Super Mario Galaxy 2 is the sequel to Super Mario Galaxy. 90% of the game is new. Some new things are Yoshi, new abilities, new galaxies, and Starship Mario. Some of the old things are Luigi, some of the music, and some of the ideas for galaxies. Super Mario Galaxy 2 is less focused on plot and more focused on using new ideas that weren't able to be put in the original Super Mario Galaxy.
You can get around in the world maps by using Starship Mario to fly to different worlds and galaxies. On the world map, you will see a gold line showing where you can travel, and at different nodes along the line are either empty spaces, galaxies, Hungry Lumas, star bit crystals or pipes. Progress is taken from left to right on the maps and Power Stars must be collected along the way open up more galaxies. You can hover over a space with the cursor to see how many stars you need to proceed. When you have enough stars and you are on a space preceding an area with a grayed out line, it will open up by turning the line from gray to the normal gold color.
At the end of each world is a boss galaxy which you will need to beat before opening up the next one. Once you have opened up multiple worlds, you can click the zoom out button at the top right corner of the screen to zoom out to a larger map showing all the worlds. Here, each node on the gold line represents and entire world, and by moving Starship Mario over one, you can see all the galaxies within that world, and pointing at individual galaxies will tell you their names.
You will need to collect Power Stars to open up new galaxies and proceed through multiple worlds to the final confrontation with Bowser so you can rescue Princess Peach. Each Galaxy contains 2–3 Power Stars and you can start their missions from the world map. Navigate Starship Mario over a galaxy and press the "Fly to This Galaxy" button. A screen will appear showing you the different stars you can attempt. Stars you haven't acquired will be clear, and hidden stars will be noted with a question mark inside of a different star. Once a hidden star has been acquired, that star will have its own place in the star selection screen. Stars are shown with normal stars first, then Prankster Comet stars, then hidden stars. When you have collected all the stars, a silver crown will appear in star lists and where the galaxy is displayed. When all galaxies in a world have silver crowns, the world will get one also, as can be seen in the zoomed out world map.
Most Power Stars will be found by completing the main objective that should be fairly obvious from the star's title and cues you get within the galaxy. Hidden stars on the other hand can be more difficult to find or access. Some are just well hidden and require getting to hard to reach places or exploring more than is necessary for the normal star. Many times the hidden star is just a Hungry Luma, and you'll need to feed it coins or star bits to turn it into a new planet within the galaxy. The final type of stars are Prankster Comets, which begin to appear after getting to a certain point in the game and collecting a certain amount of Comet Medals.
- Grand Stars
Grand Stars are much bigger versions of Power Stars, and have the ability to open up new worlds. You get Grand Stars by beating the boss galaxy at the end of each world.
- Green Stars
After collecting 120 stars and replaying Bowser's Galaxy Generator again, the next time you start your game new Prankster Comets will appear at every single galaxy. Each galaxy will have as many Green Stars as Power Stars, which means 120 new stars to collect. Green Stars are all hidden within the galaxies, in the same places you go to during previous missions. You will need to look around more to spot them and keep your ears open for their telltale chiming so you know when one is near. After collecting all the Green Stars in a galaxy, the silver crown will turn gold, and likewise it will turn gold for the whole world once you have all the Green Stars there.
- Bronze Stars
A new feature of the game allows you to use a guide to show you how to complete a level you are having trouble on. After spending a certain amount of tries on a level, a guide may show up and you can talk with her to start the guide. Simply follow the guide, doing what the guide does, to finish the level. A star completed this way will be bronze instead of gold, and will show up bronze on all lists and displays of your stars. You can still complete the game this way, including unlocking all the Green Stars, but you will have to collect 120 gold Power Stars and 120 Green Stars to open up the final galaxy. You can replace a Bronze Star with a gold one by redoing the level on your own without the guide.
Comet Medals are large gold coins with a comet on them found in out of the way places in a galaxy's first star mission. When looking at a galaxy's information, either on the galaxy maps, in your Star List or on the noticeboard on Starship Mario, you will notice a circled dotted line. When you have the Comet Medal from that galaxy, it will appear within that circle. In order to get a Comet Medal, you must find and touch it, then complete the level by finding a Power Star. Comet Medals are necessary to open up the Prankster Comet Power Stars.
Prankster Comets will begin to appear after acquiring four stars in World 3. In order to unlock a Prankster Comet, you must have completed all normal stars in that galaxy, collected the Comet Medal in that galaxy and collected a certain number of Comet Medals in total. Additionally, only three Prankster Comets can appear at the same time in a single world, and one won't appear in the same galaxy as the last normal star you collected.
After completing a star, you will normally see a cutscene showing where a new Prankster Comet is in orbit around a galaxy. On the world maps, you will see the comet icon behind the galaxy. At the star selection screen, you will hear an alarm and be notified that a Prankster Comet is in the galaxy, and the comet icon will be used until you collect the star.
There are six different types of comets, each with their own difficulties to throw a new twist on playing in the galaxy.
- Cosmic Clone: These missions involve getting the star while being followed by Cosmic Clones. This means you can't stand still and it's difficult to backtrack.
- Daredevil: Daredevil runs give you one bar of health and offer no coins or Life mushrooms, meaning one hit kills you. Some of these runs still have checkpoints though, and they're often against bosses or involve a lot of enemies.
- Double Time: In this star, all the elements in the galaxy move at twice the speed, such as enemies and moving platforms.
- Purple Coin: You must collect at least 100 purple coins for these stars, and they're usually timed. On runs where you can't backtrack, they often give you a small surplus of coins, but you'll still need to be fairly accurate to collect enough.
- Romp: Romps are stars where you have to beat all the enemies within a certain time, sometimes with the help of a power-up.
- Speed Run: Speed Runs give you a time limit in which you must complete the star, and often have bonus timer items you can collect along the way to increase your countdown timer by 10 seconds.
Star bits are shiny little crystals found all over the game. You can collect them by running into them with your character or by pointing at them with the remote. You can collect up to 999 star bits while in a level, and any you collect will be added to your total if you finish the level by finding a star. Back on Starship Mario, your total number of star bits can go as high as 9,999.
After collecting seven Power Stars, the Banktoad will be added to your starship's crew. You can talk with him and deposit your star bits with him for safekeeping. Star bits held by the Banktoad can be shared amongst different save files. Like your normal star bit total, Banktoad can hold up to 9,999 star bits for you.
Star bits can be used to damage or stun enemies, but their main purpose in the game is to feed Hungry Lumas to open up new galaxies or planets. You don't need to use any star bits to beat the game, but you'll need to spend 8,500 star bits to achieve 120 stars, and you'll need another 9,999 star bits deposited with Banktoad to access the final star.
Throughout the game you may run into Hungry Lumas holding onto coins or star bits. While playing in a galaxy, these Lumas will transform into a planet if you give them the amount of coins or star bits they ask for. When you do, a new planet will appear and a pink Launch Star will appear where the Luma was, and there is always a Power Star on the new planet. You can only use the star bits or coins you collect in the galaxy, not the totals you see when you're on Starship Mario.
Out on the world map you can also run into Hungry Lumas. These will always want star bits, and in far greater amounts than the ones in galaxies. When you see a Hungry Luma on the world map, navigate the starship over it and invite it down to your ship. Back on Starship Mario, you can talk to the Luma and feed it star bits. These star bits come out of your game total. When you've fed the Luma enough, it will turn into a new galaxy you can go to and a new line to it will added in pink on the world map. There are seven Hungry Lumas on the world maps, and in the order you find them, they want 300, 700, 1,000, 1,500, 1,800 and 2,000 star bits.
Mailtoad and Luigi
After collecting 13 Power Stars, Mailtoad will be added to Starship Mario. You will occasionally get letters from Princess Peach for a few 1-Ups or from an anonymous sender for your Luma friend with some star bits included. More importantly, through the mail system you will be notified when any of Chimp's Challenges become available, and each one is worth a star.
After collecting three stars from World 3, Luigi may start appearing at the beginning of levels. If you talk to him, you'll have the option to play as him instead of Mario until you get the star or return to the starship. It's generally a good idea to play as Luigi whenever you can, as he is faster and jumps higher than Mario, although he does slide around a lot more. After beating the game once, you'll have to option to play as Luigi whenever you want by going into his door on Starship Mario to change characters. You will then play as Luigi until you go back in and switch to Mario.
- For more details on player two's controls, see the controls page.
While not a fully-fledged two-player game, Super Mario Galaxy 2 does extend the capabilities of the second player from just collecting star bits, holding enemies and increasing jumps like in the first game. Player two can join the game at any time and his cursor will be shown on the screen. Player two can collect star bits the same way as Player one can, and can shoot them back out to stun enemies as well. Player two can also hold small and medium sized enemies, as well as collect items. While you can't hold a boss, you will be able to hold other enemies for player one to defeat or circumvent, and you can collect out of the way coins or mushrooms and bring them back to player one. Holding enemies and collecting items is handled by a small orange Luma.
Completing the game 100% requires finding 242 star and 49 Comet Medals, but the way to proceed is not always obvious. This is a short list for reference when you've run out of galaxies and are wondering what to do next.
- After acquiring at least 71 stars, you will be able to beat the game for the first time by doing the first star on Bowser's Galaxy Generator. Beating the game unlocks World S.
- After collecting 120 Power Stars (all stars and Comet Medals in all worlds, including Hungry Lumas), you must beat the game again by doing Bowser's Galaxy Generator again. This unlocks a new cutscene at the end of the credits and Green Stars will now appear.
- After collecting 120 Green Stars, and replacing any Bronze Stars with gold ones, a new galaxy will appear. When you've completed it and collected the Comet Medal, you will need to deposit 9,999 star bits with Banktoad to make the last Prankster Comet appear.