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The Super Mario Sunshine Easter Egg You'll Find In A Splatoon 3 Boss Fight

"Splatoon 3" is finally out and early fan and critic reactions are indicating that it's a great addition to the series. It offers a host of new features and game modes along with the old, paint splattering gameplay that fans have come to love. As it turns out, the game also offers a fun little Easter egg that fans of "Super Mario Sunshine" may notice.

While competitive multiplayer has always been the primary draw of the "Splatoon" series, the latest game does have a single player campaign that may not be too long but is still a good time for players taking a break from the multiplayer action. It's in this campaign that observant gamers may have noticed something about a certain boss fight that looked quite familiar.

As Ana Diaz at Polygon noted, the sixth area of the Alterna region in the campaign features a boss fight that bears more than a passing similarity to one found in the Manta Storm level in the Sirena Beach section of "Mario Sunshine." While Sirena Beach is a sunny, tropical location and Alterna is more of a frozen waste, the boss fights are otherwise practically identical.

Spray paint (or water) to take out a giant manta ray

In "Super Mario Sunshine," our hero Mario takes on the Phantamanta, a giant manta ray that projects itself on the ground, trying to attack Mario and leaving goop in its wake. To defeat it, Mario must spray it with water while avoiding its attacks. As he hits it, the ray splits into smaller rays, filling the area smaller and smaller clones that Mario must defeat.

Meanwhile, "Splatoon 3" has the player taking on a giant manta ray of their own. This ray submerges into the floor and spreads paint as it moves. The player must shoot it with their own paint, removing the ray's paint and causing it to split into smaller rays.

It seems pretty clear that this boss battle is meant to be a mirror image of Mario's old challenge. From opposite locations to replacing water with paint, "Splatoon 3" offers the same old challenge with cosmetic updates and twists.

While it continues to be unlikely that fans will get a sequel to "Super Mario Sunshine" anytime soon, it's nice to see that Nintendo still remembers the old game and is including nods to it in newer titles.