Mario Dies on the Cover of Super Mario Bros

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Mario Dies on the Cover of Super Mario Bros

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Nintendo's famous plumber was dead before you ever put Super Mario Bros into your NES.

For many gamers, the box art for Super Mario Bros may be their first memory related to videogames. It's immediately iconic: Mario, in his fire-flower power-up suit, jumps through the air against a backdrop of stone and lava - the sort found in one of King Koopa's many castles.

However, Reddit user Deluxo noticed something disturbing about this famous, memorable piece of videogame box art: It depicts the death of Mario.

As you can see in the screenshot here to the right, the particular combination of jumping, stone wall and lava can really only be found when Mario is falling to his death in a lava pit. So rather than showing children their hero triumphantly leaping through the air, this box art shows Mario's as he plummets to his demise, throwing one final defiant fireball before he is consumed in flame.

Boy, that's kind of morbid, huh? Not many other videogames have the gall to show their hero - and the player's avatar - in the throes of death on the box art. In fact, I can't think of a single one.

On the other hand, this could have been Nintendo's warning to children who had no idea what they were in for. After all, you can't say Nintendo didn't warn you that you would be spending hours leading Mario to his death if it was right there on the cover.

(Reddit)

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Really? Huh, well that's pretty interesting.

Wait, hold on. So, nobody mentioned this before? Has it really been 20+ years(or however long ago Super Mario Bros. came out) before anyone noticed this?

Wow.

Or is this just a Photoshop job? I don't know, never played the game or saw the box art myself.

Well, thats depressing.

John Funk:

Boy, that's kind of morbid, huh? Not many other videogames have the gall to show their hero - and the player's avatar - in the throes of death on the box art. In fact, I can't think of a single one.

The cover of the limited edition of Demon's Souls depicted the player essentially propped up dead in a corner. =)

I never played this game(born 1992), but I find this incredibly funny.

Actually if you look at the box art Mario is tilting at an angle which makes his foot overlap the blocks. This doesn't happen in game.

Kind of weird that nobody noticed until now. Maybe the best way to hide something is in plain sight.

This was pointed out a long time ago, I think in a old gaming magazine. I can't recall which. Still it is pretty funny that they used that as the boxart when you realize where it's from.

Well, at least the game is honest with itself and shows what will most likely happen more than once when you play it

Poor Mario. Does this mean he has been canonically dead all these years and it has all been a dying dream. At least that way Super Smash Bros. and Mario & Sonic at the Olympics make perfect sense within the Mario Universe.

Mario's foot overlaps the bricks, which means the bricks, fireball, and lava are actually in the background. Mario leaping is essentially just a pose.

Since his foot overlaps with the wall, it's likely he's wall-jumping.

I noticed this ages ago. But it's just box art so never gave it much thought.

ChaoticKraus:
Kind of weird that nobody noticed until now. Maybe the best way to hide something is in plain sight.

Actually, its been pointed out a fair few times, its just never really been newsworthy

RollForInitiative:

John Funk:

Boy, that's kind of morbid, huh? Not many other videogames have the gall to show their hero - and the player's avatar - in the throes of death on the box art. In fact, I can't think of a single one.

The cover of the limited edition of Demon's Souls depicted the player essentially propped up dead in a corner. =)

the normal version te has a lot of arrows sticking out of his chestm in a cural fashion.

dogstile:

ChaoticKraus:
Kind of weird that nobody noticed until now. Maybe the best way to hide something is in plain sight.

Actually, its been pointed out a fair few times, its just never really been newsworthy

Still isn't newsworthy, must be a slow day :P

John Funk:

Boy, that's kind of morbid, huh? Not many other videogames have the gall to show their hero - and the player's avatar - in the throes of death on the box art. In fact, I can't think of a single one.

Demons Souls shows a dead corpse of your character, and Dead Space just shows your severed hand. D:

Not nearly as interesting as the fact that Toad has been flipping us off every time he tells us the princess is in another castle. (This is absolutely true, by the way. Go find an original Super Mario Bros. sprite sheet and look carefully. Or, in fact, go HERE to a Newgrounds flash in which this is hilariously explained.)

This happens all the time for amazing front-cover action shots. Someone is lashing their weapon out at another person, who is striking a pose rather than trying to deflect it. If you unpaused time, many of those protagonists would be dead.

The just makes me wonder how many times I led Mario to his death over the years.

Poor Mario, he's been doomed all along!

It's not really a very nice-looking cover anyway.

Latinidiot:

RollForInitiative:

John Funk:

Boy, that's kind of morbid, huh? Not many other videogames have the gall to show their hero - and the player's avatar - in the throes of death on the box art. In fact, I can't think of a single one.

The cover of the limited edition of Demon's Souls depicted the player essentially propped up dead in a corner. =)

the normal version te has a lot of arrows sticking out of his chestm in a cural fashion.

in the case of Demon's souls it might be contextually appropriate.

Neku Sakuraba is so hipster that he actually died before the game even started.
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ZeroDotZero:
Poor Mario. Does this mean he has been canonically dead all these years and it has all been a dying dream. At least that way Super Smash Bros. and Mario & Sonic at the Olympics make perfect sense within the Mario Universe.

You went all "Garfield starving to death" on us there XD
But maybe it's a metaphor for what Nintendo planned to do with Mario all along. I mean, like or dislike the games, Mario is only popular in an internet meme sort of sense built up from nostalgia. He's not a character that ever had a good show or could ever be put into a real story. He's just a recognizable mascot.
There's no personality to be found in Mario, and Nintendo wanted it that way since characters with personalities can't live on the IV of nostalgia (i.e. Sonic and Belmont(s) to name two). He's not dead. He was never truly alive to begin with...

...Or maybe it's a metaphor for the folks in the Mario department at Nintendo being lazy asses.
"We need box art that looks exciting..."
*picks ear* "Meh Just show him about to die in a lava pit, since danger is exciting, and put some 4th grade speed lines behind him to make him look like he's going fast, since fast is exciting."

That's hilariously awesome.

This is why we have things like "What is this I don't even".

I would imagine that lots of people have noticed this. I noticed it either in the late 80s or early 90s. Same goes for lots of other box art/cover art. I can understand posting that image or whatever, but how does it get in the news?

K V MAN:

Latinidiot:

RollForInitiative:

The cover of the limited edition of Demon's Souls depicted the player essentially propped up dead in a corner. =)

the normal version te has a lot of arrows sticking out of his chestm in a cural fashion.

in the case of Demon's souls it might be contextually appropriate.

sweet fucking jesus, what happened to my post? it looks like a monkey wrote it! But I guess you got the general message. And I don't think that dying happens more in Demons souls than iin Mario. Although it does have more impact.

John the Gamer:
I never played this game

How could you not have played this game? Even if you were born after the fact?
My parents had the game, that's where I encountered it
They're hippies

Ian Caronia:

ZeroDotZero:
Poor Mario. Does this mean he has been canonically dead all these years and it has all been a dying dream. At least that way Super Smash Bros. and Mario & Sonic at the Olympics make perfect sense within the Mario Universe.

You went all "Garfield starving to death" on us there XD

By Mario's moustache are those Garfield comics depressing. I am not sure if anyone really cares too much about either Mario or Garfield's timelines, but if they are both dead, they should go scuba diving with Jimi Hendrix and Yahtzee sometime.

o_0 Mind = Blown
It's mad that nopony has noticed this, that games been out for like 26 years by now right?

I mean, like or dislike the games, Mario is only popular in an internet meme sort of sense built up from nostalgia. He's not a character that ever had a good show or could ever be put into a real story. He's just a recognizable mascot.[/quote]

Or maybe it's because, I don't know, maybe the games are good? Just sayin'....

Anyway: It's a nice little bit of trivia. Not exactly sure why this now qualifies as news, but today has been boring so far, so who am I to complain?

I get your point, but if it showed Mario jumping through the air (a plain colour backdrop) instead, it would be really boring.
This cover is colourful and visually appealing, making people more likely to pick up the game.

But then again, it could have just as easily shown Mario jumping on a Koopa or something
/shrug

10BIT:
Since his foot overlaps with the wall, it's likely he's wall-jumping.

Ooooh! Reverse nerd!

The box doesn't depict Mario dying, it depicts Mario saving himself from the clutches of death using an incredibly hard to use and probably not thought of by the devs nuance of the game engine.

So...Mario's been dead this whole time and every game we've been playing has been him in a purgatory where he just can't keep Princess Peach saved?

Ian Caronia:
I mean, like or dislike the games, Mario is only popular in an internet meme sort of sense built up from nostalgia.

Mario is popular because the games are well designed (I'll admit I've only played up through Mario 64). I just went back last week and played through Mario World for the SNES, and it's amazing how well that game is put together. Twenty years later, it's an excellent example of map design and character design, and the graphics look good enough that you don't have to use the excuse of "good for its day".

Ian Caronia:

He's not a character that ever had a good show or could ever be put into a real story. He's just a recognizable mascot.

Obviously, somebody never watched "The Super Mario Bros. Super Show"!

http://www.escapistmagazine.com/videos/view/the-big-picture/3151-Do-the-Mario

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