Super Mario Odyssey – perhaps the best 3D platformer ever made – saw some interesting additions to the already peculiar collection of villains that everyone’s favorite ex-plumber must defeat. The Broodals – no relation to Rabbids (probably) – are a group of rabbit wedding planners from the Dark Side of the Moon who are enlisted by Bowser to organize his forced wedding to Peach and foil Mario’s attempts to stop the matrimony.
These bunny baddies quickly became one of the most discussed and pondered elements of Super Mario Odyssey, due to thee Broodals’ originality and mysterious background. It’s a shame the Broodals aren’t featured more heavily. Their possible background and inspiration are fascinating and because their presence feels absolutely refreshing after decades of battling Bowser’s kids.
Meet the Broodals
The boss of the Broodals is the massive and horrid Madame Broode, who attacks players with her pet Chain Chompkins. The leader of the smaller Broodals is Topper, the head of client relations for the group. Harriet, the most explosive of the team, handles pyrotechnics for the villainous squad. The blocky Spewart and elongated Rango are in charge of entertainment and security, respectively.
Each of the Broodals is encountered at least twice over the course of Super Mario Odyssey. Topper attacks with his spiked green top hat. Harriet tries to obliterate Mario with an arsenal of bombs. Spewart spits toxic purple poison. And Rango deals damage with his homing buzz-saw hat. Once Bowser is defeated and you collect enough Power Moons, Mario can travel to their home to fight them in a phenomenally challenging boss rush.
Background and Possible Inspiration
Moon rabbits are rather popular in Asian folklore. Many cultures interpret the face of the moon as a rabbit mixing ingredients with a mortar and pestel. This folklore has been used in other Japanese works of fiction as well, such as the fate of Monster Carrot in Dragon Ball. The Broodals are the latest iteration of this cultural icon. They also help to make the idea more known to Western audiences.
The Broodals name itself contains several references and inspirations. A brood can be both a family of young animals and the act of thinking about something that makes you unhappy. Their name also sounds rather similar to the terms “brutal” and “bridal.” These reflect the group’s villainous nature and professions.
Like the majority of creatures and enemies in Super Mario games, the Broodals are never really given much explanation or backstory. Their individual names are unknown to the player over the course of the main game; instead, this information is hidden away in the map screen of the post-game level Dark Side of the Moon. Part of the Broodals’ charm is that they’re an enigma. But it would be amazing to see more of these wacky characters if Super Mario Odyssey ever receives DLC.
Why are the Broodals different than the normal rabbits found throughout the game? How did they come to work for Bowser? Why are they so determined to prevent Mario from stopping the sham wedding they’re planning? What was life like for the Broodals before Bowser hired them? While these questions may never receive an answer, it would be a delight to see these rascal rabbits featured again in another game, or even a movie.
Regardless, though, the Broodals are a welcome addition to the Mario rogue’s gallery and add a quirky kind of levity to a rather dark and intense 3D Mario game. Super Mario Odyssey deserves DLC or a sequel, so hopefully we’ll see more of these bad bunnies on Mario’s bizarre journey.