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Odysseywas the first game in the Mario Bros. franchise to be released
for the Nintendo Switch. Once
again, Mario was tasked with
rescuing Princess Peach from the
clutches of Bowser. The game,
released on October 27, 2017, saw a return to the 3D open worlds from Super Mario 64and Super Mario Sunshineand
a life meter last seen in Super Mario Galaxy. However,
the traditional power-up system was replaced by a new ability/sidekick: Cappy. Cappy was a spirit that
resembled Mario’s cap and allowed him to possess various beings in the world in
order to use their unique abilities to complete objectives and pass obstacles. All
the while, Mario had to collect Regional Coins and Power Moons in each level to
progress and purchase new hats and costumes needed for certain tasks.
The game was a hit with fans and critics, being
called one of the best in the series and taking home numerous awards. By the
end of the year, it had sold over nine million copies. To help promote the
game, Nintendo partnered with Kellogg’s
to release a limited-edition cereal: Super Mario Cereal. This marked the first time Mario had headlined a cereal since Ralston’s Nintendo
Cereal System at the end of the 1980s. The cereal was officially released
in December of 2017 but didn’t hit store shelves until early 2018.
Back of the box.
Ironically, even though Odyssey doesn’t feature any of the usual power-ups from the franchise,
the cereal based on it is full of them. The cereal pieces were shaped like Starmen with a hint of berry flavoring.
The cereal also had marshmallows shaped like Question Mark Blocks, 1-Up Mushrooms, and Mario’s
hat. On the back of the box, there was a maze game and Mario trivia amongst
images of Mario, Bowser, Peach, Yoshi,
coins, a goomba, piranha plants, Super Mushrooms and Fire Flowers (the latter two
not even featured in the game).
A special feature of the box was that it’s also an amiibo that worked
with the game. Amiibo are figurines that could be purchased to add content to
various 3DS, Wii U and now Switch games by
placing their base on a sensor. Similarly, the box has a chip located in a marked
corner of the back of the box that can be held to the Switch’s scanner on the
controller. Known as the “delicious amiibo”,
it gave the players a number of coins and a heart, and could be used multiple
times, and could be used with the in-game character Uncle amiibo for an extra
Power Moon finder.
Comparison of the prototype box art and the newly released box.
In March of 2018, it was revealed that new boxes of
Super Mario Cereal had
begun hitting store shelves. These boxes closely resemble an early
prototype, which featured Mario holding a spoon behind the cereal with the
Mushroom Kingdom in the background. The official
box included Bowser and Peach between Mario and the background. But, the
biggest change seems to have been the removal of the amiibo functionality.