Have Fans Found Who Mario’s Dad is?

Recently on Reddit, a Mario tin tray was found showing Mario in what appeared to be his house. But while the scene itself looked quite cool as it is, it’s not Mario or Bowser that’s the interesting thing. Oh no, it’s the painting on the wall.

Why?

Because this painting appeared to show Mario’s father. Here’s the painting itself:

papa painting

As well as what Reddit user Inkwild pictured his whole body to look like:

mario dad pic

It’s a neat find. But does it really show Mario’s father?

Have we really got a good look at Mario’s dad?

Well, possibly. You see, we never really get many other good pictures of Mario’s dad in other forms of media.

Sure, we know what his mum looks like. She was a character in the Super Show called ‘Mama Mario’, and was portrayed by Lou Albano himself:

mama mario

But Mario and Luigi’s dad is… a bit less visible. There’s the version shown in the Super Mario Amada series, who seems to look like an older version of Mario himself:

mario and dad

Which mostly matches the new depiction. He’s a middle aged guy wearing yellow and blue clothing who resembles Mario. Yeah, it’s likely an alternate universe version (this Super Mario Amada story can’t be in any ‘canon’ with the rest of the series), but it’s a consistent portrayal none the less.

There’s also a picture of Mario’s dad in a comic. This comic (part of Nintendo Comic’s System) shows Mario’s dad in an issue called Family Album: The Early Years. Here you can see him chasing Mario, likely due to the latter putting soap in his dad’s cigar!

marios father comics

And again, the portrayal most matches up. The dad here has mostly the same build, and is shown looking a bit like the merchandise and Amada versions, sans overalls.

Which then brings us to the last known versions of Mario’s father. Namely, the one shown in the Yoshi’s Island series.

No, not the original game version. That one was proven irrelevant once Yoshi’s New Island came out. Because you know, the stork brought the babies to the wrong house.

However, they do show up in Yoshi’s New Island, which shows them like this:

mario's parents Yoshi's New Island

And as you can see, the images of Mario’s parents match the earlier ones pretty well. You’ve got a fairly tall, heavyset guy who looks like he could be the same as in the early pictures, albeit wearing nightwear and only shown in poor lighting conditions.

So yeah, it checks out. Mario’s dad appears pretty consistently in all media studied so far.

But what about his other appearances, you may ask?

Well, what appearances? There’s a Super Mario Amada film where Mario is brought up by two Hammer Bros. Which you can’t exactly count for obvious reasons.

And that’s about it really. Mario’s House is shown in Super Mario RPG and the first three Paper Mario games, but the only pictures there are of Peach and the partners. The one in Superstar Saga again only shows Princess Peach. And the one in DDR Mario Mix? Well, we don’t even see the interior of it, let alone any pictures or family memorabilia found there.

Hence based on what’s been seen so far, I’m gonna say this picture really does show Mario’s father. Nothing here clashes with earlier depictions of the character, and with few other shots of his face, it seems like we can’t investigate much further.

So yeah, that’s Mario’s dad. But what do you think of this? Does he look like how you’d expect him to look?

Interplay Announces Sale of its IPs

Wait, don’t go away just yet! It’s more interesting than the title makes it sound!

Basically, Interplay is a video game developer and publisher that owns a ton of different IPs including the Earthworm Jim series. And what the announcement means is that they’re selling some of the IPs they’ve done less with to new owners.

So why is this interesting?

Well, Earthworm Jim 1 and 2 were great games for the SNES and Mega Drive. And while Interplay’s attempts at getting sequels made (Earthworm Jim 3D and Menace 2 to the Galaxy) were god awful, the original team is still interested in making a fourth title in the style of the classic ones.

Up until now, that’s been impossible.

But now with Interplay selling it? That means that franchise creator Doug TenNaple can now potentially work on a brand new game in the series, assuming a company that’s willing to work with his team buys the license. That’s good news for fans of the franchise, and could potentially lead to the ‘Rayman Origins’ of the Earthworm Jim series.

And that’s not all, there are also a few other potentially interesting IPs here too. Clayfighter is also being sold off, and that’s a cult series whose fans likely want it revived as well. And while there was an attempt at a 2016 game that was eventually cancelled by Interplay, it’s possible that a new owner could bring this series back to its former ‘glory’ as well.

Sacrifice (an obscure real time strategy game) and Descent (a pretty good FPS) have definite potential too, and most of the other IPs on sale were at least decent when they were originally released. Here’s the full list of IPs being put up for sale:

  • Earthworm Jim
  • Freespace
  • Giants
  • Kingpin
  • Messiah
  • MDK
  • Run Like Hell
  • Sacrifice
  • Battlechess
  • Clayfighter
  • Dark Alliance
  • Descent

So yeah, good news for fans of those titles, because they’re now ever closer to being revived by someone who truly cares about the series and doesn’t just want to see it abandoned. Let’s hope this happens, and some of the games above get new instalments by their original creators!

Is It Time to Return to the Purple Lunchbox?

gamecubebanner

Nintendo is all about unique gaming experiences. One could argue that the most uniquely designed Nintendo console of all time is the GameCube. The design was, of course, berated by gamers and media alike. A purple cube with a lunchbox-style handle on the back? Madness! And yet… truth be told, no video game hardware design has gotten as much attention, outside perhaps of the infamous PS3 Boomerang Controller. Could this be a case of “there’s no such thing as bad publicity,” and might it be time for Nintendo to dip back into that pool of bizarre creativity once again?

A Touch of History

When Nintendo officially announced the GameCube in 1999, it debuted as Project Dolphin with little more than buzzwords about the tech inside. Things remained that way until SpaceWorld 2000, when Nintendo finally unveiled the successor to the N64 in glorious fashion. It remains one of the greatest teaser trailers in video game history.

Interesting to note, they began as all game companies should: with the games. Though the trailer showcased virtually nothing in terms of actual gameplay, all their stars were there. Samus, Link, and a host of Pokemon graced the screen. Mario was represented in the Luigi’s Mansion segment. The big guns were firing in full force, and it lit a fire in gamers across the globe. No one with even a passing interest in Nintendo games could deny that this small video snippet promised huge things.

Then, with the crowd full of adrenaline, the screen displayed the first public image of the new console that would house these games.

firstgamecubesighting

A strange purple and gray cube with a black plastic handle sticking out of the back. The audience fell silent. The roars of cheers from the highlight reel gave way to a chorus of crickets. Few people had expected anything like this.

Creativity is Not a Dirty Word

That wasn’t a bad thing, though. Nintendo is at its best when delivering the unexpected. Quite often with the Big N, the weirder the better. If the first image of the GameCube had been the Jet Black model, also available at launch, would it have had the same effect? It’s doubtful. It was the shock that drove people to talk about the console itself, rather than only gush about the teaser trailer (though there was plenty of gushing alongside).

Fast forward. In 2011, Nintendo announced the Wii U. Before a single game was show, we saw the controller, a massive rectangle with a screen in the center. The sizzle reel shown next began with a New Super Mario game we’d all seen before. From there we got Wii Sports Golf and Wii Fit. Beyond that was a focus on video chat and photo sharing – not even games at all. Finally things were brought back on track with a beautiful Zelda tech demo, but it was too little, too late. The contrast between this video teaser and SpaceWorld 2000 is astounding when you watch them side by side instead of a decade apart.

The Wii U console itself was shown. What did it look like? A rounded version of the Wii, which itself was as boring as a DVD player you’d pick up at WalMart. There was no creativity here, only tried and true modern lines void of soul.

wii-u-console-only-600-1307468645-1307470326

Don’t misunderstand. The Wii U is a very well designed console, aesthetically speaking. The problem is, it’s boring. It doesn’t entice you to talk about it, one way or the other. No one ever said “Boy, have you seen that Wii U console design? That’s something else!” The GameCube made us talk. For better or worse, people gave their opinion about the little purple lunchbox.

Back to the Future

Today Nintendo stands on the cusp of debuting their next console, codename NX. Rumors swirl about what it might be. A hybrid console/handheld, perhaps, with detachable controllers. Maybe a new Mario game ready for launch. This chipset architecture, that chipset architecture, who knows? What no one has spoken of is if the console might be bright purple.

Nintendo has an opportunity here. They can certainly play it safe and give us the glossy white or black we’re all used to.

nxmockup

Or they can dazzle us. Yes, that dazzling may be a system shock, as an indigo cube once was, but we will see it and know it makes us feel something. Great art always makes you feel something, and the designers at Nintendo are master artists.

Does it have to be purple? Heavens no, it could be red. Or Tiffany Blue. Or shaped like a Yoshi skull with a place to insert discs in the mouth. Not a “special edition” released years later, but a unique and eye-catching design from Day One.

What would be most troubling is if Nintendo doesn’t embrace what makes them unique. Their originality. Their creativity. It’s long past time for them to continue standing on the same field as Sony and Microsoft. That field is gray and brown, pitted with bullet shells and worn down from overuse. Nintendo should wave goodbye to that place and head to a spot that suits them. A place where the grass is almost too green, and the hills have eyes.

This is who Nintendo is. This is what makes them special. Their next console should reflect that. And to those who think “The GameCube was a flop, why would you imitate it?” I remind you only this: The Wii U has sold far less. Playing it safe is a recipe for failure in today’s industry. It’s time to wake up those crazy designers of the GameCube days and tell the world you’re not interested in being like everyone else. It’s time to go back to the purple lunchbox.

What do you think about this idea? Is the wild GameCube a better model for the future than the stylish Wii U? Leave a comment below and chime in!

Nintendo’s Offers NX To Splatoon Contest Winner!

Huh, seems like Nintendo’s planning to give out NX systems in quite a few contests now! I mean, first we had that t-shirt contest Shigeru Miyamoto was judging, which gave an NX to the winner. And now we’ve got a Splatoon tournament that’s doing the same!

But this won’t be an easy tournament to win. Oh no, it’s not a local tournament that takes place over a couple of hours.

Instead, it’s a full on professional competition run by Nintendo and eSports giant ESL. It’ll consist of six months worth of matches, which will culminate in a grand final next year. So yeah, think less ‘game shop contest’ and more ‘Pokemon World Championships’ style major event.

Either way, here’s Nintendo UK’s tweet about it:

As well as the page where you can sign up for the tournament:

Splatoon Europe Contest Page

So what are you waiting for Splatoon fans? Enter this today, and win that Nintendo NX system! You could even be one of the first people in the world to own one!

GameXplain Posts Zelda Breath of the Wild Analysis

Just watch it. Seriously:

Because damn, this is one insane analysis of the game. I mean, it’s more than 2 hours long, and covers absolutely every little aspect of the game seen so far. Want to know where it might be in the timeline? Why Link looks strange when he teleports? How big the world is? Cause if so, it’s all there.

In fact, it’s such a detailed video that it’s longer than any movie ever released by Pixar. No, we’re not making that up. People spend less time watching movies like Toy Story 3 and Inside Out than they do GameXplain’s analysis of Breath of the Wild.

So yeah, what do you think? Is it an interesting look at a fantastic looking new game?