mario odyssey

By now you may have watched the Super Mario Odyssey trailer more than once. That's okay, because there's a lot to see, from the wild new levels to Bowser's boss pimp suit to the freakish juxtaposition of Mario next to normally-proportioned humans (more on them later). But maybe the oddest, most inexplicable addition is Mario's hat.

The iconic cap not only affords Mario new abilities, but it's also uh, alive. As evidenced by the Banjo-Kazooie-ass googly eyes sitting on the brim, it seems as though the hat literally has a life of its own. So what's up with that?

Well, according to a convincing fan theory by Reddit user lucamegh, Mario's got a magic rabbit in his hat. Taking a closer look at the trailer, the signs are everywhere -- starting with the nefarious rabbits hanging out on Bowser's airship. 

mario odyssey

On the surface, they appear to be lagomorph replacements for the Koopa Kids (they even have Bowser's trademark studded bands around their hats), but check out those eyes -- the beady red pupils are a pretty strong match for the set that has taken up residence on Mario's hat. Also note for a second that each of the baddies has their own hat, including the poor unnamed female rabbit who has already inspired an alarming amount of porn.

Continuing the "magic rabbit in a hat" theme is Mario's flying vessel, which is in the unmistakable shape of a top hat. 

That looks... exactly like something that a magic rabbit would fly around in. It stands to reason that there's a "good" bunny hiding under Mario's hat, guiding him in his quest to defeat the bad rabbits. 

Really, we should have been paying closer attention to the Nintendo Switch event back in January, since lot of the presentation resembled a magic show. 

It's kind of wild that we didn't see this before. There's even a little more here if you're willing to go out on a limb with us. 

Besides the fact that they're both red, the flying ship also has a more direct tie to Mario's hat -- they both seem to use the same kind of magic. Check out the sparkly golden effects for Mario's cap compared to the propulsion on the bottom of the ship. 

If the "good rabbit" is inside Mario's classic headgear, it sort of makes you wonder whether we might see other kinds of hats with other magic. The trailer does feature the "Crazy Cap" store in several of the levels -- Mario even steps inside one before the video cuts to a different scene. 


Seems like we could be seeing new hats that give new abilities, right? Well, think about what that means in context with what we've theorized. If a the magic rabbit gives Mario's hat its power, we might see other rabbits supply new abilities as well. Maybe by defeating the malevolent bunnies, you gain their powers, like some kind of fashion-forward Mega Man. 

Then again, the design of the ship could indicate that the evil rabbits might eventually join your squad...

mario odyssey

See those red bits on either side of the big door? Lucameigh suggests those are rabbit holes; taking everything else into consideration, that might not be far off. If any bit of this turns out to be true, Super Mario Odyssey will have more going on in the story department than any mainline Mario game ever. Or it might just be about saving the princess again. 

Before we go, we should definitely talk about that bizarre city level...

BONUS! The truth about New Donk City

mario odyssey

You might have been a bit distracted by Mario gazing in wonder at the full-sized humans around him, but there's something funny going on with New Donk City. Yes, that is what the level is called, and yes, it's the best location name in any video game. Fans quickly discovered that street signs and shop names point to characters from the Donkey Kong games -- some even think that New Donk City might be where the original Donkey Kong game took place.

That's all well and good. But the important part is this quick shot in the trailer:

mario odyssey

As Green Mamba on NeoGAF points out, the entirety of New Donk City appears to take place on top of a skyscraper. Nevermind the part where people live and work and drive taxis within a tiny six-square-block "city" -- when a video game evokes the twist ending of Men in Black II, you know it's going to be something special. 

Tristan Cooper can be found on Twitter.