Super Mario Odyssey came out last October and continues to delight players. Datamined secrets, awesome glitches, and a fancy balloon hunting mode have kept players exploring the game's vibrant world long after other games have come and gone.
There's been plenty of ups and downs to Super Mario Odyssey including broken scoreboards, awesome speedruns, and an underwhelming promotional cereal. Here's what's happened since launch:
- Super Mario Odyssey releases on on October 27, 2017 and it's great. The colourful worlds capture players' imagination and fuel strong critical response. In his review here at Kotaku, my colleague Chris Kohler notes "Odyssey's levels are, down to the last little patch of terrain, breathtakingly gorgeous, intricately designed, and wildly varied."
- Shortly after release, players start to break the game apart using long jumps and special movement tricks. These special tricks allow everything from fancy exploration to breathtakingly fast world records in racing challenges and form the backbone of a strong speedrunning community. Early speedruns for the game clock in under 90 minutes.
- Three days after release, players discover a way to infinitely farm gold coins. A repeatable bonus area in Bowser's Kingdom granted around 180 coins per run, making it a cinch for players to purchase extra stars or outfits, such as the absurdly expensive skeleton costume. The bonus area remains unpatched to this day.
- Also within three days of launch, Nintendo sells over two million copies of Super Mario Odyssey. The company later discloses that 1.1 million copies were sold in North America alone.
- At the start of November, players discover that it is possible to kill Mario using Cappy. Using the game's two player mode, Mario can possess an enemy that players can stomp by controlling Cappy separately. It's pretty morbid.
- On November 15th, Twitter user Clement1194 discovers a glitch that allows players to skip all of the game's dangerous Darker Side of the Moon. It becomes a key glitch for speedrunners in the "Darker Side" category, who use their ability to swim as a frog in mid-air to float over a massive canyon right to the end of the game.
- By November 21st, New Donk City's jump rope challenge leaderboards are broken thanks to a glitch that allows Mario to hover in an indefinitely. A trick involving talking to a nearby bird at the same time Cappy hits it makes it possible for players to freeze Mario in the air during the jump rope mini-game. Top scores max out at 99,999 and the glitch isn't patched until February, when the scores are also reset.
- Near the end of November, speedrunners start to complete runs in the "100%" category which collects 999 powers moons, gathers 40 different costumes, possesses 52 enemies and gathers 1000 purple coins. It is just as absurd as it sounds, with records initially clocking in over 12 hours.
- In early December, Super Mario cereal arrives in grocery stores for a limited time. The boxes contain NFC chips that can be used in Super Mario Odyssey to receive gold coins and hearts. Beloved snack critic Mike Fahey reports that the cereal is basically just a Lucky Charms rip off.
- On December 11th, YouTuber Gamechamp3000 completes the game without ever jumping. He clears Odyssey through a technicality where the game does not count wall jumps, pole jumps, swimming, and certain Y moves as "jumps."
- On January 11th, Nintendo announces Luigi's Balloon World. The extra game mode has players hiding balloons in the game's levels for other players to find.
- Luigi's Balloon World releases on February 21st as part of the game's most recent patch. It is only the third update in the game's history to date. Although the patch also fixes a handful of out of bound glitches, players immediately start to find ways to hide balloons in nearly inaccessible places. Those balloons are mostly uncollected to this day.
- The latest patch stirs controversy in the speedrunning community. The patch removes many useful glitches such as the time saving Sphinx Clip and Turnip Clip, which allowed runners to clip through some walls and avoid cutscenes. Runners start a conversation about whether older versions of the game, which can perform tricks players can use after the patch, should still be allowed on the leaderboard. Each category decides something different. For instance, Any% ranks all versions together while other categories split their boards by version.
- Dataminers hack the patch and find unused images. Players speculate that the images signal the locations of hidden power moons but can't seem to find them in game. It remains unclear if the images were simply cut content.
- On March 28th, two new outfits are added to the game's shop. One is a nifty baseball outfit while the other is a reference to the the Satellaview, a SNES add-on that let users download games using a modem.
- Nintendo announces that as of March 31st, the game has sold 10.41 million units, which is a lot of Marios.
- At the start of April, Twitch plays Super Mario Odyssey and manages to collect a handful of powers moons in a show of cooperation (or possibly dumb luck) bound to be studied by future generations. When I checked in on them today, they were working through the game's final sequence.
And that's where things are at. Super Mario Odyssey continues to dominate sales charts while players unlock secrets and find more and more unique ways to play the game. There haven't been many major updates or patches but the addition of Luigi's Balloon World and the reset of major leaderboards encourages competition (and trolling) among players, who will keep hunting for power moons and playing the game for a long time to come.