"There are no children in New Donk City:" A Super Mario Odyssey Horror Story

"There are no children in New Donk City:" A Super Mario Odyssey Horror Story

What's at work here? Draconian laws? Environmental factors? ...Aliens?

Need help capturing enemies, beating bosses, or moon-gazing? Check out our Super Mario Odyssey guides.

Half the fun of Super Mario Odyssey is observing the fun stuff people make with the game's footage. Whether it's videos of neat jumps or captioned photos, visiting social media right now is guaranteed to net you at least one Super Mario Odyssey-related laugh.

For example, Laser Time put together this tribute to New Donk City that makes good use of "Smooth" by Rob Thomas and Santana. Say, is "Smooth" the latest Thomas-centric meme now? Have we moved on from "All Star?" I pray God it's true—though my gut assures me with a deep chuckle that All Star will follow humanity into its inevitable fiery end.

Speaking of ruin and apocalypse, I noticed something troubling about New Donk City when I watched over Laser Time's video: The city is comprised entirely of adults, all seemingly around middle age.

Developers put children in open-word environments to bring a touch of color to the digital realm, much like how children add light and laughter to our own lives (or so I've been told). In fact, the absence of kids in a game's populated center(s) is usually a key indication something sinister is happening, or has happened.

There are, for example, many fan theories about why the Grand Theft Auto games have no kids running around. "They've been Raptured." "Cities are too violent, so families retreated to the suburbs." "GTA games take place in Hell / Purgatory, which is filled with adults only." "Rockstar doesn't even want to chance being accused of encouraging abuse against children, so it leaves kids out of GTA entirely." (Occam's Razor doesn't leave much room for fun, does it?)

My observation about New Donk City sparked some revelations, and some grim theories.

I will also accept "The Combine saw fit to surpress the reproductive cycle of New Donk City's citizens."

The Combine, or Mayor Pauline.

One person suggested Mayor Pauline may even have a deep-seated reason for hating children.

It's not really fair to condemn Mayor Pauline for the perpetual childlessness of New Donk City, though. As user "OKSoda" pointed out, the blame might rest with clowns. They're never up to any good.

Whatever hellmouth is stealing your offspring, New Donkers, I pray you find a way to detach yourselves from its influence and get far, far away.

Sometimes we include links to online retail stores. If you click on one and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. See our terms & conditions.

Nadia Oxford

Staff Writer

Nadia has been writing about games for so long, only the wind and the rain (or the digital facsimiles thereof) remember her true name. She's written for Nerve, About.com, Gamepro, IGN, 1UP, PlayStation Official Magazine, and other sites and magazines that sling words about video games. She co-hosts the Axe of the Blood God podcast, where she mostly screams about Dragon Quest.

Related articles

What's Your Favorite Video Game Demo?

COMMUNITY QUESTION | While we're not doing combos in the warehouse, let's chat about some great game demos.

What's the Best Controller of All Time?

COMMUNITY QUESTION | Let's look back on good game controllers.

What Song Would You Like to Hear in a Tony Hawk Game Soundtrack?

COMMUNITY QUESTION | We know what's in the Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 + 2 remake now, so let's suggest other tracks.

What's Your Favorite Halo Game?

COMMUNITY QUESTION | We've finally seen gameplay of Halo Infinite, so it's time to fondly look back on the series.

You may also like

Epic's Beef With Apple and Google Finally Erupted This Week

THIS WEEK IN BUSINESS | Epic Games takes on Apple and Google while Microsoft and Facebook wait to pounce, and Halo Infinite's delay shakes console launch plans.

Spelunky 2's PC Release Should Be "No Later Than a Few Weeks" After Its PS4 Launch

Derek Yu says it just needs some extra time to make sure it runs well.

What to Watch at SGDQ 2020: Zelda Dogs, Blindfolded Smash Bros. And More

The runner will be blindfolded obviously, not the Smash Brothers.

Don't Get Your Hopes up for a Scott Pilgrim Game Comeback… but Maybe Do

The long-delisted title has Bryan Lee O'Malley, Edgar Wright, and more pulling for its return.