Mario, as depicted in promotional artwork of New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe
|First appearance||Donkey Kong (1981)|
|Created by||Shigeru Miyamoto|
Mario (Japanese: マリオ Hepburn: Mario, pronounced [ma.ɾi.o]; English: /
With more than 500 million units sold worldwide, the overall Mario franchise is the best-selling video game franchise of all time. Outside of the Super Mario platform series, other Mario genres include the Mario Kart racing series, sports games such as the Mario Tennis and Mario Golf series, role-playing games such as Mario & Luigi, Super Mario RPG and Paper Mario, and educational games such as Mario Is Missing!, Mario's Time Machine and Mario Teaches Typing. The franchise has branched into several media, including television shows, film, comics, and licensed merchandise. Since 1990, Mario has been voiced by Charles Martinet.
- 1 Concept and creation
- 2 Appearances
- 3 Characteristics
- 4 Abilities
- 5 Reception
- 6 References
- 7 External links
Concept and creation
Shigeru Miyamoto created Mario while developing Donkey Kong in an attempt to produce a best-selling video game for Nintendo; previous titles like Sheriff had not achieved the same success as titles like Pac-Man. Originally, Miyamoto wanted to create a video game that used the characters Popeye, Bluto, and Olive Oyl. At the time, however, Miyamoto was unable to acquire a license to use the characters (and would not until 1982 with Popeye), so he ended up making an unnamed player character, Donkey Kong, and Lady (later known as Pauline). In the early stages of Donkey Kong, Mario was unable to jump, and the focus was to escape a maze. However, Miyamoto enabled Mario to jump, saying "If you had a barrel rolling towards you, what would you do?"
While the protagonist was unnamed in the Japanese release, he would be named Jumpman in the game's English instructions and Mario in the sales brochure. Miyamoto originally named the character "Mr. Video", and he was to be used in every video game Miyamoto developed. According to a widely circulated story, during localization of Donkey Kong for American audiences, Nintendo of America's warehouse landlord Mario Segale confronted then-president Minoru Arakawa, demanding back rent. Following a heated argument in which the Nintendo employees eventually convinced Segale he would be paid, they opted to name the character in the game Mario after him.
Miyamoto commented that if he had named Mario "Mr. Video", Mario likely would have "disappeared off the face of the Earth". By Miyamoto's own account, Mario's profession was chosen to fit with the game design. Since Donkey Kong was set on a construction site, Mario was made into a carpenter. When he appeared again in Mario Bros., it was decided he should be a plumber, since a lot of the game is played in underground settings. Mario's character design, particularly his large nose, draws on western influences; once he became a plumber, Miyamoto decided to "put him in New York" and make him Italian, lightheartedly attributing Mario's nationality to his mustache. Other sources have Mario's profession chosen to be carpenter in an effort to depict the character as an ordinary hard worker, and make it easier for players to identify with him. After a colleague suggested that Mario more closely resembled a plumber, Miyamoto changed Mario's profession accordingly and developed Mario Bros., featuring the character in the sewers of New York City.
Due to the graphical limitations of arcade hardware at the time, Miyamoto clothed the character in red overalls and a blue shirt to contrast against each other and the background. A red cap was added to let Miyamoto avoid drawing the character's hairstyle, forehead, and eyebrows, as well as to circumvent the issue of animating his hair as he jumped. To give distinctly human facial features on an 8×8 pixel head, Miyamoto drew a large nose and a mustache, which avoided the need to draw a mouth and facial expressions.
Miyamoto envisioned a "go to" character that could be put into any game as needed, albeit in cameo appearances, as at the time Miyamoto was not expecting the character to become singularly popular. To this end, he originally called the character "Mr. Video", comparing his intent for appearances in later games to the cameos that Alfred Hitchcock had done within his films. Over time, Mario's appearance has become more defined; blue eyes, white gloves, brown shoes, a red "M" in a white circle on the front of his hat and gold buttons on his overalls have been added. The colors of his shirt and overalls were also reversed from a blue shirt with red overalls to a red shirt with blue overalls. Miyamoto attributed this process to the different development teams and artists for each game as well as advances in technology.
Mario debuted as "Jumpman" in the arcade game Donkey Kong on July 9, 1981. He is shown to be a carpenter and has a pet ape called Donkey Kong. The carpenter mistreats the ape and Donkey Kong escapes to kidnap Jumpman's girlfriend, originally known as the Lady, but later named Pauline. The player must take the role of Jumpman and rescue the girl.
Jumpman was later renamed "Mario" in the 1982 arcade game Donkey Kong Junior, the only game in which he has been portrayed as an antagonist. In the 1983 arcade game Mario Bros., Mario and his younger brother Luigi are portrayed as Italian-American plumbers who have to defeat creatures that have been coming from the sewers below New York City.
In Super Mario Bros. for the Nintendo Entertainment System, Mario saves Princess Toadstool (later known as Princess Peach) of the Mushroom Kingdom from King Koopa. To save Princess Toadstool, Mario conquers the eight worlds of the Mushroom Kingdom by going to the castle in each to defeat a minion of King Koopa. To reach each castle, Mario battles through three sub-worlds by defeating King Koopa's henchmen. If Mario successfully fights his way through the castle and defeats the minion, he frees a Mushroom Retainer. Inside the eighth castle, Mario has a final fight with King Koopa and frees Princess Toadstool. In Super Mario Bros. 2, the player can choose between Mario, Luigi, Toad, or Princess Peach. Each character possesses unique abilities (Luigi has stronger jumping ability, Toad can dig the fastest, and Peach can float), with Mario being the most well-rounded. In Super Mario Bros. 3, Mario quests to save the rulers of seven kingdoms from Bowser and his children, the Koopalings, and Mario travels across eight worlds to restore order to the Mushroom World and to rescue Princess Peach. Mario is introduced to new power-ups that augment his abilities.
In Super Mario Land, an alien named Tatanga appears, hypnotizes the inhabitants of an area called Sarasaland, and kidnaps its ruler, Princess Daisy. Mario sets out to rescue her, traveling through the four geographical areas of Sarasaland and defeating Tatanga's minions along the way. He corners Tatanga in the skies of the Chai kingdom, bringing down the alien warship and rescuing Daisy. In Super Mario World, Mario and Luigi take Princess Peach for a vacation in Dinosaur World sometime after the events of Super Mario Bros. 3; during the vacation, Peach is kidnapped by Bowser. Mario and Luigi meet the Yoshis, dinosaurs that live in Dinosaur World, and they help rescue Peach by allowing Mario and Luigi to ride them. In Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins, whose events take place immediately after the original Super Mario Land, Mario's evil counterpart Wario has put an evil spell over Mario Land while Mario was away in Sarasaland, renaming the area Wario Land. The inhabitants are brainwashed into thinking that Wario is their master and Mario is their enemy. Wario's motive behind this sudden attack was to take control over Mario's castle in order to have one of his own. To stop Wario, Mario finds the 6 Golden Coins throughout Mario Land and regains access to his castle. In Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island, a stork carries Baby Mario and Baby Luigi across the sea, but the evil Magikoopa Kamek steals Baby Luigi, and Baby Mario falls onto an island called Yoshi's Island, home to Yoshis. After Mario meets the Yoshis, the group journeys through the game's six worlds to rescue Baby Luigi and the stork from Baby Bowser and Kamek.
Mario made his 3D debut in Super Mario 64 for the Nintendo 64. Princess Peach sends Mario a letter inviting him to join her at her castle for cake; however, when he arrives, Mario discovers that Bowser has invaded the castle and imprisoned the princess and her servants within it using the castle's 120 Power Stars. Many of the castle's paintings are portals to other worlds, in which Bowser's minions guard the stars. Mario explores the castle and other worlds to recover the stars. He gains access to more painting portals as he recovers more stars, and he traverses three obstacle courses that lead him to battles with Bowser. Defeating Bowser the first two times earns Mario keys that open new levels of the castle, while the final battle releases Peach, who rewards Mario by baking the cake that she promised him.
In Super Mario Sunshine, Mario, Toadsworth, and Princess Peach take a vacation to Isle Delfino, a tropical island. A person resembling Mario, known as "Shadow Mario", vandalizes and pollutes the entire island using a magic paintbrush. The vandalism has caused the Shine Sprites to flee from the island's main city, Delfino Plaza, and blanket the island in darkness. Blamed for the mess, Mario is arrested by the island authorities and ordered to clean up Isle Delfino. Mario is equipped with FLUDD, a robotic hosing device invented by Professor E. Gadd, which he uses to clean up the pollution and collect the Shine Sprites. Meanwhile, Peach is kidnapped by Shadow Mario, who reveals himself to be Bowser Jr., one of Bowser's children, having stolen the paintbrush from Professor E. Gadd. Mario eventually confronts Bowser and Bowser Jr. and rescues the princess. With the island cleaned up, Mario and Peach begin their vacation.
Mario went to 2.5D in New Super Mario Bros. While Mario and Peach take a walk together through the Mushroom Kingdom, Bowser Jr. kidnaps Peach and flees. Mario gives chase, venturing through eight worlds. Mario eventually catches up, defeating both Bowser and Bowser Jr. and rescuing Peach. In Super Mario Galaxy, Mario is invited by Princess Peach to the centennial Star Festival in the Mushroom Kingdom. Upon arrival, Bowser invades the kingdom and rips Peach's castle from its foundations and lifts it into outer space. After failing to prevent the princess from being kidnapped, Mario meets star-like creatures called Lumas and their companion, Rosalina. Rosalina tells Mario that Bowser has stolen the Power Stars, the source of power for Rosalina's mobile observatory, and has taken Peach to the center of the universe. Mario then travels to various galaxies to reclaim the Power Stars to restore power to the observatory and reclaim Princess Peach. In New Super Mario Bros. Wii, another 2.5D game, Mario, Luigi, and two Toads are attending Princess Peach's birthday party when Bowser Jr. and the other seven Koopalings ambush the princess and kidnap her. Mario, Luigi, and the two Toads chase after them across eight worlds, defeating each Koopaling as they progress. The quartet eventually confronts Bowser, defeating him and saving the princess. In Super Mario Galaxy 2, Bowser, who has transformed himself into a giant using the Power Stars, attacks the Mushroom Kingdom and abducts Peach, taking her to the center of the universe. With the help of the Lumas, Mario pilots Starship Mario, a mobile planet in the shape of his head, in order to travel to various galaxies and gather the Power Stars, used to fuel the ship. After multiple battles against both Bowser and Bowser Jr., Mario eventually arrives at Bowser's lair at the center of the universe, where he defeats him and rescues the princess. In 2012, Mario returned in New Super Mario Bros. 2 where he collects several coins scattered across the Mushroom Kingdom in addition to saving Princess Peach from the evil clutches of Bowser and the Koopalings. Mario returns to defeat Bowser and his minions in New Super Mario Bros. U. Mario is one of the playable characters in Super Mario 3D World, where he has average running speed and jump height compared to other characters. Mario is the protagonist of the Nintendo Switch game Super Mario Odyssey, where the character Cappy replaces Mario's traditional hat, allowing Mario to throw it like a long-range weapon, and "capture" enemies to gain their abilities.
Other Mario games
Mario games of other genres include various Game & Watch games; Mario Pinball Land, a pinball game for the Game Boy Advance; various educational games; and the Dr. Mario puzzle video game, (with Dr. Mario itself first released in 1990). In these games, Dr. Mario throws vitamins that the player must align to destroy the viruses that populate the playing field. 1996's Super Mario RPG is the first Mario role-playing game; ten games have followed, including five in the Paper Mario series (Paper Mario for the Nintendo 64, Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door for the GameCube, Super Paper Mario for the Wii, Paper Mario: Sticker Star for the Nintendo 3DS, and Paper Mario: Color Splash for the Wii U) and six in the Mario & Luigi series (Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga for the Game Boy Advance, Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time and Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story for the Nintendo DS, Mario & Luigi: Dream Team, Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam, and Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga + Bowser's Minions for the Nintendo 3DS).
Several other sub-series of Mario video games, especially those inspired from sports, have been released. The Mario Kart franchise, which began with Super Mario Kart for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System in 1992, is the most successful and longest-running kart racing franchise. Other Mario sports games include the Camelot-developed series Mario Golf and Mario Tennis, and, respectively, the baseball and soccer games Mario Superstar Baseball and Super Mario Strikers. In 1999, Hudson Soft developed the Mario Party series, which began on the Nintendo 64. The games revolve around a set of minigames and are playable with up to four players. Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games, released for both Nintendo DS and Wii, is a collection of 24 events based on the 2008 Summer Olympic Games from Beijing, in which characters from Sega's Sonic the Hedgehog series compete with Mario characters. This was followed in 2009 by Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games on both systems, based on the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. Two more sports games for the Wii were released in 2011, Mario Sports Mix and the third Mario & Sonic game, Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games while the latter was released for the Nintendo 3DS in February 2012, which is based on the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. The fourth edition of the Mario & Sonic series for the Wii U is called Mario & Sonic at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games, which is based on the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. A fifth title, Mario & Sonic at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, which is based on the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, was released in 2016 for the Nintendo 3DS, Wii U and Arcade.
In other media
Apart from his platformer and spin-off game appearances, Mario has made guest appearances in non-Mario games, such as Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!!, where Mario is a referee. Mario appears as a playable character in NBA Street V3 and SSX on Tour. He makes countless cameo appearances in many forms in many games, such as portraits and statues in The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, and Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes.
The first appearance of Mario in media other than games was Saturday Supercade, an animated television series produced by Ruby-Spears Productions in 1983. Each episode was composed of several shorter segments featuring video game characters from the golden age of video arcade games. Mario (voiced by Peter Cullen) appeared in Donkey Kong segments where he and Pauline would try to recapture Donkey Kong.
Mario appears in the live-action film Super Mario Bros. as played by Bob Hoskins. Mario finds himself in an alternate universe in which dinosaurs rule where he must save the Earth from invasion. The film was a commercial failure at the box office.
Outside the original games, television shows, and film, Mario has influenced the creation of a line of licensed merchandise and has appeared in popular culture. The Nintendo Comics System series, along with the Nintendo Adventure Books, were created due to Mario as well.
Mario will appear at Universal Studios Japan in Osaka in the upcoming section of Super Nintendo World, which is scheduled to open in 2020 in time of the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. One of the rides will be themed to Mario Kart. Universal Parks & Resorts also has plans to import Super Nintendo World to Universal Studios Hollywood in Los Angeles, California and Universal Orlando Resort in Orlando, Florida.
Mario is depicted as a portly plumber who lives in the fictional land of the Mushroom Kingdom with Luigi, his younger, taller brother. In the television series and film, Mario and Luigi are originally from Brooklyn, New York. Little is known of Mario's childhood, though the infant version of Mario, Baby Mario, first appeared in 1995 in Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island, and has often appeared in Nintendo sports games since then. Baby Mario has a major role along with Baby Luigi in Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time and appears in Yoshi's Island DS. He, along with the adult Mario, is voiced by Charles Martinet. He wears a longsleeved red shirt, a pair of blue overalls with yellow buttons, brown shoes, white gloves and a red cap with a red "M" printed on a white circle. In Donkey Kong, he wore a pair of red overalls, and a blue shirt. In Super Mario Bros., he wore a brown shirt with red overalls. He has blue eyes, and, like Luigi, has brown hair, and a dark brown or black mustache. This consistent difference in color is attributed to being a relic from designing the characters for their original platforms, wherein certain features were actively distinguished while others had to be curtailed due to technical limitations. In a 2005 interview, Miyamoto stated that Mario's physical age was about 24-25 years old.
Nintendo did not initially reveal Mario's full name. In a 1989 interview, his full name was stated not to be "Mario Mario" though it may be inferred from the title of the Mario Bros. series. The first notable use of "Mario Mario" is in the 1993 live-action film adaptation. This was again used in two of Prima's official strategy guides, in 2000 for Mario Party 2 and in 2003 for Mario and Luigi: Superstar Saga. In 2012 after Charles Martinet voiced Mario declaring himself "Mario Mario" at the San Diego Comic-Con the next month Satoru Iwata said he had no last name, which Shigeru Miyamoto agreed with the month after. Two months after Iwata's death in July 2015, Miyamoto changed his stance September 2015 at the Super Mario Bros. 30th Anniversary festival, asserting that his name was indeed Mario Mario.
Occupation and hobbies
Mario's occupation is plumbing, though in the original Donkey Kong games he is a carpenter. Mario has had several other occupations: in the Dr. Mario series of puzzle games, which debuted in 1990, Mario is portrayed as a medical physician named "Dr. Mario"; in the Game Boy game Mario's Picross, Mario is an archaeologist; and in Mario vs. Donkey Kong 2: March of the Minis, Mario is the president of a profitable toy-making company. Mario is an athlete in various Mario sports titles including Mario Sports Mix, Mario Strikers Charged, and Mario Tennis Aces; as well as a kart racer in the Mario Kart series. Mario usually saves Princess Peach and the Mushroom Kingdom and purges antagonists, such as Bowser, from various areas. Mario has gained fame in the Mushroom Kingdom due to his heroic deeds, as shown in Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga, where the brothers are referred to as "superstars". In September 2017, Nintendo confirmed on their official Japanese profile for the character that Mario was no longer considered a plumber, most likely due to his various occupations and hobbies. However as of March 2018, the Japanese profile has since been changed to state that Mario's occupation is still a plumber.
Since his first game, Mario has usually had the role of saving the damsel in distress. Originally, he had to rescue his girlfriend Pauline in Donkey Kong from Donkey Kong. Pauline was soon replaced by a new damsel in distress, Princess Peach, in Super Mario Bros., but returned in the Game Boy remake of Donkey Kong in 1994, and in Mario vs. Donkey Kong 2: March of the Minis in 2006, although the character is now described as "Mario's friend". Mario has rescued Princess Peach multiple times since Super Mario Bros. In a role reversal, Peach rescues Mario in Super Princess Peach. Mario rescued Princess Daisy of Sarasaraland in Super Mario Land, but Luigi seems to be more linked to her. In Super Smash Bros. Melee, the text explaining Daisy's trophy states that "after her appearance in Mario Golf, gossips portrayed her as Luigi's answer to Mario's Peach".
Luigi is Mario's younger fraternal twin brother. He is a companion in the Mario games, and the character whom the second player controls in two-player sessions of many of the video games, though he occasionally rescues Mario, as seen in Mario Is Missing! and Luigi's Mansion. Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins for the Game Boy saw the arrival of Wario, Mario's greedy counterpart, who is often Mario's antagonist or an antihero. Yoshi is a dinosaur whose species is also named Yoshi. They vary in color, though the original Yoshi is green. Yoshi serves as Mario's steed in games such as Super Mario World, and is depicted as an independent character in games like Super Mario Kart and Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island.
During the development of Donkey Kong, Mario was known as Jumpman. Jumping—both to access places and as an offensive move—is a common gameplay element in Mario games, especially the Super Mario series. By the time Super Mario RPG was released, jumping became such a signature act of Mario that the player was often tasked with jumping to prove to non-player characters that he was Mario. Mario's most commonly portrayed form of attack is jumping to stomp on the heads of enemies, first used in Super Mario Bros. This jump-stomp move may entirely crush smaller enemies on the stage, and usually deals damage to larger ones, sometimes causing secondary effects. This attack often enables Mario to knock the turtle-like Koopa Troopas into or out of their shells, which can be used as weapons. Subsequent games have elaborated on Mario's jumping-related abilities. Super Mario World added the ability to spin-jump, which allows Mario to break blocks beneath him. The Game Boy version of Donkey Kong allows Mario to jump higher with consecutive jumps, and perform a back-flip. In Super Mario 64, Mario gains new jumping abilities such as a sideways somersault; a ground pound, which is a high-impact downward thrusting motion; and the "Wall Kick", which propels him upwards by kicking off walls.
Super Mario Bros. introduced the basic three power-ups that have become staples for the series, especially the 2D games — the Super Mushroom, which causes Mario to grow larger; the Fire Flower, which allows Mario to throw fireballs; and the Starman, which gives Mario temporary invincibility. These powers have appeared regularly throughout the series. Throughout the series' history, there have been several kinds of Mushroom power-ups, including the 1-up Mushroom, which gives Mario an extra life; the Poison Mushroom, which causes Mario to either shrink or die; the Mega Mushroom, which causes Mario to grow very large; and the Mini Mushroom, which causes Mario to shrink.
A reoccurring power-up throughout the series is an item that gives Mario the ability of flight. The first of this type was introduced in Super Mario Bros. 3: one power-up, which gives Mario a raccoon suit, is called the Super Leaf, while another is called the Tanooki Suit (a transliteration of tanuki) and grants Mario the ability to fly or turn into a statue. In Super Mario World, an item called the Cape Feather was introduced that gave Mario a cape. In Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins, a carrot was available that gave Mario rabbit ears that allowed him to fly, and in Super Mario 64, Mario could acquire an item called the Wing Cap, which temporarily gave him the ability of flight. Super Mario Sunshine introduces a pump-water spraying device named "F.L.U.D.D.", which abilities included spraying water and hovering.
Super Mario Galaxy introduced new power-ups, including the Bee Mushroom, which turned Mario into a bee and allowed him to fly temporarily; the Boo Mushroom, which turned Mario into a ghost, allowing him to float and pass through walls; the Spring Mushroom, which encased Mario in a spring, allowing him to jump higher; and the Ice Flower, which allowed the player to temporarily walk on water and lava without sinking or taking damage. Super Mario Galaxy 2 introduced more power ups, including the Cloud Flower which allows Mario to create platforms in midair and Rock Mario, which transforms Mario into a boulder that could be used to break through barriers.
New Super Mario Bros. Wii updated the Ice Flower, which allows Mario to shoot ice balls that temporally freeze enemies; and introduced the Propeller Mushroom, which allows him to fly; as well as the Penguin Suit, which allows Mario to easily traverse ice and swim through water in addition to shooting ice balls. Super Mario 3D Land introduced the Boomerang Flower, which allows Mario to throw boomerangs at nearby enemies; and the Statue Leaf, which allows Mario to turn to a statue. In New Super Mario Bros. U, a Super Acorn makes its debut. This transforms Mario to his new Flying squirrel form where he can glide and stick on walls. Super Mario 3D World introduced the Super Bell, which transforms Mario into his cat form as well as a Double Cherry to make multiple copies of himself.
As Nintendo's primary mascot, Mario is widely considered to be the most famous video game character in history, and has been called an icon of the gaming industry. The Mario series of video games has sold more than 510 million copies, making it the best-selling video game franchise. Mario was one of the first video game character inductees at the Walk of Game in 2005, alongside Link and Sonic the Hedgehog. Mario was the first video game character to be honored with a wax figure in the Hollywood Wax Museum in 2003. In 1990, a national survey found that Mario was more recognizable to American children than Mickey Mouse. Mario has also been called the "most recognisable" figure in the gaming industry.
Creator Shigeru Miyamoto has stated that Mario is his favorite out of all characters that he has created. Electronic Gaming Monthly gave Mario their "Coolest Mascot" award for 1996, calling him "an age-old friend." Nintendo Power listed Mario as their favorite hero, citing his defining characteristics as his mustache, red cap, plumbing prowess, and his mushrooms. In a poll conducted in 2008 by Oricon, Mario was voted the most popular video game character in Japan. GameDaily listed the "unlikely hero" on its top 25 video game archetypes, and used Mario as an example of this. It stated that in spite of the fact that he should have run out of energy through the first level, he kept going. Mario ranked fourth on GameDaily's top ten Smash Bros. characters list. Mario was fourth on UGO's list of the "Top 100 Heroes of All Time". They also listed Mario's hat twenty-first on their list of "The Coolest Helmets and Headgear in Video Games", stating "there's always somebody at your Halloween party wearing one." CNET listed him first on its list of the "Top 5 video game characters". He was voted 100th in IGN's Top 100 Villains for his appearance in Donkey Kong Junior, adding "This Mario is a total jerk, holding Donkey Kong Jr.'s dad hostage", and he has also been elected by GamesRadar as the 90th "most dastardly ne'er-do-wells" villain in video games in their "top 100".
Mario has been established as a pop culture icon, and has starred in numerous television shows, comic books, and in a feature film. He has appeared on lunch boxes, T-shirts, magazines, commercials (notably, in a Got Milk? commercial), in candy form, on shampoo bottles, cereal, badges, board games, and as a plush toy. Nintendo produced a 60-minute anime film based on the original Super Mario Bros. titled Super Mario Bros.: Peach-Hime Kyushutsu Dai Sakusen! in 1986, although this film has not been released outside Japan and has not been released on any home video format except VHS. The animated series The Super Mario Bros. Super Show! featured a live-action series of skits which starred former WWF manager "Captain" Lou Albano as Mario and Danny Wells as Luigi. Mario appeared in a book series, the Nintendo Adventure Books. Mario has inspired unlicensed paintings, performances on talent shows such as India's Got Talent, and short films, which have been viewed hundreds of thousands of times. The character has been present in a number of works created by third parties other than Nintendo, such as in the iOS and Android video game Platform Panic, in which one of the purchasable skins is a reference to him.
Many people and places have been named or nicknamed after Mario. Bergsala, the distributor of Nintendo's products in the Nordic and the Baltic countries, is located at Marios Gata 21 (Mario's Street 21) in Kungsbacka, Sweden, named after Mario. Many sports stars, including Bundesliga football players Mario Götze and Mario Gómez, National Hockey League player Mario Lemieux, Italian footballer Mario Balotelli, and Italian cyclist Mario Cipollini have been given the nickname "Super Mario". In a suburb of the Spanish city of Zaragoza, streets were named after video games, including "Avenida de Super Mario Bros".
Mario's legacy is recognized by Guinness World Records, who awarded the Nintendo mascot, and the series of platform games he has appeared in, seven world records in the Guinness World Records: Gamer's Edition 2008. These records include "Best Selling Video Game Series of All Time", "First Movie Based on an Existing Video Game", and "Most Prolific Video Game Character", with Mario appearing in 116 distinct titles (not including remakes or re-releases).
Mario appeared in the 2016 Summer Olympics closing ceremony to promote the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. In a pre-recorded video, the prime minister Shinzō Abe became Mario to use a Warp pipe planted by Doraemon from Shibuya Crossing to Maracanã Stadium. Abe then appeared dressed as Mario in an oversized Warp Pipe in the middle of the stadium.
Mario Day (previously known as National Mario Day) is celebrated on March 10, as when that date is presented as Mar 10 it resembles the name MARIO. Since 2016, the day was officially observed by Nintendo, and celebrates this day annually by promoting Mario games and holding Mario-related events.
- "Nintendo's Shining Star: The History of Mario". Gamecubicle. Retrieved August 23, 2008.
- Fraser, Mick (December 26, 2016). "The 10 best-selling video game franchises ever". Retrieved November 6, 2018.
- McLaughlin, Rus (September 13, 2010). "IGN Presents: The History of Super Mario Bros". IGN. Retrieved June 24, 2013.
- Orlando, Greg (May 15, 2007). "Console Portraits: A 40-Year Pictorial History of Gaming". Wired News. Archived from the original on October 20, 2008. Retrieved August 23, 2008.
- "Iwata Asks: New Super Mario Bros". Wii.com. Nintendo. p. 1. Retrieved June 24, 2013.
- "Mario: Alive, Well, and Living in the Bronx?". Next Generation. No. 26. Imagine Media. February 1997. p. 46.
- "Donkey Kong". The Arcade Flyers Archive.
- "Playback 93". Yahoo. December 2, 2009. Archived from the original on December 11, 2009. Retrieved December 24, 2009.
- Edwards, Benj (April 25, 2010). "The True Face of Mario". Technologizer. Retrieved June 30, 2011.
- Eric Pryne (March 27, 2010). "Powerful Segale family has massive vision for Tukwila expanse". The Seattle Times. Retrieved June 30, 2011.
- Mike Snider (November 8, 2010). "Q&A: 'Mario' creator Shigeru Miyamoto". USA Today. Retrieved November 9, 2010.
- Kohler, Chris (June 27, 2008). "Q&A: 90 Minutes With Miyamoto, Nintendo's Master of Amusement". IGN.com. Retrieved July 30, 2010.
- Arakawa, Minoru (1991). Mario Mania. Nintendo. pp. 30–32. ASIN B000BPL42C.
- Grajqevci, Jeton (October 9, 2000). Profile: Shigeru Miyamoto. N-Sider. Retrieved May 6, 2009
- Rao, Anjali (February 15, 2007). Sigeru Miyamao Talk Asia interview. CNN. Retrieved February 28, 2009
- "Iwata Asks: New Super Mario Bros". Wii.com. Nintendo. p. 2. Retrieved June 24, 2013.
- "Retro Diary". Retro Gamer (104): 13. July 2012. ISSN 1742-3155. OCLC 489477015.
- Kohler, Chris (2005). Power-Up: How Japanese Video Games Gave the World an Extra Life. Brady Games. p. 39. ISBN 978-0-7440-0424-3.
- "Mario Bros. at Nintendo – Wii – Virtual Console". Nintendo. Retrieved June 24, 2013.
- Super Mario Bros. Instruction Booklet. Nintendo of America. 1986.
- "The Eight Kingdoms". Super Mario Bros. 3 Instruction Booklet. Nintendo of America. February 12, 1990.
- "Super Mario Bros. 3: Strategy Guide on the Way". Nintendo Power (12): 94–95. May – June 1990.
- Nintendo (1989). Super Mario Land Instruction Booklet. Nintendo of America, Inc.
- Super Mario World Instruction Booklet. Nintendo.
- "FEATURE: Galaxy Quest". Edge. September 25, 2007. Archived from the original on September 8, 2012. Retrieved February 16, 2010.
- Princess Peach's note: Dear Mario: Please come to the castle. I've baked a cake for you. Yours truly-- Princess Toadstool, Peach Nintendo EAD (September 29, 1996). Super Mario 64. Nintendo 64. Nintendo.
- "Full Coverage — Super Mario 64". Nintendo Power (88): 14–23. September 1996.
- Official Super Mario 64 Player's Guide. Nintendo. 1996.
- Super Mario 64 Instruction Booklet. Nintendo. 1996. NUS-NSME-USA.
- Super Mario Sunshine instruction booklet. Nintendo. 2002. pp. 20–23.
- Nintendo EAD (August 26, 2002). Super Mario Sunshine. Nintendo GameCube. Nintendo.
FLUDD: The vacation starts now!
- New Super Mario Bros. manual. Nintendo. May 16, 2006. p. 10.
- Nintendo EAD (May 15, 2006). New Super Mario Bros. Nintendo DS. Nintendo.
- "Prologue". Super Mario Galaxy Instruction Booklet. Nintendo of America. 2007.
- Casamassina, Matt (November 7, 2007). "Super Mario Galaxy Review". IGN. pp. 1–2. Retrieved January 25, 2009.
- "New Super Mario Bros. Wii: Your Questions Answered!". Official Nintendo Magazine. October 23, 2009. Archived from the original on October 25, 2009. Retrieved November 11, 2009.
- Matt Wales (June 10, 2010). "Super Mario Galaxy 2 – Wii Review". Uk.wii.ign.com. Retrieved August 20, 2011.
- Byron, Tom (November 20, 2004). "Mario Pinball Land (Game Boy Advance)". 1UP.com. Archived from the original on July 23, 2012. Retrieved January 25, 2010.
- "Dr. Mario". IGN. Retrieved January 24, 2010.
- East, Tom (September 19, 2008). "Virtual Console Review: Super Mario RPG". Official Nintendo Magazine. Archived from the original on May 18, 2011. Retrieved February 17, 2010.
- Jenkins, David (January 10, 2007). "Mario Tops Best Selling Game Franchise List". Gamasutra. Retrieved January 1, 2009.
- Pigna, Kris (August 9, 2009). "Mario Included in NES Punch-Out!! Without Miyamoto's Permission". 1UP.com. Archived from the original on July 18, 2012. Retrieved January 28, 2009.
- "Mario to hoop it up in NBA Street V3". GameSpot. Archived from the original on January 12, 2005. Retrieved May 4, 2009.
- "SSX On Tour Character Spotlight: Mario, Luigi, and Peach". GameSpot. Archived from the original on January 14, 2006. Retrieved May 4, 2009.
- Obias, Rubie. "9 Hidden Mario Cameos and References in Videogames". Retrieved August 8, 2018.
- "At the Movies:Super Mario Bros". Archived from the original on January 17, 2010. Retrieved January 25, 2010.
- "Mario Biography". IGN. Archived from the original on December 20, 2009. Retrieved January 23, 2010.
- "Luigi Biography". IGN. Archived from the original on August 17, 2009. Retrieved January 26, 2010.
- "Charles Martinet: Voice Over". Retrieved March 16, 2008.
- Savage, Mark. "The actors hiding inside your video games". BBC News. Retrieved July 3, 2017.
- "BeefJack – An alternative gaming website – Video game news, reviews and features, from a different perspective". archive.beefjack.com. Archived from the original on 7 November 2017. Retrieved 2 November 2017.
- Mendelsohn, Tom (September 30, 2016). "Mario is only 24 years old, according to creator Shigeru Miyamoto". Ars Technica. Retrieved August 6, 2018.
- Loy, Joel (1989). "Inside Super Mario Bros". Inside Edition. CBS Television Distribution.
- Tica, Don; Govia, Mario De; Pham, Tri (2000). Mario Party 2: Prima's Official Strategy Guide. ISBN 9780761527671.
- Stratton, Stephen; Buchanan, Levi (2003). Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga : Prima's Official Strategy Guide. p. 21. ISBN 9780761544234.
- "Mario reveals his last name & other tales – San Diego Comic Con 2012". July 16, 2012.
What's my last name? That's a very good question. That's right, it's Mario! My name's-a Mario Mario. Of course, my brother's name, a-Luigi Mario. And of course, my mama's-a Mama Mia Mario; my papa Papa Pio Mario. Of course, my grandmama Grandmama Mia Mario and my greatpapa et cetera, et cetera. Yeah, first name Mario, last name Mario. Yahoo!
- "Nintendo Chief: Mario Is Part Of Gamers' DNA". August 17, 2012.
Could that mean that Mario's last name is "Video Game"? No, Iwata replied. "He does not have a last name."
- "Mario's Creators Answer Burning Questions About The Series". 24 September 2012. Archived from the original on 23 January 2013. Retrieved 20 December 2017.
- "【衝撃事実】ついに任天堂公式のマリオの本名が判明！任天堂の代表取締役・宮本茂氏が明かす" [[Impact] fact finally found real name of Nintendo official of Mario! Reveal the representative director, Shigeru Miyamoto of Nintendo] (in Japanese). September 14, 2015.
- "Miyamoto says Mario's full name is "Mario Mario"". September 14, 2015.
- "History of Nintendo Worldwide 1980–1990". Nintendo of Europe. 2013. Retrieved June 24, 2013.
- "Top Ten Mario Games". GameTrailers. July 24, 2007. Retrieved January 30, 2010.
- "Story and Characters". Mario vs. Donkey Kong 2: March of the Minis Instruction Booklet. Nintendo of America. September 25, 2006.
- "Mario and Luigi: Superstar Saga". Nintendo. Archived from the original on October 21, 2007.
- Ashcraft, Brian (September 4, 2017). "Mario Is Officially No Longer A Plumber". Kotaku. Retrieved September 4, 2017.
- Schreier, Jason (March 6, 2018). "Mario Is Officially A Plumber Again". Kotaku. Retrieved March 19, 2018.
- Trueman, Doug. "GameSpot Presents: The History of Donkey Kong". GameSpot. Archived from the original on July 10, 2001. Retrieved January 1, 2010.
- "Mario vs. DK 2: March of the Minis". Yahoo! Games. Archived from the original on September 27, 2011. Retrieved August 23, 2008.
- Bozon, Mark (February 1, 2006). "Hands-On: Super Princess Peach". IGN. Retrieved January 23, 2010.
- "Princess Daisy Biography". IGN. Archived from the original on November 29, 2007. Retrieved January 27, 2009.
- HAL Laboratory (December 3, 2001). Super Smash Bros. Melee. Nintendo GameCube. Nintendo.
- "Luigi Profile". IGN. Archived from the original on February 25, 2009. Retrieved January 26, 2010.
- Buchanan, Levi (August 7, 2008). "The Other Mario Games, Vol. 2". IGN. Retrieved January 23, 2010.
- "Wario Biography". IGN. Archived from the original on July 12, 2009. Retrieved January 23, 2010.
- "Yoshi Biography". IGN. Archived from the original on June 2, 2010. Retrieved January 23, 2009.
- Suellentrop, Chris (November 5, 2007). "Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels reviewed. – By Chris Suellentrop – Slate Magazine". Slate. Retrieved April 4, 2009.
- Harris, Craig. "IGN: New Super Mario Bros. Review". Uk.ds.ign.com. Retrieved April 4, 2009.
- Provo, Frank (November 9, 2007). "Super Mario Bros. 3 Review for Wii – GameSpot". Uk.gamespot.com. Archived from the original on March 10, 2009. Retrieved April 4, 2009.
- "Top 10 Mario Suits". IGN. November 16, 2009. Archived from the original on March 9, 2010. Retrieved January 23, 2010.
- Navarro, Alex (February 9, 2007). "Super Mario World for Wii Review – GameSpot". Uk.gamespot.com. Archived from the original on July 14, 2007. Retrieved April 4, 2009.
- "Super Mario 64 at Nintendo :: Wii :: Virtual Console :: Games". Nintendo.com. Retrieved June 24, 2013.
- "Super Mario Sunshine Review for GameCube – GameSpot". Uk.gamespot.com. October 4, 2002. Archived from the original on July 16, 2012. Retrieved April 4, 2009.
- "Mario's Special Moves". Super Mario Galaxy Instruction Booklet. Nintendo of America. 2007.
- "Mario's Special Moves". Super Mario Galaxy 2 Instruction Booklet. Nintendo of America. 2010.
- Buchanan, Levi (February 13, 2009). "Is There a Bad Mario Game?". IGN. Retrieved January 23, 2010.
- "Past Inductees 2005 Games / Characters". Walk of Game. Archived from the original on January 21, 2008. Retrieved February 21, 2008.
- Iwabuchi, Koichi (November 8, 2002). "1. Taking Japanization seriously: Cultural globalization reconsidered". Recentering globalization: Popular culture and Japanese transnationalism. Duke University Press. p. 30. ISBN 978-0-8223-2891-9. Archived from the original on July 9, 2010. Retrieved February 20, 2017.
- Plunkett, Luke (September 13, 2010). "Happy 25th Birthday, Super Mario Bros". Kotaku. Archived from the original on October 18, 2010. Retrieved October 18, 2010.
- "Exclusive Interview With Nintendo Gaming Mastermind Shigeru Miyamoto". Popular Mechanics. October 19, 2009. Retrieved October 21, 2009.
- "The Best of '96". Electronic Gaming Monthly. No. 92. Ziff Davis. March 1997. p. 90.
- Nintendo Power 250th issue!. South San Francisco, California: Future US. 2010. pp. 40, 41.
- Brian Ashcraft (August 23, 2008). "And Japan's Favorite Video Game Characters Are...?". Kotaku. Retrieved August 23, 2008.
- Buffa, Chris (January 23, 2009). "Top 25 Game Archetypes". GameDaily. Archived from the original on November 6, 2018. Retrieved January 1, 2010.
- "Top 10 Smash Bros. Characters – Page 7". GameDaily. Archived from the original on October 23, 2009. Retrieved August 7, 2009.
- Staff (September 24, 2007). "Best Heroes of All Time: Mario". UGO Networks. Archived from the original on October 11, 2007. Retrieved November 8, 2009.
- Marissa Meli (March 4, 2011). "The Coolest Helmets and Headgear in Video Games". UGO.com. Archived from the original on March 11, 2011. Retrieved March 21, 2011.
- Tom Merritt (December 7, 2009). "Top 5 video game characters". CNET. Retrieved April 25, 2010.
- "Top 100 Villains". IGN. Archived from the original on January 6, 2012. Retrieved May 13, 2010.
- "100 best villains in video games". GamesRadar. May 17, 2013. Archived from the original on June 24, 2013. Retrieved July 28, 2013.
- Weiss, Jodi & Kahn, Russell (2004). In 145 Things to Be When You Grow Up. Princeton Review Publishing. p. 25. ISBN 0-375-76369-4. Google Book Search. Retrieved November 6, 2009.
- "10 Works of Art Inspired By Super Mario Bros.". Pixelated Geek. Retrieved May 5, 2009.
- Ashcraft, Brian (July 13, 2009). "India's Got Mario Talent". Kotaku. Retrieved May 17, 2012.
- Totilo, Stephen (December 23, 2011). "32 Nintendo Fans made these 8 Short Movies in 24 Hours". Retrieved December 14, 2015.
- Spencer, Spanner (December 30, 2014). "Platform Panic Review: Infinite Platforms, Infinite Pleasure". Gamezebo. Retrieved July 4, 2016.
- "Bergsala AB, Contact page". Archived from the original on August 17, 2010. Retrieved June 24, 2013.
- "ESPN.com: Mario was super despite the obstacles". ESPN. Retrieved April 4, 2009.
- Super Mario Balotelli can win title for Manchester City Daily Mail, July 29, 2010
- Shoichet, Catherine E. (November 8, 2010). "Spanish neighborhood unveils 'Super Mario' street". CNN. Retrieved August 27, 2018.
- Brian Crecente. "What Were Your Greatest Gaming Moments of 2010?". Kotaku. Archived from the original on July 13, 2011.
- Craig Glenday, ed. (March 11, 2008). Guinness World Records Gamer's Edition 2008. Guinness World Records. Guinness. ISBN 978-1-904994-21-3.
- Palazzo, Chiara (August 22, 2016). "Shinzo Abe emerges from a green pipe disguised as Super Mario during Rio Closing Ceremony". Retrieved August 22, 2016.
- Samuelson, Kate (August 22, 2016). "Shinzo Abe Dresses as Super Mario for Rio Closing Ceremony". Time. Retrieved August 22, 2016.
- Palazzo, Chiara (August 22, 2016). "Shinzo Abe emerges from a green pipe disguised as Super Mario during Rio Closing Ceremony". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved August 22, 2016.
- Schuyler J. Dievendorf (March 10, 2014), "8 Best Ways To Celebrate National Mario Day", The Escapist, retrieved March 9, 2017
- Alice Wilczynski (March 10, 2016), Nintendo: Video zum heutigen National Mario Day (in German), 4Players, retrieved March 9, 2017
- "National Mario Day". Tristate Update, WOWK-TV. March 10, 2016. Retrieved March 9, 2017.
- "Fun Holiday – Mario Day". Timeanddate.com. Retrieved March 9, 2017.
- Dani Werner (March 7, 2016), "Jump-start your week with some items of interest", Star Tribune, retrieved March 9, 2017
- "Celebrate Mar 10 - Mario Day!". YouTube. Nintendo (Nintendo of America). Retrieved March 13, 2018.
- Burch, Jennifer (March 9, 2018). "Nintendo celebrates Mario Day with panache". Nintendo Wire. Retrieved March 13, 2018.