Sometimes it's fun to revisit some old last gen titles that may have been forgotten. This list consists of a few that I still enjoy today.
The Weird World of Mario Kart 8 Sponsors
If you’ve been able to take a glance into the background of various Mario Kart 8 tracks, you’ve probably seen one of the game’s most charming elements – a plethora of Mario-themed fictional companies and sponsors.
The Mario Kart series has always begged the question – why exactly is everyone getting along and racing go-karts? What happened to princess rescue and adventuring?
Well, I can’t answer that. All I know is that in the meantime, even the characters of the Mario franchise need to bring in coins, and there isn’t always a block or seven hundred to smash, so it’s no wonder that many characters have gone into business for themselves.
There’s the obvious company at the forefront – Mario Kart TV, run by the Lakitus and responsible for broadcasting racing worldwide. Of course, Mario has his own company – a very plain sounding outlet by the name of Mario Motors.
I’ve noticed quite a few companies I’d consider strange, so I thought it would be fun to imagine how they operate within the world of Mario Kart 8.
Bowser Oil: It’s not surprising that Bowser would get involved in a business with an incredibly high profit margin and a degree of environmental consequence. Let’s face it, he’s Bowser. Even when it comes down to making money, if he can find some way to mess with the very world he seems to despise, he’ll do it.
Factor in the expenses he must go through to keep his castle updated, as well as employing his vast army (assuming they’re paid…), and Bowser needs something like this to just keep his empire going.
Lemmy’s Tire Service: You know what Lemmy? Good for you, little buddy! Even with his childish personality, he’s found a way into the business world, but I’m not sure it’s a good fit. If you’re having a hard time remembering Lemmy, he’s the one constantly rolling on a circus ball.
I can just picture him at the garage, having just managed to take a tire off your car. He gets on the tire, spends the next several minutes rolling around the garage and crashing into various things, then rolls out the front door and down the street, never to be seen again. In Mario Kart 8, theft is merely one of the many accidents you might see (or be involved in).
Shy Guy Metals: We even have the privilege of seeing this company at work during the Shy Guy Fall’s course, mining away in caverns alongside the track.
All I can imagine about this company is that it’s probably an organizational nightmare. Shy Guys are odd little creatures, but they seem to be happy at work as they sing along with the track’s music.
I just don’t know what upper management is like or how they interact with other businesses. Amongst themselves, they’re fine, but if Shy Guy’s Toy Box from Paper Mario is anything to go by, Shy Guy Metals is a nonsensical company with little in the way of people skills.
Fun Flower: So let me get this straight? Either we have a store that sells Piranha Plants, or we’ve got a store somehow run by Piranha Plants. My guess is they’re responsible for supplying the Piranha Plants you can use during a race.
And sure, when you’ve got one in front of your kart, they can be fun. The rest of the time, seeing one of them is not fun, it’s terrifying. I think this company needs to work on branding.
Roy’s Smooth Sounds: One last company before we finish – I don’t want to overstay my welcome. Roy Koopa is apparently a musical kind of guy. Not surprised, given that he’s named after Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Roy Orbison. What does surprise me is that Roy, commonly depicted as being a bruiser, has the capability of running a company.
Given the likelihood of Roy being musically inclined, it’s probably not hard to see him testing out the company’s headphones, speakers, and the like. He knows good sound when he hears it, but mostly he just wanders around the building and into the various development rooms, trying to understand exactly how everything works.
It’s hard to be Roy.