In order to understand many of the weirdness of the games, let’s study the components, staring with items.
Mushrooms in the Mushroom Kingdom are actually a very infectious sort of fungi, but they are symbiotic with human beings. When ingested, they begind to spread rapidly across the human host and start growing an outer layer that replicates the host body unitl it becomes a sort of additional tissue that enlarges and protects the host against threats. This is why Mario apparently grows. He doesn’t; it’s the mushroom’s extra tissue that makes him increase in body mass.
Koopa’s primary source of food are said mushrooms, but accorss the centuries they developed antibodies in the saliva against the fungal spread, since previous Koopa generations found this effect lethal, as the shell suffocated the increased body mass. This is why Mario shrinks – the koopas bite him and their slaive starts deteriorating marios defensive layer.
Flowers are likely a natural solar panel of sorts. In addition (or maybe instead of) photosynthesis, the flowers can store sunlight and dump the excess as concentrared flames. Mario actually doesn’t eat them, he just borrows them, but they are probably eaten by the koopas to prevent Mario from using them. They are basically disarming mario.
Stars are probably radioactive meteorite pieces. Humans are immune to its effects, but most other races are pathetically sensitive towards it. Obviously the radiation effect wears out rather rapidly as it gets exposed to the environment.
Now, as for the nations. Mushroom Kingdom’s strength lies it is agriculture. Mushrooms exports made the kingdom very, very wealthy. It was originally ruled by humans and actually had a moderatedly strong military force.
Koopas, on the other hand, lived in a very poor nation, having been built on very sterily wastelands. A superstitious lot, they often engaed in religious civil wars. Magikoopas were both sorcerers and the spiritual guides. It wasn’t until the arrival of Kamek that the Koopas were actually unified with the goal of forming a vast empire. Kamek took advantage of the highly spiritual koopas and started preaching about a great one chosen by the Gods to rule all Koopas. He artificially created Bowser to fulfill that role.
Most magikoopas joined Kamek as the leaders of the newly formed empire, at least until Bowser reached adulthood to rule the empire as king/emperor.
They first conquered many other unknown nations that provided technology and culture to assimilate into the empire. Unfortunately for them no conquered land provided the necessary food required. Every assault on the mushroom kingdom ended with failure – humans were actually better combatants than koopas.
Bowser was obviously raised by Magikoopas, so he had a clear grasp of the benefits of sorcery and such. When he reached adulthood and finally assumed his role as leader, his first move was to have the magikoopas form a curse that would turn all the MK inhabitants into mushrooms, as a form of ironic punishment. This oviously gave a significant advantage to the koopas, as every enemy was also a source of food, and their mere saliva could devastate entire legions of ex-human combatants.
Fortunately for the kingdom, the royal bloodline and a few small colonies were safe from the curse. Mario and Luigi were indeed originally a plumber, but they got recruited by former generals and trained into the arts of combat. They were taught of the fungi symbiosis and how to harness the powers of the solar flowers and star fragments. Fully aware of the short lifespan of most available “weaponry”, most of the mushrooms and such were stored within organic containers that reacted only to human odor to open up, and were spread across so the Mario brothers could get supplies from anywhere.
Bowser’s reason to kidnap the princess is to indeed marry her. He foolishly believes the brothers are fully a threat, but he fears more humans from the colonies get proper training as well, and he tries to end the war by joining the two nations. Unfortunately for him, Mario and Luigi prove to be indeed a two men army.
Erm, that’s pretty much the outline for the first game’s elements I have already thought. I still need to study the other games further.
Huh wart show up in zelda GB, i assume that shyguy was real and mario dreams about them...
But that was in Link's Awakening, which was also a dreamworld. Maybe Wart is like Freddie Krueger.
Maybe wart is actually bowser spirt that made a deal with the devil to return to fight mario in his dreams?