History of Mario: One Of The Most Iconic Video Game Characters

Which iconic video game character has a red hat and is a plumber? Mario of course! Mario (also known as Mario Mario) is one the most popular and notable gaming characters of all-time. Ever since the success of Super Mario Bros. in 1985, Mario has expanded into more video games, television appearances, and onto more gaming consoles. 

History of Mario: How Mario Came To Be

The idea of Mario all started with Shigeru Miyamoto, a 24-year-old new college graduate at the time. During the early 1980s, arcade games were a big deal. Mario first appeared in the arcade game, Donkey Kong, as the Jumpman in 1981. This arcade game was such a hit, the sequel to it, Donkey Kong Jr., officially featured Mario. 

*Fun Fact: Mario was originally a carpenter in Donkey Kong.

Mario’s name was based on the first Nintendo warehouse landlord, Mario Segale, who also happened to have a moustache. Mario eventually got his own arcade game, Mario Bros., in 1983. It’s funny to think that a big video game character of today got its rise to fame as a result of arcade games. 

Mario and Luigi

Today, when you hear of Mario, you think of his brother Luigi. He is Mario’s taller and thinner twin brother. However, he’s most notable for being scared of ghosts. Just like Mario, Luigi made his debut in the arcade game, Mario Bros. Luigi is known for being able to jump higher than Mario. 

For years, the focus of Mario games had been on Mario. In 2013, Nintendo celebrated “The Year of Luigi”, to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Luigi. To note the occasion, Luigi got a series of his own games including Dr. Luigi, Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon, Mario & Luigi: Dream Team, and New Super Luigi U

Main Mario Game Franchise Characters (Other Than Mario)

  • Luigi: He is Mario’s younger, thinner, and taller twin brother, most notable for his green attire. He strives to be a better plumber than Mario, and is known to jump higher than him as well.

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  • Princess Peach: This princess has a great life other than Bowser’s obsession to marry her. She is the princess of Mushroom Kingdom, and enjoys baking cakes and playing tennis.
  • Toad: This character’s name is clearly evident from his appearance as he looks like a toadstool. He is a hard-working character who seeks to protect Princess Peach from Bowser.

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  • Princess Daisy: Daisy isn’t your typical princess. She is a tomboyish princess who enjoys playing sports and games with Mario and friends. 
  • Bowser: Bowser and his companions, Shy Guys, Goombas, Koopa Troopas, and Bullet Bills, wreak havoc to try to rule the Mushroom Kingdom. The only people who stand in between Browser’s fiery breath and the kingdom is Mario and his friends. 

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  • Yoshi: Yoshi is an easygoing and kind character who is Mario’s sidekick. He is commonly green in color, but can also appear as pink, blue, yellow, and red.
  • Wario: If you didn’t guess from the name, Wario is Mario’s rival who is the CEO of WarioWare Inc. 

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  • Waluigi: Just like Wario, Waluigi is Luigi’s rival in the Mario franchise. He is constantly scheming to take down Mario and Luigi, with little success. 

Mario Video Games Over The Years

To date, there have been 200+ games stemming from the Mario franchise. Below are the most notable games over the years. 

  • Super Mario Bros. – Released October 18th, 1985
  • Super Mario Bros. 2 – Released October 9th, 1988
  • Super Mario Land – Released August 1st, 1989
  • Super Mario Bros. 3 – Released February 12th, 1990
  • Super Mario World – Released August 13th, 1991
  • Super Mario Kart – Released August 27th, 1992
  • Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins – Released November 2nd, 1992
  • Super Mario 64 – Released September 29th, 1996
  • Super Mario Sunshine –  Released August 25th, 2000
  • New Super Mario Bros. – Released May 15th, 2006
  • Super Mario Galaxy – Released November 12th, 2007
  • New Super Mario Bros. Wii – Released November 15th, 2009
  • Super Mario Galaxy 2 –  Released May 23rd, 2010
  • Super Mario 3D Land – Released November 13th, 2011
  • New Super Mario Bros. 2 – Released August 12th, 2012
  • New Super Mario Bros. U – Released November 18th, 2012
  • Super Mario 3D World – Released November 22, 2013 
  • Super Mario Maker – Released Sept. 11, 2015 & Dec. 2nd, 2016
  • Super Mario Run – Released December 15th, 2016
  • Super Mario Odyssey –  Released October 17th, 2017 
  • Mario Kart Tour – Released September 25th, 2019

The Mario game franchise has definitely transformed over the years with the invention of new technology and gaming consoles like Game Boy and Nintendo Switch. And it will continue to do so. There’s no stopping Mario and he will undoubtedly stand the test of time. 

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