Five Reasons why you wouldn’t want to live in the Mushroom Kingdom
Editorials / Features
Many, many fans think of fictional worlds as a retreat from the cruel, somewhat harsh reality of the real world. That’s why we have all those Mary Sue characters, badly done fan fic showing the author as being the true love of some fictional character or the sad state of otakukin dreaming about how they’re able to communicate with their favourite fictional idols on the astral plain. And it wouldn’t be at all surprising if this kind of fan exists in the Mario series fandom.

However, what none of them ever seem to consider is how horrible any fictional world would be to actually live in. You know the old adage, it’s a great place to visit, but you wouldn’t want to live there. The Mario series is no different, and as this article demonstrates, might actually be one of the worst places for desperate geeks to inhabit… or just any sane, normal human being in general.

First of all, note how dangerous the wildlife is within the Mushroom World. Sure, you see all these horror stories of how X place in the real world is filled with various minor dangerous creatures, like Black Widow Spiders, or Scorpions, or some random virus or such that can kill a man within hours, but compared to anything you see in the Mushroom World, that’s small time. Sure, Goombas and Koopas aren’t too bad, but… even the common Piranha Plant is at heart, a dangerous monster that happens to be a man eating plant, as commonly found in fiction. That’s not even getting in to the various boss creatures, like Naval Piranha, or Kingfin, or the Manta Storm/Phantamanta. Those things are arguably more dangerous than any example of real world mega fauna that’s ever existed, and could probably destroy a fair amount of civilisation.

The lack of many dangerous natural predators of such a size and ferocity is practically why life is so easy nowadays, heck, even one reason why humans actually flourished and became the dominant species. Which… somewhat leads to the next issue, the setting is practically too dangerous for any average person who ventures out of town, because even the smallest creature is a four foot carnivore that’d probably try to rip your arm off.

Unfortunately, very few fan fic writers and depressed fans on DeviantArt consider this minor aspect, because apparently their precious author insert getting torn to shreds by the local wildlife isn’t ‘romantic’. But it’s certainly far more accurate than this ‘author avatar goes into the Mushroom World, becomes Mario/Luigi/Peach’s ‘friend’, somehow gets super powers and saves the world, and a pretty good reason no one would actually want to live in the Mushroom Kingdom/World. Especially Dark Land.

Another reason, is that the Mushroom World just isn’t peaceful. I mean, I guess you could call it exciting, with action packed adventures happening about daily, but if you look at it more practically, it probably has more major conflict than even Earth does, and that’s saying something (given the fact total world peace has counted some short period of time).

Really, the Mushroom World isn’t an utopia. It’s not a sugar bowl to any real degree, and it’s certainly not purely a kid friendly world where everyone becomes friends afterwards. Sure, we have a happy ending in most of the mainstream Mario games, but keep in mind the amount of wars and invasions in the series is… well, high enough that Mario going to Bowser’s Castle for some reason or another is a nigh on weekly occurrence. And there’s no real holding back threat wise, no real delaying the use of powerful weapons or armies or airship fleets. Just look at how many Mario villains immediately start trying to destroy the universe and become ominicidal maniacs from about two minutes into their career. Just to reiterate, I’m saying that at least five different bad guys have tried to destroy the world/universe, often for no reason whatsoever (see, the Dark Star/Dark Bowser in Mario and Luigi Bowser’s Inside Story), and yet people think this a nice, peaceful setting with low levels of conflict?

Heck, think of poor Toad Town in the middle of this. Bowser comes in and destroys the place at least once a week, it’s been razed to the ground by half the RPG villains going and insurance bills must be astronomical. Toad Town may be a nice peaceful place, in some games (part of Paper Mario, part of Mario and Luigi Superstar Saga), but you sure wouldn’t want to live/be there after the Shroobs attacked, or Bowser’s airship fleet in Mario Galaxy blew up half the town and trapped the Toad population in crystals, or after Giant Bowser stomped all over most of it in the second Super Mario Galaxy game. Some of these events even happened just two or so days apart.

On that note, keep in mind none of the villains in the series are the kind of people who can sanely be reasoned with, and you’ve got a situation where every minor dispute has to be settled by brute force. That doesn’t make the kingdom a safe place to live, especially when you keep in mind how many real life conflicts mere discussion and diplomacy has settled without the need to go to war. On contrast, in the Mario series, for the sake of a good story, if anything goes wrong, in come invasion fleets and likely lots of casualties. Any real world inhabitant visiting there would find it extremely hard to live with general society getting massive disrupted every other day and various levels of violence going on daily.

Another thing to consider, which would again make life rather more difficult than expected, would be that technology is rather patchy in the Mushroom World. Think that’s not a big problem? Think again, you’re already dependant on the internet by reading this, and I’d hazard a guess about 90% of fans would find it impossibly dull to live a life without video games, TV, radio, most forms of music or various other technology.

Heck, even in the places that tech of this level is available (Diamond City for instance), you’re very, very limited. All video games are Nintendo made here, don’t you know? I hope you like Mario a lot, because in that series, all video games are either Nintendo series (like Mario, Zelda, Metroid, etc), and eight bit to 16 bit versions to boot or made by Wario (or in other words, full price games that are about five seconds long). All music is by known characters, in places where it exists. And if Luigi’s Mansion is accurate, the book selection is horrible, enough to fill a bookshelf at most (or magic, I guess, certain magician and Magikoopa characters have libraries of some kind).

Finally, ever when technology does exist, it’s often used badly enough to dangerous kill whoever happens to be in the general area. Do you really fancy your luck driving in Mushroom City? Or want to play a slot machine which is either haunted (Super Mario Sunshine) or brutally trying to kill you through liberal giving out of explosives (Wario Land Shake It)? It’s not a nice play to live, and it’s not a practical one, to the point I wouldn’t be surprised that even your daily grocery shopping has a chance of killing you. Especially if Fawful was involved in some way.

There’s also the horrible fact that realisticaly, you wouldn’t be an important character if you did end up in the series (whether through having an in universe equivalent in one of Nintendo’s games or some metaphysical/magical story straight out a 90s cartoon show). Sure, you’d never know this, and think all random kids from Earth are somehow important heroes due to how often it’s played for escapism and author fantasies, but what’s more likely to happen if you end up in the Mario series:

1. You end up as an important hero who overshadows Mario, defeats Bowser and everyone else, marries Peach/Mario/Luigi/Bowser/etc, is improbably beautiful, is rich and learns all the skills he/she needs in seconds. Or in other words, the term ‘Mary Sue’ gets thrown in your general direction.

2. You end up as an average nobody, who at best is an NPC in an RPG (ah well, you have a bit better chance of surviving the game than the final boss, but that all depends whether you shut up and stay out of trouble) and at worst is cannon fodder when Bowser or co attacks. Maybe you’re the one Toad who gets his vim sucked out by the Shroobs in Partners in Time, or the audience member who’s soul gets eaten by the Shadow Queen in Paper Mario 2 or just some random Bowser grunt who’s only experience in life is Mario smashing his head to a pulp.

Yeah, I personally put my money on the second one. Don’t forget it people, not everyone is cut out to be a major hero or villain, in reality or fiction.

All in all, would you really want to live in the Mushroom World after all that? Sure, it’s a nice place to imagine visiting for a day trip, presuming you’re lucky enough to avoid the day’s invasion fleet, but as the old saying goes, you wouldn’t want to live there. If you ever think of this kind of escapism, just lean back and think how in all honesty, the worlds in any work of fiction would be a far worse place to live than the real world. Appreciate the Mario series for what it is, an entertaining video game series.

For all the fan fic authors out there who want to write cliched fan fic as well as all the otakukin beyond hope.

Join our free mailing list

Signup for our newsletter to receive updates, game news and information.