The History of Super Mario Bros

Ask anyone to name a classic video game character, and chances are, Super Mario will come up in conversation. With his blue overalls, red cap, bushy mustache, and Italian accent, Mario has become one of the most recognizable pop culture icons of all time. But how did this pixelated plumber become such a legendary figure in the gaming world? Let’s take a walk down the green pipe to explore Mario’s rich history.

Humble Beginnings

Long before he was known as Mario, our hero made his humble debut back in 1981 as “Jumpman” in the Donkey Kong arcade game. Jumpman’s creator, legendary game designer Shigeru Miyamoto, referred to him as “Mr. Video” and wanted him to represent the average working man. While Jumpman didn’t have an identity or backstory, his goal was simple – rescue the damsel in distress from the giant ape holding her captive.

Jumpman became popular enough to warrant some proper character development. In 1982, Miyamoto reconceived him as “Mario” in his new game Donkey Kong Junior, naming him after Nintendo of America’s landlord, Mario Segali. The game also introduced Mario’s brother and sidekick, Luigi, establishing the Mario Bros duo that still adventures together in games today.

Super Stardom in the Mushroom Kingdom

While Mario garnered moderate success from his first few arcade outings, it was the release of Super Mario Bros for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) in 1985 that cemented him as a true video game superstar. Developed by Miyamoto and Takashi Tezuka, Super Mario Bros expanded Mario’s world into the vibrant Mushroom Kingdom we know and love, full of colorful landscapes, power-ups like Super Mushrooms and Fire Flowers, and magical warp pipes.

The simplicity yet endlessly surprising gameplay struck a chord with NES players worldwide. Mario had to brave eight worlds swarming with classic enemies like Koopa Troopas and Goombas to rescue Princess Toadstool from the villainous Bowser – establishing the core rescue-the-princess premise that still holds in Mario games today. With upbeat tunes composed by the legendary Koji Kondo, Super Mario Bros became a pop culture sensation beyond just video games. Mario was now officially Nintendo’s mascot, appearing on everything from t-shirts, toys, and TV shows.

Enduring Pop Icon through Generations

Since his breakout success in the mid-80s, Mario has starred in over 200 video games across multiple Nintendo consoles, reinventing his adventures to incredible new heights. 1988 brought us Super Mario Bros 2, exploring the dream world of Subcon. 1990 saw the launch of fan-favorite Super Mario World and beloved dinosaur sidekick Yoshi on the Super Nintendo. 1996 pioneered 3D platforming for Mario in Super Mario 64 on the Nintendo 64, letting players explore Mushroom Kingdom castle grounds full of stars.

In more recent years, Mario teamed up with his brother and friends for party games like Mario Kart and Super Smash Bros. He’s punched ghosts in Luigi’s Mansion, played soccer and Olympics sports, danced to music, raced go-karts, and traveled through space, time, and parallel dimensions! Mario’s latest feats include globe-trotting in Super Mario Odyssey on the Nintendo Switch.

Through visually stunning graphics and evolving gameplay, Mario never gets stale. Most gamers have fond Mario memories whether from 80s NES sessions or playing brand new Switch titles today. His games appeal to seasoned players and kids picking up a controller for the first time, cementing Mario’s enduring legacy over three decades and counting. Beyond just games, he appears in merch, toys, cartoons, even a Super Mario Bros Hollywood movie starring Bob Hoskins and John Leguizamo! Simply put, Mario is the world’s most famous plumber!

Celebrating an Icon on Mar10 Day

Mario has clearly left an indelible mark on pop culture worthy of celebrating. So on Mar10 Day, aka March 10th (MAR10 sounding like Mario), fans and gamers worldwide honor his impact. Originally grassroots events within gaming message boards and communities, Mar10 Day now features all sorts of global events. Nintendo holds special Mario game discounts and merch sales. Fans sport Mario costumes and throw Mario-themed parties and game nights. Social media overflows with fan art and nostalgic Mario memories using hashtag #Mar10Day.

After over thirty years adventuring through the Mushroom Kingdom and beyond, Mario shows no signs of slowing down. With more Nintendo Switch Mario missions and the upcoming Super Mario Bros movie generating hype, our iconic plumber hero continues bringing joy to all. Thanks for the wonderful memories Mario, here’s to thirty more years of fun! Now let’s-a-go!

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