Patients of Dr. Mario may want to get a second opinion on past diagnoses, as Shigeru Miyamoto has called the acrobatic plumber out as a quack. GameInformer conducted an interview with Mario creators Miyamoto and Takashi Tezuka and asked them to tie up some loose threads in the Mushroom Kingdom.
Why, for instance, does Mario play tennis and go golfing with Bowser, who regularly invades his adoptive homeland and kidnaps his girlfriend? Miyamoto said he thinks of them like cartoon characters such as Popeye the Sailor and perpetual rival Bluto, who might be buccaneer rivals in one episode and reluctant roommates in another.
“I look at our characters in a similar way and feel that they can take on different roles in different games,” Miyamoto said. “It’s more like they’re one big family, or maybe a troupe of actors.”
That flexibility extends to Mario’s professional life; he’s been a plumber, an Olympic athlete, and a (probably unlicensed) doctor, among many other lines of work. Miyamoto said Mario’s many mantles are, for the most part, united by a common thread.
“There’s really only one rule in terms of the things that Mario does. Generally, it’s that he’s more on the blue-collar side. He’s hard-working, and certainly much more physical in nature. So, I think that a doctor is sort of an unexpected and perhaps unbelievable role for Mario. Perhaps the Dr. Mario you’re thinking of was maybe, in some way, not necessarily legitimate.”