Of all the things Super Mario Odyssey will be remembered for, its most outlandish legacy is undoubtedly the debut of Mario’s nipples. After the initial screenshots of the bare-chested, mustachioed hero sparked a meme frenzy and a speed-running competition, more questions soon emerged: why does Mario have nipples, but no belly button?
In a new Q&A from Nintendo, this is the very first question posed to producer Yoshiaki Koizumi, who side-eyes before replying, “So we’re jumping right into that question, are we?” He goes on to say that he didn’t expect this to be such a hot topic among fans. It did, however, give him pause. “Once I heard that people were talking so much about Mario’s belly button, it made me start to think about whether we should revisit the topic on the design side,” he says. While that’s not a definitive answer, it seems like they simply didn’t give it a lot of thought — and this leaves the door open for more realistic Mario half-nudity in the future.
Koizumi has more insight to share about Super Mario Odyssey, but none can match yet another long-debated topic: is that Toad’s head or a hat? According to Koizumi, that is indeed his head. “I’m going to have to leave it to all of you to figure out exactly how that works out,” he says.
Finally, the healing can begin.