Are you currently sitting down? If you aren’t, you should be. Prepare yourself, for Nintendo has revealed some news that will leave you rattled:
Mario is not a plumber.
That’s right. Per Kotaku, Nintendo’s Japanese website recently updated with new bios for the Mario characters, including this translated tidbit:
All around sporty, whether it’s tennis or baseball, soccer or car racing, he [Mario] does everything cool. As a matter of fact, he also seems to have worked as a plumber a long time ago …
Deep breaths, now. All is well. Because when you really think about it, it’s not that big a deal. Between all of the planet hopping, tennis playing and his part-time work pill-pushing in his shady underground medical practice, have you ever seen Mario unclog someone’s damned dirty toilet? He may have fixed some clear Warp Pipes in Super Mario 3D World, but right now Mario seems a little busy shooting up Rabbids and preparing to take New Donk City by storm to worry about plumbing.
It’s a bit surprising that Nintendo is addressing this somewhat obscure factoid about Mario’s backstory at all. In fact, Mario (the ex-plumber previously known as “Jumpman”) was originally a carpenter in his debut in Donkey Kong. With the first Mario Bros. title having a sewer setting with pipes, his background was retconned as an Italian plumber living in New York. And if you remember the masterpiece that was the Super Mario Bros. live-action adaptation, you’ll remember that Bob Hoskins’s “Mario Mario” was a plumber as well.
Mario is likely the most famous plumber worldwide (not much competition, except maybe Joe the Plumber), so it may be sad for some to see that the working class is disappearing in the Mushroom Kingdom. Now that’s one piece of Mario lore that has been solved—maybe one day they’ll tell us who Bowser Jr.’s mother is.
Super Mario Odyssey will be released for the Nintendo Switch on Oct. 27.