Super Mario (series)

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This article is about the platforming video game series. For other uses of "Super Mario", see Super Mario (disambiguation). For other video games and media featuring the character Mario, see Mario (franchise).
Super Mario
Mario Series Logo.PNG
The latest Super Mario series logo.
Genres Platform
Developers Nintendo EAD (1985-present)
Nintendo EAD Tokyo (2007-present)
Publishers Nintendo
Creators Shigeru Miyamoto
Composers Koji Kondo
Platforms
Platform of origin Nintendo Entertainment System / Famicom
First release Super Mario Bros.
September 13, 1985
Latest release Super Mario 3D World
November 22, 2013
Spin-offs Wario series
Yoshi series
Official website mario.nintendo.com

The Super Mario (Japanese: スーパーマリオ?) video game series is a series of platform video games created by Nintendo featuring their mascot, Mario. Alternatively called the Super Mario Bros. (スーパーマリオブラザーズ Sūpā Mario Burazāzu?) series or simply the Mario (マリオ?) series, it is the central series of the greater Mario franchise. At least one Super Mario game has been released for every major Nintendo video game console and handheld.

The Super Mario games follow Mario's adventures in the fictional Mushroom Kingdom, usually with Mario as the player character. He is usually joined by his brother, Luigi, and occasionally by other members of the Mario cast. As in platform video games, the player runs and jumps across platforms and atop enemies in themed levels. The games have simple plots, typically with Mario rescuing the kidnapped Princess Peach from the primary antagonist, Bowser. The first title in the series, the 1985 Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) release of Super Mario Bros., established gameplay concepts and elements prevalent in nearly every Super Mario game since. These include a multitude of power-ups and items that give Mario special powers such as fireball-throwing and size-changing into giant and miniature sizes.

The Super Mario series is part of the greater Mario franchise. This includes other video game genres as well as media such as film, television, printed media and merchandise. Over 262 million copies of games in the Super Mario series have been sold worldwide, making it the best-selling video game series in history.[1]

Games[edit]

Timeline of release years
1985 – Super Mario Bros.
1986 – Super Mario Bros. 2JP
1987 –
1988 – Super Mario Bros. 2US
1989 – Super Mario Land
1990 – Super Mario Bros. 3
1991 – - Super Mario World
1992 – Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins
1993 –
1994 – Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3
1995 – Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island
1996 – - Super Mario 64
1997 –
1998 –
1999 –
2000 –
2001 –
2002 – Super Mario Sunshine
2003 –
2004 –
2005 –
2006 – New Super Mario Bros.
2007 – Super Mario Galaxy
2008 –
2009 – New Super Mario Bros. Wii
2010 – Super Mario Galaxy 2
2011 – Super Mario 3D Land
2012 – New Super Mario Bros. 2
New Super Mario Bros. U
2013 – Super Mario 3D World
Super Mario Bros.
The game was released for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) and is the first traditional, linear[vague] side-scrolling 2D platform game to feature Mario.[clarification needed] It established many core Mario gameplay concepts.[clarification needed] The brothers Mario and Luigi live in the Mushroom Kingdom, where they must rescue Princess Toadstool (later called Princess Peach) from Bowser.[clarification needed] The game consists of eight worlds, each with four sub-levels. Though the worlds differ in themes, the fourth sub-level is always a fortress or castle that ends with a fight against Bowser.[2] The game's immense success made it the second best-selling video game of all time after Wii Sports as of May 2013.[citation needed]
Super Mario Bros. 2JP
The sequel to the original Super Mario Bros. was released as Super Mario Bros. 2 in Japan. It uses the original Super Mario Bros. engine with additions such as weather, new character movements, and much more complex levels, altogether yielding a much higher difficulty. The main game follows the same style of level progression as Super Mario Bros., with eight initial worlds each with four levels. The last levels of the eight worlds is a lava-filled castle that culminates in a battle against Bowser. This sequel was not released outside of Japan in this time period, because Nintendo of America did not want the Mario series to be known for frustrating difficulty, to be inaccessible to a steadily broadening market of American video game players, nor to be stylistically outdated by the time the Japanese Super Mario Bros. 2 could be eventually delivered to America.[3] The game later debuted outside of Japan in 1993, in the compilation titled Super Mario All-Stars for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES). The original NES version was released for the Wii's Virtual Console service in September 2007. A later Super Mario All-Stars Wii port, titled Super Mario All-Stars 25th Anniversary Edition, features the exact SNES gameplay and adds Wii Remote, Classic Controller, and GameCube controller compatibility.
Super Mario Bros. 2US
The game was known in Japan as Super Mario Bros. USA. In it, Mario and his companions are out to stop the evil frog Wart in the Subcon dreamland. Based on a discarded prototype which had been intended to become the Super Mario Bros. sequel,[4] the game was instead originally released as Yume Kōjō: Doki Doki Panic, and then was ultimately converted back into a Mario game for the rest of the world as Super Mario Bros. 2. This final version was later released in Japan as Super Mario USA. One of the game's most defining aspects is the ability to pluck vegetables from the ground to throw at enemies. This is also the first Super Mario game to use a life meter, which allows Mario and the other playable characters to be hit up to four times before dying.[3]
Super Mario Bros. 3
The game is divided into eight themed worlds, each with 8–10 levels and several bonus stages displayed as locations on a mapped overworld. These locations are not necessarily in a linear order, and the player is occasionally permitted to skip levels or play the game out of order. Completed levels cannot be replayed. Every world's final level is a boss stage. The penultimate boss stage is a side-scrolling level atop an airship ("Doom Ship") with a fight against one of Bowser's Koopalings. The game introduced a diverse array of new power-ups, including flight as Raccoon Mario. Bowser is again the final boss.
Super Mario Land
The game was the first handheld Super Mario title and was released for the Game Boy. As with other games in the series, it is a sidescrolling platformer in which Mario sets out to save Princess Daisy by defeating the "Mysterious Spaceman" named Tatanga. The game consists of twelve levels split across four worlds.
Super Mario World
It was released for the SNES and consists of seven main worlds and two secret worlds displayed via a world map overworld. Most of the 72 levels have one exit, though some have hidden second exits.[citation needed] Mario's new moves include a spin jump, the ability to lift and throw items, and the rideable Yoshi who can eat enemies and either swallow or spit them out. Power-ups include the following: Super Mushroom; Fire Flower; Starman; and the new Cape Feather, based on Super Mario Bros. 3's Super Leaf, which lets Mario and Luigi fly with a cape.
Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins
The game introduces Mario's rival, Wario, who takes over Mario's castle during the events of Super Mario Land and forces Mario to collect the six golden coins to reclaim his castle. While its predecessor is similar to the original Super Mario Bros., Super Mario Land 2 has more in common with later games.[citation needed] The player is no longer restricted to moving towards the right. A bell at each level's end activates a minigame, where the player can try to get extra lives. There are 32 levels, based on several themed worlds each with its own boss. Three power-ups return: the Super Mushroom, Fire Flower, and Starman. The game introduces the Carrot power-up, which gives Mario large rabbit ears that let him glide when falling for a limited time.
Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3
This is the first game in the Super Mario series to not feature Mario as a playable character. Wario, jealous of Mario's castle, sets out to steal a golden statue of Princess Toadstool to acquire enough wealth to buy his own castle. Wario's power-ups include these: the Bull Hat, which increases strength; the Jet Hat, which lets him fly briefly; and the Dragon Hat, a flamethrower. He can also perform the horizontal Body Slam move and vertical Stomp move.[clarification needed] The Wario Land series later spun-off from the Super Mario series into its own series.
Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island
The game is considered by Miyamoto to be part of the core series, although it later spun-off into its own series.[5][clarification needed] Yoshi carries Baby Mario across Yoshi's Island to find Luigi. It is a prequel to all other Super Mario games.[citation needed] The primary goal is delivering Baby Mario safely to the end of each level, where he is transferred to the back of another Yoshi, who does the same. When Yoshi is struck by an enemy, Baby Mario is ejected from Yoshi's back and floats around in a bubble while crying as a timer counts down until Yoshi pops the bubble. If the time counts down to zero, Baby Bowser's minions fly on screen and kidnap Baby Mario, prematurely resetting the level. The game has a childlike aesthetic, with environments that appear to have been drawn with crayons.[citation needed] Yoshi's Island received three sequels that spun-off from the Super Mario series: Yoshi's Story, Yoshi's Island DS, and Yoshi's New Island.
Super Mario 64
The game was the first 3D and open world game in the series, and a launch title for Nintendo's Nintendo 64 home console. Each level, or course, is an enclosed environment where the player is free to explore in all directions without time limits. The player collects Power Stars that appear after completing tasks to unlock later courses and areas.[6] The Nintendo 64's analog stick makes an extensive repertoire of precise movements in all directions possible. The game introduced new moves such as punching, triple jumping, and using a Wing Cap to fly. It is the first Super Mario series game to feature Charles Martinet's voice acting for Mario. Mario must once again save Princess Peach from Bowser, and collect up to 120 Power Stars from the paintings and return them to her castle, the overworld. There are a total of 105 Power Stars in the paintings, with 15 hidden in the castle. The game's power-ups differ from previous games, instead as three different hats with temporary powers: the Wing Cap, allowing Mario to fly; the Metal Cap, turning him into metal; and the Vanish Cap, allowing him to walk through obstacles.
Super Mario Sunshine
The second 3D Super Mario title was released on the GameCube. In it, Mario and Peach travel to Isle Delfino for a vacation when a Mario doppelgänger appears and vandalizes the entire island. Mario is sentenced to clean the island with a water-squirting accessory. Super Mario Sunshine shares many similar gameplay elements with its predecessor, Super Mario 64,[clarification needed] but also introduces new moves, like spinning while jumping. The game contains a number of independent levels, which can be reached from the hub, Delfino Plaza. Mario collects "Shine Sprites" by completing tasks in the levels, which unlock new levels in Delfino Plaza by way of new abilities and plot-related events.[7] Sunshine also introduces Bowser's eighth child, Bowser Jr. Yoshi also appears again.[clarification needed]
New Super Mario Bros.
The game was released on the Nintendo DS as a reboot of the Super Mario Bros. sub-series. In it, Mario and Luigi set out to save Peach from Bowser Jr. The gameplay is 2D, but most of the characters and objects are 3D on two-dimensional backgrounds, resulting in a 2.5D effect. The game uses an overworld map similar to that of Super Mario Bros. 3 and Super Mario World. Some levels have multiple exits. The classic power-ups (Super Mushroom, Fire Flower, and Starman) return alongside the Mega Mushroom, Shell, and Mini Mushroom. The Mega Mushroom briefly turns Mario (or Luigi) into an invincible giant that destroys everything in his path, the Shell protects Mario from harm and allows him to slide (depending on speed),[clarification needed] and the Mini Mushroom shrinks Mario to very small size, which allows him to fit through tight spaces.
Super Mario Galaxy
The Wii game is set in outer space, where Mario travels between "galaxies" to collect Power Stars, earned by completing quests or defeating enemies. Each galaxy contains a number of planets and other space objects for the player to explore.[clarification needed] The game's new physics system gives each celestial object its own gravitational force, which lets the player completely circumnavigate rounded or irregular planetoids by walking sideways or upside down. The player is usually able to jump from one independent object and then fall towards another close object.[citation needed] Though the main gameplay and physics are in 3D, there are several points in the game in which the player's movements are restricted to a 2D axis. Several new power-ups appear,[vague] and many of these return in its sequel, Super Mario Galaxy 2.
New Super Mario Bros. Wii
In the home console successor of New Super Mario Bros. Peach is captured by Bowser Jr. and the Koopalings during her birthday party in her castle, and Mario, Luigi, and two Toads (blue and yellow) spring into action to save her. The game features 4-player co-op and new power-ups: the Propeller Mushroom, the Ice Flower, and the Penguin Suit. The Propeller Mushroom launches the player into the air by shaking the Wii Remote. The Penguin Suit enhances traction of sliding and speed and agility of swimming abilities, in addition to the ice ball projectiles that are provisioned by the Ice Flower. Players can ride Yoshi. There are three star coins on each level, which can be used to unlock movies with gameplay tips.[citation needed] It was released in November 2009 and was met with commercial success and several awards.[8][9]
Super Mario Galaxy 2
The sequel to Super Mario Galaxy and was released on May 23, 2010. It retains the basic premise of its predecessor, but includes new items and power-ups. Also, Mario can ride Yoshi. It was released to critical acclaim.
Super Mario 3D Land
The first original 3D Super Mario title on an handheld console was released for Nintendo 3DS in November and December 2011. It was an attempt to translate the gameplay of the 2D games into a 3D environment, and released to critical acclaim.
New Super Mario Bros. 2
The direct sequel of New Super Mario Bros. released in July and August 2012 for the Nintendo 3DS. As with the game's predecessors, the player (as Mario or Luigi) must save Princess Peach, but the game's main goal is to collect one million gold coins.[10][11]
New Super Mario Bros. U
The Wii U follow-up to New Super Mario Bros. Wii, was released on November 18, 2012 in North America. It plays similarly to the previous New Super Mario Bros. titles, but introduces both a Flying Squirrel suit that lets the players glide through the air, and asymmetric gameplay[jargon] that allows the player holding the GamePad to influence[clarification needed] the environment.
Super Mario 3D World
The sequel to Super Mario 3D Land was released for the Wii U on November 22, 2013 in North America.[12] It introduced two new power-ups, the Super Bell and Double Cherry, and features Princess Peach and Toad as playable characters in addition to Mario and Luigi. Rosalina is also unlocked later in the game.

Remakes and re-releases[edit]

As a popular series, the Super Mario series has seen many rereleases. A side-scrolling platform game entitled Super Mario Bros. was released for the Game & Watch in 1985,[13] but features none of the stages from the NES original. All four NES Super Mario games were remade in a four-in-one package, Super Mario All-Stars for SNES. Later, Super Mario All-Stars + Super Mario World, which included a mildly altered version of Super Mario World, was released.[when?] Super Mario Bros. was rereleased with added features[clarification needed] as Super Mario Bros. Deluxe for the Game Boy Color, and later rereleased without any extra features as part of the Classic NES Series for the Game Boy Advance. Super Mario Bros. 2, Super Mario Bros. 3, Super Mario World, and Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island have all been individually ported to the Game Boy Advance as the Super Mario Advance series. Super Mario 64 has also been remade for the Nintendo DS with added features such as additional Power Star objectives and minigames.

Some games have been re-released through the Virtual Console service: all of the original Super Mario Bros. games, Super Mario World, Super Mario 64, and the Super Mario Land trilogy.

Common elements[edit]

The first Super Mario game's gameplay involved jumping on enemies and moving to the right as the screen scrolled.

The object is to progress through levels by defeating enemies, collecting items, and solving puzzles without dying. Power-up use is integral to the series. The series has had installments featuring both two- and three-dimensional gameplay.

In the 2D Super Mario games, the player character (usually Mario) jumps on platforms and enemies while avoiding their attacks and moving to the right of the scrolling screen. 2D Super Mario game levels have single-exit objectives, which must be reached within a time limit and lead to the next sequential level. Super Mario Bros. 3 introduced the overworld, a map of nonlinear levels that branches according to the player's choice.[14] Super Mario World introduced levels with multiple exits.[clarification needed] The gameplay of the 2D games is recreated by the New Super Mario Bros. sub-series.

Super Mario 64 was the first 3D game in the series. Levels in 3D games are less linear, allowing the player to walk around freely, and close quarters fights are incorporated. As the game progresses, more areas become accessible.[15] Each 3D level is an enclosed world in which the player is free to wander in all directions and discover the environment and gather Power Stars[jargon] or Shine Sprites to open more areas of the overworld.[citation needed]

Jumping[edit]

Originally named "Jumpman", Mario has been defined by his jumping abilities since his early platform games. The ability evolved throughout the series, starting with the introduction of supercharged jumps in the American Super Mario Bros. 2 and the spin jump (a jump letting Mario spin while jumping to defeat enemies) in Super Mario World. Super Mario 64 introduced jumps such as the triple jump, wall kick, backflip, and long jump — some of which would be featured in later games, including the New Super Mario Bros. sub-series.

Items[edit]

Most items in the Super Mario series appear from item blocks, which originated in Super Mario Bros. and persist throughout the series, where Mario hits a block to receive either coins or power-ups.

Mushrooms[edit]

UGO described the Super Mushroom as "the quintessential power-up".[16]

Mushroom power-ups appear in almost every Super Mario game. The most iconic of these is the Super Mushroom,[16][17] similar in appearance to the Amanita muscaria, with an ivory stalk below a most commonly red and white (originally red and orange) spotted cap. Created by chance, Shigeru Miyamoto stated in an interview that beta tests of Super Mario Bros. proved Mario too tall, so the development team implemented mushrooms to grow and shrink Mario.[18]

The Super Mushroom increases Mario's size and allows him to break certain blocks. When hit by an enemy, Mario reverts to his smaller size instead of losing a life.[16] While Mario is already in Super form, most blocks that would contain a Super Mushroom instead offer a more powerful power-up such as the Fire Flower.

The Poison Mushroom, first introduced in the Japanese Super Mario Bros. 2, is a dark blue-capped mushroom that has the same effect as getting hit by an enemy or spike when touched. In later games, the Poison Mushroom looks almost exactly like the Super Mushroom with a red cap, but has a meaner-looking face.

The Mini Mushroom is a small blue mushroom, a recurring item in the New Super Mario Bros. series, which shrinks Mario into miniature size, allowing him access areas and pipes that Mario normally cannot reach. Mini Mario also jumps higher, floats midair, bounces off enemies without hurting them, and can run across the surface of water and then jump from it as if he was on land. Mario is more vulnerable in this form and loses a life upon receiving one hit in miniature form. The Mini Mushroom in New Super Mario Bros. U lets Mario run up walls.[19]

The Mega Mushroom, added in New Super Mario Bros. and reintroduced in New Super Mario Bros. 2 and Super Mario 3D World, is a more recent addition to the series that grows Mario into a towering, invulnerable giant who destroys enemies and the environment by running through them. It has an orange cap with red spots, like the Super Mario Bros. Super Mushroom, but with an inflated cap. Super Mario 64 DS features an item simply called "Mushroom"[20] that grants the same abilities as the Mega Mushroom while accompanied by the same music.

1-Up[edit]

1-Up is a common item shown as a green and white mushroom that gives Mario an extra life.[citation needed] They were introduced in Super Mario Bros., sometimes hidden in invisible item blocks, and typically displayed as orange caps with green spots.[citation needed] In the 3D games, 1-Ups will sometimes appear when walking in particular areas.[citation needed] 1-Ups can take other forms, such as the 3-Up Moon from Super Mario World and New Super Mario Bros. U.[citation needed]

Projectile flowers[edit]

The flower power-ups let Mario shoot projectiles. The Fire Flower, introduced in Super Mario Bros., transforms Mario into Fire Mario, who can throw bouncing fireballs at enemies. Super Mario Galaxy was the first 3D Mario platformer game to have the Fire Flower. In Super Mario Land, the Superball is a handheld bouncing ball provisioned by a Super Flower, which Mario can use to defeat enemies and collect coins. The Ice Flower transforms Mario into Ice Mario, where he can shoot balls of ice as projectiles similar to that of the Fire Flower; it freezes enemies in a block of ice, to be used as platforms or as thrown projectiles.[9] In Super Mario Galaxy, this item turns Mario into ice and lets him walk on lava or water for a limited time by freezing the surface. In New Super Mario Bros. Wii and New Super Mario Bros. U, it instead allows Mario to throw ice projectiles that freeze enemies inside an ice cube, rendering them immobile. Mario then has the option of picking up this resulting ice cube, for use as a projectile. Lastly, New Super Mario Bros. 2's Gold Flower lets Mario turn bricks into coins and earn bonus coins for defeating enemies.

Super Star invincibility[edit]

The Super Star is an anthropomorphized, flashing star, introduced in Super Mario Bros. Touching it makes Mario invincible, or able to resist harm. Upon use of the item it is accompanied by a distinctive music track that appears consistently across the various games. The player character flickers or flashes a variety of colors — and in some titles, moves with increased speed — while under the Star's influence. Super Mario Bros. 3 is the first game in which Mario does a somersault while jumping under the influence of a Starman.[citation needed] It is called the Rainbow Star in Super Mario Galaxy. Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island features a star that makes baby Mario invincible.[citation needed] In Super Mario 64, invincibility in various forms is provided by special caps worn by Mario.

Power Stars and course tokens[edit]

The games often feature collectibles found in levels in order to progress in the overworld, most frequently with the visual motif of a star. They are typically situated in locations that are not readily found or reached, or awarded for completing stunts, or objectives given by NPCs. They include the Power Star in Super Mario 64 and the Super Mario Galaxy games, Shine Sprites in Super Mario Sunshine, Star Coins in the New Super Mario Bros. games and Super Mario 3D Land, and Green Stars in the Galaxy games and Super Mario 3D World. In Super Mario Land 2, there are six Golden Coin tokens that must be collected to finish the game.

Flying[edit]

Flight is a common theme throughout the series, first enabled with the magic carpet item in the American Super Mario Bros. 2. The Super Leaf and Tanooki Suit items, first appearing in Super Mario Bros. 3 provide Mario with an animal-suited tail, which in turn acts as a flight propeller. The Tanooki Suit returns in Super Mario 3D Land, and the Super Leaf returns in New Super Mario Bros. 2. In the New Super Mario Bros. games, the Spin Block and the Propeller Mushroom let Mario spin up into the air and slowly descend. In Super Mario Land, Mario pilots a yellow airplane with unlimited ammunition called the Sky Pop. Super Mario World introduces various forms of flight: the feather item provides a cape, the P Balloon puffs Mario into a floating balloon figure, and Yoshi can carry a blue Koopa shell which gives him wings. In Super Mario 64, flight is granted by a Winged Cap. In New Super Mario Bros. U, Mario has limited flight and gliding capabilities in a Flying Squirrel suit and can also command a pink Baby Yoshi to puff up into the form of a floating balloon. In Super Mario Galaxy, Mario can obtain a special red star that transforms him into Flying Mario for a limited time. Lakitu's cloud can be commandeered in several of the side-scrolling games.

Power-up suits[edit]

Several suits work as power-ups, many of which are based on animals. Debuting in Super Mario Bros. 3, the Raccoon Suit (provisioned by a Super Leaf) and the Tanooki Suit each provide Mario with a tail which acts as a flight propeller. In addition, the Tanooki Suit lets Mario spontaneously change into an invincible statue for about five seconds. In Super Mario 3D Land, the Raccoon Suit reappears and is accompanied by a silver-colored variation called a Statue Leaf.[21] Super Mario Bros. 3 includes a Hammer Bros. suit, which allows Mario to throw hammers as projectiles, to defeat enemies at a distance. While wearing the suit and ducking, Mario is invulnerable to fire attacks.[citation needed] Super Mario 3D Land features a "Boomerang Suit" which provisions long-distance boomerang projectiles. Other animal suits include the Frog Suit, Penguin Suit, Cat Suit, and Bee Suit.

Mario and Luigi wear a scarf over the suit with the Statue Leaf, and the Mario#ground pound is changed into a statue transformation that lasts for a long period of time, or until the L or R button is released.[citation needed]

Coins[edit]

Super Mario level design traditionally incorporates many distributed coins as puzzles and rewards. Most Super Mario games award the player an extra life once a certain amount of yellow coins are collected, commonly 50 or 100. Several coin variants exist, such as silver coins, dragon coins, star coins, and more.

In Super Mario 64, Super Mario Sunshine, Super Mario Galaxy, and Super Mario Galaxy 2, coins replenish health (and air, when Mario is underwater). In Super Mario 64 and Super Mario Sunshine, collecting 100 coins in a level results in a Power Star or Shine Sprite respectively. There are also stages in that game reward a Power Star for collecting eight red coins in a level, worth two normal coins each. Super Mario 64 is the only game that has a blue coin, which is worth five normal coins.

In Super Mario Galaxy and Super Mario Galaxy 2, after finishing the game once, stages unlock where Mario can collect a certain amount of purple coins to earn a Power Star. In Super Mario Galaxy 2, they can also be used to feed some hungry Lumas so that it can turn into either an item or another planet.

Warp Pipes and Warp Cannons[edit]

The Warp Pipe is a common method of transportation used in many of the Mario series games. Warp Pipes are most often green but also appear in other colors (early games included silver pipes, newer games have introduced red, green, blue and yellow pipes),[citation needed] and have many uses in the series. Warp Pipes can also contain enemies, usually Piranha Plants, and sometimes launch the player into the air (most commonly seen in New Super Mario Bros.).[citation needed] In early Mario games such as Super Mario Bros., special, well-hidden areas known as Warp Zones contain pipes that allow players to skip several worlds (handfuls of levels) at once.[citation needed] In the New Super Mario Bros. series, pipe-shaped Warp Cannons work similarly to the Warp Zones of the earlier games and are unlocked by finding secret exits in levels. Cannons appear in most of the 3D games in the series starting with Super Mario 64.[citation needed] Mario uses the cannon by jumping into the barrel, aiming himself and being fired at a distant target. This allows Mario to progress through a level or reach an otherwise inaccessible area.

Yoshi[edit]

Mario's dinosaur friend Yoshi has appeared as a mount to Mario in several Super Mario games since Super Mario World. Miyamoto had originally wished for Mario to be able to ride a dinosaur in Super Mario Bros., but this wasn't possible due to the technical restraints of the system. Yoshis generally provide varying abilities including eating enemies, flying, and breathing fire.[citation needed]

Setting[edit]

The Mushroom Kingdom (キノコ王国 Kinoko Ōkoku?) is the usual Super Mario series setting. It is a monarchy and its heir is Princess Peach.[citation needed] Its capital is Toad Town.[citation needed] Surrounding Toad Town are several territories, such as Dry Dry Desert. Though Princess Peach, Mario, Luigi, and Princess Daisy are human, most citizens of this area are the mushroom-like Toads. While the majority of games in the series take place in the Mushroom Kingdom, there are some exceptions:[clarification needed]

  • Super Mario Bros. 2 introduced Subcon, a mysterious world from Mario's dream. It was taken over by the frog king Wart.
  • Super Mario Bros. 3 is set in the Mushroom World, a collection of eight kingdoms. Seven of these are "Mushroom Kingdoms", ruled by independent Mushroom Kings. The different kingdoms are Grass Land (a plains kingdom), Desert Hill (a desert kingdom), Ocean Side (an ocean kingdom), Big Island (a kingdom where everything is larger), The Sky (a kingdom which consists of the ground level and the sky level), Iced Land (an arctic kingdom), and Pipe Maze (a small island kingdom filled with a maze of Warp Pipes). The eighth world is referred to as "Dark Land" and is ruled by Bowser: King of the Koopas. The instruction manual for the game states Bowser had taken over the Mushroom Kingdom, and the Mushroom Kingdom is a gateway to the Mushroom World. This is never elaborated upon in Super Mario Bros. 3, but Super Mario Galaxy reveals that the Mushroom World is a planet.[citation needed]
  • Super Mario Land takes place in Sarasaland, a region outside the Mushroom Kingdom. It is ruled by Princess Daisy. The species in Sarasaland are range from tiki monsters to aliens to gigantic sphinxes, as well as enemies similar to enemies from other games in the series. The kingdoms that make up Sarasaland include Muda (an ocean kingdom), Easton (an Easter Island-like kingdom), Birabuto (an Egypt-like kingdom), and Chai (an Ancient China-like kingdom).
  • Super Mario World introduced Dinosaur Land, a separate continent where Mario, Luigi, and Princess Toadstool vacation after the events of Super Mario Bros. 3.[22] Its areas consists of Yoshi's Island, Donut Plains, Vanilla Dome, Twin Bridges, Forest of Illusion, Chocolate Island, Valley of Bowser, Star World, and Special World. Yoshi's Island, the setting of Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island, is located within Dinosaur Land.
  • Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3 is set on Kitchen Island, another realm with food-themed locations. Its location relative to other areas is not divulged, but in the game, Mario is able to reach the island by helicopter.[citation needed]
  • Super Mario 64 introduced Peach's Castle, which serves as a hub world. The worlds in the game are reached by jumping into paintings, which are portals to imaginary worlds created by Bowser. As such, the game is largely not set in the Mushroom Kingdom. However, Peach's Castle itself is located in the Mushroom Kingdom and specifically Toad Town as seen since Paper Mario. This was also shown to be the case in more recent games like Super Mario Galaxy and its sequel Super Mario Galaxy 2.[citation needed]
  • Super Mario Sunshine introduced Isle Delfino, a tropical island somewhere outside the Mushroom Kingdom. It contains several harbors, beaches, hotels, parks, and villages. Instead of Toads or humans, most of the residents on Isle Delfino are tropical creatures called Nokis and Piantas. Its main village Delfino Plaza serves as the central hub world in Super Mario Sunshine. Different areas of the island can be accessed through portals created by spray paint in different parts of the plaza. Besides Delfino Plaza, the different locations of Delfino Island are Delfino Airstrip, Bianco Hills, Ricco Harbor, Gelato Beach, Pinna Park, Sirena Beach, Noki Bay, Pianta Village, and Corona Mountain. While Isle Delfino has only appeared in one game in the Super Mario series, it has been commonly used in Mario spin-off games, including the Mario Kart series.[citation needed]

Development and history[edit]

Music[edit]

Much of the original Super Mario Bros. music and sound effects have become iconic to the series and incorporated into modern games. The original Super Mario Bros. theme composed by Koji Kondo has become very popular around the world.[citation needed] The theme from the underwater levels of Super Mario Bros. frequently appears as title screen music in the series, including in Super Mario Sunshine,[citation needed] Yoshi's Island: Super Mario Advance 3, as well as the main intros and titles of all four Super Mario Advance titles, and the Super Mario All-Stars versions of the four NES games.[citation needed]

Reception[edit]

Aggregate review scores
As of July 31, 2014.
Game GameRankings Metacritic
Super Mario Bros. (GBC) 92.63%[23]
(NES) 85.50%[24]
(GBA) 80.20%[25]
(GBA) 84[26]
Super Mario Bros. 2 (GBA) 82.17%[27] (GBA) 84[28]
Super Mario Bros. 3 (GBA) 92.25%[29] (GBA) 94[30]
Super Mario Land (GB) 77.94%[31]
Super Mario World (SNES) 94.44%[32]
(GBA) 92.36%[33]
(GBA) 92[34]
Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins (GB) 79.56%[35]
Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3 (GB) 83.11%[36]
Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island (SNES) 96.00%[37]
(GBA) 89.55%[38]
(GBA) 91[39]
Super Mario 64 (N64) 96.41%[40]
(NDS) 86.31%[41]
(N64) 94[42]
(NDS) 85[43]
Super Mario Sunshine (GC) 91.50%[44] (GC) 92[45]
New Super Mario Bros. (NDS) 89.07%[46] (NDS) 89[47]
Super Mario Galaxy (Wii) 97.64%[48] (Wii) 97[49]
New Super Mario Bros. Wii (Wii) 88.18%[50] (Wii) 87[51]
Super Mario Galaxy 2 (Wii) 97.35%[52] (Wii) 97[53]
Super Mario 3D Land (3DS) 90.09%[54] (3DS) 90[55]
New Super Mario Bros. 2 (3DS) 78.40%[56] (3DS) 78[57]
New Super Mario Bros. U (Wii U) 84.48%[58] (Wii U) 84[59]
Super Mario 3D World (Wii U) 92.91%[60] (Wii U) 93[61]

The Super Mario series is one of the most popular and enduring[clarification needed] series of all time. The series is ranked as the best game franchise by IGN.[62] The original Super Mario Bros. was awarded the top spot on Electronic Gaming Monthly's greatest 200 games of their time list[63] and IGN's top 100 games of all time list twice (in 2005 and 2007).[64] Super Mario Bros. popularized side-scrolling video games[clarification needed] and provided the basic concept and mechanics that would persist throughout the rest of the series. Super Mario Bros. sold 40.24 million copies, making it the best-selling video game of the whole series.[65]

Super Mario Bros. 3 is often regarded as one of the Nintendo Entertainment System's greatest games; Nintendo Power rated the game sixth on their list of the 200 Greatest Nintendo Games.[citation needed] The game was 14th on Electronic Gaming Monthly's list. Super Mario World also received very positive scores, with a 94.44% aggregate review score on GameRankings.[32] Nintendo Power ranked the game eighth best overall to be released on a Nintendo console in their Top 200 Games list.[66]

Super Mario 64, as the first 3D platform game in the Mario series, established a new archetype for the genre, much as Super Mario Bros. did for 2D side-scrolling platformers. It is acclaimed by many critics and fans as one of the greatest and most revolutionary video games of all time.[67][68][69][70][71][72] Guinness World Records reported sales of 11.8 million copies for Super Mario 64 at the end of 2007.[73]

Super Mario Sunshine also received critical acclaim by game reviewers. IGN praised the addition of the water backpack for improving the gameplay,[74] and GameSpy commented on the "wide variety of moves and the beautifully constructed environments".[75] GameSpot and Computer and Video Games, however, called the game "unpolished", with the latter going so far as to insinuate that it was unfinished.[76][77]

Of all the Mario games released, Super Mario Galaxy and its sequel Super Mario Galaxy 2 are the most highly acclaimed Mario video games among both professional critics and ordinary gamers.[citation needed] Extolled for their creativity, special effects, graphics, and soundtrack, the two have not only been rated as some of the best Mario games created, but also as some of the greatest games ever made in video game history, according to sites such as IGN and TopTenReviews.[citation needed] GameRankings, a website that aggregates game scores and rankings from well-established video game critics, gives Super Mario Galaxy an aggregate ranking of 97.64%,[48] making it the best-ranked game on the site.[78]

Super Mario 3D Land was also highly commercially and critically successful, being the third best-selling 3DS game. Its sequel, Super Mario 3D World for the Wii U, was even more critically acclaimed than its predecessor.

Sales[edit]

Life-to-date number units shipped, in millions
Game Year Sales
Super Mario Bros. 1985 (NES) 40.23[79]
Super Mario Bros. 2 1988 (NES) 10[80]
Super Mario Bros. 3 1990 (NES) 18[80]
Super Mario Land 1989 (GB) 14[80]
Super Mario World 1991 (SNES) 20[81]
Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins 1992 (GB) 2.7[82]
Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3 1994 (GB) 5.2[citation needed]
Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island 1995 (SNES) 4[83]
Super Mario 64 1996 (N64) 11[80]
Super Mario Sunshine 2002 (GC) 5.5[84]
New Super Mario Bros. 2006 (DS) 28.74[85]
Super Mario Galaxy 2007 (Wii) 10.4[85]
New Super Mario Bros. Wii 2009 (Wii) 25.47[85][86]
Super Mario Galaxy 2 2010 (Wii) 6.36[87][88]
Super Mario 3D Land 2011 (3DS) 8.29[89]
New Super Mario Bros. 2 2012 (3DS)
New Super Mario Bros. U 2012 (Wii U) 2.15[90]
Super Mario 3D World 2013 (Wii U)

Games in the Super Mario series have had consistently strong sales. Super Mario Bros. is the second best-selling single video game[citation needed] (second to Wii Sports), with 40.23 million units sold. It is also the best-selling Nintendo Entertainment System console title, with its two sequels, Super Mario Bros. 3 (18 million copies) and Super Mario Bros. 2 (10 million copies), ranking in second and third place respectively.[80] Super Mario World is the best-selling game for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System console, selling 20 million copies. Super Mario World is also the seventh best-selling game of all time.[citation needed] Super Mario 64 sold the most copies for the Nintendo 64 (11 million), whereas Super Mario Sunshine is the second best-selling game (5.5 million) on the Nintendo GameCube (second to Super Smash Bros. Melee). Super Mario Galaxy has sold 8.02 million units as of March 2009, and is the sixth best-selling game for the Wii.[citation needed]

The Super Mario series also sold well on handheld consoles. Super Mario Land has sold 14 million copies, and is the fourth best-selling game for the Game Boy. Its sequel, Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins, sold 2.7 million copies, placing twelfth. Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3 was a financial success worldwide.[citation needed] New Super Mario Bros. for the Nintendo DS sold 28.74 million units, making it the best-selling game for the console. Super Mario 64 DS sold 7.5 million copies, making it the eighth best-selling game for the Nintendo DS.[91]

For all console and handheld games that have not been bundled with a console, Super Mario Bros. 3 is the fourth best-selling game, whereas New Super Mario Bros. is fifth, Super Mario Land is eleventh, and Super Mario 64 is eighteenth.

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External links[edit]