Part of the fun of exploring Super Mario Odyssey is finding all of the different Easter eggs. It really shows just how much Nintendo has crammed into this game. The best part is that they aren’t as obnoxiously shoved in your face as they are in other Mario games. Because of that, there are a lot of Easter eggs that may have passed you by.
So let’s take a look at some of the more obscure Easter eggs and other secrets in Super Mario Odyssey.
Warning! Spoilers ahead.
1. Bowser’s Musical Theme Throwbacks
Even the music features fun callbacks.
2. Mario’s Mechanic Suit
Mario dons tons of outfits that are direct copies of ones he wears in his various other game appearances. The Mechanic Outfit Mario can buy from the Crazy Cap store is one of the most obscure. Both him and his brother Luigi can be seen dressed in the same outfit for the promotional art and instruction manual for Famicom Grand Prix II: 3D Hot Rally, a racing game released only for the Family Computer Disk System in Japan.
But that’s not all. The sleeves of the outfit also contain sponsors like Bowser Oil – the same sponsors whose banners appeared along the tracks of Mario Kart 8.
3. Secrets of the Odyssey
The ship you fly around in has some secrets of its own. Normally you enter the ship through the front door and fly it to other kingdoms by throwing your hat on the globe outside. But if you enter the pipe sticking out of the back as if it were a warp pipe, you can enter the Odyssey that way as well. You can also ground pound a hatch at the top of the ship.
The globe outside the Odyssey has a pretty hidden detail as well. If you repeatedly jump on the globe, you will play music box versions of either Jump Up, Super Star or the Fossil Falls theme depending on which kingdom you’re in.
4. Cat Mario & Peach
In some of the more obscure corners of the kingdoms, you may find a sprite of Mario or Peach dressed as cats. Hitting the Mario sprite with Cappy will grant you 10 coins and hitting Peach will grant you a life heart.
Cat Mario & Peach come from the cat power up in Super Mario 3D World on the Wii U. Not only that, but the sprites are modeled directly after the unlockable costumes in Super Mario Maker.
5. New Donk City’s Donkey Kong References
The references to Donkey Kong in New Donk City go well beyond its name, its mayor, and its festival. The licence plates on the taxis read 1981-ND, a reference to the release date for the original arcade game. The street signs are all named after Donkey Kong Country characters such as Cranky Kong and King K. Rool.
But a more hidden reference comes after the end of the game. If you talk to Pauline and answer her quiz correctly, you can give her a birthday gift. The gift, a pink purse, is hidden in between city hall and the skyscraper to the right of it. But it’s not just any purse, it’s the same pink purse that gave you extra points in Donkey Kong. It even plays the corresponding sound effect when you pick it up.
6. Mario Party References
Mario’s Cowboy Outfit is almost identical to his Cowboy Outfit in Mario Party 2, which is most prominent on the box art for the game.
The Goombas wearing hats in the Seaside Kingdom look very similar to Captain Goomba in the Goomba’s Booty Boardwalk map in Mario Party 8. Not even the Mario Party games are safe from callbacks.
7. The Moai Statues
In the game, you can find a Moai head wearing sunglasses. Capturing it allows you to see invisible platforms by putting on its sunglasses.
This character may be a reference to the Tokotoko from Super Mario Land, stone moai heads found in the Easton Kingdom. They appear as regular enemies while their boss, Hiyoihoi, appears as the third boss in the game. They even wear sunglasses just like their Odyssey counterparts.
Also, when their shades are down, they can occasionally hum along to the music.
8. Final Boss Secret Dialogue
According to GameXplain, the final boss’ dialogue changes depending on what outfit you’re wearing. He could comment on you wearing a historical costume like the Pirate Outfit, comment on you wearing a familiar costume such as those based on other Mario games, try his hardest not to appear afraid if wearing a spooky costume like the Clown costume (or just boxers), and more.
9. Pause Menu Music Secret
DPadGamer discovered a neat musical trick you can do in the pause menu. Each option in the pause menu plays a different sound when you highlight it. If you press pause, options, choose mode, and then go back, you get a jingle strikingly similar to the theme of the Comet Observatory in Super Mario Galaxy.
10. Sleepy Doggo
So you may already know that Mario can fall asleep if you leave the controller alone for a bit. You may even know that he talks in his sleep and that a bird can fly on his nose. You also may know that you can play fetch with a fedora-wearing dog in some of the kingdoms. But what you may not know is what happens when you combine the two. If Mario falls asleep while the dog is following you around, the dog will join you for a nap. Awww.
11. World 1-1
In New Donk City, you can find a line of people stretching into a movie theater. If you cut in line like a jerk and enter the theater, you’ll see that the movie is the intro screen to the original Super Mario Bros. And if you enter the warp pipe to the left, you can play through a recreation of the first level of the game. It even has the same secret area, this time containing a hidden Power Moon.
12. Mario’s Outfits Are Based Off a Desk Calendar
Mario’s Swimwear, Japanese Noble, and Samurai outfits are identical to the pieces of artwork featured in a 2016 desk calendar offered as one of the last rewards for Club Nintendo.
Speaking of the Samurai Outfit, it also made an appearance on Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto’s T-Shirt during the Nintendo Switch debut on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.
While we’re on the subject of Japanese inspirations…
13. Mario’s Tanooki Statue Form
Mario’s tanooki statue form from Super Mario Bros. 3 and Super Mario 3D Land makes an appearance in the game. All you need to do is capture one of the statues in Bowser’s Kingdom.
The tanooki form itself is inspired by the tanuki, or Japanese raccoon dog, who are said to have magical powers according to Japanese folklore. Statues of tanuki are fairly common around Japan according to Nintendo Life.
The Mushroom Kingdom is just one big Super Mario 64 reference. You can even turn into your low poly counterpart by purchasing the outfit in the Crazy Cap store. You can even find paintings hidden in the level that warp you to remixed boss battles by jumping into them. Even the Purple Coins are modeled after the coins found in the game. But it’s biggest throwback is on top of Peach’s castle.
That’s right, Yoshi is on top of the castle just like in Super Mario 64. This time you don’t have to collect all of the collectibles to reach him; you just need to activate the scarecrow on the left side of the castle. And instead of granting you tons of extra lives, you are able to control Yoshi complete with his flutter jump and tongue.
But the references go even deeper than that. The fruit you can eat with Yoshi around the Mushroom Kingdom are modeled after the ones found in Super Mario World. He also disappears when touching water just like he does in Super Mario Sunshine (though it’s not as horrific as it doesn’t show Yoshi disintegrating like in that game).
Bonus Easter Egg: You can find a boom box near the plaza in front of Peach’s Castle that plays the Japanese version of Jump Up, Super Star.
15. The Reference to Super Mario 64’s Urban Legend
After purchasing the unique outfit for the Mushroom Kingdom, you can head to a door locked by a Toad to get to a recreation of the back courtyard of Peach’s castle. If you throw your cap at the star statue in the middle, you get a Power Moon whose achievement title is “Totally Classic!”
Kotaku writes that the Power Moon hidden in the star statue may be a reference to an old urban legend surrounding Super Mario 64. Players claimed that the inscription on the statue read either “Eternal Star” or “L Is Real 2401,” with the latter interpretation implying that Luigi is playable in the game. This caused many a fan theory to rise on how to unlock him, with all of them being untrue.
Now if only Luigi was playable in Super Mario Odyssey for real. Oh well, at least you can unlock his costume.