Hackers add split-screen co-op to Super Mario Galaxy 2

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When Super Mario Galaxy 2 hit the Wii in 2010, it was a hit with critics and fans alike. That said, there was a contingent of players who slammed the title for lacking a true co-operative multiplayer mode. Yes, a friendly second player could control a helpful luma, but that wasn’t quite as entertaining as Mario and Luigi traversing the game’s physics-defying planets as a team.

Nintendo, being Nintendo, never addressed this complaint, so instead a group of inventive hackers has altered the game to include true split-screen co-operative multiplayer. Once the modification is released, two players will be able to join forces as the iconic Mario Bros. to take on the game’s various challenges, and as the video embedded below demonstrates, it adds an entirely new dimension to the already excellent platformer.

That said, we’re still a ways from seeing this thing in the wild. According to the official YouTube description, the mod is a long ways from completion. “As may be apparent in the video, some things are clearly out of place; such as the HP meters, which not only aren’t on-screen properly, but only show Player 2’s HP :P The camera control is also proving difficult with the two screens, and so Mario and Luigi currently can’t stray too far from each other (hence they’re together a lot in this preview),” writes pseudonymous co-creator “MrBean35000vr.”

Likewise, he readily admits that this video is far from an impressive demonstration of co-op multiplayer gameplay. MrBean35000vr captured this clip while playing both characters by himself, and thus it should be considered a mere proof of concept. Once the modification is ready for release, the description claims that a new, more impressive vignette will be uploaded.

Thankfully, that wait will give you time to contemplate the ethical ramifications of playing this thing. As with all hacks for Wii titles, getting this modification to run will require the use of questionably legal software. Specifically, the Riivolution game patcher, which allows users to modify Wii titles using data stored on USB or SD memory units. It’s by no means difficult to get this sort of thing set up, but those of you who would prefer to avoid any theoretical moral/ethical/legal complications should likely give this mod a pass.

And for that matter, you may want to skip the clip below. Though unfinished, it offers a ton of promise for fans of platforming adventures. Ethical grey area or not, it’s going to be hard to resist the chance to replay Super Mario Galaxy 2 with a friend in tow.