Just food for thought, this one. Nintendo will never kill their mascot. He is to them as Mickey Mouse is to Disney.
This thought came to me as I was reading up on Troy McClure. Started watching The Simpsons again recently for the first time in many years. Troy was always one of my favourite characters, and I found his absence in the 'new' episodes (I haven't watched in a long time) conspicuous.
Long story short, it turns out that Troy's voice actor Phil Hartman was murdered in 1998 by his wife. Instead of recasting the role, the producers retired the character out of respect for Hartman.
Anyway, I know the situation is vastly different with Mario. He's not some ancillary character, and he's aimed at children. Still, I started thinking of other characters I love, and the thought came to me - what if Mario passed away? How would Nintendo go about it?
Even though Mario is primarily for children, it needn't be something that a child couldn't witness. After all, learning about death is valuable. Death is just a part of life that we all must go through. Before we go through it, we usually must witness beloved family members and friends go through it. If you have never suffered a bereavement yet, you can bet that you will do.
So, I think there is some value in the idea of depicting these infallible characters like Mario or Mickey actually being vulnerable, and it could be a way of teaching children about death.
Perhaps Mario enters a phase of his life, as we all must do, where he becomes more susceptible to things like cancer. It might even be a nice side project for a group like Cancer Awareness, in which case I'm sure Nintendo would consider it rather than just saying "No".
Again, none of this will ever happen. It's just food for thought. It might be nice if some of these invincible icons were depicted as being vulnerable, from time to time. Especially where children's characters are concerned.
Can you imagine Mario in a hospital with a drip in his arm and his family and friends gathered around to say their last goodbyes? Perhaps even Bowser would make his peace with his nemesis. Death puts a different perspective on everything.