Super Mario Bros – I want to begin with the story of the game. There is a Japanese translation of the story, from the website "Legends Of Localization" it says the following.
“One day, the Koopa, a tribe of large turtles capable of using powerful magic, invaded the peaceful kingdom of the Mushroom People. They used their magic to transform all the Mushroom People into things like rocks, bricks, and horsetail plants, thus causing the Mushroom Kingdom’s downfall. The only one who can lift the spell on the Mushroom People and bring them back to life is the Mushroom Kingdom’s Princess Peach. She is currently in the clutches of Great Demon King Koopa. Mario has stepped up to defeat the Turtle Tribe, save Princess Peach, and restore peace to the Mushroom Kingdom.”
This establishes the fact that Mario is a hero. When we call someone a hero, we are referring to the fact that they are helping or saving someone.
Your personality and motivations as a character or person are separated from the word hero. By the word “ hero” being used as a general term for someone who will save and help someone, villains can coin this term as well. They can help and save someone for their own gain.
Your personality while being a hero is the important part.
I think when people call Mario "only" a hero, they are just focusing on the fact he saves Princess Peach and helps the Mushroom Kingdom, however, they do not look at his personality when doing so.
Through his adventures to save Peach, and the Mushroom Kingdom, he shows other sides of his personality.
Within Super Mario Bros, Mario being willing to help save the Mushroom Kingdom shows the kindness aspect of his personality. He is kind because when he heard the story of what happened, he was willing to use his time and effort to help.
When playing the game, he is willing to go through many levels to help get to Peach. This shows us his fearlessness.
Mario is willing to jump over pitfalls, defeat enemies that are trying to harm him, go through deep and dark undergrounds, and swim deep underwater where there are many sea creatures trying to attack him.
The story also tells us that Mario is a peaceful person. Notice how after the story tells us that Mario is willing to defeat the Turtle Tribe, and save Princess Peach, it is included as well he wants to restore peace to the Mushroom Kingdom.
There is a discussion about how Mario is killing the Toads since it is mentioned they were turned into blocks. Within the Manual, on page 8 under "Mario friends," it says the following –
"If you come across mushrooms who have been turned into bricks or made invisible, they reward you by giving you a power boost. With each boost, Mario changes into a different, more powerful Mario, as shown below.”
The items are – Magic Mushroom, Fire Flower, Starman. This shows that Mario isn't killing the Toads and is willing to help Mario on his adventure.
To add to this, in the Japanese manual, it says how Mario will defeat his enemies. Within the series, Mario has shown to defeat his enemies since they make a return game to the game, or even later in that same game.
The only reason why he will defeat them is due to them causing harm to him, people he cares about, or things that have done nothing wrong/ has a possibility of hurting something that has done nothing wrong.
Super Mario Bros 2 can give us insight into how Mario interacts and feels about Luigi, Peach, and Toad. Within the Super Mario Bros 2 story, it mentions " To clear his head, Mario talked to Luigi, Toad, and Princess about the strange dream he had."
Even though it’s a dream, it shows us that when Mario has something on his mind, he can confide in Peach, Luigi, and Toad. It shows how Mario feels safe and free to express his thoughts and feelings with them.
Super Mario World – The story of World says the following:
“After saving the Mushroom Kingdom from Bowser and the rest of the Koopas in Super Mario 3**, Mario and Luigi needed to recuperate from their adventures. Together they agreed that the best place to vacation was a magical place called Dinosaur Land.**
But while Mario and Luigi reclined on the beach for a relaxing nap, Princess Toadstool disappeared, apparently seized by evil forces. After searching for hours for their missing friend, Mario and Luigi came upon an enormous egg in the forest.
Suddenly the egg hatched, and out popped a young dinosaur named Yoshi, who proceeded to tell Mario and Luigi a sad tale of how his dinosaur pals were sealed in similar eggs by a group of monstrous turtles.
"Monstrous turtles!" exclaimed Luigi. "Bowser and his bunch have returned!" Mario slowly nodded his head in agreement and, along with Luigi and Yoshi, set off across Dinosaur Land to find the Princess and to free Yoshi's friends. As they began their journey, Yoshi handed Mario a beautiful cape. "This may help you," Yoshi said. "Some say it has magical powers."
With a little luck (and help from a magic cape), our hearty crew can defeat the seven worlds of Bowser's Krazy Koopa Kritters. Many locations are well-hidden so explore everywhere and try everything. Not all locations have to be explored to rescue the dinosaurs and save Princess Toadstool, but there are many "starry" treasures to be found in far-reaching places. You'll need to search all areas to find what kinds of treasures are there…in Super Mario World.”
The start of the story shows us a few things. This gives us insight into the fact that in Mario's character, though he enjoys adventure, he also likes to enjoy life by taking a vacation when he needs to.
The story also shows us more into Luigi's and Mario's relationship, in how they interact with each other. They both work with each other as a team. Mario and Luigi both needed a vacation and they both decided the best place to go would be Dinosaur Land. When Luigi mentioned how Bowser returned, Mario nodded agreeing with him.
Within the game, when and as Mario defeats the Koopalings, notice how he first makes sure the Yoshi egg is away from any danger first before destroying the castle that was there. This shows the caring aspect of Mario's personality to want to make sure the egg is protected before destroying the castle.
Super Mario World also shows us something else about Mario’s heroism. Within the story, Mario is destroying the castles. Though it is mostly supposed to be looked at as a joke by kicking it and wiping a castle, he is still breaking them down.
However, in the first place, the castles were never supposed to be there. This shows how Mario can be aggressive to things that can be evil or cause harm.
In the cutscene, after Mario destroys Ludwig's castle, it says the following- “Ludwig von Koopa's days of composing Koopa symphonies in castle #4 are over. The Forest of Illusion lies ahead. Mario must use his brain to solve the puzzle of this perplexing forest.”
Though we are controlling him by the text saying Mario has to use his brain to continue through the forest, it is something Mario must cross in order to save Peach. This is telling us how Mario is intelligent since he was able to figure out The Forest of Illusion.
We then come to the ending of the game, where Mario rescues Peach.
When Peach kisses Mario, notice how he blushes when she does so. This shows how he feels about her. Though part of the reason he is saving her is because they are friends, and want peace (as shown in Super Mario Bros), the other reason is due to the fact he loves her.
Within the Mario fandom, there is a debate on whether Mario is hitting Yoshi and how he drops Yoshi in a bottomless pit.
To people who played Super Mario World, they say how Mario hits Yoshi, due to Mario's hand looking like a fist and when he puts it forwards. In fact, there was even an interview about it.
This is not true however, he is not hitting Yoshi. Mario is pointing his finger to where he wants Yoshi to go. To further prove what I am saying there is artwork of Mario pointing to Yoshi in the manual.
We then have the interview with "Shigefumi Hino" who says the following –
“Lots of people think that while Mario is pointing his finger forward, he’s saying ‘Go,’ and Yoshi’s tongue comes out,” Hino said. “However, the set up that I drew was that when Mario punches Yoshi in the head, the character’s tongue shoots out in surprise.”
“There’s an added ‘bop’ sound. However, it seemed like people would say ‘Poor Yoshi,’ so that’s why it became that Mario is saying ‘Go.’”
Originally, Mario was supposed to hit Yoshi, however, it was changed, as Hino explained in the interview.
The animation might have remained unchanged, but overall he is not hitting Yoshi.
People argue that Mario "purposefully" jumps off of Yoshi through jokes, or really meaning that when he does jump off of Yoshi, he will let him fall down into a pit to make him get to the next area.
When playing the game, nowhere is Mario purposefully supposed to jump off of Yoshi. If players choose to, it is ultimately their choice.
Super Mario 64 – The manual shows us many different things within Mario's character that are seen throughout the game series as a whole.
“Mario, please come to the castle. I've baked a cake for you. Yours truly, Princess Toadstool.”
Mario responds with the following –
“Wow, an invitation from Peach! I'll head out right away. I hope she can wait for me!”
After this part, it is written –
“Mario is so excited to receive the invitation from the Princess, who lives in the Mushroom Castle, that he quickly dresses in his best and leaves right away.”
This overall can show how Mario feels about Peach and even vice versa. As it says in the text, Mario is excited to get a message from Peach, this shows more of how he feels about her. The text also says how he even wants to look his best for her.
We can see how Peach feels about Mario. Peach has friends even in the Mushroom Kingdom, however, she chooses to write to Mario inviting him to come to the castle making him a cake.
To continue, Mario says the following –
“Hmmm, something's not quite right here… It's so quiet…”
When Mario gets to the castle, Mario can see something is wrong, just from an intuition. Throughout the series, Mario has to follow his intuition a lot of times. Though, sometimes people can give him ideas of paths to take, or where a star might be located. Mario, for the most part, has to search and find where the next place to go.
As a side note, when Mario talks or helps people, they sometimes do not tell him he is going to get a reward all the time if he helps them, he helps them because he wants to.
Bowser says –
“No one's home! Now scram! Bwa, ha, ha.”
In which Mario begins looking in the castle. This is also shown in the game when we control Mario When Bowser tells Mario to leave, Mario still continues in the castle.
This shows how determined Mario is. He made his mind up and will continue in the castle overall despite Bowsers telling him to leave.
After Mario hears Bowser's voice and realizes he heard it before, he looks around the castle and the doors are locked. However, there is one door that is opened. When Mario opens the door and hears a sound coming out of the painting he says the following –
“I think I hear someone calling. What secrets does this painting hold?”
It says next-
“Without a second thought, Mario jumps at the painting. As he is drawn into it, another world opens before his very eyes.”
This shows us two things in Mario's character, and one of them we will see throughout the game series as a whole. In fact, it is one of Mario's most valuable flaws.
The first thing shows us how curious Mario can be. This is shown by him wondering what is within the painting.
The second thing shows how reckless Mario is as a character. In the story, it says "Without a second thought, Mario jumps at the painting"
Mario is not very cautious and takes chances. He has no idea what is behind the painting, even if it’s something to harm him. He did not even think about if Bowser was in the painting. Within SM64 by controlling Mario to jump into the paintings, shows how he takes chances through the game.
One final thing I want to mention within the manual is on the right side you see the artwork of Mario’s serious expression with his arms crossed. This shows how Mario can be serious when the situation calls for it.
Though Mario is happy and shows joy, he isn't this way all the time and he shows this within the series.
Within the game, the first thing we see is something Mario is known for – his happiness. When he jumps he does it with happiness and joy. This is something that will be seen throughout the series.
When Mario goes into the castle Toad tells Mario, "Am I glad to see you! The Princess…and I…and, well, everybody…we're all trapped inside the castle walls. Bowser has stolen the castle's Stars, and he's using their power to create his own world in the paintings and walls. Please recover the Power Stars! As you find them, you can use their power to open the doors that Bowser has sealed. There are four rooms on the first floor. Start in the one with the painting of Bob-omb inside. It's the only room that Bowser hasn't sealed. When you collect eight Power Stars, you'll be able to open the door with the big star. The Princess must be inside!"
For Toad to tell Mario he is glad to see him given the situation that is happening, shows how he believes in Mario.
To further show this, Toad tells Mario the situation of what is happening to trust that Mario can fix it. You wouldn't bother telling someone a situation if you do not believe they can fix it.
When Mario goes into Bob-omb Battlefield and defeats Big Bob-omb at Bob-omb Buddy’s request for him to do so, the next star is racing with Koopa the Quick.
When Mario is just walking by Koopa the Quick, he will start a conversation with Mario. He tells Mario the following – “Hey, Mario! Is it true that you beat the Big Bob-omb? Cool! You must be strong, and pretty fast. So, how fast are you, anyway? Fast enough to beat me…Koopa the Quick? I don't think so. Just try me. How about a race to the mountaintop, where the Big Bob-omb was? Whaddya say? When I say "Go," let the race begin! Ready….”
This shows us how Mario is willing to take on a challenge.
Notice when Koopa the Quick says “So, how fast are you, anyway? Fast enough to beat me… Koopa the Quick? I don't think so. Just try me.” Mario is willing to try him since he asked.
In Jolly Roger Bay the mission is called (Treasure of the Ocean cave) – Mario comes by a cave, there is a sign that reads “Keep out! That means you! Arrgghh! Anyone entering this cave without permission will meet certain disaster.”
This shows again how Mario is determined. Despite the warning, Mario still continues showing how he made his mind up. At the same time, by not listening to the warnings, shows that he is a risk-taker which goes in hand with his reckless personality.
However, Mario also has to search for the power stars in different areas in the game. He knows they are in the paintings, so he has to go in for search purposes as well – taking risks.
Though he did not listen to the warning, by us guiding him – it can show when he doesn't listen to a warning, he will make a plan or come up with a solution after doing something risky or dangerous.
When Mario gets eight stars he then goes to the first fight with Bowser. When Mario enters the level Bowser says –
“Bwa ha ha ha! You've stepped right into my trap, just as I knew you would! I warn you, "Friend," watch your step!”
This shows how Bowser even knows how reckless Mario can be running into things without thought.
Before Mario jumps into the green pipe to get to Bowser, there is a sign from Peach telling Mario to please be careful.
She wishes Mario luck and tells him "Our fate is in your hands." Peach cares about Mario to write to him, though she is kidnapped.
She includes telling him about how to fight Bowser.
Mario has been told how to defeat Bowser many times in the game. It shows how though Mario is persistent, determined, and reckless, Mario will still listen to what is right and helpful.
In the ending of SM64, when she kisses Mario on his nose he is astonished. Mario is so happy to the point he looks dazed. He really loves her.
In Super Mario 64 DS, Yoshi, Mario, Luigi, and Wario all helped to save Peach and others. However, she gave Mario a kiss only. By Peach kissing Mario, it shows that she has more feelings for Mario that she doesn't feel for the other characters.
In Super Mario 64, Mario is called a pipsqueak by the Big Bob – Omb, and a wimp, by Bowser, and the Whomp king. They all doubted that they could be defeated by Mario. However, throughout the game and other games, overall Mario does not show a lack of confidence in himself.
Mario still continues on his adventure. While doing so, he doesn't show a lack of confidence in himself.
One final subject I want to mention is the Wiggler Boss fight in Super Mario 64. In the game Mario floods a Wiggler home, however, overall Mario did not really know he was there. Not only that, the Wiggler, says the following –
“Waaaa! You've flooded my house! wh-why?? Look at this mess! What am I going to do now? The ceiling's ruined, the floor is soaked…what to do, what to do? Huff… huff … it makes me so…MAD!!! Everything's been going wrong since I got this Star … It's so shiny, but it makes me feel… strange…”
The whole reason Mario fought him was because he mentioned how he has a star, and it makes him not feel the same. However, when Mario beats him, he says this-
“Owwch! Uncle! Uncle! Okay, I give. Take this Star! Whew! I feel better now. I don't really need it anymore, anyway– I can see the stars through my ceiling at night. They make me feel… … peaceful. Please, come back and visit anytime.”
Mario, of course, needs the star to help save Peach and others from the castle. However, since the Wiggler comments on how he feels strange because he got the star, it shows how Mario wanted to help him as well.
Mario did not kill the Wiggler. When Mario got the star from him, he comments on how much better he feels. Not only that, but he tells Mario to come back, which shows how he also likes Mario.
When the Wiggler shrinks down through the hole, you can still see him when you look down.
Luigi Mansion – Since this is Luigi's game we see more of his character, but there are a few things that can be mentioned about Mario.
In the manual, it mentions how when Luigi got a message he “ won a mansion.” He called Mario and told him to meet him there so they could celebrate.
This shows how when Luigi gets something, he wants to share and celebrate it with his brother.
When Luigi gets to the mansion, a ghost lunged at Luigi. He says "Mario! Help meee!"
When something is wrong Luigi trusts, believes, and wants Mario to help him.
When Luigi gets to the courtyard in the game, in the bottom of the well you hear Mario say, "Hey Luigi, What's the hold up" He is wondering what is taking Luigi so long to save him.
This shows how impatient Mario can be which fits his personality because of how fast Mario can move with things.
I feel it can show how Mario has so much faith in Luigi where he feels it shouldn't take him long to rescue him. I don't think Mario means any harm by asking him the question.
Mario has been trapped in the painting for a long time. This is another reason he is impatient.
When Luigi sees Mario in the well, Mario says “Get me outta heeeere!” and he is banging on the painting. Since King Boo is there, this shows how upset Mario is.
For Luigi, Mario wrote him a letter which says “L-o-o-k–out–f-o-r–B-o-o-s,–L-u-i-g-i-!”
Mario worries and cares for his brother. Though he was is in trouble, he still took time and wanted to write to him knowing that when he comes, it will not be safe for him.
To add to this, Madame Clairvoya says the following, – “Listen! Can you hear it? The inner voice of your sweet, beloved Mario! Oh horrors! What is this? … A king? … King Boo?! What is this King Boo?! … I do not understand just what he means, but… Beware of King Boo! This is what your brother wishes to say to you. Ohhh, yes, a Boo who wears a crown, I see! This is King Boo! … SO! He is the one who has captured your Mario!"
Notice how Madame Clairvoya comments to Luigi saying, "The inner voice of your sweet, beloved Mario!" which shows how much Luigi loves his brother.
As stated before, Mario wants his brother to be safe, warning him of the fact King Boo and even Bowser are in the mansion. By Mario giving him a warning, Luigi can be prepared for what is he up against.
When Luigi gets ready to fight King Boo, King Boo mentions how the way Mario’s pleas for help is satisfying. Showing how when Mario needs it, he isn't ashamed to ask for help.
At the end of the game, when Luigi defeats King Boo/Bowser. E. Gadd says – "Heh heh heh… The poor little feller's fallen asleep… He must have just collapsed with relief and exhaustion when he saw you arrive…"
In Mario's character, he is shown to love the adventure of helping to save someone in need. He will do whatever it takes to help and protect the people he cares about. However, he still does overall get tired when it can come to situations that are long and drawn out.
As we continue, this is something we will continue to see. It connects in his personality since Mario is shown to need a break from the events of SMB3.
When Mario comes out of the painting, Luigi laughs at the way he came out of the Portraitificationizer, but Luigi is in tears because he is happy to see his brother.
Mario and Luigi both truly care about each other.
This is the end of part 2-
part 3 will continue the analysis.
Source: Original link
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