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Alternative Character Interpretation / Nintendo

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The Goomba kicks it while Mario kicks it.

Nintendo, being one of the most popular video game companies, attracts all sorts of fans... and different kinds of fans are likely to interpret characters differently.

Pokémon has its own page.

  • Animal Crossing:
    • Resetti. Does he genuinely care about the player and yells at them so that they don't make mistakes in real life then try to "reset" them, or is he a sadistic grump that loves scaring children and finds that playing a game a way he doesn't like a good enough excuse to yell at them? While Don says it's the former, it's possible Resetti is just giving an excuse. New Leaf definitely makes it look like the former. Some have even suggested that Mr.Resetti is the most heroic character in the series due to the fact that his job is to protect the entire Animal Crossing universe from paradoxical destruction.
    • Chrissy and Francine are two rabbit villagers that can potentially move in to your town. Due to their design the fandom likes to think that they're actually humans dressed up in bunny hoods. It doesn't help that there's a Bunny Hood that you can purchase and wear as well.
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    • Tom Nook is prone to this to near Ron the Death Eater levels. Is he an honest businessman or an evil, greedy creep who pretty much single handedly runs the town's economy and keeps the protagonist as an indentured servant? The latter interpretation is in part because he is constantly upgrading your house without your permission and the first thing he does when you come to town is try to force you to buy a house without your permission (or any knowledge of your budget). Some even go as far as to see him as yakuza or mafia affiliated.
    • The concept of Isabelle really being agitated and annoyed by the mayor but keeping a peppy facade pops up occasionally.
  • Donkey Kong: Laid back hero with a strong love of bananas and his friends or lazy bipolar gorilla that flies into a psychotic and violent fury when slighted?
  • Fire Emblem fandom is full of these, mostly found in Fan Fic:
    • This is canon for Marth. He's always been noble and brave to a degree but in the earlier games he was decidedly naive and a bit of a bleeding-heart, apparently so much that the OAV adaptation removed the brave and noble part and upped the softness. In Super Smash Bros. Melee, he was something of a show-off. Finally, Shadow Dragon introduced a bolder, more serious version of the character. To a lesser extent Caeda went through this as well; the games portray her as a sweet, brave girl who supports and loves Marth 100% where the OAV portrays her as a snitty brat with a mean jealous streak. Considering her actions in Shadow Dragon, Caeda would make a very convincing Manipulative Bastard if the story were told from the villains' point of view with Marth and co. as the antagonists. Lorenz even notes she tends to keep people wrapped around her finger.
    • Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War:
    • Roy is subject to a lot of this thanks to the different canons he appears in. While The Binding Blade fic paints him as an upstanding hero with a strong spirit, Super Smash Bros. fic has him as Marth's weepy uke (or just a pyromaniac moron).
    • The Blazing Blade:
      • Eliwood is either an honorable, clean-cut, shining example of good morals and chivalry, a weeping pansy who flails at the very idea of fighting, or a secret self-cutter who just may be mentally ill.
      • Priscilla is either A) a quiet, melancholy princess troubled by her lingering childish feelings for her brother, B) a Clingy Jealous Girl who hates Lucius and wants to ruin his and Raven's relationship, or C) a manipulative attention-starved slut who latches onto anything male.
      • If you pair Heath from The Blazing Blade with a girl, he will be a brave, noble, and sympathetic Tragic Hero. Pair him with a guy, and he'll be a neurotic and paranoid ukealicious bitch. Hooray for the Double Standard!
    • Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones:
      • Some people see Ephraim as a bastard for killing Selena, despite Selena wanting to stick by her country, right or wrong or emperor killed and reanimated as a zombie doing the will of the Sealed Evil in a Can that constitutes the Big Bad of this game, who wouldn't stand down or defect when Ephraim offered the opportunity. Then there's the interpretation that he's emotionally damaged. This makes more sense if you play through his route and watch his scenes with Lyon.
      • Eirika gets this as well. Some fans see her as a hopelessly naive idiot for the mistakes she makes in canon, while others see her as having a spiritual side that makes her emotionally stronger than Ephraim.
      • Colm can be seen as either a classic Jerk with a Heart of Gold, or an abuser who treats Neimi like dirt and so needs to bugger off so she can be paired with someone nicer. As for the Colm/Neimi pairing itself, one could either see it as an ultimately sweet case of Victorious Childhood Friends, or (if you don't want their paired ending) as a more sibling-like dynamic in which Neimi happens to have developed deeper feelings for her buddy.
      • As the game would have it, Gheb is simply just some random Giant Mook/Gonk to be killed by Ephraim. However, a certain Fan Fic series portrays him as a Memetic Molester "sex god", by having him kill people by stabbing them with his penis, and by having him invoke Black Comedy Rape. And apparently, he can blow off your head in an explosion of blood and semen when he orgasms while raping you. Out with a Bang, indeed.
    • A lot of the new cast of Radiant Dawn weren't well developed, and are frequently subject to this.
      • The Black Knight/General Zelgius in the final chapters of Radiant Dawn. Despite leading Ashera's human forces in the final battle, we're never really told where he stands on that whole "end of all life" thing. Instead, he seems to side with her partially out of loyalty to Sephiran and partially because doing so will give him a chance to fight Ike one last time. Had he, like Sephiran, crossed the Despair Event Horizon and believed that humanity didn't deserve to exist anymore? Was he secretly hoping for the heroes to win, but was unwilling to aid them for various reasons? Or did he just not care about the outcome of the battle at all and was only interested in testing his own strength?
    • Awakening:
      • The Avatar. Was the Avatar in the original timeline really a power-hungry jerk who backstabbed Chrom and got possessed by Grima willingly, as Grima himself suggests? Or did being forced to kill Chrom push them over the Despair Event Horizon, and led them to give their body to Grima rather than face up to the Shepherds who would surely abandon them once they knew Chrom was dead by their hand? Since Grima attempts to mind-control Robin several times in the late game, this option makes sense, but Robin is also shown to be able to brush him off — so he/she may still have been somewhat willing to give their body to Grima, or at very least have an underlying conflict underneath. Or was the Avatar always loyal to Chrom, and Grima is just lying his fell dragon ass off? Who knows, though Future Past all but says Grima possessed Robin by force.
      • That's not even getting into the many conflicting interpretations of the secondary characters. Is Lucina's attachment to her father just that of a young girl who lost him and doesn't want him to die again, or does she have an Electra Complex? Is Tharja really that cruel and wicked, or is she just terribly Not Good with People and that became even worse in the Bad Future? Which of Henry's characterization is the most valid, his Japanese (where he doesn't always enjoy bloodshed as he says he does) or English one (where he actually does, and only learns to think differently when with the Shepherds)?
      • This is also parodied with Sumia, when she admits to Miriel that she fakes being clumsy so men will pay attention to her... It turns out it was a fever dream of Miriel's after she passed out from the hot sun, and Sumia is seen tending to her while acting her normal self. She actually is as clumsy and soft-hearted as she seems. Or is she?
      • What is the reason for Gerome's mask? Does he have one at all? Does he make it up on the spot when pressed? Does he have as many reasons as he has supports? Is the only true reason revealed in his S-Supports? If so, which of the S-Supports is canon?
      • Is Owain a childish vagrant who makes war a game and ends up with Blood Knight tendencies? Or are the admittedly dark stories he produces just his way of coping with all he went through? His supports do tend toward the latter, by making heavy use of O.O.C. Is Serious Business whenever he drops his persona, which is even Lampshaded when he does so while trying to help Brady with his emotional issues.
      • Does Morgan have an Electra/Oedipus complex? Does Female!Morgan derive pleasure at the expense of others?
    • As shown in this YouTube video, quite a few fans pin Camilla from Fates as suffering from an Ambiguous Disorder such as separation anxiety disorder or clinical depression rather than just being a yandere Ms. Fanservice character.
    • Fire Emblem: Three Houses:
      • In the Blue Lions route, Edelgard's reasons for Redemption Rejection in response to being spared are up to interpretation. Was it a final act of defiance? A way to be killed honorably? A genuine attempt on Dimitri's life out of pure spite?
      • In-Universe regarding Glenn, Felix's older brother and Ingrid's fiance, who had died at Duscur. Felix's father and Ingrid see Glenn as a heroic figure who died a noble death doing what he thought was right. Felix however sees him as a Lawful Stupid fool who gave up his life due to Chronic Hero Syndrome who wouldn't have forgiven himself if he had survived Duscur by running away.
      • Was Miklan an Asshole Victim who deserved getting disowned and being painfully transformed into a Demonic Beast? Or was he driven into villainy and banditry due to being passed over his inheritance and being abused by his father? According to Sylvain, Miklan had abused him and tried to kill him due to jealousy and was disowned due to Miklan's bad behavior instead of making the most of his life like others have. Some like Rhea show Miklan no pity and Sylvain has no lost love for him, even if he does admit Miklan's life was harder than most. Edelgard notes Miklan was still a competent person whose death was a waste and a problem due to the Crest system.
  • Golden Sun:
    • Based on a few bits from the games, Kraden may be the real villain. The villains from the first game called him "Cunning beyond measure." Not all scholars are good. Most of the events seem to have stemmed from the fact that Kraden insisted on going on into the temple at Mt. Aleph, and it's implied that the villains couldn't have gotten through without that. Then he insisted on taking the Stars from there, seemingly knowing there was a powerful guardian waiting (he recognized it almost instantly as such).
    • Babi is also frequently portrayed as an Evil Overlord in fan works. He does do a lot of things in canon that could be interpreted as evil (kidnapping Sheba and using her as blackmail to get Lalivero to build his lighthouse, stealing a lifespan-extending draught and a magical ship from the Lemurians, etc.) but despite this the game itself doesn't portray him as a villain and the heroes never seem to question his motives or deny his requests.
    • During his confrontation with Isaac on Jupiter Lighthouse, Agatio claims that Prox plans to use the power of the lighthouses to Take Over the World. This is never elaborated on, and when you actually arrive in Prox later in the game, the people there are pretty friendly. Was it just an empty threat meant to scare Isaac? Is Agatio just delusional? Or were the Proxians just playing nice because by the time you got there their own warriors had obviously failed and the heroes were their only chance at getting the last beacon lit?
    • Never mind the many Flat Characters giving plenty of room for wildly different fan interpretations, Golden Sun's plot is fueled by in-universe misunderstandings of one another's intentions, and in this series, Poor Communication Kills. Messily. Often. And it's rated E for Everyone.
  • What are the Ice Climbers to each other? Interpretations differ between twins, older brother and younger sister, cousins, best friends, and lovers.
  • Kirby:
    • Kirby's numerous actions, most notably eating sentient beings alive, releasing eldritch abominations on a daily basis, his cocky Jerkass attitude in Kirby's Avalanche, and sometimes, going on quests and slaughtering people for rather... ambiguous reasons (in Squeak Squad: CAKE.), has led to many alternative interpretations of the pink puffball.
    • King Dedede has a LOT more friends than Kirby in the games. Kirby's only in-game friends outside of Kirby 64 and the latter two Dream Land games are all created by him somehow. Everybody else has tried to kill him at least once.
    • Meta Knight squanders more than one opportunity to let Kirby know what's going on. Is he playing Idiot Ball or does he have some ulterior motive, such as ensuring another rematch between the two of them? If he does, does Meta Knight really crave a rematch so badly that he's willing to risk an Eldritch Abomination escaping into the world?
    • Galacta Knight has had no information released about him besides being so strong that he was sealed away. Literally every piece of fandom conversation outside that one fact is an ACI.
    • This theory brings up some interesting points regarding Susie from Kirby: Planet Robobot. Is she the same Susanna as the one that was in the accident or a clone created by Star Dream who lacks a soul? After all, three of the bosses are cloned and two of those (King Dedede and Dark Matter) are mentioned to be imperfect copies, with Dedede Clone 2.0's description outright saying that souls cannot be copied. This also affects Haltmann to an extent: does he not recognize his daughter? Or is he aware that the duplicate created by Star Dream does not have a soul and is essentially not his daughter? Relatedly, if Susie was a clone, was her betraying Haltmann simply greed? Was her lack of conscience due to laking a soul? And/or did Haltmann treating her as a failed replica make it a Mistreatment-Induced Betrayal?
  • The Legend of Zelda:
  • Metroid:
    • Is Samus Aran the villain? Is she anything more than a sociopathic bounty hunter? The games often center around breaking into the Space Pirates' bases and killing everyone inside. When introduced to a planetary ecosystem, she kills everything in sight - including very large and possibly unique predators - which must have a lasting impact on the ecosystem.
    • In regards to messing up planets' ecosystems, Samus's mission to exterminate the entire Metroid population in Metroid II: Return of Samus calls the Galactic Federation's trustworthiness into serious question. Going by that train of thought, the end of that game and the events of Super Metroid can be seen as Samus coming to realize the worth in the creatures she has been repeatedly tasked with eradicating, with Metroid Fusion rounding out the story arc by revealing once and for all that the Galactic Federation was a ruthless, fascist state responsible for multiple counts of genocide and the same illegal bioweapons programs as their enemies all along.
      • Even as early as Metroid Prime 3: Corruption, the Galactic Federation demonstrate that they are nearly as willing as the Space Pirates to recklessly take up the power offered by Phazon in pursuit of military victory. They even alter Samus's suit to include a Phazon Enhancement Device without her knowledge or consent.
    • It's also at least plausible that the Luminoth are the villains in Metroid Prime 2: Echoes and the Ing are merely retaliating against the Luminoth aggression. If this is true, U-Mos is the Big Bad and Samus is The Dragon in his war of conquest and genocide against his species' rivals.
    • Another interpretation is that Samus is a Stoic Woobie or Jerkass Woobie thanks to all the punishment she takes. Being a Doom Magnet really hurts.
    • And then there's Metroid: Other M, which managed to take whatever was left of the fan base and shatter it into pieces beyond repair. Samus is either seen as gaining much-needed character development or else as getting severely derailed from previously-established characterization. A lot of it seems to come down to whether or not a given fan thinks Samus had much of a personality established from games made before Other M.
      • So, Adam Malkovich. In light of his role in Metroid: Other M, is he really the mentor, confidant, and father figure that Samus has painted him out to be? Or a man who exploits Samus' unhealthy obsession with him to abuse her physically (e.g. preventing her from using her life-saving power-ups is dangerous situations) and emotionally (e.g. giving himself the last laugh by sacrificing his life in Sector Zero in order to deeply upset Samus)?
      • The plot makes scary amounts of sense if Adam is The Mole, as he has ample means, motive, and opportunity to carry out the "Deletions". His final scene could be a Heroic Sacrifice, or it could be Faking the Dead.
      • Another interpretation which seems to make a fair amount of sense is that Adam is a well-meaning, but inept commander who is overtly concerned about asserting his authority. Imagine the scene with Adam forbidding the use of bombs with these thoughts going through his head: "Damn, she took care of everything by herself, while I stood here useless. Erm, good job, Samus, but your bombs might cause damage to the station. Yes, that will show everyone I'm in charge! In fact, don't use any of your other equipment until I tell you to!" Or that he lets Samus weather through the lava section without Varia Suit because he genuinely forgot that she has it. Samus, for her part, knows how fragile Adam's self esteem is, and humors him, trusting her own abilities to get through with what he "allows".
      • This game also calls into question whether Samus is a total badass who was derailed so as to fear Ridley in a misguided attempt to show her as needing help, or is she so badass that she managed to not only stand up to, but defeat, Ridley despite being utterly terrified by the monster that killed her family and everyone she knew? Or is it post-traumatic stress disorder after having to not only kill said monster that killed her family, but then kill him again when he came Back from the Dead and kidnapped the baby Metroid, eventually leading to the death of the closest thing she had to a normal family?
  • The MOTHER series has a few of these.
    • Flint: Some say he's a good father, just detached from the rest of the world since the death of his wife and disappearance of his son, and the world changing at a fast pace around him probably don't help. Others say he's an obsessed man driven crazy by the grief of losing his wife. Believing himself to have caused this, he seeks an outlet for redemption, in this case, looking for his missing son, even if it means completely ignoring his living son in the process.
      • Speaking of fathers, remember Ness' father? He only appears as a phone and mostly plays to lonely hotel music. I dare you, listen to the hotel music again and think about this.
    • Porky Minch: Jerkass through and through and determined to turn the universe into his own personal toy box, or abused woobie? There's certainly evidence for the latter; his parents were abusive and various people in his hometown mock him, though he still shows that odd big-brother sort of caring for Picky and is friends with Ness. When Giygas begins to control him, he gets a taste of a much, much better life and does everything to keep it, including lie, steal, and alienate his only friend. In MOTHER 3, he surrounds himself with his own personal utopia: A place filled with self-praise and reminders of his old life and friends, and his grand plan is to destroy the world, therefore destroying everyone who won't like him.
      • Or if you've had the opportunity to play Mother (AKA Earthbound Zero) you can argue that if it was Porky who had corrupted Giygas, this can be supported by the fact that some of Porky's lines were badly translated, and so the fact that Porky had willingly, and consciously followed Giygas, knowing the harm he would cause to others was never conveyed. It also made it look as if Giygas was behind the Happy Happy Cult, when he/she actually wasn't. This is important because this was the first time Porky was displayed as a villain, he was also the only cult member not under any influence, and he had consciously tried to kill Paula and Ness. This is further supported by his behavior in MOTHER 3, and also Giygas' woobie back story.
      • Furthermore, Woobifying Pokey in Mother 3 is pointless when you remember another Woobie in your party that had it worse: Duster. He was legitimately abused by his father (even if it did cause him to be an awesome Wall-Stapler) to the point of having a life-long limp, was not very social (Dialogue implies the he rarely gets to go to Tazmily Village), and he's still very heroic.
      • Another theory for Pokey/Porky is that Pokey is a nice kid who likes his best friend, but Giygas tried to corrupt Pokey to get to Ness. Pokey didn't want to turn against his best friend, so it created a split personality — Porky — who then became dominant and wreaked havoc. Definitely not canon, seeing as the name Pokey was a fluke, but interesting nonetheless.
      • Related theory: Ness, random kid screwed over by his jerkass pal, or jerkass screwing over his pal? He never attempts to snap his friend out of his obvious Giygas influence, and it's often implied that he dislikes Porky just as much as the others do, but he still plays with him, giving off a biiiit of a two-faced air. The biggest example is that he saw or at least heard Aloysius Minch beating his children and never does a thing about it. Ness is a Heroic Mime, and he couldn't exactly ask Pokey to stop what he was doing more then he could ask for a hot dog. And when they meet, Pokey is either sicking guards on him or fighting him from a spider mech. When the reader gets a glimpse of Ness's perfect world, as with Pokey's, the other boy makes an appearance - as a truly remorseful and kind person, which implies that's either how Ness would like him to be, or how he thinks he still is. Either one is oddly touching.
      • Also, Porky's family, particularly Picky and Lardna: Just another notch in the abusive belt or actually caring for Porky? They seem genuinely worried for him when he and his father leave for Fourside; they know they left, they just don't know why. Lardna seems to deny that the abuse is taking place for both children, according to some theories. If this is true, it would better explain the Lardna-waitress bots in New Pork City, and maybe the older Picky... Ah, Bateau.
      • Picky, who's fairly nice to Ness in the ending and actually tries to fight, could indicate that there's something more to Pokey besides his home life that resulted in him turning out the way he did, or perhaps something happened to Pokey that turned him into a jerk. As for Lardna, she appears to have another man in her life in the ending, with no mention as to where Aloysius went, so it could indicate that either she's unfaithful or that she was never happy with the marriage.
      • Fassad: Manipulative bastard or motherly Magypsy wrapped up in a scheme she/he can't get out of? People report that whenever going up against Fassad, he barely hits Kumatora, only when he's running low on health or if it's a missile attack, implying that he still cares for Kumatora. Then there's the little mouse he takes care of, which speaks fondly of Fassad and worries for his return. In addition, it seems he still uses his Magypsy shell in New Pork City, implying he still accepts his magypsy past, and when he self destructs, he says this is all just a game, implying he's not too happy with the situation himself. Though us Fassad sympathizers will admit that this might just be coincidence due to the oddly defined timeline, so no one knows when Locria defected. Still, this stuff is proof, people!
    • Dr. Andonuts: kindly, absent-minded scientist who's forced to work for the Pigmask army, or mad scientist who'll work for anyone who'll fund him? He apparently doesn't stand up for himself in the slightest until Lucas comes through—or, to be even less charitable, until the very end of the game, when he already knows what side his bread's buttered on anyway. He seems to spend most of Mother 3 in an apathetic haze, making cool toys (he makes monstrous chimeras in his spare time, for fun). Think Nazi-turned-Allied scientist Wernher Von Braun, but in a trash can, and with more child neglect than you can shake a stick at.
      • It seems someone forgot that Porky likely went out of his way to kidnap Andonuts and brought him to the future. It's uncertain whether he was threatened into working for the Pigmasks or not, but he was likely in emotional shock from being yanked away from his life and thrust into a completely unfamiliar environment. He had nobody to look forward to for rescue or otherwise, no idea what was going on, and no reason to believe that he could escape. And the chimeras? Perhaps he wasn't designing them for combat purposes. It could explain why the Ultimate Chimera was unstoppable: Andonuts gave Porky what he wanted, hoping it would devastate the Pigmask army!
  • Splatoon:
    • The Squid Sisters are spoiled brats who abandoned their somewhat senile grandfather in the sewers to fight off the Octarians while they pursued a career in pop music. This is kind of supported by their own statements towards their grandfather both in the news casts and during the DJ Octavio refights, including comments where Cuttlefish is lonely, they should probably take away his crabby cakes, and "maybe" they should visit him more.
    • Callie and Marie are idols so it's unknown how much of their acts are personas or not. Some fans think they're 100% acting as they normally do while others think they're exaggerating their personalities. It's also vague if their news show is scripted or ad-libbed.
    • Views on Inklings as a whole differ due to the Octarians' backstory. Octarians were forced under ground after losing a war. Their living situations are becoming increasingly poor. Many feel sympathetic for Octarians and view Inklings as genocidal jerks.
    • In the Japanese incarnation of Splatoon 2, Marina is a soft-spoken and awkward character. The English translation made her into a more sarcastic character. Fans have created explanations for her personality. One interpretation is that she is Innocently Insensitive due to Octarian-Inkling cultural differences and doesn't realize she's being mean. Another is that she's actually quite shy and is pretending to be tougher than she is, most likely to try and emulate how she believes inklings behave. The third most commonly spouted interpretation is that she uses a persona and her real personality is much more subdued.
  • Super Mario Bros.:
    • Mario and Luigi are sometimes considered to be Nominal Heroes or even Villain Protagonists because they tend to slaughter tons of seemingly-harmless creatures on their quest to rescue the Princess. In the actual games, primary antagonist Bowser can range from being a Harmless Villain to a huge threat.
    • The theories on the Mario-Bowser-Princess Peach relationship are manifold, and reflect the opinee's view of life better than any Rorschach blot could. Interpretations from the myth of St. George to a S&M game are available. And that's not even getting into the God-vs-Satan interpretations...
      • It's mostly Peach/Bowser fans that have this view, however many think Peach allows herself to get kidnapped. Common interpretations are she enjoys the excitement and finds it amusing or she is secretly in love with Bowser.
    • Also Bowser. Idiotic overly macho king, or obfuscating stupidity on a political mastermind? i.e., his kingdom is all lava and igneous rocks. Peach's isn't. And the best way to gain political power in a monarchy is to marry into it.
      • You also have to remember one thing. Who do you think builds all those Dr. Eggman-worthy (IQ of 300) machines and forms all those evil plots? A Goomba?
    • Bowser Jr.: In his canon appearances, his action is to take Peach hostage and preventing Mario to take her back. But does he do that to follow his father's steps to threaten Mario, or does he believe that Peach is the closest being he has for a "mama", and wants to get his "family" together? Perhaps his way to do that reflects what he learns from his father, that is to take things by brute force - but neither of them seem to want to really hurt Peach.
    • There are many fans who think Peach really is Jr's biological mother. Her infamous confused reaction in Super Mario Sunshine wasn't really due to her being ditzy.
      • Unless she really is just that clueless about "how babies are made", and thinks that it is entirely possible somehow because of this lack of knowledge. (She spends most of her time either locked up in a dungeon or hanging out in her castle with the genderless Toads, after all.)
    • For a more interesting notion, what if Wario is just Luigi in disguise, trying to strike out against Mario for hogging all the glory?
    • Do Super Mushrooms restore people to normal size or grow them? The difference means that either Mario is rescuing an unusually tall woman, or Mario is rescuing a 12-foot-tall giant. Interestingly enough, if you finish the All Stars version of Super Mario Brothers as small Mario, you will receive a Super Mushroom and grow to Super Mario. Whether that means that Mario was always supposed to be at Princess Peach's height or was given it so he could grow to her size is less clear, though, although this would suggest the former.
    • Not helping matters is the manual for the original Super Mario Bros.. It explains that Bowser had turned many of the citizens of the Mushroom Kingdom into bricks. Whilst the manual explains the transformed citizens are specifically the Power-Up giving blocks that can't be broken by Mario; many fans propose that are the same ones that are smashed by the Brothers throughout the course of the game.
    • While on the subject of Mario, what about Birdo? Is she Super Mario Bros. 2's villain or is she the girlfriend of Yoshi's that the spin-off games make her out to be?
    • The Lumas in Super Mario Galaxy. Are they really magical star creatures or are they a race of sufficiently advanced aliens whose technology has given them godlike powers but has also caused them to revert to a childlike mentality after eons of nigh on omnipotence? You decide.
    • Rosalina gets this as well. We are told her origin, but that does nothing to explain her powers (one Toad nervously asks if she is a witch). How did she know how to build a universe traversing space station? How did she turn into a giant at the end? Is she the Mario universe's equivalent of a god? Was the entire plot of the game a gambit to trigger the destruction and rebirth of the universe that ends the game?
    • Waluigi. Is he truly despicable and evil? Does he just go along with Wario´s mischievous plans simply out of fear of reprisal or because he has no other friends? Did Luigi do something terrible to him in order to evoke his behavior? Does he simply pretend to be a loser in order to keep the Mario Brothers off his plans? Did he seek to become popular like the Mario brothers out of spite or out of the need for love? Is his crush on Daisy a mere attempt to annoy and disrespect his rival Luigi, or does he really care about her? Is Waluigi truly greedy and vain or does he simply pretend to be in order to please his only friend Wario? Because of his extremely ambiguous origins and his complex character, he is very prone to this.
    • Maybe Mario is really just a jerk. Back in Donkey Kong, it was told that he abused his pet Donkey Kong, which led to DK kidnapping Mario's girlfriend. Then in Donkey Kong Jr., Mario really was depicted as the Big Bad. Game Theory goes one step further and says Mario is a psychopath.
    • There's a common interpretation, especially amongst fans who think Peach enjoys being kidnapped, that Mario doesn't romantically like Peach. He is constantly rescuing her for the thrill of the chase and the adventure. Or that he's mainly in it for the cake. Others simply mistake them for a couple. This seems to be backed up by her simply giving him a "Thank you Mario" whenever he rescues her, and the occasional kiss on the end of his nose. No further affection is ever shown, not even a hug.
    • E. Gadd gets a lot of this as a result of Bowser Jr. using a Paintbrush made by him in Super Mario Sunshine. While there's the possibility that Jr. simply stole it from an Absent-Minded Professor, the fact that the game never rules out Gadd giving/selling the Paintbrush to the Koopas has led to speculation that Gadd was Playing Both Sides for one reason or another.
    • Mario and Yoshi's relationship; the games always imply that they are friends, but some claim that Mario is abusive to Yoshi. Whenever Yoshi releases his tongue, Mario seems to punch his head, but others claim he is just pointing his finger, but the main argument for Mario being a jerk to Yoshi, is the trick of jumping and leaving Yoshi for an extra jump, that often results in Yoshi falling to his doom, many fan works parody this to the point of becoming cliche, but some say that Yoshi is actually saving Mario.
    • Brainscratch Commentaries have had a lot of fun portraying Luigi as too bitter and jaded to care anymore.
  • Xenoblade: A case could be made for quite a few characters, but Dickson most springs to mind. As one of the oldest creatures in the universe, is he simply a remorseless, backstabbing Blood Knight who desires only to fight for his master, Zanza, or has he long since given up on trying to forge his own future, resigned to serving a God he has no hope of defying?
  • Wilhelm from Xenosaga get a fair bit of alternate interpretations. Is he a Well-Intentioned Extremist who is underestimating humanity or a somewhat cold man who is nonetheless working for the greater good? Depends largely on if you believe Eternal Recurance was a means or an end. It could be both, considering his main goal was to prevent the collapse of the lower domain (our universe). And when the alternatives are our universe getting destroyed and the upper one staying around or BOTH getting destroyed. Considering both ways end up with the lower domain still around either by resetting everything or the collective unconscious evolving enough to prevent or reverse the dispersion that would have lead to said destruction. And since doing something like THAT is by no means easy, he really skirts the line between Well-Intentioned Extremist and Necessarily Evil.
    • Wilhelm may have been trying to become God (or really was him, thus making it a case of God Is Evil) himself. Not only does he have some subtle A God Am I like moments, he also can make people immortal, see the consciousness of anyone he likes, and is able to keep the time-loop he had going. Also, he can do whatever he wants, whether it's transporting gigantic robots with the snap of a finger or force choking someone. He also acts more like God than what the official explanation is. He claims U-DO is God and that the two Abels are it's observation vessels, but knowing Wilhelm, it wouldn't surprise me to find out that he had something to do with that too. This is the guy who was behind the U.M.N. Another thing is that we never really saw what happened to him and Kevin. It's assumed that he dies along with Kevin, but they never show them actually disappearing (like they did with Caanan and Voyager) nor do they mention it after the last boss fight. This leaves me to believe he just went to a different dimension (most likely the Upper one) during the Zarathustra battle. I mean, I find it hard to believe that he'd give a Testament the power to kill him, let alone create just one key to activate Zarathustra. He probably just went elsewhere to plan. Not that we'd ever find out anyway, thanks to the series being canceled.

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