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The emblem of Mario's hat as commonly used in the series.
|Platform of origin||Arcade|
|Year of inception||1981|
|First release||Donkey Kong
July 9, 1981
|Latest release||Mini Mario and Friends: Amiibo Challenge
April 29, 2016
The Mario franchise is a media franchise consisting of video games published and produced by Nintendo starring the fictional Italian character Mario. The franchise's other forms of media include several television series and a feature film. It was originally created by game designer Shigeru Miyamoto with the arcade 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 either been released for the arcade or Nintendo video game consoles and handhelds dating from the Nintendo Entertainment System to the current generation of video game consoles.
The main series in the franchise is the Super Mario platform series, 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. Analysts suggest that by 2012, the Mario franchise was valued at over $10 billion. The franchise has spawned over 200 games of various genre. The entire franchise, including series such as Super Mario, Mario Kart, Mario Party, Mario Tennis, and Mario Golf, have sold more than 500 million copies, making it the best-selling video game franchise of all time.
- 1 Common elements
- 2 Video games
- 2.1 Origins
- 2.2 Super Mario series
- 2.3 Puzzle games
- 2.4 Mario Kart series
- 2.5 Role-playing games
- 2.6 Mario Party series
- 2.7 Sports games
- 2.8 Mario vs. Donkey Kong series
- 2.9 Educational games
- 2.10 Games not developed by Nintendo
- 3 Other media
- 4 Reception
- 5 Impact and legacy
- 6 See also
- 7 References
- 8 External links
Plot and themes
|This section requires expansion. (December 2014)|
The plot of the Mario series varies, but it usually involves Mario, the series protagonist, and his brother, Luigi, and their friends saving Princess Peach from Bowser and his army, the Koopa Troops.
The Mario series has an extensive cast of recurring characters. Among the most frequently recurring and significant ones are protagonist Mario, his antagonist Bowser, his brother Luigi, the Princess of the Mushroom Kingdom Peach, his sidekick and mount Yoshi, and his antihero doppelganger Wario.
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. Donkey Kong has established his own unique franchise outside the Mario universe, starting with Donkey Kong Country and has spawned many sequels and spin-offs (such as Diddy Kong Racing).
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 console. 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. 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.
In 2006 a retro throwback sub-series called New Super Mario Bros. was inaugurated on the Nintendo DS and has 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.
Dr. Mario series
Dr. Mario (ドクターマリオ Dokutā Mario?) (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 Kart series
Mario Kart (マリオカート Mario Kāto?) 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, three portable games, and three Namco co-developed arcade spin-off games, for a total of eleven. 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, 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 for the Wii introduced motion controls, 12-player racing, motorbikes and playable Mii characters. 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.
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 100 million copies worldwide.
The first role-playing game in the Mario franchise was Super Mario RPG. It has since expanded to the Paper Mario and Mario & Luigi series.
Paper Mario series
Paper Mario (ペーパーマリオ Pēpā Mario?) is a series of role-playing 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 Paper Mario in a mixture of 3-dimensional environments and 2-dimensional characters who look as if they are made of paper. 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 Paper 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. Paper 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 Paper Mario can only equip a limited number of badges at a time.
There have been 3 (with one upcoming) Paper Mario games released for home consoles and 2 portable games. 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 Paper Mario turning into and folding up into a paper airplane and a 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 Paper Mario in a 3D environment. In 2012, Sticker Star for the Nintendo 3DS introduced the use 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 introduced a crossover game, where 3D Luigi knocks over a book and unleashed the paper characters (applicable only to Sticker Star-beyond). 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 Sticker Star.
- Paper Mario
- The Thousand-Year Door
- Super Paper Mario
- Sticker Star
- Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam (A crossover game with the Mario & Luigi series)
- Color Splash
Mario & Luigi series
The Mario & Luigi series began with the release of Superstar Saga for the Game Boy Advance in 2003. In 2005, Partners in Time for the Nintendo DS introduced their younger selves: Baby Mario, Baby Luigi, Baby Toadsworth, 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 2013, Dream Team for the Nintendo 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 introduced a crossover game, where Luigi knocks over a book and unleashed the paper characters of the Paper Mario world.
- Superstar Saga
- Partners in Time
- Bowser's Inside Story
- Dream Team
- Paper Jam (A crossover game with the Paper Mario series)
Mario Party series
In 1999, the Hudson game Mario Party was released for the Nintendo 64. Following this, nine numbered sequels have since been released, along with Mario Party Advance, DS, Island Tour, and Star Rush. Mario Party is a multiplayer party game featuring Mario series characters in which four 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 released Mario Tennis for the Nintendo 64. They would subsequently develop other games in this series: Mario Power Tennis for the GameCube and Wii, Mario Tennis: Power Tour for the Game Boy Advance, Mario Tennis Open for the Nintendo 3DS, and Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash for the Wii U.
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 soccer was introduced in one of the minigames in Mario Party 4. The Mario Strikers series (Mario Football in Europe) made its debut for the GameCube with Next Level Games as the developer for the series.
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 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, Rio 2016 Olympic Games for the Wii U, Nintendo 3DS and Arcade in 2016.
Mario vs. Donkey Kong series
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 not officially recognized by Nintendo, despite being officially licensed. The games were developed independently by Software Toolworks, Interplay and Brainstorm. Nine educational games were released from 1991 to 1996.
Games not developed by Nintendo
This section covers games developed by other companies without Nintendo involvement. These games are not officially recognized by Nintendo despite being officially licensed.
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, 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 criticised as one of the worst Mario-centred games, mainly because of its cutscenes and simple gameplay.
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 NBA Street Vol. 3. 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 1989/1990. 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. 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 film Wreck-It Ralph. Mario was mentioned but not seen in the film.
Comics and manga
Super Mario-kun (スーパーマリオくん Sūpā Mario-kun?) is a manga series written by Yukio Sawada (沢田ユキオ Sawada Yukio) 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 (嵩瀬ひろし Takase Hiroshi) and published by PikkaPika Comics that is, somewhat confusedly, also called Super Mario-kun (スーパーマリオくん Sūpā Mario-kun?). 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 (SUPER MARIO ADVENTURES マリオの大冒険 Mario no daibōken?) 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.
Mario has appeared on lunch boxes, T-shirts, magazines, commercials (notably, in a Got Milk? commercial), in candy form, on shampoo bottles, cereal, badges, and as a plush toy. A Monopoly board game based on the Mario franchise has been confirmed by the website USAopoly.
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.
|This section requires expansion. (December 2014)|
The Mario series has received widespread acclaim and is considered one of the greatest game series ever. Super Mario Bros. currently has an 85% for NES, 80% on GBA, and 92% on Game Boy Color, according to GameRankings.
Impact and legacy
Mario has been featured in 200 games of various genres (including sports, puzzle, party, racing and even 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.
Mario's legacy is recognized by Guinness World Records, who awarded the Nintendo Mascot, and the series of platform games he has appeared in, 7 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). The Mario series is one of the most acclaimed series of all time. The highest rated title is Super Mario Galaxy with a 97% approval rating on GameRankings.com; the lowest, recognized by Guinness World Records, is Mario Party Advance, with a 56% approval rating. The series has been referenced and parodied in a numerous media, with references in games such as Minecraft, Super Meat Boy, Call of Duty, and Just Dance 3. References to the franchise have also been made in television, including The Simpsons, Family Guy, and Tosh.0.
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- "Super Mario Bros. Composer Koji Kondo Interview". 1UP.com. 2007-10-19. Retrieved 2009-02-16.
- "Italian Plumber More Memorable Than Harper, Dion". CNW Group. 2007-12-13. Archived from the original on 2010-04-04. Retrieved 2010-04-04.
- "Nintendo DS Lite Suggested Retail Price Drops to $99.99 and Mario Games Go Red" (Press release). Business Wire. 2011-05-31. Retrieved 2011-05-31.
- 12 million in North America as of November 15, 2005: "Mario Kart DS launches with Wi-Fi gaming service" (Press release). Nintendo. 2005-11-15. Retrieved 2009-03-21.
- "Japan Platinum Game Chart". The Magic Box. Retrieved 15 March 2012.
- Mario Kart: Double Dash!! sales in Japan as of January 2, 2005: 802,217 ("2004 Top 100 Best Selling Japanese Console Games". The Magic Box. Jan 2, 2005. Retrieved 15 March 2012.)
- "Financial Results Briefing for the Nine-Month Period Ended December 2011" (PDF). Nintendo. 2012-01-27. p. 6. Retrieved 2012-02-08.:
- "Mario Party 9 for Wii Lets You Party Like You've Never Partied Before". Nintendo. 2012-03-12. Retrieved 15 March 2012.
- Japan: 65,000 (Brian Ashcraft ; with Jean Snow. ; forewords by Kevin Williams; Crecente, Brian (2008). "sixty-five+thousand" Arcade Mania: The Turbo-charged World of Japan's Game Centers (1st ed.). Tokyo: Kodansha International. ISBN 4-7700-3078-9. Retrieved 12 February 2012.
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.)
- 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 9780761536437. Retrieved 2011-04-09.
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).)
- Japan: 65,000 (Brian Ashcraft ; with Jean Snow. ; forewords by Kevin Williams; Crecente, Brian (2008). "sixty-five+thousand" Arcade Mania: The Turbo-charged World of Japan's Game Centers (1st ed.). Tokyo: Kodansha International. ISBN 4-7700-3078-9. Retrieved 12 February 2012.
- Sheff, David (1999). Game Over: Press Start to Continue: The Maturing of Mario. Wilton, Connecticut: GamePress. p. 121.:
"And we received from Coleco an agreement that they would pay us three percent of the net sales price [of all the "Donkey Kong" cartridges Coleco sold]." It turned out to be an impressive number of cartridges, 6 million, which translated into $4.6 million.
- "Nintendojofr". Nintendojo. 2006-09-26. Archived from the original on July 30, 2008. Retrieved 2008-10-09.
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