Super Mario Sunshine was released for the GameCube (Nintendo’s 6th generation console) back in 2002 and was the 2nd Mario game in the franchise to utilise 3D graphics – the one before being Super Mario 64 which was released in 1996 for the Nintendo 64.
The storyline of the game is set on the tropical island Isle Delfino. Mario and friends are taking a vacation on the island when little did they know a perpetrator, who goes by the name “Shadow Mario”, would go around vandalizing the island and Mario would get blamed for the whole mess. Mario is not only required to clean up Isle Delfino, but he also has to rescue Princess Peach from Shadow Mario – come on, it wouldn’t have been a Mario game if the Princess didn’t need saving. But have no fear, Mario is equipped with F.L.U.D.D (Flash Liquidizer Ultra Dousing Device) to make his efforts less endeavouring.
Sure, to many this game was overlooked by I still think it is a classic game and I have played this retro classic (mostly on emulators) so much that I started to notice some Easter Eggs that other people might not have noticed…
10 – References to Project Dolphin in Super Mario Sunshine
Project “Dolphin” was the code name that was given to the GameCube and if you look underneath a Gamecube console you will see DOL-001 or DOL-101, which are references to the code name “Dolphin”. Also, “Flipper” was the name of the Nintendo GameCube’s GPU (Graphics processing unit). Just think of code names as a name given to projects such as a new console before their official name has been thought of. You need to refer to the project as something, right?
Nintendo has been very smart with this code name and many references can be seen in the Super Mario Sunshine game. Here are a few obvious Easter Egg references:
- When translated from Italian to English, “Isle Delfino” literally means Dolphin island
- Dolphin statues can be found throughout the entire Plaza
- A hotel in the game is called Hotel Delfino
- On the Noki Bay stage you have to clear up graffiti that is in the shape of a Dolphin
9 – Sirena Beach is a Huge GameCube Controller
On Isle Delfino, there is a beach called Sirena Beach. Well, this beach has been laid out in such a fashion that it resembles a GameCube controller. As you cannot achieve a bird’s-eye view of the beach then you cannot see the layout in full effect. But if you climb a torch tower on the beach and pan around, you will be able to make out which parts of the beach resemble which parts of the controller. It’s not extremely subtle, but you can definitely make the pad out. A, Y, X and B are represented using pools of water which I also thought was pretty cool.
8 – Retro 8-Bit & 16-Bit Mario Game References
When Mario is first equipped with the water device F.L.U.D.D (Flash Liquidizer Ultra Dousing Device) in the game, the device scans him. If you look in the bottom left-hand corner of the screen you will see a few iconic scenes from previous Mario games:
Super Mario Brothers for the NES where Mario is battling Bowser on the bridge.
Super Mario World for the SNES where Mario is battling Iggy Koopa
Super Mario 64 for the Nintendo 64 where Mario is swinging Bowser around with his tail.
8-bit Marios from Super Mario Bros. can be seen scrolling across the screen in the second episode in Sirena Beach too.
7 – The Secret Book
Back to Noki Bay again for this Super Mario Sunshine Easter Egg. Presuming you have unlocked episode three: Red Coins in a Bottle, the following will work. Start the level and instead of collecting the red coins, head down to the bottom of the bottle. Locate the red coin that is perched upon a block and adjacent you will see two holes in the block. If you head into the one on your right you will see a wooden door. Use your zoom function and with a bit of practice (and a little glitch) you will be able to see on the other side of this door, and located on the floor there seems to be a book.
Unfortunately, you are unable to open the door and even if you use the following game glitch to get inside the room, the ability to interact with the book seems to have been taken out the game – if it was even possible to in the first place. Apparently, though, the book was a scavenger hunt mission in the Japanese version of the game. When you read it, it roughly translates to “You have no life.” signed Shigeru Miyamoto.
6 – Stephen King Reference, Maybe?
Sirena Beach on level 1: The Manta Storm, there is a shadow-like manta that is seen covering the Hotel Delfino. Well, at the end of the Stephen King novel The Shining it says “a ghostly manta shape, floating away over the hotel. It was paper-thin, like a shadow, and then broke into smaller forms before turning into smoke and drifting away.” In the game you kill the Manta by squirting water which makes it break into smaller Mantas. Is this a reference to Stephen King’s, The Shining? Maybe the designer was a huge Stephen King fan, or maybe it’s just a coincidence.
5 – Marathon Man from Ocarina of Time Reference
In the game there is a character called Il Piantissimo who is a dark-skinned man disguised as a Pianta. Il Piantissimo, who thinks of himself as much superior to others, wishes to race you in the game and can be found in Gelato Beach, Noki Bay, and Pianta Village. If you beat Il Piantissimo in a race you will be rewarded with a Shine Sprite; however, if you lose you will lose a life. If you’re a Zelda fanboy then you will love this Easter Egg, as Il Piantissimo’s real face looks very much similar to Marathon Man from Ocarina of Time – who coincidentally also challenges Link to a race.
4 – Reference to Luigi’s Mansion
In episode 3: Mysterious Hotel Delfino (located upon Sirena Beach), you will come across an employee who is sweeping up who says “Why can’t someone come along and suck ‘em up with a vacuum?” which is a reference to Luigi from Luigi’s Mansion.
3 – Reference to the Classic Super Mario 64
To enter Noki Bay in the game you are required to collect at least twenty Shine Sprites. Once you obtain at least twenty, you need to head over to the pier near the Shine Tower in Delfino Plaza. Once there, you need to stare up at the sun whilst inside the column of light. This is a reference and is a similar method, in which Tower of the Wing Cap is reached in Super Mario 64 for the Nintendo 64.
2 – Isle Delfino is shaped like a huge dolphin
We have already learned various dolphin references, but did you know Delfino Island (which is Italian for dolphin) is in fact shaped like a giant dolphin! Sadly it is not easy to see it from the air so you might just have to take my word for it, or just look at the picture above.
1 – The hidden Tramplin’ Stu
While it can only be seen in the games hidden data this enemy called “Tramplin’ Stu” was just like a normal Stu, only a giant one that spawned both Swoopin’ and Strollin Stu’s behind him as Mario attempted to fill up his outer shell with water eventually popping him. But sadly it seems he never made the final cut.
Do you know of any other Super Mario Sunshine Easter Eggs? If you do let me know in the comments below.