Every Bowser level in Super Mario 64 ends in a boss battle where you fling the giant Koopa onto spikes for massive damage. During this heroic act, it sounds like Mario says, “So long, gay Bowser” — but that iconic misheard line is no longer present in the version of the game that appears in Super Mario 3D All-Stars on Nintendo Switch.
To be clear, Mario never actually calls Bowser gay. Most people know that the actual line is likely “so long, King Bowser.” But nobody really cares, because it’s funnier to imagine that the Nintendo 64 compression isn’t mangling Charles Martinet’s voice acting. There is a lot of fan nostalgia and love for the “gay Bowser” line that it’s pretty much a meme. This might explain why everyone seemed to recoil in horror and disappointment when Nintendo shared new Super Mario 64 footage on social media hailing from its new collection. Here, Mario can be heard saying “buh-bye!” instead:
As Kotaku explains, this tweak is likely because the emulated version of Super Mario 64 in Super Mario 3D All-Stars is based on Super Mario 64 Shindou Pak Taiou Version, an updated version of the game released in Japan in 1997. In Japan, Bowser isn’t known as King Koopa, so it doesn’t make sense for Mario to bid him adieu that way.
The internet, in turn, is heartbroken. The top responses to the tweet are proverbially pouring one out for the revisionist take on one of gaming’s most adored lines.
Those who aren’t lamenting this sacrilegious change say that we should cheer up, because actually, Mario’s new line means Bowser is now bisexual.
Former gay icon Bowser did not respond in time for press. Presumably, he is as torn up about this as we are.