5 things you should know about Mario
Nintendo’s iconic mascot Mario has sold over 240 million video games, been heralded as gaming’s most recognizable face, holds seven world records — and he’s passing another huge milestone this week.
According to Nintendo themselves — and they ought to know — the game that put Mario on the map turns 25 this week. Released on September 13, 1985, NES great Super Mario Bros. would quickly become the top-selling video game of all time, a title it would hold right up until last year when it was passed by Wii Sports.
Since then, he’s appeared in hundreds of games, enjoyed careers as a doctor, an archaeologist, a racing driver, and a golfer, and helped establish the Nintendo name as almost synonymous with video games themselves.
So what’s next for this gaming superstar? Retro-styled 2009 blockbuster New Super Mario Bros. Wii continues to sell well, landing at 6th place on the U.S. charts last month. Given Nintendo just trademarked a new Mario logo in Japan bearing the legend “Super Mario Bros. Anniversary,” we doubt this gaming icon is going to retire any time soon.
Five things you (possibly) didn’t know about Mario
- Mario’s last name is also Mario. He’s Mario Mario, in fact.
- His first appearance was actually in 1981 in the arcade version of Donkey Kong, where he was known as “Jumpman.” He wouldn’t get his official name until the following year’s Donkey Kong Jr., also the only game where he plays the bad guy.
- Not only is Mario the best-selling video game character of all time, he’s also its most prolific: according to Guinness World Records’s 2008 edition, he’s appeared in 116 separate games.
- Mario’s distinctive high-pitched voice is provided by actor Charles Martinet, who also voices Mario’s brother Luigi and his longtime foe Wario.
- Nintendo released a follow-up to Super Mario Bros. in Japan in 1986, but deemed it too difficult for Western audiences. It wouldn’t hit U.S. shores as a standalone title until 2007, as a Wii Virtual Console title dubbed “Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels.”