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Mario Is Not A Real Doctor And Other Revelations

KoopalingsDon't waste Nintendo's famed producer Shigeru Miyamoto's time with pointless questions about the future of the Wii U and where the Nintendo 3DS will go in 2013.  He's not going to reveal corporate secrets and strategies.  However, the sky is the limit for asking fun character questions that don't really matter.  I guess that's why Game Informer sat down with him and developer Takashi Tezuka to ask about topics such as Mario's full name, the paternity of the Koopalings, why the football-oriented Chargin' Chuck throws baseballs, and whether or not Dr. Mario is really a true doctor.

GI: In Super Mario Bros. 3, the Koopalings were supposed to be Bowser's children. But there's also Bowser Jr. Are they all his kids, and are they all from different mothers? Is Bowser Jr. a Koopaling?

SM: Our current story is that the seven Koopalings are not Bowser's children. Bowser's only child is Bowser Jr., and we do not know who the mother is.

Whoa, hold on; wait a moment!  The Koopalings aren't actually Bowser's children?  I have official instruction manuals from the 1990s that state otherwise!  Rather that fall down the rabbit hole that ponders who the kids' father is (let alone the long-questioned mother), I think we'll find the explanation for this change in another question asked during the course of the interview.

GI: Time and again, Bowser kidnaps Peach. Why do Mario and Peach still race go-karts and play tennis with him?

SM: If you're familiar with things like Popeye and some of the old comic characters, you would oftentimes see this cast of characters that takes on different roles depending on the comic or cartoon. They might be businessman in one [cartoon] or a pirate in another. Depending on the story that was being told, they would change roles. So, to a certain degree, I look at our characters in a similar way and feel that they can take on different roles in different games. It's more like they're one big family, or maybe a troupe of actors.

If we look at things from the perspective that the beloved Mario characters are all actors suited to filling whatever role is required, then specific character relationships don't matter.  The characters can be whomever or whatever Miyamoto and his teams need them to be.  This may also explain why Birdo's gender has changed over the years, why Donkey Kong is both a friend and a foe depending on the storyline, why characters lose certain capabilities across appearances, and basically any other unexplained oddity of the Mario world: it's all up for grabs, none of it is written in stone, and we should just go with whatever a game establishes until a later game rewrites it.  Essentially, Miyamoto told Game Informer, "Wait, you guys are all taking this stuff seriously?"  Kind of, yes.  It's fun for fans to overthink these sorts of topics from time to time (and that goes for any franchise across genres and mediums).

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