Mushroom Kingdom

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Mushroom Kingdom
Wii Games Summer 2010 - Mario's Kid Zone (4975313325).jpg
A playing area inspired by the landscape and features of the Mushroom Kingdom was set up at Wii Games Summer 2010.
Mario location
Created by Shigeru Miyamoto
Genre Video game
Type Principality
Ruler Princess Peach
Race(s) Toads
First appearance Super Mario Bros.

The Mushroom Kingdom (キノコ王国, Kinoko Ōkoku) is a fictional setting in Nintendo's Mario series, where most of the games take place.

Overview[edit]

The Mushroom Kingdom is typically presented as a medieval monarchy, with the character Princess Peach being either its ruler or heir. Super Mario RPG and the Paper Mario series suggests that the chancellor of the kingdom is its head of government. Though Princess Peach and the Mario Brothers are human, the citizens of the kingdom are the mushroom-like Toads (called "Kinopios" in Japan).[1] The Mushroom Kingdom also features other species, such as the dinosaur-like Yoshi, the turtle-like Koopa, and the typically antagonistic mushroom-like creatures called Goomba. The Mushroom Kingdom is often tormented by Bowser, the Koopa King, who kidnaps Princess Peach in nearly all main-series Mario games. Initially, this was because she had the power to undo Bowser's handiwork, but in recent games, Bowser has developed romantic feelings for the princess. Games in the Mario series often suggest that the Mushroom Kingdom is a rival of Bowser's domain, the Koopa Kingdom. It is unknown if the Koopa Kingdom is a completely separate area or merely a captured portion of the Mushroom Kingdom.

The Mushroom Kingdom is the setting of most main-series Mario games but is presented very inconsistently throughout the series. It is uncertain if many areas in the Mario franchise are part of the Mushroom Kingdom or the larger Mario universe. There is no established canon regarding the topography of the Mario world.[2]

Recurring locations[edit]

The Mushroom Kingdom features several locations that have appeared in a large number of Mario games. These include:

Princess Peach's Castle, a large Central European-style red-and-white castle inhabited by the Princess and her Toad retainers. Peach's castle first appeared in Super Mario RPG (1996) and served as the central hub in Super Mario 64. The design of the castle has remained relatively consistent since and it has appeared in games such as Mario Kart 64, Paper Mario, Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time, Super Mario Galaxy, and Super Mario Odyssey (where it is the Mushroom Kingdom's capital city).

Bowser's Castle is the abode of Bowser, arch-villain of the Super Mario video games. The castle has often been destroyed and rebuilt and appears different in each game that it appears in. It is usually filled with lava pits, booby traps, and Bowser's minions. Variations on Bowser's Castle appear in nearly every Mario game, and every Mario Kart game features at least one track titled "Bowser's Castle".

Toad Town is the capital of the Mushroom Kingdom as seen in the Paper Mario and Mario & Luigi series. It is populated by anthropomorphic mushrooms called the Toads. Other species inhabiting Toad Town vary by game but may include Shaman, Koopa Paratroopas, and Doogans.

Landscape[edit]

A mushroom icon modeled on the Mario power-up.

The Mushroom Kingdom has been revamped several times over the course of the Mario games, similar to the kingdom of Hyrule in The Legend of Zelda series. In Super Mario Bros., for example, the Mushroom Kingdom encompasses 32 different levels of varying terrain. Super Mario Bros. 3 expanded on this concept by adding topography to the kingdom through means of a map screen.

The games do not follow these landscape variants exactly, but still are recurring themes in the Mario series. For example, even though Super Mario World was set in Dinosaur Land, its geography was very similar to the Mushroom Kingdom. The paintings that led to the different levels in Super Mario 64 followed this idea as well.

Blogger Natalie Grigson noted that the grassy fields, mountains, waterfalls, and red-and-white mushrooms seen in the area around Princess Peach's Castle best compares to Oslo, Norway.[3]

Transportation and objects[edit]

The main mode of transportation in the Mushroom Kingdom has been said to be through warp pipes. The range of these warp pipes vary in length: some pipes merely travel a short distance (such as over and underground), while some pipes are linked to entirely different worlds. New warp tools and areas have been introduced in games since including the secret "warp whistle" in Super Mario Bros. 3 and cannons in New Super Mario Bros.. The Mushroom Kingdom consistently features various objects. Dispersed across the land are brown brick blocks and golden "question-mark blocks", which may contain coins or power-ups. The instruction manual of Super Mario Bros. states that Bowser transformed many of the Toads that inhabited the Kingdom into bricks and horsetail plants.[4]

Appearances in other games[edit]

The Super Smash Bros. series has thus far included three different levels based on the Mushroom Kingdom. The original game included the unlockable stage "Mushroom Kingdom" which was graphically based on the original Super Mario Bros.. Super Smash Bros. Melee included a re-vamped "Mushroom Kingdom" which omitted piranha plants and warp pipes from the original stage. A stage titled "Mushroom Kingdom II", based on the setting of Super Mario Bros. 2 (Subcon), was also featured in this game.[citation needed] Super Smash Bros. Brawl includes a level titled "Mushroomy Kingdom", which primarily appears as a dirty, crumbled version of "World 1-1" of Super Mario Bros.[5]

Parodies[edit]

GamesRadar wrote a humorous article listing the "Top 7 most disturbing things about the Mushroom Kingdom", listing facts such as "the kingdom's greatest hero is a dumpy plumber", "the political system is a complete mess", and "everything is alive" as examples.[1] Animation Domination High-Def ran a short titled "Real Plumber in Mario World", with Kotaku humorously adding "What the fuck is this place?! Now that’s the sort of down-to-earth question a real plumber would ask when confronted with a magical mushroom kingdom."[6] Game Informer lauded the fact that Super Mario Maker allowed players to "build the Mushroom Kingdom of [their] dreams", writing "since Mario first won the hearts of gamers across the world in the early ‘80s, fans have been sketching up their own ideas for Mario levels on paper and imagining what sort of worlds they could create for the iconic plumber to explore."[7]

A Carnegie Mellon University student created a humorous fanbook that explored the species of flora in the Mushroom Kingdom; this was later recommended to readers by Kotaku.[8] A fan-created mod of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim titled Super Skyrim Bros turns the game environment into the Mushroom Kingdom.[9]

See also[edit]

References[edit]