Mario may be used to fighting the likes of Bowser for the attention of Princess Peach, but he recently acquired a powerful foe: People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and its media machine.
Supposedly taking advantage of the recent release of Super Mario 3D Land, PETA blasts the video game plumber for donning his raccoon-like attire on its new Mario Kills Tanooki Web page.
When on a mission to rescue the princess, Mario has been known to use any means necessary to defeat his enemy--even wearing the skin of a raccoon dog to give him special powers.
Tanooki may be just a suit in Mario games, but in real life, tanuki are raccoon dogs who are skinned alive for their fur. By wearing Tanooki, Mario is sending the message that it's OK to wear fur.
To help drive its point home, PETA published Super Tankooki Skin 2D, a blood-soaked parody of early Mario games. The game puts players in control of a skinned raccoon chasing down Mario wrapped in a freshly tailored Tanooki suit dripping with blood.
The Tanooki Suit makes a return in Mario's latest outing Super Mario 3D Land for Nintendo's 3DS. It first appeared in Super Mario Bros. 3 and gave Mario the ability to fly temporarily as well as turn into a statue. We must have missed the cut scene where Mario skins the raccoon himself.
You can play the game here.