Matt Bird writes all sorts of nonsense, but he dedicates a large chunk of his time to writing game walkthroughs.
The Mario universe is a thoroughly-populated world. There are few gaming franchises that can claim to have a similarly robust history, and none of them can beat Super Mario in the sheer bulk of characters. Yet most of these characters are ultimately outshined by Mario himself, and given how many of them are more interesting than the plumber, this seems a grievous waste of resources.
This article will explore ten characters from the Mushroom Kingdom (and beyond) who deserve their own game. It will also explore possible gaming genres for each, so take out your notepads, folks at Nintendo. Let's a-go!
Of the four playable characters to appear in Super Mario Bros. 2, Toad is the only one who still hasn't received his own game. He continues to appear after a fashion in the New Super Mario Bros. line, but Toad has never been given the opportunity to shine independently of the famous plumber. Imagine the platforming possibilities!
Okay, so maybe a Toad game would be remarkably similar to a Mario game. He should still have his own title by now.
One of the lucky enemies to escape Super Mario Bros. 2, Shy Guys are awesome. They're a bizarre, creepy little enigma, an entire group of enemies who are unwilling to show what lies behind the mask. Such a secretive nature hints at a proclivity for sneakiness, making Shy Guys a fantastic go-to for a stealth game along the lines of Metal Gear. Imagine being able to run through the towns and castles of the Mushroom Kingdom, pursuing targets, while constantly changing masks to avoid suspicion?
Ghosts appear aplenty in Mario titles, notably in Luigi's Mansion, though seldom ever as playable characters (and even then only in the RPGs). Think how fun it would be to step into a Boo's shoes and try to sneak up on the unwary Mushroom Kingdom populace! Even more difficult, try to do it without people catching on to your presence until the last second, lest they turn around and freeze you in place.
If ever there was a character suited to a Mario-themed real-time strategy game, it's Lakitu. Peering down from his cloud, Lakitu has run the gamut from antagonist to ally to cameraman—yet he's never quite taken centre stage. Who could be a better general in a war setting than the creature responsible for unleashing new troops onto the world?
Another escapee from Super Mario Bros. 2, Bob-omb has but one purpose: destruction. This is used to some effect in the Mario titles, but Bob-ombs could do so much more. Imagine a timed demolition game, something of a puzzler, where you must guide a Bob-omb (or multiple Bob-ombs) into the perfect place to bring down a building. Put some enemies and obstacles in your way and you've got an excellent side-scrolling or 3D puzzler, potentially with neat physics-based results.
The ever-suffering Smithers to Bowser's raging Mr. Burns, Kamek has endured enough trauma over the years to earn his own game. He's also got one of the neater gadgets in the games: a magical wand that makes things grow or otherwise change into something else. Kamek and his crazy wand could easily be used in a puzzler similar to Scribblenauts or another RTS-esque game, where you have to stop Mario from reaching the end of a level using your magic. Controlling Kamek with the Wii remote's motion controls? Yes please.
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You think Luigi has it bad? Think of poor Daisy. Despite appearing as the damsel-in-distress of Super Mario Land for the Gameboy, as well as a ton of competitive games, Daisy has yet to figure prominently into the plot of almost any Mario title, let alone have her own chance to roam. She could easily be worked into a Super Princess Peach sequel, or, preferably, given her own, similar game.
Nintendo invented Koopalings. Gamers wanted more. Nintendo shunted Koopalings to the side for many years. Gamers became outraged. Koopalings came back. Gamers rejoiced, but still want more. Bowser's (adopted?) children have a certain lousy appeal about them, and the ability to play as the lot of them in their own game would be great fun. Each would have its own unique abilities and weaknesses, and they could potentially gang up for unique group attacks. Multiplayer with the Koopalings would be hilarious.
… and, yeah. Toss in that other kid as well. Why not. He could be the villain.
Boy, girl, something else, Birdo is an enigma—though at the same time, this strange dinosaur is a great candidate for a third-to-first person shooter. Sure, Birdo seems to launch eggs out of her mouth most of the time, but she did get to pelt Mario and company with fireballs on a few memorable occasions. Imagine what else could fly forth from that weird snout of hers? Weapons galore! If nothing else Birdo could be an interesting pair with Yoshi, with each character boasting unique abilities while working in tandem.
Most Mario bosses appear once, maybe twice, and then slip into obscurity. Not so with Petey Piranha, the sludge-spewing, belly-toting, tottering piranha plant from Super Mario Sunshine. Petey continues to appear as a boss and playable character in numerous Mario titles, but he has yet to truly stand out from the pack. Judging by his gluttonous appearance, Petey could easily transition to the star of his own food-based game. Imagine a Katamari Damacy-esque title where Petey keeps getting bigger and bigger the more he eats? Feed me Seymour indeed.
Agree? Disagree? Have your own recommendations? Toss them out in the comments!
© 2012 Matt Bird
Choppydino on February 16, 2020:
The shy guy game could be call Shy Guys Enemy Rescue. In this game enemy like Boo, Koppa Troppa and Hammer Bro live in a little village called Fungi Village when a villain named Lord Scrimbug takes all the residents. Shy guy will have to go through 8 worlds to find his friends like Old man Koppa, Sir Boo and Farmer bro.
Callum Shaw on November 18, 2019:
I Want A Sumo Bro And Boss Sumo Bro Game
Zeron87 on June 03, 2013:
...An maybe when you beat a Shy Guy game... You get to see what's behind the mask ^_^.
MountainManJake from Seattle on April 16, 2013:
I think a Lakitu game on the 3DS would be great. Touch screen based where you have to throw those things at people or shoot them into hoops or something. It'd be great.