Screenshot by Destructoid

Turning Resident Evil 4 into Mario, one mod at a time

Help me, Maaaaaaario!

One of my favorite aspects of the PC versions of Resident Evil is how mod-friendly they are. In particular, Resident Evil 4 (2023), has 2,133 mods available via Nexus Mods at the time of this writing. While it’s fun to do things like replace character models, turn De Lago into Kyogre, and make yourself invincible, I’ve found a series of mods when, whose power combined, turns Resident Evil 4 into a Mario title.

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How one modder made Resident Evil 4 better

A modder going by the handle of SupremeLeader777 has single-handily crafted the bulk of this batch of mods and is responsible for another Destructoid favorite, the Harbor Seal Ada Wong. I don’t know who they are, but they have my undying love for the work they’ve done with not only Resident Evil 4, but the Resident Evil series as a whole.

Of course, credit also goes to modder, Glitch 5970, for their fantastic work on importing the Nintendo Gamecube in place of the Combat Knife. Despite not technically being a Mario character or item, it felt right to include it.

Resident Evil 4 x Mario character mods

There’s something about having cartoonish mascots running around in a dreary and realistic setting that turns up the dial on my joy meter. Seeing Chief Mendez go toe to toe with Mario before being shot in the head by a sneaky Princess Daisy makes it feel like the Mario cast infected the code of Resident Evil 4 prior to it being ported to other platforms. They’re the true monsters here and Los Illuminados has no idea what hell they’ve brought upon themselves.

Leon S. Kennedy as Mario

Screenshot by Destructoid

I mean, it only makes sense to have Leon take on the role of Mario as he infiltrates a foreign land to rescue a kidnapped “princess.” While he’s no Chris Martinet, he certainly does a better job than the late Bob Hoskins or Chris Pratt. Sure, his hands look like pillows holding a weapon and his head obfuscates the camera in closeups, but I have genuinely had the most fun in Resident Evil 4 with Mario taking the lead. Playing as Hunk makes me feel like a badass, but playing as Mario makes me feel like an untouchable god.

Ashley Graham as Princess Peach

Screenshot by Destructoid

If Leon is Mario, then it only makes sense that the President’s daughter, Ashley Graham, should be Princess Peach. Donning her kitty-cat onesie, Peach is ready to brave the terrors of this rural Spanish village to get back home. While she might not be as outgoing as her appearance in Princess Peach: Showtime!, she steps up when she can, like when she has to treat the haunted suits of armor like Boos.

Luis Serra as Luigi

Screenshot by Destructoid

I’m really conflicted with this mod. On one hand, I hate Luis, and on the other, I love Luigi to the point I’ll call Mario “Red Luigi.” Sure, Luis might be slimy, but when you see Mario and Luigi holed up in a shack and blowing away an invading army of Koopa Troopas, you realize this is the Mario title that Nintendo is afraid to give us.

Ada Wong as Princess Daisy

Screenshot by Destructoid

Princess Daisy might be a wallflower in the Mario universe, but in Capcom’s world of horror, she’s a straight-up beast. After infiltrating the area, Princess Daisy puts Solid Snake to shame as she sneaks, stabs, and beats wholesale ass. As much as I love Luigi, after playing as Princess Daisy in Separate Ways, I don’t think he’s good enough for the Princess of Sarasaland.

The Merchant as Toad

Screenshot by Destructoid

“Welcome, Stranger! Ol’ Toad has some new items in stock. Heheh. Come take a look!”

Seeing Toad in the role of The Merchant makes so much sense when you remember that he was running Toad’s House in Super Mario Bros. 3. This little fungus has been handing out gear and power-ups since 1990 and a little thing like new platforms won’t stop him. Teaming up with Mario yet again, Toad is more than ready to express ship some Koopas to the afterlife.

Ganados as various Bowser forces

I cannot tell you how much I love this mod or the way it fills my heart with joy. Seeing various colorful Koopas in an otherwise dull environment really makes it easy to line up your Blastoise Handcannon and drop them. Their unblinking eyes are menacing and seeing the parasites burst forth from their heads is a clipping nightmare. Plus, seeing the robed Shy Guys stalk about the castle in place of the Zealots made me cackle like an old crone only to completely lose my mind at the sight of a Magikoopa leading them.

  • Mod Link
  • Red Robe Zealot – Magikoopa
  • Doctor Salvador – Sledge Bro
  • Island Ganado – Shy Guy
  • Zealot – Dry Bones
  • Shield Zealot – Hammer Bro
  • Crossbow Zealt – Red Hammer Bro
  • Female Village Ganado – Koopa Troopa
  • Village Ganado – Hammer Bro

El Gigante as Bowser

Screenshot by Destructoid

When Saddler adopted the visage of Stanley Tucci, many deemed it inappropriate to remodel him. Thus, using Bowser in place of El Gigante made the most sense. There might not be fireballs or axes in play, but that doesn’t mean this showdown between eternal rivals will be any less epic. Just make sure to avoid the spikes when you hop on his back to hack at the exposed parasite.

Garradors as Boom Booms

Screenshot by Destructoid

Serving as one of Bowser’s heavies, the Boom Boom is still plenty intimidating when he’s found deep in the dungeons of Ramon Salazar’s castle. The flailing animation of the Garrador’s swipes perfectly encapsulates the swinging fists of Boom Boom. Where I once had to stay quiet out of fear, I now have to stop myself from giggling like a madman due to the absurdity of this mod.

Krauser as Bowser

Screenshot by Destructoid

In the final third of Resident Evil 4, Leon runs into an old friend and mentor, Krauser. This mod replaces Krauser’s base model with a Bowser skin that’s identical to that of El Gigante. However, the real treat is when Krauser embraces his inner parasite and mutates. His Bowser form transforms as well, turning the King of Koopas a menacing shade of indigo and replacing his claws with spiked shells. Do you suppose he’s angry because now he can’t open doors?

Novistadors as Paragoomba

Screenshot by Destructoid

I get that Las Plagas has some serious bug vibes and that the Novistadors are the embodiment of that, but they still feel out of place. By transforming them into winged Paragoombas, they’re brought fully into the fold of the Koopa army. Menacing Mario and pals from all angles, these winged terrors even manage to take down the best support NPC of all time.

Pilot Mike as Blue Toad

Screenshot by Destructoid

Pour one out for Pilot Mike. Maybe had he not donned the form of a blue Toad, the Novistador Paragoombas might have taken more mercy on him. His appearance is bittersweet as the pilot evens the playing field and gives players a very real sense of relief, only to be ripped away from us too soon. Blue Toad may be gone, but he’ll never be forgotten.

Resident Evil 4 x Mario weapon mods

The Combat Knife is now a Nintendo Gamecube

Screenshot by Destructoid

The Gamecube acted as a literal bridge between Capcom’s Resident Evil and Nintendo’s ecosystem. Despite having been largely a PlayStation exclusive, Capcom was willing to make Resident Evil 4 a Gamecube exclusive. That is until the company realized what a gigantic install base the PlayStation 2 had. From there, Capcom knew it had a hit on its hands, and like Skyrim, Resident Evil 4 has been ported to nearly every platform under the sun. All of that to say it’s fitting to replace the Combat Knife with Nintendo’s lunchbox.

Resident Evil 4 x Mario miscellaneous mods

Mario font for Resident Evil 4 title screen

Screenshot by Destructoid

Sure, this is a minor mod, but it sets the tone for what is about to come. Resident Evil 4 is now a horror comedy whose premise is in the same vein as greats like Bubba Ho-Tep and Tucker and Dale vs. Evil.

Leon is now Mario in Krauser’s photos

Image via SupremeLeader777

Krauser and Leon have a complicated relationship. With Bowser Krauser having photos of Mario Kennedy lying around, it’s probably best that the President’s Plumber put the mutated mercenary down.


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Author
Christian Dawson
Christian has been playing games since he could hold a controller in the late 80s. He's been writing about them for nearly 15 years for both personal and professional outlets. Now he calls Destructoid home where he covers all manner of nonsense.