We Know Where Mario Went for ‘Sonic at the Olympic Games’

Did Sonic really take over the Olympic Games? You're not gonna like the answer. Or maybe you will. Mileage may vary.

This week, a big press and advertising push started for a popular game themed to the Olympics. In fact, this “Olympic Games” series has full endorsement from the actual Olympic Games. And now, Sonic is back for more Olympic sports, with Sonic at the Olympic Games. It’s just in time for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, and — wait, Mario’s supposed to be there, you say? He’s supposed to be there, right? Yeah! Obviously, this calls for a more in-depth exploration of the situation.

It’s no small deal that Mario is missing, obviously. For one, he’s one of the biggest video game characters in the world, if not the. And it’s especially alarming in this context to see Sonic on his own! Fans first got their hands on the Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games series in 2007 for the 2008 Beijing Games. It was a pretty big deal to see two major Japanese characters unite over the world’s largest sporting event.

So why would Mario vanish all of a sudden? It turns out, this is all just a big misunderstanding. Sonic at the Olympic Games is a standalone mobile game. It does happen to feature all the aesthetic and gameplay choices of the rest of the Olympic Games series. There’s just no Nintendo representation present.

Sega seems really, really ardent about having people sign up as soon as possible despite the guffaw. Apparently, there will be a number of pre-registration bonuses available if enough people sign up.

mario sonic olympic games tokyo 2020

Basically, this that means, yes, there is a full Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 still coming out. In fact, it’s already out! The game released back in October for the Nintendo Switch. There’s even an arcade version coming out, following the success of the 2012 Rio edition.

Or, consider maybe it’s not that easy. Maybe we can consider Sonic at the Olympic Games a timeline sequel, and something far more insidious surfaces.

You see, scandals absolutely happen. For example, the entire nation of Russia is currently straight-up banned from participating from global sports, including the Olympics. The nation’s athletes were credibly accused and discovered by anti-doping organizations to be taking performance-enhancing drugs. As a result, Russia’s athletes won’t be able to participate in Tokyo’s Olympics.

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So what if Mario and the crew participated in something similar? It’s clear that they’re drug users, to a point. Those red mushrooms they’re so commonly seen with literally make them bigger. There are toxic mushrooms that slow down opponents. Hell, there are all sorts of power-ups in the Super Mario franchise, and they do directly affect the abilities of the characters.

Is it possible, then, that for the next iteration of the “Sega and Nintendo Collaborate for Olympic Games Games” series, this “nation” is scrapped from participating? Maybe.

But it was probably just easier for Sega to do the game on their own without having to consult Nintendo about every detail of monetization. That seems like a more reasonable situation here.

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Victoria Rose

Victoria is a Brooklyn-based, chaotic-good former dungeon master and a Contributor-At-Large for Fanbyte. She's a self-proclaimed esports pundit, and used to do Dota 2 news and reporting as a full-time part-time gig. She's also four red pandas stacked in a hoodie. [she/her/hers or they/their/theirs]

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