Boss Rush Banter: Is Mario Video Games’ Greatest Villain?

Yes, someone had to say it. Mario is a villain. 

Now hear me out before you click somewhere else. Mario is suffering and we cannot discount that possibility. He is so overcome with rage and indiscriminate violence that anyone caught in his path, innocent or no, could suffer a painful and excruciating death. 

We see Mario make his first appearance as a “hero” to the princess in Donkey Kong, but in Donkey Kong Jr., he imprisons Donkey Kong and becomes the villain. This is where his taste for violence and blood began. 

Fast forward to the original Super Mario Bros., the story claims that the Koopa tribe “invades” the Mushroom Kingdom and turns the people into stones, bricks, and even plants. In his rage, what does Mario do? Destroys bricks indiscriminately, knowing full well that they were once innocent people. Even in the booklet it says “Mario, the hero of the story (maybe)…” so we aren’t even positive Mario is a driving force for good. I highly doubt he is. 

Page 2 of the original instruction booklet for Super Mario Bros. (NES)

In future titles, he uses and abuses his friends for his own selfish gains, and even has a brother who is overshadowed by his arrogance and pride. Luigi is known as the “cowardly brother” who could never hold a candle to Mario. He takes such a back seat to Mario that Bowser, Mario’s nemesis, has never acknowledged Luigi’s existence, or has even forgotten his name! Yoshi is rode like a horse in Super Mario World, gets pounded on the head to perform actions, and is sacrificed many times in order for Mario to achieve his selfish goals of wanton destruction. Toad, who is a loyal servant to the Mushroom Kingdom, is marginalized compared to Mario, often seen as useless and pathetic. 

Beyond that, he abuses and violently attacks children. Bowser’s children Larry, Roy, Wendy, Lemmy, Iggy, Ludwig, Morton, and Bowser Jr (a baby!) are not spared Mario’s wrath. Does this man know no remorse? 

In every Mario game, Mario is a thief. Besides leaving a trail of destruction and chaos to once beautiful scenery and architecture, he also steals coins along the way. Earned from the blood, sweat, and tears of hard working people in the kingdoms he invades, these coins are stolen indiscriminately by a devil in a red suit (it’s no wonder Mario wears red!). 

There are many theories to suggest that Princess Peach was, or is currently, Bowser’s wife and that Mario is insanely jealous of their love, which explains why he is always “rescuing” the Princess from captivity. Is it any wonder why he decides to go on a warpath all the way to Bowser’s castle to rescue her? His rage is unbridled and uncontrollable. 

I encourage you to find a more vile and evil villain in video games than Mario. Sound off in the comments below if you can; of course, I highly doubt you could. 

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