Game Theory: Toad’s DEADLY Secret (Super Mario Bros.)


Yeah yeah, “Thank you Mario, your princess
is in another–” Wait, wha? Is he flipping me off?! (gravelly voice) Oh my god… [Game Theory theme song plays] Hello, Internet! Welcome to Game Theory,
where we do theories on all kinds of games, but the ones on Nintendo get you
guys the most excited, which is why there are so many of them. Supply and demand, my friends; you demand it and I supply it. Which is ironic, since it’s a lesson that Nintendo doesn’t seem to get. (cough cough) Amiibos (cough cough) GameCube adaptors for the WiiU (cough cough) Majora’s Mask 3DS XL. So, while you wait for your $200 Rosalina and Luma Amiibo to arrive from some random Ebay scalper who understands basic economic principles, let’s talk Mario. Does that intro qualify as shots having been fired? Maybe? Anyway, what’s the deal with the Mushroom Kingdom? I get that Princess Peach rules over it, but seriously, where are all the other human beings?! And for that matter, why does the MUSHROOM Kingdom have a human ruler? And then what about royal succession? Princess Peach still isn’t a queen, she’s a princess. Mario doesn’t even seem CLOSE to becoming a prince, and as weirdly suggestive as her sweet little notes can be construed, it really doesn’t seem like either of them are putting much work into making a little Mushroom Kingdom heir. And for that matter, what’s Bowser’s deal? Why is HE, demonic LORD OF THE KOOPAS, so intent on kidnapping this lousy princess, instead of getting it together and cranking out a straight military victory? The point is, something awful fishy is definitely going on here. But this time I submit to you that we’re not looking for a flat-out villain. No, that would be too obvious. This time, our person of interest is someone secretly nefarious. Someone coasting along while the heavies take all our attention. Slide on those vests and pull up your diapers, because I’m talking about TOAD. What IS Toad? Or more accurately, what are TOADS? Why do THEY all look the same, and why does Peach — their ruler — look nothing like them? Well, would you believe me if I said they’re a parasitic lifeform that took over the bodies of the Mushroom Kingdom’s original citizens? No? I don’t blame you. Those gravelly voiced bubbleheads don’t look too threatening, after all. It seems like a pretty extreme claim. But give me the next ten minutes of your life, and I may just change that attitude. Let’s look at the facts: mushrooms play a very prominent role in the Mario franchise, and Toad’s design is just another reflection of that. I mean, seriously! He has a mushroom growing out of his head! And before you call me out on it just being a hat, yes, he removed it in the TV series, but that’s a non-canon source. In the games, it has always been firmly planted on his head, no matter how fast he’s running, being shot out of a pipe or whatever. Why’s that important? Well, there’s a real world fungus that grows out of your head and can control your mind and body. Pretty terrifying, right? Well, I believe that whatever the fungi know as Toad actually is, it behaves a heck of a lot like a mutated strain from the genus “Cordyceps.” If you’ve played The Last of Us, you can get an idea of what I’m talking about. But for those of you who prefer cold, hard facts to half referenced, two-year-old video games, Cordyceps in nature is famous for infecting things like ants. The fungus exerts control over the mind of the host, forcing it to an environment with the proper temperature and humidity for its growth, as well as the optimal wind conditions for the spread of its spores. For ants, this often means climbing up and attaching themselves to the side of a plant, but for the Toads, this would mean any number of dark, moist, out of the way places. Which — surprise! — is very often exactly where you find them. Huddled together in groups, or all by themselves, just sort of…standing there. Waiting. Then it starts to send out little threads called mycelia. As its mycelium threads slowly replace the body of the host, the host dies, and the spore bearing fruit body emerges, often near the head. Sound like some NPCs you may know and love? So how do ya like them apples? I mean, them fungi? So I know what you’re thinking. “Man, nature is scary!” And yes. Yes it is. It’s like a FOX show from the early 90’s. “When Fungi Attack!” You’re also probably thinking that the people themselves weren’t mushroom-like until they were body-snatched, then why is it called the Mushroom Kingdom in the first place? Welp, there’s an easy answer to that as we turn to the original manual for Super Mario Bros. The manual introduced the Goombas, or should I say the little Goombas, as mushrooms who betrayed the Mushroom Kingdom, implying that the Mushroom Kingdom is actually their homeland, and that it’s the GOOMBAS that were the lands namesake in the first place! And before you start yelling at me about Goombas actually being chestnuts because their Japanese name is “Kuribo,” Takashi Tezuka, assistant director and game designer from Mario 1, in an interview with Satoru Iwata, confirmed that no matter what you think, Goombas are in fact based off shitaki mushrooms. Assistant director and game designer. That’s a primary source, my friends. So if this is THEIR kingdom and they’re getting displaced from it, it would be natural they would want to defect to Bowser if it meant getting their homeland back! It might also explain why one of Bowser’s core troops are so weak; they’re not really fighters at all! They’re just refugees of war, victimized by the Toads, and they’re doing anything in their power to get back home! Skeptical? Yeah, I don’t blame you! I mean, mind controlling MUSHROOMS? Yeah, ok, sure. But I wouldn’t present you with this theory if there wasn’t more. Remember that mycelium I mentioned earlier? Those thin fungal threads that slowly replace the hosts flesh? Well, they serve another important purpose in real life, too. Criss-crossing through the soil, connecting plants and fungus to a vast, natural, underground, fungal internet! Seriously! Mushrooms are SCARY, my theorists. Around 90% of land plants are in some sort of beneficial relationship with fungi. And it’s through this subterranean mycelial network that these organisms can do anything, from helping out their neighbours by sharing nutrients and advantageous information, to sending toxic chemicals to sabotage an unwelcome invading force. Lemme re-emphasise that; this is a fungal thread network connecting 90% of the worlds plant life! It’s like the Ethernet for plants! It’s extremely beneficial for pre-existing flora to be plugged into this network. It even boosts their immune system! So it’s no stretch to imagine that in the Mushroom Kingdom, where the fungi have acheived SENTIENCE, that the natural Internet would do much more, making the landscape seem almost…alive! Which sounds totally crazy at first, until you realise that all those weirdly shaped Mushroom Kingdom hills, really DO have eyes. Which, when you think about it, is much scarier than the movie by the same name. And if you’re thinking I’m gonna be relying on a retro game and and old, poorly translated manual for all my evidence here, think again. We recently had a game focused entirely on Toad, and it revealed a LOT. In a recent GameSpot interview with producer of Captain Toad Koichi Hayashida, He explained that Toads don’t have genders in the way that we think of them. He also went out of his way to confirm that Captain Toad and Toadette aren’t romantically involved in any way. So why are we celebrating two video game characters NOT getting it on? Well, glad I asked. Most fungi reproduce using spores in an extremely non-sexual process that involves around 36 THOUSAND different genders. Facts that directly parallel how Hayashida described the Toads behaviour. If Toad and Toadette were having a bunch of Toad: mMMMMMMMMMMMrahaAAAAAAAAAAAA!!! MatPat: in the old kart garage, boom! Our theory would be busted. Instead, we get confirmation that the Toad species doesn’t act that way. It’s almost as though each coloration and variety of Toad is like its own sex! Hundreds to THOUSANDS of different Toad genders! Just like the real life ‘shrooms. And if that’s not enough, in the same interview, Hayashida confirmed that Toads aren’t mushrooms at all, stating, quote: “This particular riddle might stay unsolved. That’s one of the great mysteries of the Mario universe,” endquote. Oh yeah? Never thought anyone would put together that Toads were brainwashed husks, controlled by mushrooms operating a vast fungi intelligence network? Hah! Well, think again. Need more proof? Remember those mycelium we’ve talked about twice now? The fungus Internet? Well recently, mycoligists — that’s fancy talk for mushroom professors — have discovered a method for drying out mycelia and mixing it with other natural compounds to create a self growing building material that’s stronger than CONCRETE. In fact, in 2014 at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, they erected a tower made out of these exact blocks! It’s awesome! And it looks really neat, but um…turning mushrooms into bricks…where have we heard that one before? Oh, yeah! That’s exactly what Bowser did to the people of the Mushroom Kingdom way back in Super Mario Brothers for the NES. Now if we crack open the ol’ manual again we can see that yes! It explains Bowser’s first plan was to, quote: “Transform all the Mushroom People into things like rocks, bricks, and horsetail plants, thus causing the Mushroom Kingdom’s downfall,” endquote. Still not convinced? Well, good for you! You should always question things people tell you. But take a look at this: the rocks and bricks make pretty good sense right away; we alreay know what the deal is there. But what about this weird horsetail plant thing? What-What are those? Pretty weird thing for the manual to specifically mention, right? You might even think it was some kind of translation error, but nope. It appears in both the Japanese and English versions. And then you start doing research, and you begin realising that horsetail plants are a real thing. In fact, horsetail plants are often used in farming, precisely because the plants high silica content effectively stops fungal growth. A plant that stops mushrooms from growing. From that one bizzarely specific detail in the manual, we INSTANTLY can understand that Bowser is trying to stop the spread of some fungus. A Toad fungus. Imagine you’re Bowser: You rule your own kingdom, you ARE King Koopa! Everyone living beneath you is pretty happy doing whatever they’re doing, when all of a sudden there’s a tiny little knock on your castle door. “Help! Help!” the thousands of tiny little goombas say. “Our kingdom is being overrun by a parasitic fungus!” Now, normally you wouldn’t carry out an act of war against a neighbouring kingdom, but partly because you don’t want it spreading to your own kingdom and partly because you don’t wanna deal with thousands of useless little shitaki drones at the gate, you do everything you can to eradicate this fungus menace. From repurposing the invaders into environmentally friendly masonry to planting horsetail plants as a countermeasure to keep them from coming back. And even securing the royalty next door in your castle until the plague passes, so she doesn’t get infected! It’s actually a pretty upstanding and logical thing for Bowser to do, but then greedy ol’ Mario shows up hungry for his cake or his kiss or whatever. He touches your axe that makes your bridge fall — why DO you keep that thing around, Bowser? — and boom! You fall into the lava and suddenly you’re the bad guy for all times. Mario, the guy who in the manual is described as, quote: “the hero of the story (maybe)”. What an odd thing to say! Sure, we may make a big deal about Bowser being a bad dude and everything, but history is written by the winners, Internet, and if you’re a good player, that winner is you. And Mario. And Peach. Which brings up one last question: where does Peach fit into all this? Why isn’t she infected? Well, you already know the answer. I showed it to you a few minutes ago. Toad, the mushrooms, serve the princess. The American manual changes it to say, quote: “serves in the court of the princess,” endquote, but a direct translation of the Japanese just says that the Toads serve HER. And we see in Smash Brothers that she’s very adept at using toads to get what she wants. Ever wonder how an airhead who can’t tell wether or not she’s won a kart race can maintain control of a kingdom? Cordyceps. One word: Cordyceps. Peach is the one who brought the Toads to the Mushroom Kingdom in the first place. That’s why they all worship her, and that’s why in the U.S. for 8 years she went by another name; one that tipped us all off to her grand scheme from the very beginning. Peach’s other name: Princess. TOADSTOOL. Peach/Toadstool: Oh, did I win? MatPat: So, like I said at the beginning of the episode, something is certainly rotten in the state of the Mushroom Kingdom. But hey; that’s just a theory. A Game Theory! Thanks for watching. Hey guys! This episode was made possible by Squarespace.com. If you’ve ever wanted to build your own website, make it look beautiful and have a design that scales to any device, check out Squarespace! I can say first hand how difficult it is to get a website up and running. I’ve wanted one for the Game Theorists for…I don’t know how long, but I had a bunch of people flake out in the middle of the project. And the reason was because I wanted the site to look pretty, have an online store for merch, forums for you guys to chat and theorize together! All that good stuff you want in a website! Well, had I known about Squarespace at the time, I would’ve tried them. It’s completely intergrated with Google apps to have a ton of functionality, Getty Images to make it pretty — and even more important, legal — and every website come with a free online store! There’s even 24/7 livechat and email support for all you web noobs like me out there. Squarespace only costs $8 a month; small price to pay if you want a really beautiful website! And you get a free domain if you buy Squarespace for the year! AND you can get 10% off your first purchase by using the code “Game Theorists!” So if you want a website, check out Squarespace.com/GameTheorists! Click on the annotation here or the link in the description and start building your GT fansite today! Or a “Mario is a Communist” blog! Or your own personal takedown of IGN! Y’know, whatever floats your boat! I hear that “MatPatIsHawt.com” is still available, too! So get on it, people! Now if you’ll excuse me, next episode…’s gonna be a doozy.

100 comments

  • Neeka Mapchan

    Bowser:good guy
    Mareo: ( sorry 4 the spelling) bad guy

    Reply
  • Neeka Mapchan

    Me: I can't go back about the fungus god
    God:oh shoot…

    Reply
  • Neeka Mapchan

    IM MEANT U, GOD NO! I CAN'T GO BACK! OH COME ONE!!!!!

    Reply
  • Neeka Mapchan

    On… y… god…

    Reply
  • Grzegorz Przegon

    There's No way that toad get controlled

    Reply
  • Jeremiah Bristow

    And this episode is where MatPat gets absolutely TERRIFYING. Bad MatPat. Bad.

    Reply
  • Peggy Fuller

    boo mario and i think there was a cliffhanger pretty sure at least

    Reply
  • Amburx

    Huh. Reminds me of the mind flare.

    Reply
  • Dennis Galafe

    Stop scaring me dude

    Reply
  • Johnny Decena

    Fun fact of super mario:

    In the first game brick blicks ar the redlsidents of the mushroom kingedom

    Reply
  • Julie White

    the name "princess toadstool" was a localization change. she was always peach in japan

    Reply
  • Sarwat ud doula khan Oisha

    after 3:12 is it me or the audio gets lower

    Reply
  • StickSkorpion

    I always thought Toad was a "fun guy" or "fungi".

    Reply
  • Elijah Diaz

    My mind is blown

    Reply
  • The Frisk Files

    2 years ago: OMG THIS IS SO SCARY!!!! now: oh lol I remember this

    Reply
  • Hristina Koleva

    I think that Peach is the true villain and Mario is just thinks that Peach actually needs help

    Reply
  • IronGammaGod

    You think you can hide the pokemon bicycle theme at the end if the vid from me? Think again.

    Reply
  • Hannah Meredith

    The mushrooms in mario is like toads mushroom hats so that’s like the fungi

    Reply
  • Isaiah The LEGO Kid

    Game theory where random jokes exist but they never cover the intro thing…

    Reply
  • Taylor Spencer

    Well let's think here. Does Mario know he's working for the bad guy?

    Reply
  • Rose Kelly

    This theory directly contraditcs the "bowser's broken home" theory. Is bowser kidnapping Peach to protect her from the toads, or to get a mother figure for bowser jr. and the koopalings

    Reply
  • Lucky Top Hat Studios

    This video taught me ALOT about Mushrooms,Thanks matt

    Love this video.

    Reply
  • huvarda

    old nostalgic intro 🙂

    Reply
  • Scott Larson

    DO A THEORY ABOUT WHAT IS IN KIRBY

    Reply
  • Tunde 444

    Fun fact:
    Goombas are mushrooms, right?
    In hungarian gomba means mushroom!

    Reply
  • Hyena Bros

    Why aren’t Mario, Luigi, or bowser infected. And you didn’t tell us if the mushrooms could take over the minds of humans. It’s not that I don’t like you or your theories it’s just if you want your theories to be close to correct ( I said close to correct because it’s just a theory a game theory) you have to think about what wouldn’t make your theories close to correct . And to do that you think of those things do more research and confirm if it’s correct or not. It’s not hard. Anyway I’m looking for fnaf theories in October see you there.

    Reply
  • Vandon Cleave

    Matpat: makes a theory
    Producer that made it: it’s just a game/movie dude

    Reply
  • sans

    The OLD game theory is best..

    Reply
  • Susan McKeel

    so david (my) little brother suspected something was fishy from the start

    Reply
  • Animale

    0.06 toad’s pointing the finger

    Reply
  • Speed 3D Prints

    Mario is Narnia a son of Adam and a daughter of Eve have to rule it. Bowser is like the witch but instead of making it winter he turns everything into bricks and Goombas.

    Reply
  • Monster Monkeyz

    One of you videos said that Peach is an the same as the toads but with a super crown.

    Reply
  • Theblue Box

    Am I the only one that thinks human Bowser is kinda.. Well.. Handsome?

    …anyone?

    Reply
  • Theblue Box

    So basically everyone in the Mario universe who we thought was good isn't.

    Reply
  • Xavier Welsh

    Now I can never look at toad the same way ever again…

    Reply
  • Captain Wolf

    Wouldn't that make Mario kinda ish a little bit better of a guy? I mean sure he might not be a hero from jealousy from his brother and womanizing with different women but he did kill a lot of the toads by smashing bricks so in a way he kinda helped destroy the parasites? Idk im dumb

    Reply
  • KingBlonzor

    Now I know why I feel strange when I look at Mario's hat… IT ISN'T A HAT!

    Reply
  • Melons

    2019 anyone?

    Reply
  • Skeleton Girl

    Those brain controlling mushrooms obviously can`t affect people…right? (Might be a stupid question, was just wondering so I can flip off my anxiety)

    Reply
  • Steak_n_fries

    I like how in the description it says the game is Super Mario Odyssey which came out in 2017 but the video is uploaded in 2015 lol

    Reply
  • Chocii

    No wonder toad: WAAAAAAAAAOOOO AAAAAAAAAA EAAAAAAAOOOOO

    Reply
  • Toad TV

    Oh yeah im totally a parasite that live on small peoples

    Reply
  • Woomyand Veemo

    B U P

    Reply
  • TROLLSTAR123

    Congrats you also ruined minecraft for me, screw mushroom biomes and mooshrooms and the mycelium everywhere

    Reply
  • Basant Ibrahim

    toads vs sans lets see it

    Reply
  • Christopher Acosta Simon

    When Biology actually helps in a ordinary situacion

    Reply
  • hitman gamer 47

    13:16 the greek letters make no sense , they dont make a word

    Reply
  • C.c and Chara

    When ur about to outdoor school and u hear this.
    ;———–;

    Reply
  • Olympia animations

    Toad… Should be in smash.

    Reply
  • Shekshik Shekshik

    you took 12 minutes from my life… but it was worth it!

    Reply
  • ISuperSonic I

    MARIOS EVIL!!!

    Reply
  • Austin Alvarez

    If you look up Mario warfare the taods serve as the millimetre under her rule.

    Reply
  • DivineBeing

    In ya other theory where Mario was mental or some bull ya said that Mario was a murderer for killing the toads but if bowser was trying to stop the fungus from growing wouldn’t that make Mario clear from the toad murdering ?

    Reply
  • Neanderthal Knight

    Proven wrong by toad lore

    Reply
  • Gamermax322

    6:34 the iternet

    Reply
  • Ikonik Games

    Peach is a toadette but with a magical Crwon

    Reply
  • Billy Hindton

    A bourse tail plant can be used to soothe stomic plains in cats

    Reply
  • Grodarados

    ok my ask my self now what happend if some idiot plan too destroy the world just user
    this parasite fungus to infect a human ???

    Reply
  • Tacoroni

    Uhh I think your really over thinking it, but your theories are entertaining tho

    Reply
  • Rodrigo Estrada

    Mario at that point should be like “that’s it, I quit”

    Reply
  • anielday

    looking back now, this is a pretty bad theory

    Reply
  • Marcus Wright

    F.B.I is very import to our life cycle, thank you fungi!

    Reply
  • Angel Plays

    OMG!!!!!!! TEM LOVE DA MOOSIC! MOI FEND TEM LOVE MOOSIC TOO!!!!!!

    Reply
  • Omicron

    what about mario

    Reply
  • Monroe Fleming

    Yeah What is he flipping me off oh my god

    Reply
  • Lucas Singer

    Do it on johny johny ash therey

    Reply
  • Zach Booker

    I kind of already knew about peach's real name is princess toadstool

    Reply
  • Kara Hall

    BRO WTF IS UP WITH GOOGLE. I ALREADY LEARNED ABOUT THE FUNGUS ON THE DISCOVERY CHANNEL. I DON’T NEED TO LEARN IT 16 MORE TIMES TODAY

    Reply
  • Lucas Chan

    You mean 12

    Reply
  • Semy Truck

    Why do I feel like mama earth Is going to start some sort of war against us

    Reply
  • Kid Game And React

    I knew the most annoying character in the series was the deadliest

    Reply
  • Samantha Mccarthy

    Mat Pat voice O may god

    Reply
  • Monkeyman10039

    I love this video

    Reply
  • Miles Reyna

    Is just me or does this remind you of parasect

    Reply
  • Skylar Schall

    Your intro is cool

    Reply
  • Mortis’

    this video is about mario odyssey
    youtubes words not me

    Reply
  • Samuel McHughen

    old intro? (i dont even remember this tho so do you????!?)

    Reply
  • EnderFlame08

    The old game theory turns me on

    Reply
  • YeetNade567

    Pause at 0:27 is that rly marios face towards us???

    Reply
  • Hello Youbf

    How much fan art can u count

    Reply
  • Count Doku1

    Yo this music is from paper mario

    Reply
  • Joy Sans

    ._.
    *Glances over at New Donk City*

    DUDE, NINTENDO KNOWS OF YOUR EXISTENCE.

    Reply
  • evil little kitty tyler

    ?tahW

    Reply
  • ETERNAL GAMER25

    5:40
    One of the rare times people use yugioh cards in non-yugioh videos.

    Reply
  • Joe Melia 07

    i dont think ill be gping toad in MK8 anymore…

    Reply
  • Waterlemonea

    I never stopped to think, “what ARE Goombas?” because, y’know, they’re Goombas-

    Reply
  • Waterlemonea

    Matpat: calls us his “theorists”
    Me, who is as sentient as a kitten: 😀

    Reply
  • Itz Rudder

    my face at the end of every theory video: 😲

    Reply
  • Ginny Potter

    Why does this sound like when people started coming to America

    Reply
  • nathan williams

    Great! I'll never sleep again!

    Reply
  • Benson's Pokemon Channel

    In super Mario Bros U Blue toad and yellow to join Mario’s team

    So one would be inclined to think that they joined his team to defeat the Goombas

    Reply
  • PikminPookus

    0:36 The ones on Nintendo. Except for Pikmin.

    Reply
  • PUGLIFE 64

    4:45 “A mushroom who BETRAYED the mushroom kingdom”

    Reply
  • BBLY 2230

    Wait lemme say this so Mario is so in love with a fungus spreading evil fungus minion weilding princess and will kill the hero to get what he and she wants but if bowser is the good guy then why doesn’t he just have infinite bullet bills behind him and what happens with waluigi and wario maybe it’s that they are the only people not infected and are also good guys who got dumped by peach and know what she’s gonna do but can’t stop Mario because they are too scared to stop him and don’t wanna get infected.but that’s just a theory..l a GAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAME THEORY

    Reply
  • Brett Nielsen

    Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm oops idk

    Reply
  • luigi ghost

    toad: flip you matpat matpat:welp time for me to prove to the internet your a parisite and that everyone should try to kill you in the games

    Reply
  • Arianna Frecceri

    be warned that the toad's are starting to act like minions

    Reply
  • seraphim sloth

    No peach is DEAD

    Reply
  • Galactic Gaming&rl

    6:33 “Global network!”
    Me: there are no networks in many countries including: Russia 🇷🇺, japan 🇯🇵, China 🇨🇳, and the entire Middle East and most of Africa! Oh there is a central network in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean? SURE THAT MAKES SENSE

    Reply
  • Jayden Hoffbauer

    People flaked out on making a website were u using HTML

    Reply

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