Mario (character)

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Mario
Mario and Cappy SMO art.png
Artwork of Mario and Cappy for Super Mario Odyssey
First appearance Donkey Kong (1981)
Latest appearance Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope (2022)
Created by Shigeru Miyamoto
Full name Mario Mario
Species Human
Gender Male
Residence Mushroom Kingdom
Occupation Plumber
Affiliation(s) Luigi, Princess Peach, and many others
Aliases Several, usually recurring power-up forms such as Fire Mario

Mario is the main character and titular protagonist of the long-running Mario franchise as well as the mascot of Nintendo. Depicted as a short, pudgy, Italian plumber who resides in the Mushroom Kingdom, Mario's adventures are generally centered around rescuing Princess Peach from Bowser. Mario has a younger brother named Luigi who joins alongside him on many of his journeys. Mario made his first appearance in the 1981 arcade title Donkey Kong, with the alias "Jumpman."

While Mario is widely recognized as being the star of the Mario franchise, his debut appearance, Donkey Kong, is actually a title within the Donkey Kong franchise. The first title of the Mario franchise is the Game & Watch game Mario Bros., which was also the debut appearance of Mario's brother Luigi. Mario then began to star in the Super Mario series of platforming titles, with the introduction of Super Mario Bros. in 1985.

After Super Mario Bros., Mario, and by extension the Mario franchise, began to branch off to different genres, including puzzle games such as Dr. Mario, role-playing games such as Paper Mario and Mario & Luigi, and sports games such as Mario Kart and Mario Tennis. Mario has appeared in other Nintendo properties, most notably the Super Smash Bros. series of crossover fighting games. Mario has also appeared in various animations, including three series produced by DIC Entertainment (voiced by Lou Albano and later Walker Boone). Since 1992, Mario has been voiced by Charles Martinet in most media. In the 1993 Super Mario Bros. film, he was voiced by Bob Hoskins, and about 30 years later, Chris Pratt was cast as the voice of Mario for the animated film The Super Mario Bros. Movie.

Mario has appeared in over 200 games, more than any other video game character, and his likeness has appeared in a variety of merchandise, such as clothing and collectible items. Mario is near-unanimously considered to be the most famous character in the video game industry, which is supported by how the Mario franchise has sold over 500 million units worldwide, and is the bestselling video game franchise of all time.[1]

Creation[edit]

Concept art of Mario for his debut appearance, Donkey Kong

Mario's debut appearance, Donkey Kong, was originally meant to star Popeye characters, with Popeye being the main protagonist,[2] but when Nintendo could not initially secure the licensing rights (until 1982, with the release of Popeye), the characters were replaced with their own, with Mario taking the role of Popeye.[3] Mario was originally named Ossan (a Japanese term for "middle-aged man"), then Jumpman and Mr. Video Game or Mr. Video.[4][5] Nintendo eventually settled upon the name "Mario," who was named after Mario Segale, one of Nintendo of America's former landlords. There is a widely circulated story that during the localization of Donkey Kong for American audiences, Nintendo of America's warehouse landlord Mario Segale confronted then-president Minoru Arakawa, demanding back rent. Following a heated argument in which the Nintendo employees eventually convinced Segale he would be paid, they opted to name the character in the game Mario after him.[6] "Jumpman" ended up becoming a short-lived nickname for Mario that only applied to the original arcade version of Donkey Kong.

Due to the graphical limitations of arcade hardware at the time, Miyamoto clothed the character in red overalls and a blue shirt to contrast against each other and the background, making the movements of his arms easily perceptible.[7] A red cap was added to let Miyamoto avoid drawing the character's hairstyle, forehead, and eyebrows, as well as to circumvent the issue of animating his hair as he jumped.[3] To give distinctly human facial features with the limited graphical abilities, Miyamoto drew a large nose and a mustache, which avoided the need to draw a mouth and facial expressions. Omitting a mouth circumvented the problem of clearly separating the nose from the mouth with a limited number of pixels available.[8]

General information[edit]

Characteristics[edit]

Mario is depicted as a portly plumber who lives in the Mushroom Kingdom with Luigi, his younger but taller brother. The television series and film depict Mario and Luigi as originating from Brooklyn, New York. Mario's birthday is on October 11, as stated in both Nintendo Power Volume 2 as well as Volume 3. In a 2005 interview, Miyamoto stated that Mario's physical age was about 24–25 years old,[9]

In most of his appearances, Mario wears a long-sleeved red shirt, a pair of blue overalls with yellow buttons, brown shoes, white gloves, and a red cap with a red "M" printed on a white circle. In Donkey Kong, Mario wears a pair of red overalls and a blue shirt. In Super Mario Bros., he wore a brown shirt with red overalls. He has blue eyes, and, like Luigi, has brown hair, and a dark brown or black mustache. This consistent difference in color is attributed to being a relic from designing the characters for their original platforms, wherein certain features were actively distinguished while others had to be curtailed due to technical limitations.[10]

Mario's outfit often changes to suit the game or his occupation, such as how he wears a football kit in Super Mario Strikers. In Super Mario Sunshine, Mario's shirt is short-sleeved instead of long-sleeved. In the same game, as Mario progresses into his journey, he can talk to the sunglasses vendor to receive a pair of sunglasses and a Hawaiian-style Shine Sprite shirt.

Occupation and hobbies[edit]

Mario, along with Luigi, have plumbing as their primary occupation, something that is mainly acknowledged within the game Mario Bros. as well as the DiC Entertainment cartoons. In the original Donkey Kong series, Mario is a carpenter. Mario has also assumed several other occupations in various Mario spinoff titles. Despite plumbing being his main career, Mario is more often shown to take part in athletic sports in the spinoff series, such as tennis in Mario Tennis and golf in Mario Golf, as well as being a kart racer in the Mario Kart series. In the Dr. Mario series, Mario is a medical physician named Dr. Mario. In Mario's Picross, Mario is an archaeologist. In Mario vs. Donkey Kong 2: March of the Minis, Mario is the president of a toy-making company, the Mario Toy Company.

In September 2017, Nintendo stated on their official Japanese profile for the character that Mario was no longer considered a plumber,[11] but the statement was changed in March 2018.[12]

Relationships[edit]

In most Super Mario series titles, Mario has to save Princess Peach, and the Mushroom Kingdom from Bowser and his Koopa Troop. In several of his adventures, Mario is joined by Luigi. In the role-reversal title Super Princess Peach, Princess Peach is instead the character who has to go on an adventure to save Mario and Luigi from Bowser.

Since his debut in Donkey Kong, Mario has been rescuing a damsel-in-distress, in this case Pauline, who originally appeared as Mario's girlfriend. Since Super Mario Bros., Peach has replaced Pauline's role of being Mario's love interest as well as the damsel-in-distress. As such, Pauline has not made as many appearances, and in the Mario vs. Donkey Kong series, Mario instead has her as a regular friend. In Super Mario Land, Princess Daisy instead has the one-off role of being the damsel-in-distress whom Mario must rescue, and she was subsequently repurposed into being a recurring playable character in various spinoff titles. In Super Smash Bros. Melee, Daisy's trophy description states that she was "Luigi's answer to Mario's Peach."

Luigi is Mario's younger fraternal twin brother. He is a companion in the Mario games, and is controlled by the second-player in many earlier Mario titles. In some games, such as Mario is Missing! and his own Luigi's Mansion series, Luigi is instead the main playable character and the one who has to rescue Mario.

Bowser is Mario's archrival. Sometimes, if there is a greater villain or an issue affecting both Mario and Bowser, they team up to find a solution. This occurs in a few of the Mario RPG titles such as Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars and Super Paper Mario.

Since Super Mario World, Mario has been accompanied by a dinosaur-like steed named Yoshi, let alone the species in general. In the Yoshi's Island series, Mario is an infant whom a group of Yoshis alternately carry on their back to return him home.

Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins saw the introduction of Wario, Mario's greedy counterpart and the main antagonist of said game.

In the real world, during the 1990s, Mario's main mascot rival was Sega's Sonic the Hedgehog since the latter's debut in the 1991 game Sonic the Hedgehog. This ended in 2001, when Sega became a third-party game developer. Since then, the two characters have starred in the Mario & Sonic series, where they have a friendly rivalry. Various installments of the series have a story mode revolving around Mario and Sonic who, along with their friends, work to stop Bowser and Dr. Eggman from ruining or canceling the Olympic Games. Since Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Sonic has appeared in every Super Smash Bros. title alongside Mario, although their relationship is not explored like in the Mario & Sonic series.

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Power-ups[edit]

A screenshot of Mario, as Fire Mario, shooting Fireballs at Goombas in Super Mario Bros.

There are numerous items that give Mario a unique ability or power-up, whose effects are either temporary or permanent within that appearance. Depending on the appearance, these can also be used by other characters, most commonly Luigi. The Hammer from Donkey Kong is the first item that Mario used.

Super Mario Bros. introduced the basic three power-ups that have become staples for the Super Mario series as well as the franchise at large — the Super Mushroom, the Fire Flower, and the Super Star (originally named Starman). Each of them grant the following forms: By touching a Super Mushroom, Mario gains the Super Mario form, causing him to grow slightly larger and allowing him to endure one more hit. A Fire Flower turns Mario into Fire Mario, allowing him to shoot out fireballs and endure yet another hit. A Super Star turns Mario into Invincible Mario, a temporary power-up that makes him invulnerable to most enemies and obstacles.

Aside from the Super Mushroom, there have been several other types of Mushroom power-ups, such as the 1-Up Mushroom, which gives Mario an extra life; the Poison Mushroom, which causes Mario to take damage; the Mega Mushroom, which causes Mario to grow very large and become invincible for a short period of time; and the Mini Mushroom, which causes Mario to shrink, and in some games, climb up walls.

Super Mario Bros. 3 introduced the Super Leaf, which changes Mario into Raccoon Mario, and the Tanooki Suit, which changes him into Tanooki Mario. With either form, Mario has a tanooki tail that he can use to swing as an attack, float gently to the ground, or temporarily fly. The main difference with Tanooki Mario is that he can temporarily turn into Statue Mario, during which Mario is immobile although has temporary invincibility. The P-Wing is largely similar to the Super Leaf, except it grants Mario the ability of unlimited flight (from a filled P Meter) until he gets hit (as this results in the loss of the power-up) or finishes the level. Two other power-ups introduced in Super Mario Bros. 3 includes the Frog Suit, which turns Mario into Frog Mario, who can travel faster underwater, and the Hammer Suit, which turns Mario into Hammer Mario, who can throw hammers in the same fashion as a Hammer Bro.

Mario uses F.L.U.D.D. to attack a Proto Piranha in Super Mario Sunshine

Ever since the Racoon Leaf and Tanooki Suit were introduced in Super Mario Bros. 3, various later Super Mario series titles introduced their own power-ups that enable Mario to fly. In Super Mario World, an item called the Cape Feather was introduced, replacing the Super Leaf from Super Mario Bros. 3. Aside from allowing being able to fly, Mario could also spin and swing his cape as an attack. In Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins, there is a carrot that turns Mario into Rabbit Mario, giving him rabbit ears that allow him to glide. In Super Mario 64 and Super Mario 64 DS, there is the Wing Cap, which attaches a pair of small wings to Mario's Cap, allowing Mario to soar and glide through the air for a short while. Super Mario Sunshine introduces a pump-water spraying device named F.L.U.D.D., who acts more of a companion to Mario throughout his journey rather than a power-up. Aside from spraying water, which can harm or push back certain enemies, F.L.U.D.D. has another setting that allows Mario to float in midair.

Super Mario Galaxy introduced some power-ups, including the Bee Mushroom, which turns Mario into a bee and grants him temporary flight; the Boo Mushroom, which turns Mario into a Boo, allowing him to float and pass through some walls; the Spring Mushroom, which encases Mario in a spring, allowing him to jump higher; and the Ice Flower, which allows Mario to temporarily walk or skate on water and lava without sinking or taking damage. Super Mario Galaxy 2 introduced more power-ups, including the Cloud Flower, which allows Mario to create platforms in midair, and Rock Mario, which transforms Mario into a boulder capable of breaking through certain barriers.

In New Super Mario Bros. Wii, the Ice Flower was repurposed into being essentially the same as the Fire Flower except it has Mario instead shoot ice balls that can temporarily freeze enemies. The game also introduced two more power-ups: the Propeller Mushroom, which allows Mario to charge up into the sky and slowly twirl (or drill) back to the ground, and the Penguin Suit, which is another power-up that allows Mario to shoot ice balls, and grants him the additional ability to traverse ice and swim through the water more quickly (like the Frog Suit from Super Mario Bros. 3). Super Mario 3D Land introduced the Boomerang Flower, which allows Mario to throw boomerangs at nearby enemies; and the Statue Leaf, which gives Mario a more straightforward approach at changing into his statue form. New Super Mario Bros. U introduces the Super Acorn, which gives Mario a flying squirrel suit, turning him into Squirrel Mario, and allowing him to glide and stick to walls. Super Mario 3D World introduced two power-ups, the main one being the Super Bell, which gives Mario a cat suit, changing him to Cat Mario and allowing him to climb up most surfaces for a short period of time. The other one is Double Cherry, and touching it creates a duplicate copy of Mario.

Gallery[edit]

For this subject's image gallery, see Gallery:Mario.

Names in other languages[edit]

Main article: List of Mario names in other languages
Language Name Meaning
Japanese マリオ
Mario
救助マン (Donkey Kong)
Kyūjo Man
Mario

Rescue Man
Chinese (Simplified) 马力欧
Mǎlìōu
Mario. The Simplified Chinese name is chosen by Shigeru Miyamoto and used by iQue, Nintendo's former subsidiary in mainland China[13] (even after the Simplified Chinese names for many characters have been changed to the same as the Traditional Chinese variants since Mario Tennis Aces), despite the popular unofficial name 马里奥 Mǎlǐào.[14]
Chinese (Traditional) 瑪利歐
Mǎlìōu
Mario. This Traditional Chinese name is used by Nintendo in Hong Kong and Taiwan. Its Simplified form, 玛利欧, was used by Mani (万信), Nintendo's former sale agency in mainland China before iQue.[15]
Dutch Mario -
French Mario -
German Mario -
Greek Μάριο
Mario
-
Hebrew מריו
Mario
-
Italian Mario -
Korean 마리오
Mario
Mario
Polish Mario -
Portuguese Mario -
Russian Марио
Mario
Mario
Spanish Mario -

References[edit]

  1. ^ Fraser, Mick (December 26, 2016). "The 10 best-selling video game franchises ever". Red Bull (archive.is). Retrieved October 25, 2022.
  2. ^ East, Tom (November 25, 2009). "Donkey Kong Was Originally A Popeye Game". Official Nintendo Magazine (Wayback Machine, archive.is).
  3. ^ a b McLaughlin, Rus (November 8, 2007). "IGN Presents The History of Super Mario Bros.". IGN (Wayback Machine, archive.is). Retrieved October 28, 2022.
  4. ^ https://web.archive.org/web/20101009201546/http://us.wii.com/iwata_asks/mario25th/vol2_page4.jsp
  5. ^ Totilo, Stephen (August 17, 2012). "Nintendo Chief: Mario Is Part Of Gamers' DNA". Kotaku. Retrieved October 28, 2022.
  6. ^ Edwards, Benj (April 25, 2010). "The True Face of Mario". Technologizer. Retrieved October 28, 2022.
  7. ^ West, Neil (February 1998). "The Way Games Ought to Be...". Next Generation Volume 38. page 106.
  8. ^ Snider, Mike (November 8, 2010). "Q&A: 'Mario' creator Shigeru Miyamoto". USA Today (archive.is). Retrieved October 28, 2022.
  9. ^ Mendelsohn, Tom (September 30, 2016). "Mario is only 24 years old, according to creator Shigeru Miyamoto". Ars Technica. Retrieved October 26, 2022.
  10. ^ Geikhman, Yuliya (September 26, 2012). "Miyamoto explains Mario's mismatched hair and mustache color". BeefJerky (Wayback Machine, archive.is). Retrieved October 26, 2022.
  11. ^ Ashcraft, Brian (September 4, 2017). "Mario Is Officially No Longer A Plumber". Kotaku. Retrieved October 26, 2022.
  12. ^ Schrier, Jason (March 6, 2018). "Mario Is Officially A Plumber Again". Kotaku. Retrieved October 26, 2022.
  13. ^ From an interview of iQue staff: "A:先提醒一下,宫本茂先生认为这位大胡子水管工的中文名称是马力欧,请大家尊重原创者的意见哈~" (A: First, Mr. Miyamoto thinks that the mustache'd plumber should be named "Mǎlìōu" in Chinese; please respect the original creator :) Retrieved January 28, 2017.
  14. ^ "不过由于「马里奥」在中国大陆由来已久,目前,中国大陆方面的通用译名为「马里奥」。" (But because the name Mali'ao has existed in mainland China for a long time, it is in wide use there now.) ~ Mandarin Wikipedia contributors. "马里奥 (角色)". Mandarin Wikipedia. Retrieved May 1, 2016.
  15. ^ aquariuslegend (January 23, 2017). 万信国行初代GB 任天堂 GAME BOY 开箱. Chiphell. Retrieved February 5, 2017.
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