Super Mario Bros. Wonder introduces many new concepts to the franchise, from new enemies to new systems like badges. No less among them is the new Kingdom, apparently neighboring the hometown of Peach and company. The Flower Kingdom is as expansive, if not more so, than what we know the Mushroom Kingdom to be.
That does beg the question, which Kingdom is stronger? Clearly, they’ll never engage in military conflict (unless we get a Mario + Fire Emblem crossover, which sounds amazing), but it’s hard not to compare. Is the Mushroom Kingdom still the top dog, or will the newcomer Florian take the spot?
The Flower Kingdom, Stronger At First Glance
While exploring the Flower Kingdom, you’ll notice a cohesion not usually present in renditions of its Mushroom neighbor. The desert area has a water supply system, a mining section for acquiring raw materials, and even a training mountain for the citizens to become stronger. We’ve seen individual Toads that can do a lot but not a space for the whole community to grow.
They even developed the Badges to make travel safer in rough environments. Power-ups don’t seem to be controlled by either faction, but the Badges are clearly a Flower Kingdom invention, and that gives them a huge step up. What’s more, only the Flowers can use Badges; you as a player only have access to them thanks to Florian.
Badges like All Elephant Power make it seem like the Flower Kingdom has control over that ability, but it being a post-game badge, it’s hard to consider it canon.
When thinking about the might of the Kingdom, we can’t forget that they seem to have tamed the mighty Wiggler; you can race against it, but it’s no longer an enemy. These large beings were already formidable, but as part of a faction, they could really bring the pain.
And this was all without mentioning the Elephant in the room (no, not the Power-Up), the Wonder Seed. These Seeds have incredible, game-changing abilities that are so unpredictable they could turn the tide of any battle in an instant. As Bowser showed, it can turn you into a literal fortress with your foes unable to retaliate.
Their Biggest Strength Is Their Weakness
Bowser showed the limitless potential of the Wonder Seed, but he also showed how easily an enemy faction can make use of it. It’s not the first time we see Bowser use the hero’s tools against them, but as opposed to when he became Meowser in Super Mario 3D World, the Wonder Seed made him incredibly destructive.
This might be why the Flower citizens need so much training or a constant flow of supplies; the Wonder Seeds are more of a curse than a blessing. One of the effects has a stampede nearly destroy a poor Flower’s home, while another turns you into a Goomba barely able to escape danger.
The Mushroom Kingdom And The Strength Of The Individual
When looking back at the Mushroom Kingdom, it’s hard to find any one true strength of the realm. Even when not counting the Wonder Seed, there are plenty of factors that work in favor of the Flowers as a Kingdom, while Peach’s castle has been under siege more times than we can count. Well, actually, we can count them.
The Super Mario Movie has the Mushroom Kingdom in control of a Star Power-Up, but that’s not really a commodity exclusive to that realm, so we can’t count it as an exclusive strength.
A strength the Mushrooms do have is the Yoshis. While you can play as Yoshi in Super Mario Bros. Wonder, it’s clearly one that comes from the Mushroom Kingdom, so Florian’s people aren’t familiar with the creature. They do have the previously mentioned Wiggler, but it can’t compare to the might of a well-used Yoshi. Much less a Yoshi on top of a Yoshi.
But that’s hardly the strongest asset the Mushrooms have. Since what they may seem to lack as a community, they more than make it up with their individuals. You can choose to play as a simple Toad as early as in Super Mario Bros. 2, at least the American version. That means that one lonely Toad has the ability to save Kingdoms, including the Flower one.
Even the leader of the realm herself, Princess Peach, has recently stopped being a damsel in distress and will now put any enemy of the Kingdom in their place. Prince Florian hardly compares in that regard, and considering his size, it’s hard to imagine him playable even in the next rendition of Mario Party.
A deciding factor for many is that the savior of the Flower Kingdom, at least when looking at the playable cast, will be from the Mushroom Kingdom (or from Sarasaland; shout out to the Daisy players out there). But the canonical savior can only be one, and the real deciding factor ends there.
The Deciding Factor
The undisputed hero of the franchise (and the one with his name on it) is what tips the scales in the Mushroom Kingdom’s favor. While you can choose to play as many characters, the canonical hero will always be Mario. He’s the one capable of the impossible feats needed to defeat Bowser time and time again, making him a super weapon of his own.
It’s worth noting that if you’re just thinking about the strongest Kingdom out of all, it will likely be Bowser’s Kingdom. He has the strengths mentioned for all the other realms and more; he has a trained army, loyal soldiers, and his individual might count as an army of its own. The main reason he can never reach the top spot is because Mario is always there to stop his plans.
Mario and his brother will always aim for peace, but should a conflict of interest arise between Peach and any other realm, you can bet your Flower Coins that Mario will side with her. So no matter how you slice it, the Mushroom Kingdom remains as the strongest one of all.
NEXT: Super Mario Wonder: All New Power-Ups Explained