Nintendo Reveals the Toads' Gender Secret

Mario World's Toads choose their own gender characteristics, according to Captain Toad's producer.

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Who, or what, is Toadette?

On our Now Playing livestream earlier this week, fellow GameSpot Editor Peter Brown and I tackled one of the unsolved mysteries of the Mario Universe: What is up with the Toads? Do they have a gender? How does the race survive?

During an interview last week discussing upcoming puzzle platformer Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker, producer Koichi Hayashida offered some illumination on differentiating between male and female Toads. Toadette is the most visible female Toad, so would that make her akin to Smurfette in being the only prominant female of her kind? There are other female Toads, as seen in the Super Mario Super Show cartoon and games like Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door.

As it were, Nintendo never really settled on a specific gender for the Toads, according to Hayashida. Toads are a genderless race that take on gendered characteristics. He also clarified that Toad and Toadette are not romantically involved.

“This is maybe a little bit of a strange story, but we never really went out of our way to decide on the sex of these characters, even though they have somewhat gendered appearances,” Hayashida said. “But I think what I can say is that Toadette and Toad are not siblings -- perhaps it would be more accurate to say they are adventure pals. And that’s certainly true here [in Captain Toad].”

So if a Toad -- a sentient anthropomorphic toadstool mushroom – eats one of Mario World’s popular and versatile mushrooms to become bigger or gain an extra life... is it cannibalism? While Toads may be mushroom-like, it’s unclear just how closely related to mushrooms they are.

Hayashida clarified that Toads are not mushrooms at all, but the resemblance and nomenclature is too uncanny not to wonder. “This particular riddle might stay unsolved,” Hayashida said. “That’s one of the great mysteries of the Mario universe.”

We didn’t get into the specifics of Toad reproduction, but that’s a topic for another day.

Alexa Ray Corriea on Google+

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