I was playing Super Mario Brothers the other day, and I just can’t help but get fascinated by the Green Warp Pipes. There are so many of them, and not just in the first game, but every single Mario game ever made. I’m just wondering what the hell goes on in that pipe? I mean how do they work? Why do some have different colors? What if he got stuck in there? Look, I’m not here to offer any kind of concrete knowledge; I just want to raise the questions and offer some theories. So let’s explore the pipes in the Mario Brothers World, shall we?
First of all, why can you go down some and not others? Maybe some pipes are actually closed off and have some kind of hatch or top. We really can’t see because of the side view. But then how come Mario can stand on the ones with holes? Either way, the logic doesn’t hold up. Mario can walk on thin air for the pipes you can go down. We never see him lift up any door or anything. How is he walking on thin air? If there was some kind of wind or air current keeping him afloat, then how the hell can he go down inside the pipe? Maybe the pipes in the Mushroom Kingdom are simply enchanted or magical. That’s the only explanation I can come up with.
And what about the Piranha flowers who pop up out of the pipes and shoot fireballs? There’s a lot of mystery with these bastards. First of all, when Mario goes down a pipe, how does he know there’s not a flower waiting for him? I guess he could look inside the pipe, but who knows how deep it is? What if it’s there waiting for him at the end? And how deep does the flower go down? Does the vine of the flower stretch all the way to the end of the pipe? But what I really don’t understand is that I’ve definitely seen Mario go down one of the pipes with a Piranha flower inside it. How the hell does that work!! If it goes back inside the pipe and Mario goes down, wouldn’t the flower be waiting for him? Does it disappear when it goes inside the pipe? WTF!!
I guess we should start exploring what happens to Mario once he’s inside this thing. As we all know, when Mario goes into the squat position, he sort of freezes as he goes down the pipe. Okay, my take on this is that the pipes are in fact some kind of enchantment as I brought up earlier and Mario doesn’t even realize when he’s inside the pipe. He’s in some kind of deep sleep or coma like state. When he comes out of the pipe, he’s brought back to consciousness. This could also explain the flowers not being able to kill Mario. Everything inside the pipe is frozen and not harmful. Mario just floats right through it. Now every time he goes down the pipe, we get that sound effect. I’m not sure if Mario hears that or not, but I’m not too concerned about the sound effect to be perfectly honest with you.
Okay, now it’s time to explore the heart of the matter. Where did these pipes come from? Now I’m about to get a little crazy here, so be warned. But I do feel strongly about this. In Super Mario Brothers 3, Mario explores all the worlds that make up the entirety of the Mushroom World itself. Each world I believe gets progressively deeper, until Mario finally reaches the heart of the Mushroom World, Pipe World, or World 7. I know people are going to say, well about the 8th world, ‘Dark World.’ I believe ‘Dark World’ or World 8, is on a separate plane and completely Bowser’s own territory and not really affiliated with the Mushroom World. But that’s a debate for another day.
Anyways, I believe that because Pipe World is truly the heart of the Mushroom World, the pipes are actually the foundation for the entire Kingdom. In essence, the pipes created the Mushroom World. Think about it? They run through all the worlds, and you can even get to World 7 via the pipes from one of the earlier worlds with the whistle. How does the whistle connect to the pipes? Well the whistle is clearly a powerful magical object and obviously linked with the pipes somehow. The pipes show up everywhere!! Not to mention the fact that World 7 is nothing but a system of pipes. So if Mario were to go through the right combination of pipes in World 7, he’d probably find the birthplace, or first pipe, of the Mushroom World where the pipes all probably interconnect and respond too. Bowser should stop kidnapping Kings and the Princess, and focus on finding this original pipe and destroy it. That would in turn destroy all the pipes in the entire world and completely undo the Mushroom World causing a total apocalypse. Although I have to believe it’s nearly impossible to discover the original pipe, and not even the Princess has seen it. And honestly, I would imagine it would work like the Ark does in Raiders of the Lost Ark where if you looked directly inside the pipe, you would ultimately die. Or if you were to go down the pipe, you probably remain in the deep sleep state and just float around the pipe system throughout the Mushroom World for all eternity.
This is why Super Mario Brothers 3 is the greatest Mario game of all time. Mario could have been a few pipes away from discovering the birthplace of the Mushroom World. OMFG. The biggest flaw in my theory though is that how was Bowser able to infiltrate World 7 whereas Mario had to battle through every world of the Mushroom Kingdom to finally reach the heart of the Mushroom World. Certainly Bowser’s resources and power make this viable.
I actually think the last Mario Brothers game of all time should be Bowser attempting to locate this pipe with plans to destroy it, in turn destroying the entire Mushroom World. And the last battle would be Mario luring Bowser inside the pipe where he would float throughout the Mushroom World frozen forever.
Well next time you play Mario Brothers, don’t just toss all those warp pipes aside. Just remember there could be something greater going on…