For being the biggest video game celebrity on the planet, little is known about Mario Mario. Who are his parents? Why does he dress like a plumber? Is there really a Little Italy in the Mushroom Kingdom? The reason for these massive gaps is simple but as hard to swallow as a fire flower: Mario isn't a man with a man's life; he's a clone. A replicant. A goddamn vat-born freak.

Nintendo
You cannot kill what has never truly lived. 

Now, I wouldn't accuse Nintendo's Homelander of being a supersoldier genetically engineered by the Mushroom Kingdom without some solid evidence. Exhibit A: Shrooms. Not only can Mario stomp on waves of enemies like a one-person anti-Koopa army, but it also seems like he can come back from the dead using 1-Up Mushrooms. Or can he? Cronies of the Nintendo Deep State (also known as the Nintendo DS) will claim 1-Ups are just a gameplay mechanic left over from the days of coin-operated arcade machines. But what if I told you that, instead of ludonarrative dissonance, these mushrooms prove a concordance between Mario and several UN violations on human cloning? Observe:

Nintendo

According to the European version of Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U, 1-Up Mushrooms create "a whole extra version" of Mario, "making more copies" with every powerup. Instead of being born again, Mushroom Jesus is simply replaced by an identical copy of himself to continue the fight. That's not the only lore that backs up the unnatural lifespan of Mario Mario. As I've Wikileaked before, creator Shigeru Miyamoto once claimed that Mario, the guy who looks like Ron Jeremy after lap band surgery, is only 24 or 25 years old. That only makes sense in a world where they (and you know who 'they' are) started counting after he slid out of that mushroom-nutrient tank, fully matured and ready to jump, man.  

What's that? All that evidence is ridiculously lame and fanfic-y? All right, if lore dumps aren't enough to convince you that you're being lied to by the Nintendo DS, how about some literal physical evidence? Exhibit B: Beach-Bod Mario!

Nintendo
Ready to stomp on some Goomba sandcastles.

As you can tell, Mario doesn't have a ... Stop it. Stop staring at his nipples.

Nintendo
When a-you a-gaze into the a-byss, the a-byss a-gazes back into a-you.

In the past few years, we've been treated several times to Mario's bare chest. And apart from the glaring absence of M-shaped chest hair (and maybe even a medallion), Mario has another key feature missing: a belly button. As we all know from sci-fi, having no belly button is a clear sign you're a clone who was raised in a tube. And before you protest by claiming this might simply be a thing all Mushroom Kingdom humans lack, like proportionally sized heads, you'd be wrong. In Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, Princess Peach's crop top clearly shows she is born from the womb. To put it plainly: This is a human being …

These are navelless abominations in the eyes of the Mushroom God. 

This theory (or fact?) can thus also explain all the aberrant versions of the plumber in the Mario Extended Universe. What about Baby Mario? The Baby Boba Fett of the Mario clone army. What about Wario and Waluigi? They're obviously rejected malformed clones of the Mario Bros., copies of copies whose mind and body are irrevocably scrambled -- a dangerous process as highlighted in the 1996 documentary Multiplicity.

Between the mushroom cloning and the lack of umbilical cord scarring, it is obvious that Mario didn't just enter the world as a hapless plumber trying to do the right thing. Whether created by a mad Italian warlock or the Kingdom's top mushroom geneticists, Mario is a genetically engineered supersoldier built for only one mission: to Terminator-march from castle to castle to find and protect the princess. And with every spiky shell piercing his skull or Hammer Bro hammer shattering his ribcage, a new Mario awakens, unaware that he has died a thousand deaths and will die a thousand more. And all those collected stars will be lost in time, like tears in-a the rain.

For more weird Mario conspiracy theories, do follow Cedric on Twitter

Top Image: Nintendo

 

 

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