The Sand Kingdom (砂の国 , lit. Sand Country?), also known as the Kingdom of Red Sands and Lively Locals. is a location that appears in Super Mario Odyssey. It is a vast realm in the form of an desert town that's constantly expanding. Its most notable city is Tostarena, which serves as the kingdom's main playable area in the game.
Concept and creation
The Sand Kingdom was based on Mexico because the director of Super Mario Odyssey, Kenta Motokura, liked the country and his trip there had left a strong impression on him. The sketch of the early design showed that the poncho and sombrero were already considered as the location's typical outfits, even though the motif of the sombrero was different and the poncho was supposed to be worn over Mario's usual suit and to be paired with boots. The concept art already included Tostarena Town, Tostarena Ruins and the Inverted Pyramid, as well as the ice pillars covering parts of the desert. The main visible differences are the town having just two rows of buildings forming one street while featuring a wooden gate at the entrance and the Inverted Pyramid being actually a floating pyramid resembling that of Chichen Itza. Some elements introduced in Tostarena, namely the Sphynx and the Moe-Eyes, were reportedly a reference to Super Mario Land, another game that features Sphinxes and Moai-like beings in a part-desert kingdom.
Tostarena Town in particular was designed to create a contrast between the curved lines of the dunes and the more linear design of the buildings. The concept art also shows that initially the town was supposed to have a bridge built over a road.
On the other hand, the gate to Tostarena Ruins was designed to resemble an inverted triangle as a recall to the Inverted Pyramid. The concept artwork showed how the Power Moons of Tostarena were initially intended to be red instead of the final green color.
A small town that serves as the hub for tourists planning to visit the Inverted Pyramid. The colorful buildings and cheerful people provide a warm welcome for visitors. They're happy to provide direction, so don't hesitate to say hello.
Mysterious Ancient Ruins
Head north from town and you'll be greeted by ancient ruins that dot the expansive desert. Though many have become conflict regions patrolled by Bullet Bills, their status as important heritage sites is undeniable.
Your eye will be drawn to the large stone tower at the heart of the ruins. Due to extensive hollowing underground, quicksand has become prevalent in this area, so watch out.
The true "can't miss" of this region, the Inverted Pyramid may look unstable, but rest assured it never topples and has thrilled tourists for years. It is said that a legendary artifact called the Binding Band lies within, and the upside-down pyramid symbolizes how those joined by it will never part even if the world turns upside down.
Let's have a look at the curious local transport method known as the Jaxi.
Just hop on the back of one, and as you might guess from their appearance, you'll be in for a wild but completely reliable ride.
Make good use of them and you'll be exploring this unforgiving desert in comfort and style.
Living Heart of the Desert
Here's a spot to moisten your dried and withered heart, with greenery and water to make you forget you're in the desert. The fish and birds are plentiful and well worth a visit.
The Moe-Eyes love their shades.
They'll run if chased, but they're a proud people who have long inhabited these ruins. Please be polite.
Three Keys to the Kingdom
- Enjoy the small but lively desert village and its charming inhabitants.
- Wonder at the Inverted Pyramid and its upside-down magic.
- Watch for the gem iconography carved in relief on the ruins.
There are two paintings in this kingdom. One can be found near the east side of the Tostarena Ruins, in a tilted pillar next to a Jaxi calling post. The painting leads to the Isolated Rooftop at the Metro Kingdom. It can only be accessed after completing the "Showdown on the Inverted Pyramid" mission.
The other painting is located at the Southwestern Floating Island, which can be accessed from the Wooded Kingdom or the Lake Kingdom.
There are a total of 93 Power Moons (87 regular Power Moons and 2 Multi Moons) in the Sand Kingdom, 59 of the Power Moons and the 2 Multi Moons can be collect during the player's first visit to the kingdom. 1 Power Moon can be collect if the player travel to this kingdom using a painting. After the player defeats Bowser in the Moon Kingdom, 6 more Power Moons become available to collect. The Moon Rock moons will also be available to destroy, adding 20 additional Power Moons to be accessible.
- Micro Goombas
- Bullet Bills (wear visors after completing the kingdom)
- Bill Blasters
- Goombas (wearing sombreros)
- Coin Coffer
- Hariet (boss)
- Knucklotec (boss)
- The slots mini-game in this kingdom reappears in the Metro Kingdom in a building painted in style to the sand kingdom.
- A picture of Mario in the Sand Kingdom was removed from the boxart of Super Mario Odyssey as it was taken as a racist stereotype by Mexican people.