Image: Nintendo

Artists toil away at their creations, but at a certain point they must let them go out into the world, after which they cannot control how an audience receives and transforms their work. Case in point: The family-friendly video-game magnates at Nintendo, who increasingly must deal with the fact that the people who play their robustly designed flagship Mario games are extremely curious about their characters’ genitalia.

Just last year, in the promotional run-up to the delightful Super Mario Odyssey, an image was released revealing the exact shape and location of Mario’s pert nipples. This raised a whole host of questions about the physiology of humanoids within the Mushroom Kingdom, some of which were answered by the unveiling of an official Mario comic from the late ‘80s, which confirmed with finality that, yep, Mario has a penis. Nintendo, probably sort of exhausted but mostly unfazed by all this shit, just continued steadily at their work.

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Now, in the run-up to the new title Mario Tennis Aces, they have released some screens of the characters in their new athleisure get-ups, and the breathable mesh tennis shorts reveal conclusively that Luigi, too, has a dick. Did Nintendo intentionally design this? It appears so. Previous character models featured decidedly unforthcoming, smoothed-over groin regions, but not Aces Luigi, whose oblong bulge appears to suggest that in this age of graphical high fidelity, we must acknowledge the presence of the character’s dick.

And while there are a lot of obsessive and semi-ironic jokes about this long-awaited reveal on Twitter, the real work is of course being done on Tumblr, where some advanced analysis has revealed the exact measurements of Luigi’s member.

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The piece of character art which inspired all this analysis appears to have been removed from Nintendo’s press site, suggesting that they did not exactly expect this reception. The screenshot up top is still available, however, and still absolutely suggests a 3.7-inch (or so) penis. Could there be a coverup at work? Will they modify the model in light of this sensation? Find out what happened to Luigi’s dick when Mario Tennis Aces arrives June 22.

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