Is there anything in any video game more immediately and sensually satisfying than the sound of that sweet, sweet power-up from Mario? Have a litte click below for yourself, though be careful doing it in a public space — you’ll never know how you might react!
To celebrate the announcement of Switch (and the unannounced Mario title they teased) and also because our appetite for all things Mario is insatiable, we decided to come up with a definitive list of the most attractive Mario power-ups. Because sometimes it’s not just about how much damage you can do with them, but whether or not you can walk the walk.
The prominence of Bee Mario in the marketing for Super Mario Galaxy, ass hanging out as he grins cheekily over his shoulder, was undoubtedly the point of sexual awakening for many current Mario fans. Issues of Nintendo magazines across the country were cut-up as Mario in this classic pose adorned bedrooms everywhere. This was a wake up call to many that the Nintendo Wii wasn’t just a children’s console.
To this day the soft, crisp visuals of Super Mario Galaxy, the pose, and the tantalising angle chosen by the marketers at Nintendo still make Bee Mario a top contender for one of the most attractive power-ups, not just in Mario games, but games in general. He’s giving you that over the shoulder, leaving the living room, “I’ll see you upstairs” look for sure.
As you’re likely aware, the attractiveness of a Mario power-up doesn’t always just come down to its gameplay or usage in game. A large part of it comes from how it’s presented to the player even before they play the game. Anticipation and expectation are where everything begins. Marketing and previews are the foreplay of the video game industry, and boy with Super Mario Galaxy did they deliver.
In some ways Spring Mario doesn’t even seem to be a power-up at a glance. Mario appears to be in trouble, in the grips of some new enemy. It’s this juxtaposition in which the true attractiveness of the power-up is revealed. Mario doesn’t have much control in this form. His eyes are wide and he’s a bit scared. But this is something he chose to do, something he gave up willingly. He is trusting you, the player, to guide him in his vulnerable state to the exit, and that’s beautiful.
These shoes don’t even belong to Mario at first (hence their name). These are shoes originally ridden in by Goomba that Mario despatches of and takes for himself. He just nestles right on in there, and gets ready for a comfy ride to the stage’s exit. It’s a power up so illicit you can’t even take it between stages with you. Without Mario stopping them, the Goomba would just hop around in there indefinitely, so you can be sure the inside of those shoes aren’t cared for very well. Who knows what Mario is getting up close and personal with down there? Doesn’t it make your mind race and your heart skip a beat?
After over 20 years of not appearing in a game as a usable power up, the Goomba’s Shoe finally made its return in Super Mario Maker, so that players could toy around with the delectable shoe to their hearts’ content, even making levels where Mario rides around in a shoe with no danger if they wanted, all warm and snug and tucked in. But that’s not even the best bit! If riding in that stinky, nasty green shoe wasn’t enough for you, the Goomba’s shoe now comes in more variants, including the dangerous Stilleto shoe, which is more than we could have dreamed of. Naturally, the Stilleto shoe is the most powerful, and can really get in there to punish the bad boys Mario does not care for, such as Bullet Bill Canons and even Thwomps. The next thing he’ll be crushing is my heart.
That boy got blown up! This power up alone justifies the inclusion of Yoshi in Super Mario Galaxy 2. Mario was already used to riding Yoshi, but now he’s taking it to a whole new level, gently spooning the top of this voluptuous and opulent form of Yoshi.
Once Yoshi wraps his lips around a Blimp Fruit he instantly swells up into this gassy “blimp” form, where he and Mario can reach new heights while cuddling. But you better act fast, as good things can never last. That gassy mound within the shapely and curvaceous body of Yoshi runs out after time.
While it’s fun to include Blimp Yoshi in this list, I’d also like to mention that Dash Yoshi and Bulb Yoshi are most definitely not on this list. Both Dash and Bulb forms of Yoshi are, frankly, abominations that almost make the game unplayable as they are so vomit-inducing.
What’s better than one Mario? Why, two Marios of course. Or possibly more, as this is one power up that does stack, meaning you can pop cherry after cherry with these Marios with no sign of stopping. While the Double Cherry (introduced in Super Mario 3D World) doesn’t change much about Mario, the simple fact that it multiplies his already existing sex appeal by a factor of 2 and possibly more makes it cream of the crop in my book.
The decision to include the Double Cherry in Super Mario 3D World was clearly inspired by Alan Moore’s legendary graphic novel Watchmen, where, in an early scene, the omnipotent Dr Manhattan uses his powers to create multiple versions of himself while making love. Imagine that, just with a more portly man who is a plumber and elegantly moustached. Thanks, Super Mario 3D World!
We can’t wait to see just what surprises the as yet untitled and unannounced Mario Switch game has in store for us! Fingers crossed!