Fans of the Super Mario Bros. games learned of a disturbing theory this week involving 1-Up Mushrooms. According to a Super Mario manga from decades ago, it's been suggested that 1-Up Mushrooms actually grow from the bodies of dead Marios. This would mean that whenever Mario is grabbing one of these useful mushrooms to bolster his own life, he's actually pulling from the lives of past Marios who couldn't complete a level. There's artwork to support this outlandish claim, too, which offers an equally disturbing visualization of what this cycle of life might look like.
Twitter user Supper Mario Broth who specializes in "obscure Mario content" certainly delivered on that task this week by sharing the artwork below from a 1996 Super Mario 64 manga. In that art, we see a 1-Up Mushroom existing peacefully above ground, but beneath it, it's apparently tethered to a corpse of an unlucky Mario. It's quite the depiction, and it's one that'll be hard to unsee or forget whenever you come across a 1-Up Mushroom next.
As the Super Mario Broth Twitter account pointed out soon afterwards, Super Mario fans should in no way take this manga as a canonical explanation for where these 1-Up Mushrooms come from. The Twitter user showed off another theory presented by the Super Mario 64 manga wherein Mario cracks open golden coins underwater to get more oxygen, a playful explanation for why Mario's able to swim indefinitely without needing to come up for air. That goes to say that these panels are "filled with jokes and eccentric theories," the user says, so they're rather explorations of what could be true as opposed to definitive explanations of the more obscure parts of the Super Mario Bros. games.
Super Mario fans probably shouldn't expect any more disturbing theories like these to be endorsed by Nintendo or anyone else nowadays, but they at least still have plenty of Mario news and releases to look forward to in the future. There's a sale on Mario games going on right now, for example, and beyond that, there's of course the release of The Super Mario Bros. Movie which is coming up in April and should fuel conversations about the face of Nintendo for quite a while.
The Super Mario Bros. Movie is scheduled to come to theaters on April 5th.
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