Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Considerations on the House of Koopa

Okay, taking my last post and running with it...

Koopas, like all reptiles in the Super Mario Universe, are a hermaphroditic species. There are no "female" or "male" Koopas; the concept of gender was only recently introduced to them through cultural exchange with the Mushroom Kingdom. Koopas that have visible gender identifiers are just imitating humans.

Koopas don't mate for life, which is why Bowser's never been seen with a mate. Instead, he's had several partners who sired his children like so:

1st mate: Ludwig
2nd mate: Roy and Morton
3rd mate: Wendy
4th mate: Iggy and Lemmy
5th mate: Larry

As for his last child, Junior, Bowser decided he wants an heir to mold perfectly in his own image, so he somehow impregnated himself, possibly with the aid of his Magikoopas. This is why Junior looks almost exactly like Bowser did as a child: he's basically a clone.

Why does Bowser keep abducting Princess Peach? Not because he's physically attracted her. It's purely symbolic in that he's holding the heir to the Mushroom Kingdom hostage. His occasional attempts to force her to marry him aren't for the sake of procreation but just to consolidate his power over both nations.

Why does Junior occasionally refer to Peach as his mommy? Because he's a dumb kid who doesn't know where hatchlings come from.

So there ya go. Irrefutable proof that I need to get my brain checked.

Mario Musings

It's kind of weird how King Bowser has like eight kids but we've never seen their mother. I got to thinking, though...

Yoshi is referred to as male, but lays eggs.

Birdo is supposed to be biologically male, but spits eggs out of her mouth.

Is there something we don't know about reptiles in the Super Mario Universe? Could gender be merely a social construct to them? Does Bowser lay eggs?

I... I think I broke my brain. :(

Monday, April 20, 2009

The Battle for Terra

Here's the trailer for an upcoming animated film, The Battle for Terra.

It's very good to see an American animation studio making a film with a mature, complex storyline. However, it seems like they can't let go of more family-friendly style elements, such as cartoonish character designs. Not that I have a problem with that - I loved The Incredibles - but it clashes with the subject matter. On the other hand, I realize that it's very hard to make realistic 3D character models that don't look downright creepy (see The Polar Express).

I'm afraid that this movie is going to do poorly businesswise, though. The Animation Age Ghetto is still in full effect. Don Bluth's Titan: A. E. failed miserably back in the '90s, and Ralph Bakshi's output is likewise regarded dismally. (This may because Bakshi's work is mostly crap, but I digress.) Sadly, American animation is a long, long way from reaching the widespread acclaim the medium sees in Japan.

Still, as I said, it's good to see someone trying. I wish the filmmakers the best.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

16-Bit Memories

I'm honestly not a big video game player. I get bored quickly and I don't really have the patience to play through a game with an intricate story from beginning to end. That said, I was into video games back in the early-to-mid '90s on the NES, SNES, and N64, and to this day I enjoy the culture of video games, especially through the Let's Play phenomenon on YouTube.

Anyway, this YouTube channel has a plethora of tracks from recent video games, but the ones I like best are the songs from Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Nintendo's nostalgia-laden masterpiece. Most of them are revamps of classic video game songs, and I just wanted to share some of my favorites.

The Legend of Zelda: The Ocarina of Time was one of only two games with really involved narratives that I ever got into (the other being its sequel, Majora's Mask). The medley here brought some great memories flooding back.

Click here for more!