If there's one thing that the Mario franchise really needs, it's a sense of continuity between the games. We are, of course, being slightly sarcastic here. With well over 50 games starring Nintendo's favourite plumber as well as spin-offs such as Mario Kart and Super Smash Bros., the thought of pinning all the events together into a comprehensive timeline is enough to make even the most avid fan's head spin.
This challenge, however, has not prevented one Reddit user from theorising where the series might chronologically end. Rather than attempting to establish how the events of each game impacted those that came after, user Money_Whisperer has laid down the idea that the Luigi's Mansion series is the franchise's endpoint.
Specifically referencing the absence of Bowser — and the passing nod to his final defeat in Luigi's Mansion — the theory suggests that all Mario titles featuring the series' antagonist must precede the superior plumber brother's (yes, we said it) ghost-busting escapades.
Now, the very idea that all of the Mario games could be strung together on a comprehensive timeline in the first place throws up a mega mushroom-sized amount of questions. Do the Rabbids know of the Paper Mario books? How does Mario recover from the knowledge of his world's relative insignificance after seeing the size of the ever-expanding universe in Super Mario Galaxy? And, most importantly, who provided Baby Mario and Baby Peach's legally approved driving licenses?
The potential for interconnected storylines would be enough to make Kevin Feige a little hot under the collar, let alone us humble players. If this Redditor's theory is to be believed, however, then Luigi's Mansion provides something of a sombre ending to the brothers' usual co-op adventures. Exploring the haunted houses all alone, perhaps the series points towards a big canonical bust-up between the plumber brothers that we are yet to see. That said, if your brother one day woke up with the voice of Chris Pratt, you too might try to find some time alone.
What do you think of this theory? Have you tried putting the Mario games in a timeline before? Get your corkboards out and try to make sense of it all in the comments!