It’s been a little while since our last debate, and this topic came about when we were discussing our favorite levels from the classic Super Mario 64. We’re pitting our favorite levels against each other, with Rachel voting for Big Boo’s Haunt and me championing Cool, Cool Mountain.
We both have our likes and dislikes when it comes to certain levels in Super Mario 64, but most of the levels are pretty well done. The game, as a whole, is a lot of fun. Though there are definitely some levels that are better than others.
Cool, Cool Mountain is one of my favorites, with the aesthetic being one of the reasons. I’ve always enjoyed ice levels, finding them to be pretty — you all are welcome for me restraining myself from making a “cool” pun — usually with the challenge of having your character slipping around everywhere. The level is bright with fun touches, like pine trees, ice slides, and snowmen.
Cool, Cool Mountain is aesthetically pleasing, I’ll admit. Though I could say the same for Big Boo’s Haunt. Being a haunted house, it’s dark and mysterious and has creepy music to boot. The ghosts, during certain stars, will try to spook you throughout to get you to go away. It’s charming in its own right and there are puzzles within the level as well. You can’t get certain stars without getting the first few either.
While Big Boo’s Haunts needs to be dark for the theme, I suppose, I definitely prefer the brighter snow of Cool, Cool Mountain. The stars are mostly varied in the snow level — from ice slides to finding lost penguins to finding the snowman’s head to the wall jump challenge — while I feel the majority of Big Boo’s Haunts stars involve punching ghosts. Which, being ghosts, shouldn’t be a thing.
The stars in Big Boo’s Haunt are repetitive, I agree. However, the level itself is a puzzle. You need to get a certain star to make the stairs appear in order to get up to the second floor. You need to use the vanishing cap a few times. There’s the bookcase that you need to hit the books in a certain order and more. There’s a lot to explore in the level too. While not all of it is used, you can go to the back of the mansion and just see how big and worldly it is.
Alright, so Big Boo’s Haunt is more like one giant puzzle, with some stars piggybacking off of others, which is interesting in itself. Cool, Cool Mountain, though, is one big playground, its world just as big — if not bigger — than Big Boo’s Haunt. Cool, Cool Mountain’s overworld, if you will, is more fun to explore while Big Boo’s Haunt just has the exterior of the mansion. Cool, Cool Mountain’s only subworld is the giant ice slide, but it ties in with the rest of the exterior very well, being a natural tether between the top of the mountain and the base with the penguins.
True, true, but it’s also really easy to slip or dive off the edge and lose a life. Then you have to start all over. Big Boo’s Haunt has various areas – outside, the basement, the house itself, and the roof – and there’s no way of falling off the level… of course, unless you accidentally swan dive off the roof. Then Mario would be a pancake.
…Can Mario die from falling off the roof of Big Boo’s Haunt? I don’t think I’ve ever thought of that. With that said, that’s one of the challenges of Cool, Cool Mountain and goes right along with the ice and snow. Yes, there’s a danger to falling off of the edge, but it makes you play that much more carefully — or recklessly, whatever fits your style — in order to beat the world. The worst Big Boo’s Haunt has is that a ghost runs into you, but they tend to give you plenty of coins for your health in return to you punching them.
I have no idea if Mario can die from falling off the roof, but he can lose quite a bit of health if he falls from high spaces. I don’t think it’s bad that the ghosts give you lots of coins. In fact, I think they were foreshadowing Luigi’s Mansion and I was able to live in those glory days of a beaten, run-down mansion all to myself… plus ghosts. Ghosts always win. End of debate.