Last year was Mario’s 35th birthday, and this year is Link’s 35th, yet they still look as young and vibrant as ever. Well, sure, Mario still looks like a plumber who enjoys spaghetti a little too much, but Link’s most recent reincarnation in Breath of the Wild emerged from a 100-year sleep looking like he’d drunk a gallon of wrinkle cream before bed.
Given that we’re constantly in horror at how long it’s been since a game came out (18 years since Wind Waker, btw), we’re happy to welcome that little bit of schadenfreude that comes with finding out that Mario is technically 65 – and now, he finally looks it.
Price comparison site Compare The Market has teamed up with aging researchers (that’s researchers who study aging, although they are also aging themselves) at Lancaster University to create visualisations of well-known gaming characters, if they had aged over the years.
Mario and Luigi haven’t done too badly, actually. Both have a sort of silver fox vibe to them (step aside, George Clooney). The researchers put this down to their active lifestyle, with all the jumping and running that they do, as well as their Italian ancestry and Mediterranean diet. Hang on, what about all the 2-foot mushrooms?
We’re not sure how hedgehogs age, and neither are the researchers, but we do get to see Sonic‘s rival Dr Eggman in his autumn years, looking largely the same, although his “sedentary lifestyle” may cause mobility issues. That’s not really an issue when you’ve got as many mechs as he has, though.
Although the “leaked” Tomb Raider collection never actually materialised last year, perhaps that’s for the best: Miss Croft is about to turn 46, and we should probably just let her retire from her “archaeology” in peace. The researchers make the assumption that Lara would have made sure to wear suncream while travelling to exotic places, but we can’t say we remember that bit of the game.
We’re a bit disappointed not to see wrinkly Link in the list, but we can’t imagine the years have been kind to a kid who’s constantly getting hit with swords, revived by fairies, washing up on beaches, and sailing the ocean with no sun protection.
Who do you think has aged the worst out of every game character? We’d put our money on Kirby. You can’t just eat everything and get away with it. Some day, your metabolism will catch up with you.