Mario Odyssey Players Are Breaking The New Balloon Mode

Illustration for article titled Mario Odyssey Players Are Breaking The New Balloon Mode
Image: Nintendo.

Growing up, you probably played hide-and-seek, and you probably had one friend who was so good at hiding that it felt like they’d vanished. Well, imagine that they could literally phase through walls in order to win, and you’ll have an idea of how Mario Odyssey players are feeling right now.


Mario Odyssey’s new mode, Luigi’s Balloon World, is like hide-and-seek, but with balloons and plumbers. One player hides a balloon in one of Mario Odyssey’s worlds, and another is tasked with tracking it down. If you successfully find a balloon or another player can’t sleuth out one of yours, you earn coins. Lots of coins, if you find a bunch of balloons in a row and get a streak going. As a result, some players are exploiting a glitch that lets them clip through walls in order to hide balloons out of bounds, rendering them nearly impossible to reach.

Here’s one example from Tristan Cooper:

And here’s another from Emperor Andy:

The problem, to hear players tell it, is especially prevalent in New Donk City.

On Reddit, players are posting warnings about the glitch. Some are even calling for people who exploit the glitch to be banned.

“It’s incredibly frustrating to have my streak ended when there was no way for me to get the balloon without exploiting a glitch in the game,” wrote player specfagular, who started a thread calling for bans. “I seriously don’t understand what kind of sad sap you have to be to make your balloon impossible to get and ruin the fun of the mode just for a few coins.”


Other players hope Nintendo will patch the exploit in the near future, and they figure they’ll just have to sit tight until then. However, some worry that if Nintendo decides to take a scorched earth approach and eliminate well-known out-of-bounds exploits—rather than applying a lighter tough and preventing balloons, specifically, from being able to go out-of-bounds—it’ll hamper the game’s speedrunning community, which sometimes takes advantage of those kinds of glitches to shave seconds off their times.

“It seems like a really bad design choice to not limit where people can place balloons,” wrote a player named 02Alien in a thread about clipping. “I’d much rather they do that than remove all of these out of bounds tricks/glitches.”


The ball, it would seem, is in Nintendo’s court. Or maybe it’s a balloon, and it’s inside the wall of a Labo factory. Whichever. You get my meaning.

Kotaku senior reporter. Beats: Twitch, streaming, PC gaming. Writing a book about streamers tentatively titled "STREAMERS" to be published by Atria/Simon & Schuster in the future.


Ben Bertoli

Yeah I’ve already found more than my fair share of balloons that are impossible to nab. It’s very frustrating. I could even see one clipping though the edge of a billboard in New Donk... but I couldn’t get back there by any traditional means. Pretty crappy thing for people to do.