Look who’s come down the pipe!

I was seven when I first laid eyes on the original Super Mario Bros. for the NES. Having been raised on Atari 2600 games, I was blown away by the fact that characters had more than two colors and thought to myself, “It’s just like a cartoon!”

I’ve since learned to stop eating paint chips but have been appreciating all subsequent iterations of Super Mario ever since. Thirty-five years later, as we’ve seen, the world’s most famous plumber has now broken through the final frontier and entered reality.

And as of March 18, it is now open to anyone who can make their way to Universal Studios Japan in Osaka to visit the newly opened Super Nintendo World. It’s an ambitious addition to the already huge park, and one they kicked off with equally big fanfare.

▼ These dancers will definitely have a job when Street Fighter World opens

After a flurry of dancers and mascots of the Super Mario Bros. 2 team did their things, out came none other than the President of Universal Studios Japan, J.L. Bonnier and the legend himself, Mario’s creator Shigeru Miyamoto!

The ceremony started with… Wait a minute. Did you all see that?

Mario totally just dissed the original Mario Maker – left him hanging like a pair of wet jeans.

The ceremony began with some words from president Bonnier about how thrilled he was that the vision of a playground which combines physical activity with technology came to life so well. During that speech Miyamoto was likely thinking to himself “I brought the plumber into this world and I can damn sure take him out…”

And before long, the two seemed amiable again, showing the bonds between game creator and game character can never be broken.

Miyamoto’s speech also expressed delight about how the world of Mario has become realized, but strangely a few seconds into his speech music began playing. It was kind of like at the Oscar’s when someone’s acceptance speech goes on too long, but he had barely said a few sentences before it happened.

Being the consummate pro he is, Miyamoto plugged through it and the group of the hour all pulled one last Super Mario jumping pose.

As you can see, at this point ticker tape began falling from the sky, and as anyone with a Mario-caliber mustache will tell you, ticker tape is really easy to get wedged in one’s whiskers. This is when Miyamoto showed his nurturing side to Mario, helping the staff to free the large confetti from our favorite plumber’s various crevices.

With all the attentive care of a father penguin to his chick, Miyamoto gently preened Mario until he was free of strips of paper.

And so, Miyamoto, Mario, Bonnier, and Luigi all waved and went back into the warp pipe.

But right behind them was a long line of visitors, some of whom arrived as early as 6:00 am. I actually had to arrive on the first train to prepare for the event and found a large crowd of people and a sudden dash for the gate very similar to what used to occur at Comiket.

Inside was a wide range of guests from kids to adults. We had a chance to speak with a few and found out that everyone has a different affection for Nintendo, but everyone was wanting to hop into a Mario Kart as soon as possible.

Afterward, USJ President Bonnier held a press conference and hinted at the near-future collaborations between them and Nintendo. It seems the short term plan is to bring Super Nintendo Worlds to other Universal Studios parks such as Singapore and the U.S. Some reporters asked if that meant those parks would use motifs other than Mario, but Bonnier declined to comment.

He did sound very optimistic about Nintendo-themed sections such as this overall, and while he wouldn’t go on record, what he said seemed to indicate other game titles were on the table. In other words, it’s not a matter of “if” but “when.” We could perhaps even use that to say there is a non-zero chance that a Metroid theme park could happen.

▼ Come on everyone, let’s wish on a star

Until then, let’s just be happy Miyamoto and Mario were able to make up, but who are we kidding? Those guys can never stay mad at each other.

Photos ©SoraNews24
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