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Do the wrong thing: Interview with a Videogame Villain


CB: Bowser, King of the Koopas, thank you for taking the time out of your packed schedule to take part in this exclusive behind-the-scenes interview.

B: Captain Bus, thank you, for giving me the opportunity to finally set the record straight.

CB: I wanted to start, most appropriately, at the beginning: The first opportunity we get to see you in action. I speak, of course, of your wildly successful debut in �Super Mario Bros�.

B: Well, yes, it really goes to show my obvious appeal. Mario and Luigi�s debut in �Mario Bros� received a relatively warm response, but it was only when a truly charismatic antagonist, a powerful and debonair foil, with a penchant for grand castles, did things truly work out for them. It's really thanks to me that the Mario Brothers reached their levels of fame. Not that I am bitter, of course...

CB: Yes, quite... Well, what prompted you to enter a career of supervillainy?

B: The role found me, not vice versa. In your world, you had similar visionaries such as Julius Caeser and Ghengis Khan. History has painted them as tyrannical empire builders, but investigation into their lives show that these were but men driven not only by ambition but also a desire for unity of their people. The indigenous koopas and goombas of my kingdom vastly outnumber those petulant toads, yet my people remain segregated and oppressed, forced into the wastelands and plains of the Mushroom Kingdom, while those little fungus folk dance and make merry in Peach's castle and grounds. All I did was unite my people under a common banner and gave them a voice. I have done nothing more villainous than your Che Guevara or Ghandi.

CB: ...I see. What of the kidnapping of Princess Peach?

B: Granted, it was a rash move on my part, but the Princess refused to listen to reason. To her, my loyal subjects were nothing more than violent, monstrous beasts. My assertion that she was segregating and oppressing my people was countered by her assertion that my people are monstrous and violent, and such segregation was necessary for her and her subjects� protection. However, my subjects never attack without provocation, which is more than you can say about those petty moustachioed thugs she coerced into her retrieval.

CB: The game does not seem to paint you in such a thoughtful, selfless light.

B: As a man in your world said, �History is written by the winners.� My subjects fought bravely, but exposure to our world gave those alien plumbers incredible powers. Imbued with super speed and agility, and able to take the simple flora and fauna of our world and turn them into the ability to manipulate fire, flight and even life itself to their ends.

CB: Yes, I had noticed that. I had a bolognese this morning and was able to destroy walls with my spit.

B:Well, yes, anyway It was far from a fair fight. Once we were defeated, the casualties were enormous and I was forced to call a truce.

CB: ...And yet, you continued to fight Mario on Luigi on their terms, in subsequent series using your entire family in attempt to thwart them.

B: Well, yes. As I said, history favours the winners. However, history also loves a tryer! (chuckles)

CB: (chuckles) Indeed. So, what is your take on games such as �Braid� and �Shadow of the Colossus� which are showing villains from a protagonist�s perspective?

B: I�m all for it. It�s the chance for more people to see that the difference between heroism and villainy is how the general consensus regards their actions. The chance to show that evil is rarely black and white. Perhaps it will help put characters such as me in perspective. Good and Evil are words, impaired by the beholder.

CB: Bowser, thank you for your time.
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About Sean Daisyone of us since 11:13 AM on 07.16.2009

Formerly CaptainBus.

Commentoider and MassDebate founder/contendor. Has heard a lot of jokes about helmets.


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