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is a fictional character
Character (arts)
A character is the representation of a person in a narrative work of art . Derived from the ancient Greek word kharaktêr , the earliest use in English, in this sense, dates from the Restoration, although it became widely used after its appearance in Tom Jones in 1749. From this, the sense of...

 in his video game series
Mario (series)
The video game series, alternatively called the series or simply the series, is a series of highly popular and critically acclaimed video games by Nintendo, featuring Nintendo's mascot Mario and, in many games, his brother Luigi. Gameplay in the series often centers around jumping on and...

, created by Japanese video game designer Shigeru Miyamoto
Shigeru Miyamoto
is a Japanese video game designer and producer. Miyamoto was born and raised in Kyoto Prefecture; the natural surroundings of Kyoto inspired much of Miyamoto's later work....

. Serving as Nintendo
Nintendo
is a multinational corporation located in Kyoto, Japan. Founded on September 23, 1889 by Fusajiro Yamauchi, it produced handmade hanafuda cards. By 1963, the company had tried several small niche businesses, such as a cab company and a love hotel....

's mascot and the main protagonist
Protagonist
A protagonist is the main character of a literary, theatrical, cinematic, or musical narrative, around whom the events of the narrative's plot revolve and with whom the audience is intended to most identify...

 of the series, Mario has appeared in over 200 video games since his creation. Though originally only appearing in platform game
Platform game
A platform game is a video game characterized by requiring the player to jump to and from suspended platforms or over obstacles . It must be possible to control these jumps and to fall from platforms or miss jumps...

s, starting with Donkey Kong
Donkey Kong (video game)
is an arcade game released by Nintendo in 1981. It is an early example of the platform game genre, as the gameplay focuses on maneuvering the main character across a series of platforms while dodging and jumping over obstacles. In the game, Jumpman must rescue a damsel in distress, Lady, from a...

, Mario currently appears in varied video game genres such as racing
Mario Kart
is a series of go-kart-style racing video games developed by Nintendo as a series of spin-offs from its trademark Mario series of platformer adventure-style video games...

, puzzle, party
Mario Party
is a party video game for the Nintendo 64 game console, developed by Hudson Soft and published by Nintendo. It was released in Japan on December 14, 1998, in North America on February 8, 1999, and in Europe on March 9, 1999...

, role-playing, fighting, and sports.

Mario is depicted as a short, pudgy, Italian-American
Italian American
An Italian American , is an American of Italian ancestry. The designation may also refer to someone possessing Italian and American dual citizenship...

 plumber
Plumber
A plumber is a tradesperson who specializes in installing and maintaining systems used for potable water, sewage, and drainage in plumbing systems. The term dates from ancient times, and is related to the Latin word for lead, "plumbum." A person engaged in fixing metaphorical "leaks" may also be...

 who lives in the Mushroom Kingdom. He repeatedly stops the turtle-like villain Bowser's numerous plans to kidnap Princess Peach
Princess Peach
is a character in Nintendo's Mario series of video games. She is the Princess of the fictitious Mushroom Kingdom, and often plays the damsel in distress role within the adventure series. In 2007, Princess Peach landed on Forbes magazine's Wealthiest Fictional People list, with a fortune upwards of...

 and take over the kingdom. Mario also has other enemies and rivals, including Donkey Kong and Wario
Wario
is a fictional character in Nintendo's Mario series. The character was designed as another antagonist to Mario , and first appeared in the 1992 Game Boy title Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins as the main antagonist and final boss...

. Since 1995, he has been voiced by Charles Martinet
Charles Martinet
Charles Martinet is an American actor and voice actor, best known for providing the voice of Mario, the titular character in Nintendo's flagship video game franchise. He has held this role since 1994, longer than any other actor. He also voices Luigi, Wario, Waluigi, Toadsworth, and a select few...

.

As Nintendo's mascot, Mario is said to be the most famous character in video game history. Mario games, as a whole, have sold more than 210 million units, making the Mario series the best-selling video game series of all time. Outside of platform game
Platform game
A platform game is a video game characterized by requiring the player to jump to and from suspended platforms or over obstacles . It must be possible to control these jumps and to fall from platforms or miss jumps...

s, he has appeared in video games of other genres, including the Mario Kart
Mario Kart
is a series of go-kart-style racing video games developed by Nintendo as a series of spin-offs from its trademark Mario series of platformer adventure-style video games...

racing series, sports games, such as the Mario Tennis
Mario Tennis
Mario Tennis, known in Japan as , is a sports video game developed by Camelot and Nintendo for the Nintendo 64 video game console. The game was released in North America and Japan in the summer of 2000, and released in Europe later in November. It is the first tennis-based game starring Mario since...

and Mario Golf series, role-playing games such as Paper Mario
Paper Mario
Paper Mario, known in Japan as , is a role-playing video game developed by Intelligent Systems and published by Nintendo for the Nintendo 64 game console. It was first released in Japan on August 11, 2000, in North America on February 5, 2001, and in Europe and Australia on October 5, 2001...

and Super Mario RPG
Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars
Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars, often shortened and officially known in Japan as , is an action role-playing game developed by Square and published by Nintendo for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System . It was originally released on March 9, 1996 in Japan and on May 13,...

, and educational game
Educational game
Educational games are games that have been designed to teach people about a certain subject, expand concepts, reinforce development, understand an historical event or culture, or assist them in learning a skill as they play...

s, such as Mario is Missing! and Mario's Time Machine
Mario's Time Machine
Mario's Time Machine is an educational video game developed by The Software Toolworks for DOS and the Super NES and by Radical Entertainment for the NES release. All versions were published by Mindscape. It was first released in 1993 for DOS, and was later released for the Super NES in December of...

. He has inspired television shows, film, comics, and a line of licensed merchandise.

Concept and creation



Shigeru Miyamoto
Shigeru Miyamoto
is a Japanese video game designer and producer. Miyamoto was born and raised in Kyoto Prefecture; the natural surroundings of Kyoto inspired much of Miyamoto's later work....

 created Mario while developing Donkey Kong
Donkey Kong (video game)
is an arcade game released by Nintendo in 1981. It is an early example of the platform game genre, as the gameplay focuses on maneuvering the main character across a series of platforms while dodging and jumping over obstacles. In the game, Jumpman must rescue a damsel in distress, Lady, from a...

in an attempt to produce a best-selling video game for Nintendo
Nintendo
is a multinational corporation located in Kyoto, Japan. Founded on September 23, 1889 by Fusajiro Yamauchi, it produced handmade hanafuda cards. By 1963, the company had tried several small niche businesses, such as a cab company and a love hotel....

; previous titles like Sheriff
Sheriff (arcade game)
is an arcade game developed by Nintendo R&D1 in 1979, designed by Shigeru Miyamoto and Genyo Takeda. Some sources claim that Ikegami Tsushinki also did design work on Sheriff. It is one of the earliest Western-style video games developed . The player controls a county sheriff who must defend the...

had not achieved the same success as titles like Pac-Man
Pac-Man
is an arcade game developed by Namco and licensed for distribution in the United States by Midway, first released in Japan on May 22, 1980. Immensely popular from its original release to the present day, Pac-Man is considered one of the classics of the medium, virtually synonymous with video games,...

. Originally, Miyamoto wanted to create a video game that used the characters Popeye
Popeye
Popeye the Sailor is a cartoon fictional character created by Elzie Crisler Segar, who has appeared in comic strips and animated cartoons in the cinema as well as on television. He first appeared in the daily King Features comic strip Thimble Theatre on January 17, 1929...

, Bluto
Bluto
Bluto is a cartoon and comics character created in 1932 by Elzie Crisler Segar as a one-time character, named "Bluto the Terrible", in his Thimble Theatre comic strip . Bluto made his first appearance September 12 of that year...

, and Olive Oyl
Olive Oyl
Olive Oyl is a cartoon character created by Elzie Crisler Segar in 1919 for his comic strip Thimble Theatre. The strip was later renamed Popeye after the sailor character that became the most popular member of the cast; however Olive Oyl was a main character for 10 years before Popeye's 1929...

. At the time, however, Miyamoto was unable to acquire a license to use the characters (and would not until 1982), so he ended up making Jumpman (later known as Mario), Donkey Kong, and Pauline. In the early stages of Donkey Kong, Mario was unable to jump, and the focus was to escape a maze. However, Miyamoto enabled Mario to jump, saying "If you had a barrel rolling towards you, what would you do?"

Miyamoto originally named the character "Mr. Video", and he was to be used in every video game Miyamoto developed. According to a widely circulated story, during localization of Donkey Kong for North American audiences, Nintendo of America's warehouse landlord Mario Segale
Mario Segale
Mario A. Segale is an American businessman and real estate developer. He has been involved in various development projects in the Seattle area since the 1950s. He is widely known in popular culture as the source of the name of Nintendo's Mario character....

 confronted its then-president Minoru Arakawa
Minoru Arakawa
was the founder and first president of Nintendo of America from 1980 to 2002.Born in Kyoto, Japan, he attended Kyoto University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In 1972, he was hired by Japanese conglomerate Marubeni as part of their international staff, with the responsibility of...

, 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.

Miyamoto commented that if he had named Mario "Mr. Video", Mario likely would have "disappeared off the face of the Earth." By Miyamoto's own account, Mario's profession was chosen to fit with the game design. Since Donkey Kong was set on a construction site, Mario was made into a carpenter. When he appeared again in Mario Bros.
Mario Bros.
is an arcade game published and developed by Nintendo in 1983. It was developed by Shigeru Miyamoto. It has been commonly featured as a minigame in the Super Mario Advance series and other games...

, it was decided he should be a plumber, since a lot of the game is played in underground settings. Mario's character design, particularly his large nose, draws on western influences; once he became a plumber, Miyamoto decided to "put him in New York
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

" and make him Italian, lightheartedly attributing Mario's nationality to his mustache. Other sources have Mario's profession chosen to be carpenter in an effort to depict the character as an ordinary hard worker, and make it easier for players to identify with him. After a colleague suggested that Mario more closely resembled a plumber, Miyamoto changed Mario's profession accordingly and developed Mario Bros., featuring the character in the sewers of New York City.

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. A 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. To make him appear human onscreen despite his small size, Mario was given distinct features, prominently a large nose and a mustache, which avoided the need to draw a mouth and facial expressions on the small onscreen character.

Miyamoto developed Mario with the idea of using him as a "go to" character that could be put into any title as needed, albeit in cameo appearances, as at the time Miyamoto was not expecting Mario to become popular. To this end, he originally called the character "Mr. Video", comparing his intent to have Mario appear in later games to the cameos done by Alfred Hitchcock
Alfred Hitchcock
Sir Alfred Joseph Hitchcock, KBE was a British film director and producer. He pioneered many techniques in the suspense and psychological thriller genres. After a successful career in British cinema in both silent films and early talkies, Hitchcock moved to Hollywood...

 within Hitchcock's films. Over time, Mario's appearance has become more defined; both a red "M" in a white circle on the front of his hat and gold buttons on his overalls have been added. Miyamoto attributed this process to the different development teams and artists for each game as well as advances in technology as time has gone on. Nintendo has never revealed Mario's full name, stating only that it was not "Mario Mario" despite the implication of the Mario Bros. series' title, its use in the film
Super Mario Bros. (film)
Super Mario Bros. is a 1993 American action film directed by Rocky Morton and Annabel Jankel. Based on the Super Mario Bros.video game and its entire franchise, the film features Bob Hoskins, John Leguizamo, Dennis Hopper and Samantha Mathis. It tells the story of the Mario brothers, Mario and...

, and information given in the Prima
Prima Games
Prima Games, a division of Random House, is the largest publishing company of video game strategy guides in the United States. It is an imprint of the Random House Information Group, based in Roseville, California...

 official Guidebook to Mario and Luigi: Superstar Saga.

Appearances




1981–1990


Mario debuted as "Jumpman" in the arcade game Donkey Kong
Donkey Kong (video game)
is an arcade game released by Nintendo in 1981. It is an early example of the platform game genre, as the gameplay focuses on maneuvering the main character across a series of platforms while dodging and jumping over obstacles. In the game, Jumpman must rescue a damsel in distress, Lady, from a...

in 1981. He is shown as a carpenter that has a pet ape. The carpenter mistreats the ape, so Donkey Kong escapes and kidnaps Jumpman's girlfriend, originally known as the Lady, but later named Pauline. The player must take the role of Jumpman and rescue the girl. The character was later renamed "Mario" in the 1982 arcade game Donkey Kong Junior, the only game in which he has ever been portrayed as an antagonist. In the 1983 arcade game Mario Bros.
Mario Bros.
is an arcade game published and developed by Nintendo in 1983. It was developed by Shigeru Miyamoto. It has been commonly featured as a minigame in the Super Mario Advance series and other games...

, Mario and his younger brother Luigi
Luigi
is a fictional character, featured in video games and related media released by Nintendo. Created by prominent game designer Shigeru Miyamoto, Luigi is portrayed as the slightly younger fraternal twin brother of Nintendo's mascot Mario, and appears in many games throughout the Mario series,...

 are portrayed as Italian-American plumbers who have to defeat creatures that have been coming from the sewers below New York
New York
New York is a state in the Northeastern region of the United States. It is the nation's third most populous state. New York is bordered by New Jersey and Pennsylvania to the south, and by Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont to the east...

. Their surname was "Mario", resulting in Mario's full name being first given here as "Mario Mario".

In Super Mario Bros.
Super Mario Bros.
is a 1985 platform video game developed by Nintendo, published for the Nintendo Entertainment System as a sequel to the 1983 game Mario Bros. In Super Mario Bros., the player controls Mario as he travels through the Mushroom Kingdom in order to rescue Princess Toadstool from the antagonist...

for the Nintendo Entertainment System
Nintendo Entertainment System
The Nintendo Entertainment System is an 8-bit video game console that was released by Nintendo in North America during 1985, in Europe during 1986 and Australia in 1987...

, Mario saves Princess Toadstool
Princess Peach
is a character in Nintendo's Mario series of video games. She is the Princess of the fictitious Mushroom Kingdom, and often plays the damsel in distress role within the adventure series. In 2007, Princess Peach landed on Forbes magazine's Wealthiest Fictional People list, with a fortune upwards of...

 (later known as Princess Peach) of the Mushroom Kingdom from King Koopa. To save Princess Toadstool, Mario conquers the eight worlds of the Mushroom Kingdom by going to the castle in each to defeat a minion of King Koopa. To reach each castle, Mario battles through three sub-worlds by defeating King Koopa's henchmen. If Mario successfully fights his way through the castle and defeats the minion, he frees a Mushroom Retainer. Inside the eighth castle, Mario has a final fight with King Koopa and frees Princess Toadstool. In Super Mario Bros. 2
Super Mario Bros. 2
Super Mario Bros. 2, often abbreviated SMB2, is a platform game developed and published by Nintendo for the Nintendo Entertainment System as a sequel to the 1985 game Super Mario Bros. The game was also remade as part of the Super Mario All-Stars collection for the Super Nintendo Entertainment...

, the player could choose between Mario, Luigi
Luigi
is a fictional character, featured in video games and related media released by Nintendo. Created by prominent game designer Shigeru Miyamoto, Luigi is portrayed as the slightly younger fraternal twin brother of Nintendo's mascot Mario, and appears in many games throughout the Mario series,...

, Toad, or Princess Peach
Princess Peach
is a character in Nintendo's Mario series of video games. She is the Princess of the fictitious Mushroom Kingdom, and often plays the damsel in distress role within the adventure series. In 2007, Princess Peach landed on Forbes magazine's Wealthiest Fictional People list, with a fortune upwards of...

. Each character possesses unique abilities (Luigi has stronger jumping ability, Toad can dig the fastest, and Peach can float), with Mario being the most well-rounded. In Super Mario Bros. 3
Super Mario Bros. 3
, also referred to as Super Mario 3 and SMB3, is a platform video game developed and published by Nintendo for the Nintendo Entertainment System , and is the third game in the Super Mario series. The game was released in Japan in 1988, in the United States in 1990, and in Europe in 1991...

, Mario quests to save the rulers of seven kingdoms from Bowser and his children, the Koopalings
Koopalings
The , also called the Koopa Kids, are a group of seven fictional characters in Nintendo's Mario series of video games. Their names are Ludwig von Koopa, Lemmy Koopa, Roy Koopa, Iggy Koopa, Wendy O. Koopa, Morton Koopa Jr. and Larry Koopa. They first appeared in the NES game Super Mario Bros. 3, and...

, and Mario travels across eight worlds to restore order to the Mushroom World and to rescue Princess Peach. Mario is introduced to new power-up
Power-up
In computer and video games, power-ups are objects that instantly benefit or add extra abilities to the game character as a game mechanic. This is in contrast to an item, which may or may not have a benefit and can be used at a time chosen by the player...

s that augment his abilities.

1989–1995


In Super Mario Land
Super Mario Land
is a platforming video game developed by Nintendo for the Game Boy handheld game console. It and the Game Boy debuted in Japan on April 21, 1989, in the United States on July 31, 1989, and in Europe on September 28, 1990...

an alien named Tatanga appears, hypnotizes the inhabitants of an area called Sarasaland, and kidnaps its ruler, Princess Daisy. Mario then sets out to rescue her from Tatanga, traveling through the four geographical areas of Sarasaland and defeating Tatanga's minions along the way. He finally corners Tatanga in the skies of the Chai kingdom, bringing down Tatanga's alien warship and rescuing Daisy. In Super Mario World
Super Mario World
, subtitled Super Mario Bros. 4 for its original Japanese release, is a platform video game developed and published by Nintendo as a pack-in launch title for the Super Famicom/Super Nintendo Entertainment System , and is the fourth game in the Super Mario series...

, Mario and Luigi take Princess Peach
Princess Peach
is a character in Nintendo's Mario series of video games. She is the Princess of the fictitious Mushroom Kingdom, and often plays the damsel in distress role within the adventure series. In 2007, Princess Peach landed on Forbes magazine's Wealthiest Fictional People list, with a fortune upwards of...

 for a vacation in Dinosaur World sometime after the events of Super Mario Bros. 3
Super Mario Bros. 3
, also referred to as Super Mario 3 and SMB3, is a platform video game developed and published by Nintendo for the Nintendo Entertainment System , and is the third game in the Super Mario series. The game was released in Japan in 1988, in the United States in 1990, and in Europe in 1991...

; during the vacation, Peach is kidnapped by Bowser. Mario and Luigi meet the Yoshi
Yoshi
, is a fictional dragon-like character who appears in video games published by Nintendo. His debut was in Super Mario World on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System as Mario and Luigi's sidekick , and he later established his own series with several platform and puzzle games, including Super...

s, dinosaurs that live in Dinosaur World, and they help rescue Peach by allowing Mario and Luigi to ride them. In Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins
Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins
is a platforming video game developed and published by Nintendo for the Game Boy. It was released in Japan on October 21, 1992, in North America on November 2, 1992, and in Europe on January 28, 1993...

, whose events take place immediately after the original Super Mario Land, Mario's evil counterpart Wario
Wario
is a fictional character in Nintendo's Mario series. The character was designed as another antagonist to Mario , and first appeared in the 1992 Game Boy title Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins as the main antagonist and final boss...

 has put an evil spell over Mario Land while Mario was away in Sarasaland, renaming the area Wario Land. The inhabitants are now brainwashed into thinking that Wario is their master and Mario is their enemy. Wario's motive behind this sudden attack was to take control over Mario's castle in order to have one of his own. To stop Wario, Mario finds the 6 Golden Coins throughout Mario Land and regains access to his castle. In Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island
Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island
Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island, originally released as in Japan, is a platform video game developed and published by Nintendo for the SNES console. Despite its title, this game serves as a prequel to all other games within the established Mario Bros timeline...

, a stork
Stork
Storks are large, long-legged, long-necked wading birds with long, stout bills. They belong to the family Ciconiidae. They are the only family in the biological order Ciconiiformes, which was once much larger and held a number of families....

 carries Baby Mario and Baby Luigi across the sea, but the evil Magikoopa Kamek steals Baby Luigi, and Baby Mario falls onto an island called Yoshi's Island, home to Yoshis. After Mario meets the Yoshis, the group journeys through the game's six worlds to rescue Baby Luigi and the stork from Baby Bowser and Kamek.

1996–2002



Mario made his 3D
3D computer graphics
3D computer graphics are graphics that use a three-dimensional representation of geometric data that is stored in the computer for the purposes of performing calculations and rendering 2D images...

 debut in Super Mario 64
Super Mario 64
is a platform game, published by Nintendo and developed by its EAD division, for the Nintendo 64. Along with Pilotwings 64, it was one of the launch titles for the console. It was released in Japan on June 23, 1996, and later in North America, Europe, and Australia. Super Mario 64 has sold over...

. Princess Peach
Princess Peach
is a character in Nintendo's Mario series of video games. She is the Princess of the fictitious Mushroom Kingdom, and often plays the damsel in distress role within the adventure series. In 2007, Princess Peach landed on Forbes magazine's Wealthiest Fictional People list, with a fortune upwards of...

 sends Mario a letter inviting him to join her at her castle for cake; however, when he arrives, Mario discovers that Bowser has invaded the castle and imprisoned the princess and her servants within it using the castle's 120 Power Stars. Many of the castle's paintings are portals to other worlds, in which Bowser's minions guard the stars. Mario explores the castle and these other worlds to recover the stars. He gains access to more painting portals as he recovers more stars, and he traverses three obstacle courses that lead him to battles with Bowser. Defeating Bowser the first two times earns Mario keys that open new levels of the castle, while the final battle releases Peach, who rewards Mario by baking the cake that she promised him.

In Super Mario Sunshine
Super Mario Sunshine
is a platforming video game developed by Nintendo Entertainment Analysis and Development and published by Nintendo for the Nintendo GameCube. It was released in Japan in July 2002, in North America in August 2002, and in Europe and Australia in October 2002...

, Mario, Toadsworth, and Princess Peach
Princess Peach
is a character in Nintendo's Mario series of video games. She is the Princess of the fictitious Mushroom Kingdom, and often plays the damsel in distress role within the adventure series. In 2007, Princess Peach landed on Forbes magazine's Wealthiest Fictional People list, with a fortune upwards of...

 take a vacation to Isle Delfino, a tropical island. A person resembling Mario, known as "Shadow Mario", vandalizes and pollutes the entire island using a magic paintbrush. The vandalism has also caused the Shine Sprites to flee from the island's main city, Delfino Plaza, and blanket the island in darkness. Blamed for the mess, Mario is arrested by the island authorities and ordered to clean up Isle Delfino. Mario is equipped with FLUDD, a robotic hosing
Hose
A hose is a hollow tube designed to carry fluids from one location to another. Hoses are also sometimes called pipes , or more generally tubing...

 device invented by Professor E. Gadd, which he uses to clean up the pollution and collect the Shine Sprites. Meanwhile, Peach is kidnapped by Shadow Mario, who reveals himself to be Bowser Jr., one of Bowser's children. Mario eventually confronts Bowser and Bowser Jr. and rescues the princess. With the island cleaned up, Mario and Peach begin their vacation.

2006–present


Mario went to 2.5D
2.5D
2.5D , 3/4 perspective and pseudo-3D are terms used to describe either:* 2D graphical projections and techniques which cause a series of images or scenes to fake or appear to be three-dimensional when in fact they are not, or* gameplay in an otherwise three-dimensional video game that is...

 in New Super Mario Bros.
New Super Mario Bros.
is a side-scrolling platform video game published and developed by Nintendo for the Nintendo DS handheld game console. The game was released in North America and Japan in May 2006 and in Australia and Europe in June 2006...

While Mario and Peach take a walk together through the Mushroom Kingdom, Bowser Jr. kidnaps Peach and flees. Mario gives chase, venturing through eight worlds. Mario eventually catches up, defeating both Bowser and Bowser Jr. and rescuing Peach. In Super Mario Galaxy
Super Mario Galaxy
is a 3D platform game developed by Nintendo EAD Tokyo and published by Nintendo for the Wii. It was released in most regions in November 2007, and is the third 3D original platformer in the Mario series, after Super Mario 64 and Super Mario Sunshine. The game follows the protagonist, Mario, on a...

, Mario is invited by Princess Peach to the centennial Star Festival in the Mushroom Kingdom. Upon arrival, Bowser invades the kingdom and rips Peach's castle from its foundations and lifts it into outer space
Outer space
Outer space is the void that exists between celestial bodies, including the Earth. It is not completely empty, but consists of a hard vacuum containing a low density of particles: predominantly a plasma of hydrogen and helium, as well as electromagnetic radiation, magnetic fields, and neutrinos....

. After failing to prevent the princess from being kidnapped, Mario meets star-like creatures called Lumas and their companion, Rosalina. Rosalina tells Mario that Bowser has stolen the Power Stars, the source of power for Rosalina's mobile observatory
Observatory
An observatory is a location used for observing terrestrial or celestial events. Astronomy, climatology/meteorology, geology, oceanography and volcanology are examples of disciplines for which observatories have been constructed...

, and has taken Peach to the center of the universe. Mario then travels to various galaxies
Galaxy
A galaxy is a massive, gravitationally bound system that consists of stars and stellar remnants, an interstellar medium of gas and dust, and an important but poorly understood component tentatively dubbed dark matter. The word galaxy is derived from the Greek galaxias , literally "milky", a...

 to reclaim the Power Stars to restore power to the observatory and reclaim Princess Peach. In New Super Mario Bros. Wii
New Super Mario Bros. Wii
is a 2009 side-scrolling platform video game published and developed by Nintendo for the Wii video game console. The game was released on November 12, 2009 in Australia, November 15, 2009 in North America, November 20, 2009 in Europe and December 3, 2009 in Japan...

, another 2.5D
2.5D
2.5D , 3/4 perspective and pseudo-3D are terms used to describe either:* 2D graphical projections and techniques which cause a series of images or scenes to fake or appear to be three-dimensional when in fact they are not, or* gameplay in an otherwise three-dimensional video game that is...

 game, Mario, Luigi, and two Toads are attending Princess Peach's birthday party when Bowser Jr. and the other seven Koopalings ambush the princess and kidnap her. Mario, Luigi, and the two Toads chase after them across eight worlds, defeating each Koopaling as they progress. The quartet eventually confronts Bowser, defeating him and reclaiming the princess. In Super Mario Galaxy 2
Super Mario Galaxy 2
is a platforming video game developed by Nintendo EAD and published by Nintendo for the Wii. It was first announced at E3 2009 and is the sequel to Super Mario Galaxy. It was released in North America on May 23, 2010, in Japan on May 27, 2010, in Europe on June 11, 2010, and in Australia on July 1,...

, Bowser, who has transformed himself into a giant using the Power Stars, attacks the Mushroom Kingdom and abducts Peach, taking her to the center of the universe. With the help of the Lumas, Mario pilots Starship Mario, a mobile planet in the shape of his head, in order to travel to various galaxies and gather the Power Stars, used to fuel the ship. After multiple battles against both Bowser and Bowser Jr., Mario eventually arrives at Bowser's lair at the center of the universe, where he defeats him and rescues the princess.

Other Mario games


Mario games of other genres include various Game & Watch
Game & Watch
is a line of handheld electronic games produced by Nintendo from to . Created by game designer Gunpei Yokoi, each Game & Watch features a single game to be played on an LCD screen in addition to a clock and an alarm ....

 games; Mario Pinball Land
Mario Pinball Land
, released as Mario Pinball Land in North America, is a pinball video game that was developed by Fuse Games and published by Nintendo for the Game Boy Advance and released in 2004. It is a spin-off of the Mario series that began on the Nintendo Entertainment System...

, a pinball game for the Game Boy Advance; various educational games; and the Dr. Mario
Dr. Mario (video game)
is an action puzzle game designed by Gunpei Yokoi and produced by Takahiro Harada. It was developed and published by Nintendo for the Nintendo Entertainment System and Game Boy consoles and released in 1990 and 1991....

puzzle games
Computer puzzle game
Puzzle video games are a genre of video games that emphasize puzzle solving. The types of puzzles to be solved can test many problem solving skills including logic, strategy, pattern recognition, sequence solving, and word completion....

, (with Dr. Mario itself first released in 1990). In these games, Dr. Mario throws vitamins that the player must align to destroy the viruses that populate the playing field. 1996's Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars
Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars
Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars, often shortened and officially known in Japan as , is an action role-playing game developed by Square and published by Nintendo for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System . It was originally released on March 9, 1996 in Japan and on May 13,...

for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System is the first Mario role-playing game; six games have followed, including three in the Paper Mario series (Paper Mario
Paper Mario
Paper Mario, known in Japan as , is a role-playing video game developed by Intelligent Systems and published by Nintendo for the Nintendo 64 game console. It was first released in Japan on August 11, 2000, in North America on February 5, 2001, and in Europe and Australia on October 5, 2001...

for the Nintendo 64, Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door
Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door
Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door, or Paper Mario 2, released in Japan as , is a console role-playing game developed by Intelligent Systems and published by Nintendo for the Nintendo GameCube...

for the Nintendo GameCube, and Super Paper Mario
Super Paper Mario
is a platform style console role-playing game developed by Intelligent Systems and published by Nintendo. Originally developed for the Nintendo GameCube, it was released for the Wii in 2007. The style of gameplay is a combination of the previous Paper Mario titles and Super Mario Bros. titles...

for the Wii) and three in the Mario & Luigi series (Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga
Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga
Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga, known in Japan as , is a role-playing game developed by AlphaDream and published by Nintendo for the Game Boy Advance in 2003...

for the Game Boy Advance and Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time
Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time
Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time, known in Japan as , is a role-playing game developed by AlphaDream and published by Nintendo for the Nintendo DS handheld game console in 2005. It is the second game in the Mario and Luigi RPG series, and is the sequel to Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga for the Game...

and Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story for the Nintendo DS
Nintendo DS
The is a portable game console produced by Nintendo, first released on November 21, 2004. A distinctive feature of the system is the presence of two separate LCD screens, the lower of which is a touchscreen, encompassed within a clamshell design, similar to the Game Boy Advance SP...

).

Several other sub-series of Mario video games, especially those inspired from sport
Sport
A Sport is all forms of physical activity which, through casual or organised participation, aim to use, maintain or improve physical fitness and provide entertainment to participants. Sport may be competitive, where a winner or winners can be identified by objective means, and may require a degree...

s, have been released. The Mario Kart
Mario Kart
is a series of go-kart-style racing video games developed by Nintendo as a series of spin-offs from its trademark Mario series of platformer adventure-style video games...

franchise, which began with Super Mario Kart
Super Mario Kart
is a go-kart racing video game developed by Nintendo EAD for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System . The first game of the Mario Kart series, it was launched in Japan on August 27, 1992, in North America on September 1, 1992, and in Europe on January 21, 1993. Selling eight million copies...

for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System, is currently the most successful and longest-running kart racing
Kart racing
Kart racing or karting is a variant of open-wheel motorsport with small, open, four-wheeled vehicles called karts, go-karts, or gearbox/shifter karts depending on the design. They are usually raced on scaled-down circuits...

 franchise. Other Mario sports games include the Camelot-developed series Mario Golf and Mario Tennis
Mario Tennis
Mario Tennis, known in Japan as , is a sports video game developed by Camelot and Nintendo for the Nintendo 64 video game console. The game was released in North America and Japan in the summer of 2000, and released in Europe later in November. It is the first tennis-based game starring Mario since...

, and, respectively, the baseball and soccer games Mario Superstar Baseball
Mario Superstar Baseball
Mario Superstar Baseball, known in Japan as is a sports game that was developed by Namco and NOW Production and published by Nintendo for the Nintendo GameCube in 2005. The game was created in the vein of other Mario sports games such as Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour and Mario Power Tennis. This game...

and Super Mario Strikers
Super Mario Strikers
Super Mario Strikers, known as Mario Smash Football in Europe and Australia, is a five-a-side football game developed by Next Level Games for the Nintendo GameCube. The game was released in Europe and North America in late 2005, and in Japan and Australia in 2006...

. In 1999, the Hudson-developed Mario Party series began on the Nintendo 64. The games revolve around a set of mini-games and are playable with up to four players. Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games
Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games
Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games, known in Japan as , is a sports video game developed by the Sega Sports R&D Department of Sega Japan. It was published by Nintendo for Japan and by Sega for North America, Europe and all other regions. The game is officially licensed by the International Olympic...

, released for both Nintendo DS and Wii, is a collection of twenty-four events based on the Olympic Games, in which characters from Sega
Sega
, usually styled as SEGA, is a multinational video game software developer and an arcade software and hardware development company headquartered in Ōta, Tokyo, Japan, with various offices around the world...

's Sonic the Hedgehog series compete with Mario characters. This was followed in 2009 by Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games
Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games
is a 2009 sports video game developed by Sega. It was published by Nintendo for Japan and by Sega for North America and Europe. The game is officially licensed by the International Olympic Committee through exclusive license International Sports Multimedia...

on both systems, based on the 2010 Winter Olympics
2010 Winter Olympics
The 2010 Winter Olympics, officially the XXI Olympic Winter Games or the 21st Winter Olympics, were a major international multi-sport event held from February 12–28, 2010, in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, with some events held in the suburbs of Richmond, West Vancouver and the University...

. Mario Sports Mix
Mario Sports Mix
is a sports video game developed by Square Enix for Wii. It was released on November 25, 2010 in Japan, and was released in early 2011 in other regions. It features volleyball, both field hockey and ice hockey, dodgeball, and street basketball...

was released on Wii in 2011.

In other media


Apart from his platformer and spinoff-game appearances, Mario has made guest appearances in non-Mario games, such as Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!!, where Mario is a referee
Referee
A referee is the person of authority, in a variety of sports, who is responsible for presiding over the game from a neutral point of view and making on the fly decisions that enforce the rules of the sport...

. Mario has also appeared as a playable character in NBA Street V3
NBA Street V3
NBA Street V3 is the third game in the NBA Street series. It is the sequel of NBA Street Vol. 2. It was released for PlayStation 2, GameCube and Xbox, along with a PlayStation Portable port of V3 called NBA Street Showdown....

and SSX on Tour
SSX on Tour
SSX on Tour is a skiing and snowboarding game, the fourth title in the SSX series of video games for the GameCube, PlayStation 2, PSP and Xbox. The game was developed under the working title SSX 4. It was released in North America on October 11, 2005, In the PAL region on October 21, 2005 and in...

, both by Electronic Arts
Electronic Arts
Electronic Arts, Inc. is a major American developer, marketer, publisher and distributor of video games. Founded and incorporated on May 28, 1982 by Trip Hawkins, the company was a pioneer of the early home computer games industry and was notable for promoting the designers and programmers...

. He makes cameo appearances in both The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past
The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past
The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, known as in Japan, is an action-adventure video game developed and published by Nintendo for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System video game console, and the third installment in The Legend of Zelda series. It was first released in Japan in 1991, and was...

and The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
is an action-adventure video game developed by Nintendo's Entertainment Analysis and Development division for the Nintendo 64 video game console. It was released in Japan on November 21, 1998; in North America on November 23, 1998; and in Europe on December 11, 1998...

as a portrait, and in Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes
Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes
Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes is a stealth action video game developed by Silicon Knights and Konami that was published in for the Nintendo GameCube video game console...

, he appears as a small statue.

Mario has appeared in every game of the Super Smash Bros. series and has retained his balanced abilities even when fighting characters from other series. The game also includes other Mario characters, items, and stages. Mario's alter egos Dr. Mario and Metal Mario have made series appearances as well.

The Super Mario Bros. Super Show!
The Super Mario Bros. Super Show!
The Super Mario Bros. Super Show! is an American television series based upon Nintendo's Super Mario Bros. and Super Mario Bros. 2 video games. It was originally broadcast via first-run syndication to mostly independent or Fox television stations from September 4, 1989, to December 1, 1989, with...

television series and the live-action film Super Mario Bros.
Super Mario Bros. (film)
Super Mario Bros. is a 1993 American action film directed by Rocky Morton and Annabel Jankel. Based on the Super Mario Bros.video game and its entire franchise, the film features Bob Hoskins, John Leguizamo, Dennis Hopper and Samantha Mathis. It tells the story of the Mario brothers, Mario and...

, both based on the video game series, brought Mario into the TV and film entertainment realms. The television show starred "Captain" Lou Albano
Lou Albano
Louis Vincent "Captain Lou" Albano was an Italian-American professional wrestler, manager and actor. He was active as a professional wrestler from 1953 until 1969, then he became a manager, until 1995....

 as Mario, and the film starred Bob Hoskins
Bob Hoskins
Robert William "Bob" Hoskins, Jr. is an English actor known for playing Cockney rough diamonds, psychopaths and gangsters, in films such as The Long Good Friday , and Mona Lisa , and lighter roles in family films such as Who Framed Roger Rabbit and Hook .- Early life :Hoskins was born in Bury St...

 as Mario Mario, a plumber who finds himself in an alternate universe (in which dinosaurs rule) where he must save the Earth from invasion. Outside the original games, television shows, and film, Mario has influenced the creation of a line of licensed merchandise and has appeared in popular culture. The Nintendo Comics System series, along with the Nintendo Adventure Books
Nintendo Adventure Books
-Nintendo Adventure Books:The Nintendo Adventure Book series was published from 1991 to 1992 by Archway books, and Mammoth books in the United Kingdom. There are twelve in all. They are formatted like the popular Choose Your Own Adventure books, where the reader makes decisions that change the...

, were created due to Mario as well.

Characteristics


Mario was originally portrayed as a two-dimensional sprite
Sprite (computer graphics)
In computer graphics, a sprite is a two-dimensional image or animation that is integrated into a larger scene...

, but in later games he is shown as a three-dimensional, polygonal model
Polygonal modeling
In 3D computer graphics, polygonal modeling is an approach for modeling objects by representing or approximating their surfaces using polygons. Polygonal modeling is well suited to scanline rendering and is therefore the method of choice for real-time computer graphics...

. He is depicted as a portly plumber who lives in the fictional land of the Mushroom Kingdom with Luigi
Luigi
is a fictional character, featured in video games and related media released by Nintendo. Created by prominent game designer Shigeru Miyamoto, Luigi is portrayed as the slightly younger fraternal twin brother of Nintendo's mascot Mario, and appears in many games throughout the Mario series,...

, his younger, taller brother. In the television series and film, Mario and Luigi are originally from Brooklyn, New York
Brooklyn
Brooklyn is the most populous of New York City's five boroughs, with nearly 2.6 million residents, and the second-largest in area. Since 1896, Brooklyn has had the same boundaries as Kings County, which is now the most populous county in New York State and the second-most densely populated...

. Little is known of Mario's childhood, though the infant version of Mario, Baby Mario, first appeared in 1995 in Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island
Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island
Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island, originally released as in Japan, is a platform video game developed and published by Nintendo for the SNES console. Despite its title, this game serves as a prequel to all other games within the established Mario Bros timeline...

, and has often appeared in Nintendo sports games since that time. Baby Mario has a major role along with Baby Luigi
Luigi
is a fictional character, featured in video games and related media released by Nintendo. Created by prominent game designer Shigeru Miyamoto, Luigi is portrayed as the slightly younger fraternal twin brother of Nintendo's mascot Mario, and appears in many games throughout the Mario series,...

 in Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time
Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time
Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time, known in Japan as , is a role-playing game developed by AlphaDream and published by Nintendo for the Nintendo DS handheld game console in 2005. It is the second game in the Mario and Luigi RPG series, and is the sequel to Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga for the Game...

and appears in Yoshi's Island DS. He (along with the adult Mario) is voiced by Charles Martinet
Charles Martinet
Charles Martinet is an American actor and voice actor, best known for providing the voice of Mario, the titular character in Nintendo's flagship video game franchise. He has held this role since 1994, longer than any other actor. He also voices Luigi, Wario, Waluigi, Toadsworth, and a select few...

.

Occupation and hobbies


Mario's occupation is plumbing, though in the original Donkey Kong games he is a carpenter. Mario has had several other occupations: in the Dr. Mario
Dr. Mario (video game)
is an action puzzle game designed by Gunpei Yokoi and produced by Takahiro Harada. It was developed and published by Nintendo for the Nintendo Entertainment System and Game Boy consoles and released in 1990 and 1991....

series of puzzle games, which debuted in 1990, Mario is portrayed as a medical physician named "Dr. Mario"; in the Game Boy
Game Boy
The , is an 8-bit handheld video game device developed and manufactured by Nintendo. It was released in Japan on , in North America in , and in Europe on...

 game Mario's Picross
Mario's Picross
is the first in a series of Mario themed Picross titles released in the 1990s. It is a collection of nonogram logic puzzles involving a grid with numbers for every row and column, which refer to the amount of marked squares within the grid. The game features Mario as an archaeologist who chisels...

, Mario is an archaeologist
Archaeology
Archaeology, or archeology , is the study of human society, primarily through the recovery and analysis of the material culture and environmental data that they have left behind, which includes artifacts, architecture, biofacts and cultural landscapes...

; and in Mario vs. Donkey Kong 2: March of the Minis
Mario vs. Donkey Kong 2: March of the Minis
Mario vs. Donkey Kong 2: March of the Minis is the sequel to the Game Boy Advance game Mario vs. Donkey Kong, a follow up to the Game Boy Donkey Kong game, though it is more puzzle-oriented, now that the player controls several Mini Marios with the touch screen instead of Mario himself...

, Mario is the president of a profitable toy-making company. Mario usually saves Princess Peach
Princess Peach
is a character in Nintendo's Mario series of video games. She is the Princess of the fictitious Mushroom Kingdom, and often plays the damsel in distress role within the adventure series. In 2007, Princess Peach landed on Forbes magazine's Wealthiest Fictional People list, with a fortune upwards of...

 and the Mushroom Kingdom and purges antagonists, such as Bowser, from various areas. Mario has gained fame in the Mushroom Kingdom due to his heroic deeds, as shown in Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga
Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga
Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga, known in Japan as , is a role-playing game developed by AlphaDream and published by Nintendo for the Game Boy Advance in 2003...

, where the brothers are referred to as "superstars".

Relationships


Since his first game, Mario has usually had the role of saving the damsel in distress
Damsel in distress
The subject of the damsel in distress, or persecuted maiden, is a classic theme in world literature, art, and film. She is usually a beautiful young woman placed in a dire predicament by a villain or monster and who requires a hero to achieve her rescue. She has become a stock character of fiction,...

. Originally, he had to rescue his girlfriend Pauline in Donkey Kong
Donkey Kong (video game)
is an arcade game released by Nintendo in 1981. It is an early example of the platform game genre, as the gameplay focuses on maneuvering the main character across a series of platforms while dodging and jumping over obstacles. In the game, Jumpman must rescue a damsel in distress, Lady, from a...

from Donkey Kong. Pauline was soon replaced by a new damsel in distress, Princess Peach
Princess Peach
is a character in Nintendo's Mario series of video games. She is the Princess of the fictitious Mushroom Kingdom, and often plays the damsel in distress role within the adventure series. In 2007, Princess Peach landed on Forbes magazine's Wealthiest Fictional People list, with a fortune upwards of...

, in Super Mario Bros.
Super Mario Bros.
is a 1985 platform video game developed by Nintendo, published for the Nintendo Entertainment System as a sequel to the 1983 game Mario Bros. In Super Mario Bros., the player controls Mario as he travels through the Mushroom Kingdom in order to rescue Princess Toadstool from the antagonist...

, but returned in the Game Boy
Game Boy
The , is an 8-bit handheld video game device developed and manufactured by Nintendo. It was released in Japan on , in North America in , and in Europe on...

 remake of Donkey Kong
Donkey Kong (Game Boy)
is a platform game developed in 1994 by Nintendo for the Game Boy handheld video game system, which also contains puzzle elements. Donkey Kong is loosely based on the 1981 arcade game of the same name and its sequel Donkey Kong Jr. The game was known under the working title Donkey Kong '94 before...

in 1994, and in Mario vs. Donkey Kong 2: March of the Minis
Mario vs. Donkey Kong 2: March of the Minis
Mario vs. Donkey Kong 2: March of the Minis is the sequel to the Game Boy Advance game Mario vs. Donkey Kong, a follow up to the Game Boy Donkey Kong game, though it is more puzzle-oriented, now that the player controls several Mini Marios with the touch screen instead of Mario himself...

in 2006, although the character is now described as "Mario's friend". Mario has rescued Princess Peach multiple times since Super Mario Bros. In a role reversal
Role reversal
In psychodrama, role reversal is a technique where the protagonist is asked, by the psychodrama director, to exchange roles with another person on the psychodrama stage. The former assumes as many of the roles of the other as possible and vice versa...

, Peach rescues Mario in Super Princess Peach
Super Princess Peach
is a platform video game published by Nintendo for the Nintendo DS handheld game console. It was released in Japan in October 2005, the United States in February 2006, Australia in March 2006, and Europe in May 2006....

. Mario rescued Princess Daisy of Sarasaraland in Super Mario Land
Super Mario Land
is a platforming video game developed by Nintendo for the Game Boy handheld game console. It and the Game Boy debuted in Japan on April 21, 1989, in the United States on July 31, 1989, and in Europe on September 28, 1990...

, but Luigi seems to be more linked to her. In Super Smash Bros. Melee
Super Smash Bros. Melee
Super Smash Bros. Melee, known in Japan as , often abbreviated as SSBM or simply as Melee, is a crossover fighting game released for the Nintendo GameCube shortly after its launch in . It is the successor to the Nintendo 64 game Super Smash Bros., and the predecessor to the Wii game Super Smash...

, the text explaining Daisy's trophy states that "after her appearance in Mario Golf, gossips portrayed her as Luigi's answer to Mario's Peach".

Luigi
Luigi
is a fictional character, featured in video games and related media released by Nintendo. Created by prominent game designer Shigeru Miyamoto, Luigi is portrayed as the slightly younger fraternal twin brother of Nintendo's mascot Mario, and appears in many games throughout the Mario series,...

 is Mario's younger brother. He is a companion in the Mario games, and the character whom the second player controls in two-player sessions of many of the video games, though he occasionally rescues Mario, as seen in Mario is Missing! and Luigi's Mansion
Luigi's Mansion
Luigi's Mansion, known as in Japan, is an action-adventure game published by Nintendo for the Nintendo GameCube. It was released in Japan on September 14, 2001, in North America on November 18, 2001, and in Europe on May 3, 2002. The game was a launch title for the GameCube...

. Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins
Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins
is a platforming video game developed and published by Nintendo for the Game Boy. It was released in Japan on October 21, 1992, in North America on November 2, 1992, and in Europe on January 28, 1993...

for the Game Boy saw the arrival of Wario
Wario
is a fictional character in Nintendo's Mario series. The character was designed as another antagonist to Mario , and first appeared in the 1992 Game Boy title Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins as the main antagonist and final boss...

, Mario's greedy counterpart, who is often Mario's antagonist or an antihero. Yoshi
Yoshi
, is a fictional dragon-like character who appears in video games published by Nintendo. His debut was in Super Mario World on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System as Mario and Luigi's sidekick , and he later established his own series with several platform and puzzle games, including Super...

 is presumed to be a dinosaur, though his species is named Yoshi. They vary in color, but the original Yoshi is green. Yoshi serves as Mario's mount in games such as Super Mario World
Super Mario World
, subtitled Super Mario Bros. 4 for its original Japanese release, is a platform video game developed and published by Nintendo as a pack-in launch title for the Super Famicom/Super Nintendo Entertainment System , and is the fourth game in the Super Mario series...

, and is depicted as a more sentient creature in games like Super Mario Kart
Super Mario Kart
is a go-kart racing video game developed by Nintendo EAD for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System . The first game of the Mario Kart series, it was launched in Japan on August 27, 1992, in North America on September 1, 1992, and in Europe on January 21, 1993. Selling eight million copies...

and Yoshi's Island.

Abilities


During the development of Donkey Kong
Donkey Kong (video game)
is an arcade game released by Nintendo in 1981. It is an early example of the platform game genre, as the gameplay focuses on maneuvering the main character across a series of platforms while dodging and jumping over obstacles. In the game, Jumpman must rescue a damsel in distress, Lady, from a...

, Mario was known as Jumpman. Jumping—both to access places and as an offensive move—is a common gameplay element in Mario games, especially the Super Mario Bros.
Super Mario Bros.
is a 1985 platform video game developed by Nintendo, published for the Nintendo Entertainment System as a sequel to the 1983 game Mario Bros. In Super Mario Bros., the player controls Mario as he travels through the Mushroom Kingdom in order to rescue Princess Toadstool from the antagonist...

series. By the time Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars
Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars
Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars, often shortened and officially known in Japan as , is an action role-playing game developed by Square and published by Nintendo for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System . It was originally released on March 9, 1996 in Japan and on May 13,...

was released, jumping became such a signature act of Mario that the player was often tasked with jumping to prove to NPCs that he was Mario. Mario's most commonly portrayed form of attack is jumping to stomp on the heads of enemies, first used in Super Mario Bros.
Super Mario Bros.
is a 1985 platform video game developed by Nintendo, published for the Nintendo Entertainment System as a sequel to the 1983 game Mario Bros. In Super Mario Bros., the player controls Mario as he travels through the Mushroom Kingdom in order to rescue Princess Toadstool from the antagonist...

This jump-stomp move may entirely crush smaller enemies on the stage, and usually deals damage to larger ones, sometimes causing secondary effects. This attack often enables Mario to knock the turtle-like Koopa Troopas into or out of their shells, which can be used as weapons. Subsequent games have elaborated on Mario's jumping-related abilities. Super Mario World
Super Mario World
, subtitled Super Mario Bros. 4 for its original Japanese release, is a platform video game developed and published by Nintendo as a pack-in launch title for the Super Famicom/Super Nintendo Entertainment System , and is the fourth game in the Super Mario series...

added the ability to spin-jump, which allows Mario to break blocks beneath him. The Game Boy version of Donkey Kong
Donkey Kong (Game Boy)
is a platform game developed in 1994 by Nintendo for the Game Boy handheld video game system, which also contains puzzle elements. Donkey Kong is loosely based on the 1981 arcade game of the same name and its sequel Donkey Kong Jr. The game was known under the working title Donkey Kong '94 before...

allowed Mario to jump higher with consecutive jumps, and perform a back-flip. In Super Mario 64
Super Mario 64
is a platform game, published by Nintendo and developed by its EAD division, for the Nintendo 64. Along with Pilotwings 64, it was one of the launch titles for the console. It was released in Japan on June 23, 1996, and later in North America, Europe, and Australia. Super Mario 64 has sold over...

, Mario gains new jumping abilities, such as a sideways somersault, a ground pound, and the "Wall Jump", which propels him upwards by kicking off walls.

Power-ups


Mario uses items, which give him various powers. The first power-up Mario uses is the Hammer in Donkey Kong
Donkey Kong (video game)
is an arcade game released by Nintendo in 1981. It is an early example of the platform game genre, as the gameplay focuses on maneuvering the main character across a series of platforms while dodging and jumping over obstacles. In the game, Jumpman must rescue a damsel in distress, Lady, from a...

.

Super Mario Bros.
Super Mario Bros.
is a 1985 platform video game developed by Nintendo, published for the Nintendo Entertainment System as a sequel to the 1983 game Mario Bros. In Super Mario Bros., the player controls Mario as he travels through the Mushroom Kingdom in order to rescue Princess Toadstool from the antagonist...

introduced the basic three power-ups that have become staples for the series, especially the 2D games —- the Super Mushroom, which causes Mario to grow larger; the Fire Flower, which allows Mario to throw fireballs; and the Starman, which gives Mario temporary invincibility. These powers have appeared regularly throughout the series. Throughout the series' history, there have been several kinds of Mushroom power-ups, including the 1-Up
1-up
1-up , pronounced "one up", is a term in console video gaming that commonly refers to an item that gives the player an extra life, to complete the game. In certain games, it is possible to receive multiple extra lives at once...

 Mushroom, which gives Mario an extra life; the Poison Mushroom, which causes Mario to either shrink or die; the Mega Mushroom, which causes Mario to grow very large; and the Mini Mushroom, which causes Mario to shrink.

A reoccurring power-up throughout the series is an item that gives Mario the ability of flight. The first of this type was introduced in Super Mario Bros. 3
Super Mario Bros. 3
, also referred to as Super Mario 3 and SMB3, is a platform video game developed and published by Nintendo for the Nintendo Entertainment System , and is the third game in the Super Mario series. The game was released in Japan in 1988, in the United States in 1990, and in Europe in 1991...

: One power-up, which gives Mario a raccoon suit, is called the Super Leaf, while another is called the Tanooki Suit (a translation of Tanuki
Tanuki
is the common Japanese name for the Japanese raccoon dog . They have been part of Japanese folklore since ancient times...

) and grants Mario the ability to fly or turn into a statue. In Super Mario World
Super Mario World
, subtitled Super Mario Bros. 4 for its original Japanese release, is a platform video game developed and published by Nintendo as a pack-in launch title for the Super Famicom/Super Nintendo Entertainment System , and is the fourth game in the Super Mario series...

, an item called the Cape Feather was introduced that gave Mario a cape. In Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins
Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins
is a platforming video game developed and published by Nintendo for the Game Boy. It was released in Japan on October 21, 1992, in North America on November 2, 1992, and in Europe on January 28, 1993...

, a carrot was available that gave Mario rabbit ears that allowed him to fly, and in Super Mario 64
Super Mario 64
is a platform game, published by Nintendo and developed by its EAD division, for the Nintendo 64. Along with Pilotwings 64, it was one of the launch titles for the console. It was released in Japan on June 23, 1996, and later in North America, Europe, and Australia. Super Mario 64 has sold over...

, Mario could acquire an item called the Wing Cap, which temporarily gave him the ability of flight. Super Mario Sunshine introduces a pump-water spraying device named "F.L.U.D.D.", which abilities included spraying water and hovering.

Super Mario Galaxy
Super Mario Galaxy
is a 3D platform game developed by Nintendo EAD Tokyo and published by Nintendo for the Wii. It was released in most regions in November 2007, and is the third 3D original platformer in the Mario series, after Super Mario 64 and Super Mario Sunshine. The game follows the protagonist, Mario, on a...

introduced new power-ups, including the Bee Mushroom, which turned Mario into a bee and allowed him to fly temporarily; the Ghost Mushroom, which turned Mario into a ghost, allowing him to float and pass through walls; the Spring Mushroom, which encased Mario in a spring, allowing him to jump higher; and the Ice Flower, which allowed the player to temporarily walk on water and lava without sinking or taking damage. Super Mario Galaxy 2
Super Mario Galaxy 2
is a platforming video game developed by Nintendo EAD and published by Nintendo for the Wii. It was first announced at E3 2009 and is the sequel to Super Mario Galaxy. It was released in North America on May 23, 2010, in Japan on May 27, 2010, in Europe on June 11, 2010, and in Australia on July 1,...

introduced even more power ups alongside those introduced in Super Mario Galaxy, including the Cloud Flower which allows Mario to create platforms in midair and Rock Mario, which transforms Mario into a boulder that could be used to break through barriers.

New Super Mario Bros. Wii
New Super Mario Bros. Wii
is a 2009 side-scrolling platform video game published and developed by Nintendo for the Wii video game console. The game was released on November 12, 2009 in Australia, November 15, 2009 in North America, November 20, 2009 in Europe and December 3, 2009 in Japan...

updated the Ice Flower, which then allowed Mario to shoot ice balls that temporally froze enemies; and also introduced the Propeller Suit, which allows him to fly; as well as the Penguin Suit, which allows Mario to easily traverse ice and swim through water in addition to shooting ice balls.

Reception and legacy



As Nintendo's mascot, Mario is considered by some to be the most famous video game character in history, and has been called an icon of the gaming industry. The Mario series of video games has sold more than 200 million copies (210 million as of 2009), making it the best-selling video game franchise of all time. Mario was one of the first video game character inductees at the Walk of Game
Walk of Game
The Walk of Game is a year-round attraction in the United States honoring the icons and pioneers of the video game industry, and is located inside Metreon, an entertainment shopping center in San Francisco, California...

 in 2005, alongside Link and Sonic the Hedgehog
Sonic the Hedgehog (character)
, trademarked Sonic The Hedgehog, is a video game character and the main protagonist of the Sonic video game series released by Sega, as well as in numerous spin-off comics, cartoons, and a feature film. The first game was released on June 23, 1991, to provide Sega with a mascot to rival Nintendo's...

. Mario was the first video game character to be honored with a wax figure in the legendary Hollywood Wax Museum
Hollywood Wax Museum
The ' is located in the heart of the tourist district of Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, USA and in Branson, Missouri, USA.The museum, the brainchild of entrepreneur Spoony Singh, was opened in 1965, and claims in promotional literature to be the only wax museum dedicated solely to celebrities...

 in 2003. In the 1990s, a national survey found that Mario was more recognizable to American children than Mickey Mouse
Mickey Mouse
Mickey Mouse is a cartoon character created in 1928 by Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks at The Walt Disney Studio. Mickey is an anthropomorphic black mouse and typically wears red shorts, large yellow shoes, and white gloves...

; in fact, Mario has been called the "most recognisable" figure in the gaming industry.

Since his creation, Mario has established himself as a pop culture icon, and has starred in numerous television shows, comic books, and in a feature film. He has appeared on lunch boxes, t-shirts, magazines, commercials (notably, in a Got Milk?
Got Milk?
Got Milk? is an American advertising campaign encouraging the consumption of cow's milk, which was created by the advertising agency Goodby Silverstein & Partners for the California Milk Processor Board in 1993 and later licensed for use by milk processors and dairy farmers. It has been running...

 commercial), in candy form, on shampoo bottles, cereal, badges, and as a plush toy. Nintendo of Japan produced a 60-minute anime
Anime
is the Japanese abbreviated pronunciation of "animation". The definition sometimes changes depending on the context. In English-speaking countries, the term most commonly refers to Japanese animated cartoons....

 feature which starred Mario and his friends in 1986, although this film has never been released outside of Japan. The animated series The Super Mario Bros. Super Show!
The Super Mario Bros. Super Show!
The Super Mario Bros. Super Show! is an American television series based upon Nintendo's Super Mario Bros. and Super Mario Bros. 2 video games. It was originally broadcast via first-run syndication to mostly independent or Fox television stations from September 4, 1989, to December 1, 1989, with...

featured a live-action series of skits which starred the late former WWF manager "Captain" Lou Albano
Lou Albano
Louis Vincent "Captain Lou" Albano was an Italian-American professional wrestler, manager and actor. He was active as a professional wrestler from 1953 until 1969, then he became a manager, until 1995....

 as Mario and Danny Wells
Danny Wells
Danny Wells is a Canadian movie and television actor and voice actor. He is perhaps best known for his occasional role as Charlie the bartender on The Jeffersons as well as playing the role of the video game character Luigi, brother of Nintendo's mascot Mario, in the live-action segments of The...

 as Luigi. Mario appeared in a book series, the Nintendo Adventure Books
Nintendo Adventure Books
-Nintendo Adventure Books:The Nintendo Adventure Book series was published from 1991 to 1992 by Archway books, and Mammoth books in the United Kingdom. There are twelve in all. They are formatted like the popular Choose Your Own Adventure books, where the reader makes decisions that change the...

. Mario has inspired unlicensed paintings, and short films, which have themselves been viewed hundreds of thousands of times.

People and places have been named (or nicknamed) after Mario. Bergsala
Bergsala
Bergsala AB, from Kungsbacka, Sweden, has operated as the Nordic and Baltic agent and distributor of Nintendo products since 1981. Bergsala's administrative center and warehouse is in Kungsbacka, but there are local Bergsala offices in Norway, Denmark and Finland as well.Today, Bergsala themselves...

, the distributor of Nintendo's products in the Nordic
Nordic countries
The Nordic countries make up a region in Northern Europe and the North Atlantic which consists of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden and their associated territories, the Faroe Islands, Greenland and Åland...

 and the Baltic countries
Baltic countries
The term Baltic states refers to the Baltic territories which gained independence from the Russian Empire in the wake of World War I: primarily the contiguous trio of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania ; Finland also fell within the scope of the term after initially gaining independence in the 1920s.The...

, is located at Marios Gata 21 (Mario's Street 21) in Kungsbacka
Kungsbacka
Kungsbacka is a locality and the seat of Kungsbacka Municipality in Halland County, Sweden, with 17,784 inhabitants in 2005.It is one of the most affluent parts of Sweden, in part due to its simultaneous proximity to stunning countryside and the large city of Gothenburg..-History:The first records...

, Sweden
Sweden
Sweden , officially the Kingdom of Sweden , is a Nordic country on the Scandinavian Peninsula in Northern Europe. Sweden borders with Norway and Finland and is connected to Denmark by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund....

, named after Mario. Many sports stars, including Bundesliga
Fußball-Bundesliga
The Fußball-Bundesliga is a professional association football league in Germany. At the top of Germany's football league system, it is the country's primary football competition. It is contested by 18 teams and operates on a system of promotion and relegation with the 2. Bundesliga...

 football players Mario Götze
Mario Götze
Mario Götze is a German footballer who plays as an attacking midfielder for Borussia Dortmund in the German Bundesliga. He primarily plays as an attacking midfielder and a right winger, although he has also been deployed in central midfield. Götze is considered to be an up-and-coming, potential...

 and Mario Gómez
Mario Gómez
Mario Gómez García is a German footballer who plays as a striker for FC Bayern Munich in the German Bundesliga. Gómez joined Bayern after six years in Stuttgart. The fee was a record for a player transferred in the Bundesliga, estimated to be 30–35 million euro...

, NHL hockey
Ice hockey
Ice hockey, often referred to as hockey, is a team sport played on ice, in which skaters use wooden or composite sticks to shoot a hard rubber puck into their opponent's net. The game is played between two teams of six players each. Five members of each team skate up and down the ice trying to take...

 player Mario Lemieux
Mario Lemieux
Mario Lemieux, OC, CQ is a Canadian former professional ice hockey player. He is acknowledged to be one of the best players of all time. He played 17 seasons as a forward for the Pittsburgh Penguins of the National Hockey League between 1984 and 2006...

, and Italian cycling star Mario Cipollini
Mario Cipollini
Mario Cipollini , often abbreviated to "Cipo", is a retired Italian professional road cyclist most noted for his sprinting ability, the longevity of his dominance and his colourful personality. His nicknames include Il Re Leone and Super Mario...

 have been given the nickname "Super Mario". In the Spanish suburb of Zaragoza, in commemoration of Mario a street was named "Avenida de Super Mario Bros".

Mario's legacy is recognized by Guinness World Records, who awarded the Nintendo mascot, and the series of platform games he has appeared in, seven world records in the Guinness World Records: Gamer's Edition 2008. These records include "Best Selling Video Game Series of All Time", "First Movie Based on an Existing Video Game", and "Most Prolific Video Game Character", with Mario appearing in 116 distinct titles (not including remakes or re-releases).

Creator Shigeru Miyamoto has stated that Mario is his favorite character out of all that he has created. Nintendo Power
Nintendo Power
Nintendo Power magazine is a monthly news and strategy magazine formerly published in-house by Nintendo of America, but now run independently. As of issue #222 , Nintendo contracted publishing duties to Future US, the U.S. subsidiary of British publisher Future.The first issue published was...

 listed Mario as their favourite hero, citing his defining characteristics as his mustache, red cap, plumbing prowess, and his mushrooms. In a poll conducted in 2008 by Oricon
Oricon
, established in 1999, is the holding company at the head of a Japanese corporate group that supplies statistics and information on music and the music industry in Japan. It started as , which was founded by Sōkō Koike in November 1967 and became known for its music charts. Oricon Inc...

, Mario was voted the most popular video game character in Japan, outranking characters such as Cloud Strife
Cloud Strife
is a fictional character and the main protagonist in Square's role-playing game Final Fantasy VII and several of its sequels and spin-offs. His original design was created by Final Fantasy VII character designer Tetsuya Nomura...

 from Final Fantasy VII
Final Fantasy VII
is a role-playing video game developed by Square and published by Sony Computer Entertainment as the seventh installment in the Final Fantasy series. It was originally released in 1997 for the Sony PlayStation and was re-released in 1998 for Microsoft Windows-based personal computers and in 2009...

 and Solid Snake
Solid Snake
Metal Gear, initially released in 1987, introduces Solid Snake, the rookie recruit of the elite special-forces unit FOXHOUND. Snake is sent by team leader Big Boss into the rogue nation Outer Heaven to rescue his missing teammate Gray Fox and discover who or what the "METAL GEAR" mentioned is, and...

 from the Metal Gear Solid
Metal Gear Solid
is a videogame by Hideo Kojima. The game was developed by Konami Computer Entertainment Japan and first published by Konami in 1998 for the PlayStation video game console. It is the sequel to Kojimas early MSX2 computer games Metal Gear and Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake...

 series. Gaming site GameDaily
GameDaily
GameDaily was a video game journalism website based in the United States. Launched in 1995 by entrepreneur Mark Friedler under the name Gigex and focused on free game demo downloads, The site changed its business model from a flat fee per download CDN distributed service network to an...

 listed the "unlikely hero" on its top 25 video game archetypes, and used Mario as an example of this. It stated that in spite of the fact that he should have run out of energy through the first level, he kept going. Mario ranked fourth on GameDaily
GameDaily
GameDaily was a video game journalism website based in the United States. Launched in 1995 by entrepreneur Mark Friedler under the name Gigex and focused on free game demo downloads, The site changed its business model from a flat fee per download CDN distributed service network to an...

's top ten Smash Bros. characters list. Mario was fourth on UGO
UGO
UGO Entertainment, Inc. is a website providing coverage of online media in entertainment targeting males age 18–34. The company is currently based in New York, New York, United States. On July 24, 2007 it was announced that Hearst Corporation would acquire UGO Entertainment...

's list of the "Top 100 Heroes of All Time", ahead of fellow video game characters Samus Aran
Samus Aran
is the protagonist of the Metroid video game series. Introduced in the 1986 video game Metroid, Samus is a female ex-army soldier bounty hunter usually fitted with a powered armor suit with weapons that include beams and missiles...

 (Metroid
Metroid
is an action-adventure video game, and the first entry in the Metroid series. It was co-developed by Nintendo's Research and Development 1 division and Intelligent Systems, and was released in Japan in August 1986, in North America in August 1987, and in Europe in January 1988...

), Link
Link (Legend of Zelda)
is the main protagonist in Nintendo's The Legend of Zelda series of video games. Link has been featured in other video games from Nintendo, including its merchandising, comic books, and an animated television program...

 (Legend of Zelda), Gordon Freeman
Gordon Freeman
Gordon Freeman is a fictional character and the main protagonist of the Half-Life video game series. He is a theoretical physicist who finds himself thrust into a battle for survival against both alien and human forces. Throughout the series, Gordon must prevail in hostile situations despite...

 (Half-Life
Half-Life (series)
The Half-Life series of video games share a science fiction alternate history. Nearly all of the games are first-person shooters on the GoldSource or Source engines, and most are linear, narrative, single-player titles....

), and Master Chief
Master Chief (Halo)
Master Chief Petty Officer John-117 is a fictional character and protagonist of the Halo fictional universe, created by Bungie. Master Chief is a player character in the trilogy of science fiction first-person shooter video games Halo: Combat Evolved, Halo 2, and Halo 3 and will appear in the...

 (Halo
Halo (series)
Halo is a multi-million dollar science fiction video game franchise created by Bungie and now managed by 343 Industries and owned by Microsoft Studios. The series centers on an interstellar war between humanity and a theocratic alliance of aliens known as the Covenant...

). CNET
CNET
CNET is a tech media website that publishes news articles, blogs, and podcasts on technology and consumer electronics. Originally founded in 1994 by Halsey Minor and Shelby Bonnie, it was the flagship brand of CNET Networks and became a brand of CBS Interactive through CNET Networks' acquisition...

 listed him first on its list of the "Top 5 video game characters". He was voted 100th in IGN's
IGN
IGN is an entertainment website that focuses on video games, films, music and other media. IGN's main website comprises several specialty sites or "channels", each occupying a subdomain and covering a specific area of entertainment...

 Top 100 Villains for his appearance in Donkey Kong Junior. UGO.com listed Mario's Hat twenty-first on their list of "The Coolest Helmets and Headgear in Video Games", stating "there’s always somebody at your Halloween party wearing one."

External links