Wednesday, September 7, 2011

What is the Deal With Wario's Ears?

Super Mario Bros. is one of the most renowned video game franchises on Earth, easily taking a place as the figurehead of the industry. Mario is the Mickey Mouse of video games, and almost no child in a modern civilization won't recognize him. And just as Mickey has a foil in the greedy, selfish, obese Pete, Mario has a foil in the greedy, selfish, obese Wario. But Wario has one other difference that makes him really stand out from the crowd of Reverse Flashes and Bizarro Supermen.

Those damn ears.
Mario and Wario are supposed to be cousins, so logically you would assume that Wario is also an Italian. The one thing about Italians is that they're human, where Wario is clearly some kind of twisted elf or maybe a leprechaun. Actually, if Wario were a leprechaun, that would make a lot of sense considering his attraction to gold coins, and such a thing wouldn't feel out of place in the Mushroom Kingdom. Yeah, I'd be all for Wario being a leprechaun.

Unfortunately, leprechaun nor elf, nothing has been mentioned about Wario's ears in any official media. He simply has them. Maybe it's some kind of racist caricature of Italians? Though that really isn't a stereotype, at least not as much as those noses...

Way to go, Nintendo.
The only other explanation I can think of is that Wario is actually related to the Hylians that feature prominently in Nintendo's other franchise the Legend of Zelda. While this seems unlikely, there are an awful lot of other hints that the Mario and Zelda franchises actually take place in the same world, though at different points in time.

The simplest of explanations might just be that Nintendo wanted a way to further show how opposite Wario and Mario were. How do you oppose Mario's perfectly rounded ears? You make 'em pointy, of course! There isn't a whole lot of thought going into the canon of the Mario universe, so this is probably the best this explanation is going to get.

Seriously though, I stand firmly behind the leprechaun theory.

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