Dark theory suggests Super Mario's 1-up mushrooms come from dead Marios
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Featured Image Credit: Nintendo
If there's one game franchise out there that's guaranteed to put you in a good mood, it's Mario.
Sure, it might be stressful when you fall off Rainbow Road or find yourself suffering badly against Bowser in a fight, but between the colours and the music, it's generally a feel-good experience.
That is, until someone comes up with a dark theory entirely based on Mario dying again and again.
Here's hoping this doesn't ruin the game for you completely.
Brace yourself though, because it just might.
The theory stems from a piece of artwork from a 1996 Super Mario 64 manga which was shared online this week by Twitter user Supper Mario Broth, whose account claims to specialise in 'obscure Mario content'.
They hit the brief entirely with their post this week, which shared the black-and-white manga picture which depicted one of the franchise's ever-helpful 1-up mushrooms sitting happily on the ground, just waiting to give a boost to a Mario in need.
What was going on beneath the surface was much darker, though, as the roots of the mushroom were shown to be growing from a long-deceased Mario; one who evidently didn't have the skills needed to complete that particular level.
Alongside the image, Supper Mario Broth wrote: "A 1996 Super Mario 64 manga suggests that 1-Up Mushrooms grow from the bodies of dead Marios, perpetuating the cycle of life and death."
If true, the theory would mean that every time you come across one of those mushrooms and use it to gain a bit of strength, your version of Mario is actually growing from the strength of his past selves.
Supper Mario Broth stressed that the image is taken from manga which is 'filled with jokes and eccentric theories' and therefore 'should be taken more as an interesting thought experiment than anything that would actually be endorsed by Nintendo', but fans have still been stunned all the same.
After learning about the disturbing theory, one Mario fan wrote: "I don’t know how to process this information."
Another commented: "I am once again burdened with cursed knowledge."
A third added: "There is no coming back from this. I am permanently changed."
I can only apologise if you'll never be able to play a Mario game in the same way again, but you have to admit, there is something pretty powerful about Mario's past selves making his current self stronger and more capable.
It might be deeper than you ever thought you'd go with an animated game, but here we are.
Topics: Technology, Gaming, Super Mario, Twitter, Viral