Super Mario CCD: Legend Of The Seven Deadly Sins
Mario is often presented to us a paragon of virtue, a wholesome and noble hero whose exploits are fun for all ages. Since 1986, his video games have been among the first ones that most normal children play. But just like Charles Barkley, Mario is not a role model. Mario is just a regular human being, no better than you or I. Actually, he's probably a worse human being than you or I. Are you greedy? Mario is. Are you lustful? Mario is. Are you envious? Mario is. In fact, Mario is guilty of every single one of the Seven Deadly Sins, from pride all the way down through sloth. And not only is Mario guilty of all the Deadly Sins, but he commits each and every single one of them within the span of the first Super Mario Bros. game. And guess what? I'm going to prove it to you. So join me, now, and bear witness to Mario as he submits to Satan's will and perpetrates the Seven Deadly Sins in the traditional SALIGIA order.
1. Pride (Superbia)
The poet Dante, in his Divine Comedy, identified pride as "love of self perverted to hatred and contempt for one's neighbor." So when someone takes down a flag bearing the peace sign, the universal symbol of goodwill towards not just one's neighbor, but humanity in general, and replaces it with their own personal banner, that would most certainly be considered pride, would it not? That's what Mario does, and there's absolutely no defensible reason that I can think of as to why he would choose to do so. Can you think of any acceptable reasons why someone would remove a flag in favor of peace and put up their own personal emblem? I dare say that you fucking can't. Mario does it for one reason and one reason only: because he's a vain little bastard.
2. Greed (Avaritia)
Scattered throughout the Mushroom Kingdom are coins. These coins probably belong to someone, and that someone is most certainly not Mario. And yet, Mario grabs each and every coin he can get his chubby little hands on without any pause, regret, or consideration for the coins' original owner. And just whose coins are those, anyway? My guess is Bowser. It would certainly explain where he gets all those wonderful toys... and airships.
3. Lust (Luxuria)
Let's not fucking kid ourselves here, okay? Mario is trying to help Princess Toadstool for one reason and one reason only: he wants to get laid. Feel free to disagree. Go ahead, make the predictable argument about how Mario is fighting for justice, opposing the evil tyranny of Bowser Koopa, and restoring order to the Mushroom Kingdom. Now let me tell you why you're completely fucking naïve. Here's the story that you want to believe: that Princess Toadstool was the peaceful ruler of a defenseless utopia and that the malevolent and militaristic Bowser just marched in and took over. It's a nice little story, isn't it? But if you've ever studied history, you'd know that scenarios like that simply don't fucking happen. Instead, let's the look at the facts. Princess Toadstool, as a monarchist dictator, does not draw her sovereignty from popular support. Instead, a monarch's sovereignty stems from its own innate ability to sustain itself, generally with the support of a loyal military. And yet, Mario and his brother are the only ones trying to save the princess. Oh sure, the game's instruction booklet spins some fantastic tale about how Bowser used black magic to turn all of Toadstool's allies into bricks and plants, but that manual is filled with inaccuracies. For example, it says there are "several" ways to defeat Bowser; there are two. It also says that Piranha Plants live in flower pots, misspells their name as "Pirana", and says that the game is filled with "traps and riddles". Also, there's the fact that Bowser does not demonstrate any magic powers in the game. Hell, Bowser doesn't demonstrate any inherent magic powers whatsoever in any Mario game, always relying on his wizard friend Kamek or borrowed artifacts to fulfill his spellcasting needs. So I'm sorry, but I just don't fucking buy the whole "Bowser conquers the Mushroom Kingdom with dark magic" story. It simply doesn't fit into Bowser's well-established history of using superior numbers, superior force, and eccentric flying contraptions to achieve his goals.
For a more realistic view of what happened in the Mushroom Kingdom, one need look no further than the stories of Fulgencio Batista, Pu Yi, and Hosni Mubarak. What most likely happened is that Princess Toadstool, either through incompetence or malevolence, suddenly found herself lacking the force necessary to mandate her rule. And just like Batista, Pu Yi, and Mubarak, Princess Toadstool found herself forced out of power by changing social tides. The Goombas, branded as "traitors" in the Super Mario Bros. instruction manual, are actually freedom fighters. And Bowser, the so-called King of the Koopas, is a charismatic and idealistic philosopher, strategist, and visionary. He is the Mushroom Kingdom's equivalent of a Fidel Castro or Vladimir Lenin. So the question is this: why would Mario lead a counter-revolution to restore an unpopular monarchy? I submit to you that there are only three reasons that men do anything: profit, power, and pussy. Mario certainly isn't helping the princess for profit; like an Iraqi museum, the Mushroom Kingdom is already brimming with treasure waiting to be looted. He can't be doing it for power, either. If Mario wanted to rule the Mushroom Kingdom himself, he'd have no cause to liberate Princess Toadstool from house arrest. So that leaves pussy. Mario is helping the princess in exchange for sexual favors. End of story.
4. Envy (Invidia)
You probably guessed that the entry for envy involved Luigi somehow, and you were right. But it's probably not in the way you're thinking. Yes, Luigi is closely associated with green, the color of envy. True, he rarely gets to be the hero of the story, and the games where he is the main protagonist range from fucking awful to mediocre. But this article focuses solely on the first Super Mario Bros. game, so the envy must be found within the confines of that game. And to find it, one need look no further than the game's two player option. Super Mario Bros. is not a multiplayer game, certainly not in the same way that its predecessor was. Whereas Mario Bros. allowed both players to play simultaneously, with a focus on cooperating to defeat common enemies while competing for a high score, Super Mario Bros. makes them alternate between two single player games. This proposition only works if both players are fucking terrible and die frequently, so that their time between turns will be relatively short. But when one or both players are skilled, the one waiting for his turn becomes impatient, and impatience fosters envy. Dante characterized envy as a "desire to deprive other men of theirs", while Saint Thomas Aquinas described it as "sorrow for another's good", and both of these definitions perfectly describe what one feels while waiting for his turn. What's particularly interesting is the ways that envy manifests itself in the gameplay. A Luigi player, having just suffered through watching the Mario player warp through the game and complete it with one life, will get to play through all their lives interrupted. Frustrated with his own inability to copy the Mario player's performance, the Luigi player might often choose to attempt to play through the entire fucking game. Meanwhile, the Mario player, jealous that he's not currently playing the game, might use his exclusive dominion over the game's pause feature to disrupt the Luigi player's tempo and cause him to lose a life. Envy is a real bitch.
5. Gluttony (Gula)
It's hard to justify gluttony's status as a deadly sin; it's basically just a specialized version of greed. Nevertheless, Mario is quite guilty of it. When Super Mario encounters a Fire Flower, he eats it and transforms into Fiery Mario. As Fiery Mario, he continues to eat every single Fire Flower he can find, an action which carries absolutely no meaningful benefit. He continues eating them simply because he's an insatiable boor and there's no one around to fucking stop him. Now, there is the semantic question of whether or not Mario actually devours Fire Flowers. If one ascribes to the theory of Fire Flower usage put forth in the incredibly shitty Mario cartoons, then Mario gains his powers just by touching the flower. Alternatively, in the Super Smash Bros. games, Fire Flowers are depicted as miniatures flamethrowers which must be held by their users. However, both of these sources are non-canonical. In the game, when Mario comes into contact with a Magic Mushroom, it disappears and he becomes stronger, leaving only one even remotely reasonable conclusion: he ate it. When Mario comes into contact with a Fire Flower, the results are the same: it disappears and he becomes stronger. Shouldn't the conclusion be the same as well? Ultimately, it doesn't really matter if you believe Mario eats the Fire Flowers or not. If greed is the manic hoarding of unneeded resources, then gluttony is the manic consumption of unneeded resources. So Mario is most certainly a glutton. Also, have you ever looked at the guy? Motherfucker is fat as hell.
6. Wrath (Ira)
Mario has a reputation of being a nice guy whose intentions are always benign and friendly, sort of like the video game world's equivalent of Mickey Mouse. Unfortunately, it's not true; Mario is filled with unmitigated rage. With the exception of sentient bullets and anthropomorphic turtles who chuck projectiles, none of Mario's so-called enemies pose any particular threat to the pudgy plumber. Yes, Koopas and Goombas will hurt Mario if they wander into him, but they're just as likely to wander into bottomless pits if left to their own devices. Mario has no real incentive to brutally murder these hapless creatures other than they happen to be in his way. That's not socially acceptable behavior. When I'm at the mall, and I just want to run into Best Buy real quick then get out, and I get stuck behind a slow-moving family of dimwits who fucking insist on stopping to look through the windows of EVERY FUCKING STORE IN THE ENTIRE MALL without actually ever going inside one of them, do I jump on their backs and stomp them to death? No, of course not, because I'd go to jail. But until I remember that actions have consequences, I certainly do consider it. Seriously though, walk faster, you fucking jerks. Don't you have places to be? Because I do. At the very least, walk in some semblance of a line, so that I can get around you. You can keep acting like fucking assholes, but just remember this: I drink unhealthy amounts of diet soda, and it's slowly destroying my brain. One of these days, I'm going to wake up and find myself blissfully free from the restraints of temperance, patience, and logical thought. And then I really am going to stomp you to death, just like Super Mario would do. So by all means, keep being inconsiderate to your fellow mall travelers. Just remember that today might be the day that I've finally lost my mind, that I could kill your entire family before the fat men on Segways arrive to subdue me with tasers, and that I look forward to seeing you in Hell's foyer.
7. Sloth (Acedia)
There's the right fucking way to do things, and then there's the wrong way. The right way is to through every single step meticulously and do everything properly. It's what you expect from others, isn't it? You don't want the guy at the local Quiznos making your sandwich without putting on fucking gloves first, lest you end up with crunchy flakes of eczema on your capicola. And if you hire a contractor to renovate your house, you certainly don't want him taking any fucking shortcuts whatsoever, lest your house fall apart. Mario, apparently, does not feel the same way. That lazy fucker takes shortcuts all the time. Sure, it might seem like a good idea to warp past large sections of the game, but there are serious repercussions. Think about all those Mushroom Retainers that he failed to rescue. They're still trapped in those castles, surrounded by lava and spinning fire sticks. And what about all those Hammer Brothers that he didn't bother to dispatch? They didn't just pack their fucking bags and go home the second that Bowser was defeated! They're still out there... with hammers. Nice work, Mario!
So there you have it, proof irrefutable that Mario is a complete asshole. So the next time some Sony fanboy tells you that Mario games are kiddie stuff, you damn well better show them this essay. Mario is an immoral anti-hero who could go toe-to-toe with Kratos, Duke Nukem, or anyone else for the title of Biggest Badass In Gaming. He's all about getting pussy, making money, and using excessive amounts of force to violently eradicate anything that stands in his way. Simply put, Super Mario will fuck you up. He won't think twice about it, either.
Posted by: Syd Lexia
SEVEN DEADLY SINS. SEVEN WAYS TO WIN.