Friday, June 29, 2007
A Tribute to Birdo
Super Mario Bros. 2 introduced a lot of new and strange creatures to the Super Mario universe. Baddies like Snifit and Shy Guy are now firmly rooted in the melting pot of the Mario franchise, fairly unchanged; some have evolved into new characters, while others have just fallen by the wayside. Birdo was a baddie who appeared several times in SMB 2 as a mini boss who would spit huge white eggs at our brave hero. Looking like some strange powder-pink Yoshi with a huge tubular mouth and big red bow, Birdo is certainly an interesting sight to behold--and has physically remained unchanged over the years. However, Nintendo has given Birdo a change all right. Here's a description of the baddie in the original SMB 2 instruction manual:
In other words, Birdo is a big, pink tranny. He seems to be the first transgendered character in video game history, and isn't he just lovely? It's something that makes Birdo just a little more unique--as if he needed it, really. However, it seems that he caused a bit of a stir over at Nintendo (at least in America), and Birdo received a sex change as the years went by.
Why would they change Birdo female? There are a few possibilities. One may be that Birdo's colorful back story may have just been overlooked. Maybe he decided to go ahead and make the full change from man to woman himself, which would make sense. It's also just as likely that Nintendo felt there would be a problem with the gender-bending baddie. Nintendo is notorious for their "For the children!" attitude, so it is not surprising that Birdo would ultimately have to switch teams. But why should it even be a problem in the first place? He's not hurting anyone--well, with his lifestyle, anyway. Those eggs can be a real bitch sometimes.
Now that Birdo is becoming more of a well-known character in the Mario world (such as being playable in Super Mario Tennis), it's too bad that he couldn't retain his origins. He could have added a little diversity into the cast, and who knows? Maybe he would have made some little boy trying on his sister's dress out there feel a little less alone. So here's to you, Birdo; even though Nintendo may be trying to cover up your lifestyle, you'll always be a tranny to me. Keep on parading around with your beauty mark and perfectly-mascaraed lashes, girl!
Birdo is featured on Gay Gamer's Top 20 Gayest Video Game Characters -- congratulations!
VG Cats also gives a nod to Birdo's little secret.
Labels: Character Spotlight, LGBT, Mario Bros., PlasmaRit, Platforming