Tips From a Grandmaster: Super Mario Galaxy 2


Want to know how to beat every inch of Mario Galaxy 2? Read on my friends.

Welcome to my first attempt at offering tips and tricks to a popular video game. For me, I’ve always felt as if I was a fairly good game player, but I was never sure if that translated to teaching. We’ll find out today as I offer Tips From a Grandmaster for one of the best games of the year: Super Mario Galaxy 2 for the Nintendo Wii.

Before we begin, know that I’ll be giving away a handful of spoilers about the game. Namely, all of them. I’m going to tell you every little secret you may encounter and I’m going to do it very quickly and unforgivingly. I will tell you what you get for collecting 120 stars, what you get for doing what comes after that, and your ultimate reward. Hopefully I’ll also be telling you how best to play, but that’s all speculation on my part.

This is your final spoiler warning.

Bowser will have none of this spoiling. Leave now or feel the burn of a spoil.

Okay, now that it’s just us devoted Mario Galaxy 2 players, let me jump right into saying that I’ve now successfully 100% completed Super Mario Galaxy 2. Overall it may just be my favorite Mario 3D platformer now due to how spot on everything about it has been. But there are still some unfortunate downsides that I will address, specifically limitations you’re going to have to find ways around in order to proceed at the Grandmaster level. We ready to begin? First, the basics.

Collecting all 120 Power Stars isn’t too difficult in the long run. I’d say that the more difficult levels tend to be ones where motion controls are required, such as gliding or using the giant rolling ball (I LOATH those levels). Get those out of the way first so as to alleviate stress later on. Two trains of thought dictate that when coming to a particularly difficult star you either A. Take a break from that star and go onto something different, or B. Struggle through it until you succeed. I’m very much of the second option, but that doesn’t work for everyone. Sometimes the best course of action is simply shutting the game off and allowing yourself to unwind for a bit.

Once you’ve collected all 120 stars and beaten Bowser yet again, you’ll learn of the Green Stars. These will double the number of stars in the game. Take stock of your skills at this point and above all take a break. It can be soul crushing to see Trickster Comets hit every single level again, right after you’ve just “finished” the game in your mind.

So it's basically a star, but it's green. Pretty simple concept to wrap your head around.

The basics of Green Stars are fairly simple. Green Stars in a level are proportional to the number of Power Stars in the level, meaning either two or three. Green Stars do not have a special condition to appear. Rather, they’re floating out in the open, waiting to be grabbed. They will not be inside boxes, chests, balloons, or enemies.

Most important to know for Green Stars is their distinctive sound. They make a sort of shimmery glowy noise when you are near them. This will be your big indicator as to their location or if you’re close to them. Sometiemes it works best to take it slow in a level and pay close attention to everything you see or hear. Many Green Stars will be painfully simple to grab. The very first Green Star in the first galaxy is pretty much right above your head, more or less, requiring a backflip at most to collect. Others will be downright nasty to grab.

My general rule for Green Stars comes down to going in order of your least-favorite galaxies first and working backward to something simpler. This will reduce your stress, as I mentioned earlier, and allow you to motor through some galaxies faster. I started collecting Green Stars from the S World first and worked my way back through all galaxies with gliding or ball rolling, then through boss levels, then all galaxies with two stars, then World 6 and so on. I ended with the Puzzle Plank Galaxy, my favorite for one reason or another. If you prefer to start simple and work your way towards more difficult galaxies, start in World 1 and move upwards that way. Nothing says you have to go in order though, so use that to your advantage.

And nothing said you had to like these stages either. They're unfair and I hate them.

Okay, now that you know how you’re going to be proceeding with the Green Star Challenge, you’ll need to know some techniques the first 120 stars didn’t teach you. Here they are:

This dude in now your best friend. Get used to it.

Get Comfortable With Luigi: You can switch between using Mario and Luigi at any time on the starship once you beat Bowser the first time. They play slightly different with the main change being jumping height. Luigi can noticeably jump higher and further than Mario. However, Luigi has less traction and takes a bit of extra time to stop, making precise movements tricky. Once you get the hang of Luigi, you’ll prefer him to Mario due to the game-breaking jumps you’ll be capable of. A vast number of Green Stars are placed in locations that seem only Luigi will have the jumping ability to hit, so you need to know how to use him and get really chummy because he’ll be your go-to guy for the second batch of 120 stars.

Sometimes you gotta break a few Yoshi eggs when baking a cake.

Learn How to Sacrifice Yoshi: Up until the Green Stars, I had never been in a situation where I needed to jump off Yoshi in order to get a little extra oomph to my jumps. Knowing the proper time to dismount from Yoshi to gain a little extra air is vital to collecting Green Stars since most galaxies with Yoshi in them place the Green Stars floating over an empty void reachable only with some well-timed flutter jumps and a hasty dismount/spin. Yoshi is your friend but you can’t get every star without dropping a few Yoshis to their untimely demise. Get used to this fact and learn how to dismount, a skill as simple as performing the backflip while on Yoshi.

It's fluffy. Learn to love it. Make that fluff an extension of your body.

Savor the Cloud Suit: It seems like a fairly simple rule of thumb that whenever a Cloud Suit is available in a level, you’ll be expected to utilize it to its fullest to get at least one Green Star in said level. Many times you’ll be asked to reach a Green Star only reachable with the Cloud Suit, meaning you have to know how to make really far leaps and create a cloud at the correct distance. Whenever you find a Cloud Flower and gain the Cloud Suit, don’t waste your clouds all willy-nilly. It is very likely you’ll be required to use all of those clouds at some point in the level. The Melty Molten Galaxy is a prime example of this. If you don’t save at least one or two clouds for late in the level, you won’t be able to get to one of the Green Stars. Be comfortable with the extra floatiness of the Cloud Suit and know when to spin and when not to spin.

Master the Triple Jump: You won’t have to use the Triple Jump until the Green Stars, but then it comes up a number of times. Green Stars will routinely be seen hovering just out of reach above your head. A backflip/spin won’t give you enough air, or even a summersault flip/spin. This is where the mastery of the Triple Jump is critical. The game won’t ask you to do a Triple Jump in any place that doesn’t allow for the running start, but it still demands careful timing. Practice in places where you aren’t likely to die from screwing this up. Once you have the rhythm down you should have less of a problem getting some of the more difficult Green Stars like the first Green Star in the Stone Cyclone Galaxy.

Line Up Your Shots: The Triple Jump is useful for gaining air, but the Long Jump/Spin combo will gain you the most distance, especially with Luigi. Problem is, some Green Stars are located outside your line of sight. You’ll frequently encounter instances where you can’t turn the camera to see straight, either, meaning you’ll have to manually look around to see where the Green Star is shimmering. Once you know where it is in relative distance and height, look for some markings on the ground to help indicate where to jump from. You’ll frequently find straight lines leading you right to the star, allowing you to have a better idea how to aim.

Hey, sometimes things get tough. You'll get over it. Sometimes ghosts chase you. You'll get over it.

Accept Failure: Some of the Green Stars are unfair, simple as that. I’d wager at least half of them are floating over an empty void, meaning that if you miss your shot you’re looking at one less life in your stash (or ‘stache). It is really easy to blame the camera in most places. Do that. It’s easier to accept that the camera is faulty rather than you as the player. Learn to accept when Green Stars are placed in a vague place in what appears to be an optical illusion and realize that you’ll need to just try again and again until you line the shot up perfectly. I can’t tell you how many times I was so dead sure I landed on the star from a crazy jump but fell right past it. Try again and you’ll get it eventually. It’s a pain, but learn to deal and you’ll be fine.

Come To Terms With What You’re Trying to Accomplish: Here’s where the End Game spoiler comes in: You aren’t getting anything from finding all 242 stars in the game. After collecting the 120 Green Stars, you’ll unlock the final galaxy, the Grandmaster Galaxy. This is a tough galaxy, and rightfully so. Once you collect the 241st star, the 49th Comet Medal, and accrue 9,999 Star bits with the Bank Toad, the final star will appear. It is a Daredevil Run of the Grandmaster Galaxy, meaning you have one hit point, no saves, and almost no chance to beat this one. I must have died fifty times just trying to collect this one single star. And what did I get for my trouble? You get three things, beyond the satisfaction of completing the game.

First, Roselina joins your starship. She will now sit on the starship and offer her thanks for having nothing left to do in the game. You don’t get to play as her or anyone else. She just sits there and says “Thanks” every time you speak with her. Secondly, you get a message on your Wii message board that shows a picture of your 242 stars lined up, saying basically, “Thanks for playing the game!” from the development team. Lastly, you unlock the death counter for your profile, letting you know how many times you died while playing the game. This isn’t a reward; this is an insult. “You won! Congrats! Yeah, but by the way, here’s how many times you died. Try harder next time.” Unacceptable. Worst completion reward to any game I’ve played in recent memory.

Look, Rosey, I like you and all, but your thanks isn't gonna cut it. Even Peach had the decency to bake me a cake.

But that’s the thing to remember: You aren’t pushing yourself to find every star because you’ll get anything. You need to understand that the whole point of you collecting everything in the game is so that you can say, “Yes, I did everything in this game.” Nothing more, nothing less. Once you understand this, the game is yours to make or break.

And that’s pretty much all I can say about Super Mario Galaxy 2. Any further Grandmaster questions can be directed to the comments where I will get back to you as soon as possible with an answer. Good luck and Godspeed young Mario star travelers.


About Author

Chris was the former Head Writer/Editor of Toy-TMA. He did a great job overseeing the site and getting new content published regularly. Always more than willing to respond to a comment or two, but pitiless with trolls! He has since moved on from TMA, and we wish him the best.


  1. I had to pop the game back in to see exactly what you were talking about so I could confirm, and now that I remember which enemies you’re talking about, the sad news is that they can’t be destroyed. They’re just a nuisance you have to live with somehow. You can still hop on their heads as a platform though, but they can’t be broken with any of the resources the stage offers you.

  2. How do i beat the laser beamer at World S, Mario Squared galaxy?
    P2 cannot stop it neither do I.


  3. Yup, It is no fun playing with her, she is way better then me! But she don’t play Shooters so that’s my favourite gamestyle 😀
    And, btw she has a gamingblogg to 😛

  4. My littesister completed all gold stars in like 4 days, the green took a week and she just completed The Perfect Run

    Oh and did i mention she’s only 7 years old? :3

  5. I actually really liked Sunshine as well. I don’t get why so many people love to hate on it. It was awesome! I’m just sad that I never got every Shine since I couldn’t find all the Blue Coins. I’m still stuck at 116 Shines. Blarg.

  6. Beat the whole game in 5 days. Ate 2 AA batteries and consumed a crapload of time. Never looked at any walkthoughs or used Luigi.
    And I.. I actually dont think the game was that special. I own every console super mario since 64 and I like sunshine the most (challenge + the control is awesome), then Galaxy 1 (I wasn’t too used to the wii controls yet which actually made it enjoyable and challenging to control, also the roaming/level selection screen was awesome), then Galaxy 2 (Too ezmode 🙁 ) And finally, n64 (Awesome, awesome game but my old controller is killing my thumb)
    All of them are great games, but Galaxy 2 had the least enjoyable levels, even if the gameplay was good. All in all, I did enjoy it. Not just as much as others 🙂
    Now in the mood for some sweet, sweet Sunshine.. Aww yeah.

  7. Haha, thanks man. Please do look up your time. If it’s faster than mine, I offer my sincere congratulations, but I’m on a PAL console, so the games probably run at different speeds anyway (assuming you’re in an NTSC territory). I’ll see if I can find the time difference so we can compare :).

  8. That’s a pretty good clear time. I’ll have to look up my clear time to compare, but I have a feeling it’s probably nowhere near that impressive. 🙂

  9. Finished the 242nd star yesterday, and was Googling around when I stumbled upon this page. Cool article. I also notice that Jonas Beattie has posted his clear time for Grandmaster Galaxy. This may be the perfect opportunity to announce the achievement I spent about five hours today accomplishing. The Perfect Run: 3 minutes, 49.46 seconds. I executed my strategies nearly flawlessly, apart from taking a bit too much time with the final Boomerang Bros. But I’m not complaining!

    Not sure why I posted this here. I was looking for a clear time record list or similar, but I can’t find one. So this’ll have to do! 🙂


  10. I just finished collecting all the stars and green stars but the Grandmaster Galaxay DID NOT appear.

    I do have a couple stars where Roselina helped me, so the star is bronze, do you think that could be my problem?

    Please, help. I could cry!

  11. Not a bad clear time. Not bad indeed.

    You make a valid point, though. The first Galaxy gave such a lame reward for doing everything that it didn’t even feel worth the trouble to get the stupid pictures.

  12. Jonas Beattie on

    Well, I suppose it IS better than the shitty reward at the end of the first game :p You have to beat the game 100% TWICE, just to unlock a level that takes half a minute to complete. Compared to the first Mario Galaxy, the Grandmaster Galaxy is a blessing lol. My best time on that Galaxy is 4 mins and 37 seconds.

  13. Hahaha, glad I could help, but yeah, that last star was way, WAY too difficult for the reward it gave. Might as well just have said “conglaturations.”

  14. Jonas Beattie on

    Thanks man I got it. You know, when you were saying that the Perfect Run was tough, I figured maybe you were over-doing it or somethin, you know, but HOLY SHIT. Lmfao man, it took me 3 and a half hours with no breaks or anything to get through that daredevil run. The only reason I got through it was because I used my infinite life cheat. I dunno if you know it or not, but you like jump onto a giant koopa’s back in the Supermassive Galaxy for ever til you got 100 lives. Well, after all my efforts, at least I get to use Rosalina’s head as my profile icon xD “I would like to give you my thanks” what a rip.

  15. Took me forever to nab that one, too. You’re going to need to use Luigi for this one, definitely. Take a good run on the Toy Box’s circle path toward the star, then use a Triple Jump to get high enough. It might take a few attempts but that’s how it’s done.

  16. Jonas Beattie on

    Ok, so I’m like you. I’ve almost tore this game a brand new ass hole. But here’s the deal. I have 239 stars. The last star for me to get is in the Stone Cyclone level. I’m trying to nab the f*kn Green Star that’s above the Tox Box dude. You know the place, where there’s one Tox Box going around and around and around. I’ve tried every tactic that’s come to my mind, but I still CAN NOT reach that last god forsaken green star! How the hell did you reach it?!

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