As many Mario fans noticed yesterday, Super Mario Galaxy 2 is missing from the long-rumoured (and otherwise tasty-looking) Super Mario 3D All-Stars collection. Not only that, but it was also omitted the montage of significant Mario releases that appeared in the final few minutes of the Super Mario 25th Anniversary Direct broadcast.

The internet, predictably, wasn’t impressed, with thousands taking to social media to voice their confusion at Galaxy 2’s exclusion. The game is a favourite at Nintendo Life Towers; we waxed lyrical on its ten-year anniversary and it was one of our Staff Picks for Game of the (previous) Decade. Indeed, Nintendo Life readers voted it into the top 10 of their Game of the Decade picks.

So, while we’re certainly not grabbing our pitchforks and preparing to march (with masks, of course) on Nintendo HQ, it still begs the questions: Why is it missing from Super Mario 3D All-Stars and why did Nintendo not mention the game at all in its historical roundup at the end of the Direct broadcast?

We present some theories as to why Super Mario Galaxy 2 is missing from Super Mario 3D All-Stars, for your consideration…

With so many Mario games over the past thirty-five years, it’s hard to keep track of them all, right? The team that assembled the Direct must have just forgotten about it! They jumped on the Wii bandwagon when it released but had drifted away by 2010 – that Xbox 360 had some real winners, no?

Yes, it did, but no – of course Nintendo didn’t just ‘forget’ Galaxy 2. The Japanese Mario 35th Anniversary account included it in a rather lovely lineup photo. Whether it was excluded in some (misguided, considering the internet’s memory) attempt to not highlight to its omission from 3D All-Stars, or for some other reason entirely, it definitely wasn’t a simple clerical error.

The nostalgic ‘Medley’ at the end of the broadcast also omitted several other mainline Mario games, including New Super Mario Bros. 2, The Lost Levels (the ‘proper’ Super Mario Bros. 2 in Japan) and Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins. On that evidence, perhaps the team passed over anything with a ‘2’ in the title (or anything that rhymes with ‘2’, eh New Super Mario Bros. U?).

Obviously, many of us gamers are completionists who want everything included at all times – if something’s not mentioned, then somebody made a mistake! Something that seems like an oversight or an intentional snub was likely omitted just to keep the montage lean.

According to the Super Mario 3D All-Stars’ game page on Nintendo’s UK site, the game download weighs in at cool 4.871 GB. As the most modern game in the collection, it would be fair to assume that Super Mario Galaxy takes up the most space, so perhaps adding Galaxy 2 would have increased the overall file size enough for the collection to require a larger (and more expensive) cartridge for the physical release. Sounds possible, no?

Well, it’s tough to say without knowing exact file sizes for each game in the collection, but it seems unlikely. Switch carts exist in a range of sizes, including 4 GB and 8 GB, but at this point in the Switch’s life the cost difference to the platform holder would be negligible. Assuming that 3D All-Stars is coming on an 8GB cartridge, one would also guess that Galaxy 2 could have squeezed in that extra space.

Yes, everyone’s looking to pull their belts in this year, but Nintendo’s doing all right and we don’t see this being a likely reason why Galaxy 2 would be AWOL.

Perhaps there’s some sort of squabble going on within the development teams! Perhaps the staff behind Galaxy 2 have been disowned by Shigeru Miyamoto as Mario’s creator and Galaxy 2 director Koichi Hayashida engage in a feud that’s splitting Nintendo EPD in two, with poor Yoshiaki Koizumi caught in the middle! Perhaps it’s all going down behind the scenes at Nintendo HQ!…

Er, no. Even if there were some internal dispute (there isn’t), Galaxy 2 is an acclaimed company product with the potential to generate cold hard cash.

The limited-time availability of the game–in both physical and digital formats, remember–is puzzling. The March 31st 2021 deadline to buy the game happens to coincide with the end of the financial year, and this approach will encourage anyone sitting on the fence to buy the game regardless, while also ensuring everyone pays full price for it – this one won’t be part of any summer sales! Consumers are smarting from the economic events of 2020 and this Holiday season is going to be fiercely competitive between companies vying for your cash. With competition from a new generation of consoles, Nintendo wants to tie in as many people as possible for stocking fillers this year, and this limited-time tactic is one way to do that.

So, as a ploy to bolster Nintendo’s 2020 financials, it’s certainly cunning. We’ve seen this limited-time release strategy recently with tiny digital (and free) game Jump Rope Challenge, but a full-fat first-party physical release is a totally different ball game. That Nintendo would prevent people who buy a Switch after 31st March 2021 from paying money for these games is unimaginable, though. We’d wager that the plan is to set them all separately—for, say, $15-20 each–from April 2021 onwards, and that Galaxy 2 will be magically added to the eShop lineup to soften the blow for everyone who jumped on the collection for fear of missing out.

Galaxy 2 was supposed to be included, but the ol’ global pandemic meant it couldn’t be finished on schedule and had to be cut out. No, these remasters don’t require the same resources as building a game from the ground up, but that doesn’t mean they’re easy or quick to pump out while working from home. Perhaps it simply wasn’t ready in time.

Oof, now we’re getting into wishful thinking territory. The idea that Galaxy 2 will come as a free download at a later date for anyone who purchased 3D All-Stars is tantalising, but unlikely.

Let’s put it this way: if you were in charge of Nintendo’s bottom line and someone suggested releasing one of the company’s most critically acclaimed games as a ‘free’ add-on to a collection that’s already sold millions of copies, what would you say? Something like “On your bike, son! They’ll pay for it and they’ll like it!”, probably.

“So, did you play 3D All-Stars yet?””Yep! Oh man, it’s totes amazeballs. You?””Oh yus. Great collection. When’s Breath of the Wild 2 coming again?”

“So, did you play 3D All-Stars yet?””Yep! It’s good, but where’s Galaxy 2, man?!””I know, right? I wonder if it’s coming? I’ve been reading theories about why it wasn’t included. Seems like a no-brainer. It’s got to be coming, right?””I hope so! It’s up there with the first game for me – maybe even better. I can’t believe it’s not included. The rumours said it would be, didn’t they?””I think so? Argh, it feels kinda incomplete without it. I really hope…”
*Conversation continues for months

The fact is, Galaxy 2’s exclusion generates long-tail chatter about the game that it wouldn’t otherwise have: we’re writing about it; you’re reading about it. For all its oddball choices Nintendo generally knows what it’s doing when it comes to generating buzz – and certainly making money. In a period when the company’s release timetable has been disrupted, this and the game’s limited-time availability will certainly keep it in the conversation. Clever girl.

There are just a few theories – some less serious than others. What do you think, though? Let us know which one rings truest to you, and feel free to suggest your own in the comments below.

Gavin loves a bit of couch co-op, especially when he gets to delegate roles, bark instructions and give much-appreciated performance feedback at the end. He lives in Spain (the plain-y bit where the rain mainly falls) and his love for Banjo-Kazooie borders on the unhealthy.

I’m going with my theory that the Switch Pro will launch in 2021 and being able to play Wii games (via eshop purchase) will be one of its main selling points.That explains the limited time purchase for this AND why they left Galaxy 2 off. They want to be able to use them both as a selling point for the upgraded console next year.

It’s just annoying that it’s missing on the collection. There is almost no reason to not do that.

Well it’s not for any altruistic reasons anyway. They’ll release it paid as they love a good port so it’ll be £30 at the minimum imo. It’s not that old.

I love Galaxy 2, but idk if I would categorize it as essential in the 3d series of you have the first one there. I honestly think the first one is waaaay better and more exciting than 2. That said, it is weird how it was excluded from everything in this presentation

@Dezzy Couldn’t have put it better myself. There’s no way they’d leave it off for any reason other than wanting to sell it later.

My theory is that it’ll unlock upon completion of the other three. In the direct they had them lined up on a screen at one point. The far right looked like a 4th slot.

How about Theory #9: SMG 1 already had a HD port which was adapted to traditional controllers.

The sequel never had that treatment, so it would have been more work. But I prefer the original anyway.

I’ve got a theory! Nintendo wants to see how greedy we’ll be… asking for friggin Galaxy 2…. Heathens!

It’ll be DLC at twice the price of the original game because now you can play as Nabbit… Oh and coins, lots and lots of coins.

Galaxy 1 had a superior “story” but Galaxy 2 was the superior 3D platforming game by a smidgen. I think the factorial likelihoods that you have rated 7/10 or above are working in combination here with this issue. It’s not just one factor, but probably 2 or 3 IMO.

@BrintaPap its 3d ALL STARS not 3d most stars haha totally agree. Oh and making these remakes took next to zero effort on their part this is not covid related they just decided to exclude it for some reason

they know galaxy 2 is the best game out of that collection, they’ll remaster it separately and put a 60 dollar price tag on it

Galaxy 2 was clearly the better Galaxy game. I got mad when they they showed New Super Mario Wii but not this fantastic game.

@Snakesglowcaps It’d be pretty poor marketing to advertise the collection as worse than it actually is.

Good article covering a lot of different theories. 1 of them might even be correct. But who knows it’s Nintendo, maybe they lost the ROM. 🤣

And funnily enough, the two other games to go completely unmentioned, NSMB2 and SML2, are some of the only games I never actually got to play.

Its basically a spinoff with the ideas they had left over from the first game and isn’tas cohesive an experience. Great game for sure but its not a big deal for me that its absent.

So many people complaining when we’re getting 3 of the greatest 3d platform games ever made

I think theory 5 (standalone releases though I’d guess $20 for 64, $30 for Sunshine, $40 for Galaxy and $40 for Galaxy 2) or a theory 9 not listed (Galaxy 1 is only included because of the Nvidia Shield Wii ports and as Galaxy 2 didn’t come to the Nvidia Shield, Nintendo just skipped it).

@Dezzy I don’t think that true ask yourself this many people just bought switches during the pandemic and it got to 60 million units sold. I think every year there recessed a game to keep the momentum up the media would be crazy if you have to buy the pro to play Wii games. In conclusion, I think they’re going to reressed a game a year but they could give you galaxy 2 if you preordered the pro then galaxy 2 in 2-3 months will reressed on the switch shop for everyone

Probably keeping it for a future reveal or in-between big new game releases. After all, unless Nintendo has Odyssey 2 in the works, they need another Mario for 2022 or when the Switch Pro launches.

@BrintaPap except one of the reasons listed above or a multitude of other reasons. You may not like it but you have to assume there is a plan somewhere

I’m going with, they rushed it because of Covid and simply ran out of time and don’t want to talk about it.

I’m going to say it’s a combination of running out of time and internal politics. The Rona probably has the most to do with it, but Nintendo always sets the value of their franchises very high. It could be that internally Nintendo thought that including SMG2 would push the MSRP above the $59.99 threshold based on the value of the Mario games included in the package, so SMG2 was left out. It would be very Nintendo if that’s the case.

Either way, there’s a lot of Mario in that package already. There’s tens of hours to fully complete each of those games (even if someone has done it recently, moreso if they haven’t since the games were new). There’s lots of content here already. I’ll be very happy with this pack.

I would have preferred SM64/Galaxy/Galaxy 2 and I think those games are more fitting for the collection… Sunshine HD should have been the separate release in my opinion. Sunshine could benefit from a complete re-make to fix problems and boring spots.

Oh well… I will be buying it for SM64 and Galaxy… I actually bought Galaxy 1 & 2 together for the Wii and went straight to 2… I started 1, but never got very far and then got busy with other stuff. So I am looking forward to re-starting Galaxy on the Switch.

The inclusion of Galaxy 2 would make the collection less balanced. And since this is a limited release, it’s not really intended to be a “complete collection”. Combine this with theory 5 and it makes a lot of sense.

@Decapre I kind of just think of them as one thing; Galaxy 2 is like an elaborate expansion pack, but played back to back, the two of them make up the very best Mario experience ever. And that’s saying something

We assumed Metroid Prime Trilogy on Wii would’ve been replaced with Prime 1 and 2 being sold individually, but for North America, that REALLY didn’t happen.

@Dezzy I disagree with that theory, simply because the Wii U was able to play Wii games, and with this new Galaxy port coming out, there’s no reason the Switch shouldn’t be able to either. This isn’t like the 3DS where the original edition was supposedly unable to play SNES games, but a revised version was capable, and I don’t believe that the option to buy Wii games would be enough of a reason to convince the vast majority of people to buy a Switch Pro. Surely they’d rather make that selection available to everyone that owns a Switch, regardless of version?

The next mainline Mario game will be Galaxy 3, and they are saving Galaxy 2 for the inevitable Galaxy trilogy as a swan song for Switch Pro.

@BenAV worse than it actually is? 3 amazing ports and tons of content? Maybe Nintendo just wanted to verify we’re all a bunch of whiny bitches who will complain about anything before revealing its Unlockable…?

Theory number 8 I reckon. Get fans talking about it and craving it and sell it to them later down the line. It makes it feel special… It’s omission makes people who haven’t played it curious and want it on Switch more, especially with people hyping up how amazing it was. Nintendo’s using some psychological wizardry on their fans of late!

Don’t forget that next year is the 35th anniversary of Legend of Zelda, so all these theories about MORE Mario releases are maybe misguided considering what will no doubt be a Zelda-centric year.

??I thought it was quite obvious. Nintendo featured Mario Land 1 but did not feature Super Mario Land 2. They featured New! Super Mario Bros. but not New! Super Mario Bros. 2. Ergo, they featured Mario Galaxy 1 but not 2. They are obviously not focusing on direct sequels; but originals instead.

@Crockin this is it, really. If you are doing an ‘All-Stars’ trilogy, G2 doesn’t really have a place. Each of these games is groundbreaking in their own way, G2 is more of Galaxy but not as good. Equally, I wouldn’t expect SM64 2 or Sunshine 2 to be in this collection (if they existed that is)

I really just don’t know. I don’t have a gut instinct towards any of these ideas or any others.

At this stage it does just feel a bit saddening that it’s apparently not included in the collection. I don’t want DLC, paid or otherwise, I just want a fab collection on the cartridge.

The Wii U was backwards compatible from day 1 because it had the same CPU type as the Wii. Completely different from the Switch. The Switch would either have to emulate or port Wii games.It’s definitely possible that a slightly faster CPU is needed for proper emulation.

This is the fairest theory but I think that Nintendo wants to release the games separately after March, including Super Mario Galaxy 2. The problem is that Super Mario 3D All-Stars will still be incomplete.

One potential theory I thought of, was that even internally at Nintendo’s, Galaxy and Galaxy 2 kind of ‘blend in’ together too much. So as to not make the box-art too much ‘Galaxy’ themed, they only kept the first game. And maybe the second is an unlockable game or something, akin to how Star Fox 2 was unlockable on the SNES Mini.

I get it people always want more bang for their buck but come on. We had months of speculating and its finally here! Just be happy, its 3 games that in my opinion rock.

Are we missing the fact that thanks to the leakers we already knew Galaxy 2 wouldn’t be included?

Why are people acting shocked when we knew literally every minute detail about this collection for months?

“So, while we’re certainly not grabbing our pitchforks and preparing to march (with masks, of course) on Nintendo HQ,”

In 5 years they will re-release on the “Switch Next” as Super Mario 3D All-Stars + Galaxy 2 lol

Nintendo always has something up their sleeves. Theory 5 is a close one, but I could bet we’ll see Super Mario Galaxy 2 Deluxe as a game alongside the Switch Pro next year. (Next fiscal year)

Most likely scenario I can think of: 3d all-stars is a blockbuster>leaves the market in march 2021>comes back to market in mid-late 2021 w/galaxy 2 dlc

@Yosher Yeah, it should be an unlockable or a free download. We can’t be sure that it isn’t.

I wonder how many parents can afford this in the current economy, or even if they can, would want to spend that kind of money right now.

@Snakesglowcaps Huh? I’m saying that if the collection did indeed include Galaxy 2 then advertising it without would be selling it way short. I can’t see Nintendo doing that. They usually reveal about as much as they can prior to a game’s launch.

Still buying but disappointed that Galaxy 2 hasn’t been included. When personally I think its the best 3D Mario game to date. Hopefully it will come along eventually, luckily I still have both on the Wii.

MG and MG2 in my humble opinion are two best Mario games ever. Magical, clever, extremely diverse, with a very good time-management strategy, fantastic controls and perfect proportion of nostalgia and innovation. They never felt as claustrophobic or hollow as Odyssey. Not sorry about that.

Just a heads up: the link in the first paragraph of the article should read “35th anniversary,” not “25th anniversary.”

Someone else and I mentioned this in another comment thread but having played Galaxy 2 recently I feel like the pointer control aspects were more deeply integrated into the gameplay than with Galaxy 1. What I mean is that you had to manipulate the pointer and press the B trigger with Yoshi while also being able to quickly move and jump. I think that would be difficult in handheld mode on the switch. I think with Galaxy one the pointer usage was more optional and when it was not optional it was in more separate pointer centric sections.

I have not played Galaxy 1 recently though, so maybe it uses the pointer more than I remember from over 10 years ago when I first played through it the whole way.

As someone already said in the comments, they had already made a HD remaster of Galaxy 1 for the Nvidia Shield in China with altered controls. So it was basically already made, they were too lazy/penny pinching to port the sequel as they could get away with just the first game in the collection.

@dartmonkey “We’d wager that the plan is to set them all separately—for, say, $15-20 each–from April 2021 onwards, and that Galaxy 2 will be magically added to the eShop lineup to soften the blow for everyone who jumped on the collection for fear of missing out.”

With this, you may have salvaged my faith in Nintendo somewhat. It was very shaken by the whole time limited nonsense.

to be honest, i have no ***** idea why they ignored Galaxy 2… there is no reason, literally no technical or business reason….. it is just that they are Japanese which sometimes means to be weird


World news – GB – Feature: So, What Happened To Super Mario Galaxy 2?

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