Happy Silver Anniversary! Super Mario, the biggest game series of all time, is 25 years-old today. And here are 25 snippets of Mario trivia is what we jammed together to commemorates and celebrate! Now it’s Mario time! Throw on a pair of blue dungarees and adopt an inaccurate Italian accent!
1. Shigeru Miyamoto is the creator of Mario. It appeared in the game designer's first ever title, Donkey Kong, the 1981 arcade platformer. It was 1977 when Miyamoto was hired as a graphic artist by Nintendo, and after several of the company's early coin-ops had failed to make an impression on the lucrative arcade market, he was given the task of designing a game. Hardware behind an older arcade title, Radar Scope, is what they use to create Donkey Kong, but it sunk in the US without a trace. An ape and rolling barrels gives Miyamoto and the whole team a huge success after deciding to ditch the shooting theme.
Gameplay from Dr. Mario in 1990.
2. Originally, Mario was a carpenter and not a plumber. He appeared also as a doctor in Dr Mario, the 1990 puzzle and its sequels.
3. Jumpman was the original name of Mario. But in time for the American release of the game, Nintendo's US office was trying to think of a better name, that was the time when they were interrupted by their landlord Mario Segale, and yes, the heroin was then named after him!
4. Mario’s look was all about the graphical limitations of the hardware during that time, no photoshop and limited program editors. During that time, realistic hair was so difficult to portray so he has a hat instead, to accentuate his nose, they put on a mustache, and to make his arm movements more noticeable, and they gave him some dungarees. Mario wears a brown shirt below his overalls in Super Mario Bros – but it was swiftly abandoned.
The game and watch (an electronic handheld game) edition of Donkey Kong Jr from 1982.
5. Mario became antagonist also. Yes, it was in Donkey Kong Jr, the 1982 sequel to Donkey Kong, and it is the only game in which Mario officially stars as the opponent. Poor Donkey Kong was trapped by bad Mario in a cage and must be rescued by the ape's son. Mario gets a specially twirled moustache in the game's promotional material; this is for highlighting his evil nature.
6. Mario made his first appearance in a sports sim in the 1984 Nintendo Entertainment System game Golf. Well, sort of. The original character merely looks a lot liked Mario, while Mario was features as a golfer in the later NES Open Tournament Golf. He appears wearing red and white striped overalls with a blue starry shirt in the cover. Such an awesome outfit!
7. Bowser, the main antagonist of the Super Mario Bros series, becomes a good guy too. It was in the 1996 title Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars, Bowser helps Mario in this game.
8. Miyamoto’s sketch of Bowser was originally an ox, but Yoichi Kotabe, an animator, misinterpreted Miyamoto’s drawings into a turtle. They worked together on the latter idea and they have given birth to the Bowser we know today. Of course, Bowser is definitely a turtle, and not a dragon as assumed by others.
9. Luigi was first introduced in the Mario Bros., a 1983 arcade platformer, it preceded the Super Mario Bros and was designed by Miyamoto and Game Boy-creator Gunpei Yokoi. The game was set in the New York sewer system.
10. 40.24 million copies have been sold for the first Super Mario Bros game, although that figure was distorted by the fact that it was packed with the Nintendo Entertainment System console. Wii Sports has been pushed it into second place on 41.65 million units. However, it was until recently, the game was considered the best-selling game of all time.
11. Mushroom World is Miyamoto's long-running and ever-evolving fantasy kingdom and Super Mario Bros was the first game to be set in this fantasy world. Mario grows in size and ability when he 'eats' a super mushroom. Miyamoto claims that the idea came from enchanted foodstuffs in myths and folklore and denied that he was influenced by Alice in Wonderland.
Mario and Wario have a long running feud since Wario's introduction in SML2.
12. Wario, the mischievous version of Mario was first appeared as a nemesis in the Game Boy title, Super Mario Land 2. Hiroji Kiyotake, who also created “Samus Aran, the heroine of the Metroid series” designed Wario and blends Mario with the Japanese adjective 'warui' meaning evil to come up with the character.
13. Koji Kondo, the Nintendo composer, provided the iconic soundtrack to Super Mario Bros. ‘Ground Theme’ as the main theme is one of the most recognizable pieces ever recorded for game music. For 125 weeks, the tune remained in the Billboard ringtone charts and has been performed by live orchestras in concerts. (More here.)
14. In support to the Famicom Disk System, a new add-on for Japanese version of the Nintendo Entertainment System, the original Super Mario Bros 2 was released and designed as a tougher version of the first game. Since it was considered too difficult for Western release, instead, the US and Europe got the Yume Kojo: Doki Doki Panic, a tweaked version of the 1987 game. In a sort of digital cut-and-shut job, the game was hastily refitted with Mario characters. The genuine SMB2 was finally released as part of the Super Mario All-Stars collection in the West, year 1993 entitlí, Super Mario Bros: the Lost Levels.
15. In early nineties, a Q Score survey revealed that Mario was more recognizable than Mickey Mouse to American children.
16. In a climatic scene of an appalling 1989 movie, The Wizard had some footage from Super Mario Bros 3 that was about an emotionally withdrawn gaming champion. The movie effectively acted as an advert for the release of the game since this was also the first chance that US Nintendo fanatics would get to see the game.
17. Inspired by an incident in Miyamoto’s childhood, a neighbour's dog chased the terrified genius before the dog was yanked back to its chain that the new Chain Chomp enemies in Super Mario Bros 3 come up. It looks like steel black balls with razor sharp teeth.
18. Elsewhere, inspired by a mythological being known as nurikabe, a’wall ghost’ that misdirects or impedes travelers at night, the Whomp characters come upon that can be seen from Super Mario 64.
19. Shown at the Nintendo Space World event 2000, the Wii hit Super Mario Galaxy was inspired by a tech demo known as Super Mario 128. It showed dozens of teeny Marios that walked around on a slightly curved surface. During the Gamecube era, Yoshiaki Koizumi, Galaxy designer, thought that an interesting environment for Mario will composed of entirely spherical levels, but Miyamoto was apparently unconvinced at first. But of course, the project was green lit for Wii after Koizumi showed off several test levels.
20. As Hollywood’s first attempt to create a video game tie in, they’ve come up with the 1993 movie, Super Mario Bros starring actors Bob Hoskins and Dennis Hopper. It was considered as a critical and commercial failure that conspired to give the game a darker and more adult veneer. Apparently, Dustin Hoffman’s children were fans of the game that gives him a mere interest in the role of Mario
21. The American voice actor Charles Martinet is the one who was voicing Mario since 1995 that also voices Wario and Luigi.
22. In Super Mario 64, the versions of the ghostly Boo enemies are actually based on the wife of Takashi Tezuka, the game's co-designer. He got an idea of putting his wife, who is normally very quiet, in the game. But then, she became upset whenever Tezuka spent more time in his work. So, in the game, her character will shrink whenever Mario looks at her, but then will grow large and menacing when Mario turns away.
23. The Game Boy title Super Mario Land was released in 1989 and the first major Mario game to be developed without Miyamoto. The game shifted over 18 million copies and producer Gunpei Yokoi didn't do too badly. It also introduces a new female character that replaced Mario’s love interest, Princess Peach, it was named Princess Daisy.
"With over 201 million copies sold, the Super Mario series is the
best-selling gaming franchise in history – across all genres. While the last 28
years have seen the intrepid Mario engaging in a wide variety of activities –
including role-playing, medicine and several sports – the series remains firmly
rooted in the 2D platforming that first brought it success with the original
Donkey Kong in 1981."
Source: Featured in Guinness World Records Gamer's Edition 2010. (Figures were correct at time of writing)
24. Boasting global sales of over 240 million units, the Super Mario bros series is in the Guinness Book of Records as the most successful gaming franchise of all time.
25. It is in over 200 video games that Mario has appeared.