Thursday, February 25, 2010

The Ungrateful Mushroom

That list of “did you ever notice?” video game facts is proving generative for this blog. So much we have learned! The bushes in Super Mario Bros. are just green-colored clouds, Sega seems to have legally and financially screwed over the singer who did “Groove Is in the Heart,” and the weird double hyphens in Golden Axe exist for a reason.

Here’s one more, though I should say that it was most recently brought to my attention by my friend Ryan. The following screen should look familiar to anyone who’s made it past the first boss in the original Super Mario Bros.:

Straightforward, yes? A grateful Toad — held captive in an empty brick room and probably bored to tears as a result — must be the bearer of bad news and tell Mario that the princess is somewhere else. Pointing towards where she is would be more helpful, sure, but whatever. We’re lucky he hasn’t developed Stockholm syndrome.

Or has he?

Here we go: irrefutable evidence that Toad isn’t so happy to see Mario. He’s totally giving a double-barreled “fuck you” in the form of matching middle fingers. What a jerk. You’d think a midget wearing a turban and a bikini top would be jollier. Of course, it’s worth noting that Toad’s rude seemingly behavior could actually result from the limitations of the graphics of the time, which weren’t good at demonstrating gratitude or really anything else, abstract emotion or not. Lest we forget, here’s the blocky monstrosity that was supposed to be Princess Toadstool:

Here’s her father, the Mushroom King:

And here’s Princess Toadstool’s mother, Queen Moldspore:

A profound context for this little examination: Sometimes the captive does not want to be rescued.

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