It’s over, they’re done. I have captured all 120 green stars in Super Mario Galaxy 2, and I’m not all that happy about it. Considering how perfect the first half of the game is, it’s a real shame the Nintendo went back and boondoggled the back half. I mean, really, a game-spanning fetch quest isn’t entirely new for the developer (See The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker), but man, there’s never been one quite this intense. If you’ve forgotten between here and the last time I talked about it, once you complete Galaxy 2, each level’s star count is doubled by two or three green stars that are somewhat arbitrarily hidden around somewhere. They don’t have hints or names or anything; it’s all you can to do prowl around every corner of every level until you find them all.
At first, they’re usually just tucked behind a wall or something, and this trend persists right to the end. Eventually some are placed off the edge of the stage boundary, so that if you manage to miss it after hopping off the ledge, you die. The last kind are the ones that are way, way out of the stage boundaries, and require some amazing jumps or powerup use to get. These are obviously the most fulfilling to earn, but it’s still a matter of “you miss and you die”. Not a great design hook.
Anyway, once you haul in the fun 120 power stars and the stupid 120 green stars, you’re awarded with one final special stage called the Grandmaster Galaxy. It’s a big, long gauntlet of most of the obstacles you’ve had to overcome to get this far. And it’s pretty fun! It took me a while to make it to the end, but I did it! I was satisfied with my accomplishment, but a little taken aback that there was no more than the standard “Star GET!” fanfare once I’d won. I was expecting maybe a picture of a cake and a “thank you for playing”, maybe?
Nope. Instead, there’s more game. A little birdie informed me that if you collect and bank 9,999 star bits, you gain access to the Daredevil version of Grandmaster Galaxy. For those who don’t speak video game: one-hit death, no checkpoints. I threw up my hands and declared it a wash. I’m fairly sure that I could do it, but I don’t really have the patience to try yet. After hunting down all those green stars, I’m over the bullspit. I have like 9,500 star bits banked too, so it’s not like I have to grind my way there or anything. Ten years ago I would have been on this challenge like it was nobody’s business, but these days I just don’t have it in me.
I never finished the super-secret final stage in Super Mario 3D Land either. To think people used to identify me by my video game prowess. Oh, how the mighty have fallen.
PS: Guy who designed Rolling Coaster Galaxy? We hate you, please die.