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I know that each theme has a corresponding night mode, that changes some properties, such as lower gravity. However, I can't figure out how to actually switch a theme over to night mode.

How can I switch a level over to it's night mode variant?

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So after some additional messing around I managed to figure this out accidentally.

The Angry Sun has an alternate form: The Moon. The moon will fly at Mario like the sun does, but when colliding with Mario it'll actually destroy all enemies on screen (including the moon itself).

If you place the Angry Sun in your level, and then switch it over it's alternate Moon form, then the level will change to night. You can delete the moon after you've placed it, and the level will remain in the night theme. Switching the moon back to the sun will change the map back to the regular theme.

Additionally, after the first time you've switched a theme over to the night alternate, you can now toggle between the day and night themes via the theme switching menu.

It also appears that the Night Theme isn't available in the Super Mario 3D World game style, as the sun enemy isn't available.

The effects of the Night Theme seem to vary based on the theme. I'll attempt to document the changes here as I find them

  • Ground: Night in the default theme just seems to be an aesthetic difference. If further experimentation reveals anything I'll update.
  • Sky: Night theme has lower gravity, making mario jump slower and fall very slowly.
  • Underground: Gravity is reversed (Aka mario walks upside down).
  • Forest: Water becomes poison, and will kill the player upon impact.
  • Underwater + Ghost House: Level becomes dark, with only a small area around you being visible. It appears other objects create light around them as well, but I'm not going to list them all here.
  • Desert: Creates a wind affect, which activates periodically throughout the level. When active it'll push mario back, which essentially slows him down and makes his jumps shorter.
  • Airship: Currently not sure if this does anything, but again, I'll update if I discover anything.
  • Castle: Becomes an underwater castle theme.
  • Snow: Snow and ice themed platforms (such as the default ground) becomes very, very slippery.
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    Seems like this is a case of Nintendo wanting to create a sense of discovery for the player, or just trying to avoid overwhelming them with options at the start. Makes sense, but can be really confusing for folks that already know these options exist.
    – Wipqozn
    Commented Jun 29, 2019 at 18:17
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    Minor nitpick: The wind direction alternates in the nighttime desert, and has the ability to boost runs and jumps if they match the direction of the wind. Not sure if the loss of such a detail was a matter of phrasing or not, but I thought I should mention it as it is a very fun mechanic! Commented Jul 1, 2019 at 20:09
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    The MM2 Direct video went over some of the features of how each theme changes at night. Ground theme causes 1-up mushrooms become rotten mushrooms. Ground, sky, and airship themes cause goombas to float in air as if they were underwater, and power ups behave differently, generally in ways that make it harder to obtain them. Commented Jul 2, 2019 at 17:13
  • Ground theme changes the behavior of many enemies and power ups.
    – DonielF
    Commented Aug 1, 2019 at 16:38

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