clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope’s hidden pathways, explained

Ah, so that’s what those swirly symbols on the ground are for...

Bowser, Mario, and Luigi use Scan to reveal a hidden path in Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope Image: Ubisoft Paris and Ubisoft Milan/Ubisoft via Polygon

Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope is as much a puzzle game as it is a tactics one. And solving its most obtuse puzzles — the ones you may not even realize need solving — demands a keen eye. Many solutions are contingent on picking up extremely subtle details hidden around the environment. Many lead to secret pathways (that, yes, end in a pile of coins).

Unfortunately, the game doesn’t always teach you the extent of your abilities, or the extent to which you can use them to navigate Sparks of Hope’s five distinct planets. From cracked walls to swirly symbols on the ground, here are the vaguest environmental puzzles — plus info on how to actually solve them.

What do the swirls in Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope mean?

Mario and Rabbid Peach stand around a coin swirl in the Mushroom Kingdom into in Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope Image: Ubisoft Paris and Ubisoft Milan/Ubisoft via Polygon

One of the earliest “secrets” you’ll come across in Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope is a swirl on the ground. You’ll see a few in the Mushroom Kingdom around Peach’s castle and then another nearby your ship on Beacon Beach. These swirls glow and look a bit like the Ubisoft logo, but the game never tells you how to open them.

If you’re familiar with Mario’s oeuvre, you probably saw these swirls and assumed you’d eventually get a ground pound or similar ability that would open them. However, all you need to do to claim the coins hidden in these swirls is to quickly move your analog stick in a circle. This will cause your lead character to spin, which will open up the swirl.

Though the game doesn’t let you know, you have this ability from the very beginning of Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope, so make sure to use it whenever you see the swirls to earn some extra cash.

How do you break cracked walls in Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope?

Mario, Luigi, and Peach stand in front of a cracked wall in an ice cave in Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope Image: Ubisoft Paris and Ubisoft Milan/Ubisoft via Polygon

Early in Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope’s second world, Pristine Peaks, you’ll earn the Wave ability for Beep-O. This will allow you to break objects with the special swirl icon on them; you’ll need it for several puzzles as you play through the game.

However, the game doesn’t teach you that Wave also has the ability to break cracked walls found throughout the game. As you adventure from planet to planet, you’ll find walls that have a distinct crack in them yet lack the Wave’s signature symbol. If you use Wave on the wall, it will break open, revealing some kind of secret or new path. You’ll eventually need to use this to complete one of the latter Pristine Palace quests, but there are numerous cracked walls that you could miss before that, so keep an eye out.

What can you scan in Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope?

Bowser, Mario, and Luigi use the Scan ability to find footprints and a special hidden object in Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope Image: Ubisoft Paris and Ubisoft Milan/Ubisoft via Polygon

The most important exploration ability in Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope is Scan, which you’ll get on Pallet Prime, the game’s third world. This ability allows you to reveal hidden paths and objects that you otherwise can’t see. Some of these paths are obvious — like when the game shows floating coins that you otherwise can’t reach — but others are much harder to solve.

If you don’t want to hold the left trigger the entire time you’re playing Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope, just stay on the lookout for four things:

  • Footprints
  • A yellow shimmer
  • An invisible object blocking your path
  • A yellow swirl

These signs indicate that there’s something nearby that you can uncover with your Scan ability. Many of the late game puzzles in Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope require you to find hidden objects and paths to proceed. And as long as you stay vigilant and look out for the signs above, you’ll never miss another hidden path, block, or ladder.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for Patch Notes

A weekly roundup of the best things from Polygon