The Super Guide is a form of in-game help devised and patented by developers at Nintendo
. In basic terms, the Super Guide gives players having difficulty with a particular portion of a game the opportunity to allow the game to play itself, clearing the troublesome portion of the game for the player while also demonstrating how.
The first game to use the Super Guide feature was New Super Mario Bros. Wii
. In this game, the option to use the Super Guide will only present itself if the player dies eight times on a single stage, at which point a special green block will appear. By striking the block, the player may allow Mario
to trade places with a computer-controlled Luigi
that will proceed on the most direct path to the stage goal.
Once the stage is cleared, the game offers players the opportunity to attempt the stage again on their own using knowledge gained from watching Luigi's run or to simply continue on to the next stage. The Super Guide remains in effect only for the stage in which the player died eight times and does not migrate with the player. The player is also given the opportunity to interrupt the Super Guide run at any time and attempt completing the remainder of the stage on their own with Luigi.
The second game to use the feature was Super Mario Galaxy 2
. Dubbed 'Cosmic Guide' in the game, it serves the same purpose as it did in the 2D platformer, but this time is activated by asking a shadow version of Rosalina
somewhere in the stage to guide the player past a particular obstacle. When the Cosmic Guide is in effect, any stars collected are bronze stars. Gold stars can only be earned when the player plays through that portion of the game with Mario under their own control.
All Super Guide runs are prerecorded play sessions of Nintendo developers and are not "perfect" runs. For example, in the context of New Super Mario Bros. Wii, this means that the Super Guide runs do not show all of a stage's secrets.