Leaked Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle Art Will Make You Question Everything

The Rabbid cosplaying as Princess Peach is taking a selfie—a sexy selfie!


In the weeks leading up to E3, industry tradition dictates that some publishers leak (or "leak" concept art and announcement lists. A second tradition, nerds with Photoshop skills sitting at home cranking out fake leaks to get (usually Nintendo) fans all riled up, adds fuel to the fire.

These Photoshop artists know that the best way to get members of the gaming press to fall for their chicanery is to craft artwork that has at least some degree of feasibility. Nintendo could make another Metroid game, for instance. Indeed, this rule of thumb—manufacture something that logic dictates could be possible, however unlikely—applies to any industry, any walk of life. For instance, rumors that Donald Trump could run for president and win are rooted in abject silliness, so why waste time trying to plant seeds in fallow ground when there's a huge crop of much more viable possibilities ready to be harvested? (The Rock winning in 2020, for example.)

This brings us to today's leak of key art for Mario + Rabbids Kingdom, which cannot possibly be real. Look at it. Just look.

Mario has an arm cannon. Ridiculous, right? Ah, but look again. It's a Bullet Bill-themed arm cannon. That, dear readers, is what you call verisimilitude. If Mario is going to equip an arm cannon—and he wouldn't, he just wouldn't, that's all—he would obviously rip a cannon out of the ground and use his tools (the man is a carpenter and a plumber, neither occupation that far removed from engineering) to repurpose it as a cannon. It's brilliant because I believe it, you see?

Inspect the artwork closer, though, and verisimilitude wavers and vanishes like a mirage. The Rabbid cosplaying as Princess Peach is taking a selfie—a sexy selfie! And peep Luigi there on the left, vaulting over a low brick wall. Everybody knows Luigi isn't athletic. I mean, have you even played Luigi's Mansion?

Okay, okay. I suppose Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battlecould be real. Stranger things have happened in the past, oh, six months or so. Let's assume for the sake of argument that this crossover is happening. Why? Sorry, I don't mean "Why should we assume the crossover is legit?" I mean, "Why on earth would it ever happen, ever?"

Mario characters could take selfies. If Link can do it in Wind Waker HD and Breath of the Wild, Mario and his friends can, too. But sexy selfies? There is nothing sexy about Mario games. Adults flock to their for their gameplay, but at its core, Mario targets kids. Peach can't bring sexy back if sexy never found its way to the Mushroom Kingdom to begin with.

More to the point, a crossover between Mario and the Rabbids doesn't make sense. The Rabbids haven't been relevant since—and I'm being generous—the original Rayman Raving Rabbids game on Wii. Sorry, you weird little amorphous... things. The Minions came after you, but they caught on first, and with alacrity. (Granted, I don't understand that craze either. I eat bananas; I have no reason or desire to talk with them.)

This team-up its 10+ years past its expiration date. Like WWE booking Snookie years after Jersey Shore ceased to be a Thing, it's the sort of pairing orchestrated by companies holding on to solvency by a thread. The thinnest of threads. The most threadbare of threads. The only thing Mario should do with a Rabbid is stomp on it, but he wouldn't even do that because never the twain should meet. Never. Never, ever.

And I know what you're thinking: Zelda and Dynasty Warriors mashed up to give us Hyrule Warriors, and that was fun, right? I dunno. Kind of. But that mashup made a weird kind of sense. Zelda games pre-Breath of the Wild were all about the cool items Link found in dungeons, but you couldn't go crazy with them the way you wanted to because the game gave you a limited quantity. You couldn't make it rain bombs or arrows because there were only so many to go around. Hyrule Warriors took Link's panoply of goodies and removed their limitations.

Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games? Verisimilitude in spades, my friends. Mario and Sonic are rivals-turned-buddies, and have been for quite a while. Besides Mario's paunch, why wouldn't this juggernaut character (plus Sonic the Hedgehog) compete in the Olympics?

I can't think of any reason for Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle to exist, but it probably does. Notice the title: "Mario," not "Super Mario." Nintendo didn't preface Hyrule Warriors with The Legend of Zelda because Hyrule Warriors isn't cannon. Hyrule Warriors is dumb fun. Mario + Rabbids Kingdom, the very idea of Mario + Rabbids Kingdom, is just dumb.

I feel a little better.

[Source: Nintendo Wire and someone's brain that should be pickled sooner rather than later.]

Long Reads Editor

David L. Craddock writes fiction, nonfiction, and grocery lists. He is the author of the Stay Awhile and Listen series, and the Gairden Chronicles series of fantasy novels for young adults. Outside of writing, he enjoys playing Mario, Zelda, and Dark Souls games, and will be happy to discuss at length the myriad reasons why Dark Souls 2 is the best in the series. Follow him online at davidlcraddock.com and @davidlcraddock.

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