Angry Sun: The furious origins of the biggest hothead in Super Mario

Angry Sun origins from Super Mario Bros.

The internet has taken a newfound interest in one of the featured enemies from the Super Mario Maker 2 Nintendo Direct. I’m of course talking about the Angry Sun. Although not a new addition in the sequel, this does give us a prime moment to look back at this hotheaded baddie.

Heating up

The Angry Sun made its debut in the World 2 desert stage of Super Mario Bros. 3. It does nothing at first aside from glowering down at you. Once you reach the halfway point, however, that’s when it gets really upset! Suddenly the sun is swooping down with no regard for your safety.

When first seeing this as a child, it’s understandable to be freaked out. I mean, come on. The sun is out to kill you! And I don’t mean in a gradual sunburn-you-to-a-crisp type of way. Thankfully, clearing the stage or a well-placed Koopa shell will take it out, though.

Everything you need to know about Super Mario's Angry Sun

Destroying the sun certainly sparks a number of questions. How come there are no adverse effects on the stage or the Mushroom Kingdom? What made the sun so upset in the first place? What are Mario’s views on climate change? Nintendo’s lore only goes so far.

Shine on

Aside from another appearance in World 8-2 and reappearing in the Super Mario All-Stars port, we wouldn’t see the Angry Sun for a long while. It would make a TV appearance, however, on The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3 animated show. Specifically, it appeared in the episode “Sneaky Lying Cheating Giant Ninja Koopas” (nice TMNT reference), where it takes offense at Mario exclaiming that the sun was in his eyes. After acquiring raccoon powers, the plumbers fool the sun into thinking they weren’t Mario and Luigi. Yes, this was considered plot development in a 1990 children’s show.

Everything you need to know about Super Mario's Angry Sun

The next game appearance for the Angry Sun wouldn’t come until Mario Kart DS. Here it acts as a looming presence over the Desert Hills course, where it rains down fireballs. This is the first time we see the cantankerous star attack other characters aside from Mario and Luigi also.

Could the sun simply be guarding its home? Does it take residence over specific areas and simply wants to be left alone? Considering its primary function, it’s hard to say if the Angry Sun gets much privacy at all. When night comes, that could serve as a break. But otherwise, it’s hard not to take notice of a big, hot orb of light with a grumpy face. Perhaps the moon from The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask could give it some pointers.

Bright spot

With the return of the Angry Sun in Super Mario Maker 2, we also get some different iterations of the enemy. Below we see the designs depending on which theme you’re in. From left to right, there’s Super Mario Bros. 3, Super Mario Bros., Super Mario World, and New Super Mario Bros. U.

Everything you need to know about Super Mario's Angry Sun

Either the Angry Sun has an extended family, or we are bearing witness to a Mario multiverse. It’s worth mentioning that as the graphical fidelity goes up, the sun appears less and less angry. Perhaps its been waiting for later console generations to feel comfortable in its own… uhh… light. That or the NSMBU version is some sort of midlife crisis. Either theory seems acceptable.

Which version of the Angry Sun is your favorite? And do you think this enemy should be in more games? Let us know in the comments.

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David Giltinan
David has been involved in games media since 2012 running his own blog, YouTube channel, being a founding member of RETRO Magazine, and now as host/producer of ARGcast - Another Retro Gaming Podcast. He also dabbles in voiceover and is occasionally a stunt double for Jude Law.