In the prologue to BS Super Mario USA, it says that Wart and the 8-bits escaped to another dream before returning to Subcon. Considering that in Japan, Super Mario USA came out in 1992, and BS Super Mario USA came out in 1996, it seems plausible that it could have been in another one of Nintendo's games. Which one? The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening of course!
Getting all or any of the switch palaces IN Super Mario World basically enables easy mode. It was kind of a clever way to allow players difficulty options.
On the subject of Mario's accent...Almost nobody from Italy actually speaks with that accent, but some people from New Yorkdo. Where did Mario live before he was taken to the Mushroom Kingdom? Think about it.
Why do coins give you extra lives? Because that's what they do in arcades!Alternatively, if one pay a lot of money, one could get a life insurance, the more one pays, the better one get (more lives).
Mario... is a mario'nettefor the player to play.note Actually, Mario is named after the super of the Nintendo building in the 80's, but that's less fun.
In Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time, one has to wonder why some Shroob beings would keep the Cobalt Star pieces apart when we find out it had the Elder Princess Shroob inside. It's easy to assume it was because her sister wanted to be in charge, but then the Elder's care for the Younger seems strange; would the Younger really want to seal someone who loved her away? Then, while fighting the Elder and noting the repetitive move of blowing up her ships, it becomes apparent the Younger wasn't keeping the shards apart — the regular Shroobs were. Why would they restore the monarch that kills you for fetching her a drink when there's a nicer (and perhaps more attractive from their point of view) substitute? The Younger probably never even knew they had collected any shards; they were just fed into their creatures to hide them.
Why was Baby Luigi crying when the Colbalt Star spirit was talking? It wasn't really a Star Spirit, it was Elder Princess Shroob! Apparently, Baby Luigi could tell somehow!
Also in Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time, the time travel doesn't seem to make any sense. The Shroobs attack the past, but none of the present characters have any memory of it, and their traveling into the past actually CHANGES E. Gadd's memories! But what if the Shroobs didn't mean to attack the past, but the present? We saw that when Gadd's time machine was created, portals to the past began popping up everywhere. The Shroobs, en route to the Mushroom Kingdom, accidentally went through one of these holes and attacked the past instead of the present, justifying why no one remembers them.
But wait...if they attacked the past instead of the present, then the present would also change to accommodate for the new past. For example, present Peach's Castle would be Shroob Castle.
In Super Mario 64, Snowman's Land's name is a spoof on "no man's land!" Which makes sense because no man's land is usually a war term describing a dangerous place that nobody wants to occupy, and that level is one of the hardest in the game.
The freaky Endless Stairs. Why does the music sound like it is ever rising? Why can you walk up the stairs for hours and then turn around and walk through the door in a couple of seconds? Because they're looping. The stairs aren't endless, you just get looped back to the start at some point. The music is the same, being a couple of ascending scales looped over, giving the illusion of ever-rising notes. Makes the Staircase a little less scary, now, doesn't it? Much more obvious in the DS remake, in which you can see the character on the map looping on the stairs
In the first seven castles of Super Mario Bros., if you defeat Bowser with fireballs instead of getting the axe at the end of the bridge, he turns into a Mook of some kind while he falls into the lava. It seems kind of random, but it's not really Bowser you're fighting — it's a random Mook magically transformed into Bowser's likeness! Killing that Mook breaks the spell! Not only is the Princess in another castle, so is her kidnapper! This isn't even mentioned in the manual, which only mentions black magic turning the Mushroom Kingdom citizens into blocks and horsehair plants and little else.
Even though Mario and his friends were the "four heroes of legend" in Super Paper Mario, they weren't the ones who ultimately saved the world. Sure, they gathered the eight Plot Coupons needed to destroy the final boss, but that was wasted. But looking at the game's opening cinematic, Super Paper Mario is introduced by a narrator as a "story of love," so the game is unusually wordy because the whole game was a book that was being read, and Mario and the others were not the main characters. The actual heroes were Timpani and Blumiere, so it made more sense for the fulfillment of their love to ultimately restore power to the Pure Hearts so Dimentio and the Chaos Heart can finally be destroyed. Some love stories destroy plots. Sometimes, they save them.
Also, the Chaos Heart was created by marrying two people who were never meant to be together (Bowser and Peach) in a forced, formal marriage; a perversion of an act of love and commitment. It was destroyed by reuniting two people never meant to be apart (Blumiere and Timpani) in a spontaneous, heartfelt reciting of vows, the truest expression of love for each other even in the face of death.
Dimentio knew about the rules of the prophecy in the Dark Prognosticus. You need the Chaos Heart and the perfect vessel (Luigi). This is one of the reasons why Count Bleck failed in the end. However, he admits he didn't anticipate that the Purity Heart would be wasted fighting Bleck right before you fight him; he sees this as a bonus. This means Dimentio expected to win when controlling the Chaos Heart even when and if the Purity Heart was still formed. That makes sense: As Merlon said, the Light Prognosticus was only written to counteract the Dark one and it is the fate of all worlds to be destroyed eventually, so with the perfect vessel this fate is unavoidable, Purity Heart or not. Dimentio could just get behind the mix of the Chaos Heart and Luigi, or take refuge in Dimention D. In the end, this means the reformed Purity Heart did not beat the Chaos Heart; it was Dimentio growing insane with power and adding himself to make Super Dimentio! -Trosh
During the gameCount Bleck would seem to switch from referring to himself in the third person to doing so in the first person for no apparent. While, Bleck's third-person speech could be him reading from the Dark Prognosticus. Remembered this important plot point: Blumiere became Count Bleck after reading from the Dark Prognosticus, and it is heavily implied he was possessed by it. Think about it: Count Bleck has split personalities! Whenever he refers to himself as Count Bleck, it's the will of the Prognosticus bent on destroying the multi-verse. When referring to himself in the first-person, it's Blumiere who's speaking. In fact, whenever he ends a sentence with something like "...said Count Bleck," it's actually the Prognosticus narrating itself through him. This turned what was a bizarre yet funny Verbal Tic into a disturbing example of Count Bleck's insanity.
When Princess Peach is Flipped from a dead end in Castle Bleck, it is exactly how Dimentio Flips. It was foreshadowing that Dimentio was pulling some strings in how the events were playing out.
Notice how Mimi's barrier in the first fight with her is nullified by Merlee's cheering? It's the first demonstration in the game that positive emotions like love can counter the Chaos Heart's powers. Bleck's Chaos-Heart-powered barrier and later, Dimentio's falls the same way once you fight him.
Very minor compared to the other examples here, but at some point in SPM, Mr. L refers to himself as "Green Thunder". On one hand, it's common to see thunder and lightning used in an over-the-top title (Orange Lightning, anyone?), but later, during a playthrough of Superstar Saga, it clicked; the hand power Luigi had in SS was (rather ham-tastically) referred to as "Thunder!". Though the game never really made us wonder "Who is Mr. L?", it's a nice touch/would-be-clue.
The final boss of Super Paper Mario seems like a pushover. Then you remember that he fused with Luigi. To add to this, the most vulnerable part of that boss is the Luigi head.
One of the mook species guarding the X-Nauts' base is called "X-Yux." Using Goombella's "tattle" ability reveals that the name is actually pronounced "Cross Yux." What is the significance of that? Perhaps all of the X's relating to the X-Nauts are actually pronounced "Cross," making the organization the "Cross Nauts." That does include, of course, the sentient computer that eventually decided to side with Peach over the X-Nauts. The computer's name? "Tec-XX." Given the pronunciation, that would be "Tec Double-Cross."
During the Excess Express chapter, you can find several celebrity magazines with articles featuring Zip Toad, in the drawer in his room. At first it seems like a little detail to show that Zip Toad is kinda stuck-up/self-obsessed, but since he's actually Doopliss in disguise, it makes a lot more sense that Doopliss could be reading them to try and learn Zip Toad's character so that he can imitate him better!
People may think that Flurrie refusing to be seen without her necklace was petty, and to be honest, it probably is. However, Let's Player Naka Teleeli, in his playthrough of the game, mentioned that the necklace at least made her look like she was wearing a shirt. Without the necklace, Flurrie would look like she was stark naked.
On the way to Creepy Steeple in a chapter full of pigs, the player must use Flurrie to blow away three obstacles made of straw, sticks and bricks in that order. Sound familiar?
Another one from that same chapter. Whenever someone in the village wonders who got turned into a pig by the bell, that person is always the next one to fall victim to the curse. Ask not for whom the bell tolls or it tolls for thee!
Doopliss is named that because he "dooped" everyone into thinking he was Mario, Zip Toad and Professor Frankly. And in the German version, his name is a reference to Rumpelstiltskin who asks the hero to guess his name. Brilliant! It's also a riff on "Duplicity" which shares the root "duplex" (two) with duplicate. That he does in fact dupe the townspeople and the party is a bonus bit of wordplay (dupe is technically French, from (tête) d'uppe, (the head) of the hoopoe, which was held to be an especially stupid bird).
In Super Mario RPG, there's a Whack-a-Mole like game where you whack Goombas instead. The mole is the one running the game.
Early in Super Mario RPG, Mallow mentions that he can't jump. Apparently it runs in the family, as Nimbus Castle is designed so that no jumping is required to get around it.
Sort of a Stealth Pun, but it makes too much sense to just be a joke. Almost all of Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga takes place in the Beanbean Kingdom — in Japanese, this is the "Mameria Kingdom". "Mame" means "Bean" (predictably), but say 'Mameria' out loud. Given the r/l translation issues, it sounds an awful lot like "Mamalia", from the animal kingdom. The beanish people are humanoid, humans are mammals...
An example from Super Mario 64 that probably borders on Stealth Pun: In course one, Mario encounters a character called Koopa the Quick who will race him for a Power Star. At one point, he randomly walks off a cliff to take a shortcut to the finish. This seems utterly pointless and random, until you think back to the days of Super Mario Bros.. What was the defining character trait of green-shelled Koopas again? Probably unintentional, but still funny in a weird way. -Edofenrir
In thisGame Faqs thread, the "clues given after it is too late" aspect was implied earlier on to be Fridge Logic. However, as T_bird pointed out: "It makes sense that the clue for a whistle would be given after it's too late. That way you have something to look for the next time you play." So perhaps the arrangement of clues was that way on purpose after all. - neoYTPism
The Speedo on Petey Piranha seems to be a pretty silly idea. But his first game was Super Mario Sunshine, which was on an island, and it suddenly made perfect sense! It's also why he has a reggae theme for Mario Strikers Charged.
Why do goombas and koopas and the like throw themselves nonchalantly to their deaths? Why do they always come back? Why do none of these battles have any lasting effects? Well, you didn't think you were the only one with extra lives, did you? Other related Fridge Brilliances:
Why would 1-up mushrooms be hidden in random blocks in levels? Emergency extra lives for the troops!
When an enemy or Mario dies, they usually fall off the screen. Like with Mario, the enemies are going back to the last checkpoint!
Have you ever wondered why you fight giant Bowser after you beat Bowser in most games? Look at Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story. Every time Bowser is nearly dead, Mario and Luigi help make him turn giant. It must usually work on its own, but Bowser inhaling most of the kingdom probably messed it up. Not only that, but this ability was most likely brought about by Kamek back in Yoshi's Island. When he cast that spell on Baby Bowser, it might have had a lasting effect. And since he cast it on Baby Bowser right after Yoshi beat him up, the spell reactivates every time Bowser is near death. This also fits with Bowser changing to Giga-Bowser when you defeat him in Super Smash Bros. Melee.
Wario's Gassholery may not be his defining character trait, but it does add a layer of significance to his rivalry with Mario, a plumber.
Super Mario Bros. 2 (the USA version we got) is notable for being the only main Mario platformer where the Goomba Stomp proves to have no significant effect. The events of the game take place in Sub-Con, a world corrupted by nightmares. Being in a world where Mario's trademark attack does not hurt enemies makes this more of a nightmare for him, would it not? - Mr Yoshbert
In Super Mario Bros. 2Peach and Toad aren't just playable (for once), but they actually excel at things (Toad's speed/strength, Peach's flight). What's more, Luigi is one of the best characters to use due to his high jump. Now, remember that the game takes place in a dream world. You know what this means? Mario, who usually works alone, secretly dreams of getting some decent backup. - Kingler
In both Galaxy games, I've often wondered why Thwomps and Whomps kill you instantly when they didn't in 64. Then, it hit me; They did 3 damage to Mario's 8-part health meter in 64, but in the Galaxy games, you only HAVE 3 units of health. - Oath To Oblivion
What about Piranha Plants and fire? Should they not kill you by that logic? And you can collect Life Mushrooms that will give you an extra 3 units of health until you lose them. Still a one-hit kill with 6 health.
In most recent games, it always seems like Luigi's more eager to announce his name than Mario. It seems a bit egotistical, until you see the fact that Bowser and even Princess Peach can't seem to remember his name. Poor guy. - Kashima Kitty
Why does Bowser keep a button (or in the old games, an axe) in the room where he (or his kids, or a fake, or whatever) is fought that destroys the room's bridge? He keeps it because if he needs to run, he destroys the bridge and open the back door with the key that he usually carries on his person and drops upon death. Why doesn't he make it after fighting Mario? It must be because he usually is in World 8: there is nowhere else he could run. Mario destroyed all his castles. Or he is just dumb, or won't accept a loss to a plumber with a mustache.
Bowser has only ever lost a fight with Mario due to the environment. Mario has never beat him in hand-to-hand combat. It's more likely that he includes the switches on purpose to give Mario an opportunity to beat him because he wants Mario to have a chance of beating him so victory will be that much sweeter when he wins. After all, where's the glory in beating someone who didn't have a chance in the first place? Pretty dull victory under those circumstances.
Going by release dates, the Shy Guys first appeared in Super Mario Bros. 2/USA, which took place in a dream (or some sort of dream world, it's not clear). Of course, the Shy Guys went on to appear in plenty of other titles, which seems to cause a problem when it was All Just a Dream... except Yoshi's Island has Shy Guys as the main Mooks, and Yoshi's Island takes place before any of the main Mario games. So Shy Guys did exist in the Mushroom Kingdom, and the ones in Subcon were based on Mario's memories of them. Then, what about Birdo, who debuted in Super Mario Brothers 2 as well! Well, isn't Birdo just a strange, more feminine version of Yoshi?
In Super Mario 64, there are 120 stars to collect. When you collect all of them, Bowser laments at the fact that he missed the 15 secret stars. In SM 64 DS, there are 150 stars, 30 of which are secret stars. Once you collect all 150, Bowser again laments at the fact that he missed the secret stars. Therefore Bowser managed to find and steal 120 stars the second time around, just like Mario told him in the original game! Too bad for Bowser that there were even more stars that he couldn't find!
The Mario Circuits in the Mario Kart games don't really show elements of the courses belonging to Mario. But look at the course. They usually consist of rolling greens, warp pipes, Mario enemies, Peach's Castle... The Mario Circuits don't represent Mario, they represent the game series, since it includes many of its elements!
The colors of the three princesses' dresses: Peach=magenta, Daisy=yellow, Rosalina=cyan.
Their dress designs also appear to reflect the time of day: Peach and Daisy=day, Rosalina=night. Guess who either Peach and/or Daisy will look like when asleep...
The whole problem with Apathetic Citizens in Super Mario Sunshine really bugged me, especially the Blue Coin Guy. If they cared so much about restoring the sun to their island, they would volunteer their shine sprites to Mario. But the Blue Coin Guy is some weird bear race and not a native Pianta or Noki like the others on the island. He's clearly not native to the island, somewhat justifying his apathy towards the plight of the shine sprites.
Charles Martinet didn't start voicing Mario until SM64. The Super Mario Bros. Super Show had Mario and Luigi as Italian descended plumbers from Brooklyn in New York City years before that. The show played heavily on the common Italian foods aka pasta and pizza for some jokes. So most likely his throw it in Italian accent came from hearing that information second hand. To anyone who watched the show as a kid, Mario's Italian accent wasn't so much a stretch as it was logically expected. In fact, Mario's mumbling while sleeping in SM64 (if you let him idle) is him saying different pastas which might actually be a Call-Back to the Super Mario Bros. Super Show.
Charles has mentioned that he didn't end up seeing the cartoon until years later and that Mario was just described as "An Italian plumber from Brooklyn" during his audition, the accent he chose he thought was child-friendlier than what usually comes to mind of a blue-collar New Yorker. Also Shigeru Miyamoto has mentioned in interviews that the setting of the arcade game Mario Bros. is set in the sewers of New York City and that Mario is supposed to be Italian-American. So while that aspect ended up being played up by NOA's marketing, it's not something completely fabricated by localization.
Why is Rosalina so old? Why do enemies spit out star bits when killed? Why do getting so many star bits give you an extra life? Simple. Star bits are made of life force. Rosalina's diet is star bits, you are physically knocking the life out of enemies, and collecting all of those bits gives you more life.
This makes further fridge brilliance when you remember Rosalina's storybook, when the comet was filled with star bits. Many scientists think essential building blocks of life came to Earth from comets.
Super Mario Bros 2 is the first game where Princess Toadstool/Peach is playable, and she's able to defeat as many enemies as Mario is able to. Later on you find out that it's All Just a Dream. This dream could have taken place at any time, including after all the countless adventures that Mario's had, saving Peach over and over and over... the fact that Peach is able to fight is a manifestation of Mario's subconscious desire that he is far too polite to ever voice that Peach be able to finally take care of herself instead of him having to save her all the time. Or it's a subconscious desire to have her fight by his side as a teammate, knowing he'll be able to better keep the girl he cares about safe if they stick together. Note how happy he is when she joins the team in Super Mario RPG.
The choice to have the power-up leaves in Super Mario3d Land give Luigi kitsune traits rather than tanuki/raccoon traits makes sense when you look at the brothers' faces: Luigi's more oval face is closer to what the Japanese call a "kitsune face"note Yes, it's more frequently used to describe women, but still..., while Mario's more rounded face is what the Japanese call a "tanuki face".
In Super Mario World the color scheme "yellow, red, blue and green" shows up in the switch palaces, Yoshi colors, and shell colors. This is because those are the colors on the Japanese SNES controller, and Super Mario World was a SNES launch title.
A probable reason that the Koopalings are no longer considered Bowser's children is likely because even children generally know that inheritance typically defaults to the firstborn, and Bowser Jr. would be the youngest. Nintendo doesn't want children asking questions with answers that involve mistresses, concubines, and polygamy.
Except their role as Bowser's kids was downplayed almost immediately in Japan, they're simply high ranking minions. Bowser Jr. is just another try at giving Bowser children at all.
Mario is generally described as the "best" jumper in the Mushroom Kingdom, despite Luigi clearly jumping higher. However, Luigi generally gains that height by frantically waving his arms around and kicking his feet (this is known as his "scuttle jump"). You'll notice that overall, Luigi is much clumsier than Mario. That's why Mario is the best — while he isn't the "highest" jumper, he's more composed than Luigi and can skillfully and consistently perform tall jumps.
More to this, Luigi used to not appear in every mainline Mario game, and even now, he's often a secret character unlocked after finishing the game, and most players just stick with the default character (Mario) anyway. He doesn't have as much time in the spotlight, so when he does, he overworks himself to try to prove his skill.
Ever wondered why Mario and his friends are always willing to have a round of Go-Karting with Bowser? Because, if Miyamoto's words are anything to go by, all of the cast are actors playing their parts. Ergo, what better way to unwind after a long day of work by letting loose and having some fun with racing and sports?
At first, the Boos' name seems incredibly straightforward; it's a stock phrase used when scaring someone. But when you think about their attack pattern of covering their face when watched and advancing when your back is turned, you realize that it's a deadly game of peek-a-boo.
The ability to Ground Pound was probably learned from the Yoshis, who demonstrate other physics defying stunts like the Flutter Jump.
The Roger Rabbit Effect shown in Super Mario Odyssey makes a surprising amount of sense when you remember that Mario's species was, apparently, coined as being "Homo Nintendonus", as opposed to our Homo Sapien. He looks doofy compared to the realistic humans because he actually isn't human, just humanoid.
Some Mario enemies and bosses have bandages signifying weak points (Whomps and the Hisstocrats, for example). This isn't just a simple way of marking it- they're weak points because you're hitting them where it already hurts. You're essentially taking advantage of existing injuries and making them much worse.
In Super Mario Bros. for the NES, part of the plot is that the Mushroom people were turned into inanimate objects like bushes and bricks. The very bricks that you can break by jumping into.
They were transformed, yes, but then also mortared together in blocks. Mario is merely separating them. The plot also states that the reason you sometimes find items in blocks is because they're a gift from the people who were stuck together.
That, and it was the American plot... for some reason...
YMMV a little bit: It's already established that Bowser is a wizard. Now, think back to how all of the enemies in the old Super Mario games were dull, rarely changed movement without bumping into something, completely oblivious to Mario (usually). Now, remember Boo and all the skeleton monsters? It makes sense to assume the Bowser is a necromancer (discussed in the Headscratchers page)... the enemies like Goombas are zombies.
Alternatively, outside of Bowser's explicitly undead forces (Boos and Dry Bones et. al), Bowser's early armed forces are all conscripts with little to no military training. Of course they're not much threat — they have no idea what to do.
Playing the games, we usually sort of come to assume the Toads are the good guys and the Koopas are evil invaders. Yet the existance of occasional friendly Koopas and Goombas (such as in the RPG games) hints that those races are notAlways Chaotic Evil... Ever pondered that the enemies ruthlessly stomped by Mario might be innocents forcibly recruited by Bowser? Adds a dark layer to a light-hearted game, doesn't it?
According to the theory of special relativity, anyone or anything traveling in space at the speed of light will cause the time around them to move slower than the time outside. If there were two people of the same age, one travelling in space and the other staying on Earth, once the spacefaring person returns from his/her journey, he/she will actually age much slower than the one on Earth, or that the latter would be long dead after the former returns. No wonder why Rosalina's an orphan.
When the four fall into the lava in the SMW remake for the GBA (in order it was Iggy, Lemmy, Wendy O., and Larry), they shrieked. No other Koopalings made any real sound when they were defeated. Also, in the case of Lemmy and Wendy O., they flail as they sink.
In New Super Mario Bros, you just get through with effectively killing Bowser and realize his son was in the other room.
In Super Mario RPG, Mallow can use the special attack "Psychopath" to read enemies' thoughts. Near the very end of the game, Mario and company battles against the Director of Smithy's Factory. Now, in the Japanese version, Mallow's Psychopath reveals that this factory staff had been involved in "a worker's labour union", had "his son's (presumably Japanese-style high-school/uni-entry) examination", and also made a "career change", possibly hinting that he had "a long working life", who just happened to be a father who needed to support his family.
As has been noted elsewhere, when Peach is told in Super Mario Sunshine that she's Bowser Jr.'s mother, her reaction is a mix of confusion and wonder, distinctly considering the possibility, rather than the outright denial/skepticism that you'd expect. Does this mean that she and Bowser....
Not quite. Keep in mind that Bowser is not only a mage himself but he has plenty of magic-capable minions. It is possible that there is a way to create a child by combining samples from the prospective parents.
Fortunately, this can be written off by remembering that in the Mario universe, babies come from storks. Except for egg layers like Yoshi, which have been shown hatching from eggs, but they're asexual anyway.
There's a line where Toadsworth is worried about Peach being in the sun for too long and that's probably why she has an umbrella with her for the brief time she's in Delfino Plaza. Perhaps she was suffering from heat stroke and wasn't thinking straight?
The Mario series itself would have never existed if it wasn't for Popeye. Just imagine that ... if copyright laws would've allowed Nintendo to make a Popeye game, we would have never had Donkey Kong, Mario, or Pauline.
How is it not? A world without Mario... ~shudder~.
Super Mario Bros. was a massive factor in the resurrection of the console gaming industry after the crash of the mid-80s. Without it, it's doubtful ROB could've done so itself.
From the film: Toad's song tells us that in Dinohattan, cars run on electricity because fossil fuel is sacred. But then, how is electricity generated in the first place? Well, since water is a scarce commodity in Dinohattan, not through hydropower. And not through thermal or nuclear power either, because they involve boiling water and using steam to move turbines. What remains? Geothermal? Possibly. But there is one cheap, disposable, renewable resource that dictators have no remorse to exploit. Manpower. Considering Koopa's attitude, electricity in Dinohattan could very well be generated by workers whose job is to use their own muscular force to move the turbines all day. Probably, had such a scene been shot with the naive vision of the 1990s, the workers would have been slaves or prisoners. But the modern cynical attitude would suggest a much more horrific alternative: a Dinohattan with a skyrocketing unemployment rate and Koopa's promise of new jobs, which he implements as gulag-like labor camps, where people are forced to produce electricity for the city and are paid a pittance, faced with the only alternative to get no money at all.
Also from the film: How does Scapelli's crew constantly manage to beat the Mario brothers to various plumbing jobs after the Marios are hired? Scapelli is very likely tapping their phone lines.
How does Mario go down pipes that still have Piranha Plants in them, unscathed?
Well, we never see what happens between the pipe entrance and the next room. If the pipe's too narrow to let the plants open their mouths, it's not too hard to see Mario just squishing them when he enters the pipe.