Nintendo announced the name and details of its next-generation console, the Nintendo Switch, earlier today, while also teasing a handful of new games, ports and what appear to be Wii U remasters. Perhaps the most intriguing tease was for a new, untitled Super Mario game. With just five seconds or so of footage, what can we glean about Mario’s next adventure? What if we just keep staring at it, advancing frame-by-frame, over the course of a few hours? Surely there’s something good in there.
Let’s take a look at what Nintendo’s very short teaser tells us. Here’s a GIF of the Super Mario Switch footage, for your looping pleasure.
Mario can triple jump
Mario’s staple move, the three-part flip jump that was popularized in Super Mario 64 but missing from his more recent 3D platforming adventures (Super Mario 3D Land and Super Mario 3D World) is back. Mario’s jumping animation also shows him stretching his arms out and turning up his hands. Is that a braking motion, or is Mario prepping for takeoff (which would work, if he had a Wing Cap)?
Speaking of headwear, is it worth noting that the Paper Mario games have Shy Guy variants called Sombrero Guys?
Mario is headed somewhere new
Super Mario for Nintendo Switch’s locale appears to be a Mexican Day of the Dead-themed town, inhabited by colorful calavera and sombrero-wearing, maraca-shaking residents. There appears to be a shop nearby — Crazy Cap? — that looks like a hat seller.
The town also appears to have a potential affliction: It looks like portions of the area are frozen, with misting ice blocks and icicles covering the otherwise warm-looking town. An icon over the umbrella could indicate that it’s a bouncing platform, and power lines criss-crossing the pathway ahead are giving us Super Mario Sunshine flashbacks. Could this quaint little town be the modern equivalent of that GameCube game’s Delfino Plaza?
Some familiar Mario elements
Obviously, there’s a big Bullet Bill cannon launching things at Mario on the left, but on the right of this stage, there’s something less familiar: a spinning heart. Those items were in Super Mario 64 and restored Mario’s health.
Again, we see what appear to be transparent ice structures in the background and perimeter of the level, despite the sun beating down on Mario. There are also some possible Pokeys (or simply a couple chill cacti) hanging out and gold rings, which have appeared in games like New Super Mario Bros. 2 and Super Mario 3D World. The placement of those rings is interesting; they could indicate a more challenging, more rewarding path is to the left, accessible only if Mario propels himself straightforward, while a less challenging path — Mario can just jump to the next platform — is to the right.
While this Mario game appears to be a single-player-focused, 3D platformer in the vein of Super Mario 64, Sunshine and the Galaxy games — as opposed to the multiplayer-friendlier New Super Mario Bros. U and Super Mario 3D World — Nintendo appears to be hinting that Super Mario for Switch can be a group effort.
Even Super Mario Galaxy had some cooperative elements, though, thanks to the Wii game’s “Co-Star” mode that let a second player collect Star Bits and shoot at enemies. But perhaps this shot of two Nintendo Switch players going at it isn’t showing them play a Mario game. Perhaps we’re simply reading too much into a brief teaser video and drawing hasty conclusions, otherwise known as the entire point of the previous 500 words of this article.
Anyway, what I’m getting at is that Super Mario for Nintendo Switch looks like the type of game many longtime Nintendo fans have been clamoring for for years: a return to the 3D platforming pioneered by Super Mario 64, with a bit of Super Mario Sunshine and Super Mario Galaxy peppered in.