The Tanooki suit's comeback in Super Mario 3D Land was exciting news for fans of the old Super Mario Bros. 3 power-up, of which there are many. Not everyone is pleased with its return, and it's not due to it being less powerful in 3D Land. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals is concerned the Tanooki suit is encouraging the wearing of furs, something the group obviously isn't too pleased about.
"When on a mission to rescue the princess, Mario has been known to use any means necessary to defeat his enemy -- even wearing the skin of a raccoon dog to give him special powers," reads a message on a new PETA website (via Kotaku) launched to bring awareness to that cold-hearted Mario.
"Tanooki may be just a 'suit' in Mario games, but in real life, tanuki are raccoon dogs who are skinned alive for their fur. By wearing Tanooki, Mario is sending the message that it's OK to wear fur."
There's more than just a website intended to raise awareness -- similar to what PETA has done to protest games like Super Meat Boy (with a game called Super Tofu Boy) in the past, it's launched a parody game called Super Tanooki Skin 2D that you can play here. The objective? "Help Tanooki reclaim his fur."
The game is a simple, 2D platformer where Mario can be seen flying in the sky with a Tanooki suit-looking costume on -- and it's dripping with blood, of course. You play as a Tanooki who has been skinned by Mario with the goal of reaching Mario to get your fur back. You do this while collecting coins, jumping over obstacles, and avoiding pits. Failing to do either of the latter two will kill the Tanooki you're playing as, which seems like a strange mechanic to see in a game designed by PETA.
Also located on the site is a link where you can pledge to be fur-free and a video. It starts out harmlessly enough, only to suddenly cut to some disturbing footage of real-life tanuki being beaten, skinned, and killed for their fur.
I'm not the only one kinda creeped out by the parody, right?