(I think "personal blog" means a different thing to me. Most people post about a personal subject or anecdote but I want to use this space to do something I, personally, want to do just for fun. I hope you enjoy.)
Mario has been the face of gaming for 30 years now and in that time he has managed to build an empire around the most simplistic of narrative motivations. This is a hero we know and love, but do we know the real Mario?
He has saved the Princess from his oldest rival time and time again. Now, after 30 years of being branded the "bad guy", Bowser finally breaks his silence and gives us the interview that tells the true story of Super Mario.
Fly: How did you first meet Mario?
Bowser: It's through Luigi that I met Mario, at one of Pac-man's cocaine and Monopoly parties. Mario was overindulging on rice crispy squares while boasting about his great plumbing skills and how he had done such a fantastic job with Pac-man's mansion. As I remember the upstairs bathroom was like a log flume where the logs are being fired from a pitching machine. This was all before Mario got his claim to fame.
How did Mario get his big break?
It all began with an administrators mistake at Police HQ when a plumber was accidently assigned a kidnapping case. A gorilla had broken free from some sort of King Kong scenario and forcefully took a Princess hostage. The plumber showed up and was immediately bombarded with barrels. Most men would have noticed the error then informed the police however Mario not only saw the fame and fortune of braving up and becoming the hero but from certain positions, at the bottom of a ladder, he could see right up the Princess's dress and what other scenario, other than a heroic rescue, would a plumber have the chance to nail royalty. So Mario defeated the gorilla, downed a mushroom with half a Viagra then proceeded to have the shag of his life.
So did the knight in shining armour win the girls heart forever?
They dated for a few weeks but after the initial excitement of the rescue the Princess found that the plumber lacked in character, he was boring like he had eliminated any edginess to his life as though he was trying to appeal to a broad mass market and didn't want to offend any potential part of it. So despite Mario's attempts at romance the Princess just wouldn't give him the same attention outside of the exciting kidnapping scenario. That's where I came in, Mario approached me with a proposition. He suggested I kidnap the Princess, let him go ape shit in my castles then let him beat me up so he could "rescue" her. In return Mario would pay me huge sums of gold stars, which I would normally spend on more castles, lava pits, valium and moving rocks with faces on them.
Sounds like you had a good working relationship. At what point did that start to change?
The guy just can't play fair at anything but the first time it really got to me was at the 1998 Moo Moo Farm Grand Prix. I was truly inspired that weekend, I had taken every chance available to practice leading up to the race. Lap for lap I was improving, finding more time around every corner. It got to the point where the other competitors were coming to me for tips about the circuit, apart from Mario. He never took the time to practice the circuit, he would just show up and start trying to chat up the Princess like she was his sole motivation. Race day comes around and I'm ready to win, I take an early lead and the practice form continues. Every lap I improved and going into the last I had a massive lead. The tedious plumber managed to pick up two bullets and a star during his previous lap. This took him from eighth place into second. On the final straight I can see him in my mirrors turning back to normal after a third bullet put him right back in the chase, I drive through some boxes and... Damn... Bannanas! I panic and release them all near the power ups. Son of a bitch avoids them and grabs a box for himself. Now seconds from the finish line I take another look in my mirror and BAM! Red turtle shell. I spin three times and get overtaken by Mario and six others, I get back in gear but I'm facing the wrong way, I get the car turned round then accidently bash it five times into the post holding up the finish line. As I watched the last person cross the line I started to think I was always going to be the loser with this arrangement.
Did you also have a social relationship with him?
We would often organise days out and it was always in the form of a competition, tennis, golf, whatever the event Mario would normally pull a Dick Dastardly and try any trick in the book to win. Just to look like a big man, without the artificial aid of a mushroom, in front of the Princess. In an effort to keep his lies fresh Mario made similar deals with other people. He found this one guy that was perfect, he looked so much like Mario they decided to go with a sort of evil twin twist or some bullshit like that, they even changed his name to Wario. He was Bill Chapman painter and decorator before he met Mario. The problem was that the days out were getting crowded with people who needed to act as though they hated Mario despite secretly being in his employment. Mario was making it easy for the hate to flow with the way he was acting whenever we went karting or golfing. I always find it strange that the Princess didn't get suspicious or scared even though her serial kidnapper was often invited to the same social events as her but so long as the gold kept coming our way we, in the "bad guy" camp, would continue to play ball.
Have you ever trusted Mario?
Not really. I mean, he claims to be a plumber. Now I've seen him as a kidnap negotiator that jumps on turtles heads, I've seen him as a dinosaur tamer, race driver, golfer and even a doctor but I have never once seen him do any plumbing, not even bleed a radiator. I'm sure the job he did for Pac-man was slave labour driven, Mario won't have lifted a finger he would have paid Toadstools less than minimum wage to do it for him. Do you know how much minimum wage is for those guys? Not like his brother Luigi, he's a great plumber. He installed the toilets in all my castles, not an easy task considering the diet of a giant fire breathing dinosaur monster.
So the relationship was getting heated. Did you ever think of taking your role serious and actually kill Mario?
As far as I can tell Mario can't die. I've seen this guy fall down like a billion bottomless pits, I've seen him flattened by huge spikey boulders and I've personally projectile vomited fire directly in his face more times than I can remember and he still comes back for more. I suppose this was the result of his time in pharmaceuticals. A career changing decision probably motivated by his addiction to heavy painkillers, which was eventually his downfall.
Was this the point you felt you needed to expose "Dr Mario"?
At first it looked like Mario was doing good work for the public and he was. He managed to eliminate many viruses but then he set out to eradicate the annoyance of children acting like children. Those pills were marketed towards parents and caused severe cases of giraffe neck, stinkfingeritus and brass verrucas with children twelve and under, just a few of many side-effects to the drug. I couldn't take it anymore, the knowledge that he would do that to children and I had allowed my own son to get involved with this monsters shenanigans.
Is that how the fight broke out?
Yes things between me and Mario really started to escalate. He was trying to convince me a dangerous drug was good for my boy so I went to punch him in the face. All of a sudden the ground starts moving, transforming into some kind of rotating platform, he starts saying "Super Smash", I thought it was nonsense, next thing you know, bam, Mario has a new franchise to add to his empire. It was then I had to re-think my career.
Now that you've told your story, what's next for Bowser?
Well I've just released my fourth romance novel named "the giant fire breathing monster and the hot half naked all girls teenage basketball team" it's half biographical and in stores now. I have wanted to get back into the gaming scene and recently proposed a Godzilla type game but I don't think the publisher went for it. I never really got to have my own opportunities like Wario, he got a few spin-offs while Mario just kept me around to make him look good and that wasn't going to change. I do have one thing in development, I plan on creating a plant that can shoot fireballs but that project is still in the pipeline.
Thanks for this insightful interview.
If you enjoyed this then please join me next week as I sit down with King from Tekken. We talk family life, his failed sponsership with Frosties and what it's really like to have the head of a tiger.