The 10 Weirdest Super Mario Bros. Enemies


?With a colorful career as both adventurers and plumbers that has spanned a whopping 28 years (and counting), the Mario Bros. were bound to make an enemy or two… or two thousand on their innumerable quests to save Princess Peach or the Mushroom Kingdom at large. Each victory meant another villain added to the mustached crusaders’ list of archenemies, and when you take into account the individual henchmen of Bowser, Wart and other despots’ motley armies combined, Mario and Luigi have a rogues gallery larger than that of the average super hero — that’s more animosity than two Italian plumbers can take! While most of these enemies are pretty run-of-the-mill, such as Goombas, Koopa Troopas and Bob-ombs, there’s been plenty of moments throughout the expansive video game series where the Brothers Mario (even Peach and Yoshi) have crossed paths with foes that are too bizarre to even describe or make one wonder what fractured state of mind the character designer was in when creating these monstrosities (and who gave some of them the green-light, for that matter). Take a strange trip down the warp pipe as 10 of the weirdest Super Mario enemies come waddling, swimming and crawling your way! Mamma Mia!

10) Culex, Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars

Square developing Super Mario RPG for Nintendo and then — out of the blue — pledging unwavering allegiance to Sony was similar to taking your longtime boyfriend or girlfriend out to a fancy restaurant to drop the bomb that the relationship is over and you’re already seeing someone else, hoping the glitz and glamour will soften the blow. Still, the SNES game was hailed as the swan song of these two companies’ legendary partnership. A majority of the enemies in the game were either of your standard Mario fare or entirely new ones that at least adhered to the series’ vernacular design, but there is one in particular that absolutely screams Final Fantasy and sticks out like a Moogle’s sore pom pom: Culex!

Honestly now, who would’ve guessed that Mario would find himself face-to-face with an omnipotent being of dark matter that looks like it came straight out of a 19th century gothic engraving? That and Culex refers to Mario as his world’s greatest knight, because the first thing that springs to mind when on the subject of great warriors are portly plumbers. But before we move on, I leave you with this to chew on: how come in the Final Fantasy series it typically takes some of the strongest spells and weapons to take down final bosses like Culex, but in Mario’s world the same can be achieved with Koopa shells and frying pans? Think about that…

9) Gourmet Shy Guy, Paper Mario

You’d be in error to call Gourmet Guy fat, or even morbidly obese. I mean, how fat are you when even your mask begins to grow jowls and a double chin — it defies categorization, that’s what! Plus, wearing a bib and wielding both a knife and fork at all times is simply perpetuating a fat person stereotype. But I digress. Gourmet Guy made his first and only flabtastic appearance in the N64’s Paper Mario during the Shy Guy’s Toy Box stage, in which he impedes Mario’s progress by obstructing a gateway with his rippling, gelatinous mass. Don’t fret, however, because Gourmet Guy — like any other corpulent individual — can be easily swayed with baked goods; specifically, cake. Upon eating it, Gourmet Guy begins to spiral into an uncontrollable foodgasm and sprints away, letting Mario continue his journey unhindered. Afterwards, Gourmet Guy appears yet again during the scenes with Princess Peach’s captivity within Bowser’s flying castle. Trying to escape from her room, Peach runs into the big guy, whom of which threatens to squeal to Bowser only if she complies with his sole demand. He, like any low class misogynist, demands that Peach head straight for the kitchen and make him a sandwich — I mean — bake him a cake (again). He really knows how to make a woman feel like a princess, no?

8) Cowfish, Super Mario Land 2: Six Golden Coins


?Cowfish, basically, is what it is: a fish that also happens to be a cow (sans udders, and for good reason, too). And it doesn’t do much else other than swim back and forth like a pacing neurotic in this original Game Boy game. Cowfish only appeared in the Tree Zone (fish and trees, go figure), not even in underwater stages where its presence would’ve made some small lick of sense. But perhaps it was for the better since — and I apologize for coming off as harsh — the Cowfish is hands down one of the most uninspired character designs in the history of Mario games — period!

7) Spooky Mask, Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins


?And here we are yet again with another entry on the list going to an enemy from Super Mario Land 2. Another one of the worlds within the game, Pumpkin Zone, was entirely Halloween-themed and featured enemies designed after nasties that go bump in the night; all derivative from Western culture and Japan. Most likely trying to popularize on the Friday the 13th series for when the game shipped to America, the designers created a Goomba-like enemy whose entire body was a hockey mask similar to that worn by Jason Voorhees. But that’s not the strangest part of Spooky Mask, take a closer look at the guy. Yep, that’s a big ol’ dagger piercing through the mask and into the little guy’s brain. Despite its shocking outward appearance, Spooky Mask didn’t pose any real threat and merely walked to and fro like any other Goomba. Then again, the blade would provide an explanation for its uncharacteristic benign demeanor.

6) “Friend,” Mario & Luigi: Super Star Saga

Off the coast of the Beanbean Kingdom — a strange land neighboring the Mushroom Kingdom — is Joke’s End: a massive edifice of ice and snow where terrible jokes go to die (no, really). Upon clearing the dungeon, Mario and Luigi meet with the fairy-like Jojora, whom of which invites the brothers to her tea party along with one of her four friends: Chucklissa, Oholina, Hoohoolia and Teeheena. You ultimately get to choose who to invite, but all of them look exactly the same: a gigantic abominable snow skank with a libido as large as her biceps! Throughout the battle, the friend ponders whether or not one of the Mario Bros. is totally liking what he sees. She then instantly proceeds to gussy herself up in a cheap pink wig. This isn’t for laughs (randy snow monsters are never a laughing matter), though, doing so actually makes the friend stronger and causes Mario’s fire attacks to heal her. Even worse, when it’s time to lay the smackdown, she’ll plod on over — arms outstretched — ready to plant a damaging wet one on the fortunate Mario brother who struck her demented fancy. Hopefully, Peach won’t notice the lipstick on Mario’s shirt collar…


5) Francis, Super Paper Mario

In a similar fashion to Super Mario RPG, players once again saw Mario, Peach and Bowser (and for a time Luigi) working together to fight a common enemy in this Wii update of Paper Mario. While journeying across the stage called The Bitlands — an 8-bit realm of retro, pixelated bliss — their fairy companion Tippi is kidnapped by Francis, the nerdy chameleon. Whether it’s a jab at our lifestyle that we should take with a jovial chuckle or be outright insulted, Francis hits every one of the typical nerdy stereotypes: thick-rimmed glasses, wearing a fanny pack, ineptitude in having a casual conversation with the opposite sex, and — now this one’s just a dirty myth — a penchant for beginning and closing statements with a guttural “Neeeerrrr.” Regardless, Francis’ pleasure palace was filled to the brim with endless references to past Super Mario games and Nintendo systems of yore, of which were all seen lining the shelves of his private quarters. Admiring the collection of a fictional character… That’s certainly a new page in the field of nerd psychological studies, NNNNNNNEEEEEERRRRRRR!

4) Fawful, Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga

I’m pretty sure that the developers of the GMA classic Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga never intended Fawful — the right-hand man/student to the game’s main antagonist, the witch Cackletta — to garner the cult status that he has today. He’s a strange little fellow to be sure, especially given his habit of speaking in long-winded, incoherent and melodramatic sentences — mostly when he’s about to give the Mario Bros. a thrashing. But Fawful’s weirdest moment, without a doubt, goes to his final appearance in the game’s penultimate battle. Here, Fawful trades in his traditional red cloak for some over-the-top histrionics and a pink, skintight costume that makes him look more like a long-lost member of ABBA than a world-conquerer-to-be. And even weirder, Fawful manages to grow an antenna from atop his head, almost as though his noggin suddenly got aroused. I suppose if you’re as power hungry and vengeful as Fawful, your delusions of grandeur will do that to you.

3) Fuzzy, Yoshi’s Island

To clarify, there are two kinds of Fuzzies. The first appeared in Super Mario World and are nothing more than black fuzzballs with googly eyes and gaping mouths that frequented stages with moving platforms and involved plenty of precise jumping. The ones from the SNES game Yoshi’s Island, on the other hand, deviate completely from the former in that they look more like balls of cotton… and induce a psychedelic, hallucinogenic effect on any Yoshis who happen to touch them. The game claims that Yoshi is merely getting dizzy, but last time I checked, one doesn’t see colors, experience time slowing down, or have their pupils shrink while their equilibrium is off kilter. On top of that, what’s that siren going off every time Yoshi touches a Fuzzy? It’s like what you hear at a rave or night club before the house music starts blasting. And you really gotta love the fact that Yoshi is getting baked while being responsible for the well-being of a small child who practically holds the fate of the entire Mushroom Kingdom in his hands. Fortunately for the Yoshis, that incriminating little incident never made it into the history books. Babies don’t remember anything anyway, so who’s to know?

2) Burt the Bashful, Yoshi’s Island

There are plenty of words — unsavory words — to describe Burt. And not surprisingly, “bashful” certainly isn’t one of them; such a word implies that the individual has some shred of dignity and humility, of which Burt is sorely lacking. Sure, he wants you to think he’s adorable and innocent with his rosy cheeks and pants that look like a circus tent, but those are all distractions from what he doesn’t want you to see: the fact that his hands are stuffed suspiciously deep in said pants throughout the entire boss fight. It can be taken as Burt trying to hold up his pants as a preventative measure, but ask yourself, have you ever seen someone clutch their trousers from the inside? And while we’re on the subject of pants, if he’s so bashful, then why does he charge into battle wearing a pair that drop pretty damn easily when pelted by Yoshi eggs? Also, take note of how he never makes an attempt to actually pick them back up, instead opting to just bounce around his chamber with glee until they’re around his ankles. By the battle’s end, Yoshi and Baby Mario are unfortunate witnesses to a fleeting glimpse of Burt’s traumatizing nudity before the sleazy exhibitionist turns red and farts away to parts unknown — most likely after hearing police sirens outside his fortress. Taking all these points into consideration, a much more appropriate moniker would’ve been “Burt the Perverted.”

1) Birdo

Surprised? For some of you familiar with Mario games, maybe not, but for those who’ve never seen or even heard of Birdo before, well, be prepared to walk away from this with a massive headache (or, in the least, slightly disturbed). First appearing in Super Mario Bros. 2 (the U.S. version of an obscure Japanese Nintendo game called Yume Kojo: Doki Doki Panic) for the NES, Birdo appeared as one of the bosses at the end of each stage. Now, taken at face value, Birdo can easily be mistaken for a girl due to the eyelashes and bow, but according to the game’s instruction manual, Birdo is actually a boy that believes he is a girl and wishes to be called “Birdetta.” Here you’d think Nintendo would be keeping track of the continuity of their own characters, but this isn’t the case.

In games like the Mario Kart and Mario Party series, Birdo is typically shown paired with Yoshi suggesting that the two are an item, which aids in substantiating the theory that Birdo is indeed a female… or that Yoshi is in for the nastiest surprise of his life. Other times, his (her?) backstory is made even more muddled in other games when Birdo is referred to as a species of an indeterminable gender, even though it lays eggs and has feminine qualities. Over the years, this theory has caused a heated debate among the gaming community with figureheads of the industry and general popular culture putting their two cents into this enigma of the video game world. As of today there is no solid backstory for Birdo due to it constantly changing with Nintendo’s every fickle whim. As for myself, my theory is that Birdo is similar to parrotfish or African reed frogs in that it’s heterogamous: able to change its gender when particular factors in its environment demand — namely when a horny Yoshi is around and Birdo needs to propagate its own race.