RIP Mario: The plumber dies March 31 and we can't wait

Mario Dead Red
Mario Dead Red (Image credit: iMore)

If you've been online in the past few weeks you've probably seen posts stating that Mario will die at the end of March. Don't worry — nothing will actually befall our mustachioed Goomba stomper. However, the celebrations surrounding Mario's 35th Anniversary, which started last September, will finally come to an end on March 31 to the relief of many Nintendo fans. Yes, really.

So why are some fans upset with Mario? There are a couple reasons. It partially has to do with some limited run games and partially has to do with how Nintendo recognized the 35th anniversary for its overall-wearing golden child versus how it failed to recognize the 35th anniversary of its pointy-eared child.

Why is Mario dying?

Game And Watch Hero (Image credit: Rebecca Spear/ iMore)

You see, Nintendo celebrated Mario's milestone by putting out new limited-edition Mario plushes, toys, collectibles, a Mario Switch console, and a few games on store shelves. This included the limited-time release of three Mario classic games ported to the Switch in one package with Super Mario 3D All-Stars, the Nintendo Game & Watch: Super Mario Bros., and Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury.

Mario's year-long celebration isn't just quietly ending. It's going out with a whimper and bringing Super Mario 3D All-Stars and Super Mario Bros. 35 with it. After March 31, these games will no longer be available from the Nintendo eShop and no more physical versions of the former will be hitting store shelves. It seems like the only reason for doing this is to create limited run games that force Nintendo fans to purchase within an elected length of time solely to boost Nintendo's profits (and it's worked). As of December 2020, Super Mario 3D All-Stars sold 8.32 million copies within four months, so it's likely to pass 10 million by the end of March 31.

Fans jokingly refer to the last day of March as the day Mario dies since his 35th Anniversary merchandise, games, and collectibles officially go away. The limited run nature of Super Mario 3D All-Stars has several people annoyed, but others can't wait for the plumber to die.

Why do fans want Mario to die?

As you can see, a lot was done to celebrate Mario's 35 anniversary. In comparison, The Legend of Zelda's 35th anniversary was on Feb. 21 and Nintendo hardly did anything to celebrate. It's true that we were told Skyward Sword HD will be coming to the Switch (which is one of the least liked games in the franchise) and we were also told that new Zelda Joy-Cons will be releasing this summer. However, these announcements weren't explicitly tied to any Zelda celebrations and don't compare at all to the attention that Mario got for reaching 35 years. Granted, it could be that COVID got in the way of any elaborate plans Nintendo might have had for Zelda's anniversary, but we don't know that for sure.

Zelda Skyward Sword Hd Link And Ghirahim (Image credit: Nintendo (screenshot))

Regardless, people have been anxiously awaiting Breath of the Wild 2 news and have been expecting Nintendo to announce some kind of The Wind Waker and Twilight Princess collection since it would be the Zelda equivalent to Super Mario 3D All-Stars. For Nintendo to go radio silent during Zelda's anniversary felt like a big snub.

However, there are whisperings that Zelda will get its due time in the limelight once the Mario anniversary celebration officially ends. According to Jeff Grubb and other industry analysts, Nintendo hasn't given Zelda its proper due yet because of the company's marketing strategy. From a marketing angle, having the Mario and Zelda anniversaries overlap cannibalizes their potential revenue and Nintendo wants to make as much money from both franchises as possible. As such, it's believed Zelda's 35th anniversary announcements will kick off starting sometime after March when Marios' 35th anniversary spectacular officially comes to an end. Hopeful Zelda fans also refer to that date as the day Mario dies.

It's believed Zelda's 35th anniversary announcements will kick off starting sometime after March.

I love Mario, but I'm definitely one of the people who can't wait for his time in the sun to end. Zelda might not be as mainstream, but its impressive line of games have seriously impacted Nintendo's history with the most recent example being how much good the critically acclaimed, 2017 Game of the Year winner, Breath of the Wild has done for the Nintendo Switch.

I'm dying to learn any news regarding Zelda's 35th anniversary collectibles, ports, and, of course, the upcoming Breath of the Wild sequel. My excitement inspired me to compose a little song on the subject to the tune of Don McLean's American Pie. Just imagine Link trapped in a cell playing his harmonica ocarina along to the melody and you're set.

Zelda 35th Anniversary Hero White (Image credit: iMore)

The Day the Plumber Dies

(To the tune of American Pie)

About 12 months ago

I can still remember how Mario

Used to make me smile

I got the ports when I had the chance

Even though they weren't enhanced

It made me kinda happy for a while

But February made me quiver

No Zelda news was delivered

Mario overstepped

Just because of his big rep

I can't believe Link was denied

To mark his 35 years with pride

Perhaps it will be rectified

The day the plumber dies

So bye-bye Mushroom Kingdom guy

You've had your fun, now you are done — take Link off of stand by

And the Hylian fans will release a big sigh

Singin' this'll be the day that he dies

This will be that day that he dies

Did you forget that old Link dude?

Not including his day would just be rude

Zelda is the best franchise

We might get Zelda classics on Switch

Wind Waker sure could scratch that itch

And a Twilight Princess port could likewise

Now Link and Zelda deserve our praise

They've staved off evil in several ways

They fend off Ganon, true

And make our lives interesting too

I was a nerdy teenage Hylian fan

Excited to hold a controller in hand

Now I'm a grown up Zelda Stan

Just let the plumber die

I started singin' bye-bye Mushroom Kingdom guy

You've had your fun, now you are done — take Link off of stand by

And the Hylian fans will release a big sigh

Singin' this'll be the day that he dies

Waiting for the day that he dies

That's as far as I wanted to go, but if you want to continue it in the comments feel free! That song is a classic.

RIP Mario and long live Zelda!

With any luck, we'll be learning more about Breath of the Wild 2 and some upcoming Zelda ports in the months ahead. I know I can't wait to see Zelda get its due recognition and if there are some sweet figurines or other collectibles for me to get I'll be happier still.

Rebecca Spear
Gaming Editor

Gaming aficionado Rebecca Spear is iMore's dedicated gaming editor with a focus on Nintendo Switch and iOS gaming. You’ll never catch her without her Switch or her iPad Air handy. If you’ve got a question about Pokémon, The Legend of Zelda, or just about any other Nintendo series check out her guides to help you out. Rebecca has written thousands of articles in the last six years including hundreds of extensive gaming guides, previews, and reviews for both Switch and Apple Arcade. She also loves checking out new gaming accessories like iPhone controllers and has her ear to the ground when it comes to covering the next big trend.