This story is over 5 years old.

Super Mario Isn't a Human Being

'Super Mario Odyssey' upsets much of what we know about the 'Italian' 'plumber.'

It's a thought that's crossed my mind on several occasions. If Super Mario is an Italian plumber, then where in relation to the Mushroom Kingdom is Italy? If I took out a globe could you show me? Could you trace your finger between the two? From where this thumb-sized man battles dragons and ghosts to a small farm in Campania where a tiny nonna weeps and wonders where her boys have gone. On Thursday night, during the Switch presentation, Nintendo shattered my perception of who and what Mario is, and has left me shaken ever since.


While the game lineup for the Nintendo Switch's launch is a little slim, the year ahead is made up of some big swingers. A new, expansive Zelda, a swift follow-up to  Splatoon, and a brand new  Super Mario OdysseyOdyssey will take Mario to worlds outside the Mushroom Kingdom, including a misty forest and a desert villa. But none are disturbing as "New Donk City," a Sesame Street style reduction of New York City. New Donk City, you see, is full of humans. Plain-clothed, everyday humans. And they look nothing like Mario. That is painfully clear when you see Mario walk next to them:

Clearly, the figure on the left is an anatomically modern human. The figure on the right, by contrast, is something else.

Read the rest over at Motherboard.