Super Mario is the Mickey Mouse of video games: a beloved icon of goodness who is more of a corporate mascot than a character by now, and has definitely never touched a boob. Or at least that's what present-day Nintendo wants you to think. Just like with Mickey and his pals, the Mario franchise's past is full of hilariously disturbing moments that directly contradict the characters' wholesome and virginal image. Like when ...
For a long time, Luigi's only personality trait was "he's taller than Mario." An official Super Mario World strategy guide by Ape Inc. (creators of the Pokemon card game) extrapolated on that information by revealing that he's also longer ... down there. In the penis.
He seems quite proud of that fact, too, to his brother's embarrassment. Look at "Super" Mario shake in humiliation as Luigi goes TMI on a very awkward tortoise:
Note that Luigi isn't saying he's packing a massive piranha plant -- he's simply stating that he's bigger than Mario. And, considering that a very serious 2019 investigation based on some rather revealing Mario Tennis promotional art established that Luigi has an average-sized bulge, that isn't fantastic news for Mario's love interest, Princess Peach. Which perhaps helps explain the next one ...
In the mid-'90s Nintendo released the Satellaview, a Japan-only peripheral that allowed the Super Nintendo to connect to the internet. So what did they do with this revolutionary technology? They used it to its fullest potential by broadcasting crude drawings of a man having sex with a lobster.
That was seriously part of a "virtual magazine" Nintendo produced for the Satellaview, and it isn't even the most disturbing episode. A two-part story shows Mario breaking out of prison using a spoon he smuggled in his butt and a drill he smuggled in his scrotum (somehow). It's unclear why he was in jail but we have no doubt that he deserved it. But the most famous episode is the one in which Mario walks in on Princess Peach enjoying oral sex with his friend Toad ...
... so he murders them both with his feet, like Edward Norton in America X. Then he lights a cigarette, which is the most out-of-character part for Mario so far (he'd stomped plenty of other living beings before).
Peach and Toad's ghosts then watch in shock as Mario introduces them to his new "girlfriend": Bowser. The end (of the broadcast, and your innocence). Damn, the internet was barely a thing and Nintendo was already ensuring that Rule 34 applied to Mario.
Yoshis have always come in various colors, but it took several years for the black Yoshi to be included in a game. How come? Easy: it's simply because the others hated him.
In a comic published in Nintendo's official Club Nintendo magazine in Germany, the other Yoshis meet their black brother for the first time and initially think he must be dirty, so they try to wash him off. When he says that's just his natural skin color, the others calmly explain that they "want nothing to do with him" because "black Yoshis are stupid" and possibly cannibalistic. The black Yoshi is so stunned by the blatant racism that he just stands there for hours, as if thinking "Did that seriously just happen in a Nintendo comic?"
Of course, the black Yoshi eventually proves his worth by saving those intolerant dickheads when they're kidnapped by Magikoopa, at which point their racism is magikoopally cured. Then they all sit around a campfire and share instances of prejudice they've suffered, like when the green Yoshi was mistaken for a cactus.
And so, despite its questionable beginning, the story ends on a good moral: never judge a Yoshi by the color of his skin (as long as he saved you from a turtle with magic powers).
Historians will no doubt look back on 2020 as the year in which a massive amount of internal Nintendo data was leaked, and then some other stuff happened too. The #NintendoLeaks included fascinating stuff like confirmation that Luigi was in Super Mario 64, Yoshi's dorky early design, or ... Luigi flipping you off.
Another strange artifact found in the leaks is this drawing of a building with some interesting stuff going on in its apartments, like a seemingly nude Mario, a seemingly nude Peach accompanied by a rather happy-looking Bowser, and Toad smoking.
Unfortunately there are no other images of this type, so it looks like Nintendo gave up on Mario Cuckolding Simulator pretty early into development.
In an issue of the official Super Mario manga, Captain Syrup thinks Mario is hiding a magic lamp and, seemingly unfamiliar with the male anatomy, she assumes that the bulge in Mario's pants must be it. Or maybe she just heard the "Mario is a eunuch" rumors. Whatever the case, she grows more violent upon not finding the lamp, but Mario, uh ... doesn't seem to mind.
Anyway, we're pretty sure this is the most action Mario has gotten in his entire life.
Over the years, Nintendo has gone to great lengths to rehabilitate the image of Donkey Kong, probably the only video game hero who started out by kidnapping women and throwing barrels at people in the nude (at least he's wearing a tie now). That explains why Nintendo was so disturbed when the developers of Donkey Kong 64 showed them this:
During the making of the game, the developers were using realistic firearms as placeholders for whatever wacky weapon they might end up going with. DK had a shotgun and Diddy Kong carried dual handguns like a furry child hitman.
According to one of the developers, Donkey Kong and Mario's creator Shigeru Miyamoto was horrified when he saw one of his children looking like a GTA character. But, instead of protesting, he smiled, took a piece of paper, and drew a silly coconut gun in front of everyone -- probably because he assumed they were all packing heat and was afraid to upset them too much. The developers used his suggestion in the game, unaware that the coconut gun drawing looked a whole lot like the Japanese characters for "PLEASE DON'T KILL ME, I HAVE A FAMILY."
Donkey Kong is a surprisingly technical and competitive game, to the point that people actually bother cheating at it. So when it was remade and expanded for the Game Boy, Nintendo released an official strategy guide full of helpful suggestions like "please do not touch children." Wait, what?
In the bizarre comic included in the strategy guide, Mario and Donkey Kong Jr. find some kids playing in a vacant lot and rush over to play with them -- only to be told that it's forbidden, because "kids playing in vacant lots" are an endangered species now (probably Nintendo's fault). But Mario and DK Jr. are completely obsessed with playing with these children, for some reason, so they shave themselves to appear younger. Unfortunately, when they come back to join the boys, they find out they're being kidnapped by some creepy vagrants who want to sell them for a "high price."
Donkey Kong Sr. shows up to beat up the kidnappers at this point, and Mario leaves the kids with the following words of wisdom:
The Mario Kart games arguably do more world-building than any other part of the Mario franchise because of all those banners and billboards on the sides of the tracks. That's how we know that, for instance, some Bowser minions have their own airlines, Luigi has his own tire company, and Mario sells ... cancer?
That is the exact logo for Marlboro cigarettes, only Mario-fied. Does Mario own the company or is he being paid to promote it to his audience of impressionable children and stunted adults? Neither option is great. And just to confirm that Nintendo knew they were doing something wrong: they changed it in the U.S. version.
That's not the only thing Nintendo has censored in a Mario Kart game. In the U.S. version of Super Mario Kart for Super Nintendo, the characters celebrate coming in 1st place by throwing a bottle of champagne around. But in Japan, Peach opens it and turns red as she begins chugging:
Meanwhile, we're not sure if Bowser of drinking it or pouring the alcohol on his chest like he's at Mardi Gras:
But at least they're drinking after driving, so that's something.
Top image: Nintendo