Super Mario Sunshine (2002)

by Nish
7 minutes read


As Mario’s second 3D adventure, Super Mario Sunshine introduced innovative gameplay mechanics and characters that have become staples in the series. Its mix of action, puzzle-solving, and exploration set a new standard for 3D platformers.


Released in 2002 for the Nintendo GameCube, Super Mario Sunshine is a landmark 3D platformer that follows Mario’s journey to clear his name and save Isle Delfino from pollution and graffiti. Alongside the introduction of F.L.U.D.D., a water-powered device, Mario’s quest is filled with challenges, secrets, and the debut of now-iconic characters in the Mario series.


Sunshine and Scum: A Vacation Gone Wrong in Super Mario Sunshine (2002)
Super Mario Sunshine (2002) throws a wrench into Mario’s usual vacation plans. Instead of lounging on pristine beaches, our mustachioed hero finds himself framed for polluting a tropical paradise and tasked with cleaning it up. Buckle up for a watery adventure filled with a mischievous culprit, a unique tool, and a mission to save Princess Peach once again.

The game whisks Mario, Princess Peach, Toadsworth, and a group of Toads away to Isle Delfino, a beautiful island paradise. Visions of swaying palm trees and crystal-clear waters quickly turn sour as the group arrives to find the island coated in a thick, gooey mess. The blame falls squarely on Mario’s shoulders – a shadowy figure resembling him, later revealed to be Bowser Jr., has wreaked havoc across the island.

The island’s authorities, less than thrilled with the eco-disaster, slap Mario with a community service order. Forget relaxing; it’s cleanup time! To aid him in this unexpected task, Professor E. Gadd equips Mario with the Flash Liquidizer Ultra Dousing Device (F.L.U.D.D.). This backpack-mounted contraption is no ordinary water gun; it allows Mario to spray a powerful stream of water, essential for tackling the goop and restoring Isle Delfino’s natural beauty.

F.L.U.D.D.’s functionality extends far beyond cleaning. Mario can use it to propel himself through the air, hover briefly, and unearth hidden secrets. These newfound abilities become crucial in Mario’s quest to collect Shine Sprites, the island’s power source. Shadow Mario has hidden these Sprites throughout Isle Delfino, and retrieving them is key to not only restoring the island’s shine (literally) but also unlocking new areas to explore.

Isle Delfino boasts a variety of vibrant environments, each with its own unique challenges and secrets to uncover. From the sunny shores of Bianco Hills to the bustling Pianta Village, Mario navigates diverse landscapes. He explores the scorching Corona Mountain, braves the eerie nighttime levels of Sirena Beach, and even delves into the dank Geheimnis Forest. Each area presents its own set of enemies, puzzles, and Shine Sprites to collect, keeping the gameplay fresh and engaging.

The mastermind behind the mess is none other than Bowser Jr., the offspring of Mario’s arch-nemesis, Bowser. Armed with a magic paintbrush, Bowser Jr. has been gleefully defacing the island and causing chaos. As Mario progresses, he encounters Bowser Jr. at the end of each area, facing off in boss battles that test Mario’s newfound skills with F.L.U.D.D.

While scrubbing the island clean is a significant part of the game, Mario’s ultimate goal remains rescuing Princess Peach. Bowser Jr. has kidnapped her, and Mario must collect enough Shine Sprites to access his secret lair and save her. The journey is filled with obstacles and environmental puzzles, making for a thrilling race against time to save the princess and restore Isle Delfino’s beauty.

Through perseverance and a whole lot of water spraying, Mario prevails. He defeats Bowser Jr., rescues Princess Peach, and returns the stolen Shine Sprites. With the island gleaming once more, the grateful Delfino residents celebrate Mario’s heroic efforts.However, the ending offers a hint of future trouble. Depending on how many Shine Sprites Mario collects, the game offers two different conclusions. With less than all the Sprites gathered, a lingering shadow suggests Bowser Jr. might be up to no good again. A complete collection, however, shows a heartwarming image of Mario and his friends enjoying a well-deserved vacation on the now-pristine Isle Delfino.

Super Mario Sunshine takes a beloved character and throws him into an unexpected situation. With its unique water-based mechanics, colorful environments, and a mischievous villain, the game offers a refreshing twist on the classic Mario formula. Whether you’re a longtime fan or a newcomer to the series, Super Mario Sunshine’s blend of platforming, exploration, and environmental cleanup provides a delightful and memorable adventure.


Mario, Princess Peach, Toadsworth, Bowser Jr., Petey Piranha, Gooper Blooper, Piantas, Nokis, Shadow Mario, F.L.U.D.D., and Bowser are key characters. Each brings unique challenges and storylines to Mario’s adventure.


The gameplay combines 3D platforming with puzzle-solving elements. Players use F.L.U.D.D. to spray water, hover, or propel Mario, interacting with the environment to solve puzzles and defeat enemies. The game features a variety of stages, each with multiple episodes, including challenges, boss battles, and secret levels.


Super Mario Sunshine remains a highlight of the Mario series and the 3D platforming genre. Its creative gameplay, memorable characters, and vibrant setting have left a lasting impact on the gaming community.

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