Did you know that the classic video game franchise Super Mario has a lot of interesting history and fun facts? Here are seven of them – let’s see if you learn anything new today:
Before Mario became Mario, the character was called Jumpman
Yep, that's right – the character we now know as Mario was originally named Jumpman.
Created by legendary game designer Shigeru Miyamoto, the character was designed as the protagonist for the 1981 arcade game Donkey Kong. It was a success, and Jumpman quickly became a popular video game character.
It wasn’t until Mario Segale, who was the landlord for Nintendo’s US office, complained about overdue rent. It’s said that after that incident, the developers renamed Jumpman ‘Super Mario’.
Mario was a carpenter, not a plumber
Back when Mario first appeared in Donkey Kong, the game was set on a construction site. So, to match the game design, they made Mario a carpenter.
Later when he appeared again in Super Mario Bros, the game was all about exploring the underground and traveling through pipes. That's why they gave him a career change and made him a plumber.
Many Nintendo characters are voiced by the same person
“It’s-a-me, Mario!” This signature catchphrase just would not be the same without the voice of Charles Martinet.
Aside from being the voice behind Mario, Martinet voices many of the major characters including Luigi, Wario, Waluigi, Baby Mario, Baby Luigi, Bay Wario and even some of the other male characters in the franchise.
In fact, let’s throw Goombas, Bob-ombs, Monty Moles, Whomps, and Thomps into the list since they use pitch-shifted versions of Mario’s voice samples from Super Mario 64.
Wario’s name has a meaning in Japanese
In the Game Boy classic, Super Mario Land 2, a mischievous character named Wario made his debut as Mario’s nemesis.
But what’s interesting is that Wario’s name is actually a clever mashup of “Mario” and the Japanese word “warui,” which translates to “bad” or “evil.”
Boo was inspired by a Nintendo designer’s wife
Boo, easily recognizable with its white, round ghostly appearance and devious smile, is the shy but annoying ghost haunting Mario players for the longest time.
It has an odd behavior of growing large and menacing when unobserved by Mario, but immediately shrinks when Mario looks at it.
Where did the idea come from? According to Miyamoto, it was the wife of Nintendo designer Takashi Tezuka.
“Mr Tezuka got an idea about putting his wife in the game,” Miyamoto once told Nintendo Power. “His wife is very quiet normally, but one day she exploded, maddened by all the time he spent at work.”
Super Mario Bros is one of the best-selling video games of all time
Okay, you probably knew this already. But we just had to say it again.
Since its release in 1985, the game has sold more than 40 million copies worldwide, making it one of the best-selling video games in history.
The success of Super Mario Bros led to a major surge in the popularity of video games as a form of entertainment, and it helped to establish Nintendo as one of the leading companies in the video game industry.
The game's iconic characters, levels, and music have become ingrained in popular culture, and its influence can be seen in countless other video games and media.
Its enduring popularity has led to numerous remakes, re-releases, and spin-offs, ensuring that Mario and his friends will continue to be beloved by gamers for generations to come.
Have you watched The Super Mario Bros. Movie yet?
Together with his iconic red hat, blue overalls, and signature mustache – Mario continues to be one of the most successful game characters worldwide and even on the big screens!
In the year 2023, "The Super Mario Bros. Movie," an animated flick inspired by the popular video game, had an extraordinary debut during the Easter holiday, raking in an astonishing $204.6 million domestically and $377 million globally.
The film stars a talented voice cast, including Chris Pratt as Mario, Anya Taylor-Joy as Princess Peach, Charlie Day as Luigi, Jack Black as Bowser, and more.
Super Mario, super fun!