Today we celebrate an iconic figure that united people around the world and his name is Mario.
25 years ago today this chubby little plumber from New York battled his way up and over falling barrels to save his princess from the evil Donkey Kong. This Koopa stomping, tanooki flying, mustachioed man sold a record smashing 222 million copies. His popularity uncanningly opened the door to an odd live action movie to boot. We all remember John Leguizamo as Luigi, Mario’s brother and plumbing counterpart in the 1993 movie? I’m sure you’ll avoid saying you saw this movie but we all know you did. Besides all the interesting creatures that came with his success, very little is known as to why he was named Mario.
The lore goes that back to the early years; Mario was actually called Jumpman by the American and Japanese Nintendo staff. Until one day when their Italian-American landlord Named Mario Segale smashed down the doors to Nintendo’s headquarters and demanded rent from the Staff. The resemblance was there and the light bulb went on for the developers thus declaring Jumpman as the new Mario.
Shigeru Myamoto and Gunpei Yoko collaborated together producing a character that would prove to give off a long lasting impression in the North American culture. When they first brought Mario over from Japan in early 1983 the series crashed with having a few home versions on multiple systems at the time. Soon enough the NES came out which included Mario Bros as its main title and theme. This then exploded through the years releasing innovative ways to keep our attention. From cute costumes that gave him certain powers to introducing new villains and 3D gaming – they had us hooked.
I’m sure we all remember playing Super Mario Bros for the NES to the point we could finish the game in less than 10 minutes. Every kid knew every warp, hidden bonus tubes and all while running at hyper speed with their right thumb on the b button throughout the course of the game. I’m Uncertain if this is something to brag about, but the Mario Bros laid the foundation for at-home video game play.
We raise our thumbs in the air and pledge allegiance to the mustachioed plumber from New York and wish him many more birthdays to come!
Image credit http://static03.mediaite.com/themarysue/uploads/2013/06/WiiU_SuperMario_illu01_E3-580×356.jpg