The emblem on Mario's hat is iconic in the Mario franchise
|Created by||Shigeru Miyamoto|
|Original work||Donkey Kong (1981)|
|Films and television|
|Animated series||Animated series list|
|Traditional||Electromechanical games list|
|Original music||Music list|
|Theme park attraction(s)||Super Nintendo World|
Mario[a] is a Japanese media franchise, published and produced by video game company Nintendo, starring the fictional Italian character Mario. It is primarily a video game franchise, with the franchise's other forms of media including several television series and a feature film. It was originally created by game designer Shigeru Miyamoto with the arcade game Donkey Kong, released on July 9, 1981. The games have been developed by a variety of developers including Nintendo, Hudson Soft, and AlphaDream. Most Mario games have been released for Nintendo's various video game consoles and handhelds, from the third generation onward.
The main series in the franchise is the Super Mario series of platform games which mostly follows Mario's adventures in the fictional world of the Mushroom Kingdom. These games typically rely on Mario's jumping ability to allow him to progress through levels. The franchise has spawned more than 200 games of various genres and series, including Mario Kart, Mario Party, Mario Tennis, and Mario Golf.
The Mario series is one of Nintendo's most renowned and successful franchises; many games in its series, specifically the "Super Mario" portion, are considered to be some of the greatest video games ever made. By 2011, the core Super Mario video games had grossed an estimated US$12 billion in sales. More than 600 million copies of Mario games have been sold, making it the best-selling video game franchise of all time. It is also the 9th highest-grossing media franchise of all time, with an estimated revenue above $36 billion.
After the commercial failure of Radar Scope, Nintendo's company president referred to Shigeru Miyamoto to create an arcade game to save the company. Miyamoto came up with the idea of a game in which the playable character has to make his way through an obstacle course consisting of sloped platforms, ladders and rolling barrels. Miyamoto named the game Donkey Kong, and its main protagonist "Jumpman". Donkey Kong is an early example of the platform genre. In addition to presenting the goal of saving Pauline, the game gives the player a score. Points are awarded for finishing screens; leaping over obstacles; destroying objects with a hammer power-up; collecting items such as hats, parasols, and purses (presumably belonging to the Lady/Pauline); and completing other tasks. The game was surprisingly successful. "Jumpman" was called "Mario" in certain promotional materials for the game's release overseas; his namesake was Mario Segale, the landlord of Nintendo of America's office/warehouse, who barged in on a meeting to demand an overdue rent payment. Eventually Jumpman's name was internationally and permanently changed to Mario. The success of the game spawned several ports, and a sequel, Donkey Kong Jr., which is Mario's only appearance as an antagonist. Donkey Kong 3 did not feature Mario.
The Mario branding was used for the first time in a later arcade game, Mario Bros., which introduced Mario's brother, Luigi. The objective of Mario Bros. is to defeat all of the enemies in each phase. Each phase is a series of platforms with four pipes at each corner of the screen, and an object called a "POW" block in the center. The mechanics of Mario Bros. involve only running and jumping. Unlike future Mario titles, players cannot jump on enemies until they are flipped over; this can be accomplished by jumping under the platform they are on or by using the "POW" block. Both sides of every phase feature a mechanism that allows the player to go off-screen to the left and appear on the right, and vice versa. The game has since reappeared in various forms, including as a minigame in Super Mario Bros. 3 and the Super Mario Advance series, and reimagined as Mario Clash.
Game & Watch
Nintendo has released several Mario and Donkey Kong LCD video games for the Game & Watch line. Eleven were released between 1982 and 1994. Nintendo also licensed the release of six LCD games for Nelsonic's Game Watch line between 1989 and 1994. Many remakes of Game & Watch games have changed the protagonist from a generic Mr. Game & Watch character to Mario.
Super Mario series
Mario then became the star of his own side scrolling platform game in 1985, titled Super Mario Bros., which was the pack-in game included with the Nintendo Entertainment System console. It was also later sold in a package with Duck Hunt. In Japan, a game titled Super Mario Bros. 2 was released in 1986, but a different game with the same name was released internationally in 1988, followed by Super Mario Bros. 3 later that same year. The Japanese version would subsequently be released in the United States in 1993 under the title Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels as part of the Super Mario All-Stars title for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System, a console that also features iterations of the game known as Super Mario World. While Super Mario Land and two sequels were the Game Boy installments in the series, the Game Boy Advance did not receive any original entries, only remakes. Super Mario 64 debuted as the launch title for the Nintendo 64 console in 1996. Super Mario Sunshine was the series' entry for the GameCube, and Super Mario Galaxy and its sequel continued the franchise for the Wii. Super Mario 3D Land was the series' flagship title for Nintendo 3DS. The Wii U saw the release of Super Mario 3D World. Super Mario Odyssey would be the first original game in the series to be released on the Nintendo Switch, and was released in 2017.
In 2006, a sub-series with retro gameplay called New Super Mario Bros. was inaugurated on the Nintendo DS, featuring the mechanics of the Super Mario Bros. games. It continued on the Wii as New Super Mario Bros. Wii, on the 3DS as New Super Mario Bros. 2 and on the Wii U as New Super Mario Bros. U and New Super Luigi U, with a port titled New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe on the Nintendo Switch in January, 2019. Super Mario Bros.-styled gameplay is further offered by the level creator game Super Mario Maker, released on Wii U in 2015. A new version, Super Mario Maker 2, was released on Nintendo Switch in June 2019.
Dr. Mario series
Dr. Mario[b] (stylized as D℞. Mario) is a series of arcade-style action puzzle video game originally developed by Nintendo Research & Development 1, and later developed by Arika and produced by Nintendo Software Planning & Development. The first in the series, Dr. Mario, was launched in 1990 on the Nintendo Entertainment System and Game Boy to critical and commercial success. In the Dr. Mario series, the player character Mario, who assumes the role of a doctor, is tasked with eradicating deadly viruses. The player's objective is to destroy the viruses populating the on-screen playing field by using falling colored capsules that are dropped into the field, similarly to Tetris. The player manipulates the capsules as they fall so that they are aligned with viruses of matching colors, which removes them from playing field. The player progresses through the game by eliminating all the viruses on the screen in each level.
There have been 4 Dr. Mario games released for home consoles and two portable games, for a total of six original titles. As the series has progressed, each new game has introduced new elements in order to keep the gameplay fresh such as new game modes. In 2001, Dr. Mario 64 for the Nintendo 64 introduced new game modes such as a Story mode, Score Attack and Marathon, Wario as a playable character and four-player multiplayer. After a seven-year hiatus, in 2008, Dr. Mario Express for the Nintendo DSi's DSiWare service re-introduced the series to the portable gaming market. Also in 2008, Dr. Mario Online Rx for the Wii's WiiWare service introduced online multiplayer to the series. In 2013, Dr. Luigi for the Wii U's Nintendo eShop introduced Luigi as the playable character as well as a Operation L game mode in which all capsules assume the shape of the letter "L".
Mario's Picross series
This series is a collection of nonogram logic puzzles involving a grid with numbers for every row and column, which refer to the amount of marked squares within the grid. The games features Mario as an archaeologist who chisels away to form images on the grid.
Mario vs. Donkey Kong series
Mario vs. Donkey Kong[c] is a sub-series of the Mario and Donkey Kong series, based on puzzle video games, making the return of Donkey Kong, Pauline, and the former's rivalry with Mario. The sub-series introduces the Mario-like toys known as Mini-Marios, who later replace Mario as the sole playable characters in all future installments starting with March of the Minis onward.
Mario Kart series
Mario Kart[d] is a series of go-kart-style racing video games primarily developed by Nintendo Entertainment Analysis & Development. The first in the series, Super Mario Kart, was launched in 1992 on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System to critical and commercial success. In the Mario Kart series, players compete in go-kart races, controlling one of a selection of characters from the Mario franchise. One of the features of the series is the use of various power-up items obtained by driving into item boxes laid out on the course. These power-ups include Super Mushrooms to give players a speed boost, Koopa Shells to be thrown at opponents, and banana peels that can be laid on the track as hazards.
There have been five Mario Kart games released for home consoles, one enhanced port, three portable games, one game for smartphones, and three Namco co-developed arcade spin-off games, for a total of thirteen. As the series has progressed, each new game has introduced new elements in order to keep the gameplay fresh such as new courses, new items, and new playable characters. In 1996 and 1997, Mario Kart 64 for the Nintendo 64 introduced 4-player racing and 3D graphics. In 2001, Super Circuit for the Game Boy Advance introduced the ability to unlock retro tracks from previous installments. In 2003, Double Dash!! for the GameCube introduced co-operative LAN multiplayer and two-player karts. In 2005, Mario Kart DS for the Nintendo DS introduced dual-screen play and online multiplayer via Wi-Fi. In 2008, Mario Kart Wii introduced motion controls, 12-player racing, motorbikes and playable Mii characters, as well as three new items: the POW Block, Mega Mushroom, and Thunder Cloud. In 2011, Mario Kart 7 for the Nintendo 3DS featured optional stereoscopic graphics, introduced hang gliding and submersible karts, an alternate first-person perspective, and kart customization. In 2014, Mario Kart 8 for the Wii U introduced anti-gravity racing, ATVs, uploading highlights to YouTube via Mario Kart TV, up to four local players in Grand Prix races, downloadable content, and is the first in the series to boast HD graphics. In 2017, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe for the Nintendo Switch was released as an enhanced port of the Wii U version, featuring an improved battle mode and several new characters including the Inklings from Splatoon.
Possibly the most popular spin-off series in the franchise, the Mario Kart series began in 1992 and is currently the most successful and longest-running kart racing series, having sold over 150,000,000 copies worldwide.
The first role-playing game in the Mario franchise was Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars. It has since expanded to the Paper Mario and Mario & Luigi series.
Paper Mario series
Paper Mario[e] is a spin-off series of RPG video games developed by Intelligent Systems and produced by Nintendo Software Planning & Development. The first game in the series, Paper Mario, was launched in 2000 on the Nintendo 64 to critical and commercial success. In the Paper Mario series, the player controls Mario in a mixture of 3D environments and 2D characters who look as if they are made of paper. Mario can jump and use his hammer to overcome physical obstacles placed in the game's overworld. Additionally, the player accumulates partners as they advance into different locations, who each have a specialized skill required for progression in the game. These characters assist Mario in the game's turn-based battles. Damage inflicted to the player reduces the amount of HP. Attacks in the game are similar to those in traditional RPGs, although the player can influence the power of a move when attacking or defending by timing a button-press accurately or performing some other action command as required. Mario and his partners have a finite capacity to perform special moves, with each of these consuming a particular number of flower points (FP) when performed. Such statistics can be increased by earning Star Points (experience points) in combat to level up.  Progression through Paper Mario depends upon interaction with the game's non-player characters (NPCs), who will often offer clues or detail the next event in the storyline. As in other RPGs, the player can find or purchase items from NPCs to help in and outside of combat. Badges can be obtained that yield bonuses ranging from added moves to gradual health restoration during combat; each consumes a set number of Badge Points (BP), meaning Mario can only equip a limited number of badges at a time.
There have been five Paper Mario games released for home consoles and one game on 3DS. As the series has progressed, each new game has introduced new elements in order to keep the gameplay fresh such as a new story, new partners, and new gameplay mechanics. In 2004, The Thousand-Year Door for the GameCube introduced the ability of Mario turning into and folding up into a paper airplane and/or a paper boat to interact with the overworld. In 2007, Super Paper Mario deviated into the 2D action RPG genre and introduced the ability to "flip" into a 3D perspective in which the level rotates to reveal a hidden z-axis, placing Mario in a 3D environment. In 2012, Sticker Star for the Nintendo 3DS introduced the use of stickers in both the environment and in turn-based battles. They can be found and peeled off from various areas in the overworld, and can be purchased or received from non-playable characters. In 2015, Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam also for the 3DS where all the Paper Mario world enters the real one. In 2016, Color Splash for the Wii U was announced that introduced the use of colors in both the environment and in turn-based battles, just like in Sticker Star. In 2020, The Origami King was announced on the Switch with the use of origami.
- Paper Mario
- The Thousand-Year Door
- Super Paper Mario
- Sticker Star
- Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam (A Mario & Luigi crossover)
- Color Splash
- The Origami King
Mario & Luigi series
The Mario & Luigi spin-off series, developed by AlphaDream, is formed exclusively throughout handheld consoles. The series began with the release of Superstar Saga for the Game Boy Advance in 2003. In 2017, Superstar Saga + Bowser's Minions for the Nintendo 3DS introduced a remake of the original game with added graphics, an improved map allowing players to place pinpoints, and an additional mode called Minion Quest: The Search for Bowser, which provides a storyline that allows you to take control of Bowser's Minions to search for their leader, facing many obstacles in their way. In 2005, Partners in Time for the Nintendo DS introduced their younger selves: Baby Mario, Baby Luigi, Toadsworth the younger, Baby Peach and Baby Bowser. In 2009, Bowser's Inside Story also for the DS introduced Mario, Luigi and the others inside of Bowser's body. In 2018, Bowser's Inside Story + Bowser Jr.'s Journey for the 3DS introduced a remake of the original game with added graphics, an improved map allowing players to place pinpoints, and an additional mode called Bowser Jr.'s Journey. In 2013, Dream Team for the 3DS introduced Dreamy Luigi, where Luigi sleeps in the Dream World in celebrating the Year of Luigi. In 2015, Paper Jam also for the 3DS also included Paper Mario as a playable caracter when Luigi knocks over the book containing him.
- Superstar Saga
- Bowser's Minions
- Partners in Time
- Bowser's Inside Story
- Bowser Jr.'s Journey
- Dream Team
- Paper Jam (A crossover with Paper Mario)
Mario Party series
In 1998, the Hudson game Mario Party was released for the Nintendo 64. Following this, 9 numbered sequels have since been released, making for 10 numbered titles, along with two non-numbered main series titles, Mario Party DS and Super Mario Party. The series also has four spins offs that differ in gameplay, including Mario Party Advance, Island Tour, Star Rush, and The Top 100. Mario Party is a multiplayer party game featuring Mario series characters in which 4 human- or computer-controlled characters compete in a board game interspersed with minigames.
There have been numerous sports games in the Mario franchise.
Mario Tennis series
The first appearances of Mario in tennis games were as a referee in Tennis for the NES and Game Boy. These games did not use the Mario branding and only featured Mario in the capacity of a cameo. He then appeared in Mario's Tennis for the Virtual Boy. After this, Camelot Software Planning released Mario Tennis for the Nintendo 64. They would subsequently develop other games in this series: Mario Power Tennis for the GameCube and Wii, Power Tour for the Game Boy Advance, Mario Tennis Open for the Nintendo 3DS, Ultra Smash for the Wii U, and Aces for the Nintendo Switch.
Mario Golf series
The first use of Mario's likeness in a golf game was that the golfer in Golf for NES and Game Boy featured a mustached man resembling Mario. Later, NES Open Tournament Golf was released. It featured Mario and Luigi as the golfers, with Princess Toadstool and Princess Daisy as their caddies. Mario Golf was released for the N64 in 1999. It was followed by Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour for the GameCube, Mario Golf: Advance Tour for the Game Boy Advance and Mario Golf: World Tour for the Nintendo 3DS.
Mario Baseball series
Mario Strikers series
The game of football was introduced in one of the minigames in Mario Party 4 as "GOOOOOOOAL!!". The Mario Strikers series (Mario Football in Europe) made its debut for the GameCube with Super Mario Strikers in 2005, developed by Next Level Games. Mario Strikers Charged was released for the Wii in 2007.
Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games series
In 2008, Mario and his friends appeared alongside the characters from Sonic the Hedgehog in the sports game, Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games, developed by Sega as the crossover series. A follow-up, Olympic Winter Games, was released in 2009 and Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games was released between November 2011 (Wii) and February 2012 (Nintendo 3DS). On November 15, 2013, a third sequel called Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games was released exclusively on the Wii U, with a fourth sequel, Mario & Sonic at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games for the Wii U, Nintendo 3DS and arcade in 2016. A fifth sequel, Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, was released on Nintendo Switch in November 2019.
In the early 1990s, many educational games were released in the Mario series. Few of these games were platformers; most sought to teach skills such as typing, mathematics or history. They are officially licensed but not officially recognized by Nintendo. The games were developed independently by Software Toolworks, Interplay and Brainstorm. Nine educational games were released from 1991 to 1996.
Games not published by Nintendo
This section covers games developed by other companies without Nintendo involvement. These games are officially licensed but not officially recognized by Nintendo.
Mario Bros. Special is a video game released in 1984 for the Japanese computers NEC PC-6001mkII, NEC PC-6601, NEC PC-8801, FM-7 and Sharp X1. It is a remake of the original Mario Bros., with new stages, mechanics and gameplay.
Punch Ball Mario Bros. is a video game released in 1984 for the Japanese computers NEC PC-6001mkII, NEC PC-6601, NEC PC-8801, FM-7 and Sharp X1. It is similar to the original Mario Bros., but featured a new gameplay mechanic of "punch balls", small balls which Mario and Luigi can kick into enemies to stun them, instead of hitting them from below, as in the original.
Hudson Soft was originally responsible for the Mario Party series until Mario Party DS in 2007, but as of March 2012 this has been taken over by Nd Cube since Hudson has become a part of Konami. Many of Hudson's employees now work for Nd Cube.
Three games were planned for development by Philips Interactive Media for use on its CD-i machine: Super Mario's Wacky Worlds, Hotel Mario, and Mario Takes America. Only Hotel Mario was released; Super Mario's Wacky Worlds and Mario Takes America were eventually cancelled. Philips was given permission to use Nintendo characters in CD-i games due to their taking part in developing an unreleased add-on for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES). Hotel Mario did not gain much success, with Nintendo rarely acknowledging it as part of the Mario series.
Super Mario's Wacky Worlds is a cancelled video game planned for the CD-i, developed by NovaLogic, which attempted to duplicate the gameplay of Super Mario World. Though the game sprites are based on those in Super Mario World, the level design is based on Earth locations rather than Dinosaur Land. Due to the limitations of the CD-i, several features could not be included in the game, such as large numbers of sprites on the screen, and many visual effects. The nature of the pointing device controller provides difficult controls for Mario, as the game has the default controls of running and jumping.
Mario Takes America was proposed about Mario's trip to Hollywood to make his own movie. The game's concept initially impressed Philips, but was cancelled due to the company being unsatisfied with the game's development progress.
Hotel Mario is a puzzle game developed by Fantasy Factory and published by Philips Interactive Media for the CD-i in 1994. The primary characters of the game are Mario and Luigi, who must find Princess Peach by going through seven Koopa Hotels in the Mushroom Kingdom. Every hotel is divided into multiple stages, and the objective is to close all doors on each stage. The game has been criticized as one of the worst Mario-centered games, mainly because of its cutscenes and simple gameplay.
Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle is a turn-based tactical role-playing video game developed by Ubisoft Milan (Ubisoft's Italian studio division) for the Nintendo Switch. The game is a crossover with Ubisoft's Raving Rabbids franchise, and features both singleplayer and cooperative multiplayer gameplay. The game's story sees players controlling Mario, his friends, and a group of Rabbids dressed as them, dealing with the aftermath of a sudden invasion by a group of Rabbids, who have accidentally misused a powerful invention that has brought chaos to the Mushroom Kingdom. Shigeru Miyamoto was initially impressed by the prototype of the game, that was presented to him by creative director Davide Soliani in 2014, which later caused Nintendo to greenlight the game for a Nintendo Switch release. It was released in Europe and North America on August 29, 2017, and was met with generally favorable reception from critics, who praised its gameplay, depth, and graphics.
The Mario franchise includes many comics, manga and TV series based on the games. Most were released in the late 1980s to early 1990s, and have since become obscure. Mario, Luigi and Peach have made cameo appearances in two sports games, including the GameCube version of NBA Street V3. The series launched two films, the anime Super Mario Bros.: Peach-Hime Kyushutsu Dai Sakusen released in 1986 and the live action film Super Mario Bros. in 1993. The latter lost a large amount of money at the box office and was widely considered to be a failure.
Saturday Supercade was an animated television series produced for Saturday mornings by Ruby-Spears Productions. It ran for two seasons on CBS, beginning in 1983. Each episode comprised several shorter segments featuring video game characters from the Golden Age of Arcade Games. Donkey Kong, Mario and Pauline (from the Donkey Kong arcade game) were featured in the show.
The Super Mario Bros. Super Show! is the first American TV series based on the Mario NES games. It was broadcast in syndication from September 4 to December 1, 1989. The show was produced by DIC Entertainment and was distributed for syndicated television by Viacom Enterprises (full rights have since reverted to DiC through Nintendo).
King Koopa's Kool Kartoons was a live action children's television show broadcast in Southern California during the holiday season of 1989-90. The show starred King Koopa (also known as Bowser), the main antagonist of the Mario series. The 30-minute program was originally broadcast during the after-school afternoon time-slots on Los Angeles-based KTTV Fox 11.
The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3 is the second TV series based on the Mario NES games. It aired on NBC from September 8 to December 1, 1990. Based on the Super Mario Bros. 3 video game, the cartoon shows Mario, Luigi, Princess Toadstool and Toad fighting against Bowser and his Koopalings, who went by different names on the show (Hip, Hop, Kooky, Kootie Pie, Big Mouth, Cheatsy, and Bully). Like the previous Mario cartoon series, the animation was done by Sei Young Animation Co. Ltd, however this show was co-produced by Reteitalia S.P.A., hence the slight differences in character design.
Super Mario Challenge was a show which aired on The Children's Channel. It ran from 1990 to 1991 and aired at 4:30 p.m. every weekday. The presenter, John Lenahan, was a lookalike of Mario, and dressed in his clothes. Two guest players had to do tasks, all of which involved playing the Mario video games Super Mario Bros., Super Mario Bros. 2 and, after its release in 1991, Super Mario Bros. 3. Rounds included challenges to see which player could complete a level in the fastest time and who could collect the most gold coins on a certain level.
Super Mario World is an animated television series based on the SNES video game of the same name. It is the third and currently last Saturday morning cartoon based on the Mario series. The show was originally aired on Saturday mornings on NBC in the 1991–92 season. It was featured in a half-hour time slot with a shortened version of Captain N: The Game Master. Episodes of Super Mario World were later shown as part of the syndication package Captain N and the Video Game Masters. Afterwards, the series was split from Captain N altogether and shown in time-compressed reruns on Mario All-Stars.
Super Mario Bros.: Peach-Hime Kyushutsu Dai Sakusen! is a Japanese anime film released on July 20, 1986. Directed by Masami Hata and produced by Masakatsu Suzuki and Tsunemasa Hatano, it stars Mario and Luigi, who get stuck in a Famicom video game, in which they must save Princess Peach from Koopa. A manga adaptation of the film was published in Japan around the same time as the film's release.
A series of three OVA episodes titled Amada Anime Series: Super Mario Bros., based on Momotarō, Issun-bōshi and Snow White, were released on August 3, 1989. These generally featured Mario as the hero, Peach as the damsel and Bowser as the villain, with other Mario characters playing supporting roles.
Super Mario Bros. is an American 1993 adventure family comedy loosely based on the video game of the same name. The film follows the exploits of Mario (Bob Hoskins) and Luigi (John Leguizamo) in a dystopia ruled by King Koopa (Dennis Hopper). It was the first live-action major motion picture to be based on a video game. The film's plot features Mario and Luigi as the main protagonists, Mario leading the team with Luigi developing a romance with Princess Daisy.
Bowser and the Super Mushroom had a cameo in the 2012 Disney computer-animated film Wreck-It Ralph. Mario was mentioned but not seen in the film.
Upcoming animated film
In December 2014, emails leaked through a hack revealed that Sony Pictures was in negotiations with Nintendo to create a fully-animated film based on the Mario franchise. This deal did not come through. In November 2017, it was reported that Nintendo would instead be teaming up with Universal Pictures and Illumination to make the animated Mario film. Nintendo President Tatsumi Kimishima stated in January 2018 that a deal had not been finalized, but that an announcement would come soon.
By the end of January 2020, Nintendo affirmed that the animated film with Illumination would be moving forward, with Shigeru Miyamoto and Chris Meledandri co-producing. Miyamoto stated in 2020 that the idea of doing a film had come from bringing their older games to the Virtual Console and other services; such transitions took time for the company, and Miyamoto recognized that "our content business would be able to develop even further if we were able to combine our long-beloved software with that of video assets, and utilize them together for extended periods." Miyamoto knew that the process of making a film was far different from that of making a video game, and wanted a film expert to lead the effort. In Nintendo's work with Universal Parks & Resorts to create Mario-based attractions, Miyamoto had met Meledandri, and they had several discussions. Miyamoto found Meledandri's creative process similar to his own, and decided he would be the proper lead for a Mario film. They had started more earnest discussions of the film as early as 2016, knowing that if they realized it wasn't working that they could easily walk away. However, by the time of the official announcement, Miyamoto said that they have good discussions over the screenplay and feels good progress to a proper film. Meledandri stated that the film was a "priority" for Illumination and that it will most likely come out in 2022. He added that Miyamoto will be "front and center" with creating the movie. Shuntaro Furukawa, Nintendo's president, announced that production for the film has begun as of February 1, 2019, with the film being set to be released in 2022. In January 2020, Furukawa provided an update stating that the film is "moving along smoothly" with the film aiming for release in 2022. Furukawa also stated that Nintendo would own the rights to the film, and that both Nintendo and Universal would fund its production.
Comics and manga
Super Mario-kun[f] is a manga series written by Yukio Sawada[g] and published by Shogakukan. It is serialized in CoroCoro Comic. It contains many characters and scenarios from Mario games, such as Super Mario World and Paper Mario. Having just hit its 41st volume, Super Mario-kun is the longest-running Mario series manga to date. It continues to release new volumes to date. Another consistent manga series based on various Mario games is a work written and drawn by Hiroshi Takase[h] and published by PikkaPika Comics that is, somewhat confusedly, also called Super Mario-kun[i]. It is currently at five volumes and stopped due to the author's death in 2006.
The Nintendo Comics System was a series of comic books published by Valiant Comics in 1990 and 1991. It was part of a licensing deal with Nintendo, featuring characters from their video games and the cartoons based on them. Valiant's Super Mario Bros. comic books were based on the three main Mario games on the Nintendo Entertainment System, as well as The Super Mario Bros. Super Show. The Mario line was renewed for 1991 with two different books—Super Mario Bros. and Adventures of the Super Mario Bros.
The Nintendo Adventure Book series was published from 1991 to 1992 by Archway books, and Mammoth books in the United Kingdom. There are twelve in all. They are formatted like the popular Choose Your Own Adventure books, where the reader makes decisions that change the outcome of the story. Ten of the books are about the Mario Bros.' adventures in the Mushroom Kingdom and are based primarily on the Valiant comics published for the Nintendo Comics System imprint.
Super Mario Adventures[j] is an anthology of comics, drawn in a Japanese manga style, that ran in Nintendo Power magazine throughout 1992, featuring the characters from Nintendo's Mario series and based loosely on Super Mario World.
Immediately following the end of Super Mario Adventures, Nintendo Power concluded the epic with a ten-page story based on Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins titled Mario VS Wario, which ran in their January 1993 issue and was later reprinted in the graphic novel.
An encyclopedia based on Super Mario Bros. was released in Japan in October 2015. In February 2017, Nintendo announced that the encyclopedia would launch in North America and Europe in June 2017.
Another encyclopedia based on the series up until Super Mario Maker was published by Dark Horse Publishing on October 23, 2018.
Mario has appeared on lunch boxes, T-shirts, jeans, magazines, commercials (notably, in a Got Milk? commercial), in candy form, on shampoo bottles, cereal, badges, and as a plush toy. In 1992, Gottlieb created a Super Mario themed pinball machine. A Monopoly board game based on the Mario franchise has been confirmed by the website USAopoly. In April 2017, a board game developed by USAopoly titled Super Mario Level Up! was announced for release. In early 2017, a Super Mario-themed pop-up bar known as "The Cherry Blossom Pub" opened up in Mockingbird Hill, Washington, D.C.. The interior of one side of the bar has been transformed into "a Nintendo dream world". The Washington reported in an interview with Derek Brown, the bar's owner, that the bar had become so popular that there was a two-hour long line outside the bar. The cocktails in the bar cost $13 and are all Mario-themed. On the menu there's the “It’s a Me, A-Mario” (sweet vermouth, Don Ciccio & Figli Carcafio, Aperitivo, and spicy ginger ale), “What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Smaller” (vodka, mandarin orange, pomelo and apricot soda) and the “King Koopa Cup” (Two James Johnny Smoking Gun whiskey, “popcorn” tea ginger, and lemon). Another Monopoly-inspired board game called Monopoly Gamer was released in August 2017. In addition, Monopoly Gamer adds a Mario Kart version with courses from Mario Kart 8 serving as properties. LINE released four voiced Mario sticker sets. Mario-themed Lego sets were released in August 2020. These sets feature an electronic Mario figure that interacts with other parts of the set.
Concerts and performances
The Super Mario Bros. theme has been featured in many concerts, including "PLAY! Chicago", the Columbus Symphony Orchestra, the Mario & Zelda Big Band Live, Play! A Video Game Symphony, and others.
The Mario series has received a very positive reception from critics and audiences. A 1996 article in Next Generation declared that "The evolution of the Mario series led the rest of gaming by the hand, blazing a trail, and teaching lessons in game mechanics, structure, and sheer playability to any who would study its secrets".
Most of Mario's games are set in the fictional Mushroom Kingdom, but there are other settings which explore more details of the Mario Universe.
The places introduced in the Mario franchise are:
- Mushroom Kingdom, the central kingdom of the universe and the setting of most Mario games. It is usually ruled by Princess Peach. The capital of the kingdom is Toad Town, a city that lies below Peach's Castle.
- Subcon is the dreamworld that is the setting of Super Mario Bros. 2.
- Bowser's Kingdom, the kingdom ruled by Bowser, the main antagonist of the series. The kingdom has appeared in several games under different names, and often appears as the final level of the game which it is featured in. The first time this kingdom appears under the name Bowser's Kingdom is in Super Mario Odyssey.
- Sprixie Kingdom, introduced in Super Mario 3D World, is home to fairy-like creatures called Sprixies. It is composed of 8 islands with different themes, with each island being ruled by a Sprixie. It is the main setting of Super Mario 3D World.
- Kingdom of Bask, introduced in Mario Tennis Aces, the Kingdom of Bask was ruled by King Bask until Lucien, the main antagonist of the game, attacked it, forcing King Bask to split his power into Power Stones. It is the main setting of Mario Tennis Aces.
- Sarasaland, introduced in Super Mario Land, is ruled by Princess Daisy, and is divided into four kingdoms: Birabuto Kingdom (based on Ancient Egypt), Muda Kingdom (based on Mu and Bermuda), Easton Kingdom (based on Easter Island) and Chai Kingdom (based on Ancient China). It is the main setting of Super Mario Land.
- Beanbean Kingdom, introduced in Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga, is governed by Queen Bean and her son Prince Peasley. The capital is Beanbean Castle Town, and the kingdom is known to have good relations with the Mushroom Kingdom, in addition to bordering it. The regions are named after laughter onomatopoeias. Just like the Mushroom Kingdom is mushroom themed, the Beanbean Kingdom is bean themed. It is also home to the famous Chuckola Cola. The forest where it is produced is named Chucklehuck Woods. It is the main setting of Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga.
- Pi'illo Island, formerly known as Pi'illo Kingdom, is introduced in Mario & Luigi: Dream Team, and is an island that was ruled by Prince Dreambert until he and the other Pi'illos were imprisoned by Antasma, the main antagonist of the game. At some undefined time in the past, the island was acquired by Dr. Snoozemore. At the end of the game, with all the Pi'illos released, the island is once again governed by Prince Dreambert. It is the main setting of Mario & Luigi: Dream Team.
- Isle Delfino, introduced in Super Mario Sunshine, is a dolphin-shaped paradise island somewhere outside the Mushroom Kingdom. It's the setting for Super Mario Sunshine. The capital is Delfino Plaza.
- Super Mario Odyssey introduces a variety of new locations such as the Cap Kingdom, Cascade Kingdom, Metro Kingdom and Luncheon Kingdom, just to name a few.
Impact and legacy
Mario has been featured in 256 games of various genres (including sports, puzzle, party, racing and first-person shooter), and the Mario franchise is the best-selling video game franchise of all time. At least 31 different Mario games have sold more than a million copies each since 1995. This includes the core Super Mario series, which alone has sold over 262 million units worldwide, as well as the Mario Kart series which sold 78 million units, the Mario Party series which sold over 32 million units, Donkey Kong which sold over 125,000 arcade machines and six million Coleco cartridges, and Mario Bros. which sold 1.72 million Famicom cartridges.
- Japanese: マリオ Hepburn: Mario
- Japanese: ドクターマリオ Hepburn: Dokutā Mario
- Japanese: マリオVSドンキーコング Hepburn: Mario tai Donkī Kongu
- Japanese: マリオカート Hepburn: Mario Kāto
- Japanese: ペーパーマリオ Hepburn: Pēpā Mario
- Japanese: スーパーマリオくん Hepburn: Sūpā Mario-kun
- Japanese: 沢田ユキオ Hepburn: Sawada Yukio
- Japanese: 嵩瀬ひろし Hepburn: Takase Hiroshi
- Japanese: スーパーマリオくん Hepburn: Sūpā Mario-kun
- Japanese: SUPER MARIO ADVENTURES マリオの大冒険 Hepburn: Mario no daibōken, 
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Jumpman hopped over barrels, climbed ladders, and jumped from suspended platform to suspended platform as he tried to rescue a damsel from his pissed-off pet gorilla. The game was a smash, and sixty-five thousand cabinets were sold in Japan, propping up the then-struggling Nintendo and laying the groundwork for Nintendo and Donkey Kong creator Shigeru Miyamoto to dominate gaming throughout the 1980s and beyond.)
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With more than 60,000 units sold in the United States, Donkey Kong was Nintendo's biggest arcade hit. ... Nintendo released Donkey Kong Junior in 1982 and sold only 30,000 machines, 20,000 Popeye machines (also 1982), and a mere 5000 copies of Donkey J (1983).)
- United States: 60,000 (Steven L. Kent (2001). The Ultimate History of Video Games: The Story behind the Craze that Touched Our Lives and Changed the World. Prima. p. 352. ISBN 978-0-7615-3643-7. Retrieved April 9, 2011.
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