Top 5 Costumes: Mario
In video games there is no character who has had more costume changes than the main Italian of our dreams himself, Mario. Ever since Super Mario Bros. on the NES he has used his various power-ups to gain new abilities that he has used over the years to defeat Bowser again and again. For our purposes, we are not looking at which is the best power-up for the actual abilities he gets from it, but instead we are looking at the suits themselves he gains from them. Which costumes make him look best for wooing Princess Peach and making Luigi perpetually jealous of his sibling. There have been so many different power-ups over the years, trying to narrow it down to just the top five made it extremely tough. We consulted the Princess, we consulted Yoshi, we consulted Toad (that little bugger knows his fashion!). We gathered their thoughts and then threw all of that out the window and chose the best ourselves. What do they know anyways? The Princess is always getting kidnapped which seems code for Mario catching her cheating on him with Bowser (kidnapped, suuure, we believe you), Yoshi is only good if you need a good jump boost off him sending him to his death, and Toad is, well, Toad. Check out below what we picked for the most influential plumber in gaming and our favorite hero.
5. Penguin Mario: How can you not love this suit? It’s super adorable! And slightly frightening. It’s like normal Mario, but he skinned a penguin and is wearing its carcass. It makes us respect Mario and fear him at the same time. We like that he kept his overalls, even if he ditched his hat, keeping a nice mix of the classic feel with a sense of whimsy. It does leave us with one question, though. How did he hollow out the feet to wear them like shoes?
4. Tanooki Statue Mario: Once again, Mario looks a little creepy, scaring us a little bit, but we do truly like this suit. It is so different from his other costumes and really shows us an honest side of Mario that we rarely see. We finally know that he is actually bald and wears a toupee hence the chrome dome. We imagine he is actually missing an eye, losing it in one of his numerous, eternal battles with Bowser. Then there is the catch pole we imagine he used for catching his first wild Yoshi before beating it into domestication for generations to come. The little flash of a red scarf pulls it all together.
3. Metal Mario: There is no getting around it, Mario in metal looks plain slick even if it is very basic. It keeps him looking the same, but the lack of color makes him look ready to take on the world. But he must weigh a ton. Imagine how much it hurts the poor goombas and turtles when he jumps on them normally. When he jumps on them in metal, there probably isn’t anything left to be scooped off the grass afterwards. A chrome version of our favorite plumber is just super cool and makes us imagine him being sent back in time with Robert Patrick to kill the future of the human resistance. Good times.
2. Boo Mario: With this costume, Mario combines himself with one of our favorite villains of the series. Sure, he looks silly with his big tongue hanging out, but that is one of the things we like about it. Keeping the hat on though really makes this costume shine. It also gives you a glimmer of hope that if you’re absolutely terrible at Mario games and plow through 999 lives, Mario will still come back as a ghost and haunt Bowser for all of eternity. Well, until Luigi gets the call to pull out his Poltergust 5000 and clean house.
1. Tanooki Mario: We never had any doubt about it, the Tanooki costume is easily Mario’s most memorable and best. It isn’t just because of happy days playing Super Mario Bros. 3. The magic and wonder of what Mario is gets wrapped up in this costume. The little ears, the tail. The funny outlined little belly. You could get lost on what the heck a Tanooki is anyways, but don’t over think it. This costume didn’t and it inspired years of great Mario costumes which it continues to do still.
Shoe Mario: Why does Shoe Mario warrant the distinction of our dishonorable mention this week? Don’t get us wrong, we loved jumping in and having a blast with it in Super Mario Bros. 3. But it’s a shoe. A giant freaking shoe. It doesn’t look cool. It isn’t cute. And it probably smells like death. Think about how bad the inside of your shoe can smell after a day out and about. Now magnify that in actual size by ten and imagine having turtle guts and brains clinging to the bottom of it. There is no protection from a stink-bomb of that magnitude. No wonder Peach is always running out on him and going to Bowser’s castle. This is one of those things to drop off a cliff just like Yoshi when you’re done with him.