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26 jobs that Mario is inexplicably qualified for

Pilot of bat-shaped spaceships (Alleyway)

Wait, what? No. Were not even No.

Marine archaeologist/biologist (Octopus)

The Game & Watch series is a hotbed of Mario moonlighting malarkey. And not even now, at this late stage in the list, does a single one of them make sense.

According to this GBA remake of the 1981 LCD handheld, Mario is - in addition to possessing the implausible raft of skills already detailed in this feature - an expert in scuba diving. And he also has the required knowledge of marine life to safely navigate an encounter with a goddamn Kraken.

Chef (Chef)

Another Game & Watch career switch. Obviously anyone in the world can learn to cook on a basic level. The skill is a fundamental element of our ongoing ability to not die.

But a jack of all trades like Mario, running a professional dining establishment? This is a man who lives on raw mushrooms and cake. His menu will devastate your insides with fungal sucrose nightmares.

Rifleman (Yoshi's Safari)

Given that Yoshi's Safari is a bright, breezy, cuddly shooter set in the Mario universe, you'd imagine there to be some stylistically in-keeping MacGuffin to safely explain how and why Mario is shooting his opponents. He might be hurling sugary doughnuts at his prey, making them all sticky and slow before the inevitable sugar-coma knocks them out. He could be packing some manner of magical sleep-inducing ordnance made from those weird trip-out plants in Yoshi's Island. But no. No, he's just using a massive gun that Peach gave to him.

And apparently he's well enough trained in the use of firearms to accurately fire the thing while riding on the back of a dinosaur. Multiply this fact by the increasingly troubling psychological profile we've built up over the last 20 or so pages and then just stay the hell indoors until the police tell you its all over.

Animal trainer (Donkey Kong Circus)

All this and animal cruelty too? Who is this guy? Does anyone know, really? Certainly not Mario any more, of that we're sure. Its a little remembered fact that in the original game Donkey Kong was Mario's pet ape, and only went on the rampage after being ill-treated. And now here we are, in another of Mario's Game & Watch identity purges, witnessing his barbaric attempt to almost literally turn DK into a dancing monkey.

Donkey Kong must balance atop a barrel while juggling pineapples as fire rains from the sky. Should DK drop one of the whirling fruits or accidentally burn himself, Mario will leap into the air, point and laugh maniacally. He's one step away from taking his victims ears as trophies, we swear.

Submarine captain (Super Mario Land)

Presumably an off-shoot of his marine biology side-career.

Fighter Pilot (Super Mario Land)

What did you do in the war, Daddy?

"Well I fixed u-bends and installed a load of taps, but then they gave me this plane and it turned out that my skills were completely transferable. I was a natural. I killed loads of Nazis in that thing and didn't even take a scratch."

Daddy, you're talking crap again, aren't you?

Jack of more trades?

So, any we've missed? Is that the completely list of Mario's highly suspicious 'skills', or are there yet more to mention? Let us know.

And while we're probing the secret life of Mario is such intimate detail, why not check out some of our similar stuff, like our expose on The sexual politics of the Mushroom Kingdom, or our list of 20 things we've always wondered about the Mario universe.

Long-time GR+ writer Dave has been gaming with immense dedication ever since he failed dismally at some '80s arcade racer on a childhood day at the seaside (due to being too small to reach the controls without help). These days he's an enigmatic blend of beard-stroking narrative discussion and hard-hitting Psycho Crushers.