The Nintendo star is seen getting around like his old rival in Super Mario Odyssey.
Long ago, Nintendo’s Super Mario and Sega’s Sonic the Hedgehog were bitter adversaries. The jovial plumber and spikey speedster were heroes in their respective companies’ flagship side-scrolling platformers at a time when that genre was considered the pinnacle of video gaming entertainment, and became symbols of allegiance during the heated console wars of the 16 and 32-bit eras.
Eventually, though, Mario and Sonic’s rivalry cooled as their parent companies stopped being in such direct competition with one another. Sega eventually got out of the hardware business and would go on not only to publish games on Nintendo systems, but even agree to let Sonic appear in crossover titles where he co-starred with Mario.
It’s seemingly gotten to the point where the pair are so chummy that Mario feels comfortable adopting one of Sonic’s signature moves in the upcoming Super Mario Odyssey, as shown in a video from the game’s official Twitter account.
スーパーマリオ オデッセイ (@mario_odysseyJP) August 28, 2017
The video shows off one of Mario’s “standard actions” in the new title, in which he curls up into a ball and rolls forward at a rapid pace, seemingly for as long as he wants. While that method of motion does sort of seem like a fitting application of Mario’s roly-poly physique, it also looks almost exactly like Sonic’s spindash, which he’s been using since his very first Mega Drive/Genesis adventure in in 1991.
The resemblance wasn’t lost on online commenters, with Japanese Twitterusers chiming in to say:
“Learned it from Sonic.”
“He must have had Sonic teach him that move during one of the projects they worked on together.”
In all fairness, this isn’t the first time Mario has shown the ability to do something like this. A forward tumble was part of his repertoire in 2011’s Super Mario 3D Land, though he couldn’t sustain a single indefinite roll or move anywhere near this quickly.
In addition, one commenter pointed out that Mario’s new capability looks a lot like the Morph Ball that’s been part of Nintendo’s Metroid franchise since its first installment in 1986, a full five years before Sonic’s debut. Hopefully this precedent will keep Sega loyalists from feeling murderous rage at Mario (not that murderous rage would do them much good, seeing as he’ now immortal).
Follow Casey on Twitter, where he remains weirded out by Sonic’s giant single eyeball with two pupils.