The original Super Mario Bros. for the NES is something of a Rosetta Stone for adventure games, informing virtually everything that followed it. It's a simple tale of an underdog hero overcoming impossible odds to rescue a damsel in distress from an evil monster. Pretty simple, right? Wrong. It's a tale of corruption, genocide, greed, and overflowing sewage. And Mario's the bad guy. These are the horrible truths about Super Mario Bros.
Mario Kills Countless Enemies Who Aren't Even Trying To Hurt Him
Let's say you're a Goomba you don't exactly have the best life: you're short, you're weak, anyone who touches you dies, and you're named after an ethnic slur. Luckily, all you want to do with your time is peacefully walk across the world. You never target anyone, you mean no harm to a single soul you're actually a peaceful, benevolent creature (who happens to look like the kingdom's primary food source). Hell, you don't even have any arms.
Suddenly you get smashed. You're dead. Wha What? Why? Who? Well, confused dead Goomba an Italian plumber just crushed you to death for no goddamn reason. He jumped on your skull and flattened you because he felt like it. You were never trying to do anything to him, but because you dared to walk in his general direction, he ended your existence.
Mario is a violent nutjob. Very few of the enemies in Super Mario Bros. are actually trying to kill him. Sure, there's the Piranha Plants, the Thwomps, and maybe even the Hammer Bros., but the vast majority of the enemies Mario kills are just out for a walk: Koopas, Goombas, even Bullet Bills are essentially innocent creatures that can't control when or how they're launched. So why does Mario do this?
Because they were in his way. That's some Dexter-level thinking right there.
Mario is a Terrible, Negligent, Crooked Plumber
What do we know about Mario? Quite a lot, actually. He used to be a carpenter named Jumpman, but then changed his name to Mario and became a plumber. A shitty plumber. Maybe the worst plumber in a generation. How do we know this? Look at the world around you.
There are pipes everywhere in Super Mario Bros. Giant, worthless pipes. Some go nowhere. Some have fire-spewing plants living in them. Some traverse worlds some just go directly into the ocean. They do all sorts of things but none of the things pipes are actually meant to do. The sewage situation in the Mushroom Kingdom has got to be an absolute nightmare.
So how did the world's worst plumber land the biggest plumbing gig ever, given he clearly has no idea what he's doing? Well, it sure does help that you're dating the scion of the royal family. He probably used some cheesy line like "We both know I'm great at layin' pipe" or something, then convinced her to let him take care of the plumbing for the entire kingdom. Now there's a sanitation disaster that would require years of clean-up and a complete overhaul of the kingdom's insane excuse for a plumbing system, and it's going to cost them a fortune to fix.
Mario Is Bankrupting the Entire Kingdom
We've established Mario's looking for an easy buck and doesn't give a damn who he screws over, and also he's got a hell of an in with the royals that makes him virtually bulletproof. So what more could he do to ruin this poor kingdom? Oh, I dunno, maybe ROB IT BLIND?
Why the entire wealth of the nation is jammed in bricks and floating around creepy dungeons is unknown. Maybe Koopa tried to hide some of it in bricks, assuming no one would be crazy enough to go around punching them all. Maybe some of them were left in the castles because the Toadstool family were like Scrooge McDuck and liked rubbing up against gold coins wherever they went. It doesn't matter. What matters is Mario collects all of the gold for himself and shows no intention of ever giving it back.
How do we know he's not giving it back? Well, every time Mario gets 100 of them, he gets another life. There are a few possibilities as to what this actually means, but there is a likely one: Mario is buying his immortality from some sort of omnipotent being, who laughs in the face of the natural order of life and death. Mario is literally trading the wealth of a kingdom for additional "lives" that make him effectively immortal, so long as he continues bankrupting the kingdom he's supposedly out to protect.