Over the life of the Mario franchise, a lot of characters come and go. For some it’s after just one appearance, like with Wart and every RPG villain in existance bar Fawful. But for a great many others it’s regular characters that seem to vanish without a trace, actually important ones that were once important to the franchise as a whole. What happened to them? Why did they stop showing up?
This, is a list of Mario characters who vanished without a trace for no reason whatsoever.
However, there are a few rules I’m going to point out that apply to this list, otherwise it’d be at least ten times as long and almost completely irrelevant. First of all, I’m generally counting regular characters. There are hordes of one offs littering the RPGs and platformers that never get a repeat appearance, but to list of all these would take at least a fifty page article due to how many they are. And it’s kind of expected that most fictional characters will only appear once or twice in history, it’s what happens in all forms of media.
Secondly, these are generally ‘currrently’ missing characters. Yes the Koopalings vanished for god knows how many years, but they’re back now. Same with Kamek.
Finally, these are characters with few if any new appearances in ANY video games, spinoffs included. Yes we haven’t seen the Big Bob-omb in a platformer for god knows how many years, but he’s been in about half the Mario Party games in recent history. Same with many other important boss characters. So let the list begin!
5. Professor E Gadd
Yes he’s going to be in Luigi’s Mansion Dark Moon, but do you know that he’s technically been missing from the Mario series for the last few years?
Seriously. Somewhere between Mario and Luigi Partners in Time and Mario and Luigi Bowser’s Inside Story, everyone’s favourite mad professor seemingly vanished without a trace never to be seen again. Mario Wiki even says he was absent SIX YEARS.
It’s funny really, the way he missed the whole Wii generation makes me suspect Nintendo decided to shoo out all the Gamecube era Nintendo characters in embarassment or something. Think about it, E Gadd went from massively popular to non existant, Petey Piranha went from being in every other Mario game to being replaced by stand ins and generally phased out and Bowser Jr’s being slowly removed from the Mario franchise in general.
Are Nintendo trying to bury the era as their dork age? Maybe, but thankfully Professor E Gadd seems to be returning in some way, unlike some others on the list.
4. Kammy Koopa
Yes, she’s an RPG character, but she’s also one of the few Paper Mario characters to get repeat appearances in the series and of importance both times. In Paper Mario 1, she was Bowser’s assistant. In Paper Mario 2, she was still Bowser’s assistant.
In Super Paper Mario? Gone completely.
Some might say Kamek replaced her again, but even he’s not been in the Paper Mario series in any important role. Guess Nintendo decided Bowser shouldn’t have any assist characters or second in commands in the RPGs any more. Probably because he’s often playable now.
Another ‘relic’ of the Gamecube era, he at least ‘survived’ until Bowser’s Inside Story. If you’re keeping count of ‘now removed Mario Sunshine era characters’, here’s the list depicting when they disappeared:
- Professor E Gadd, Mario and Luigi Partners in Time
- Petey Piranha, Mario Basketball 3 on 3 (would have been Mario Kart Wii if not cut)
- Toadsworth, Mario and Luigi Bowser’s Inside Story
- Bowser Jr, New Super Mario Bros Wii (main appearances)
Looks like Nintendo’s been having a Gamecube era character cull, they even did the same with other franchises by cutting Gamecube era Zelda characters as well (like Tingle). And Toadsworth was lost to this too, he’s not been seen in three years now and looks to be never returning.
Maybe he quite literally died.
2. Funky Kong
I get it, he’s not a Mario character but a Donkey Kong Country one. But none the less, he shot to prominence again in the Mario spinoffs and has seemingly vanished from both franchises for reasons unknown.
For example, it seems for a short while, he was shaping up to be a playable character in the Mario sports games, with appearances in Mario Super Sluggers and Mario Kart Wii. Not any more, he’s not been playable in those kinds of games for at least four years now.
His luck in the DK franchise isn’t much better. Initially making a long string of playable appearances in King of Swing, Konga 3, Jungle Climber and Barrel Blast, he’s been outright absent in the last few years and didn’t even get more than a one line reference in Donkey Kong Country Returns:
So you have to get to the top of the island. Wish you knew someone who owned a plane.
Above is the poor guy’s only mention in the entirety of Returns. Ouch.
Guess Funky Kong’s days in the limelight are long over now…
1. Bowser Jr
Okay, he appeared in Mario Party 9 and some sports games, but he seemed to vanish outright from the platformers recently. He was surprisingly not present at all in Super Mario 3D Land (quite an interesting change from how he was thrown into all the 3D Mario games prior), and hasn’t been seen yet in either New Super Mario Bros 2 or New Super Mario Bros U.
Have Nintendo decided he wasn’t worth including in the main series again, possibly due to his hatedom? Seems increasingly likely. We may even be back to the once thought impossible days when the Koopalings were Bowser’s regular minions again, like in Super Mario Bros 3 and World!
But in regards to the topic of the article, what the hell happened to these guys? Most of them seem to have either dropped significantly in importance/use or disappeared entirely for multiple years despite being a major part of the series they were involved in. Will any of them ever return? Or are they all pretty much gone for good?