Mario has been through a lot through the years. He’s had to save an entire kingdom multiple times, not to mention several planets and, essentially, the world. He’s had his love ripped away from him, only to barely be thanked with a kiss upon rescuing her. He’s even suffered through several Olympic competitions with the chatty cast of Sonic the Hedgehog.
Yet despite all of that, Mario’s stayed level-headed, stoic and unfazed. But that wasn’t always going to be the case: Unused animations from Super Mario 64, unearthed by ultrafan YouTuber pannenkoek2012, show that Mario was supposed to cry in the game.
It’s one of several animations created for but rejected from the final Super Mario 64 build. Among the 209 animations compiled by pannenkoek2012 are three separate sobs, each one a little more heartbreaking than the last.
Here’s the whole trio, in GIF form:
Now the question is: What could have been so devastating in Super Mario 64 to make Mario break down like this — to force him to bow his head and just let out a good cry? We’ll never know, but this is enough to make us want to give Mario a big, consoling hug.