What if Nintendo Killed Mario?
More importantly, who would take his place?
We'll open this article by saying Nintendo will (probably) never kill Mario, AKA the biggest video game mascot of all time.
We'd also like to say we thought the same thing about Autobot leader Optimus Prime until Megatron turned our childhood hero into scrap metal in the 1986 Transformers movie.
Also, keep in mind that Bowser croaks in New Super Mario Bros. on the DS, then gets revived later.
In other words, we're beyond the point of "stranger things have happened."
Will Nintendo send its favorite plumber to the video game afterlife? No, there's too much money to be made.
That, of course, won't stop us from engaging in some hypothetical shenanigans.
Let's say Nintendo, for whatever crazy reason, shocked the world by permanently killing Mario. How would this shape the video game industry?
Rather, which virtual star would take his place?
Princess Peach proved she could command the spotlight in Super Princess Peach for the DS, which went on to sell over a million copies, and she was a key figure in the original Super Mario Advance for GBA. Not too shabby for the Mushroom Kingdom's patriarch, but hardly Mario like numbers. We also question her appeal with boys.
Then there's Luigi, Mario's underappreciated brother. He's stood in Mario's shadow for decades, then received a chance to shine with Luigi's Mansion for the GameCube, with 2.5 plus million copies sold. He also joined Peach as a playable character in Super Mario Advance. Definitely impressive.
We also can't forget about Donkey Kong. The big ape was rocking arcades before Mario was even Mario. In fact, Donkey Kong Country Returns was at 4.9 million copies sold this past April. We also can't ignore the outstanding Donkey Kong for Game Boy. Star power, personified.
If he doesn't work, perhaps Pikachu would take Mario's place, or Link...or perhaps someone completely unexpected. Tingle, perhaps.
[Editor's note: We should all agree that it sure as hell wouldn't be Tingle.]
On the flip side, the powers that be could strike a deal to make Sonic the Hedgehog an exclusive Nintendo character. That would shake up the whole industry.
Bottom line, the death of Mario (and his subsequent absence) would leave a huge void in the hearts of millions, but like most tragedies, they'd eventually move on and evolve.
With this in mind, feel free to answer the following poll and let us know which character is worthy of the plumber's throne, so to speak.