Make Room for Mushrooms

In my last post, I discussed mushroom people, mostly in Oz but touching on other media as well. In video games, the main example is obviously the Super Mario series, which takes place in the Mushroom World. The people with mushroom features are called Toads, and the most famous of them is named Toad.

While not really addressed in the games, some of the cartoons made Toad’s mushroom cap removable.

I suppose this would be true for the others as well. I’ve also mentioned how odd it is that some of the Toads have hair underneath their caps, while for others it looks like their caps take the place of hair. I guess there’s a lot about their biology we don’t really know. The cartoons also varied in how human the Toads looked, with some of them having noses and others not, for instance.

Many of the Toads are noticeably shorter than humans, but this is not always the case. The typical fashion in the Mushroom Kingdom appears to be white pants and a vest with no shirt, but some wear less revealing outfits.

In the Nintendo Comics System, most of the Toads drawn don’t wear clothes at all.

It appears that many of the rulers, including Princess Peach, aren’t Toads at all. It’s the Mushroom Kingdom, but it isn’t ruled by mushrooms. There is a female Toad in Super Mario RPG who is referred to as the Princess’ grandmother, but we don’t know for sure that she’s Peach’s actual biological relative.

While the kings in Super Mario Bros. 3 were all human in appearance, the cartoon version gave the Sultan of Desert Land and Emperor Ed of Sky Land mushroom caps, although they otherwise looked human.

And we can’t forget the Goombas, shiitake mushroom people with no arms and caps that ARE their heads, who appear to be even more marginalized by society. At least one of them is a professor, though.

The Mario games are far from the only ones that feature mushroom people. The Dragon Quest series has the Funghouls, also known as Demon Toadstools, some of which have magical powers. They have faces and their stalks and stubby arms and legs.

In Chrono Cross, one of the characters you can recruit is Funguy, a mushroom-collecting shopkeeper who gained fungal features from eating a rare mushroom, and has the ability to release spores.

In Secret of Mana, there’s an entire city of mushroom people, called Matango. This was the name of a Japanese film about killer mushrooms, but I don’t know whether it actually means anything in Japanese.

The inhabitants are the same species as the enemies known as Myconids or Mushbooms, but they’re peaceful. Their ruler, King Truffle, raises the young dragon Flammie until he’s big enough for your party to ride.

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4 Responses to Make Room for Mushrooms

  1. Have you ever read the “Mushrooom Planet” books?? Sorry I can’t provide an author. They are children’s books, but as I remember they lean toward teenage reading. They are wonderfully imaginative and well plotted. Hope your move is going well

    • Nathan says:

      I remember starting to read one as a kid, but I never finished it. The author is Eleanor Cameron. As for the move, we’ve completed it, but there’s still a lot of stuff to unpack. I’m not really in a hurry to do it.

  2. Pingback: The Long Toad Home | VoVatia

  3. Pingback: Koopas in the Kosmos | VoVatia

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