The 18 weirdest things I saw in Nintendo's big new Mario game that's about to launch

I never thought I’d see a shirtless Mario running along the beach, nipples and all, but here we are.

This is emblematic of the supreme silliness of “Super Mario Odyssey,” the next big game coming to Nintendo’s Switch. If you remember “Super Mario 64,” “Super Mario Odyssey” is basically that, but bigger, better looking  — and way weirder.

I got a chance to play the game recently, and during that session I found a bunch of things that are at least as strange as the image above.

Here, for example, is another real image from the game, which I captured while playing it:

Super Mario OdysseyNintendoI call it ‘The Tragedy of Mario.’

“Super Mario Odyssey” is quite a game. Let’s dive in!

In 'Super Mario Odyssey,' you explore vast open worlds.

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The point is to find moons to power your ship, the Odyssey, from place to place.

In this scene, Mario is exploring one such place -- Bubblaine -- while wearing some polka dot swim trunks.

That by itself isn't all that strange. What is crazy is what's going on with Mario's hat.

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The ability to explore worlds is pretty similar to 'Super Mario 64.'

What's new is how Mario's hat is being haunted by a ghost. He can use it to take over other characters or items in the game by tossing it onto them

With the hat, you can take over a person.

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Or a Cheep Cheep.

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Or a stack of Goombas.

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Or this bizarre octopus thing!

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One of the coolest -- and strangest -- parts of playing 'Super Mario Odyssey' is taking over and playing as one of Mario's enemies.

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Yes, that is a giant piece of corn. Obviously it is.

These are the same bad guys you've been stomping in Mario games for years. Now you can play as them, solving puzzles and exploring the world.

It's also fun and hilarious to see Goombas dressed in various hats.

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Among the 'disguises' you'll see them dressed in are pirate hats (like in the scene above) and chef hats.

In one of the worlds I explored, I ran into a group of anthropomorphic forks in chef hats.

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Why are a bunch of forks making soup? Good question.

The fork people on Mount Volbono were in trouble -- a giant bird was circling their soup! Could Mario help? Of course he could!

Soon enough I was grabbing radishes and fraternizing with forks all over the place.

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And to be clear, I was barely scratching the surface of 'Super Mario Odyssey.' I only had the chance to play the game for little more than an hour.

Sadly, I never ran into this magical pooch wearing a hat.

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Nintendo shared numerous screenshots from the game. Unfortunately, I didn't see many of the things they highlight in my exploration of Bubblaine and beyond.

Among the other cool items I missed: This massive dinosaur slumbering next to Mario and the adorable little bird resting on Mario's bulbous schnoz.

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And yes, before you ask, of course you can play as that dinosaur.

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Check out that mustache!

Mario can wear other cool things besides his ghostly hat.

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You can get other dress-up items in the game's Crazy Cap shops. I found one in every area I explored.

In Bubblaine, this adorable snail handled sales duties.

A stylish fork was the sales clerk at the Crazy Cap Shop in Mount Volbono.

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Although there was a good deal of overlap from shop to shop, the clothing selection at each one differed a bit from the others.

In Bubblaine, I chose this spiffy pirate costume for Mario.

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He was pretty pumped about it.

At Mount Volbono, I was feeling a bit more adventurous.

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Surely the sentient forks would appreciate Mario's risky sartorial move?

As it turns out, cooks appreciate other cooks.

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As an added bonus, Mario's alternative outfits may help him solve puzzles or fit in better in different areas.

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