Did it ever happened to you that you thought one idea was cool, creative and totally unexpected, and then later you found out that the person who had that idea not necessarily created that, that the person just got some reference you didn't have, being cultural, from family ou aliens? It is quite common, specially with Japanese videogames, where that monster, that quest of that RPG, or a great deal of pokémons, came from local legends e tales.
In Super Mario, those iconic red mushrooms that make you grow, according to the legend, may have being based in a mushroom called Amanita Muscaria, that is present in Japan and other places of the world and that is known to cause hallucinations that give people the impression that they are growing or shrinking. In fact, this is one of those cases where a image talks more than words. Take a look and tell me if it makes you remember something.
It really does, no? The legend also says that another possible origin could be the book Alice in Wonderland, where miss Alice, change her size because of a certain mushroom. There is also some of those people who reads more than me, you and the whole world, that defend the idea that it all comes from even before, from other stories from the middle ages and even before that.
Officially Nintendo says these are just coincidences and that their most famous hero who promote family values is not a junkie, of course. What ever the truth the legends may contain or not, if this mushroom and its effects inspired or not what we see in the game, the most interesting part is to see that things have in one way or another come from some place and it doesn't take the merit of the person who can extrapolate the obvious, catching its own references and things to make something that end up being unique. Right?