Is the Mario movie trailer supposed to look like this Diablo 2 cinematic?

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A YouTuber named Zaptagious (opens in new tab) noticed something funny about the debut trailer for the upcoming Mario movie (opens in new tab) (as spotted by WoWHead (opens in new tab)). Lined up with the intro cinematic for Diablo 2: Lord of Destruction, the clips share pretty much all the same beats. 

Both videos have that stock barbarian army at the gates thing going on, with an evil overlord meeting with a portly and defiant emissary. Lord of Destruction commences with the Sescheron emissary stepping out of the city to see Baal's massing army, while Mario starts with the Koopa army perspective bearing down on a penguin city straight out of Frozen. Remastered or original, take your pick⁠— the resemblance both versions of the Diablo 2 cinematic is uncanny.

After starting from opposite perspectives of the same sort of scene, Mario and Diablo pretty much match each other beat-for-beat with some timing differences. You get the squat little city rep making threats he can't back up, the big bad boy says something cheeky and nasty in response, then all hell gets let loose on the poor inhabitants of the city.

I gotta say, I was way more bummed about those penguin guys eating it. They were really cute, while the warrior-city of Sescheron is kinda just whatever.

Rather than implying that the fine folks at Illumination were cribbing off a 21-year-old PC ARPG specifically, I think this instead just proves how well it parodies a stock fantasy movie scene. I mean, you could picture this exact thing happening in Troy, Kingdom of Heaven, Lord of the Rings, the WoW movie, you name it. The extent to which this Mario scene parallels the notoriously grimdark Diablo is just especially delicious.

Associate Editor

Ted has been thinking about PC games and bothering anyone who would listen with his thoughts on them ever since he booted up his sister's copy of Neverwinter Nights on the family computer. He is obsessed with all things CRPG and CRPG-adjacent, but has also covered esports, modding, and rare game collecting. When he's not playing or writing about games, you can find Ted lifting weights on his back porch.