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Mario's symbol
Game series Donkey Kong and Mario
First game Donkey Kong (1981)
Created by Shigeru Miyamoto
Designed by Shigeru Miyamoto (Donkey Kong)
Yoichi Kotabe (Super Mario Bros. series)
Shigefumi Hino (Super Mario World)
Voiced by (English) Video games
Ronald B. Ruben (1991–1997)
Mark Graue (1994)
Charles Martinet (1992–present)
Peter Cullen (1983–1985)
"Captain" Lou Albano (1989–1990)
Walker Boone (1990–1991)
Voiced by (Japanese) Video games
Tōru Furuya (1986)
Live action actor(s) "Captain" Lou Albano (The Super Mario Bros. Super Show!)
Bob Hoskins (Super Mario Bros. movie)
Takashi Okamura (Hot Mario Bros. advertising)

Mario Mario (マリオ マリオ) is a video game character made by Nintendo. He is an Italian plumber who lives in the Mushroom Kingdom. The character was created and designed by Japanese game designer Shigeru Miyamoto. Mario is the main mascot of Nintendo. He has been in more than 200 games by the company, which are usually designed for people of all ages.

In most of the Mario games, he tries to stop Bowser from not kidnapping Princess Peach. He is helped by his brother Luigi in most games. He has other enemies like Donkey Kong, Waluigi, and Wario, but they are friends in some spinoffs.

Mario is one of the most famous video game characters.[1] Over 200 million Mario games have been sold all over the world.[2]

Concept and creation[change | change source]

Mario first appeared in the arcade game Donkey Kong as a carpenter named Jumpman.[3][4] In Japan, he had the name "Mr. Jump." Later, he was named "Mario," after Mario Segale, who was a lot like Mario. Mario Segale owned the land where Nintendo of America's office was built.[5]

Mario later appeared with his younger brother Luigi in an arcade game called Mario Bros. The game Super Mario Bros. was released at the same time as the Nintendo Entertainment System. Super Mario Bros. was a very well liked game, along with Super Mario Bros. 3 and Legend Of Zelda.

At that time, video games were hard to make and Nintendo could not make Mario move without making his arms "disappear". Changing his clothes fixed it. They also did not have the space to give him a mouth or ears. They also could not make hair on his head. To fix this, the makers of the game gave Mario a moustache, sideburns, and a cap so it would not look like he was bald. Mario's creator, Shigeru Miyamoto, said that he gave Mario a cap, because it is hard for him to draw hair.[6] His voice is made by Charles Martinet, who also voices Luigi, Wario, Waluigi and other characters like Toadsworth.[7]

Mario is Nintendo's mascot (the face of the company). Mario's rival was Sega's mascot, Sonic the Hedgehog. Sonic the Hedgehog first appeared in 1991. At first, Sega and Nintendo competed with each other. But then, in Sonic Adventure 2: Battle, Sega made a game for a Nintendo video game console.[8] Mario and Sonic appeared together in a sports game, Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games, and again in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U, and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.

Playable appearances (1981-present)[change | change source]

Appearances[change | change source]

Mario has been seen in many games, and is seen in games that are not Mario games, like Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!! where he is a referee. He is also a character you can play as in the Super Smash Bros. series. Mario has appeared as a secret character which any player can play as in the GameCube version of NBA Street V3 and SSX on Tour, which are both from Electronic Arts. In some games, he only makes very small appearances: in both The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past and The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, a picture of Mario can be seen, and in Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes small Mario and Yoshi statues can be seen.

After the Game & Watch game Mario Bombs Away, the first Mario non-platformer game, Dr. Mario, was sold in 1990. There are two educational Mario games that have been made. They are called Mario Paint, which was sold in 1992 for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System, and Mario Pinball Land for the Game Boy Advance. Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars was released in 1996 for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. It is the first Mario role-playing game. Since then, other Mario role-playing games have been released, such as Paper Mario for the Nintendo 64; and Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga for the Game Boy Advance. Both of these games were made into their own series later on.

There have been more series based on the original Mario series. The Mario Kart series' first game was Super Mario Kart for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. The Mario Kart series is the most successful racing video game series of all time.[9][10][11][12][13] The Mario Kart series is a type of Mario sports game. There have been other Mario sports games like Mario Golf and Mario Tennis, and the baseball and soccer games Mario Superstar Baseball and Super Mario Strikers. In 1999, the Mario Party series started on the Nintendo 64.

There has been a few TV shows and a movie for the Mario series. The name of the first TV show is The Super Mario Bros. Super Show! and the movie is called Super Mario Bros.. The TV show starred "Captain" Lou Albano as Mario, and the movie starred Bob Hoskins as Mario. There have also been Mario toys sold in some places.

Characteristics[change | change source]

Mario was first a 2D character but since technology has changed, Nintendo has remade Mario in 3D. He is a plumber who lives in the land of Mushroom Kingdom. He is the older, shorter brother of Luigi, and they are both plumbers. In the television series, Mario and Luigi are from Brooklyn, although Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island says he was born in the Mushroom Kingdom.

Physical appearance[change | change source]

Mario's looks have changed over the years although he has several staple features. He is a short, stubby man wearing a hat with an "M" on it, brown hair, black moustache, a very large nose, white gloves, and denim overalls. In most appearances, Mario wears a red hat and shirt with blue overalls. However, in the original Super Mario Bros. video game, Mario wears a brown shirt and red overalls.

Mario's clothes depend on the game he is in. For example, in the Super Mario Strikers soccer game, Mario wears a football kit instead of overalls, and in Super Mario Sunshine, a very sunshiny tropical game, he wears a red T-shirt and can also put on sunglasses and a Hawaiian-style shirt. In some games, Mario can turn into different forms, each with different clothes.

Personality[change | change source]

Mario is a kind-hearted and brave hero, with a love of pasta and pizza. People know Mario has a great, happy, personality since he has a high pitched, funny voice. Since Mario's Game Gallery, Charles Martinet has been his voice actor.[14] In the games, Mario speaks in English with a thick Italian accent. In other things like TV shows, he has a more Brooklyn-styled accent. Mario does not say much. He usually says: "Okey dokey!", "Woohoo!", "Let's a-go!", "It's-a me! Mario!", "Here we go", "Mama mia!" and more, though in sports games, he says things relevant to the sport, in Mario Golf he says "Fore!" for example. Mario hardly ever speaks properly in any game, leaving the talking to other characters. He does speak normally in the DiC animated cartoons and the anime series.

Occupation and hobbies[change | change source]

He only acts like a plumber in the games, Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga and the original Mario Bros., but pipes are always one way to get around. Mario was seen plumbing during the animated series. He knows a lot about tools and fixing pipes in the movie. In the first Donkey Kong games when Mario was called Jumpman, he was a carpenter.[15]

In the Dr. Mario games first seen in 1990, Mario is a doctor. In 2001, Mario appeared in Dr. Mario 64, an updated version of the original puzzle game. Dr. Mario appeared as an secret character in the Nintendo GameCube game Super Smash Bros. Melee, and in another newer version, Dr. Mario Virus Buster, for WiiWare. In the Game Boy game Mario's Picross, Mario is an archaeologist.

Mario usually saves Princess Peach (AKA Princess Toadstool), Princess Daisy and Pauline. And he usually has to defeat villains, like Bowser(AKA King Koopa in Japan) Most characters in the games know who he is because he acts like a hero, as shown in Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga, where they are called "superstars", or celebrities.[16]

In Mario vs. Donkey Kong 2: March of the Minis, it is said that Mario has a toy-making company that earns him money.

Relationships[change | change source]

Since his first game, Mario has to save the "damsel in distress" of the game. Originally, he had to rescue his girlfriend Pauline in Donkey Kong. Pauline was soon replaced by a new damsel-in-distress, Princess Peach, in Super Mario Bros. (she was first named "Princess Toadstool" or simply "the Princess" in English-speaking places until 1993, when Yoshi's Safari was sold, even though the name was not widely used until Super Mario 64 was sold three years later).[17] Pauline returned in the Game Boy remake of Donkey Kong in 1994, and later Mario vs. Donkey Kong 2: March of the Minis in 2006, although the character is now said to be "Mario's friend".[18]

Mario has rescued Princess Peach lots of times since Super Mario Bros.. In a role reversal, Peach rescues Mario in Super Princess Peach. Some people say the two could be a couple.[19][20]

Luigi is Mario's younger brother. He is usually a companion on many of Mario's adventures and the character whom players play as in two-player sessions of many of the video games. He sometimes acts like a "scaredy cat" who sets off to help Mario but instead needs help himself, though he has also had to rescue Mario occasionally as displayed in Mario is Missing! and Luigi's Mansion. Yoshi is another one of Mario's friends.

Mario rescued Princess Daisy in Super Mario Land for the Game Boy. In Super Smash Bros. Melee, the text explaining Princess Daisy's trophy states that "after her appearance in Mario Golf, some gossips portrayed her as Luigi's answer to Mario's Peach",[21] although Luigi and Daisy were previously paired as a romantic couple in the live-action Super Mario Bros movie.

Wario, Mario's evil counterpart was first seen in Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins. Though there is no clear relationship between the two, Wario was once referred to as Mario's cousin in Nintendo Power. Wario is designed to act, in a way, as an anti-Mario.[22]

Baby Mario[change | change source]

Baby Mario is Mario when he was a child. He first appeared in Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island, released in 1995 for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System, and has appeared in several titles since. Baby Mario has often appeared in Nintendo-sports titles, such as Mario Golf, Mario Tennis, Mario Superstar Baseball, Mario Kart: Double Dash!!, Mario Super Sluggers, and Mario Kart Wii. These games imply Mario and Baby Mario are separate characters, but those games are considered to be outside the continuity of the main Mario series. More recently, he has appeared in Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time, in which Baby Mario appeared via time travel along with Baby Luigi, Baby Peach, and Baby Bowser, which could explain the separation of the two characters. Like the older Mario, Baby Mario is also voiced by Charles Martinet.[23]

Abilities[change | change source]

During the development of Donkey Kong, Mario was known as "Jumpman". Jumping—both to access places and as an offensive move—is a common gameplay element in Mario games, especially the Super Mario Bros. series.

Mario's most commonly portrayed form of attack is jumping to stomp on the heads of enemies, first used in Mario Bros.. This jump-stomp move may entirely crush smaller enemies on the stage, and usually deals damage to larger ones, sometimes also causing secondary effects. This attack often enables Mario to knock the turtle-like Koopa Troopas into their shells, which can slide into and damage other enemies or Mario.

Subsequent games have elaborated on Mario's jumping-related abilities. Super Mario World added the ability to spin-jump, which allows Mario to break blocks under him. Later, the Game Boy version of Donkey Kong allows Mario to jump higher with many jumps, and perform a back-flip. In Super Mario 64, Mario has several jumping abilities, such as a sideways somersault, a "ground pound", which makes Mario hit the ground under him hard, and the "Wall Kick", which propels him upwards by kicking off walls.

Power-ups[change | change source]

Mario uses many items, which give him various powers. The one that shows up the most often is the "Super Mushroom", which allows Mario to grow to twice his size, becoming "Super Mario" (after the name of the series), and can take a hit before shrinking back down to "regular" Mario. If "Super Mario" collects a "Fire Flower", he will transform into "Fire Mario", who can throw fireballs at enemies. Picking up a "Star" makes it so nothing can hurt Mario for several seconds.

A common theme in the Mario series' power-ups is the fact that many items give Mario a semi-animal appearance, sometimes related to the item itself, for example Super Mario Bros. 3's Frog Suit, which turns Mario into a frog, and Super Mario Land 2's Power Carrot, which turns Mario into a rabbit. Other times the item may not be related to the power; for example, the Raccoon Leaf gives him raccoon ears, a tail, and the power of flight. Other power-ups are overall more useful; in Super Mario World, the Cape allows Mario to fly and glide, and a balloon in a later game in the series allows similar effects. New Super Mario Bros. introduced other types of Mushroom power-ups, such as the "Mega Mushroom", which causes Mario to grow to a screen-filling size and the "Mini Mushroom" that makes him shrink to a very small size. The Drill Mushroom in Super Mario Bros. Wonder allows the player to dig and dodge enemies go through walls and dig in ceilings to almost fly.

In Super Mario 64, Mario takes extra damage without when he is not wearing his hat. Different types of caps found in the game also give him powers of flight, invincibility, and invisibility. Along with these basic features, caps gave more practical abilities as well. For example, the Metal Cap allows Mario to sink to sea floors and the Invisibility cap allows him to walk through thin surfaces such as iron grates.

Super Mario Sunshine has several few power-ups with a water theme. He is granted a F.L.U.D.D. (Flash Liquidizing Ultra Dousing Device) pack that performs his main attack and squirts paint and enemies with water, named the Squirt Nozzle. He has three other expansion packs including the Hover Nozzle, which allows him to hover for short distances, the Turbo Nozzle, which allows him to move a lot faster and break through some barriers, and the Rocket Nozzle, which charges water up, then blasts Mario high into the air.

Super Mario Galaxy introduced several new power-ups along with a few older items re-done. These include the Bee Shroom, which allows him to float short distances and stick to certain surfaces; the Boo Shroom, which makes him capable of floating as well as traveling through walls; the Life Shroom, which gives him three more life wedges; the Rainbow Star, granting him brief invincibility; the Fire Flower, which appeared for the first time in a 3D game; and the Ice Flower, which allows him to turn water into solid ice so he can go to otherwise unreachable or deadly places. A hidden power-up is the Flight Star, which allows Mario to fly for a while.

Mario uses hammers in numerous games, such as Super Mario Bros. 3, the original Donkey Kong, and Super Mario RPG. Hammers are used to attack and for other things, like flicking switches and solving puzzles. He often picks up and throws various projectiles around him, however, starting in Super Mario Bros. 2. He tosses items such as vegetables, giant blocks and Bob-ombs.

In the Mario Kart series, there are a number of items to use. For example, a mushroom makes the characters go faster, and a Koopa shell knocks into other players to slow them down.

Reception and legacy[change | change source]

As Nintendo's mascot, many people think that Mario is the most famous video game character of all time.[4][6] The Mario series of video games has sold more than 200 million copies, making it the best selling game series of all time.[24] Mario was the first video game character to get a wax figure in the Hollywood Wax Museum in 2003. In 1990, a national survey showed that more American kids knew Mario than Mickey Mouse.[25] Mario has become a very famous person having been in many television shows, comic books, and in a movie. He has been on lunch boxes, T-shirts, magazines, commercials, in candy form, on Shampoo bottles, cereal, badges, and as a stuffed toy.[26] Nintendo of Japan made a 60-minute anime (Japanese cartoon) movie starring Mario and his friends in 1986, but this movie has never been shown or sold on DVD outside of Japan. The animated series The Super Mario Bros. Super Show! had a live-action series of episodes starring former WWF manager "Captain" Lou Albano as Mario and Danny Wells as Luigi. There was even a book series, the Nintendo Adventure Books. In 2005, Jonathan Mann even wrote an opera based on the character, and performed The Mario Opera at the California Institute of the Arts.

Bergsala, the distributor of Nintendo's products in the Nordic and the Baltic countries, is located at Marios Gata 21 (Mario's Street 21) in Kungsbacka, Sweden, named after Mario.[27]

Mario's legacy is recognized by Guinness World Records, who awarded the Nintendo Mascot and his games seven records in the Guinness World Records: Gamer's Edition 2008. These records include, "Best Selling Video Game Series of All Time", "First Movie Based on an Existing Video Game", and "Most Prolific Video Game Character", with Mario appearing in 116 distinct titles (not including remakes or re-releases).

In a poll conducted in 2008, Mario was voted as the most popular video game character in Japan.

In popular culture[change | change source]

[28] Former NHL hockey player, Mario Lemieux was given the nickname "Super Mario" by the media during his career. Mario Williams, the #1 draft pick in the 2006 NFL Draft, was also given the nickname "Super Mario", as was pro-cyclist, Mario Cipollini. German international footballer Mario Basler was affectionately referred to as "Super Mario" by fans and the media. Another sportsman who received this nickname was the Brazilian soccer player Mário Jardel, famous for his jumps and headers.

References[change | change source]

  1. "The History of Mario". Retrieved 23 August 2008.
  2. "The Sims game sales top 100 million". CBC.ca. 17 April 2008. Retrieved 8 December 2008.
  3. "'Super Mario Bros.' debuted 35 years ago — here's how Mario accidentally became a gaming superstar". CNBC. 13 September 2018.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Orlando, Greg (15 May 2007). "Console Portraits: A 40-Year Pictorial History of Gaming". Wired News. Retrieved 23 August 2008.
  5. Silverman, Ben (28 September 2007). "The Top 10 Best-Selling Game Franchises". Yahoo! Games. Archived from the original on 10 August 2009. Retrieved 23 August 2008.
  6. 6.0 6.1 "Nintendo's Shining Star: The History of Mario". Gamecubicle. Retrieved 23 August 2008.
  7. "Charles Martinet Down Under". N-Sider. Archived from the original on 6 November 2015. Retrieved 12 November 2006.
  8. "A Rivalry Ends: Nintendo and Sega, Mario and Sonic". Gamecubicle. Retrieved 23 August 2008.
  9. "All Time Top 20 Best Selling Games". 23 May 2005. Archived from the original on 21 February 2006. Retrieved 23 August 2008.
  10. "Japan vs. US Sales". IGN. 30 November 1999. Archived from the original on 11 November 2020. Retrieved 23 August 2008.
  11. "Japan Platinum Game Chart". The Magic Box. Archived from the original on 13 December 2007. Retrieved 23 August 2008.
  12. "Nintendo of America 2004 Annual Report" (PDF). Nintendo. 31 March 2004. p. 42. Retrieved 23 August 2008.
  13. Casamassina, Matt (25 July 2007). "Nintendo Sales Update". IGN. Archived from the original on 22 August 2012. Retrieved 23 August 2008.
  14. "Charles Martinet". N-Sider. Archived from the original on 15 November 2006. Retrieved 23 August 2008.
  15. "Nintendo - Corporate: About Nintendo Worldwide". Nintendo. 2007. Retrieved 2 May 2008.
  16. "Mario and Luigi: Superstar Saga". Nintendo.
  17. "Super Mario 64". The Mushroom Kingdom. Retrieved 23 August 2008.
  18. "Mario vs. DK 2: March of the Minis". Yahoo! Games. Archived from the original on 27 September 2011. Retrieved 23 August 2008.
  19. "Mariopedia — Mario". The Mushroom Kingdom. Retrieved 23 August 2008.
  20. "Mariopedia — Bowser". The Mushroom Kingdom. Retrieved 23 August 2008.
  21. HAL Laboratory (3 December 2001). Super Smash Bros. Melee. Vol. Nintendo GameCube. Nintendo.
  22. "Mariopedia — Wario". The Mushroom Kingdom. Retrieved 23 August 2008.
  23. "Charles Martinet: Voice Over". Retrieved 16 March 2008. and acts similar to his older counterpart.
  24. McLaughlin, Rus (8 November 2007). "IGN Presents The History of Super Mario Bros". IGN. p. 1. Archived from the original on 23 July 2008. Retrieved 23 August 2008.
  25. "Mickey Mouse". Archived from the original on 29 January 2009. Retrieved 12 November 2006.
  26. "Nintendo's Shining Star: The History of Mario". GameCubicle. Retrieved 23 August 2008.
  27. "Bergsala AB, Contact page". Retrieved 9 September 2008.
  28. Kohler, Chris. "Behind the Mario Maestro's Music". Wired.

Other websites[change | change source]