By AZRIEL OLMEDO
Photo made using FlamingText, a logo design and name generator (Azriel Olmedo / Ethic News).
Note: Games published by Nintendo as well as Sega that include both Mario and Sonic will be used for reference.
If you’ve ever played video games, chances are you should be very familiar with two of the most iconic characters in all of fiction: Mario and Sonic. These two have been deemed as rivals for years, starting with their first official crossover event in Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games, published by both Nintendo and Sega in 2007.
Mario and Sonic were introduced six years apart, with the first Mario game published in 1985, and the first Sonic game published in 1991. Who knew that almost 30 years later, these two franchises would still be as popular as they were back then.
Mario and Sonic also took part in one of Nintendo’s biggest franchises: Super Smash Bros. In the game, both characters have shown they have what it takes to climb the ranks, and, as seen in previous games, both have tons of power-ups and special abilities that have shaped their respective franchises for the better. This begs the question, what if these two characters fought in a one-on-one match?
Round #1: Abilities
Front cover photo of Super Mario 3D World for the Wii U. The game was published November 21, 2013, and has now since been available for the Nintendo Switch (photo by IGN).
Mario is by far the most resourceful plumber, having access to various different items as he journeys across worlds to rescue Princess Peach. The earliest versions of the game introduced the Super Mushroom, an iconic item that allowed Mario to grow in size. Alternatively, Mario could also use the Fire Flower, allowing him to shoot fireballs from his hands.
One of Mario’s greatest abilities comes from the Starman, giving him invincibility, increased speed and increased agility. Additionally, Mario’s signature hat, known as Cappy in Super Mario Odyssey, has the distinctive ability to control other life forms if it finds itself placed above their heads, allowing Mario to control their every move. Other items Mario could benefit from in this match are the Mega Mushroom, the Ice Flower, the Boomerang Flower and the Super Leaf.
Sonic is without a doubt the fastest hedgehog alive. While Sonic has found himself lacking as many items as Mario over the years, he still manages to come out on top. He is able to break apart Doctor Robotnik’s evil machines with incredible speed; while his only line of defense against these machines were power-ups provided by monitors that could be found across the maps in-game.
Cover image of Sonic Mania, released August 15, 2017. Sonic (left) jumps upwards near Knuckles (right) with iconic character Tails (back) (photo by Empire).
Power-ups such as Invincibility and Fire Shields gave Sonic an advantage over his impeccable speed. Sonic also had access to Warp Rings, which allowed him to travel to other dimensions, as shown in the film Sonic the Hedgehog, released on February 14, 2020.
On the other hand, some of Sonic’s greatest abilities come from the Chaos Emeralds, which come in a set of seven and give the ability to “initiate a super transformation, power machines, and warp time and space alike,” according to the Sonic News Network.
Round #2: Games
Since his first debut in 1985, Mario has since appeared in “more than 250 games since 2017,” according to Nintendo Wiki. On the other hand, Sonic has appeared in “less than 100 games, 92 to be exact, since 2020” according to the Sega News Network.
In-game capture from Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, published November 1, 2019 for the Nintendo Switch. Mario and Sonic, as well as other background characters appear to be participating in the sprint event (photo by FutureFive).
According to Video Games Sales Wiki, Mario has had over “600 million copies” of his games sold since his first debut,” and Sonic only “80 million.”
While the difference in sales and games is clear, both franchises are loved and held dearly by the gaming community.
Round #3: Accomplishments
After absorbing the power of the Chaos Emeralds, Sonic transforms into Super Sonic. In this powerful state, Sonic is able to “approach the speed of light,” is “invulnerable to harm” and can harness the power of Chaos Control, an ability which allows him to “bend time and space to his will,” according to the Sonic News Network.
On the other hand, Mario has led to some of Nintendo’s greatest accomplishments over the years in terms of sales. No matter which console Nintendo had presented to the world, more and more Mario games would be introduced, growing the community’s love for the franchise. This was shown during the reveal of Super Mario Odyssey, revealed in 2017, as well as Super Mario Maker in 2015.
Now that some statistics have been given, the question can now be answered: who would win in a fight between Mario and Sonic? Even after seeing the best of both worlds in various olympic game publications, both franchises continue to strive on their own, with Mario having recently celebrated its 35th anniversary. The anniversary introduced new, remastered versions of classic Mario games, including Super Mario 64, Super Mario Sunshine and Super Mario Galaxy for the Nintendo Switch. Here’s to more of both Mario and Sonic games for years to come!