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Technology

No, the most annoying character in Mario Wonder isn’t the talking flower


Image: Nintendo Life

Soapbox features allow our individual editors and contributors to express their opinions on trending topics and random topics they’ve been thinking about. Today, Jim has some not-so-wonderful thoughts on the inhabitants of Mario’s latest 2D adventure…


You don’t need me to tell you how great Super Mario Bros. is. Wonder is charming. Just take a quick glance at Twitter to see the same comments coming up repeatedly: the visuals are great, the level design is great, the badge system keeps things interesting, etc. And I completely agree with everyone online: it’s pretty wonderful. But let’s not be blinded by the shiny facade of the Kingdom of Flowers to the point where we can’t see the bad seeds growing inside – those flippin poplins.

A little hard ? Maybe, but the feeling is still there. Wonder’s new non-Toads might just be Nintendo’s most annoying characters in 2023. Tears of the Kingdom at least let us throw, explode, cook, or whatever withdraw all the Koroks whose cries have become too loud for our adventurous ears; with the Poplins, I have no choice but to sit and spam “A” until they finally, Finally leave me alone.

So, what is it with these dome-headed devils who have so clearly mistreated me? Aren’t they just cute little guys who want nothing more than to help you and Prince Florian face the perils of the Flower Kingdom? That’s what they want you to think. No, they are energy vampires, determined to prolong your impatience for as long as possible until your desire to complete each level is satisfied by the bitter realization that with each completion comes the freedom of another Poplin — Ugh.

Super Mario Bros.  Wonder Poplin
Can you please lower the pipe? — Image: Nintendo Life

It seems you can’t take five steps through the Kingdom of Flowers’ eclectic mix of ecosystems without hearing the squeaky squeak of a poplin tapping you on the shoulder and complaining about not being able to break a rock (without payment , conveniently), build a bridge or find their way out of a location. What do you mean, “I don’t have the strength to complete this task until you pay me a decent amount of money”? I see through your drawbacks, Poplins… At first, it didn’t bother me at all. These are simply replacements for Toads and I would be a fool not to expect that a few boredom on their part. But then I entered World 3 – Shining Falls, and oh boy did things take a turn for the worse.

You see, this is where you meet Master Poplin, the guardian of the area who is so keen to put you through his series of grueling challenges, and he can’t help but appear at the end of each level to drop another pearl of piercing wisdom. Now if this were to happen once or twice, I could be an adult and get over it. But after six condescending pats on the back, I was well and truly done – after all, what’s more adult than having a perfectly reasonable and not at all excessive grudge against a man – fictional flower?

And so I ventured through the three remaining worlds, my mind set on disliking the Poplins forever. And I noticed that, suddenly, the Poplins weren’t offering playful little interjections but were intentionally getting in my way, slowing me down. Mario is a man of few wordsI said to myself, don’t force him to waste them on these useless conversations.

But what other option did I have? Those sneaky developers at Nintendo created a game that was so fun to play that I wasn’t going to pass up the optional levels. just because I knew I would have to interact with a poplin once finished *shakes fist at sky*. I’m British, and if there’s one thing we know, it’s how to remain passive-aggressive in the face of adversity.

For the sake of balance, I will note that Poplins have been invaluable throughout my journey through the Kingdom of Flowers, providing wonder seeds and badges along the way. But let’s not pretend that this act is more than a chest of inanimate objects with the unfortunate disposition of a high-pitched voice and strong opinions about moving castles.

Has anyone ever played a 2D Mario game and thought three worlds, “You know, I’d really like to know more about the Toads”? No of course not. These chatty poplins are precisely the reason and only an elaborate appearance by a beloved American comedian in The Super Mario Bros. 2 movie or a series of puzzles and platforms’Captain Popeline“Games will one day change that.

So, Nintendo, keep showing us even more vibrant and colorful realms from Mario’s world in the future, and even treat us to an introduction with the locals. But while we’re adding options for saying “shh” to talking flowers, how about we stick a few more flower targets in there, eh?

Gn tech

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