After a long period of impatience and much speculation fuelled by Nintendo's silence on the Switch, the big reveal during the event in Tokyo brought us more information. In addition to its new flagship console, the company announced some of the games that will launch on the platform. Let's face it, beyond any design or hardware considerations, the success (or failure for that matter) of a new console is mainly determined by the range of games on offer and, in that regard, exclusive games, which have a very strong appeal to fans and community.
Thus, as was the case for The Legend of Zelda, the unveiling of the next Mario - Super Mario Odyssey - had been greeted with plenty of excitement. Expected for the end of the year on a console that's not even launched yet, it only makes sense that information is thin on the ground, but sometimes trailers reveal more than one might think at first glance and we at Gamereactor are going to look beyond first impressions and dissect the trailer in order to draw as much detail as possible, hopefully answering your questions in the process.
The urban city
The first part of the trailer shows Mario evolving in a world populated by humans in a city that looks a lot like New York. The name of this world seems to be New Donk City, though, a name which can be seen throughout the trailer...
The city is inspired by Donkey Kong in many ways, with streets named after the series' characters, such as Dixie Street, which even has a store on it called Diddy's Mart.
Even a taxi plate, unmistakably highlighted, displays the number 1981, the year of the first appearance of the hero plumber in the Donkey Kong series.
Judging by the metal structures that are very close to those seen in the 1981 title, the city might even be the setting for this first confrontation.
This city may also be a kind of hub world since it contains representations of the other worlds, and they are displayed in advertising posters which allow us to guess the names of some of them.
The Desert World
The second part of the trailer sees Mario in a desert environment, with Mexican style buildings that appear to be inhabited by skeletons with bright eyes, dressed in ponchos and sombreros (these are certainly the people of this world). This whole section is reminiscent of the Mexican tradition of "Día de los Muertos" (Day of the dead").
But the most important information we can mine from this is the likely day/night cycle, although there is no indication whether this will be determined by the natural flow of time, or by the mission choice.
The Forest World
The name of this world is among the ones that we could read on posters in New Donk City, and by linking the structure seen on the poster to the one in the level, we can suppose its name would be Kogwald.
It's populated by mechanical teapots, possibly called "Kog" since "wald" in German means forest, so Kogwald would therefore translate to "Kog's forest", but it could also be the name of the enemies of this world, or just a coincidence, although the latter seems unlikely.
The World of Food
This angular food world inhabited by forks is likely to be called Mevolbono, and we had to investigate beyond the trailer because the image was not clear enough on the panel. We had to go to the Switch reveal event in Paris to take a picture with a very unsuspicious Mario in order to be able to read the name on the poster displayed in the setting, which was sneaky, we admit it, but it was worth the shot.
You will notice that the colours of the panel and those of the world are the same.
What can be drawn from the game and the story is that Bowser abducted Peach to forcibly marry her:
Four unfriendly rabbits appear at one point too. One can guess that one of these rabbits is a boss, and given that there are four worlds, each one of them could be the main boss of each world (of which we also counted four). This theory is further supported by the fact that they arrive in a flying boat, like the previous bosses.
The worlds seem to be closed sandboxes, limited, and not connected to each other (except through the hub).
You will be able to join them through your sailboat, kind of like in Skyward Sword, except that you'll probably not operate it, but rather just choose a destination (perhaps on the Globe seen on the ship?).
Although unrelated, they are definitely connected since they are all posted at New Donk City and they all come under the same sky:
Mario's cap will give him a range of new moves to traverse these environments, as well as fight, offering attacks which could be used when facing Bowser since he also seems to be able to perform "hat attacks". Besides, we can see in the confrontation unveiled in the trailer that Bowser crushes Mario's cap, which could be the reason why Mario opted for this new headgear.
A cap can be acquired in the Crazy Caps stores found in every world, and will probably offer either an upgrade or the possibility of changing hat to get new powers, as previously seen in Mario 64. Interestingly, you can see that the largest store is set in New Donk City, which is in-line with the style of the megalopolis city and the fact that it could be the main Hub.
The possible theories
In this section we will identify elements that we're uncertain about. The first element is the large flask filled with an orange liquid seen under Mario's ship. It's very possible that, as in Super Mario Galaxy, this flask serves as the engine, and the more it is filled, the further you can go to reach distant worlds.
Then there's the purple items. We know they don't replace the coins, since these can be seen throughout the trailer, but these violet collectables change shape according to the world you are in, and will certainly serve as currency or upgrade material in the Crazy Caps store, since they have the same colour code.
We can observe, sometimes obviously and sometimes more subtly, well-known faces, even if they are not permanent characters in the series. The Spiny, the Hammer Bro (who have swapped their hammers for frying pans, probably to fit better in the food world in which they are seen), the climbing plants piercing the skies, and the turnip introduced in Super Mario Bros. 2 are just a few of these. Last but not least there's also the irritating rabbits that will be well known to the players of Super Mario 64.
What new things are to be expected? It's certainly the question that has been nagging us since the announcement. What we can deduce based on the available footage is that each world is inhabited by a distinct population. New Donk City is populated with Humans, the desert with skeletons reminiscent of Mexican folklore, Kogwald with Mechanical Teapots, while the World of Food shows us forks. All of them will certainly join the large stable of environments based within the Mario universe, and will probably be found in games like Mario Kart in the future.
Then we can see in the trailer that Mario has new moves like the option to roll like a ball on slopes, or to ride on mounts. These moves will not be the only ones we can learn. Thanks to his magic cap, new special actions are achievable too. Abilities may well be unlocked throughout the campaign - note that this in unprecedented in the series' history - potentially allowing you to explore new areas and continue your progression in the way you would in Metroid, or Darksiders to name a more recent title.
All of the points above are only assumptions, educated guesses based on thirty years spent with Mario. As such they shouldn't be taken as definite, even if they are based on elements observed in the trailer. Everything we've seen thus far is likely to be modified by and expanded upon via upcoming reveals. Of course, you're more than welcome to bring your own theories to the table or add elements to support or challenge ours in the comments section below.
Loading next content