Mario’s creator addresses Nintendo myths and fan theories

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Super Mario Bros. creator Shigeru Miyamoto addresses many long-standing rumors and lingering questions regarding the series in a brief Twitter Q&A video released this week, giving rare insight into Nintendo’s history and legacy.

Among other revelations, Miyamoto confirms that the events that took place in Super Mario Bros. 3 were all part of a stage performance, and denies fan theories suggesting a link between Boos and Bob-ombs.

According to stories recalled by former Nintendo employees and published in works like David Sheff’s Game Over: How Nintendo Conquered The World, the character Mario was rumored to be named after Mario Segale, a landlord that owned a Nintendo-rented warehouse in the early 1980s. Miyamoto confirms that this is the truth.

Miyamoto then addresses a widely circulated fan theory regarding the 1990 Nintendo Entertainment System game Super Mario Bros. 3. Citing evidence like the game’s opening curtain rise, bolted-down background elements, and quick-change costume mechanics, the theory concludes that Super Mario Bros. 3 was all part of an elaborate stage play. Miyamoto agrees, finally laying to rest lingering speculation.

Other fan theories are summarily debunked, however. Miyamoto denies a rumor that Bob-omb characters turn into ghostly Boos after they explode, nullifying several years’ worth of fan-crafted creepypasta stories. Fans have additionally suggested that the box art for the NES version of Super Mario Bros. shows Mario moments away from death, as the character appears to be jumping into a pool of lava. According to Miyamoto, this is also false.

Miyamoto also calls Mario’s medical license into question. Though he did not elaborate afterward, the creator answered the question “Would you let Dr. Mario operate on you?” with an emphatic and terrified refusal. When asked if he knew the identity of Bowser Jr.’s mother, Miyamoto then pointed to himself – a response that, for some, raises more questions than it answers.

The latest game starring Nintendo’s heroic plumber, the level-creation toolkit Super Mario Maker, launches for the Wii U on September 11.

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