Of all the wondrous things that Super Mario Odyssey has bequeathed unto the world, few are as memorable or catchy as the game’s breakout track “Jump Up, Superstar!” A rousing, jazzy number that’s sure to get anybody dancing and on their feet, it was featured prominently in the game’s marketing and promotional material — and now, a post on the Nintendo Treehouse blog has gone into detail on how the song was translated and localized into English from the original Japanese.

The symbol of a voyage, let’s start to raise the sails
A tailwind dances at our backs
Flip a coin, the goddess who’ll tell our fortune
Blows a kiss
Let’s sing our love as brightly as
All the lights in all the world
Then jump! (JUMP SE)
And grab! (COIN SE)
Say yeah!!! (yeah!!!)
Let’s dream together
Love together
If we walk with our eyes to the sky
Once all our tears have fallen
We’ll get a 1UP
Let’s all
Jump up high and high five
Tap and dance
I’m a superstar lighting up the world
Switching you on to happiness
So, let’s dance the Odyssey!!!
(Chorus)
Odyssey, ya see! etc.

As the post shows, the direct translation of the original lyrics doesn’t sound very catchy in English, so the localizers had to toss quite a few ideas back and forth to get lines that sounded right. Their initial attempts included a few more Mario references (such as “there’s no power-up like dancing”), though they would end up cutting back by the time the version is finalized. The post even includes a demo for one of the earlier scripts sung by the piece’s author, Rob T., which is a fascinating listen.

 

 
Besides other notes about making sure the chorus is catchy and easy to sing, Rob includes a little section on interpretations. He makes note of a funny coincidental homophone towards the beginning (Mario Odyssey certainly did raise Nintendo’s sales) while talking about the song being sung by Pauline as Mario’s ex — and how it carries a bit of bittersweetness when looked at from such a perspective. While it’s explicitly stated that such an interpretation would be headcanon (thus neither confirming or denying Pauline’s position in the Mario canon), it’s an interesting perspective to consider.

“Jump Up, Superstar!” is available on iTunes, or you could just boot up your copy of Mario Odyssey and listen to the segment where it plays. Either way, the uplifting song is surely worth another listen.

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Written by Amelia Fruzzetti

A writer and Nintendo fan based in Seattle, Washington. When not working for NinWire, she can be found eating pasta, writing stories, and wondering about when Mother 3 is finally going to get an official localization.

Amelia Fruzzetti