Surely you know this short, big-nosed, mustachioed Italian plumber. Super Mario has appeared in more than 200 games since it was created in 1981. He is one of the most well-known and charismatic characters in the video game world.
But his first appearance was not in his own game. In 1981, Nintendo wanted to create a Popeye game, but the rights to the character were lost. Then you were prompted to create a new game. That's when the Japanese Shigeru Miyamoto created the game Donkey Kong, where the character Jumpman tried to rescue his girlfriend captured by the gorilla Donkey Kong.
The Jumpman character's features were made to make it simpler to animate, using a smaller number of pixels. This explains why his cap hides his hair and his mustache hides his mouth. Even the clothes and colors were chosen for this reason.
From Jumpman to Mario
They soon noticed the character's resemblance to an Italian gentleman named Mario Segale, who was an employee of Nintendo in New York. It eventually became the character's real name. The game sold well, leading to a sequel in 1982 called Donkey Kong Jr.
But in this game, Mario becomes the villain of the story. He imprisoned Donkey Kong in a giant cage. All this to avenge his girlfriend's capture in the previous game. It is then that Donkey Kong Jr., son of the giant gorilla, tries to rescue his father. Mario tries in every way to prevent this from happening, doing everything he can to get in the way of the rescue.
In 1985, the famous Super Mario Bros. appeared, which is the best seller in the entire history of video games. Apart from that this game has one of the most recognizable music in games. The game was divided into 8 worlds, with 4 stages each. It was up to Mario to travel across the Mushroom Kingdom to rescue Princess Peach from the hands of the villain Bowser. In 1986, the sequel called Super Mario 2 was released in Japan, and the US created its own version because the Japanese game was very difficult.
This sequel was not very well received by fans, because of some confusing and different mechanics from the first game. Then appeared in 1988 Super Mario Bros 3, which had controls similar to the original game. Far from being a copy, this new game was the first to feature a world map and an inventory. It also had a great soundtrack, beautiful graphics and backgrounds, and new powerups. The game became another worldwide hit, selling nearly 18 million copies.
The evolution of the Mario character
Nintendo 1990 released a new console, the Super Nintendo, along with the new game – Super Mario World. In this game we meet the beloved dinosaur, Yoshi. The game also brought levels with multiple solutions for the first time. Super Mario Word has sold 20 million copies worldwide, helping Nintendo to sell its console a lot.
The next generation of consoles required a different kind of game, so Super Mario 64 was released in 1996. This game was in 3D, and allowed great exploration of the maps, interaction with the environment and excellent graphics. But it kept the look of classic mustachioed games. Such a game to this day is considered one of the best games of all time.
The video below presents the character's story and his success secret well:
Success that lasts to this day
Several games were released after the success of Super Mario 64, both for consoles and handhelds. Over the years it has had many variations, like a doctor in the puzzle game called Dr. Mario, a famous racing driver in Mario Kart and even a fighter in Super Smash Bros. It would be impossible to list every Mario game in detail in a single article, but all the games have helped to make the memorable character he is today.
In 2016 it was released Super Mario Run, the first game developed for mobile devices. And in October 2017, Super Mario Odyssey was released worldwide for Nintendo Switch, where even your cap comes to life as a character of its own. This game was acclaimed by both critics and the public, becoming one of the highest rated games in history.
Contrary to what many think, the main franchise games take many years to be released, they cannot be compared to the annual releases carried out by EA and other companies that make games in bulk.
At the close of the 2016 Rio Olympics, Mario appears at the ceremony, where Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe dresses up as the character greeting everyone. You can see the importance of this character, who represented the entire country of Japan to the world.
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