/Nintendo changed the name of this character from the movie Super Mario Bros., possibly to avoid racism

Nintendo changed the name of this character from the movie Super Mario Bros., possibly to avoid racism

Mario, Luigi, Peach, Koopa and DK are shown.

Image: Lightning

The official Nintendo account just tweeted that, in Japan, the taskmaster character in the NES game Wreckers will be renamed from “Blackie” to “Spike” in the games and The Super Mario Bros. movie. This change was already made in the US and EU versions of the original game, likely because Spike’s original Japanese name could be read as a racial slur.

“The name of the character Blackie, who appears in the Family Computer Wrecking Crew software, will be changed to Spike, which is the same name used in Europe and the United States,” read a translation of the tweet posted in Japanese by CVG.

Spike first appeared in Wreckers, an action-puzzle game released for the Famicom in 1985. As the title suggests, players control Mario (or Luigi in two-player mode) and have to destroy multiple objects with a hammer while avoiding hazards. Since they are carrying a heavy tool, they have to complete the levels without jumping. Spike is a foreman trying to stop Mario by knocking over objects. He made another appearance in Wrecking Crew ’98although the Super Famicom game was never released in the US and yes, in case you were wondering: he is a white man.

Most localizations use “Spike”, with the exception of some Asian versions of the Wreckers games. It was Burakkī in Japan and Bùlāqí in Taiwan, both transliterated. a bigger one fan theory suggests that the correct romanization of Spike’s old name is “Breaky”, as he has never been depicted as wearing black in his game appearances.

In The Super Mario Bros. movie, Spike was Mario and Luigi’s boss before they quit their construction jobs to become plumbers and exists mainly to make the brothers feel bad for going their own way. The brothers impress him when they save Brooklyn from Bowser, though it’s debatable that the disaster was their fault in the first place. Oh good. I like to think that Spike meant well and was trying to offer them their old jobs in the least diplomatic way possible.