What does the goo in Super Mario Bros. Wonder taste like? An investigation

Since last year’s release of Super Mario Bros. Wonder on the Nintendo Switch, one question has plagued me: just what does that goo taste like? In the game, it’s a jelly-like substance in a tempting shade of lime green, and at various points, you can swim through it like thick, goopy water. When you first encounter it, one of the many talking flowers asks, “How’s the goo taste?” But it turns out getting a definitive answer is much harder than I anticipated.

Initially, I thought I had it figured out. The goo looks remarkably like a previous Nintendo creation, the disturbing Gooigi from Luigi’s Mansion 3, and my culinary investigative instincts had already solved that one. In 2019, the game’s producer, Kensuke Tanabe, told me that Gooigi was a scientific mishap caused by a spilled coffee. Therefore, naturally, “it might taste like coffee” despite looking so much like a sweet dessert.

But it was never clear that the goo in Mario Wonder and the goo that turned Luigi into a nightmare creature were one and the same. It was a solid hypothesis that they would taste similar but far from clear. This past week, I had my chance to solve it once and for all: Wonder’s director, Shiro Mouri, and producer, Takashi Tezuka, held a talk at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco about the game’s creation, and afterward, I was able to talk to them for a bit. Our conversation covered a lot of ground — more on that in the near future — but obviously, the first thing I asked about was the goo.

Sadly, it turns out that I am the only one who has been pondering its flavor quite so deeply. “I can’t say I thought about it much when we put that in,” Mouri told me. “But I do know where you’re talking about,” he added, referencing the moment with the chatty flower. Tezuka, who has worked on the franchise since the original Super Mario Bros., then chimed in to say that “I think it’s very likely that the person in charge of the talking flowers looked at that placement and just thought ‘I wonder what the goo tastes like?’ And it’s as simple as that.”

A very unsatisfying result, despite my best efforts — so for now, it seems like coffee is still the most likely option.

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