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As far as Mario games go, Super Mario Odyssey may very well be the most ambitious Mario game yet, with plenty of awesome and memorable moments.

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The Game

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  • Pauline went from being the original Damsel in Distress to mayor of New Donk City and the lead singer of a band. She even provides the vocals for "Jump Up, Super Star!". In the actual level where the song takes place, hang around Pauline before talking to her and you can see her dancing to the music with several moves. One of her dance moves mimics her 2 frame animation used in Donkey Kong.
  • Before, Mario could ride a dinosaur. Now, he can be a Tyrannosaurus rex. And as it turns out, he can be the aforementioned dinosaur, too, once he returns to the Mushroom Kingdom.
  • A year before the game was released, the Switch was officially announced. Just over halfway through the trailer, there's a few shots of Mario jumping through a desert environment, which turned out to be from this game.
  • At its highest point, "Jump Up, Super Star" made it into the iTunes top 25 in America, reaching or exceeding similar heights in other markets.
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    • When you finally get to hear the song in the actual game. In the final mission in New Donk City, everyone's partying, a great big festival is happening and off in the distance is Pauline and her band kicking the party into full swing as she sings "Jump Up, Super Star." But that's not all — they've literally rolled out the red carpet for Mario as he goes down an 8-bit pipe and goes from building to building in a 2D level run in a glorious Donkey Kong throwback, all while everyone in the city cheers him on.
  • The beginning of the game sets the tone, opening on Mario and Bowser throwing down in a cutscene, duking it out on his airship in the skies over the recently-abducted Peach's castle. Bowser wins by knocking Mario off the ship with his hat, then crushes Mario's hat before the ship's propellers shred it to pieces.
  • Mario defeating the Lord of Lightning, the gigantic dragon who presides over Crumbleden and looks like it came straight out of an Elder Scrolls title. Just goes to show that cartoonish appearance has nothing to do with it; Mario can triumph over any obstacle no matter how physically imposing.
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    • The very fact that Bowser managed to find, and tame, a giant dragon that rivals freaking SMAUG in awesome factor, and uses him as a frontline bodyguard against Mario. Say what you will about the Koopa King, but this, combined with getting only the best of accouterments for the wedding, shows that Bowser would go above and beyond for Peach's hand.
  • When Mario and Cappy finally catch up to Bowser mid-game, en route to New Donk City, Mario and Bowser have a staredown before mutually pulling off to the side at the Cloud Kingdom's Sky Arena to go at it, all in an intense scene that oozes a badass feel of "let's take this outside".
  • And at the end of the game, the setup to the final battle is just as epic. You reach the wedding hall to see the doors to the hall itself closed, and when you open them, Mario and Cappy stand proudly as they give a badass and determined Death Glare towards Bowser. Then the camera dramatically zooms in on Bowser and Peach; the latter and Tiara look relieved to see their heroes arrive, while Bowser glares back in a half-angry, half-just-as-determined to end it. And then the "guests" Bowser abducted for the wedding all cheer you on as you approach Bowser.
    • Throughout the series, Bowser is known for letting out Large Ham-tastic Evil Laughs, but in this cutscene where he grabs Peach and Tiara while they are at Mario and Cappy's reach, he starts letting out a more subdued, much more menacing chuckle, clearly wanting to get a rise out of the heroes just by showing their loved ones at very close proximity, and yet still unreachable. Even when he's doing almost nothing to attack, Bowser is still an extremely effective antagonist.
  • While it's played for comedy, it's still pretty impressive that Peach is holding her own in the tug-of-war over the Binding Band with Bowser. You'd expect the tough Koopa to easily pull it out of her hands, but either she's so determined to not marry that she's matching his strength, or he's going easy despite his frustration so he doesn't hurt her.
  • Bowser's actually pretty clever in how he decides to go about things this time around. Namely, Mario never actually stops him from raiding the kingdoms along the adventure to get what he's looking for, only showing up in time to chase him and the Broodals out from causing any more harm, and putting the kingdoms back in order...which, in turn, only keeps him two steps behind Bowser the entire way. Mario manages to corner the Koopa King before the finale a grand total of twice, after which Bowser learns from his mistakes and employs his cannons, and later a gigantic dragon, to sink the Odyssey when Mario's gaining ground on him. Even in the end, while Peach rejected both of them, Bowser also did manage to ruin Mario's proposal to Peach - which means that in the end, Mario didn't ultimately win as much as it was a tie. Bowser may have lost Peach again, but in a sense, "defeated" Mario by rejecting him a true victory over him.
  • After the Final Boss, Bowser's arena collapses, sending him, Mario and Peach falling to a lower area, and Bowser is effectively knocked out cold, his hat having fallen off. Princess Peach wonders what you're going to do. Mario's answer? He throws his cap onto Bowser's head. For the first time in a mainstream Mario game, you are playing as Bowser himself! And that's before "Break Free (Lead the Way)" kicks in at the final stretch!
  • Peach's near-perpetual status as a Damsel in Distress in the mainstream Mario games has bothered some gamers, as other titles in the series (including the Paper Mario games and even her own adventure) have made her into something of an Action Girl who's more proactive than passive. That's what makes her performance in the ending so incredible. After saving her, Mario looks as though he's going to propose himself after all these years. Then Bowser wakes up and, seeing what's about to happen, tries to pop the question before Mario can. The two men (well, man and Koopa) start shoving flowers in her face and demanding she choose. And what does the proper, demure, often-"girly" Princess Peach do? She pulls a Screw This, I'm Outta Here! on them. That's right: Peach, the original video game princess, subverts the And Now You Must Marry Me trope: she just up and marches away, leaving the two stunned, and even starts revving up the Odyssey. It's such an amazing reaction to over thirty years of being kidnapped that you can't help but cheer for her. It does turn into a bit of a Tear Jerker however when Mario and Bowser start crying over it...she does, however, call out to them, saying "Let's go home!"
  • After the finale, Mario returns home with Cappy in tow... only to find out that Peach has gone missing. Except she hasn't been abducted this time around—she and Tiara packed up and decided to take their own adventure around the world like Mario and Cappy did! Some of the places Peach and Tiara visit look so precarious, that maybe Peach learned to Capture and Warp in order to reach them.
  • Odyssey is the next in line to have an awesome, yet difficult, final challenge: Culmina Crater, located on the darkest part of the moon, starts you off with a crowd cheering you on, consisting of every race you've helped along your journey: Toads, Bonneters, Tosterenans, Lochladies, Steam Gardeners, New Donkers (including Pauline, who's once again singing "Jump Up, Super Star!"), Shiverians, Bubblainians, and Volbonans all gather to watch your success as you use a Frog to hop up to the entrance. And from there, every phase just gets even better.
    • Starting off with an optional mini-boss that gives you an extra three hit points if you beat it, followed by some nifty platforming across sinking platforms and poles, swinging across bars, and using a Lava Bubble to hop the rest of the way to the cannon to the next area.
    • Capturing an Uproot and using its abilities to go further up, swimming across freezing cold water, then using Yoshi's tongue to climb up the conveyor belts to the next location.
    • Running across flowery roads where you can go off the beaten path and answer the Sphynx's last quiz, which he rewards you with a ton of coins if you get these questions right, as well as an extra three hit points if you don't have them already.
    • Going through an obstacle course where you have to go without your cap, jumping across a series of protruding blocks.
    • Possessing Glydon in what looks like a cross between Super Mario Galaxy 2's second Fluzzard level and The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker's Flight Control Platform, gliding through whirlwinds and dodging Urban Stingbies as they try to blow up right in your face, before flinging across a few Volbonans to the next locale.
    • Fighting off Burrbos on a single, slow-moving platform while potentially dodging shock wave upon shock wave.
    • Using a Pokio to swing across wooden pendulums, potentially the trickiest part in the entire level, even after realizing you can hook into the rock face!
    • The final 8-bit level, where you have to dodge sporadically appearing barrels in order to reach and knock off Donkey Kong.
    • And the last obstacle: a romp through the last stretch as Bowser, clawing through rolling boulders and giant stone blocks, showing some true strategy in your former 11th-Hour Superpower as you reach the end.
    • Finally, after all is said and done, you get to take control of a Spark Pylon and go across a set of wires that spells "THANK YOU" before going to the final area. You take control of a frog once again and use it to scale a structure that greatly resembles New Donk City Hall, before exiting the Frog and climbing the tall spire to the top to get your last Multi-Moon: "Long Journey's End". All the while, Cappy reminisces about the time you spent on this adventure...
      "We've come a long way, you and me...
      We've seen a bunch of different kingdoms...
      I mean, sure, we got shot down and stuff along the way...
      But think of all the HATS!
      This trip was really amazing.
      Thank you, Mario. It's been an honor walking a mile on your head."
    • All this culminates in a near-perfect finale; the stage is set, the challenge is genuine, every skill you've learned is tested, everyone is counting on you, and the truest end is in sight. You've made it this far; you've seen and done so much, and now it's time for it all to come to a close. This really does feel like the game's way of saying "thanks for sticking around until the end". And what better way to show you've won, than to hear all those formerly cheering you on, now congratulating your success? You know, assuming you took off your newly earned invisibility cap after the level's over.
  • The game's Metro Kingdom reveals that Pauline and Mario are still on very good terms. Not only are they Amicable Exes, they're practically Like Brother and Sister, considering how well Pauline treats Mario when he arrives.

Meta

  • The game sold 2 million copies in 3 days. That's salesman speak for "NINTENDO'S BACK, PEOPLE"!
    • It also became the top selling Switch title through late 2017 and 2018, overcoming every other game. It is still the second highest selling game for Nintendo Switch, just below Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and just above Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
  • A commercial for the game fully embraces the upbeat Broadway-esque style of "Jump Up, Super Star!" by having Mario and a crowd of dancers do a dance number set to the song. It also feels just like a Super Bowl commercial, right down to the production values.
  • Mario's absolutely insane movement range in this game deserves some serious praise. As this video goes into, it's possible to go through the entire game and get nearly every moon without needing to capture creatures for the moons like you're intended to. It's so good, some have even managed to beat RoboBrood without needing to capture a Pokio like intended.
    • Speaking of Mario’s movement, it is insane enough that some players have done no jump speedruns. [1]
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