Mario (Nintendo character)

Mario Mario (Japanese:マリオ) is a video game character created by Shigeru Miyamoto for Nintendo, supposedly named after the Italian warehouse manager, Mario Segali, at Nintendo of America.

He has been known as Nintendo's company mascot. He first appeared in the video game Donkey Kong as Jumpman. After his rise to glory starring in the classic Super Mario Brothers game, he took on role of mascot of Nintendo and has been extensively merchandized. Mario appeared on television, in comic books, and in feature film where he was played by Bob Hoskins. Mario's supporting characters include Luigi, Princess Peach Toadstool, Toad, Yoshi, and King Bowser Koopa among others.

Mario is an Italian-American man, born in the Mushroom Kingdom, and raised in Brooklyn, New York City, New York, United States. He wears a red uniform and is a plumber, although he has experience in demolition and cement work. He spends his leisure time eating, playing tennis, golf, and racing.

Super Mario, © Nintendo of America

The original Super Mario Brother series pioneered many concepts in modern video games, such as 1-ups and warp zones.


Over the years Mario and his brother, Luigi, have appeared in several popular video games, both their own and others. According to Nintendo, Mario has appeared in 67 games, and has sold a total of 170,000,000 copies of them as of December 17, 2003. Here is a brief chronological list:

  • Donkey Kong (1981) - The first game to feature Mario, although at this point he is named Jumpman.

  • Donkey Kong Junior (1982) - Mario is the bad guy in this one.

  • Mario's Cement Factory (1983)

  • Mario's Bombs Away (1983)

  • Mario Brothers (1983) - Introduced Luigi, it featured 2-player simultaneous play.

  • Mike Tysonís Punch-Out (1984, 1987) - Mario is the referee.

  • Super Mario Brothers (1985) - First scrolling platformer. 32 KB of program; 8 KB of graphics.

  • Super Mario Brothers 2: The Lost Levels (1986) - Released initially in Japan on the Famicom Disk System, this used a slightly modified version of the original SMB engine with much harder levels. The "Lost Levels" title was created when this game was brought to the U.S. in Super Mario All Stars, without the "2".

  • Super Mario Brothers Special (1986) - A flick-screen version of Super Mario Brothers with all new levels, which was released for the NEC PC88 series.

  • Vs. Super Mario Brothers - A mixture of the original SMB and The Lost Levels that ran on the arcade VS Unisystem. Powerups and solution to mazes (e.g. 4-4) have been moved, and more enemies have been added thanks to new flicker-reduction programming, along with other bugfixes.

  • Tennis (1985) - Mario was the referee.

  • Wrecking Crew (1985) - Mario is the protagonist, but gameplay is unrelated to other Mario games. Many NES games featured Mario as a character, even though they game doesn't fit the theme of the series.

  • All Night Nippon Super Mario Brothers (1986) - Japan only.

  • Super Mario Brothers 2: Mario Madness (1988) - Released initially in markets outside of Japan, this is a hack of a Japanese game called Doki Doki Panic with some of the graphics replaced by Mario-themed graphics. This game is sadly overlooked by most Mario fans as being the runt.

  • Super Mario Bros 3 (1988) - Mario gains several new abilities, including the first appearance of his ability to fly. Also of note is that this is the best selling video game of all time.

  • Alleyway (1989)

  • Tetris (1989) - Mario appeared in some cut-scenes in the NES and Game Boy versions.

  • Super Mario Land (1989) - Game Boy game with tiny graphics; gameplay quite similar to SMB1.

  • Qix (1990) - Mario appeared in cut-scenes.

  • Dr. Mario (1990) - Puzzle game with mechanics similar to Tetris and Columns.

  • F-1 Race (1990)

  • Mario the Juggler (1991)

  • Super Mario World (1991) - Mario's first Super NES game

  • Mario Teaches Typing (1991) - Computer only.

  • NES Open Tournament Golf (1991)

  • Super Mario Bros & Friends: When I Grow Up - Computer only.

  • Super Mario USA (1992) - Japanese release of Super Mario Bros. 2: Mario Madness.

  • Lazer Blazer (1992)

  • Super Mario Kart (1992) - Go-kart racing.

  • Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins (1992) - Mario faces ones of his rivals, Wario, for the first time.

  • Mario Is Missing! (1993) - Luigi must fight his way through 15 geography lessons to save Mario.

  • Mario's Time Machine (1993) - Mario must fight his way through 15 history lessons.

  • Super Mario All Stars (1993) (in Japan, Super Mario Collection) - collection of original SMB, both SMB2 games, and SMB3, with enhanced graphics and sound.
  • Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3 (1995) - Mario appeared only in the ending cut-scene.

  • Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island (1995) - The player controls Yoshi rather than Mario, and carries a baby Mario around on his back.

  • Mario's Tennis (1995) - pack-in for Virtual Boy

  • Mario's Super Picross (1995) - Japan only.

  • Undake30 Same Game (1995) - Japan only.

  • Mario Excite Bike (1995) - Japan only.

  • Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars (1996) - The first RPG to feature Mario. It used prerendered graphics to appear to be 3D.

  • Super Mario 64 (1996) - First Mario platform game for the Nintendo 64. Also Mario's first appearance in true 3D.

  • Mario Kart 64 (1996)

  • Kirby's Super Star (1996)

  • Mario's Picross 2 (1996) - Japan only.

  • Wrecking Crew '98 (1998) - Japan only.

  • Mario Party (1998) - noted for lawsuit over "roto-torture" levels that caused damage to players' hands; Nintendo had to provide free padded gloves.

  • Super Mario Brothers DX (1999) - Game Boy Color port of original SMB; contains extra goals, Game Boy Printer pictures, and a hidden SMB2:LL.

  • Mario Golf (1999)

  • Mario Tennis (1999) - for N64 and GBC; not related to VB game

  • Super Smash Brothers (1999)

  • Mario Party 2 (1999)

  • Paper Mario (2000) - Mario's 2nd RPG, this time in true 3D, but with 2D characters.

  • Mario Party 3 (2000) - noted for confusion between Mario Party 3's box art and that of the original Mario Party; the original had a die showing a number 3 below the word "PARTY" on the box. Also noted for same initials as MPEG audio layer 3 audio layer 3, as the press release points out.

  • Donkey Kong 64 (1999) - Mario (AKA Jumpman) appears in the original Donkey Kong standup arcade console in the area called Frantic Factory.

  • Super Mario Advance (2001) - pixel-perfect port of SMB2:MM from SMA*S, plus an upgrade of the original Mario Brothers.

  • Super Mario Advance 2: Super Mario World (2001) - Slight update of SMW for the Gameboy Advance, with voices added in for Mario and Luigi.

  • Luigi's Mansion (2001) - Mario is the man you must save in this "ghostbusteresque" title.

  • Super Smash Brothers Melee (2001) - largely a facelift of SSB with a new Final Fight-style side-scrolling brawler

  • Super Mario Sunshine (2002) - First Mario platform game for Nintendo's Gamecube

  • Mario Party 4

  • Super Mario Advance 3: Yoshi's Island (2002) - Slight update of SMW2:YI for the Gameboy Advance, with voice added in for Yoshi and extra levels.

  • Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros 3 (2003) - Update of SMB3, with new levels and items to unlock with the use of the Card eReader.

  • Mario Party 5 (2003)

  • Mario Kart: Double Dash (2003) New features include 2-drivers system, and the support of 12 players playing at the same time, using Gamecube's online feature.

  • Mario and Luigi: Superstar Saga (2003) - Mario's third RPG.

In Super Smash Bros. and Super Smash Bros. Melee, Mario is a balanced character. He is said to "reflect the actual skills of the player", according to the Super Smash Bros. Melee "Smash" character trophy description. His trademark move is the fireball. His fireballs are affected by gravity, compared to Luigi's fireballs. And Mario's fireballs are red in color, compared to Luigi's green ones. Another of his special attacks is the Mario cyclone. The Mario cyclone hits the enemy several times then hits up.

In Mario Kart: Double Dash for Gamecube, Mario's special weapon is fireballs used in the Super Smash Bros series, except that he fires five fireballs at a time, instead of just one.

copyright © 2004