Back in September, I wrote here about how I’m excited for a new Mario game in a way that I haven’t been since I was a kid. This week, Nintendo surprised fans with an additional reason to await Super Mario 3D World: an unlockable fifth character, Rosalina.
Okay, so you’re all, “Hey, I played the hell out of Mario Kart 64 and I don’t remember no Rosalina in there.” To which I’d explain that Rosalina is a relatively new addition to the series, having debuted in 2007 in Super Mario Galaxy. She’s subsequently showed up in the Mario Kart games as another Princess Peach-like alternative to Princess Peach. If Peach is Barbie and Daisy is Midge, Rosalina is the cosmic-powered, space princess version of Barbie that would never exist in the Barbie universe because it doesn’t get that weird. And you’d be all “Okay, yeah, whatever, I actually have to be somewhere else right now…?”
What’s notable about Super Mario 3D World is that it’s part of the “main” Mario series — that is, not a tennis game and not an RPG — and it has Peach as a playable character for the first time since Super Mario Bros. 2 was released in 1988. But by adding Rosalina to the roster of playable characters, Nintendo has done something interesting: Peach is no longer the girl but just a girl — one of the female characters you can play as, not the only choice. This has never happened before in the history of Mario games — the hop-and-bop, grab-the-coin games where you save a princess at the end only this time you’re not saving the princess because for once she’s on the other side of the jail cell door.
But that’s not all.
In making Rosalina playable, Nintendo has allowed you to play as God, more or less. As it’s explained by the Game Overthinker, the Galaxy games explain that Rosalina is Lady Galactus, Creator of Worlds, whose job is creating, nurturing and controlling the galaxy. Basically, she’s responsible for all existence everywhere. So what is a seemingly omnipotent cosmic mother giantess doing hopping and bopping and coin-grabbing? Couldn’t she just blink the bad guys out of existence? I can only guess that she’s slumming it — seeing how the normal live, like a certain monarch who thought it would be a lark to play peasant. It doesn’t have to make sense. She’s God. She gets to do what she wants.
Funny side-affect of this, however: If you play as Rosalina and play badly, you get to kill God. That’s deep. Have fun with that, kids!
BTW, the game also includes a uniquely Luigi-centric version of the arcade game Mario Bros. It’s Luigi vs. Luigi.
If we’re considering names for the palette swapped, alternate Luigi, can I suggest 2uigi?