Super Mario Odyssey‘s magical hat Cappy is still a mystery. Is he a ghost that possesses hats? Some kind of alien that transforms on a whim? A hallucination brought on Mario’s PTSD from losing his trusty red cap?
While we probably won’t get a full answer until the game’s release, Polygon did get to see some of Cappy’s origin story at a recent Nintendo preview event. (You can see some of our experiences in the gameplay video, above.) Super Mario Odyssey’s early game takes place in the Cap Kingdom, Cappy’s home country.
We were treated to a cut scene of Mario in the spooky, monochrome world, with a landscape dominated by a looming, ivory tower sporting a black top hat. It’s in this kingdom that Cappy and Mario team up, and Mario gets to see firsthand what it’s like to capture another creature. Without spoiling the moment, Mario’s first capture has a surreal quality that is a little horrifying. We got a sense of what he feels when he captures an object, then replaces them in time and space. It’s cute to see some little baddie with a Mario hat and mustache, until you realize they may no longer exist after you exit their body.
We spent time in two other newly xintroduced worlds in our demo. In the Luncheon Kingdom, Mario needed to use giant corn on the cob pieces to traverse pools of pastel pink lava. And there was an especially mysterious puzzle where we had to capture a gigantic hunk of meat, which we wiggled tantalizingly in order to lure in a giant predator.
One of the first things you’ll immediately want to do upon exploring a new Super Mario Odyssey kingdom was run up to every creature, person, and object and see if you could capture it. As soon as we were plunked into the Seaside Kindgom, I sprinted around flinging my cap at every single critter. This was followed by a lot of cooing at whatever weird Mario hybrid was created. Mario became an octopus that shot water out of its backside, He became one of the iconic cheep cheeps ... with facial hair.
It was in the Seaside Kingdom that we spent more time checking out the in-game store, where you can buy Mario outfits. That includes, of course, the beach trunks (and accompanying bare chest) that set social media on fire last week. Even from a few minutes of playing around, it seems these trunks paired with the in-game photo mode are going to lead to a lot of magical weirdness.
Snapshot Mode’s versatility assures we’re going to see so many amazing, creative, bizarre screenshots from the game. Once you enter photo mode, you can reposition the camera freely, zoom in dangerously close, then layer on the filters. We were able to get up close and personal with one of the octopus Marios, and also take the postcard-worthy snap you see above. Its something I could see myself spending hours fiddling with.
Super Mario Odyssey is out for the Nintendo Switch on Oct. 27.