It's a me, out-of-context Mario!
March 17, 2008 4:48 PM   Subscribe

Mario outside of his usual context is often weird and disturbing.
posted by ignignokt (27 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
posted by dhartung at 4:56 PM on March 17, 2008

You forgot this one.
posted by aqhong at 5:10 PM on March 17, 2008

Totally sweet Rule 34 of Mario drawn by Tom of Finland at that fourth link.
posted by bunnytricks at 5:11 PM on March 17, 2008

Oh, no, you didn't. I fail.
posted by aqhong at 5:11 PM on March 17, 2008

This is my favorite one.
posted by martinrebas at 5:23 PM on March 17, 2008 [2 favorites]

That last one looks like the love child of Paul Giamatti and Gollum.
posted by Mr. Palomar at 5:30 PM on March 17, 2008 [2 favorites]

Why does he have ninja turtle feet in this one?

posted by the littlest brussels sprout at 5:37 PM on March 17, 2008

Here's my favorite reimagined Mario: Dark Mario.
posted by barnacles at 5:52 PM on March 17, 2008 [7 favorites]

That 'real' Mario at Kotaku answers a question for me. With each new system Nintendo releases, the image of Mario on the game boxes has evolved. Starting with a relatively simple drawing of him in the NES days, a more refined cartoon in the SNES era, a computer graphics 3D model in the N64 days and finally another 3D model but with better textures on his clothes now in the Wii age.

While thinking about this one day, I had wondered how, when Nintendo releases the successor to the Wii, the image of Mario would be further refined. This has got to be it. But they'll make it look less creepy (I hope), probably with smaller eyes (and not so many red veins in the eyes).

Thanks for the post!
posted by Effigy2000 at 5:56 PM on March 17, 2008

You're saying a middle-aged plumber who dresses up as a raccoon and hangs out with mushroom people is kind of creepy when taken out of context?
posted by L. Fitzgerald Sjoberg at 6:24 PM on March 17, 2008 [5 favorites]

When I was a kid, I had this thing about Mario. There's not a word for it, but it was the opposite of a crush. I was creeoed out and unnerved by him and his cheerful faux-Italian visage, wherever it appeared. I liked playing the games as much as anyone, but I had to make an effort not to think about the character and to skip cutscenes that featured him. I have no idea why I had that reaction, but it's long in the pasOH GOD THAT THIRD LINK
posted by Countess Elena at 6:25 PM on March 17, 2008

Missed one. (via)
posted by piratebowling at 6:37 PM on March 17, 2008

Look! Itsa me! Lothario!
posted by Rhaomi at 6:54 PM on March 17, 2008

I'm sorry but this thread isn't complete until it has this and The Adventures of Lord Mario.
posted by champthom at 7:35 PM on March 17, 2008 [4 favorites]

posted by Tehanu at 8:03 PM on March 17, 2008

Sometimes simply silly.
posted by zennie at 8:30 PM on March 17, 2008 [2 favorites]

Whoa, there's even more awesome/disturbing Mario out there than I thought!

Effigy2000: Creepy-real Mario does slide right into the sequence you posted. See, this is why I think the quest for realism in games is overrated. I think Nintendo understands that, too, though.

Countess Elena: I always thought he looked good as a sprite, but I was a bit weirded out by the shiny-skinned artist renderings on the boxes.
posted by ignignokt at 9:05 PM on March 17, 2008

Don't forget Luigi!
posted by ddaavviidd at 10:01 PM on March 17, 2008

Hard Gay Mario should be the new Secretary of Defense.
posted by Sticherbeast at 10:31 PM on March 17, 2008 [2 favorites]

The People's Mario!
posted by bacteria at 10:41 PM on March 17, 2008 [2 favorites]

I absolutely love this stuff. People have hit most of the really good ones already, but I'm fond of this artists take on the evil sun, his gallery has some other good ones, like Wendy O' Koopa.

From the OP's third link, this reimagining of the bobomb is adorable.

Another cool realistic Mario by someone on deviantart. And an interesting Mario papercraft project where the person recreated a level.

The youth of the Mario brothers series is explanation defyingly weird.

Finally one of my favorites is the art of SilentKV who takes the iconic Mario style but looks at situations from the games with new perspectives.

Part of what makes Mario so alluring to deconstruct is its conscious merging of the childish and the surreal. At a basic level the games are all about freeing kingdoms from oppression and underneath the cute sprite graphics there are implications of war like the Bullet Bills, changing the flag at the end of levels, and later the giant flying fortresses that the Koopa family constructs. When the original game was being designed they decided to reuse the already existing character of Mario from Donkey Kong, which explains why there's an out of place Brooklyn plumber in a fantasy land, and they borrowed the mushrooms from Alice in Wonderland to let him change size, so they come by their strangeness quite honestly.

Also the narrative from the Mario games has always been sparse and left more unsaid than it explains, which leaves plenty of room for imagination. Why does Bowser kidnap the princess constantly? At this point she's probably spent more time with him than with Mario. More important, how does she feel about it? They kind of go in that direction in Super Mario RPG where the three are all teamed up on the same side, but the undertones are odd no matter how you dice it. Additionally there is a sort of grey area morally where the villains can switch sides and wrongs are forgotten. Wario is an antagonistic character to Mario, but he has his own game series where he fights villains who are worse than himself. It's a world where the ghosts blush and hide their faces, Phantos will chase you through the entire level until you give him back his key, and Bowser tries to crush you in a leering Clown Copter. Nintendo doesn't need much help from fans in making Mario stranger.
posted by CheshireCat at 11:38 PM on March 17, 2008 [5 favorites]

"Dark Mario" looks basically like American McGee's Mario.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 11:53 PM on March 17, 2008

CheshireCat: The tone of that last SilentKV drawing reminds me of The Onion's editorial cartoonist. I kind of wish a crying Statue of Liberty was wedged somewhere among the Koopa Troopas.

It has been pointed out before that if a Mario Galaxy were released with no preceding Mario games, people would be utterly nonplussed. The Mario world relies on a reference bank that was built over the period of two decades. As you point out, the Mario world was developed organically and in piecemeal, starting from a time in which video games didn't really need to explain themselves, so there's plenty of disparate elements and holes that somehow belong together now.

Bowser's in Super Paper Mario as well, and I found his act of altruism confusing, but somehow not unbelievable. Somehow, by constantly being so consistently weird, the Mario games get you to accept things like that, whereas in another series, you'd think it was bullshit.
posted by ignignokt at 1:22 AM on March 18, 2008

the Mario world was developed organically and in piecemeal, starting from a time in which video games didn't really need to explain themselves, so there's plenty of disparate elements and holes that somehow belong together now

That's one of the things that I miss from the "classic" age of video games. The primitive graphics and focus on gameplay mechanics resulted in a lot of very surreal games. This led to games like Pac Man, where a yellow circle monster eats other circles in a neon maze and gets chased by ghosts. This made games effortlessly goofy and fun. Sure, there are modern games like Katamari Damacy that are purposely silly, but they are definitely the exception rather than the rule.

All games are much more realistic now, and that makes them seem much less innocent, regardless of the content. Take Grand Theft Auto, for example. The original 2D games were largely ignored by non-gamers, but when the 3D version came out people instantly condemned it for being too dark and violent, even though the actual game content was nearly identical. It's very difficult to make a game realistic without also making it very dark.
posted by burnmp3s at 6:31 AM on March 18, 2008 [1 favorite]

On the out-of-context Mario: I got the opportunity to work with the voice actor who's been Mario forever. There's nothing weirder than having a conference call with a very kind, funny gentleman who just adds a, "It's a me!"

The 12-year-old me overcame my adult professionalism and I giggled.
posted by Gucky at 5:20 PM on March 18, 2008

I kinda always assumed he was a low-paid plumber in a dingy NYC apartment sitting in his bathtub with a needle in his arm imagining this "Mushroom Kingdom". More depressing than anything.
posted by fishmasta at 8:19 PM on March 18, 2008

Here's the Homer Simpson version of real-looking Mario.
posted by dgaicun at 6:07 PM on March 21, 2008

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