Super Mario Odyssey Does Post-Game Content Right

Give me a reason to keep playing and I'll keep on playing.

Opinion by Nadia Oxford, .

Need help capturing enemies, beating bosses, or moon-gazing? Check out our Super Mario Odyssey guides.

I'm not good with endings. I was always that dumb kid who'd weep at the end of a book, TV series, or movie. For a long time, I dreaded finishing great games, too.

See, it wasn't so long ago when a video game was invariably a compete, sealed package. You got your beginning, your middle, and your end. Finito. No DLC, no patches. Even sequels rarely picked up where the previous story left off. Once the characters you loved exited stage left on an airship at the end of the credit roll, that was usually the last you'd see of them. Sure, you could start a new game, but you'd just walk over the footsteps you left on your first adventure. Never again would you have new experiences with these characters.

So here's my dirty secret: I'm glad we live in an age where remakes, DLC, story expansions, and robust post-game content are commonplace. I can spend more time with the characters I love. I can delay that last goodbye for just a little longer.

Nevermind that almost every attempt to build on Final Fantasy VII's story has yielded only pain and tears.

That's not to say I hate games that close the book and tell me "That's it. We're done. Go outside." I'm a big girl; I know good times can't last forever. I'm just particularly appreciative of games that give me a good reason to keep on playing once I've accomplished my biggest and most pressing task.

Super Mario Odyssey, for example, has some excellent post-game content, and I hope other big releases take a few cues from the globe-trotting plumber.

(!!!Spoilers for Super Mario Odyssey's ending and post-game follow!!!)

After Mario busts up the wedding between Peach and Bowser, you're allowed to visit the Mushroom Kingdom. This is cool on its own, as the small level is a re-creation of the courtyard from Super Mario 64. You can even meet Yoshi on the castle's roof, and buy a delightfully polygonal costume that calls back to Mario's boxier days.

Mario can only be described as "sleek" and "chiseled" when he's a Banzai Bill.

But there's more to the visit than just futzing around in a courtyard of nostalgia. You quickly learn Princess Peach has vanished again-this time seemingly of her own volition. She packed a suitcase and took off with Cappy's sister to parts unknown.

The Toads are, as usual, beside themselves. Instead of attempting to find Peach themselves (I guess those stubby little legs can't take them very far; even the unusually brave Captain Toad needs to rest often), they beg Mario to find their monarch and drag her back.

Right off the bat, Super Mario Odyssey gives us a good story-based reason to keep on playing. Of course you want to find Peach and congratulate her for just packing her shit up and taking off. Good call, girl.

You soon learn Peach isn't angry; she just needed a vacation. You find her when you re-visit levels, and she's happy to bless you with more Power Moons. Peach-hunting is fun for a couple of reasons. First, there's a bit of a "Where's Waldo?" vibe that asks you to guess which Kingdom Peach is going to next-then you have to find her, which is a challenge in larger Kingdoms. Second, Peach changes her wardrobe from Kingdom to Kingdom, and her outfits are very fashionable and adorable.

Hey Nintendo, DLC idea here: I'd like more excuses to be a dinosaur, please. Thanks.

As you track down Peach, you learn the many different races populating Mario Odyssey mingled after Mario defeated Bowser. They're all visiting each others' Kingdoms now, which results in some funny background jokes: I saw a giant snail-person from the Seaside Kingdom and an anthromorphic fork from the Luncheon Kingdom argue for the love of a woman from New Donk City.

Of course, there are a couple more Kingdoms to unlock, though they're more like contained challenges for the hardcore. To be honest, when I learned Peach departed the Mushroom Kingdom with a suitcase, I'd hoped she was off to Isle Delfino from Super Mario Sunshine. Mucking around in a high-resolution realization of Peach's courtyard from Super Mario 64 is a trip, and I wouldn't mind a small slice of paradise. Free DLC idea here, Nintendo.

I digress. The point is, Mario Odyssey gives you several good reasons not to hit the power button after "The End" pops up. There's still a little more story to experience, some new lands to explore, some new costumes to collect, and tons of Moons to gather. Tons and tons of Moons.

Nintendo clearly wants you to keep frolicking once Bowser's been put down, and it's hard to say no.

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Comments 9

  • Avatar for cldmstrsn #1 cldmstrsn 5 months ago
    This is awesome! after the weekend I havent had much time to pick it back up but when I do hoo boy get ready power moons!
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  • Avatar for jeffcorry #2 jeffcorry 5 months ago
    I love the amount of post game content in recent Mario games. Galaxy 2 had extra green stars, 3D Land and World had copious amounts of levels (3D Land in particular). I would love to see more content like Galaxy 2's Throwback Galaxy. I love seeing Mario 64 levels redone. I would pay more money than I would like to admit for DLC of remakes of Mario 64 or Sunshine levels. Just for the chance to play them with updated controls and camera work.
    Long live Mario!
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  • Avatar for link6616 #3 link6616 5 months ago
    It sounds less post game and more just during game.
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  • Avatar for LBD_Nytetrayn #4 LBD_Nytetrayn 5 months ago
    @link6616 The big bad is beaten, the ending plays, the main story is told, and the credits roll. What else would you call what comes after that?
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  • Avatar for link6616 #5 link6616 5 months ago
    @LBD_Nytetrayn But most of the content is post game right? So doesn't that really mean the "game" is the tutorial and the "post game" is the game?

    I know I'm just making awful semantic arguments, I just find it really weird how "post game" can be most of the game.
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  • Avatar for link6616 #6 link6616 5 months ago
    Maybe post story would be something I'd gel with more?
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  • Avatar for VotesForCows #7 VotesForCows 5 months ago
    @link6616 I don't think we've developed the language to talk about this accurately in video games yet. The same issue came up with Nier Automata - three playthroughs, but really its just one playthrough since new story is coming through the whole time.

    As issues go, its not much of one. But it is interesting.
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  • Avatar for link6616 #8 link6616 5 months ago
    @VotesForCows This is a minor issue to say the least! I tend to forget the internet harshes up the tone of whatever anyone says.

    It would be nice to have better language, because as you say, post game fails quite a number of games as a term. But it's just such a young medium, and even the idea of post-game content is so so new.
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  • Avatar for donkeyintheforest #9 donkeyintheforest 5 months ago
    While the game was awesome and I am super glad I played it, I am not finding the postgame nearly as fun as I did in BotW (I originally beat it at about 80 shrines so there were still plenty left to find after). There are some fun mini levels through pipes and stuff that open up, but it mostly feels like you are just trying to look under every staircase and around every corner for Moons. It's more akin to hunting for koroks than doing the shrines in Zelda. Not like I was a completionist in BotW either; I guess the new Nintendo technique is to overwhelm you with so much that you just play til you're full.

    I beat the main story of Odyssey within 24 hours of buying it and that included a full night's sleep and a couple episodes of stranger things. BotW took a lot longer than that for me. The exploration was just so much more fun. I think the BotW is a leaps and bounds better game, but I'll def be there if they offer any DLC for Odyssey haha.
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