Bowser is many things: a sadistic tyrant, an egotistical megalomaniac, and a conniving war criminal, for starters. But one thing I did not expect to be calling him was “an absolute cutie-pie.”
The Nintendo Switch remake of Super Mario RPG launched on Nov. 17, allowing players to relive or experience the very first turn-based Mario game for the first time. But amongst the rich depths of gameplay and the wacky characters you meet along the way, what really stood out about the remake is how adorable they made the characters.
Mario fans have been raving on Twitter and across social media just how much they love the big oaf being imagined as a giant teddy bear. One player even delightfully complained they were having a hard time progressing in the game because Bowser’s dancing keeps distracting them. Meanwhile, some troublemakers posted a video where they messed with Bowser’s running animation on the overworld, with hilarious results.
It’s not just Bowser’s visual design in Super Mario RPG that’s captivating Nintendo fans as they play, either. There’s so much depth to how Bowser’s been implemented that’s really drawing fans in. One player showed off a scene where Bowser asks Mario to look away while he tends to a frightfully shy Chain Chomp, which is a level of heart-melting compassion you almost never see from the turtle tyrant in the platforming games.
There’s even some remarkable depth given to Bowser’s attack animations. For instance, Bowser gets to toss Mario at the enemies when he equips the Hurly Gloves (which I can only imagine is a dream come true for the big guy). And when Mario’s afflicted with a status effect, even the villain is capable of giving his rival some mercy, so he’ll chuck a Mario doll instead. Fans of the original Super Mario RPG have known for decades how big of a softie Bowser is beneath that hard shell. But it’s awesome that a new generation of fans gets to appreciate a level of vulnerability that Bowser tries so hard (and miserably fails) to hide.