Super Mario Sunshine Tactics

Jump to navigation Jump to search

This page highlights several useful tactics that you should be well aware of if you intend to speed run Super Mario Sunshine, or want to compete in its challenges.


The fastest way to move across the ground is to spray some water in front of you (or get wet) and dive onto the ground. Some refer to this as a slide. You need a reasonably lenthy piece of real estate to perform this on - it is not useful for very short distances. You can pick up tremendous speed if you hold the joystick full tilt while sliding, rivalling that of the Turbo Nozzle! Practice on Gelato Beach to see how fast it is. This trick applies to several challenges in this game (and, obviously, speed running).

If the space is too short to belly slide, the fastest way to move unaided is to B-dive-and-A-flip (sometimes referred to as BA-flip, or just flip). It's performed just as you read it - dive with the B button and flip-out with the A button. Repeat this dive pattern over and over. The dive-action itself is not very fast, but the flip-action is.

In particular, the flip-action can make Mario run very fast along certain inclines. A good example of this is the final tree trunk in Pianta Village when racing again Piantissimo.


Several ways to move around quickly while in the water:

  • You can Turbo both on the surface of the water, and also underwater. Quite fast (e.g. coral reef in Gelato). Rocket is also faster than regular swimming.
  • Repeatedly tapping the R and A buttons with the Hover nozzle equipped makes you "glide" along the water. It's faster than regular swimming.
  • The quickest way to swim without the Turbo Nozzle is to perform a series of jump-dives out of the water. You must jump out (vertically), and then dive forward (horizontally). Don't touch the joystick when you're tapping A to jump out, otherwise Mario will swim and not jump. But definitely hold the joystick full tilt when performing the dive, as it will carry you further through the air. This is tricky to understand and get the hang of initially, but is useful for any time you need to move across the surface of the water quickly (e.g. Piantissimo's Surf Swim, and in various locations in a speedrun).


Apart from the rocket nozzle, you can wall kick from many things. A useful trick is to spin jump at a wall and wall kick, giving you extra height. Another useful trick is to spin-jump and spin-wall-kick (just rotate the stick before wall-kicking). Add a hover at the peak of these kinds of jumps to extend your height a little more.

If you have Yoshi, a spin-jump with Yoshi (holding down the A button to make Yoshi float) can reach great heights, and the additional height from dismounting Yoshi in mid-air at the peak of this jump can reach a few "high" shines without the Rocket.


This is a great way to cover large distances unaided. You know how if you press A and B at the same time, Mario performs a belly flop? Try pressing A+B on the third jump of a triple jump - goes far, right? A spin flop is to pretend you're about to do a spin jump, but to press A+B instead of A. The distance and height this move can cover is quite large (you can jump over the river at the start of Bianco Hills). This kind of jump is useful for jumping over gaps if you have no nozzle handy, and during speedrunning for the "old-school" platform levels where Mario automatically loses FLUDD.

You can also use side flops, where you Side Somersault (reverse direction quickly and jump) and press B simultaneously. This covers almost as much distance as the Spin Flop and is easier to aim.

Cleaning goop

You probably know that if you hold down R and press A, Mario backflips with a large burst of water. The same thing works if Mario is already in mid-air. Try it out - jump in the air and press A and R at the same time. If done correctly, Mario will spray a large burst of water in front of him. It's usually called a spam spray, since it spams water in a random fasion in Mario's FOV. This is the most efficient cleaning technique (faster than barrels, considering the time needed to pick them up and throw them), and is the key to doing sickeningly well in goop-cleaning shines. You can press A+R together several times in a single jump to perform several spam sprays before you hit the ground again, and virtually guarantee that everything within reasonable distance in front of you will be clean enough to eat off.


Always use green bloopers. They have the best speed when travelling on a surface out of the water. They also have the best handling, and can turn the sharpest. All bloopers have the same top-speed if you hold the joy-stick full tilt, so there are no disadvantages to using the green.