In the Super Mario Bros. series, there have been a number of different locations that serve as the backdrop of the game. The one location that is more or less a constant, or at least the location that any fan of the game series would consider 'home', is the Mushroom Kingdom.
In the first Super Mario Bros. on the original Nintendo Entertainment System, we are introduced to the Mushroom Kingdom. At first, we don't know much about it. Those early games didn't offer much in terms of text or graphics, but the instruction manuals in those days provided some backstory so the player wasn't filling in every gap with their own imagination. As the series went forward, more and more was added. As games became more advanced, we were actually given some set-up in the games. The Mushroom Kingdom slowly became a place that seemed more and more real as the game's story and its locations were built upon. Decades after the launch of Super Mario Bros. we now have a Mushroom Kingdom that feels as rich as any real world location.
Just because we know a lot about the Mushroom Kingdom these days doesn't mean we know everything about it. If you're a casual fan of the Mario series, you probably don't know the things we're about to share. Even if you're a super-fan, keep reading. We might surprise you.
15 The Landscape Is Ever-Changing
In the world of Mario Brothers, there doesn't seem to be any kind of set timeline, nor does there seem like any real attempt to have one. Bowser is alive and well in nearly every game. Sometimes he's a friend and other times he's a foe. The Zelda series at least tries to establish a set timeline and explains Ganon and Link as timeless characters, destined to repeat their roles as heroes and villains throughout time and space. The Mario series just sort of does whatever it needs to make a good game. For this reason, the lay of the land of Mushroom Kingdom is in a constant shift and many locales are rarely in the same place twice.
14 It's Ecologically Impossible
The Mushroom Kingdom typically consists of the same ecosystems from game to game. We previously established that the biomes are in a constant shift going from one game to another. Another fun fact about this landscape is that it's impossible. A lush green forest sits next to a series of tropical islands with nothing more than a small bridge between them. On the other side of the same forest is a scorching desert. Next to the desert is a land of giant creatures and sometimes even an arctic ice-scape. Below that is...a bottomless pit of sky and clouds? There is no gradation between these areas. The difference is pencil thin. Er, pixel thin.
13 King Koopa Was The Ruler
In the games, it always seems like Bowser is trying to take over The Mushroom Kingdom. Would you believe us if we suggested that he might actually be trying to take it back?
If you grew up in the '80s and '90s, you may remember a number of cartoons based on the Super Mario Bros. The first of these shows was the Super Mario Bros. Super Show. In the opening credits, we actually see Mario and Luigi working as plumbers and being sucked down a bathtub into The Mushroom Kingdom. This would suggest we're watching a show about Mario's earliest days in the Mushroom Kingdom.
In the show, it was Bowser who ruled Mushroom Kingdom and Mario, the Princess, Toad, and Luigi were trying to find ways to remove Bowser from power.
12 It Resides Deep Under The Surface Of The Earth
Yes. We know that nothing from the extremely unpleasant Mario Bros. live-action movie should ever be considered canon, but that's not where we're going with this. We're ignoring the archaeological dig site from the movie and going with two other sources.
Our first source is the opening credits from The Super Mario Bros. Super Show. As we said earlier, the opening credits featured Mario and Luigi being sucked down the drain of a regular everyday shower and being deposited in The Mushroom Kingdom.
In addition to the cartoons, Mario also had a series of books. In the book titled Leapin' Lizards, it is stated that the Kingdom is deep inside the earth, which is why it is able to be reached through underground plumbing. It would also explain why there are very few humans.
Could Peach and her father have once lived on the surface? Do the Toads revere humans as gods from the sky!?
11 The Mushroom King Is Just A Figurehead
The government of The Mushroom Kingdom seems to be in just as much of a state of flux as its landscape. Princess Peach seems to be the ruler of Mushroom Kingdom as a whole, with other royalties ruling other smaller areas. However, one of the shows suggests Bowser once ruled, as we previously discussed. Other games suggest that the royalty didn't rule at all (we'll get to that).
At most, it's been suggested that Peach's father ruled alongside Peach equally. Later, it seemed the King had already passed control on to Peach (technically making her Queen Peach). Eventually, he was phased out all together. This would suggest that the King was just a figurehead. He holds no rule but his crown remains to hearken back to history and tradition.
10 Coins Are The Legal Tender Of Mushroom Kingdom
Since Mario is just a video game character, it can be assumed that the coins are simply symbolic - nothing more than a means to gauge points and gain reward as Mario and Company traverse the land. In fact, it's been established in games and other media that these coins are an official form of currency in The Mushroom Kingdom. Like money here in the real world, they even have their own denominations.
Gold Coin = 1 Coin
Red Coin = 2 Coins
Blue Coin = 5 Coins
Ten Coin = 10 Coins
Giant Coin = 100 Coins
Crown Coin = 1,000 Coins
Note that the Red and Blue coins are 2 and 5 in some games, but only 1 coin in others. Their currency fluctuates in value just like our own!
9 Luigi Is The Mushroom Kingdom's Richest Civilian
It's quite possible that one of the richest civilians in all of Mushroom Kingdom is Luigi. Many would think that this would be Mario considering he's the main hero of the Kingdom and Luigi is typically second banana, not helping at all, or busting ghosts. We're not counting royalty as their wealth goes without saying.
In Luigi's Mansion, we see that Luigi has a lavish mansion on a large piece of property. Mario has never seemed to have anything more than a modest home in Toad Town. Bustin' Ghosts with Professor E. Gadd must pay better than saving the Kingdom for the Princess several times over. Either that or Mario is extremely generous and spreads his wealth from adventuring among the citizens.
8 The Mushroom Kingdom In Super Mario Bros. 3 Is A Fake
For years and years, there was a fan theory floating around that Super Mario Bros. 3 wasn't a true Mario adventure - that it was a play the whole time. If you're really looking, it actually seems kind of obvious.
Curtains open at the start of the game. Curtains close at the end of the game. If you beat it, you'll also notice the ending credits list and show all the characters as if they were cast members. Trees, platforms, Mario, and Luigi cast shadows against the sky. The platforms have large screws in each corner, as if they're mounted against the sky. Other platforms appear to be suspended from the roof. At the end of the level you "exit stage left." You can even drop behind white blocks and go "behind the scenes."
This all seems a little out there, but the theory has been confirmed by Shigeru Miyamoto himself.
7 Yoshi's Are Immigrants
Doesn't anyone think it's weird that Yoshisaurs didn't show up in the games until Super Mario World? Well there's a reason for that. Super Mario World didn't take place in Mushroom Kingdom proper. It took place just outside of it in a place called Dinosaur Land. While a lot of fan maps include just about every location as a part of Mushroom Kingdom, most signs point to the idea that Dinosaur Land is its own nation.
After Super Mario World, Mario games that took place in the Mushroom Kingdom have included Yoshisaurs. This suggests that somewhere between Super Mario World and the following games there was an influx of Yoshisaurs immigrating to the Mushroom Kingdom. We hope for their sake that Peach doesn't decide to build a "big, beautiful wall" and make Dinosaur Land pay for it.
6 It Once Had A Chancellor
Nearly every game has established Peach and only Peach as the head of government in The Mushroom Kingdom. The most major exception has been the television shows which have taken some liberties with the games and included the King (who we mention has been phased out). To be fair, games in those days were very simple and it was the shows that really fleshed out the world of Mario. Even in the games, one of them has named someone else as a head of government. Super Mario RPG.
In Super Mario RPG, it is revealed that there is a Toad Chancellor. The Chancellor sends Mario on his quest to find the Princess and return her safely to the castle.
5 Hell Is Literally On 'Earth' In The Mushroom Kingdom
While most places in Mushroom Kingdom seem fun and exciting, there is one little blemish on their mostly beautiful world. That blemish is, more or less, Hell. Hell literally resides on earth in the Mushroom Kingdom.
While not referred to as "Hell," the Dark Land has all the features of what most see when they envision Hell. It's filled with lava, fire and brimstone, treacherous obstacles that can kill you over and over again, and creepy hands that come out of the ground and pull you to your doom. Dark Land is even presided over by a horned beast with a fetish for spiked leather cuffs. On some occasions, Bowser's castle seems to have magical properties that bar Mario from reaching him if he doesn't take certain paths in a certain order.
4 Humans Are Not Limited To The Princess, Her Father, Mario, and Luigi
Where are all the humans in Mushroom Kingdom? The Princess and her father seemed to be human. Before Mario and Luigi showed up, they seemed to be the only ones. Mario and Luigi seem to have entered the land through a bathtub drain. We can only assume that the Princess and her father once came from Earth as well. Like the Yoshisaurs, humans are a minority in Mushroom Kingdom and they seem to have immigrated. Outside of Professor E. Gadd, humans outside of the core heroes don't seem to exist. That is, unless you've played Mario Golf.
Plum, Charlie, Harry, Sonny and Maple are all playable characters on the Mushroom Land golf course. We can only assume they entered Mushroom Land in the same way as Mario and Luigi. Maybe they're relatives of Mario and Luigi that are just vacationing. We'll never know. It does shed a little more light on the Mushroom Kingdom's human population though.
3 'The Legend of Zelda' Exists In Mushroom Land
There is a whistle in The Legend of Zelda more commonly known as The Recorder. The whistle allows Link to warp to any dungeon he's already cleared in addition to a few other things. In Super Mario Bros. 3, there is also a warp whistle that looks almost identical to the whistle in The Legend of Zelda and also has a warping ability. Both whistles also play the same tune when used.
As we stated earlier, Super Mario Bros. 3 is a play. This means that someone in the Mushroom Kingdom wrote a script and included elements from The Legend of Zelda. This means that The Legend of Zelda is either a game that can be played and exists in the Mushroom Kingdom, an actual story people in the Mushroom Kingdom have told through the years, or that Hyrule and the Mushroom Kingdom exist on the same globe. Either way, Mario and Company are aware of Zelda and Link in some capacity.
2 A Massive Technological Era Happened In A Very Short Time
When we are first introduced to the Mario Bros. games, the Mushroom Kingdom appears to have very little technology. Homes are structurally simple. Many of them are lit by candle light. In fact, most lighting in the early games seems to come from fire. Up until the Mario Kart games, the closest thing there is to a vehicle is floating clouds and Goomba's Shoe. Once we saw that the Mushroom Kingdom had go-karts, there was a huge technological revolution. Now we see electricity and lamps. They have airplanes and the previously mentioned go-karts. Luigi uses all sorts of high-tech equipment to bust ghosts in Dark Moon. We've seen Mario carry a device similar to a PDA that he can read e-mails on. Mario Sunshine featured all sorts of tech, including a television.
1 Mushroom Kingdom Bricks Are Made From People
In the instruction manual for the original Super Mario Bros. on the Nintendo Entertainment System, it is stated that Bowser turned all the people of the Mushroom Kingdom into blocks and mushrooms. His ability to do this is a result of black magic and Peach has the ability to nullify that magic. Peach's ability is actually why he's kidnapping her. Not because he necessarily wants to make her his bride.
The thing is, if the Toads are all blocks and mushrooms, that means every time Mario breaks a block, he's killing a Toad that could be changed back after Bowser's defeat. Perhaps this is why Mario grows whenever he eats a mushroom - he's absorbing the mass of a Toad.
Mario might be the greatest mass murderer the Mushroom Kingdom has ever known.