Friday, April 18, 2008

Mrs. Carnivorous Plant

Another in my series on the surprsingly complicated matter of names in video games.

In the Mario games, there exists a hulking, monstrous plant thing by the name of Petey Piranha. I’ve mentioned him before here, mostly in reference to him looking like a giant vagina dentata. In Japan, this character is known as “Boss Pakkun” — literally, boss of the carnivorous plants, as Piranha Plants are called “Pakkun” over there. To German Nintendo players, however, the character a third name — and one important difference. In Germany, the toothy plant-thing is called “Mutant Tyranha” — and is considered a female, I’m guessing because they (perhaps correctly) view the bikini-bottomed, petal framed character as obviously feminine.

I, however, will continue to view the creature — male, female, both, neither, whatever — as a crime against nature.

More oddness with Mario character names:


  1. Anonymous5:13 AM

    Stop saying bad things about Petey! He's the best Mario character ever!

  2. Actually the plant is just called Piranha in Germany as well, I just checked my Mario Party 3 manual.
    Additionally, the plant is not seen as female but as gender-neutral.

    Mutant Tyranha is the name of a special piranha plant in Super Mario Sunshine.

  3. Anonymous10:13 PM

    I agree with the 1st Anonymous...with Waluigi in second