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Mario (マリオ Mario?) is a fictional character in the Mario video game franchise by Nintendo, created by Japanese video game designer Shigeru Miyamoto. Serving as Nintendo's mascot and the eponymous 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 varied video game genres such as racing, puzzle, party, role-playing, fighting and sports.

Mario is depicted as a short, pudgy, Italian plumber who resides in the Mushroom Kingdom. He repeatedly rescues Princess Peach from the turtle-like villain Bowser and stops his numerous plans to destroy him and take over the kingdom. Mario also has other enemies and rivals, including Donkey Kong and Wario. Since 1995, he has been voiced by Charles Martinet.

As Nintendo's mascot, Mario is said by many to be the most famous character in video game history. Mario games, as a whole, have sold more than 210 million units, making the Mario franchise the best-selling video game franchise of all time. Outside of the Super Mario platform series, 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, role-playing video games such as Paper Mario and Super Mario RPG, and educational games, such as Mario Is Missing! and Mario's Time Machine. He has inspired television shows, film, comics and a line of licensed merchandise.

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The Koopalings (コクッパ Ko Kuppa?), also called the Koopa Kids, are a group of seven fictional characters in Nintendo's Mario franchise. Their individual names are (in order of age, oldest to youngest) Ludwig von Koopa, Lemmy Koopa, Roy Koopa, Iggy Koopa, Wendy O. Koopa, Morton Koopa Jr. and Larry Koopa. They first appeared in the NES game Super Mario Bros. 3, and again in the Super NES games Super Mario World and Yoshi's Safari. Following these appearances, however, they were not seen in any major roles until 16 years after Yoshi's Safari in the Wii game New Super Mario Bros. Wii. They were originally conceived as a replacement for recurring appearances of series villain Bowser; series creator Shigeru Miyamoto tasked the designers of Super Mario Bros. 3 with creating Koopalings and the seven best designs were chosen as the basis for the characters. Their names and appearances are based on music, particularly rock and roll.

They have made several appearances in other media, most notably in the cartoon The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3, which featured entirely different names for the Koopalings due to them not having official names at the time of its airing. Since Super Mario Bros. 3, they have received positive reception, with critics citing them for adding variety to the series' villains compared to when the series merely featured Bowser multiple times. Critics bemoaned the lack of the Koopalings in many games, commenting on how it has taken more than 15 years for them to get another major appearance, as well as criticizing Bowser Jr. for replacing them.

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