This week marks the beginning of the end for the 2008 holiday season, and by now, you probably either can’t wait for Christmas to get here, or you’re desperate for the whole ridiculous carnival of insane consumerism to be over for another year. Whatever your case, now is as good a time as any to take a deep breath and remember that, yes, there are other holidays out there. Some are being celebrated now, some will be celebrated over the next 12 months, and still others won’t be celebrated at all, ever, because they’re entirely fictitious and don’t exist outside of the games that spawned them.
Guess which ones we’re going to take a look at right now?
We generally think of holidays as yearly affairs, but Super Mario Galaxy introduced us to one that’s held only once a century, which neatly (and unnecessarily) explains why the Star Festival never came up before in Mario’s 27-year history. During the festival, the stunted inhabitants of the Mushroom Kingdom turn out to celebrate the arrival of a comet that showers the land with varicolored “Star Bits.” It’s all very exciting and happy, and during the game’s first few minutes, it offers up a rare chance to explore the village outside of Peach’s castle.
Sadists aren’t left out of the festivities, however, as Bowser and his minions almost immediately show up to ruin everything in their usual fashion. As an armada of flying galleons descends on the terrified celebrants, the village is laid to waste in a hail of ginormous cannonballs and what appear to be freeze spells. Fires rage, the Toads run around in circles screaming about doom and Mario is hurled into space, seemingly defeated. It might not be the happiest holiday the Mushroom Kingdom’s ever seen, but it’s certainly one of the most memorable.