Of all the things Super Mario Odyssey introduced to players about the famous plumber, none provoked more debate than the unveiling of Mario’s nipples.
The gaming character appears shirtless for the first time in the Switch title, which was released late last year.
Explore the frozen fields of Shiveria in the Snow Kingdom & the sunny shores of Bubblaine in the Seaside Kingdom in #SuperMarioOdyssey! pic.twitter.com/p8AsDqBbTj— Nintendo of America (@NintendoAmerica) September 13, 2017
This, bizarrely, was big news for gamers.
Since then, fans have become obsessed with the plumber’s physique, with questions over why he has nipples but not a belly button – while others take part in unofficial speed running competitions to see who can get the character’s shirt off the fastest.
The bizarre craze has now been addressed by Nintendo in a new video featuring Super Mario Odyssey producer Yoshiaki Koizumi, who admitted he didn’t expect the issue to be such a hot topic for fans.
“Once I heard that people were talking so much about Mario’s belly button, it made me start to think about whether we should revisit the topic on the design side,” he said.
Another anatomical issue discussed was whether the red and white portion of Toad’s head was a hat or his actual head. According to Koizumi, it’s all head.
“I’m going to have to leave it to all of you to figure out exactly how that works out. Maybe there’s something inside,” he said.
The short Q&A also discusses the influences of other Mario games on the development of Odyssey, with Koizumi referring to Super Mario 64 – the original 3D Mario game – as Odyssey’s “spiritual predecessor” and a heavy influence on the Switch game.