The Internet Is Split On Elephant Mario
The latest Nintendo Direct was an unusual one, with a mix of surprising announcements. Firstly, a remastered game that was previously revealed in a rival showcase finally got its release date. Secondly, an electric detective who had been on hiatus for several years made a comeback. Lastly, the presentation concluded with the reveal of an all-new Super Mario Bros. game named Super Mario Bros. Wonder. However, the show-stopper of the Direct was not the Wonder trailer, but the debut of Elephant Mario. This new power-up is activated when Super Mario encounters a red-and-white fruit with floppy red elephant wings, which fans have dubbed the elephant fruit.
Upon touching the elephant fruit, Mario transforms into Elephant Mario, with a new body resembling an elephant. This new form allows him to trounce enemies using his trunk and his weight. Furthermore, he can barge into enemies with his stampeder’s heft, as seen in the trailer. Fans have already taken to Elephant Mario and are eagerly waiting for the game’s release.
However, some fans are shirking away from Elephant Mario, finding it unsettling and a metamorphosis not far from what is seen in body horror movies. Nonetheless, the concept of Elephant Mario brings a bizarre surreality to the game. All it takes for Mario to transform bodily is but a touch of the magic fruit. The question of how long will Mario remain an elephant and whether other playable characters will get to transform into elephants remain unknown at this point.
In conclusion, the introduction of Elephant Mario brings limitless possibilities to Super Mario Bros. Wonder. Fans hope that Nintendo capitalizes on its full potential. Even if they don’t, the fans will undoubtedly explore and illustrate every possibility of the elephant fruit.
This season’s Nintendo Direct was a bit of an oddball, revealing the release date for a remaster first unveiled in a rival showcase, and welcoming back an electric detective from his unexplained hiatus of several years.
The presentation concluded with the announcement of an all-new (newnot “New”) Super Mario Bros. game wielding the whimsical title of Super Mario Bros. Wonder. Formally, this was the caketopper of the Direct, but ask anyone who watched the Direct as it unfurled in real time, and we’ll tell you that its real show-stopper, jaw-dropper, icing-on-the-cake-topper was in fact not so much the Wonder trailer, but the triumphant debut of one trunk-swinging little guy whom we’ve all collectively taken to calling Elephant Mario.
As seen in the elephant’s-tail-end of the announcement trailer, Elephant Mario is apparently just a thing that happens when the otherwise human Super Mario encounters what looks to be a red-and-white fruit elephantine in shape—kinda like a big red Fuji apple, only with floppy red elephant wings growing out either side of its top. (Nintendo has, for the record, yet to give the fruit any official name. For the sake of simplicity, we’re all referring to it as the elephant fruit.)
Upon grazing the elephant fruit’s hit box, our plumber is powered up not into a new suit, outfit, or costume as per previous power-ups in the Super Mario series—but instead into a bammin’, slammin’, brand new body. Mario maintains his trademark dungarees, gloves, and yes, M-blazoned cap, but everything underneath the fabric of his clothes trumpets out into the gray ridges and stumpy hooves of the elephant form.
As Twitter artist @AkechiCakes observes in a creative edit, it’s an adaptation of man to animal on par with the time-honored Animorphs tradition. Even Mario’s mustache is cleverly transformed for the elephant form, curling around either side of Mario’s new trunk so as to evoke a pair of tusks.
According to the official Nintendo UK websiteElephant Mario can use his “trunk to trounce enemies.” As seen in the trailer, he can also barge into them with his stampeder’s heft. “That Goomba looks so serene,” remarks a bell-shaped flower, mere moments before Elephant Mario barrels straight into the Goomba and kicks it clean out of the level like he’s going for the gold, so to speak.
For his efforts, he’s rewarded a tacit Good—and Elephant Mario himself exclaims an incredulous “Wow zowie!” as he reckons with his newfangled abilities. It’s all very weird and whimsical and wonderful, even if it does come at the cost of a sleeping Goomba.
Everything we’ve seen of Elephant Mario so far already embodies the spirit of wonder as promised by the rainbow wave of the game’s title. Fans love him. Quote artist @Dededaio on Twitter, “what can I say. i love elephant mario.” Redditor SomethingFury feels likewise, writing, “He’s so adorable I love him, just a big guy!”
With just as much love in tow, many are further taking the opportunity to coin all the puns appropriate to the power-up: “Horton hears a Ya-hoo,” and “We need to address the mario in the room,” jest World_Ends_With_Bred and ClericDude respectively in the r/Mario community on Reddit.
Wonderful, wholesome, and ripe for puns as Elephant Mario might be on the crepey surface, some fans are shirking away from the fellow out of what seems to be mild discomfort. “[I]t’s kinda unsettling,” admits DiegHDF on Reddit, while Wboy2006 registers that “[Mario] turning into an actual animal just seems wrong.” Writing for our pals at GameRantShane Michael O’Gorman echoes the sentiment, deeming Elephant Mario to be “a metamorphosis not far from what is seen in body horror movies like the many works of David Cronenberg.”
While Super Mario Bros. Wonder is certainly not going to be the horror game of the year or anything, when you sit down and really think about it, there is just a bit of a bizarre surreality underpinning the concept of Elephant Mario. All it takes for Mario to transform bodily is but a touch of the magic fruit—he barely brushes up against it when all of a sudden, elephant. Even Alice had to manually eat her cookies in order to grow bigger or smaller, and Alice In Wonderland is considered the crowning jewel of the weird and the wonderful.
Answers to questions such as How long might Mario remain an elephant? and Will other playable characters get to become elephants, too? remain unknown at this point in time. Princess Peach, Toad, and Daisy be apparently damned, though—fans are already under the impression that the elephant fruit will affect only Mario.
Personally, I would love to see it work its pachydermic magic on everyone (emphasis on Bowser especially). Considering that the Koopa King already skews more dragon than turtle, why not add some tusks and a trunk to the mix, as well? And then throw him into the lava à la World 8, so that he might climb back out as Dry Bowser but this time with an elephant skeleton?
A power-up such as this brings so much weird and wonderful possibility by virtue of its existence alone. I hope Nintendo capitalizes on its full potential, but even if Nintendon’tI suspect the fans will beautifully illustrate every possibility of the elephant fruit anyway.
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