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The Super Mario Bros. Movie: Why The Wrecking Crew's Spike Is Important

"The Super Mario Bros. Movie" is pretty much one gigantic easter egg reference to the titular duo of platforming plumbers' adventures throughout video game history, and that means it's not afraid to feature some deep-cut faces that casual fans might be less familiar with. In fact, it's not too far into the movie that audiences meet Foreman Spike, Mario and Luigi's former boss who takes any opportunity he can to needle them for quitting his Wrecking Crew business.

Spike is, of course, not really a mainstay mascot of the Mario franchise in the same way that characters like Princess Peach and Toad are. In fact, younger fans may have never even heard of him before. However, he is nonetheless a legacy character from Mario's storied history in video games, and his important role in the film actually lends a new layer of significance to one of the red-hued hero's earliest game roles: the 1984 arcade classic "Wrecking Crew."

Wrecking Crew is now a major part of Mario and Luigi's backstory

Foreman Spike's very first video game appearance came in "Wrecking Crew," where he similarly stood as Mario and Luigi's antagonistic boss while they served as construction workers. "Wrecking Crew" isn't the most obscure title out there, but it's rarely brought up in the same breath as games like "Donkey Kong," "Mario Bros.," and "Super Mario Bros." when fans are discussing the character's seminal adventures.

The established lore for Mario's origin prior to "The Super Mario Bros. Movie" has always been rather loose, but the narrative tended to go that Mario and Luigi were plumbers from Brooklyn who somehow eventually ended up in the Mushroom Kingdom. "Wrecking Crew" has long been something of a footnote in that timeline of events, but the inclusion of Foreman Spike in the movie reaffirms that this little arcade game is a crucial and canonical (or as canonical as you can get with this franchise, anyway) part of Mario's backstory. Before they were plumbers, the Mario Bros. were construction workers — that's a fact.

It remains to be seen whether the newfound significance that "The Super Mario Bros. Movie" bestows upon Foreman Spike and "Wrecking Crew" trickles over to the Nintendo icon's modern games. Nonetheless, veteran "Mario" fans are no doubt pleased to see this oft-forgotten segment of the character's history given new life.