#MARIOISDEAD: A FAREWELL TO GAMING’S FAVORITE PLUMBER
Ladies and gentlemen, we are gathered here today to mourn the death of one of the greatest heroes to ever light up our TV screens, Super Mario, who left us for the Mushroom Kingdom in the sky on March 31.
After decades of adventure, space travel, Olympic competition, stints on television and film, various sporting events and 16 different board game-themed parties with his friends, the plucky plumber has been removed from this world by his creator Nintendo, with only the memories of his exploits to sustain us.
It seems like just yesterday (September 2020, in fact), we were talking about Mario’s 35th anniversary in grand fashion, with the plumber’s parent Nintendo dedicating an entire video presentation to its top hero. 35 years of saving Princess Peach while battling against Bowser and his minions were commemorated with apparel, crossovers, and adventures new and old. One of the adventures, Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury, persists, while the two historical outings, Super Mario 3D All Stars and Super Mario 35, were sadly on borrowed time.
Despite knowing our time with the games was short-lived, we players dove into Super Mario 3D All-Stars with gusto. We relished celebrating the 35th anniversary milestone by returning to some of Mario’s landmark adventures: Exploring Peach’s castle, cleaning up an island resort and soaring through the cosmos. These 3D all-star adventures represent some of the best memories in video games for many of us here today and now they, along with their leading man, have sailed into oblivion.
With Super Mario 35 we ventured back in time to the beginning, bringing 34 other players with us along for the ride until one of us was left standing tall. This was a blast from the past with a modern spin, embuing a sense of added danger thanks to the extra obstacles our fellow players could throw at us into the classic Super Mario formula. This broadening of iconic horizons became one of the great surprises of the last few months, but, alas, this adventure too has fallen into the void, like Bowser after a bridge is cut out from under him.
What makes the loss of our hero Mario so much more tragic is the senseless nature of his death. This was meant to be a celebration of a revered milestone, three-and-a-half decades of video game supremacy. It was a well-deserved recognition of a household name, something that should be allowed to continue for the rest of time. However, Nintendo stubbornly clutched to methods it has employed in the past, moving forward with removing these offerings from existence.
Ten years ago, the Wii’s Super Mario All-Stars 25th Anniversary Edition only ran for two printings before being lost forever. Three years later, fellow Nintendo adventurer Kirby also had a commemorative compilation release on the Wii, Kirby’s Dream Collection celebrating 20 years of Kirby, yet that special release did not have a limited release window.
As judgment day approached for our beloved Mario, fans took to social media to voice their objection to the end of their hero. The Twitter hashtag #MarioIsDead surfaced in the final days, filled with dismay for the decision, incredulity over the arbitrary nature of the decision and the Internet’s trademark snarky humor. Despite those pleas from Mario’s biggest fans to reverse course and keep the memories alive, Nintendo stuck to its blue shells and made the difficult decision to pull the plug.
Mario is survived by his brother Luigi, damsel-in-distress Princess Peach, rival Bowser, mushroom-shaped friend Toad and loyal steed (and adopted parent) Yoshi. Services will take place at Peach’s Castle, with reception and memorial go-kart race to follow.
Photo courtesy of Nintendo