Last week I wrote a little about finishing New Super Mario Brothers Wii, and remarked that all I had left to do was to collect all the Big Coins and complete World 9. This was derived from the easily-found requirements to “five-star” the game:
Star 1: Beat the game.
Star 2: Beat every normal level.
Star 3: Collect all 207 star coins in the first 8 worlds.
Star 4: Collect all 24 star coins in world 9.
Star 5: Beat every level, find every secret goal and use all of the warp cannons.
Piece of piss, I thought. Even with World 9 noticeably amping the difficulty, I figured that the above feats would all be doable in time. Sure, there was a little backtracking for a couple of skipped levels and secret exits that I hadn’t mentioned, but I was confident (despite my previous comments) that I could manage that pretty quickly.
But then I discovered something new:
Sparkling Stars: Beat the game without Super Guide appearing.
Such is my platforming cack-handedness, the Super Guide appeared often in my playthrough of New Super Mario Brothers Wii – I love the way that the Super Guide’s Luigi is positively timid, in stark contrast to the high-speed ninja-rific antics of the other Hint Movies. So, alas, no Sparkly Stars were appearing on that save-file. I started an internal dialogue; should I restart the game in an attempt to get some Sparkly Stars? or should I just push on for my five-star completion and leave it at that?
…well, it was a no-brainer, really. I bought the game, I love the game, so it’s time to accept responsibility for my actions and step up to the plate. I started a new game, completed the first couple of levels without incident, and then became utterly terrified: I started thinking about a couple of key levels, like the end of Worlds 5 and 8, and became utterly convinced that I was going to be unable to overcome the task I’d just set myself.
The biggest problem I could foresee was the fact that NSMBWii doesn’t allow you to freely save your game until after you’ve completed the Bowser’s Castle level on World 8; this meant that a series of completely flukish levels would have to be strung together for a mid-world save-point. This sounded highly unlikely to me, so I hit the interwebs for the shortest route to the end-game. As usual, YouTube came up trumps with an amazing speedrun by Dread Phanna:
Obviously, there’s spoilers galore in those videos – and I highly recommend you avoid the last one unless you’ve finished the game yourself. After all, that last level is one of the gaming highlights of the year for me.
The great thing about the speedrun is it highlighted the fastest route to completion, leveraging secret exits and cannons galore. And so, with a couple of days practise, I managed to get my first Sparkly Star :)
Of course, now I’ve got to go and get the other four stars (as detailed above) whilst maintaining my Sparklies; that’s being aided by the fact that I spend a lot of time practising on my first save-file, before popping over to my Sparkly save-file. It’s steady going at the moment – I’m up to the Castle of World 5 – but this is where it starts getting interesting.
I’m expecting much hair-pulling this week :)