First up, the most popular characters bar the recurring cast, it’s the Koopalings. Bowser’s kids in most regions, named after various musicians and TV personalities in all of them, these characters have a ridiculous amount of popularity, both in Japan and over in the West. There are fan pages, fan art, people wanting them in every game, and heck, in Japan, they even have individual Wikipedia pages for some not quite ever defined reason.
Now, I don’t hate them. I definitely agree they’re better than Bowser Jr (although is that really an achievement? A rock, a completely inanimate object is more impressive than that Super Mario Sunshine derived runt. An actual character not being would mean they’d have a hatedom comparable to Scrappy from Scooby Doo). But they’re not the perfect characters their fans think they are, and quite frankly, the appearing in every coming Mario game would make people absolutely hate their guts, not appreciate their return.
To figure out why, you only have to unfortunately look to the game modding and fan game community. These guys, through either technical limitations or plain obsession, love the Koopalings. Every single one of their games has the Koopalings. Three hundred games or hacks later, I think most people will probably have the opposite reaction. You know the old adage, don’t you? Everything in moderation. Overuse is pretty much going to have an effect called ‘makes you sick to the back teeth of said thing, regardless of ‘quality’’ Even now, every time I see Iggy Koopa in a game, especially if it’s the Super Mario World battle, I just more want to smash his head to a pulp for showing up so *** much. Your reaction to them, if they truly were in every Mario game as bosses, would be akin to a guy on Youtube (azentiger)’s reaction to hearing Krook’s March as background music ever again.
Not to mention that gameplay and design wise, they’re pretty boring characters, unfortunately. Sure, you can talk about the cartoons, and the personalities, but as far as unique character design and attack style goes, they’ve never been particularly interesting, and I’d say that was what got them removed from the series the first time around. Super Mario Bros 3 was interesting, but each game since was just… recycling attack patterns in place of interesting bosses. Let’s face it, all they added to Mario and Luigi Superstar Saga was seven mini bosses with near identical attack patterns. The room layouts were good, but the bosses were really more fan service than interesting. And while New Super Mario Bros Wii may have varied the second fights, the first battles were pretty much the same boss seven times, with maybe minor tweaks. Or in the case of Larry and Morton… the same as the first time, with very little of interest.
And seven bosses usually means seven worlds taken up with them. They’re cool characters to some extent, but really, putting in one means putting in all seven, and putting in all seven usually means good bye to original bosses (due to most Mario games using seven areas or so before Bowser). Unbelievable the fan dumb here, some fans would rather sacrifice bosses like Gobblegut, Megahammer, Megaleg, Kingfin, etc for the Koopalings in 3D. Presumably because of the same attack pattern each time.
The next character on the list is Rosalina, who quite frankly, I don’t particularly like in the first place, so whom I’ll probably criticise even more harshly than anyone else. In Super Mario Galaxy, she’s kind of a mysterious character who some fans oddly seem to consider God due to a rather badly thought out ending. There’s a whole bunch of story in a virtual storybook about how she lost her mother in some way, found a stray Luma, cares for them like children and has some Comet Observatory place in… pretty much the middle of nowhere. If you want a better description than my ‘not all hate filled and biased one’, here’s a video of the storybook:
Just from the above, you can pretty much tell immediately why the fans
gravitated towards Rosalina as a character. She’s about as blatant an attempt to
tick off the ‘breakout character/fan favourite checklist (not to be confused
with the Evil Overlord List or the list of RPG Cliches)’ as you can get. Let’s
1. Has dark, mysterious and tragic past involving the loss of one or more parents… check.
2. Is female (what? It’s a valid point when you consider how few female characters of importance are in the Mario series, and what kind of audience likes said character)
3. Is not captured/kidnapped (until Mario Galaxy 2), and is a stronger female character than Peach… check.
4. Is mysterious in general (Because come on, no depressed internet fans are ever drawn to people/characters with a fully explained backstory, simple motivations and heroic goals. It’s either mysterious characters with a tragic past, like Rosalina, or mysterious characters with grey shades of morality and wanting vengeance for a tragic past, like most anti heroes)… Check
Indeed, the whole storybook thing seems very much like an overly emo teenagers fan fiction put to a cute video. There’s a word for that… something Sue… Mary Sue… oh forget it. To be honest, the character to me just seems like she was written for people on Fan Fiction.net and DeviantArt. There’s also the matter that people are treating this character as somehow more tragic than the entirety of Sammer’s Kingdom or most of the population in Mario and Luigi Partners in Time. Yeah, one person losing their mum, who may or may not have actually died is somehow seen as more depressing to geeks than a whole universe being deleted from existence/erased from reality and innocent Toads having their souls used as UFO fuel on Christmas eve. A Million is a statistic indeed…
Above: Arguably more depressing than Rosalina’s story? Possibly.
Also, not to be mean, but going with the Luma and leaving your family means you kind of brought the missing the mother/family bit on yourself.
Did the inhabitants of the universe blown to pieces by Bleck’s use of the Dark Prognosticus bring that on themselves?
Moving on, the next character is one from the Wario series. Captain Syrup, the villain of the first two games is the character in question here, and isn’t being criticised for being a bad character, but for being practically a fan magnet that causes all other villains and bosses to get overshadowed, despite their sheer level of awesomeness (presuming you somewhat like the series).
Not to say all Wario villains are exactly great characters (the Golden Diva was… quite average, the Black Jewel was apparently pretty lame and Terrormisu looks like an overweight Princess Peach cosplayer), but the whole ‘everyone only cares about Captain Syrup in terms of Wario Land villains’ is pretty much likely to mean none of the good ones are ever going to get a chance in another game. Worse yet, even the makers of Wario Land Shake It only cared about Captain Syrup for classic characers, hence leaving behind all the others in the series.
Count Cannoli from Master of Disguise is a fairly good example. He’s tragic character with one of the best sets of music for his leitmotif, and heck, you’d think with music like this the character would have become a fan favourite in no time: