Mario veterans won’t exactly be shocked to learn “Super Mario Galaxy 2” revolves around its eponymous hero’s efforts to save Princess Peach from the clutches of Bowser, who’s once again kidnapped here. After all, fans of the games keep coming back for the gameplay, not the plot twists. But could “SMG2” have had both? Here’s a tongue-firmly-in-cheek look at a few possibilities:
Luigi’s in on it: Brother has been betraying brother ever since the days of Cain and Abel, so to learn that Luigi’s been stabbing Mario in the back for the entirety of “Super Mario Galaxy 2” would simply be continuing a great tradition. Narratively, it’s all set up. How many times does Mario just happen to run into Luigi on his quest to save Peach? It’s a big universe out there, yet our man in green seems to get there first. He’s probably running ahead in each level, setting traps or otherwise turning entire planets full of living things against “SMG2’s” hero. On my journey through “Super Mario Galaxy 2,” I played as Luigi whenever the game gave me the opportunity. What better way to keep an eye on Mario’s conniving, jealous brother? Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer.
She’s just not that into you: After all those serial kidnappings, you couldn’t blame Princess Peach if she didn’t start to feel a little Stockholm syndrome toward Bowser. Heck, the seeds for this plot twist are right there in the notes she sends Mario through the spaceship postman. “I am very far away right now. But I’m OK!” Yes, of course, she’s perfectly all right because she’s fallen in love with her captor, and will only spurn Mario once he shows up to rescue her.
Mario’s been played: If Hollywood has taught gamers one thing, it’s this: Never trust the heavyset. From Newman in “Seinfeld” to Jabba the Hutt, TV and movies are filled with overweight characters with sinister motives. In that vein, players should know not to trust Lubba, the full-figured, pants-wearing purple star, any farther than they can throw him. He’s always right there, peering over Mario’s shoulder as he pilots the “faceship.” And every time Mario returns with a new power star, the overeager Lubba’s greets him on arrival. Heck, Lubba even keeps a menagerie of every power-up Mario collects. Is it possible this guy is simply using Mario to stockpile a vast, mushroomy arsenal and enough power stars to fuel the world’s largest hydrogen bomb? Gamers would never forget the moment when Lubba tells Mario that “A man chooses. A slave obeys.”