Nintendo is celebrating the 25th Anniversary of Super Mario Bros. The more famous of the brothers Mario is an international star and the undisputed king of video games. Mario has been around as long as me and I have played most of the games featuring him and his crew over the years. Mario is a gaming legend and one of the many creations of legendary Japanese video game designer and producer Shigeru Miyamoto.
Who would have thought that a an Italian-American plumber who lives in the Mushroom Kingdom with a main antagonist named Bowser who keeps kidnapping a Princess leaving the hero Mario to save her would turn out to be so popular? If you have never played a Mario game in your life you have not lived but you can’t saw you have never heard of him. In honor of the 25th anniversary of the release of Super Mario Bros, Nintendo of Japan has produced the video embedded below showing the history of everyone’s favorite super plumber.
Interesting facts about Super Mario
- Mario was originally a carpenter, not a plumber. He’s also appeared as a doctor in the 1990 puzzle title Dr Mario and its sequels.
- The naughty version of Mario – Wario was designed by Hiroji Kiyotake, who also created Samus Aran (my video game wife). Wario’s name blends Mario with the Japanese adjective ‘warui’ meaning evil.
- Nintendo composer Koji Kondo provided the iconic soundtrack to Super Mario Bros. The main theme, known as ‘Ground Theme’, is one of the most recognisable pieces of game music ever recorded. The tune remained in the Billboard ringtone charts for 125 weeks and has been performed in concert by live orchestras.
- A Q Score survey in the early nineties revealed that Mario was more recognisable to American children than Mickey Mouse.
- The new Chain Chomp enemies in Super Mario Bros 3 look like steel black balls with razor sharp teeth. They were inspired by an incident in Miyamoto’s childhood when a neighbour’s dog chased the terrified genius, before it was yanked back by its chain.
- The 1993 movie, Super Mario Bros, was Hollywood’s first attempt to create a video game tie-in. Starring Bob Hoskins and Dennis Hopper it was a critical and commercial failure, which conspired to give the game a darker, more adult veneer.
- The Super Mario bros series is in the Guinness Book of Records as the most successful gaming franchise of all time. It now boasts global sales of over 240 million units.
- Mario has appeared in over 200 video games.
- Bowser was originally sketched as an ox by Miyamoto, but his drawings were misinterpreted by animator Yoichi Kotabe as a turtle.
- Mario was originally known as Jumpman. However, when Nintendo’s US office were trying to think of a better name in time for the American release of the game, they were interrupted by their landlord Mario Segale, after whom they christened the character.
Favourite Mario Game and links
Which Mario game is your favourite? Mine has to be Super Mario Bros 3 as I have the fondest memories growing up playing that game for hours. Check out the official Super Mario Bros 25th Anniversary webpages here (English) and here (Japanese). Super Mario bros fact source here.