Our hero in Super Mario Galaxy (Picture: Nintendo)

Happy Super Mario Day!

That’s right, your favorite moustachioed, princess-rescuing Italian plumber has his own special day.

So, to celebrate, let’s look at what made Mario the icon he is today.

Created by Shigeru Miyamoto, Mario himself first appeared in the 1981 arcade platformer Donkey Kong, before featuring in his very own game in 1985 – the iconic Super Mario Bros, for the NES.

This nostalgic classic remained the best selling video game for over 20 years – having sold 40.24 million copies – until Wii Sports topped it a few years back.

And since the early 80s Mario has appeared in over 200 games, from platformers and puzzle games, to racing and sports, including Mario Tennis, Mario Golf and Mario ‘insert basically any sport here’.

Super Mario All-Stars – this is what HD update meant in 1993Mario back in 1993 (Picture: Nintendo)

He’s also teamed up with Sega’s mascot Sonic The Hedgehog for several crossover sports games, including Mario And Sonic At The Olympic Games.

But Mario himself is just a small part of what makes the imaginary worlds so vivid. No one can forget classic characters such as Yoshi, Princess Peach, Toad, Wario and, of course, his younger brother Luigi.

In 1993, the popular franchise gave way to the first film based on a video game franchise – Super Mario Bros The Movie – which starred Bob Hoskins and John Leguizamo.

But unfortunately it was a financial failure, slated by critics and fans alike (you can’t win ‘em all Mario).

To celebrate the 30th anniversary of the first Super Mario Bros game this year, Nintendo has created Mario Maker, which allows gamers to create and play their own Mario levels.

The game will launch this later year, although no UK release date has been set at the moment.

Super Mario Kart – too hard for adults?Mario Kart – yaaaaay! (Picture: Nintendo)

Five cool Mario facts:

1. Originally Mario’s overalls were red and his shirt was blue. However, since Super Mario Bros 2 it’s been the other way round.

2. The memorable soundtrack to the original game is known as Ground Theme and was composed by Nintendo’s Koji Kondo.

3. In 1983 Mario was once voiced by Canadian voice actor Peter Cullen, who was the voice of the Transformers’ Optimus Prime.

4. When he appeared in Donkey Kong, Mario was a carpenter, not a plumber. This later changed when pipes and sewers were introduced into Mario games.

5. Mario – who was originally called Jumpman – was named after the landlord to Nintendo’s first American office, Mario Segale, who is said to have let the company pay their rent late.

New Super Mario Bros. U

The main man with some of his mates (Picture: Nintendo)

Five great Mario games:

1. Super Mario 64

An N64 benchmark – excellent controls and colourful, engaging gameplay made Mario’s first 3D platformer very memorable.

2. Super Mario Sunshine

Nothing was more fun than zooming across the tropical island of Delfino with your trusty water jet pack – a Gamecube staple.

3. Super Mario Bros

The original NES classic, with pinpoint controls and creative worlds. The game that truly started Mario’s videogame star career.

4. Mario Kart 64

Up to four human controlled players could soar around the imaginative tracks in what must be one of the best racing games ever.

5. Super Mario Bros 3

As featured in the 1989 movie The Wizard, this was another classic platformer which featured the popular flying Tanooki suit.

Super Paper Mario – gaming’s royal wedding

Mario’s nemesis, Bowser, and the love of his life, Princess Peach

 
 
 
 

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