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In a lot of games, there is a game over screen when you run out of lives. In Super Mario, you would collect green 1-up mushrooms to stack up lives before facing a boss or a difficult area. However, in Super Mario Odyssey, you do not have a game over screen.
Instead of having a life system, you will have coins instead. In replacement of losing a life, you will lose ten coins. Even if you do not have ten coins to lose, you will not be penalized.
Yoshiaki Koizumi, Super Mario Odyssey’s producer, told Polygon at E3 of the decision to do away with lives and 1-Ups by stating:
We also wanted people to be able to, you know, you get into a kingdom and you can just kind of continually keep going through that kingdom without being pulled out, so that was why we kind of wanted to get rid of the lives idea
The idea of continuous exploration without being interrupted by a Game Over screen seems to be a neat idea. We will see in October if this radical change pays off.