Super Mario Galaxy

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Run Categories and Times

Timing methods

Timing method Start (of run or segment) End (of run or segment)
SRL File selected Touch final Grand Star
Nicovideo single-segment/RTA File selected "Grand Star Get!"/"You got a Grand Star!" message appears for the final Grand Star
SDA single-segment/RTA Gain control of Mario or Luigi Touch final Grand Star
SDA segmented Gain control of Mario or Luigi "Yes" is pressed on the Save prompt / Touch final Grand Star (last segment)
  • Segmented runs have a timing advantage, because save-warping can reduce Observatory travel time.
  • Luigi skips the Star Festival at the beginning of the game, which is approximately a 4m 29s advantage over Mario in SDA timing, and 4m 49s in Nico timing.

61-star (Any%)

Bowser's Galaxy Reactor requires a minimum of 60 stars to enter, and unlike in Super Mario 64, the Grand Star from defeating Bowser counts in the star total.

61-Star Routes

Completed 61-star Runs


Runner SRL Nicovideo SDA
紺空 (konkuu) 2:48:47 ~2:47:52
MilesSMB 3:00:34


Runner SRL Nicovideo SDA
Yoshifan ~2:35:28 ~2:34:53

Mario, with 2P assistance

Runner SRL Nicovideo SDA Notes
ねぐろ (neguro) 2:39:39 ~2:38:44 Only 3 out of 5 parts of the video are available.

Luigi, with 2P assistance

Runner SRL Nicovideo SDA
ねぐろ (neguro) 2:37:44 ~2:37:08

Luigi, Segmented

Runner SDA Notes
Yoshifan 2:25:23 16 segments

120-star (100%)

Total star bits needed: 6370

Reference video: MOKURENN91 (7h 58m 36s(?) segmented; not 100% legitimate, contains a large amount of video manipulation)

Requires beating the game twice. Fifteen purple coin collect-a-thons don't appear until Bowser's Galaxy Reactor has been cleared. After collecting all 120 stars, defeating Bowser again unlocks Luigi as a playable character.

120-Star Routes

Completed 120-star Runs


Runner SRL Nicovideo SDA Notes
TheOnly0 6:54:33 Mentioned a 6:37, but it's not uploaded anywhere.

121-star New Game+

Total star bits needed: 6370

In this category, we start with Luigi immediately after unlocking him, and collect all 120 stars with him. We unlock the Grand Finale Galaxy and complete it. This prevents repetition in collecting all 120 stars twice in a single run, and shortens the run's length to a reasonable time frame.

121-Star Routes

General Tricks

  • Getting the most out of jumps: Long jumps, backflips, sideflips, wall jumps, and triple jumps are used for countless major and minor timesavers in this game. You can always boost yourself a little bit by adding a spin at the end of a jump.
    • To get the best boost from a spin, hold the A button while spinning and you will go higher than normal.
    • Spins can be used in practically any jump trick. This wiki may tend to omit spins from jump trick explanations, assuming that the reader will know to add spins whenever more height or distance is needed.
    • Sideflips give about the same height as backflips do, though backflips can give more horizontal distance. Though this wiki may usually favor backflips, sideflips and backflips can be used interchangeably if jump height is the only concern. Sideflips are harder to execute than backflips, but sometimes doing a sideflip instead of a backflip will save time because you don't have to stop running to do a sideflip.
    • Triple jumps offer more height than backflips and sideflips. Sometimes the terrain will make it difficult to time your second and third jumps, but you can often just repeatedly tap A while running to perform a triple jump.
    • To get the most height out of a wall jump trick, spin before the wall jump as well as after the wall jump. Make sure you're not right against the wall when you spin, though, or you may deflect off of the wall without getting a spin boost. In many cases, a triple jump + spin + wall jump + spin combo will be the highest jump in your repertoire. However, a backflip + spin + wall jump + spin is easier, and sufficient for most jump tricks.
  • Cosmic Race Speed Boost: Before a Cosmic Mario/Luigi race starts, hold the control stick forward and crouch by pressing and holding Z. The moment the race begins with GO!, hit A to get a speed boost.
  • Slope Climbing: There are two main ways to ascend slopes Mario/Luigi would usually slide down.
    • Run and spin up the slope: This is the faster method. To do this, you must be facing toward the slope as you land on it. After landing on the slope, just repeatedly spin while running up the slope. In general, you'll never slide down unless you don't spin for too long, or hit an uneven surface. Examples: start of Honeyhive, Conquering the Summit.
    • Jump and spin up the slope: Sometimes, you may encounter a slope that you can't land on while facing towards it; this means you will immediately slide down the slope as you land on it, and you won't be able to spin up the slope. In these cases, you must jump and spin up the slope. To do this:
    1. First, begin sliding down the slope while facing forward (in the sitting position).
    2. Once you begin sliding, jump while holding the control stick forward (towards the bottom of the slope). If you don't hold forward as you jump, you won't be able to spin in midair.
    3. Spin in midair while holding the control stick back (towards the top of the slope).
    To climb the slope as quickly as possible, the only time you should be holding the control stick forward is just before each jump; at all other times, you should be holding the control stick back, toward the top of the slope.
    One of the main applications of this trick is in Bee Mario/Luigi Takes Flight to shortcut across the tops of the trees and go straight to the Toad Brigade. Note that since you must walljump up to get to the treetop's slope, you cannot approach this slope while facing forward, so you can't simply run and spin up the slope.
  • Homing Stomp: Mario and Luigi can perform a homing attack that will automatically target nearby enemies. To perform this technique, jump and use a midair spin attack. Before the spin attack has completed its animation, press Z to use your stomp attack. If your timing was right, you'll hear a different sound effect, and Mario/Luigi's landing will look different than it does after a normal stomp. If used close to an enemy, the stomp should home in on them. While this move could occasionally be useful in combat, its most interesting property is that it also targets NPCs such as the Toads. Frequently after bouncing off of an NPC's head this way, you will receive a significant horizontal boost, sometimes even greater than that of a long jump. One application of it is this
  • Fast long jump landing: Normally, you lose your speed if you land from a long jump without following up with another long jump. However, if you press A and Z at about the same time to execute the long jump (instead of pressing Z before A), you will continue running immediately when you land.
  • Ground pound out of a long jump: During a long jump, press Z and spin at about the same time to do a ground pound. The timing can be strict; if done incorrectly, you will probably end up doing a homing stomp or a spin instead.
  • Spinning multiple times quickly: Spinning on the ground and then quickly jumping will reset the spin cooldown timer, so you can spin again immediately. Also, before landing from a mid-air spin, you can do an extra spin that can be used as an attack but cannot gain height. Taken together, these tricks allow you to spin-attack three times in a row. This is useful against King Kaliente when returning his coconut shots, and in Bowser's Dark Matter Plant for canceling Bowser's spin attacks.
  • Scroll through text quickly: Hold the A button to scroll through speech text more quickly than normal.
  • Timing of moving elements: What to know about enemies, platforms, and other level elements that move:
    • Cutscene skips: skipping (or not skipping) the cutscenes after selecting a star will affect the timing of moving elements. This means that strategies may be adjusted depending on whether you are playing a full speedrun (where cutscenes can't be skipped) or an individual-level speedrun (where cutscenes may be skipped). Examples: spike panels and electric wires in Painting the Planet Yellow, penguins in Passing the Swim Test, Tox Boxes in The Secret Undersea Cavern.
    • Draw distance: some moving elements will not move at all when they are far away or offscreen. In some levels, this means that when you want to practice a timed element in a level, you don't have to worry about speedrun mistakes that were made earlier in the level. Examples: boulders on the second planet in Dino Piranha (they'll start moving when you're at the top of the launch star tower), thwomps in The Fiery Stronghold. In other levels, turning the camera toward enemies (to let them move) or away from enemies (to stop them) can be part of the speedrun strategy. Examples: Torpedo Teds in Buoy Base, eels in Giant Eel Outbreak.
  • Shore Launch: This is a glitch that causes you to gain a large amount of height while coming out of shallow water. Find a body of water where the ground underneath it is sloping upward and close to the water's surface. From the water's surface, spin downwards into the slope; this can cause you to pop out of the water with a large amount of upward velocity. A good setup is to start from a stationary position at the water's surface while facing the slope; hold A or shake to jump out of the water, and then repeatedly start spinning once you land back into the water. This glitch can be inconsistent; if you're having trouble, try holding the analog stick backwards just as you spin into the ground.
  • Tilt: The tilt of Mario and Luigi's body can affect the height of their single, double, and triple jumps. Video A backwards tilt can increase the height of jumps, while a forward tilt can do the opposite. Tilt is mostly determined by the slope of the surface you are standing on, but other environmental elements can have an effect. SMG1 doesn't always reset tilt after coming off a sloped surface, allowing for higher jumps off of flat ground in some places. SMG2 tends to reset tilt more consistently, making it less exploitable.
  • Mega sideflip: In some places, a sideflip can get much more height than usual. Start a sideflip while facing directly away or towards the camera, and then immediately hold left or right once the jump starts. This glitch also works in SMG2. Video

Level-specific tricks: Star Strategies

Comet Stars

Prankster Comets begin to appear after 13 stars have been collected.

Every Speedy, Cosmic, Daredevil, and Fast-Foe comet has a prerequisite mission that must be completed in order for it to appear:

Galaxy Comet Star Prerequisite
Good Egg Dino Piranha Speed Run Star 1 - Dino Piranha
Honeyhive Honeyhive Cosmic Mario Race Star 1 - Bee Mario Takes Flight
Space Junk Pull Star Path Speed Run Star 1 - Pull Star Path
Battlerock Topmaniac's Daredevil Run Star 3 - Topmaniac and the Topman Tribe
Beach Bowl Fast Foes on the Cyclone Stone Star 3 - The Secret Undersea Cavern
Ghostly Bouldergeist's Daredevil Run Star 3 - Beware of Bouldergeist
Gusty Garden Major Burrows's Daredevil Run Star 3 - Gusty Garden's Gravity Scramble
Freezeflame Frosty Cosmic Mario Race Star 1 - The Frozen Peak of Baron Brrr
Dusty Dune Sandblast Speed Run Star 3 - Sunbaked Sand Castle
Gold Leaf Cosmic Mario Forest Race Star 3 - When It Rains, It Pours
Sea Slide Underwater Cosmic Mario Race Star 1 - Going After Guppy
Toy Time Fast Foes of Toy Time Hidden Star - The Flipswitch Chain
Deep Dark Ghost Ship Daredevil Run Star 2 - Bubble Blastoff
Dreadnought Topman Tribe Speed Run Star 3 - Revenge of the Topman Tribe
Melty Molten Lava Spire Daredevil Run Star 2 - Through the Meteor Storm

Purple comets begin to appear after completing "The Fate of the Universe." Each Purple comet (except Good Egg) also has a prerequisite mission:

Galaxy Purple comet prerequisite
Honeyhive Star 1 - Bee Mario Takes Flight
Space Junk Star 2 - Kamella's Airship Attack
Battlerock Star 1 - Battlerock Barrage
Beach Bowl Star 3 - The Secret Undersea Cavern
Ghostly Star 2 - A Very Spooky Sprint
Gusty Garden Star 1 - Bunnies in the Wind
Freezeflame Star 1 - The Frozen Peak of Baron Brrr
Dusty Dune Star 2 - Blasting through the Sand
Gold Leaf Star 3 - When It Rains, It Pours
Sea Slide Star 3 - The Silver Stars of Sea Slide
Toy Time Star 2 - Mario Meets Mario
Deep Dark Star 1 - The Underground Ghost Ship
Dreadnought Star 2 - Dreadnought's Colossal Cannons
Melty Molten Star 3 - Fiery Dino Piranha

Note that Good Egg Star 2 and Honeyhive Star 2 are both required to get out of the Terrace, so you couldn't actually check whether Star 1 or 2 is the requirement (unless you hacked your star count, but this hasn't been tested). The requirements are from the Shogakukan guidebook.

Notes on comet behavior:

  • Comet patterns will only advance when a star is completed. It doesn't matter which star is completed.
  • Before completing "The Fate of the Universe", each dome can only have one comet in orbit at a time (or zero if no comets are available). Terrace comets will only appear after odd-numbered stars (after the 13th star, after the 15th star, etc.). Comets in the other 5 domes will only appear after even-numbered stars (after the 14th star, etc.).
  • When there are two or more possible comets that can appear in a dome, the pattern in which the comets "take turns" is predictable, but complex. For two comets, the pattern looks like 1-2-1-2-1-1-2-2 and repeats. The best way to check if the patterns work for a particular route is to test that route.
    • Segmented runs have an extra detail to watch out for. Typically, you'll reset between segment attempts. If the previous segment attempt completed an odd number of stars (1 star, 3 stars, 5 stars, etc.), then on your next attempt, the comets that appear *after you complete one star* will have moved ahead by one "step".
      • An example: suppose that the Fountain comets (Space Junk and Battlerock) are taking turns, and your segment begins when the Terrace comets are active. Then if the next few Fountain comet appearances would normally be SJ, BR, SJ, SJ, then they would instead become BR, SJ, SJ. So after you complete one star, you would be expecting SJ to appear, but you would see BR instead, because the first SJ comet turn was skipped.
  • The Comet Luma can advance the comet patterns one step just like collecting a star would, but speaking to the Luma takes time, so it's generally better to just plan the route around comet patterns.
  • Unexplored topics: Purple comet appearance patterns, and patterns with 3 comets active in a dome.

Luigi Stars

There are three Luigi stars:

  1. Good Egg Galaxy - Luigi on the Roof
  2. Battlerock Galaxy - Luigi under the Saucer
  3. Honeyhive Galaxy - Luigi in the Honeyhive Kingdom

They must be completed in this order, and with gaps of at least five non-Luigi stars in between each. The first Luigi mission is unlocked upon completing Ghostly Galaxy's "Luigi and the Haunted Mansion."

Events that Return you to the Observatory

These are events that take you back to Rosalina at the outside of the Observatory. Route plans should be planned around these events, and it's usually beneficial to overlap these events when possible.

  • After Bee Mario Takes Flight
  • After getting 13 stars (which unlocks comets)
  • After Luigi and the Haunted Mansion
  • After your first letter from Luigi (for the second and third letters, you just go to the Mailtoad yourself)
  • After any Hungry Luma star (7)
  • After your first green star
  • After your last green star
  • After any Trial Galaxy stars (3)
  • After Gateway's Purple Coins
  • After Bowser Jr.'s Robot Reactor
  • After Bowser's Star Reactor
  • After Bowser Jr.'s Airship Armada
  • After Bowser's Dark Matter Plant
  • After Bowser Jr.'s Lava Reactor
  • After getting 60 stars
  • After getting 120 stars

Mario/Luigi Differences

Luigi's differences from Mario:

  • Runs faster.
  • Jumps higher and farther. Only a few major shortcuts are Luigi-only, but quite a few shortcuts are easier as Luigi.
  • Slides more if you keep crouching after a long jump. This makes it easier to chain long jumps together (without un-crouching) and correct your direction between long jumps.
  • Skids if you let go of the control stick after running.
  • When underwater, runs out of air more quickly, and loses a chunk of air with each spin.
  • Less vertical speed in Boo form (this only makes a significant difference in Boo's Boneyard Galaxy).
  • Skips the Star Festival at the beginning of the game, which makes for approximately a 4m 29s advantage over Mario in SDA timing, and 4m 49s in Nico timing.
  • Some dialogue is different, but not very different besides the other Luigi's dialogue in Luigi and the Haunted Mansion.

Game Version Differences

  • Different languages have different dialogue lengths and text scroll speeds. Korean is the fastest language, followed by Japanese, followed by Latin-alphabet languages like English.
    • Japanese saves about 50 seconds over English in an Any% run. To get a detailed breakdown on language timesaves, see this app by yoshifan.
    • The Japanese version can be played on a non-Japanese Wii with accurate load times, using the Gecko OS app on Homebrew to load the disc. The Korean version, however, only works on more complex loaders like Neogamma, which do not have accurate load times. Until there's a load-accurate region-free loader that supports Korean, the only way to play the Korean version legitimately is to use a Korean Wii.
  • The Wii U Virtual Console (VC) version seems to have much faster load times, getting significant timesaves on levels like Good Egg after selecting a star.
  • This spreadsheet has an analysis of Good Egg load times for different playing configurations. For non-VC versions, it seems that the disc loader and age of the game disc matter, but the game region does not.

See Also

  • Star Strategies - Speed strategies for individual star missions.
  • Star Times - Fastest known times for individual star missions.
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