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Who is Mario?

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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, 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.[1]

As Nintendo's mascot, Mario is one of the most famous characters in video game history,[2] and his image is commonly associated with video games. Mario games, as a whole, have sold more than 210 million units,[3] 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.



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?". [4][5]

Mario's name was originally "Mr. Video", and he was to be used in every video game Miyamoto developed.[6] 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.[7] Miyamoto commenting that if he had named him Mr. Video, he likely would have "disappeared off the face of the Earth".[5] 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.[8] After a colleague suggested that Mario more resembled a plumber, Miyamoto changed his profession accordingly and developed Mario Bros.,[9] featuring the character in the sewers of New York City.[10]

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.[9] 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.[11]

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.[6] 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.[12] 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.[8] 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.[13]

1980s [edit] 1981 Donkey Kong (Arcade) [edit] 1982 Donkey Kong Jr. (Arcade) [edit] 1983 Donkey Kong (Atari 8-bit/Apple II/Commodore 64/MS-DOS ) - North America release Donkey Kong (Famicom) - Japan release Donkey Kong Jr. (ColecoVision/Atari 2600) - North America release Donkey Kong Jr. (INTV/VIC-20) - North America and Japan release Donkey Kong Jr. (Famicom) - Japan release Donkey Kong Jr./Donkey Kong Jr. Math (Famicom/C1 NES TV) - Japan release Mario Bros. Mario Bros. (Atari 2600, Atari 5200) - North America release Super Mario Bros. (Famicom) - Japan release Mario's Bombs Away (Game & Watch) - North America and Japan release Mario's Cement Factory (Game & Watch) - North America and Japan release [edit] 1984 Donkey Kong Hockey (Game & Watch) Pinball (Famicom/NES) - North America and Japan release - Mario is found in the bonus stage. Mario Bros. Special (NEC PC-8801) - Japan release Punch Ball Mario Bros. (NEC PC-8801) - Japan release [edit] 1985 Super Mario Bros. (Famicom/NES) - North America and Japan release Wrecking Crew (Famicom/NES) - North America and Japan release - Mario is the main character. [edit] 1986 All Night Nippon Super Mario Bros. (Famicom Disk System) - Japan release Donkey Kong (NES) - North America and Europe release Donkey Kong Jr. (NES) - North America release Mario Bros. (NEC PC-8801) - Japan release Mario Bros. (NES) - North America and Europe release Super Mario Bros. (Famicom Disk System) - Japan release Super Mario Bros. 2 (Famicom Disk System) - Japan release Super Mario Bros. Special (NEC PC-8801) - Japan release Vs. Super Mario Bros. (Arcade) - North America and Japan release [edit] 1987 Punch-Out!! (Famicom/NES) - Mario is the referee Mario Bros. (Famicom/NES) - Mario is the main character Super Mario Bros. (NES) Europe release [edit] 1988 Donkey Kong (Atari 7800) - North America and Europe release Donkey Kong (Famicom Disk System) - Japan release Donkey Kong Classics (NES) - North America release Donkey Kong Jr. (Atari 7800) - North America and Europe release Donkey Kong Jr. (Famicom Disk System) - Japan release Kaettekita Mario Bros. (Famicom Disk System) - Japan release Mario Bros. (Atari 7800, XE Game System) Super Mario Bros. 2 (NES) - North America release Super Mario Bros. 3 (Famicom) - Japanese release Super Mario Bros./Duck Hunt (NES) - North America release 3-in-1 Super Mario Bros./Duck Hunt/World Class Track Meet (NES) - North America release [edit] 1989 Alleyway (Game Boy) - North America and Japan release - Mario appears in bonus level, on the box art outside of Japan, and also drives/flies/controls the paddle on screen as shown in the intro Donkey Kong 2 (Game & Watch) - North America and Japan release Donkey Kong Classics (NES) - Europe release Super Mario Bros. 2 (NES) - Europe and Australia release Super Mario Bros. (Wristwatch Game) - North America release Super Mario Land (Game Boy) - North America and Japan release Tetris (Famicom/NES) - North America and Japan release - Once player beats Level 9 Height 5, Mario appears. Tetris (Game Boy) - North America and Japan release - Mario and Luigi appear in 2-player game. [edit] 1990s [edit] 1990 Dr. Mario (Game Boy) Dr. Mario (NES) Super Mario Bros. 3 (NES) - North America release Super Mario Land (Game Boy) - Europe release Super Mario World (Super Famicom) - Japan release VS. Dr. Mario (Arcade) - North America and Japan release [edit] 1991 Mario the Juggler (Game & Watch) - North America and Japan release Mario Teaches Typing (MS-DOS) - North America release Super Mario Bros. 3 (NES) - Europe release Super Mario World (SNES) - North America release NES Open Tournament Golf (NES) - North America release Super Mario Bros. & Friends: When I Grow Up (PC) - North America release Yoshi (Famicom) - Japan release Yoshi (Game Boy) - Japan release [edit] 1992 Super Mario USA AKA Super Mario Bros 2 (Famicom) - Japan release of Super Mario Bros. 2 Super Mario Kart (Super Famicom/SNES) Yoshi (Famicom/NES, Game Boy) The player controls Mario or Luigi Yoshi's Cookie (Famicom and Game Boy) - Japan Release Mario Paint (SNES) Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins (Game Boy) Mario's Time Machine (DOS) Super Mario World (SNES) - Europe release Mario Is Missing! (DOS) Mario is captured by Bowser [edit] 1993 Mario's Time Machine (SNES) Mario & Wario (Super Famicom) - Japan only Super Mario All-Stars (Super Famicom/SNES) Yoshi's Cookie (NES, SNES, Super Famicom and Game Boy) - North America and Japan release Mario Bros. Classic (NES) - Europe only Mario's Early Years! Fun with Letters (SNES) - North America only Mario's Early Years! Fun with Numbers (SNES) - North America only Mario's Early Years! Preschool Fun (SNES) - North America only Yoshi's Safari (SNES/Super Famicon) [edit] 1994 Manhole (Game & Watch) Donkey Kong (Game Boy) Super Mario All-Stars + Super Mario World (Super Famicom/SNES) - North America and Europe Mario's Time Machine (NES) - North America only Yoshi's Cookie (NES) - European release Hotel Mario (CD-i) Super Mario Curling (SNES) - Europe only [edit] 1995 Mario's Tennis (Virtual Boy) Mario Teaches Typing (Microsoft Windows) Mario Teaches Typing (Macintosh) Mario Clash (Virtual Boy) Mario's Picross (Game Boy) Mario's Picross 2 (Game Boy) Mario's Super Picross (Super Famicom) - Japan only Undake 30 Same Game (Super Famicom Satellaview) - Japan only Dr. Mario BS Version (Satellaview) - Japan only BS Super Mario Collection (Super Famicom Satellaview) - Japan only Mario's Game Gallery (PC) Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island (SNES) BS Super Mario USA Power Challenge (Satellaview) - Japan only [edit] 1996 Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars (Super Famicom/SNES) Super Mario 64 (Nintendo 64) Mario's Picross 2 (Game Boy) - Japan only Mario Teaches Typing 2 (PC) Yoshi's Panel de Pon (Satellaview) - Japan only [edit] 1997 Game & Watch Gallery (Game Boy) Mario Excite Bike (Super Famicom Satellaview) - Japan only Mario Kart 64 (Nintendo 64) Mario Teaches Typing 2 (PC) Mario Paint BS Version (Satellaview) - Japan only [edit] 1998 Mario no Photopi (Nintendo 64) - Japan only Wrecking Crew '98 (Super Famicom) - Japan only Mario Party (Nintendo 64) - Japan release Game & Watch Gallery 2 (Game Boy Color) [edit] 1999 Super Mario Bros. Deluxe (Game Boy Color) Game & Watch Gallery 3 (Game Boy Color) Mario Golf (Game Boy Color, Nintendo 64) - (Game Boy Color) Japan release Mario Party 2 (Nintendo 64) Mario Artist: Paint Studio (1999) Japan only Super Smash Bros. (Nintendo 64) Mario Kick Ball (Game Boy Color)- South America only [edit] 2000s [edit] 2000 Mario Golf (Game Boy Color) (Nintendo 64) - North America release Mario Tennis (Nintendo 64) Paper Mario (Nintendo 64) - Japan Release Mario Tennis (Game Boy Color) - Japan release Mario Party 2 (Nintendo 64) - release outside Japan Game & Watch Gallery 3 (Game Boy Color) - European release Mario Party 3 (Nintendo 64) - Japan Release Mario Artist: Talent Studio - Japan only Mario Artist: Communication Kit - Japan only Mario Artist: Polygon Studio - Japan only [edit] 2001 Dr. Mario 64 (Nintendo 64) - Japan release Mario Tennis (Game Boy Color) - release outside Japan Paper Mario (Nintendo 64) - release outside Japan Mario Party 3 (Nintendo 64) - release outside Japan Super Mario Advance (Game Boy Advance) Mario Kart: Super Circuit (Game Boy Advance) Luigi's Mansion (GameCube) Super Smash Bros. Melee (GameCube) - Japan and North America release Super Mario World: Super Mario Advance 2 (Game Boy Advance) - Japan Release [edit] 2002 Super Mario World: Super Mario Advance 2 (Game Boy Advance) - Release outside of Japan Super Mario Sunshine (GameCube) Yoshi's Island: Super Mario Advance 3 (Game Boy Advance) Mario Party 4 (GameCube) Super Smash Bros. Melee - Europe release Game & Watch Gallery 4 (Game Boy Advance) [edit] 2003 Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros. 3 (Game Boy Advance) Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour (GameCube) Mario Kart: Double Dash‼ (GameCube) Mario Party 5 (GameCube) Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga (Game Boy Advance) Nintendo Puzzle Collection (GameCube) - Japan only - Dr. Mario is a game in the collection [edit] 2004 Super Mario Fushigi no Korokoro Party (Arcade) Mario Golf: Advance Tour (Game Boy Advance) Mario vs. Donkey Kong (Game Boy Advance) Super Mario Bros. (Classic NES Series) (Game Boy Advance e-Reader) Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door (GameCube) Mario Pinball Land (Game Boy Advance) Dr. Mario (Classic NES Series) (Game Boy Advance) Mario Power Tennis (GameCube) Mario Party 6 (GameCube) Wrecking Crew (Game Boy Advance) Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels (GBA) - Japan only for GBA Super Mario 64 DS (Nintendo DS) - Japan and North American release [edit] 2005 Mario Power Tennis (GameCube) - European release Mario Party Advance (Game Boy Advance) Yoshi Touch & Go (Nintendo DS) Dance Dance Revolution Mario Mix (GameCube) Dr. Mario & Puzzle League (Game Boy Advance) Mario Superstar Baseball (GameCube) Mario Tennis: Power Tour (Game Boy Advance) Mario Party 6 (GameCube) - Australia and Europe release Super Princess Peach (Nintendo DS) - Japan release Mario Party 7 (GameCube) Mario Kart DS (Nintendo DS) Super Mario Strikers (GameCube) Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time (Nintendo DS) Mario Kart Arcade GP (Arcade) international release NBA Street V3 (GameCube) Playable Character SSX on Tour (GameCube) Playable Character [edit] 2006 Mario Party 7 (GameCube) - European and Australia release Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time (Nintendo DS) - European and Australia release Super Mario 64 DS (Nintendo DS) - Chinese release Super Princess Peach (Nintendo DS) - release outside Japan New Super Mario Bros. (Nintendo DS) Mario Hoops 3-on-3 (Nintendo DS) playable character Game & Watch Collection Mario vs. Donkey Kong 2: March of the Minis (Nintendo DS) - North American Release - supporting character Yoshi's Island DS (Nintendo DS) - supporting character Mario Forever- (PC) [edit] 2007 Mario Kart 64 (Virtual Console (N64)) Super Paper Mario (Wii) April 9, 2007 Mario Party 8 - (Wii) - May 29, 2007 North America Mario Strikers Charged (Wii) - July 30, 2007 Mario vs. Donkey Kong 2: March of the Minis (Nintendo DS) - release outside North America - supporting character Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games (Nintendo DS, Wii) - November 6, 2007 (U.S. release) Super Mario Galaxy (Wii) - November 12, 2007 (USA) Mario Kart Arcade GP 2 (Arcade) - 2007 (Japan) Mario Party DS (Nintendo DS) - November 19, 2007 [1] Super Mario Bros. 3 (Virtual Console (NES)) [edit] 2008 Mario Kart Wii (Wii) - April 27, 2008 (USA)

   Super Smash Bros Brawl(Wii)- March 9, 2008  (USA)

[edit] 2009 New Super Mario Bros. Wii (Wii) - November 15, 2009 (USA) [edit] 2010s [edit] 2010 Super Mario Galaxy 2 (Wii)

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