The internet has taken a newfound interest in one of the featured enemies from the Super Mario Maker 2 Nintendo Direct. I’m of course talking about the Angry Sun. Although not a new addition in the sequel, this does give us a prime moment to look back at this hotheaded baddie.
The Angry Sun made its debut in the World 2 desert stage of Super Mario Bros. 3. It does nothing at first aside from glowering down at you. Once you reach the halfway point, however, that’s when it gets really upset! Suddenly the sun is swooping down with no regard for your safety.
When first seeing this as a child, it’s understandable to be freaked out. I mean, come on. The sun is out to kill you! And I don’t mean in a gradual sunburn-you-to-a-crisp type of way. Thankfully, clearing the stage or a well-placed Koopa shell will take it out, though.
Destroying the sun certainly sparks a number of questions. How come there are no adverse effects on the stage or the Mushroom Kingdom? What made the sun so upset in the first place? What are Mario’s views on climate change? Nintendo’s lore only goes so far.
Aside from another appearance in World 8-2 and reappearing in the Super Mario All-Starsport, we wouldn’t see the Angry Sun for a long while. It would make a TV appearance, however, on The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3 animated show. Specifically, it appeared in the episode “Sneaky Lying Cheating Giant Ninja Koopas” (nice TMNT reference), where it takes offense at Mario exclaiming that the sun was in his eyes. After acquiring raccoon powers, the plumbers fool the sun into thinking they weren’t Mario and Luigi. Yes, this was considered plot development in a 1990 children’s show.
The next game appearance for the Angry Sun wouldn’t come until Mario Kart DS. Here it acts as a looming presence over the Desert Hills course, where it rains down fireballs. This is the first time we see the cantankerous star attack other characters aside from Mario and Luigi also.
Could the sun simply be guarding its home? Does it take residence over specific areas and simply wants to be left alone? Considering its primary function, it’s hard to say if the Angry Sun gets much privacy at all. When night comes, that could serve as a break. But otherwise, it’s hard not to take notice of a big, hot orb of light with a grumpy face. Perhaps the moon from The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask could give it some pointers.
With the return of the Angry Sun in Super Mario Maker 2, we also get some different iterations of the enemy. Below we see the designs depending on which theme you’re in. From left to right, there’s Super Mario Bros. 3, Super Mario Bros., Super Mario World, and New Super Mario Bros. U.
Either the Angry Sun has an extended family, or we are bearing witness to a Mario multiverse. It’s worth mentioning that as the graphical fidelity goes up, the sun appears less and less angry. Perhaps its been waiting for later console generations to feel comfortable in its own… uhh… light. That or the NSMBU version is some sort of midlife crisis. Either theory seems acceptable.