Move over Bowser, Mario has a new boss to fight.
The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has a beef (problem, not cow) with the Mushroom Kingdom’s most decorated plumber. The issue surrounds Mario’s wardrobe. PETA doesn’t like one of the suits he uses in his ongoing effort to save the universe’s worst-protected princess.
What has caused the controversy? The tanooki suit.
You see, it appears that PETA (likely misunderstanding the concepts of fiction, fantasy, magic and pixels) believes Mario has captured, killed and skinned a raccoon dog to get this suit. PETA believes that by having this item in the game, Mario is sending a message that it is OK to capture, skin and kill animals to create magical suits that may or may not help you save a princess.
“When on a mission to rescue the princess, Mario has been known to use any means necessary to defeat his enemy—even wearing the skin of a raccoon dog to give him special powers,” the organization explains on its website.
Thanks for the update PETA! I only wish you would have told me this a month ago. All those poor animals. What was I thinking? Maybe I’m too impressionable.
Mario features the controversial tanooki suit in his new Winter-fashion lineup, featured prominently in the recently released Super Mario 3D Land, available now for the Nintendo 3DS.
In response, PETA released a flash-based game of its own.
In the game Super Tanooki Skin 2D (yeah, 2D … welcome to 2009 PETA), you control a character that appears to be a skinned tanooki chasing down Mario.
But while PETA was busy not fixing the clunky controls of this game, the organization missed something -- Mario doesn’t get his tanooki suit from an animal.
Don’t get me wrong, the plumber’s animal rights record is terrible. The Mushroom Kingdom is littered with the corpses of stomped critters. But skinned raccoon dogs? Nope.
Mario collects the magical suit, not from the skin of any animal, but from a dead leaf in a yellow box. (Keyword being magic … you know, those unexplained mystical happenings that you see often in fiction-based tales?).
If anything, someone should be looking for this tree and making sure that (a) it died of natural causes; (b) it gave the leaf willingly. (As a magical tree I assume it has free will and the ability to give away its powers).
Anyway, my final thoughts are that PETA is trying too hard to collect attention via the release of Super Mario 3D Land. While it is working – I mean I’m typing away about it right now – it only continues to make the organization look silly and out of touch.
In fact, you could argue that PETA is using the skin of Mario as a magical suit to further its cause. Sorry, PETA, but your successful PR campaign is in another castle.
As for the Mushroom Kingdom, its residents have more important things to worry about than what Mario is wearing. Like, for example, why is the princess still being captured!? Fire your head of security, buy a gun or at least get a panic room.
The faster these folks can get their princess security detail in order, the faster Mario can get to the toilets that need unclogging.
I hope those toilets weren’t clogged by people flushing gold fish bodies … PETA wouldn’t be happy.
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