to Super Mario 64, Sunshine is much more linear and restrictive in gameplay, since you can typically only get one Shine at a time due to how each mission sets up the levels, and there are scripted story events in levels like Delfino Plaza and Pinna Park—the Shadow Mario objective in each world has to be completed before Corona Mountain opens up, so sequence breaking gets you nowhere in this game from the get-go since you have to travel to each world in the first place. The upside is that you can reach the final level with as little as 50 Shines.
  • Recurring Boss:
    • Shadow Mario (a.k.a. Bowser Jr.) shows up about a dozen times total. Each "fight" against him consists of chasing him down until you've sprayed him with enough water.
    • Gooper Blooper is fought three times, and the only thing that changes is the battlefield.
    • The Piranha Plant made of goop has to be fought five times. The first three fights are identical, but the last two increase the difficulty by doubling the amount of damage you need to deal.
    • Petey Piranha shows up at least twice
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: The sunflowers with eyes that only have bright looks and warm greetings for Mario unless something is actively trying to kill them.
  • Save the Princess: Subverted: Once Shadow Mario is properly introduced, he'll attempt to get away with Peach. You chase him around town and force him to drop her, however. Peach will subsequently hang around Delfino Plaza, and you can even talk to her. But this is a Double Subversion. When Mario gets 10 Shine Sprites, she permanently gets kidnapped for the rest of the game, and she doesn't even return to Delfino Plaza after clearing the game, so Toadsworth and the Toads continue to worry about her.
  • Scenery Porn: Definitely one of the game's selling points. Especially when compared to the blocky, primitive polygons of Super Mario 64. The environments are rich and detailed, the lighting is excellent, and the rendering of the water is at least as good as in Galaxy. The pop-up (or "fade-in") is also remarkably good, except for some items like coins. The huge draw distance helps add to the game's cohesiveness; you can actually see other locations from different points on the island.
  • Schmuck Bait: If you reach the end of the poison canal lily pad ride without all the red coins, there's a warp pipe which you would think takes you back to the beginning of the level so you can try again. WRONG! It deposits you all the way back in Delfino Plaza... which means you have to do the long, tedious boat ride with Yoshi all over again just to get back to it. By contrast, if you just kill yourself, you can restart at the beginning of the lily pad course.
  • Sequence Breaking:
    • Unlocking Yoshi is supposed to be mandatory to beat the game, as a number of Episodes require using him in some fashion and he's needed to give access to Sirena Beach (via eating the pineapple blocking the warp pipe). Abusing glitches and wall clips means that he can be completely avoided, plus this allows for completing levels out of their intended order.
    • The warp pipe to Pianta Village is on top of the Shine Gate, which normally requires the Rocket Nozzle (acquired for use in Delfino Plaza a good chunk into the game) to access due to how tall it is. It's possible to scale the Gate without it by doing some mildly difficult platforming.
    • You can get the second Shine Sprite in Bianco Hills without obtaining the first one by going straight to Petey Piranha at to the top of the windmill during Episode 1. This gets lampshaded by an NPC at the windmill if you talk to him, as he wonders what you're doing there.
    • It's possible get the Episode 8 Shine Sprite of Gelato Beach at any time by doing a somewhat tricky wall clip. Getting it makes all previous Episodes available and allows you to jump straight to Episode 7, the only one of that level that's mandatory to beat the game.
    • The intended way to do "The Goopy Inferno" is to go through a specific path in the underside of Pianta Village to reach the location F.L.U.D.D. is at. This can all be bypassed by climbing up the giant tree to the left of the village entrance and jumping off from one of the branches, which is hanging just above the spot you need to go to.
  • Sequel Difficulty Spike: Sunshine is much harder to clear than the game that preceded it, Super Mario 64, despite requiring fewer Plot Coupons, and is even harder to achieve 100% Completion.
  • Shall I Repeat That?: You're given the option to rehear both FLUDD's explanation of the gameplay mechanics and the backstory on the loss of the Shine Sprites.
  • Shock and Awe: Electrokoopas have electrified shells, which they can use as projectile weapons.
  • Shotguns Are Just Better: There's a special attack you can perform in midair (in midair, press the jump button while holding the squirt button) that sprays a bit of your water in a giant shotgun blast of water with HUGE coverage. If you're willing to spend all your water, it can clean huge areas and end Shadow Mario chase scenes in a hurry.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Docked at Ricco Harbor is a yellow submarine.
    • Robert Fludd was a 16th century mystic and scientist with interest in perpetual motion machines involving pumps, and how blood is pumped.
    • Il Piantissimo's face texture is a Palette Swap of the Running Man from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.
    • Phantamanta is a reference to the end of The Shining, in which a shadowy manta-like shape issues from the hotel as it burns, before fragmenting and vanishing. The boss battle occurs near a hotel, like in that novel.
    • Mario occasionally utters "The horror..." when he dies.
  • Space Whale Aesop:
    • After Eely-Mouth is defeated, FLUDD mentions that you should always brush your teeth. Yes, it's bad not to, but most people aren't A- A giant eel whose teeth have literally gone completely black, or B- someone whose act of not cleaning teeth pollutes a whole bay with purple acid.
    • FLUDD mentions that you need to be kind to your pets after dealing with the flaming Chain Chomplets. Real life pets won't turn red-hot and go on a rampage, covering the town with lava, plus the Chomplets weren't even being mistreated by their owner in the first place.
  • Space Zone: Four of the secret levels appear to take place in outer space
  • Stealth Pun: If you spray the WANTED: MARIO posters in the plaza, they'll give you coins. You're cleaning Mario's name.
  • Suddenly Voiced: This is the first and so far only Super Mario game to have extensive voice acting. Bowser in particular never had English dialogue in the games until now.
  • Sunny Sunflower Disposition: A chapter at Pinna Park gives you the mission to help the sunflowers outside the park. Completing the mission gives you a Shine. Also, if you water them, they give you Gold Coins, making them one of the main sources of coins for the 100-coins Shine of this level. note 
  • Super Drowning Skills: The breed of Yoshi native to Delfino Island cannot swim. He'll disappear if he enters any body of water deep enough for Mario to swim in.
  • Take That, Audience!: Losing to Il Piantissimo results in you getting trash-talked with cutting insults.
    Il Piantissimo: "You pokey little flab-biscuit!"
  • That Makes Me Feel Angry: "It is dark... I feel fright." Possibly justified, as this is probably the only way FLUDD has of expressing any kind of emotion.
  • Theme-and-Variations Soundtrack: Delfino Plaza, Bianco Hills, Ricco Harbor, and Gelato Beach all use different arrangements of the same melody.
  • Tightrope Walking: There are many tightropes which Mario can cross and bounce on. Mario may seem like he's always on the verge of falling while on the them, but it's impossible to fall unless you purposely jump off.
  • Timed Mission:
    • Many of the Red Coin missions are timed, with the amount allotted varying based on the level.
    • "Scrubbing Sirena Beach" (Episode 6 of Sirena Beach) and "Piantas in Need" (Episode 6 of Pianta Village) require completing their objectives before 3 minutes have passed.
    • For Episode 8 of Pinna Park, you have to pop all of the Bowser Jr. balloons before the roller coaster you're riding completes 3 laps.
  • Too Dumb to Live: The Pianta in Delfino Plaza who's on fire. Why doesn't he just run into the ocean? Happens again in Pianta Village. Right next to the village's creek.
  • Under the Sea: Noki Bay has a huge underwater area and the water is poisoned on the first visit by an eel's dirty teeth.
  • Unique Enemy:
    • Subverted with the Red Cataquack at Gelato Beach. Initially there's only one roaming around among the herd of Blue Cataquacks, but from Episode 5 onward there's nothing but Reds.
    • There's exactly one Chain Chomp in the game. It's encountered at Pianta Village during Episode 4, and Mario's objective is to calm it down.
  • Variable Mix: While riding Yoshi, the music of whatever area you're in changes to include drums and other instruments.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential:
    • You can have Mario be quite the bastard if you choose. You can run around Delfino Plaza stealing fruit from the vendors or messing up their displays, or simply go around dousing NPCs with water and jumping on them. They get upset, but they don't do anything to you. On the other hand, this is a surprisingly satisfying way to deal with characters who are rude to you.
    • You can drown Yoshi, as he's weak against water in this game.
    • You can use a body slide to actually spread the graffiti and swallow up some of the NPCs, or lure those cute little bubble creatures that come out of the goop to spread the stuff to clean areas (avoid them as they jump on you or it won't work). Go restart the game and have fun with it in Delfino Plaza, or go to the second Petey Piranha mission in Bianco Hills. Lots of potential at those spots.
  • Violation of Common Sense: One of the best moves for getting around quickly is to spray water at the ground, then dive at that spot. You'll keep drifting forward like you're on a wet slip-and-slide, still have limited directional control, and you'll just keep going until you jump out of it or run into something. That little patch of water sure goes a long way, even on sand, stone, you name it.
  • Voodoo Shark: It's explained in the manual that the breed of Yoshis found on Isle Delfino cannot swim nor stand water, which are pretty questionable evolutionary traits to develop on a tropical isle, to say the least.
  • Walk Into Camera Obstruction: The scene where the Pianta Police go to take Mario away.
  • Watching the Sunset: At the end, on Sirena Beach (where the sun always seems to be setting).
  • What the Hell, Player?:
    • Piantas will generally yell at Mario if they are sprayed with water or jumped on.
    • The guests in Hotel Delfino will complain about Mario barging into their rooms uninvited, and a Pianta woman will chastise Mario for his presence in the ladies' bathroom. Also, if Mario has a bunch of coins when he talks to the janitor in the attic, he'll call him a greedy little coin-grubber.
  • When All You Have Is a Hammer...: Mario's FLUDD is used for nearly everything. Taken further with the blue coins; they're entirely optional and almost every single one is "spray water at X" where X ranges from things that are very clever to things that are... less so.
  • Who Dares?: MARIO! "How dare you disturb my family vacation!"
  • Wingding Eyes: Mario gets hearts in his eyes during the opening sequence while thinking of all the good food the island has to offer.
    Announcer: Come enjoy a natural wonderland, to which we've added the world's finest resort facilities, a spectacular amusement park, and...succulent seafood!
    Mario: [Goes into a trance with the aforementioned heart-eyes] Ooooh~!
  • Wizard Needs Food Badly: Yoshi dies (Or "heads for home", according to the manual) if you don't feed him enough fruit.
  • Worst News Judgment Ever: For some reason, Delfino Emergency Broadcast System deems an egg on a roof worthy of an emergency bulletin. We admit that Yoshi eggs are rare and very interesting, but emergency alert worthy?
  • You Don't Look Like You: As aforementioned, most of the classic Mario enemies were replaced with substitutes in this game (Strollin' Stus replacing Goombas and Koopas only being present in the form of new varieties such as Electro-Koopas and Snooze-a-Koopas), but the classic enemies that did make it into Sunshine were heavily redesigned. Case in point: Bob-ombs with wind-up-toy feet and an LED display for a face and some rather inebriated-looking Boos.
  • You Have to Believe Me: God bless Princess Peach for trying to stick out for Mario on trial, but she was sadly ignored.
  • You Shouldn't Know This Already: Even if you know the trick for opening up the western ruins in Noki Bay, you will never be able to do so in episode 1... because Mario doesn't "learn" how to do it until episode 2. This applies even if you come back to episode 1 after completing episode 2.

SHINE GET!
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Videogame/SuperMarioSunshine