Saturday, October 19, 2013

It's-a Me! Prince-a Mario!

A couple nights ago I talked about why Dr. Mario need not be our favorite plumber, but in that same post I also mentioned that a certain coastal king happens to share a number of distinctive characteristics with our man Mario.

That green-clad fellow isn't a stout Luigi, folks. That's the Seaside King, one of the Mushroom Kingdom's (more likely Mushroom Empire) seven governing kings. Looks familiar, doesn't he? Of course, plenty of people have look-alikes in the real world, so looks alone aren't really enough for me to go making connections now, is it? Are you joking? Of course it is! I'm a nerd, and as all nerds know, if someone looks like someone else in a work of fiction, they are intimately related. After all, how else would we know that Shadow is secretly Sonic's father? (Wait, we don't? Oh...)

I'll stick with the ocean and coincidental things for the moment before I blast ya with the finish. King Mario up there is the ruler of the Seaside Kingdom, which does admittedly appear to be in colder waters than most other sea-locked areas of the Kingdom. Still, the connection to water can't really be ignored when you realize that the Stork in Yoshi's Island was flying over and around the small dinosaur-infested locale, which is surrounded on all sides by, you guessed it, water.

This in itself might not mean too much, because as we've seen in Super Mario World, Yoshi's Island is an island very in very close proximity to the Dinosaur Land continent--so close that they may be the same location (as indicated by the sprawling terrain of the Yoshi titles themselves). It's quite possible that the Stork had a longer journey ahead of him, and was ambushed over Dinosaur Land partially by accident, and probably also because it is the birthplace of the Koopa Klan. Even more against my point? The ending of Yoshi's Island clearly shows that the Mario Bros. are deposited in the care of an average (read: poor) Mushroom family living somewhere in the mountains (the geography suggests a colony in Dinosaur Land, but this seems unlikely).

However, these are all misleading and also somewhat important factors in deducing the genealogical history of Mushroom's finest. Last year (whoa, I guess October is my Mushroom Month) I asked the age-old question: where do babies come from? I supposed that the Stork-carried children were issued to incompatible or infertile parents who made wishes to the Star Spirits. At the time, I was presuming that the children were magically manifested into existence for this purpose, by that might not be so. Most instances in which the Stars are shown to grant wishes, they rarely do so through magical means; more often, they are shown to encounter a mortal being who can build or create whatever has been wished for, or in some other physical manner do they impact the environment. The only magical properties the Stars have demonstrated are offensive and healing capabilities, both of which have natural explanations in the Mushroom world (Misstar's lipstick could be made with Super Shrooms, for example).

Isn't it possible that the babies delivered by the Stork are also acquired by the Stork? There are no orphanages ever seen in the Mushroom Kingdom, and the reason might be because there are no true orphans. Perhaps the Stork was flying so close to the ocean environments not because that was where the Mario's were to be delivered, but rather where they were picked up. From their birth palace in Seaside.

Why would King Mario give up his children? Well, the Mushroom Kings are never shown with queens, so it might be that he is unmarried and a child would harm his reputation or possibly cost him his position. That seems unlikely, though, as it seems that Mario's royal ancestry has become somewhat common knowledge in the Kingdom (more on that in a moment). It might be that Mario and Luigi were born from a mistress, but again, their public image makes that unlikely (granted, we haven't seen the Kings in quite a while, have we?). I think it more likely that the King of Seaside feared for the well-being of his children for whatever reason (perhaps during this time Seaside was not part of the Mushroom Kingdom and the two territories were at war with a looming victory on behalf of the Mushrooms). Making his wish to the Stars, the twin princes were whisked away to a safe locale where they could grow up in relatively peace.

Still think this hinges on coincidence? Wait a minute, Snivy, you remember the plot behind Super Mario Land 2? That's right, Mario's villainous cousin Wario steals his castle. Mario has a castle. Why would Mario have a castle? I mean, maybe it was a present from Princess Peach, but that's extraordinarily extravagant. Not to mention that it isn't his usual residence, which has been shown on multiple occasions to be a small cottage outside of Toad Town. Maybe he purchased the castle with his coinage as a summer retreat? Possibly, but Mario is more humble than that. He has no use for luxuries and performs most good deeds without a fee, I imagine he probably donates most of what he earns. Why then, would he have a castle?

A castle on its own small island with no other intelligent inhabitants other than those who are invading?


That's right, I'm proposing that Mario's Castle, and the island it sits on, were gifts from his father (this might also explain why Luigi was so readily accepting of a mysterious mansion). They are probably located not far from Seaside (as the native inhabitants are more akin to Mushroom natives than Sarasalandians). This could also explain why Wario is jealous of Mario at all, and steals the castle to begin with. Think of it in a Lion King sort of way: Mario was missing in action for decades, and if he truly is the good doctor, the Seaside King has no other known sons. This would make Wario, the eldest cousin, next in line to rule the throne. Suddenly Mario returns and takes away everything Wario believes to be his. I can imagine that would make anybody a little green.

Before we part I have one last thing to mention. Super Mario Bros. seems to take place in a Disney-styled fantasy land, and it's pretty common knowledge that royalty can only wed royalty in such places. Why, then, does everybody seem fine with Mario's courtship of (and possible engagement to) Princess Peach? Oh, right, because he's a prince and it would only work to cement the ties between the Seaside and Mushroom Kingdoms.

Got it.

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