Gravity 101 of Super Mario Galaxy
In his latest adventure, Mario explores a wealth of weird and wonderful planets that play host to a variety of environments and life-forms. Of course, his experience as a seasoned adventurer means Mario is well equipped for the task at hand. But there is one factor he hasn’t had to take into account in past adventures – a new enemy, of sorts, that could get him down if he’s not careful: gravity.
Gone is the comforting assurance that performing one of his trademark jumps will result in Mario landing safely a second or so later because in space, what goes up won’t necessarily come down. Throw in the fact that any of the planets Mario touches down on could have their own unique gravitational field, and it’s easy to see how the effects of weightlessness could turn Mario’s latest adventure upside-down.
Life on the edge
At first, you might be a little wary of guiding Mario to the edge of that surface he’s standing on. After all, with a vast blanket of stars stretched out below it doesn’t seem too wise to be loitering near the brink. But, unless there’s an ominous black hole on the horizon, taking a giant leap into the unknown is a safe-enough pastime. In fact, simply walking off what looks like the edge might actually be nothing more than a small step to the flip-side of the surface. Sure, Mario will be walking upside-down, but the fact that his hat hasn’t fallen off is evidence enough that he remains on terra firma.
With each planet having its own gravitational pull, each land mass has a different affect on Mario’s jumps, from unusually short hops to floating in an unpredictable air stream that flows in the planet’s atmosphere. Then again, there’s always a chance that after Mario jumps, he won’t come down at all. Jumping from certain surfaces will cause Mario to become subject to the gravitational effects of another nearby planet. In those cases, he’ll briefly be suspended in mid-air before flipping around and touching down on a new planet. If all this is making you dizzy, don’t worry. Before long you’ll be exploiting the gift of gravity for your own ends; making heart-stopping leaps into space to reach areas that would be otherwise off limits.
Another way of traversing the final frontier in its many forms is via Pull Stars. Pull Stars could appear anywhere and often offer Mario his only route from one point to the next. Pointing at Pull Stars with the Wii Remote and pressing the A Button activates the gravitational pull of the stars, lifting Mario of his feet and drawing him into the floating orbs like a tractor beam would. The fun starts when Mario has to travel through a series of Pull Stars to get where he wants to go. As soon as you let go of the A Button, Mario will start to drop from the safety of one Pull Star into the depths of outer space. Only quickly pointing at and activating the next Pull Star in the series will ensure Mario is again hauled to safety.
As with jumping between gravitational fields, using Pull Stars is a strange sensation at first. But once you get the hang of it, you can get creative about how you traverse space. For example, you might be headed towards one Pull Star but point at another while you’re still in the air, altering the direction you are travelling to pick up precious coins or avoid obstacles. Using Pull Stars in this way exploits all the benefits of weightlessness and will have Mario swinging through space with the greatest of ease.
Star light, star bright
Forget what you thought you knew about Mario’s adventures. In Super Mario Galaxy the pioneering plumber doesn’t just break new ground, he takes space by storm! Get ready to leave the confines of earth behind and launch into a new kind of adventure that invites you to get to grips with gravity in your very own interstellar playground!