Bonus Level Facts about Super Mario
- Mario was created by Shigeru Miyamoto and appeared in the 1981 arcade platformer, Donkey Kong.
- Mario was originally known as Jumpman. However, when Nintendo’s US office were trying to think of a better name, they were interrupted by their landlord Mario Segale, after whom they christened the character.
- Mario was originally a carpenter, not a plumber.
- The look of Mario is all about the graphical limitations of the hardware at the time. He has a hat, because realistic hair was difficult to portray, a moustache to accentuate his nose, and dungarees to make his arm movements more noticeable.
- Bowser was originally sketched as an ox by Miyamoto, but his drawings were misinterpreted by animator Yoichi Kotabe as a turtle.
- Wario first appeared as a nemesis in the Game Boy title, Super Mario Land 2. Wario’s name blends Mario with the Japanese adjective ‘warui’ meaning evil.
- The first Super Mario Bros game has sold 40.24 million copies to date.
- The main theme in Super Mario Bros, known as ‘Ground Theme’, is one of the most recognizable pieces of game music ever recorded.
- A early nineties study revealed that Mario was more recognizable to American children than Mickey Mouse.
- The Chain Chomp enemies in Super Mario Bros 3 were inspired by an incident in Miyamoto’s childhood when a neighbor’s dog chased the terrified genius, before it was yanked back by its chain.
- Released in 1989, the Game Boy title Super Mario Land was the first major Mario game to be developed without Miyamoto.
- Since 1995, the voice of Mario has been provided by American voice actor Charles Martinet.
- The Super Mario bros series is in the Guinness Book of Records as the most successful gaming franchise of all time. It now boasts global sales of over 240 million units.
- Mario has appeared in over 200 video games and a recent study showed that kids recognized better than Mickey Mouse.