Mario Edit

Mario is a fictional character in his eponymous video game series, created by video game designer Shigeru Miyamoto. Serving as Nintendo's mascot and the main protagonist of the series, Mario has appeared in over 200 video games since his creation. Though originally only appearing in platform games, starting with Donkey Kong, Mario currently appears in video game genres such as racing, puzzle, role-playing, fighting, and sports.

Mario is depicted as a short, pudgy, Italian plumber who lives in the Mushroom Kingdom. He repeatedly stops Bowser's numerous plans to kidnap Princess Peach and subjugate the Mushroom Kingdom. He also has other enemies and rivals, including Donkey Kong and Wario. Since 1995, Mario has been voiced by Charles Martinet.

As Nintendo's mascot, Mario is one of the most famous characters in video game history, and his image is commonly associated with video games. Mario games, as a whole, have sold more than 210 million units, making the Mario series the best-selling video game series of all time. Outside platform games, he has appeared in video games of other genres, including the Mario Kart racing series, sports games, such as the Mario Tennis and Mario Golf series, and role-playing games such as Paper Mario. He has also inspired television shows, film, comics, and a line of licensed merchandise.

Series Mario
First game Donkey Kong (1981)
Created by Shigeru Miyamoto
Designed by Shigeru Miyamoto (Donkey Kong)
Yōichi Kotabe (Super Mario Bros. series)
Shigefumi Hino (Super Mario World)
Voiced by (English) Peter Cullen (Saturday Supercade)
"Captain" Lou Albano (The Super Mario Bros. Super Show!)
Walker Boone (The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3, Super Mario World TV series)
Ronald B. Ruben (Mario Teaches Typing)
Mark Graue (Hotel Mario)
Charles Martinet (video games, 1995-present)
Voiced by (Japanese) Tōru Furuya (Original video animations and Satellaview games)
Takeshi Aono (Mario Paint commercial)
Kōsei Tomita (Japanese dub of the Super Mario Bros. film)
Charles Martinet (video games, 1995-present)
Live action actor(s) "Captain" Lou Albano (The Super Mario Bros. Super Show!)
Bob Hoskins (Super Mario Bros. film)
Gorō Inagaki (2003 "Hot Mario" commercial)
Takashi Okamura (2005-2006 "Hot Mario Bros." commercials)

Conception and creation Edit

Mario was created by Shigeru Miyamoto in his attempts to produce a best-selling video game for Nintendo, after previous titles, such as Sheriff, had not achieved the same success as other titles such as Pac-Man. Originally, Miyamoto wanted to create a video game that used the characters Popeye, Bluto, and Olive Oyl. However, he was not allowed to use the characters, and ended up making Jumpman (later known as Mario), Donkey Kong, and Pauline. In the early stages of the game, Mario was unable to jump, and the focus was to escape a maze. However, Miyamoto added in that ability, saying "If you had a barrel rolling towards you, what would you do?".

Mario's name was originally "Mr. Video", and he was to be used in every video game Miyamoto developed. This idea was inspired by manga artists such as Osamu Tezuka and Fujio Akatsuka, who feature several characters across multiple mangas, as well as director Alfred Hitchcock, who appears in most of his own films. During localization of the game for American audiences, Nintendo's warehouse landlord Mario Segale confronted Nintendo's Minoru Arakawa, demanding back rent. Following a heated argument in which the Nintendo employees eventually convinced Segale he would be paid, they opted to name the character in the game Mario after him. Miyamoto commenting that if he had named him Mr. Video, he likely would have "disappeared off the face of the Earth". Mario's profession was chosen to be carpenter in an effort to reflect that as a character he was an ordinary hard worker; the profession was also intended to make it easier for players to identify with the character. After a colleague suggested that Mario more resembled a plumber, Miyamoto changed his profession accordingly and developed Mario Bros., featuring the character in the sewers of New York City.

Due to the graphical limitations of arcade hardware at the time, Miyamoto clothed the character in bright red overalls and a blue shirt to contrast against each other and the background, adding white gloves to distinguish the character's arms on the screen as they swung back and forth. A cap was added to let Miyamoto avoid drawing the character's hairstyle, as well as to circumvent issues involved with animating his hair as he jumped. To make him appear human onscreen despite his small size they gave Mario a large nose, and added a mustache to avoid drawing a mouth due to the difficulty of illustrating facial expressions at that size.

Miyamoto developed Mario with the idea of using him as a "go to" character that could be put in any title as needed, albeit in cameo appearances as at the time he was not expecting Mario to become popular. To this end he originally called the character "Mr. Video", comparing his intent to have Mario appear in later games to the cameos done by Alfred Hitchcock within his films. Over time, Mario's appearance has become more defined; both a red "M" in a white circle on the front of his hat and gold buttons on his overalls have been added. Miyamoto attributed this process to the different development teams and artists for each game as well as advances in technology as time has gone on. Nintendo has never revealed Mario's full name, stating only that it was not "Mario Mario" despite the implication of the Mario Bros. series' title, and its use in the film.

Appearances Edit

1981–1990 Edit

Mario debuted as "Jumpman" in the arcade game Donkey Kong in 1981. He is shown as a carpenter that has a pet ape. The carpenter mistreats the ape, so Donkey Kong escapes and kidnaps Jumpman's girlfriend, originally known as the Lady, but later named Pauline. The player must take the role of Jumpman and rescue the girl. He was first named "Mario" in the arcade game Donkey Kong Junior in 1982, the only game in which he has ever been portrayed as an antagonist. In the 1983 arcade game Mario Bros. Mario and his younger brother Luigi are portrayed as Italian-American plumbers, who have to defeat creatures that have been coming from the sewers below New York.

In Super Mario Bros. for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES), Mario saves Princess Toadstool (later known as Princess Peach) of the Mushroom Kingdom from King Koopa. To save Princess Toadstool, Mario conquers the eight worlds of the Mushroom Kingdom by going to the castle in each to defeat a minion of King Koopa. To reach each castle, Mario battles through three "sub-worlds" by defeating or avoiding King Koopa's henchmen. If Mario successfully fights his way through the castle and defeats the minion, a Mushroom Retainer is freed. Inside the eighth castle, Mario has a final fight with King Koopa and frees Princess Toadstool. Later, in Super Mario Bros. 2, the player could choose between Mario and his friends Luigi, Toad, or Princess Peach. Each character possesses unique abilities, with Mario being the most well-rounded. In Super Mario Bros. 3 Mario embarks on a quest to save the rulers of seven kingdoms from Bowser and his children, the Koopalings and travel across eight worlds to restore order to the Mushroom World and rescue Princess Peach. Mario is introduced to new power-ups that augment his abilities.

1989–1992 Edit

In Super Mario Land a mysterious alien named Tatanga appears and hypnotizes the inhabitants of Sarasaland. He kidnaps Princess Daisy in order to marry her. Mario then sets out to rescue her from Tatanga, traveling through the four geographical areas of Sarasaland defeating his minions along the way. He finally corners Tatanga in the skies of the Chai kingdom, bringing down his alien warship and rescuing Daisy. Mario also stars in a puzzle game called Dr. Mario, released in 1990. In this game, Dr. Mario throws vitamins that the player must align in order to destroy the viruses that populate the playing field.

In Super Mario World the story begins with Mario and Luigi taking Princess Peach for a vacation in Dinosaur World sometime after the events of Super Mario Bros. 3; Peach is kidnapped by Bowser, and needs to be rescued by Mario and Luigi. In Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins, which takes place immediately after the original Super Mario Land, Wario has put an evil spell over Mario Land while Mario was away in Sarasaland, renaming the area Wario Land. The inhabitants are now brainwashed into thinking that Wario is their master and Mario is their enemy. Wario's motive behind this sudden attack was to take control over Mario's castle in order to have a palace of his own. In order to stop Wario, Mario must find the 6 Golden Coins throughout Mario Land to gain access to his castle.

1995–2002 Edit

In Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island, a stork carries two babies across the sea, but the evil Magikoopa Kamek emerges, and steals Baby Luigi, and Baby Mario falls onto an island in the middle of the sea, called Yoshi's Island, home to Yoshis. He lands on a green Yoshi, and Mario and the rest of the Yoshi gang must journey through the game's six worlds to rescue Baby Luigi and the stork back from Baby Bowser and Kamek.Mario made his 3D debut in Super Mario 64. The story begins with a letter from Princess Peach inviting Mario to come to her castle for a cake she has baked for him; however, when he arrives, Mario discovers that Bowser has invaded the castle and imprisoned the princess and her servants within it using the power of the castle's 120 Power Stars. Many of the castle's paintings are portals to other worlds, in which Bowser's minions keep watch over the stars. Mario searches the castle for these portals to enter the worlds and recover the stars. He gains access to more rooms as he recovers more stars, and has to traverse three obstacle courses leading to a battle with Bowser. Defeating Bowser the first two times earns Mario a key for opening another level of the castle, while the final battle releases Peach, who rewards Mario by baking the cake that she had promised him.

In Super Mario Sunshine, Mario, Toadsworth, and Princess Peach are taking a vacation. A villain resembling Mario, known as "Shadow Mario", vandalizes the entire island with graffiti, and Mario gets blamed for the mess. Later on, Mario is ordered to clean up Isle Delfino, while saving Princess Peach from Shadow Mario. Mario cleans up the island with a device called FLUDD invented by Professor E. Gadd. Afterward, Mario, Peach and the others then begin their well-deserved vacation.

2006–present Edit

Mario went to 2.5D in New Super Mario Bros. At the beginning of the game, Princess Peach and Mario are walking together when lightning suddenly strikes Peach’s castle nearby. As Mario runs to help, Bowser Jr. appears and kidnaps her. Realizing what has happened, Mario quickly rushes back and gives chase. Mario ventures through eight worlds pursuing Bowser Jr. and trying to rescue the kidnapped princess. In the game’s final sequence, Mario rescues Princess Peach, who kisses him on the cheek.

In Super Mario Galaxy Mario is invited to the centennial Star Festival when Bowser invades the Mushroom Kingdom and rips Peach's entire castle from its foundations and lifts it into outer space. Mario is catapulted across the cosmos and awakens on a small planet. On the planet he meets stars called Lumas and their companion, a mysterious woman called Rosalina, who tells Mario that the Power Stars have been stolen by Bowser. Mario sets off on an intergalactic adventure across the universe to reclaim the Power Stars and rescue Princess Peach.

In New Super Mario Bros. Wii, Mario, Luigi, Blue Toad and Yellow Toad are attending Princess Peach's birthday, when a big cake rolls in with Bowser's children, the Koopalings and Bowser Jr. hiding inside. They trap Peach inside the cake and run off with her. Mario, Luigi, and two Toads chase after them.

Mario also appears in Super Mario Galaxy 2, although little is known about his role in the game.

Other Mario games Edit

Mario games of other genres include the educational game Mario Paint, which was released in 1992 for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System, and Mario Pinball Land for the Game Boy Advance. 1996's Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System is the first Mario role-playing game; six games have followed: Paper Mario, for the Nintendo 64; Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga, for the Game Boy Advance; Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door, for the Nintendo GameCube; Super Paper Mario, for the Wii; Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time and Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story, both for the Nintendo DS.

Several other sub-series of Mario video games have been released. The Mario Kart franchise began with Super Mario Kart for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System, and is currently the most successful and longest-running kart-racing franchise. Other Mario sports games include the Camelot-developed series Mario Golf and Mario Tennis, and, respectively, the baseball and soccer games Mario Superstar Baseball and Super Mario Strikers. In 1999, the Hudson-developed Mario Party series began on the Nintendo 64. The games revolve around a set of mini-games and are playable with up to four players. Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games (for Nintendo DS and Wii) is a collection of twenty-four events based on the Olympic Games. This was followed in 2009 by Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games on both systems, based on the 2010 Winter Olympics.

In other media Edit

Apart from his platformer and spinoff-game appearances, Mario has made guest appearances in non-Mario games, such as Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!! where he is a referee. Mario has even appeared as a playable character in NBA Street V3, and SSX on Tour, both from Electronic Arts. In some appearances, he is not an in-game character: in both The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past and The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Mario appears on a portrait, and in Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes he and Yoshi appear as small statues. He also appears in the Game & Watch games.

Mario has appeared in every game of the Super Smash Bros. series, and has retained his balanced abilities even when fighting characters from other series. He brought with him items, stages, and characters to compete in the tournament. Mario's alter-egos Dr. Mario and Metal Mario have appeared as well.

The Super Mario Bros. Super Show! television series and live-action film based on the video game series called Super Mario Bros. brought the character into the TV and film entertainment realms. The show starred "Captain" Lou Albano as Mario, and the film starred Bob Hoskins. Outside the original games, television shows, film, and comics, he has spawned a line of licensed merchandise and appeared in popular culture. The Nintendo Comics System series, along with the Nintendo Adventure Books, were also created.

Characteristics Edit

Mario was originally portrayed as a two-dimensional sprite, but in later games he is shown as a three-dimensional, polygonal model. He is depicted as a portly plumber who lives in the fictional land of the Mushroom Kingdom with Luigi, his younger, taller brother, who is also a plumber. In the television series and film, Mario and Luigi are originally from Brooklyn.

Occupation and hobbies Edit

Mario's occupation is plumbing, though in the original Donkey Kong games he is a carpenter. In the Dr. Mario series of puzzle games, which debuted in 1990, Mario is a medical physician named "Dr. Mario". Dr. Mario appears as a secret character in the Nintendo GameCube game Super Smash Bros. Melee, and, in another updated version of the original, Dr. Mario Virus Buster, for WiiWare. In the Game Boy game Mario's Picross, Mario is an archaeologist. Mario usually saves Princess Peach and the Mushroom Kingdom and purges antagonists, such as Bowser, from various areas. Mario has gained fame in the kingdom due to his heroic deeds, as shown in Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga, where the brothers are referred to as "superstars". In Mario vs. Donkey Kong 2: March of the Minis, Mario owns a profitable toy-making company.

Relationships Edit

Since his first game, Mario has usually had the role of saving the damsel in distress. Originally, he had to rescue his girlfriend Pauline in Donkey Kong from Donkey Kong. Pauline was soon replaced by a new damsel in distress, Princess Peach, in Super Mario Bros. 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 described as "Mario's friend".

Mario has rescued Princess Peach multiple times since Super Mario Bros. In a role reversal, Peach rescues Mario in Super Princess Peach. 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, gossips portrayed her as Luigi's answer to Mario's Peach", although Luigi and Daisy were previously paired as a romantic couple in the live-action Super Mario Bros. film.

Luigi is Mario's younger brother. He is a companion in the Mario games and the character whom players play in two-player sessions of the video games, though he also occasionally rescues Mario, as displayed in Mario is Missing! and Luigi's Mansion. Yoshi is presumed to be a dinosaur, though his species is named Yoshi. They vary in color, but the original Yoshi is green. Yoshi serves as Mario's mount in games such as Super Mario World, and is depicted as a more sentient creature in games like Super Mario Kart and Yoshi's Island. Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins for the Game Boy saw the arrival of Wario, Mario's greedy counterpart.

Baby Mario Edit

Baby Mario is the infant version of Mario. He first appeared in 1995 in Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island, and has often appeared in Nintendo sports games since that time. He has a major role along with Baby Luigi in Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time and also appears in Yoshi's Island DS. He is voiced by Charles Martinet.

Abilities Edit

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 or out of their shells, which can be used as weapons.

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 beneath him. Later, the Game Boy version of Donkey Kong allows Mario to jump higher with consecutive jumps, and perform a back-flip. In Super Mario 64, Mario has jumping abilities, such as a sideways somersault, a ground pound, and the "Wall Kick", which propels him upwards by kicking off walls.

In Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Mario gains a unique power by getting the smash ball called Mario Finale , which is a double-helix fire explosion that covers the screen from left to right.

Power-ups Edit

Mario uses items, which give him various powers. The first power-up Mario uses is the Hammer in Donkey Kong. Super Mario Bros. introduced the basic three power-ups that have become staples for the series—- the Super Mushroom, which causes Mario to grow larger; the Fire Flower, which allows Mario to throw fireballs; and the Starman, which gives Mario temporary invincibility. These powers have appeared regularly throughout the series. Throughout the series' history, there have been several kinds of Mushroom power-ups, including the 1-Up Mushroom, which gives Mario an extra life; the Poison Mushroom, which causes Mario to either shrink or die; the Mega Mushroom, which causes Mario to grow very large; and the Mini Mushroom, which causes Mario to shrink. A common item across the series is an item that gives Mario the ability of flight. The first of this type was introduced in Super Mario Bros. 3 and called the Super Leaf; it gives Mario a raccoon suit. Also in this game is the Tanuki suit, which allows flight and the ability to turn into a statue. Later, in Super Mario World, an item called the Cape Feather was introduced that gave Mario a cape. In Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins, a carrot was available that gave Mario rabbit ears that allowed him to fly, and in Super Mario 64, Mario could acquire an item called the Wing Cap, which temporarily gave him the ability of flight. These four flying power-ups were featured in the box art of their respective games' covers. Super Mario Sunshine introduces a water spraying device called "F.L.U.D.D.", which has the ability to spray water, hover and more. Super Mario Galaxy also introduced new power-ups, including the Bee Mushroom, which naturally turned Mario into a bee and allowed him to float; the Ghost Mushroom, which turned Mario into a ghost, allowing him to float and pass through walls; and the Spring Mushroom, which encased Mario in a spring, allowing him to jump higher.

Some of these powers have appeared in the Super Smash Bros. series. Super Smash Bros. features the Fire Flower as one of Mario and Luigi's attacks and an item any character can use. It also features the Star and Hammer. In Super Smash Bros. Melee, the Super and Poison Mushrooms also appear.

Reception and legacy Edit

As Nintendo's mascot, Mario is considered to be the most famous video game character in history. The Mario series of video games has sold more than 200 million copies (210 million as of 2009), making it the best-selling video game franchise of all time. Mario was one of the first video game character inductees at the Walk of Game in 2005, alongside Link and Sonic the Hedgehog. Mario was the first video game character to be honored with a wax figure in the legendary Hollywood Wax Museum in 2003. In the 1990s, a national survey found that Mario was more recognizable to American children than Mickey Mouse.

Since his creation, Mario has established himself as a pop culture icon, having starred in numerous television shows, comic books, and in a feature film. He has appeared on lunch boxes, t-shirts, magazines, commercials (notably, in a Got Milk? commercial), in candy form, on shampoo bottles, cereal, badges, and as a plush toy. Nintendo of Japan produced a 60-minute anime feature starring Mario and his friends in 1986, although this film has never been released outside of Japan. The animated series The Super Mario Bros. Super Show! featured a live-action series of skits starring former WWF manager "Captain" Lou Albano as Mario and Danny Wells as Luigi. Mario appeared in a book series, the Nintendo Adventure Books. Mario has also inspired unlicensed paintings, and short films, which have themselves been viewed hundreds of thousands of times.

People and places have been named (or nicknamed) after Mario. 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. Many sports stars, including Mario Lemieux and Mario Williams, have been given the nickname "Super Mario".

Mario's legacy is recognized by Guinness World Records, who awarded the Nintendo mascot, and the series of platform games he has appeared in, 7 world 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).

Creator Shigeru Miyamoto has stated that Mario is his favorite character out of all that he has created. In a poll conducted in 2008 by Oricon, Mario was voted the most popular video game character in Japan, outranking characters such as Cloud Strife and Solid Snake. Mario ranked fourth on GameDaily's top 10 Smash Bros. characters list. Mario was also fourth on UGO's list of the "Top 100 Heroes of All Time", ahead of fellow video game characters Samus Aran, Link, Gordon Freeman, and Master Chief. [[Category: ]]

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