Hello and welcome to In Too Deep, where I over-analyse a certain section of pop culture.
You know, almost 250 blogs, and I haven’t touched on one of the most influential game series of all time: Super Mario Bros. (which is odd, since Luigi doesn’t actually appear in it, so I don’t know where the ‘Bros.’ part comes from). Well it’s time to rectify that in the most horrifying way possible as I totally changed your view on the Mario series.
Before we start we best look at the main influence of the Mario series, whether it was intentional or otherwise. Earlier this year Disney released John Carter of Mars, which got me interested in reading the original novel. Written by the same man who write Tarzan, it’s a really good book that probably wouldn’t be published today, so I highly suggest you go check it out if for no other reason than it’s a refreshing change of pace. But in it John Carter somehow ends up on Mars, where he has the ability to super jump thanks to the low gravity. How can he breathe, I hear you ask? Funnily enough that is the climax of the book, but the shortest answer is shut up, nobody cares. Just accept that John Carter is a proto-Superman (in a literal sense, since the book undoubtedly inspired the character) with super speed, strength, endurance, jumping etc. thanks to the low gravity (like I said, really big inspiration). So what does this have to do with Mario? Well funnily enough the book is about John Carter having to save a Princess from the bad guys, with one tribe of Martians being reptilian in nature (there is no way the creators of the game couldn’t have read this book). So Mario is the same. Mario arrives in a new world with weaker gravity and thus goes on to save the day thanks to the abilities of being in a lower gravity environment. Simple enough right?
Well what about the rest of the elements? First off, you know what people never seem to notice? That both the Goombas and the Toads are, well, mushrooms. I know it’s the Mushroom Kingdom so it’d be expected, but doesn’t anyone else see the unfortunate implications between having white mushrooms being good and black mushrooms being the things you stomp on? Okay so perhaps the Goombas are mushrooms that go bad. Makes sense, mushrooms go black when they get older (do I look like a mushroom specialist?). Okay so perhaps that’s no better, since you’re beating up what are essentially old people. Skipping that, lets move onto the lizards. You notice how how every other enemy besides the Goombas seem to be based on turtles. Quite odd that. Now taking a page out of the Super Mario Bros. movie (the only good page mind you), what if we presume that the Mushroom Kingdom is some divergent universe where mammals never evolved. I mean Donkey Kong takes place in a world where a Monkey can apparently become King, so perhaps it’s a prequel to the Planet of the Apes? Anyway, Mushroom Kingdom. Dinosaurs never went extinct, but clearly turtles were the dominant species. As it turned out were mushrooms. So these two things evolved concurrently. The turtles kept to the oceans, the mushrooms to land. The mushrooms created a Kingdom, the turtles got jealous and invaded. Simple enough. So what about the other crazy stuff?
Well how would you explain the idea of Mario has lives. It’s not like Mario just gets grown in a vat… unless he does. Now presuming the coins are made of gold, that’s a lot of money. Cloning people obviously costs a lot of money. So when Mario collects 100 (teleporting them back to base), they get enough funding to successfully clone a new Mario, one that gets uploaded with all the memories of the previous ones. Once the funding runs out the project is scrapped. Thus Mario relives every death that every happens to him for your sick amusement. So the mushrooms and the fire flower? Well they effect his very DNA. The mushroom accelerates his growth at a surprising rate, whilst the fire flower merely gives him the ability to use alchemy (which could be a legit science in this Kingdom). Either that or Mario can connect multi-dimensionally and thus learns from the mistakes other versions of him make. Either way, that is one way of explaining the Mushroom Kingdom.
But that’s not why we’re here. We’re hear to see me go Freudian on this (for the record I still don’t think Freud was all that amazing). He basically came up with two conjoined ideas: â€œAll men want to sleep with their mothers and kill their fathersâ€ and â€œEverything boils down to sex.â€ So following that, lets look at Mario from that light. We start off in the Mushroom Kingdom, in this case being symbolic of the safety of the womb, it being all-encompassing. Now the Goombas/Turtles/etc. in this game represent the various diseases that certain ladies can have in that region. In order to traverse Mario has to go down pipes and up stalks, in other words going down a lady’s area and up a man’s phallus. We get the mushrooms that make him bigger, symbolizing part of the male anatomy that gets bigger when the man is aroused in a certain way. Likewise the fire mushroom represents the release a man can have with his most important pieces of equipment. So what about the bit mentioned at the beginning. Well Browser, a large horned being that fires off the biggest of fireballs, represents Mario’s father. Meanwhile Mario goes to many castles to find that his Princess is in another, symbolizing how he goes through many girlfriends. Finally he finds his mother deep within the dangerous castle (yet another reference to female anatomy), he finally reunites with her. His Oedipus Complex fulfilled. And I have now forever ruined Super Mario Bros. for you.
So there you have it. A rather disgusting look at Super Mario Bros. and how you’ll never be able to sleep easy again. If you disagree with anything, or have anything to add, feel free to leave a comment. Till next time.