- This article is about the character in general. For other uses, see Mario (disambiguation).
Mario, as he appears in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U.
|First appearance||Donkey Kong (1981)|
|Created by||Shigeru Miyamoto|
Mario (マリオ, Mario) is a video game character and Nintendo's primary mascot. He has appeared in many games of all genres and he is one of the most recognized characters in the video games industry. He is the main protagonist of the Mario series. With the help of his younger brother Luigi, and friend, Yoshi, he protects the Mushroom Kingdom from evil forces, such as Bowser, and primarily rescues Princess Peach in the series. He appears in both games of the Super Smash Flash series: Super Smash Flash and Super Smash Flash 2 as a playable character, and was one of the first four characters made playable in the demo for SSF2. He belongs to the Mario universe along with Luigi, Peach and Bowser who are playable too. He also appears as one of the main heroes in the flash cartoon A Super Mario World.
Years before video gaming exploded into mainstream popularity, prominent game designer Shigeru Miyamoto designed the original arcade game Donkey Kong in 1981, debuting Mario as the main playable character and Donkey Kong as his in-game nemesis. Mario's character design was heavily influenced by the extreme technical limitations of digital games at the time; as a small batch of pixels, Mario was given a mustache under his big nose to show he had a face, and suspenders with his shirt to show a distinction between his arms and body. In this game Mario was originally known as "Jumpman" in the initial Japanese release, and he was portrayed as a carpenter whose girlfriend Pauline (originally "Lady" in Japan) was held captive by the colossal ape Donkey Kong, and must jump his way over the barrels and flames DK throws at him to rescue Pauline.
After his initial appearance in this pioneering game, the sequel Donkey Kong Jr. introduced Mario (under his proper name for the first time in Japan) and was identified as of Italian ethnicity by Nintendo's president Hiroshi Yamauchi; Mario was named as such because of his comical resemblance to Nintendo of America's landlord Mario Segale. Then Mario and his newly introduced brother Luigi starred in the 1983 arcade game Mario Bros. as plumbers.
Miyamoto's next game was the world-famous Super Mario Bros. for the Famicom/NES, the game that singlehandedly brought video gaming into the mainstream and made Nintendo a major company in a now major industry. Many iconic aspects of Mario and his franchise were established; Mario and Luigi now live in the Mushroom Kingdom ruled under Princess "Peach" Toadstool and her mushroom-retaining Toad servants, and the King Bowser (Koopa in Japan) kidnaps the princess for Mario to rescue, and Mario must bound across side-scrolling platform stages to rescue her, jumping on the heads of common enemies like Goombas and Koopa Troopas to defeat them. He starts out tiny but can grow to double his size if he grabs a Super Mushroom powerup, gain the ability to shoot out fireballs by grabbing a Fire Flower, and can turn invincible for a short period of time by grabbing a Starman. Super Mario Bros. became a franchise with these elements, lasered into video game iconography, consistent in future games in the Mario series.
For over twenty years afterward, Mario would star in many, many games for Nintendo systems. Mario and his accompanying franchise can be viewed as Nintendo's thematic tileset with which to create games of a whimsical, colorful, and light-hearted nature. Mario himself is meant to be a character anyone can enjoy playing as, and can fit well as a protagonist figure and/or main balanced character in many genres of games; to this end he is not portrayed as a character that undergoes development like what you would see with a character in an epic RPG's story. He in fact is rarely depicted speaking coherent English sentences. In contemporary Mario games, his high-pitched Italian voice, provided by Charles Martinet, is used mainly for grunts and yells, and the occasional catchphrase ("Mama-mia!", "It's-a-me, Mario!", "Let's-a-go!"). As a semi-silent, optimistic protagonist, Mario is inherently easy for players of his various games to appreciate, and he is ideally the most balanced selectable character in any game he appears in. Genres of games in which Mario appears in a playable role include the traditional 2D side-scrolling platformer, including various sequels to Super Mario Bros., the seminal Super NES launch platformer Super Mario World which introduced Yoshi as a mount of sorts for Mario, and the DS and Wii "new" versions to these games in the form of New Super Mario Bros., New Super Mario Bros. Wii, New Super Mario Bros. 2 and New Super Mario Bros. U; 3D platforming adventures such as the especially seminal Super Mario 64 3D platforming adventure game launching for the Nintendo 64, which is one of the most influential and best-reviewed games ever, followed up by Super Mario Sunshine for GameCube, Super Mario Galaxy and Super Mario Galaxy 2 for Wii; Super Mario 3D Land for the Nintendo 3DS and Super Mario 3D World for the Wii U; the Mario Kart series of power-up and obstacle course-based racing games; a long-running series of multiplayer-based party games named Mario Party; various series of Mario-themed Sports titles such as Mario Golf, Mario Tennis, Mario Football and Mario Baseball; hands-on RPGs such as Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door for GameCube and Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story for the Nintendo DS; and a puzzle game named Dr. Mario, where Mario in the garb of a medicine man throws pills into a bottle to combat viruses. Throughout a lot of these games have been appearances by a baby version of himself as well, named Baby Mario, who's often treated as a separate character. Outside of his own series and spin-offs, he made appearances as a playable character in the 4 installments of the Super Smash Bros. series, Olympic sport games along with Sonic, etc.
In A Super Mario World
Mario appears as the titular character of the McLeodGaming Cartoon, A Super Mario World, which is a crossover parody between the Mario series, the The Legend of Zelda series, the Sonic series and the Kingdom Hearts series. In the first episode, Mario is first seen running toward Peach's Castle to get to see his favorite show "You got Schooled". After it ends, Luigi comes and tells Mario he found Link's Master Sword in front of the castle, both oblivious of this at first, and gives it to him. Mario goes out to get some fight and suddenly feels the sword enchanted effect that allows him to levitate in the air. He then proceeds to slaught many of the regular Super Mario World enemies, including a gigantic Morton Koopa Jr.. To Mario's dismay, Link is looking for his sword so he can save Princess Zelda from Bowser and he accuses Mario from stealing it when he finds he has it. Link snatches the Master Sword from Mario's hand and proceeds to punish him; Mario gets up and clarifies he did not stole the sword but that his brother found it and gave it to him. Clearing the misunderstanding, Link explains his situation to Mario, both then, decide to infiltrate Bowser's Castle and rescue Zelda.
In the second episode, now inside Bowser's Castle, Mario point how the castle look more high tech than ever. There they are confronted by a Bowser's hologram who tells them that he did not left the castle unguarded, then Sonic and Knuckles are revealed to be his guardians. Mario and Link then ensue a fight against them. Link points Mario a ? Block that may be useful, but when he tries to get, he is stopped by Knuckles. So Mario could get the ? Block, Link fights alone Sonic and Knuckles to distract them. Mario gets the ? Block and finds a Cape Feather inside it, thus turning into Cape Mario. Mario quickly saves Link in time and pushes Knuckles into the lava, Sonic flees into another room, but Mario and Link go in his pursue. In the other room, Sonic turns into Super Sonic and nearly kills Mario and Link, but are saved at the last moment by Cloud who is looking for the "real" enemy (he initially believes it to be Sephiroth) who turns out not to be Bowser. Everything is revealed, including that Dr. Eggman helped Bowser construct their "Bowser-Eggman Cruiser" and that Zelda was just a bait to get the three heroes together so they can be take down all together by Riku. Link kills Bowser in rage. Cloud request Mario to take Link and Zelda to a safety place while he fights Riku. As the credits roll, Mario is seen taking Link and Zelda to the border of Hyrule, they all bid farewell and Zelda gives Mario a small kiss in thanks. She and Link enter Hyrule and Mario goes the other way.
In the third episode, Mario makes a minor appearance, last seen about to be crushed by the falling Bowser's Castle but leaving his fate uncertain.
In the Super Smash Flash series
In Super Smash Flash
- Main article: Mario (Super Smash Flash)
Mario is a playable starter character in Super Smash Flash. Due the physics this game has, Mario balanced traits can be hardly noticed, as all characters have almost the same weight and have a limited moveset. Most of his attacks are based, or seem to be inspired, on his moveset from the Super Smash Bros. series, including the Fireball or the Mario Tornado. His sprites are completely custom.
In Super Smash Flash 2
- Main article: Mario (Super Smash Flash 2)
Mario reappears in the SSF reboot, Super Smash Flash 2. He was one of the first characters confirmed in the trailer and made playable in demo, the others being Ichigo, Kirby, and Lloyd. His moveset was widely updated to match how it is in the Super Smash Bros. games. His sprites are completely custom-made, and they are based on his appearance in Super Smash Bros. Brawl with more vibrant colors which are based on his Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U appearance. He is ranked 21st of B- tier on the current tier list.