King Toadstool: Portrait of a Tyrant

Feb 5th, 2017 | By | Category: Columns

We all know about the heroic exploits of a chubby little Italian plumber by the name of Mario, and his less-heroic but always there brother, Luigi. We know how these seemingly random brothers are dropped into a world where a kingdom is constantly besieged by an evil, fire-breathing lizard and his less than effective henchmen. On the surface, it  looks like the Mushroom Kingdom is the victim of a more militarized fighting force who seeks to annex their land to suit their own needs, and the Mushroom Kingdom citizens can take a hike. In actuality, the Koopa Kingdom isn’t an aggressive nation who wishes to destabilize the status quo because “that’s what bad guys do,” but rather, they’re a fledgling resistance, seeking to free all citizens of the world from under the iron fist of King Toadstool.  Of course it seems silly that the  kingdom of Bowser is actually the good guys of this world. However, by taking a closer look at the Mushroom Kingdom, you’ll see the big, green “menace” in a new light.

At the top of the Mushroom Kingdom sits the Toadstool royal family, where nothing seems amiss, with the exception of  never seeing the  queen. That immediately calls Princess Peach’s parentage  into question. Based on Peach’s physical attributes, we could assume that her mother was indeed a full-fledged human. However, with how genetics work Peach shares no qualities with her father. No beady eyes, no potato shaped feet, not even a mushroom shaped head. She is 100% human. We know that our world is connected to the Mushroom Kingdom, so it’s not that far-fetched a notion that a human mother and child mistakenly wound up in this plumber’s wet-dream of a world. This pair would’ve  stumbled about, with word of these new beings reaching the ears of the king. Being a benevolent ruler, the  King would’ve naturally played the role of savior, and brought the mother to live within his castle, and raise the child as his own. It’d be unfair to assume that he did this for ulterior motives and was, instead, a kindly king who sought to help this misplaced family by making them his own family.

Obviously, a king would desire an heir to carry on his legacy and with Peach not being of noble birth, he would need a legitimate heir to prevent the bloody power grab that would come in the days following his death. For the Queen, it would’ve been her duty to bear him the son he desires to carry on his legacy. The Queen, instead of feeling indebted to the king, would have likely been a willing participant due to the King taking her for his wife,and loving her daughter as his own.  How could she deny the  kind and gentle soul she grew to love a child of his own? Keep in mind we’ve established that toad physiology is quite different from human physiology, and knowing how human reproduction works and in conjunction with the kingdom’s lack of modern medical science, it’s clear the Queen would have died during childbirth due to massive blood loss, with the child likely having died due to genetic defects as a result of the co-mingled DNA of human and toad. His legacy in tatters, combined with the death of his beloved wife and newborn son would’ve been a traumatic enough event to drive the once gentle king mad.

Afterwards, with the king’s bloodline all but extinguished, he sought a new way to cement is legacy, by turning the Mushroom Kingdom into a utopia. It’s quite a lofty goal to strive for: subjects who have all they need to survive, justice for all and not the highest bidder, and more importantly, an era without violence, without war. An endeavor this ambitious was not going to go over easily and the King would need to appeal to all citizens. But as the  gilded kingdom on the hill, those who did not live in the shadow of the castle felt disenfranchised and any attempt of the King to impose his dream on them was viewed as an insult to their very way of life. A revolution was brewing. Everything the king was striving for was at risk as the downtrodden loudly began voicing their contempt with the monarch and what he wanted would do little help those not of his ilk. And it began.

One by one, those who fell outside of the King’s preferred people, were rounded up and banished from the kingdom. Once the dust settled, all that remained were the Mushroom People (i.e. toads). Even going the route of those living a life of servitude or bondage are all the aforementioned Toads. Everyone else, from the Goomba to the Lakitu, was driven from the land into a harsh and unforgiving environment.

Here you thought the history of the Mushroom Kingdom was nothing more than fungi evolving humanoid characteristics. That it was about a simple-minded people led by a bumbling monarch.  You can’t be too shocked about it though, there are hints all throughout of pro-Mushroom Kingdom propaganda. Look at the super mushroom, for instance. Could you imagine the terrified look on a toad’s face when it comes in contact with the  disembodied head of one of their kin? I know what you’re going to ask, “well then, smart-ass, why would there be severed heads in blocks all throughout the land?”

Simple, how does a tyrant handle dissent? Hint: It’s not over a cup of hot-chocolate.



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