Gamebusters Myth 9: The Shadow People of Hell Valley
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.
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.
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.
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?