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access_time January 9, 2014 at 7:26 PM in Features by Charlie Grammer

Gamebusters Myth 9: The Shadow People of Hell Valley

We take a look at the Shadow People of Hell Valley in SMG 2.

We take a look at the Shadow People of Hell Valley in SMG 2.

Welcome, dear readers, to another entry of Gamebusters, the segment where we track down video game myths and try to debunk them. Last week we examined the myth of KILL SWITCH, and this week we’ll be looking at a myth surrounding a Nintendo game, Super Mario Galaxy 2.

The myth is simple enough. In Shiverburn, if you look to your left, you will see a trio of strange, humanoid people. No matter where you go in Shiverburn, you will see these characters, as they appear to be following you as you advance through the game. The motives of these three creatures are impossible to guess, and at no point can you actually interact with them. There are several theories as to what these things are, with one theory being that they are merely trees.

shadow people 1

From a distance, the theory certainly seems probable, as the above image can attest. They would certainly be strangely shaped trees, but it’s not out of the realm of possibility for a game in which you explore galaxies as a plumber. If we zoom in a bit more, however, the theory loses a bit of its clout, however it is still possible that they are strange trees.

shadow people 2

Indeed, if we examine the game’s resources, we actually discover that the area in which you see the creatures is titled “Beyond Hell Valley”, and that the three textures in particular are called “Hell Valley trees”. That said, if we zoom in even farther, the theory of them truly being trees may be thrown out the window.

shadow people 3

I’ve certainly never seen any trees shaped like that. Another theory is that the creatures are merely inhabitants of the galaxy. One claim is that Hell Valley is the original Japanese name for the level (anybody who has played the game in Japanese, please feel free to confirm or deny this claim), while another states that Hell Valley was an abandoned beta galaxy that never made it into the actual game. Regardless, however, since nobody mentions these creatures at all and you never interact with them, it makes one wonder… What exactly do they want with our hero, Mario?

Myth or fact? This myth, which is rather creepy for a Mario game, is indeed fact. If you enter Shiverburn Galaxy in the stage in the above video and look to the left, you will indeed see these strange creatures, watching. No matter where you go, they will be there. Just what are they? My belief is that the theory regarding Hell Valley being a beta galaxy is on the mark. If so, it wouldn’t be a stretch to guess that these mysterious creatures may be actual inhabitants. The only question is, why would the resource used for them be called “Hell Valley Sky Trees” if they are, in fact, aliens?



  • Ramon Aranda January 9, 2014 at 11:32 PM

    LOL, I never noticed these things before. They’re kinda creepy though.

  • Super mario game lover July 15, 2016 at 10:21 PM

    They can be shroobs from mario and luigi partners in time or the greenies messing with us from luigi’s haunted mansion 2 or they can be Komados….. which are Japanese tree spirits

    • Poakakai November 5, 2017 at 7:11 PM

      I totally agree This is the only thing I’ve seen relating these guys to shroobs one popular theory is that they are the japenese kodama and that makes a lot of sense but shroobs have already been intoduced in the game so that would make sense!

  • Catch Up On Our Gamebusters Myths - GotGame March 17, 2019 at 10:11 AM

    […] Gamebusters Myth 9: The Shadow People of Hell Valley. […]

  • Ubiquitous Omnipresent Entity March 19, 2019 at 12:24 PM

    Anyone else read Dante’s inferno? In it, there are people sealed into trees in a valley of hell. This is the Wood of the Suicides. harpies breaks branches off the trees in order to torture those souls. they likely had to remove it do to the connection to religion, or to suicide, or both.

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