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The Pudgy Plumber

December 28, 2010

Ahem, allow me to get my geek on here a bit.  For Christmas we were unexpectedly gifted with a Wii. We promptly borrowed Mario Kart from my brother-in-law and have been having a hoot with it ever since. Normally I’m not a big Mario fan (though I am a HUGE Nintendo freak, my main love being Samus Aran from the Metroid series), but I’m really lovin’ what they’ve done with him for the Wii.

As unlikely as they get, Mario is the original video game hero. Appearing in the very early ’80s in Donkey Kong for the arcade, he rocketed to fame in Super Mario Bros for the NES in 1983, one year before I was born.  From there it’s been nowhere but up for this short, fat man from Brooklyn: always rescuing Princess Peach, collecting coins or stars, rocking out cool costumes and enjoying varied power-ups.

My first game system was the SNES and it came with Super Mario World.  It didn’t seem odd to me in the slightest that the protagonist was a short, fat man. I guess that video games just instantly set our brains into suspension of disbelief mode or, maybe, just maybe, there’s nothing unheroic about a fat man.

Since his creation, Mario has rescued the princess, ridden dinosaurs, driven karts, climbed ropes and vines, smashed countless blocks, pocketed countless coins, swam miles, defeated evil Koopas of every stripe and colour by leaping on their heads, throwing fireballs at them, turning them into blocks of ice and then using them as weapons or simply outsmarting them, and has even flown through the skies of many a pixelated world.

His fat is never an issue: Peach never asks him to lose weight, Luigi never pokes fun at him. Mario never slows down, even though GameDaily asserts: “By all accounts, the guy should run out of gas halfway through World 1-1, but he presses onward. It’s the story of the year.”

Their account being, of course, that a fat man like Mario isn’t up to the task.  Oh, but he IS.  He’s been at it for nearly 30 years, with no end in sight.

Mario on a dirt bike

One Comment leave one →
  1. December 29, 2010 10:20 am

    I love Mario, and I love that they haven’t done to him what they’ve done to so many childhood heroes, and made them ridiculously thin.

    And you can always count on a gaming magazine to post some stupidass comment about a characters weight, can’t you?

    The Wii is awesome. Check out Boom Blox and other games like it. They’re the best!

    Peace,
    Shannon

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