Hold on to your hats, OGN readers, because you are not going to believe this! Nintendo fans are reeling after Kenta Motokura just dropped a huge piece of lore about the Mario universe: It turns out that even though Mario talks about being Italian all the time, he’s actually only one-quarter Sicilian and his last name is Walsh.
Looks like Mario’s love of all things Italy is just a wee bit of a show.
“Since his inception, Mario has always made a big deal about coming from an Italian family and how much his heritage means to him, but only his grandmother was Italian, and they weren’t even that close,” said Motokura, expounding on the famous plumber’s unclear background during an interview about Nintendo’s 2020 lineup. “He’s American, mostly Polish and Irish, and even the small Italian side of his family is, like, fourth generation at this point.”
“That accent is just an affectation he adopted after studying abroad in Palermo,” added the frequent series director.
For most gamers, this surge of info will change their entire conception of the beloved platforming star. To know that Mario Walsh has been exaggerating his upbringing by talking about how he wants to “move back” to Italy someday—despite spending most of his childhood attending an Irish Catholic church and eating steak-and-kidney pies more often than lasagna—lends a whole new dimension to the character.
“He didn’t even move to that Italian neighborhood in Brooklyn until he was 26,” added Motokura, noting that the gaming icon grew up in Westchester and that the supposedly “famous family Sunday sauce recipe” he always talks about came from an Emeril Lagasse’s Essential Emeril cookbook. “Even Luigi is kind of embarrassed about it. He doesn’t like calling him Mario since that is just a nickname.”
“His full given name is Maurice,” Motokura continued.
While this information about Mario’s personality certainly is shocking, it’s great to expand the franchise’s world. Plus, it really helps explain why Bowser—a character Nintendo confirmed is Sicilian to his core—would consider Mario to be such a contemptible phony. Hopefully, Nintendo will continue with these interesting lore drops! Who knows? Maybe we’ll eventually even learn more about the racial tension that boiled over with the infamous race war between the Toads and the Goombas.