Alongside the Japan premiere of the Super Mario Bros. Movie, Nintendo has renamed an old villain in Japan to match his western name.
The longstanding villain – Foreman Spike – was up until last month known as “Blackie” in Japan, likely a nod to his dark beard and olive skin tone. Now, he’s officially known as Spike in Japan, the same as his western name.
“The name of the character ‘Blackie,’ which appears in Wrecking Crew and other games for the Family Computer, will be changed to ‘Spike,’ the same name used in the United States and Europe,” Nintendo said in a statement. “The name in The Super Mario Bros. Movie, which will be released on April 28, 2023, will be ‘Spike’ as well.”
Historically, Blackie, or Spike, was Mario and Luigi’s original boss in Super Mario canon, and in the original Wrecking Crew and other games would constantly try to stop their progress in game.
To reiterate – it remains unclear why Nintendo changed the name – all we have to go on is that it was changed to match his long-established western variant, Spike. A fun fact – Spike is voiced by none other than the excellent Sebastian Maniscalco in the Super Mario Bros. Movie.
In the original 1993 live-action Super Mario film, Spike was a real character but based on the “Spike” enemy and minion of King Koopa – not the original Foreman Spike. Furthermore, the 1993 Spike is the cousin of President Koopa (yeah the movie is all kinds of weird).
In related news – the Super Mario Bros. Movie is breaking all kinds of records – it just topped $1 billion in worldwide sales.
The Super Mario Bros. Movie is airing in theaters right now. In case you missed it – find our thorough and spoiler-free review on the movie here.