Super Mario 64, Super Mario Sunshine and Super Mario Galaxy are the three most popular games in the Mario series. They will always be remembered for their iconic characters, their beautiful worlds and scenarios, and sometimes, unfortunately, their difficult missions. To give me an opinion on the top ten most difficult games, I recently finished all three Mario games 100% when they were released together on the Nintendo Switch. Yes, three hundred and sixty missions between three games in a month, and I challenge any reasonable person to question my honesty. Without further ado, here are the ten hardest and brightest stars in Super Mario 3D All Stars that gave me the most trouble. Keep in mind that this is an opinion and my list will be different from others, so spare me the comments like you are wrong or it was easy.
#10: Star rabbits in the snow (Super Mario Galaxy)
First of all: Tongue!
In this mission, which you’ll find in the secret Snow Capping System, you must look around this snowy planet and catch three rabbits before time runs out. As if running like crazy and dealing with the physics and controls upside down isn’t frustrating enough, we don’t have much time to play. To accomplish this mission, you first have to find and activate five panels hidden in the snow. This opens two pits on either side that you can use to attract rabbits so you can catch them more easily, but at the cost of wasting valuable time. Moreover, the rabbits themselves are hidden and must be found. There’s a lot to play, and I need to relax a little.
This mission will certainly require some repetitions to get the location of everything, but even then the game teases you with rabbits that are always just out of reach. Success is so close, the game knows it. Opening these pits is a must, so leave time and tackle this problem in a row. As much as you know, I guarantee you’ll only have a few seconds if you succeed. Personally, I had more trouble than I’d like to admit, because my stubborn, time-hating ass tried to do things my way. Believe me, don’t be like me.
#9 Purple Coin Battle Stations (Super Mario Galaxy)
You can’t even miss one.
The Purple Mission Tokens in Super Mario Galaxy are the same as the 64 and 100 Sunshine Tokens, except that they must be unlocked at the end of the game. Most missions in the purple coin are quiet walks through the level, and some are timed, but this rare mission just requires you to excel. You will start the mission on a mobile platform and have to stay there all the time, because it will lead you to a purple coin track. To stay on this platform, you have to jump, bounce and flip obstacles, which again, is reverse physics, while making sure you pick up every purple coin. There are only 100 pieces, and you need all the pieces, so even if one is missing, you have to start all over again.
For some reason, Galactica allows you to abort a mission and leave the galaxy at any time, so the failure of a mission doesn’t necessarily mean the loss of a life. So, since you can repeat this frustrating mission as many times as you feel uncomfortable, it’s only number 9. If it wasn’t possible to try again, it could be at the top of the list because at the end of the course you are literally upside down and the controls are upside down. This last part, although very minimal, was frustrating enough to be a major cause of death and recurrence. There is nothing more annoying than realizing how close you are to the light at the end of the tunnel, just to have it removed.
#8 Watermelon Festival (Super Mario Sunshine)
How can these watermelons win the competition if they burst like balloons?
Well, now that I have two Galaxy missions on the list, I felt compelled to include this so the creators wouldn’t be embarrassed that the game is too boring and simple in comparison. It’s time to get angry, because the remaining missions are a real test of patience and mental health, and I’m not someone who has a lot of both in the beginning. From number 8 there is a watermelon festival on the beach of Gelato. The world itself is very relaxing and not very big, but to say that this particular mission causes migraine in trolls is an understatement. The goal is actually very simple: Bring the biggest watermelon to the competition to win your shine.
The only catch is that you’ll always need the biggest one on top of the world, and you’ll have to lead him down gently, through a maze of enemies, and over a pedestrian bridge. Normally watermelons are dense and heavy fruits. But in the world of Mario, those bouncing bastards are too vulnerable, and if you hit something too hard, it’s torn apart, forcing you to start all over again. It’s like navigating through a maze of sharp needles with a slightly inflated balloon. Not to mention the fact that the beach is littered with these enemies that will catapult you into the air if you get too close. The same goes for your watermelon, which suffers the same fate. This mission won’t cost you any lives either, so it’s pretty much at the top of the list. But the frustration of literally going through everything that’s trying to ruin your day, just to make it come back to haunt you, threatens to blow your head off.
#7 Big Penguin Race (Super Mario 64)
MOTION: A useless piece.
In a world full of finalists, think of this early mission as the first real Super Mario 64 speed. This frustrating race, which is one of the first levels of Cool, Cool Mountain, is an unfortunate foretaste of the boredom that this game can cause with its terrible camera angles and control choices. As you start to slide down the icy slope, that big bag of blue lard rushes in front of you and forces you to act fast if you look into his cloaca involuntarily. If you take a shortcut, Mr. Penguin, you’ll be disqualified and you won’t get a star.
There are many curves and steep gradients where you have to slow down and accelerate so that you don’t die and your race is accidentally disqualified. If you pass him at any time, make sure you are wary because he will get angry and try to push you off the track. For such an early mission, the perfection he expects from you is incredibly ridiculous. Bring another life and an hour, because if you don’t get good results, you’ll have to deal with this pigeon for a very long time.
#6 Corona Mountain Blue Coins (Super Mario Sunshine)
The boat’s coming out of hell.
It is pure coincidence, but as I wrote in 2020, it is only natural that one of the most gruesome missions in this entire collection contains the word Corona. Technically, it’s the last thing you have to do in Super Mario Sunshine, because it’s the step that leads to the final boss against Bowser. Depending on how many lights you’ve collected in the other steps, you may even be able to unlock it for some final worlds, but ending the game prematurely is just stupid and you should be ashamed to even think about it. The biggest difficulty on Mount Corona is that the whole level is surrounded by lava, not the lava you know from Super Mario 64. No, instead of burning your ass in a comic way and losing a little of your health, you get totally Instagrammed by this inferno.
In the first half of Mount Corona you’ll perform timed jumps on platforms, alternating between safe landings and death by spikes. It is quite easy to get by without too much trouble, unless you are careless, and you are rewarded with an extra life every time you succeed. It is a common theme in Mario games to feel sorry for the free life before taking up again with an unfair and absurd task. The second half of Covid… Corona Mountain (cough) is no exception. There are 8 blue coins scattered on the lava card, and you have to collect them all if you want a final score of 100%.
The only way to get them is to move your boat with the FLUUD water sprinkler without literally touching anything other than the blue parts, because the slightest contact will make your boat tip over. How can a boat pass through lava but not withstand a partial impact against a wall? You know what, you idiot.
The real puzzle is the fact that because of physics you have to turn in the opposite direction to use the mechanics of the water to move the boat forward. This means you have to use the reverse control to manage it. There is so much going on at this level that it is best to spray in small bursts in order to have a better chance of maintaining your composure and having a better reaction time. If you go too fast and too fast, panic and crashes are inevitable. Fortunately, if you die at some point, the blue coins you’ve already collected will be collected forever.
Since you have a free life from the beginning, this is also a mission you can technically do until the end. It is very difficult to make progress if you literally touch everything on the map and you have to face backward control. She could easily have been in the top three if you hadn’t had the benefits you mentioned earlier. Make no mistake, it’s 6 out of 360 for a very good reason.
* Disclimator* The last half of that list is pale in comparison to the absolute nightmare I’m going to write about.
#5 100 pieces tap-tac-toe (Super Mario 64)
Like the sands of time, I feel my patience fading.
The world of Tick Tock Clock is a real puzzle, no matter which star you’re on. Designed to allow the player to climb on the clock lanes, fall at any time, it is almost certain that he will die, unless you have to start at the beginning. The way in which the hour hands are positioned when entering the stage determines the speed and randomness of the platform’s movements.
One would think that stopping the scene completely would probably make things easier, but some levels require movement, so the player doesn’t have to perform very risky maneuvers to get through certain parts of the scene. However, the biggest disappointment was the collection of 100 coins in the Tick Tock Clock. I think you can only collect a few coins above 100 coins per level, so there’s no real margin of error. You have to kill all possible enemies and open all crates, which spread the coins around inappropriately. You have to find the blue coin switch and activate it, and then hurry up and make sure you don’t miss anything before the very short delay is over. The slightest mistake and you have to ruin your life and start over.
This world is the height of stress. You are under so much pressure not to ruin it, and there are sometimes problems with depth perception when you write at this level. I can’t tell you how many times I thought I’d end up on a certain platform, only to be completely crushed, to fall and think about quitting for the week. Not to mention the fact that the camera angles and controls in this game are among the worst and have not been improved in this version, making this mission a total disaster and a test for the well-being of the player.
#4 Mario Wing Over the Rainbow (Super Mario 64)
Worst mechanics combined with unnecessary kickback. Exactly what I’ve always wanted.
Anyone who feels he has to unintentionally bring a player back to a certain level because he has failed a mission, must be dragged away and mercilessly be beaten and chopped to pieces. I hate the flight mechanics of Super Mario 64, and this mission is the final blow to my patience and tolerance for it. You have to fly and make cannons in the air, collecting eight red coins on different cloud platforms of different heights. Some of the red pieces are placed in delicate areas that require greater precision, so be prepared. The use of the cap is limited in time, so you have to constantly look for another cap before you screw it on completely. If you try to jump the clouds, you lose the momentum and you fall. Fortunately, you don’t lose your life, but there’s a catch. A very dirty, devious and despicable catch.
Each time you fail, you will be sent to the beginning of the game, outside of Peach Castle, and must return to the end of the game where this secret mission is located. I’d rather waste time anytime. I don’t care that the game is designed to earn realism points, because if you fall out of the sky, it’s perfectly appropriate to place yourself outside the castle, where the sky is. What about the chimney I came into the castle with to get on stage? What the hell are you doing? It’s not, so stop mocking me and wasting my time pulling out every time this difficult mission gets the best of me.
#3 100 rainbow coins (Super Mario 64)
So many expectations, so many rewards.
A nightmare for troublemakers: In Rainbow Ride, you should remain seated as you slowly but surely reach your destination on the flying carpet of Rainbow Road. If you step away from the mat for too long, it disappears and you have to retreat and start over or commit suicide, depending on where you are. Every star in the world requires you to pick yourself up at a certain place, and each one requires your patience as you walk on the lost carpet. Not to mention the urge to actually commit suicide when the slightest error means that the slow process of postponement has to be restarted.
Now imagine literally having to visit every branch of this nightmarish fuel world to collect 100 coins. Fortunately there is a plot that is not impossible to reach, with 8 red pieces on 16 pieces and a handful of blue pieces on 5 pieces. However, to collect the blue coins, you’ll need to make a handful of perfect wall jumps in a short period of time to make sure you don’t have room to dodge. If you can’t, I’m almost 100% sure you have to start over. Don’t go desperate for coins to find what you missed, the punishment is greater than the reward. This world is a garbage fire, every mission is unbearable, and the idea of having to go literally anywhere is an insult to the mental health of the average person just trying to enjoy a video game.
#2 Water Lily Walk (Super Mario Sunshine)
I have no words, except good luck.
What at first glance looks like a simple river is in fact a complex and frustrating death trap from hell designed to torture you and bring you nothing but misery. Your main goal is to jump on the water lily pad and, like Mt. Corona will use the FLUUD water jet mechanism to move through the flowing water and collect 8 red coins. Well, because you can swim in Super Mario Sunshine, for some reason, the water at this level is apparently poisoned for every ass in the world, so you can’t even touch the surface of the water. So no, you can’t just swim around collecting red coins. To make matters worse, the water lily you ride on starts to fall apart as you ascend, and you fall into the water and let the water carry you downstream. So yes, you’re required to use your FLOOD. But wait, there’s more! If you use FLUUD too often, you are sure to slip one of the red pieces.
Did I mention it’s hard to reach that level? Yes, you have to drive the Yoshi through two slow boats, taking care not to fall into the water, because the Yoshi is apparently made of paint (yes, I don’t know). It is a good challenge of five to seven minutes to reach this level. Then why am I talking about this? Because if you miss a red coin, your first reaction will be to pick it up at the end of the path, hoping it will take you back to the beginning, so you can keep picking up what you missed. But no, Super Mario Sunshine is a hated game played unfairly.
Instead, this trumpet takes you to the beginning of the big world and forces you to go to all that trouble to get on stage! And when you come back, all the red pieces will be there again and your progress will have been for nothing. It’s like grabbing a dollar in the middle of the street, being hit by a car so hard that you land on the sidewalk, get up, dust off, look outside and say: Hey, look at the dollar! That should make you feel really stupid. The only way, and I mean the only way, to get ahead is to do the biggest thing Barnum and Bailey have ever seen and return to the narrow path the parties have planned. This mission is a real test of that patience and undoubtedly creates the most intense and challenging pressure to not ruin anything. I had to go back three times in the race in which I ended up, and I was about to drop out completely. It’s an absolutely annoying mini-game, and if you’re not a finalist, you skip it; it’s not worth wasting money on your well-being.
#1 Pachinko (Super Mario Sunshine)
This is a situation that is bad and full of disrespect.
So you’ve had plenty of time to familiarise yourself with the controls of Super Mario Sunshine. They have had time to familiarise themselves with the new mechanics of the FLUUD, and these are different types of water jets. Meet the Pachinko board where your progress and knowledge of the game becomes irrelevant and everything you thought you knew about the game was a lie. I think the developers of the game were a little forgetful when it came to checking if this mission was a buggy, because it’s almost a playable nightmare. Your goal is to jump into the giant pachinko board and pray that you land in one of the smallest pachinko slots, picking up a red coin. If this is not achieved, death is instantaneous and therefore perfection is required.
The biggest problem with this mess is the first launch. As soon as you come aboard, your movement will be severely disrupted and distorted. You have to be perfect with the amount of water you use and when you use it to somehow end up in one of these slots. I have the impression that it is a matter of muscle memory and that anything that is not foreseen is unacceptable. It’s one of those missions where you’re so consumed by your lack of control that you talk out loud, infidel, you’re unaware of the nonsense that just came out of your mouth.
Not to mention the fact that after collecting the 8 red coins, the glitter appears in the middle of the largest slot on the board and you have to make a last desperate jump. And for some strange reason, if you drop water on one of the last three posts that stop the shine, Mario somehow slips out of the slot into a fit and dies, causing the player to cry out : WHAT’S GOING ON? It’s an unforgivable waste that many consider the real nightmare of PTSD in all Mario’s. Of course it’s mine.
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