When you stop to think about it, the Mario Kart games, and by extension the other Mario sports titles, don’t make a whole lot of sense. Why would Mario and his friends go out for a go-kart race or baseball game and invite their worst enemy along? I’m sure there could be a plot-related explanation for it. Hey, the cartoons had episodes like this every once in a while, like when Mario and Luigi were in a BMX bike race against Mouser, Triclyde, and a Koopa Troopa. How Triclyde could operate the pedals without feet, I don’t know. It’s probably better in the long run that the game doesn’t try to explain why Bowser is there. It’s just sometimes fun to play as the bad guy. I do wonder about how appearances like that reflect on Bowser’s character, however. He’s always been a somewhat comical villain, but there are some threatening aspects to him as well. This was especially true back before he had any dialogue and was just some fire-breathing turtle-dragon thing, but even now he’s a serious nemesis within the game’s reality.
Don’t forget that, in the original Japanese, he’s known as “Great Demon King Koopa” instead of the much more comical “Bowser.”
Maybe he hasn’t killed anyone–well, okay, he’s killed Mario about a whole bunch of times, particularly if you’re like me and aren’t very good at the games. With the extra lives, though, death is more or less just an inconvenience. He kidnaps as a hobby, however, and has declared pretty much constant war against the Mushroom Kingdom. So, yes, it’s weird that Bowser would be invited go-karting with his enemies, but it’s not like there isn’t plenty of other weirdness in the Mario games.
Speaking of Mario Kart, has anyone played the arcade version where the racers include Pac-Man, Ms. Pac-Man, and Blinky the Ghost?
If the Mario Wiki is to be believed, it’s a real coin-eater. I like the idea of Mario and Pac-Man characters interacting, though. They’re both video game legends, after all. Speaking of which, Pac-Man was first released thirty-two years ago yesterday. Happy…birthday, or anniversary, or whatever to everyone’s favorite hungry yellow circle! I’ll probably write a post more directly related to Pac-Man later on.