What if Mario Was A Girl?
Italian. Mustachioed. Plump. Male.
It’s been over 25 years since the world was first introduced to Mario the plumber. His looks are iconic, so much so that it would be difficult to imagine him any other way. That is, until you actually try . . .
What if in 1983, Nintendo had decided to change just one thing about Mario? Would everything else have stayed the same?
What if . . . Mario was a girl?
First, Mario’s name would have to change to something feminine, which would alter history itself. Why? Because supposedly Mario is named after Mario Segale, Nintendo’s old landlord, who once barged into their offices demanding rent.
Mario Segale would be replaced with Maria Segale, perhaps his wife, who reminded Nintendo that rent was due. Thus, Maria, our new heroine, was born.
Maria would have black hair and don a cap with an “M” like Mario, but she would sport a red dress instead of overalls. Also unlike the original Italian plumber, she would be much thinner because, well, when was the last time you saw a thick female lead in a video game?
In fact, Hine Mizushima of iam8bit fame made an awesome female Mario sculpture that captures the look of our Maria very well.
Next, since the original duo were brothers, we’d need a twin sister to accompany Maria. Instead of Luigi, Maria would get help from her sister Luisa. Since the brothers were opposites of each other (one fat, one skinny), let’s have fun and make Luisa a bit on the plump side. She’d wear a dress like her sister only green, and she’d have a short, pudgy nose.
Maria and Luisa: Super Maria Sisters.
Almost sounds like a Sunday morning television show about two nuns with powers, doesn’t it?
Now, who are the Super Maria Sisters supposed to save? We’ll need to give them a male romance unless this is a lesbian tale (in which case, Princess Peach would still work). What’s a manly fruit that could substitute a Peach? Well, a Pineapple of course!
So, Maria and Luisa are on a mission to save Prince Pineapple, who rules his people justly. He’s strong, kind, handsome, which is exactly what attracts his nemesis . . .
Since Mario fought a nemesis that was also male, let’s keep that dynamic intact. Instead of Bowser aka King Koopa, Maria and Luisa would fight Bonnie aka Queen Cruel. Bonnie would be an angry snake woman (we’d want to keep her thin and lithe to compliment Maria just like Bowser compliments Mario) who commands an army of underlings, which could still contain Goombas, Chomp Chomps, and the like. She wants to marry Prince Pineapple and rule the Mushroom Kingdom forever, but that damned Maria keeps getting in her way!
And how would the game play? Would Maria play differently from Mario because she’s a girl? Rather than answer that myself, why don’t you tell me? How would Super Maria Sisters play differently (if at all) from Super Mario Brothers?