Thanks for checking out the Summers Ink blog! I wanted to use a different avenue to express what goes on with the brand, the creative process, and the charity organizations in a more thorough and appropriate manner rather than on our social media pages. Currently, we’re only on Instagram, and their platform is much better suited for visual aesthetics instead of long, in-depth paragraphs.
So, here we are.
Serendipity in Sunshine
Our latest design that was released today, “Never Steal Our Shine”, takes inspiration from the cover of the video game “Super Mario Sunshine”, the second 3D-platformer of the Mario series released in August 2002 for the Nintendo GameCube. Ironically, a few days after coming up with the concept for the design, the internet exploded when Nintendo of America posted this photo on their Twitter account, with the caption at the end saying that “no matter where your summer odyssey took you, we hope it was filled with sunshine!”.
For those that are unfamiliar, they used a couple not-so-subtle references to two mainline Mario games: the aforementioned “Super Mario Sunshine”, and the latest release in the franchise from 2017, “Super Mario Odyssey”. Now, it has been widely reported that Isle Delfino, the main hub world of Super Mario Sunshine, was going to be a visitable world in Super Mario Odyssey as the shape of the island was spotted on promotional material prior to its release. However, it never appeared, and the only references to the game were a Hawaiian-style shirt with Shine Sprites (the collectible items from Sunshine) that Mario can change into. A cheeky use of two particular words from Nintendo’s social media team turned the internet on its head for a few days with YouTuber’s, bloggers and Twitter fiends going into a feeding frenzy of all sorts of speculation:
- Is this hinting at a possible sequel to Super Mario Sunshine? (There were two watermelon seeds carefully placed on Mario’s cheek, after all.)
- Perhaps there will be an Isle Delfino world added to Super Mario Odyssey as DLC (downloadable content) later on? The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild had two different packs of content released after that game came out in the same year, so it’s been a surprise that the same hasn’t happened with Odyssey yet.
- Or better yet, a full-fledged sequel to Super Mario Odyssey with Isle Delfino in it! Breath of the Wild has a sequel itself in development now, and the Mario series has done sequels to mainline games before (Super Mario World + Super Mario Galaxy both getting sequels a few years after their respective releases).
For all of the salivating that ensued, nothing was announced at Nintendo’s recent Direct conference they had a couple weeks ago. That’s not to say that something may come from this down the line, but for now we’ll have to wait patiently and stay tuned for another time.
Never Steal Our Shine
But anyway, back to the design at hand now that you all have this anecdote. With summer officially coming to an end next week, I wanted to come up with one last ray of sunshine before moving on towards the autumn apparel. The phrase obviously has a summer vibe to it (which of course fits the bill of the Summers Ink name, too), but the overall message is to never let anyone steal what makes you happy, what brings you joy or gives you hope in this crazy world that we live in.
To many, Super Mario Sunshine is the black sheep of the franchise. For those that didn’t enjoy it claim that the F.L.U.D.D. mechanic (a water pack called Flash Liquidizer Ultra Dousing Device that Mario wears throughout the game) was a gimmick, that the camera was too wonky, and that the blue coins (another collectible item) were so tedious and brutal trying to find all of them.
But Super Mario Sunshine had charm. It was different, unique, and took the Mario franchise in a bold, new direction. I’ll never forget playing it on launch as I started 8th grade, taking in the new wave of memories that a brand new Mario adventure always delivers on. Sure, it had its flaws, but for me and to many others those fail in comparison to all of the joy and happiness that game brought to all of us, and we sure as hell aren’t going to let the critics, pessimists and doubters take that away from us. Or for anything else in life for that matter.
*Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age - Definitive Edition (Nintendo Switch)
We Do It For The Kids
That’s why I wanted to donate 10% of all sales on this design towards the Extra Life 4 Kids charity organization (extra-life.org). They unite thousands of players around the world to host fundraising and gaming marathons in support of local children’s hospitals. As an avid gamer always trying to keep the kid inside me alive, it only made sense to help fellow young people (in actuality but also in heart and spirit) at a second chance in life and to build a sense of community that video games in particular can do.
So please help us bring awareness towards a great cause, to keep that Summer(s Ink) feeling alive all-year round, and to never let any outside forces steal our shine.