Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Mario (Japanese: マリオ [mario]), also known as Super Mario, is a video game character created by Shigeru Miyamoto for Nintendo, named after the Italian landlord, Mario Segali, at Nintendo of America. He is one of Nintendo's best-known characters and considered by many to be the most well-known video game character in history, appearing in hundreds of games, many of them bestsellers. He is currently voice acted by Charles Martinet, though in the past has been voice acted by Captain Lou Albano and Tôru Furuya. Mario first appeared in the 1981 Donkey Kong arcade game. Mario's brother Luigi first appeared and introduced in Mario Bros., the arcade game. According to The Super Mario Bros. Super Show and the Super Mario Bros. movie, Mario's full name is actually Mario Mario, while his brother's full name is Luigi Mario. This is generally accepted as fanon.
Mario is the official video game mascot for Nintendo, and is almost synonymous with the Nintendo brand. Because of this, Mario only appears in Nintendo games on Nintendo systems. There are a few small exceptions; he has appeared in several PC educational titles in the United States, and some very early games for non-Nintendo systems such as the Atari 2600, but these are rare deviations.
Mario first appeared in the video game Donkey Kong as a nameless protagonist, but later was called Jumpman. The game was surprisingly successful, and when the Nintendo Entertainment System was released, Mario was given the starring role in the revolutionary Super Mario Bros. game. Shortly thereafter Mario took on the role of mascot of Nintendo and has since been extensively merchandized. Mario's major rival was Sega mascot Sonic the Hedgehog who debuted in the early 1990s, and the two mascots competed head-to-head for nearly a decade afterward. In 1996, with the release of the Nintendo 64, Super Mario 64 marked Mario's 3D debut and made him the very first 2D established video game character to appear in a full 3D game.
Mario has appeared on television in several cartoons, in comic books, and in a feature film where he was played by Bob Hoskins. He has also appeared on lunchboxes, t-shirts, in candy form, and as a plush toy.
Little is known about Mario's history. Mario games specifically lack over-complicated plots or too much character development as to not limit Mario's future roles. According to some older American manuals and gameplay, Mario and his brother are Italian Americans born and raised in Brooklyn, New York City. He is said to be a plumber (though he has held several other blue-collar jobs in his lifetime) and wears a red shirt and cap and blue overalls. Newer games and manuals, however, state that he grew up in the fictional Mushroom Kingdom.
Mario's distinctive look is due to technology restrictions in the mid-'80s: with a limited number of pixels and colours, the programmers could not animate Mario's movement without making his arms "disappear" if his shirt was a solid colour; they did not have the space to give him a mouth; and they could not animate hair, so Mario got overalls, a moustache, and a cap to bypass these problems. Mario's creator Shigeru Miyamoto has also stated when interviewed that Mario wears a cap because he finds it difficult to draw hair.
The surname "Mario" (which would make his full name Mario Mario) was first used in The Super Mario Bros. Super Show and in the 1993 feature film Super Mario Bros. This was meant to explain how both Mario and his brother Luigi could be known as the "Mario brothers". It is important to note, however, that no official Nintendo materials have confirmed this.
The original Super Mario Bros. series pioneered many concepts in modern video games, such as warp zones, power-ups, end-of-level bosses, and multiple endings. Even to this day, many adventure games operate in the same so-called "hop and bop" style gameplay that was first developed for SMB.
Miyamoto created these from ideas he had seen in other media. One of his most recognizable contributions to his Mario universe is the Super Mushroom, which would enlarge Mario until he came into contact with an enemy. This idea was derived from the "Eat me" and "Drink me" potions in the Lewis Carroll story, Alice in Wonderland. The concept behind warp pipes, colored tubes which sometimes transport Mario to another area, was adopted from Star Trek.
Over the years Mario and his brother, Luigi, have appeared in several popular video games, both their own and others. Here is a chronological list of games Mario has appeared in, or games with other Mario characters:
- Donkey Kong (Arcade) - The first game to feature Mario, although at this point he is named Jumpman.
- Donkey Kong (Game & Watch) - The very first game with Mario, who was a carpenter trying to rescue his girlfriend from an evil ape.
- Donkey Kong Jr. (Arcade, Game & Watch) - Mario is the opponent in this one, and it is up to Donkey Kong Jr. to rescue his father.
- Donkey Kong 2 (Game & Watch)
- Mario's Cement Factory (Game & Watch)
- Mario's Bombs Away (Game & Watch)
- Mario Bros. (Arcade) - Introduced Luigi, it featured 2-player simultaneous play.
- Super Mario Bros. (Famicom/NES) - First scrolling platformer. 32 KB of program; 8 KB of graphics. According to the Guinness Book of World Records , SMB is the best-selling game of all time.
- Tennis (Famicom/NES) - Mario was the referee.
- Wrecking Crew (Famicom/NES) - Mario is the protagonist, but gameplay is unrelated to other Mario games. Many NES games featured Mario as a character, even though the game may not have fit the theme of the series.
- Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels (Famicom) - Released initially in Japan on the Famicom Disk System as Super Mario Bros. 2, 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. Nintendo did not believe that it would sell well in the US, as the game was voted "too hard" by 94% of a survey of 250 Americans, and the game wasn't seen in America until the SNES release.
- Super Mario Bros. Special - A flick-screen version of Super Mario Bros. with all new levels, which was released for the NEC PC88 series.
- Vs. Super Mario Bros. (Arcade) - 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.
- All Night Nippon Super Mario Bros. (Famicom) - Japan only. A version of the original Super Mario Bros. game with graphics changed to feature radio personalities from a popular Japanese radio station.
- Pinball (Famicom/NES) - Mario appears in the Bonus Stage, where he maneuvers a platform to keep the ball from getting away, and then catch the Princess when she falls from above.
- Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!! (Famicom/NES) - Mario is the referee.
- Super Mario Bros. 2 / Super Mario Bros. USA (NES) - Released at first in markets outside of Japan, this is a modified version of a Japanese game called Doki Doki Panic with some of the graphics replaced by Mario-themed graphics. This game tends to be overlooked by some Mario fans as being the runt; some of the characters introduced in this game have now become staples of the Mario world, including Bob-ombs, Snifits, Pokey the Cactus, and Shyguys.
- Return of Mario Bros. - sequel to Mario Bros.; Japan only
- (Famicom Disk Drive)
- Alleyway (Game Boy)
- Tetris (Famicom/NES) - Mario appeared in some cut-scenes in the Famicom/NES and Game Boy versions.
- Tennis (Game Boy)
- Super Mario Land (Game Boy) - Game Boy game with tiny graphics; gameplay quite similar to SMB1.
- Super Mario Bros. 3 (Famicom/NES) - 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 that was not bundled with a console. 
- Qix (Game Boy) - Mario appeared in cut-scenes.
- Dr. Mario (NES & Game Boy) - Puzzle game with mechanics similar to Tetris and Columns.
- F-1 Race (Game Boy)
- Golf (Game Boy)
- Mario the Juggler (Game & Watch)
- Super Mario World (Super Famicom/SNES) - Mario's first Super NES game and Yoshi's first game
- Mario Teaches Typing (PC)
- NES Open Tournament Golf (NES)
- Mario & Yoshi (Game Boy)
- Sim City (SNES)
- Super Mario USA - Japanese release of Super Mario Bros. 2. (Super Famicom) - Japan only.
- Lazer Blazer (Super Famicom/SNES)
- Yoshi's Cookie (Game Boy)
- Yoshi (Gameboy, NES)
- Super Mario Kart (Super Famicom/SNES) - Go-kart racing.
- Mario Paint (SNES)
- Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins (Game Boy) - Wario, one of Mario's rivals, is introduced.
- Hotel Mario (CD-i) - game by Philips
- Mario Teaches Typing (PC) - educational game by Interplay
- Mario Is Missing! (SNES and NES) - Luigi must restore artifacts to landmarks of famous cities around the world and defeat Bowser to save Mario. North America only
- Mario's Time Machine (SNES and NES) - Mario must restore historical artifacts to their proper time and place (and in the NES version, save Yoshi). North America only
- Mario and Wario (Super Famicom) - Japan only
- Super Mario All-Stars (Super Famicom/SNES) (in Japan, Super Mario Collection) - collection of original SMB, SMB: The Lost Levels (SMB2 in Japan), SMB2 (SMUSA in Japan), and SMB3, with enhanced graphics and sound.
- Mario's Early Years! Fun with Letters (SNES) North America only
- Mario's Early Years! Fun with Numbers (SNES) North America only
- Mario's Early Years! Preschool Fun (SNES) North America only
- Yoshi's Safari (Super Famicom/SNES)
- Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3 (Game Boy) - stars Mario's alter ego, Wario; Mario appeared only in the ending.
- Donkey Kong (Game Boy) - First Super Game Boy game with about 100 new levels.
- Tetris & Dr. Mario (SNES)
- Mario's Tennis (Virtual Boy) - pack-in for Virtual Boy
- Mario Clash (Virtual Boy)
- Mario's Picross (Game Boy)
- Mario's Super Picross (Super Famicom) - Japan only.
- Undake 30 Same Game (Super Famicom) - Japan only.
- Mario Excite Bike - (Super Famicom Satellaview) Japan only.
- Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island (Super Famicom/SNES) - The player plays this game as Yoshi rather than Mario (as in most of the series), and carries Baby Mario around on his back.
- Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars (Super Famicom/SNES) - The first RPG to feature Mario. It used prerendered graphics to appear to be 3D.
- Super Mario 64 (Nintendo 64) - First Mario platform game for the Nintendo 64. Also Mario's first appearance in true 3D. In addition to characters it featured 3D items for the first time, such as the Green Block.
- Mario Kart 64 (Nintendo 64)
- Kirby's Super Star (Super Famicom/SNES)
- Mario's Picross 2 (Game Boy) - Japan only.
- Game & Watch Gallery (Game Boy)
- Game & Watch Gallery 2 (Game Boy)
- Mario Teaches Typing 2 (PC)
- Mario's FUNdamentals (PC)
- Wrecking Crew '98 (Super Famicom) - Japan only.
- Mario Party (Nintendo 64) - First party-style game with the Mario characters.
- Donkey Kong 64 (Nintendo 64) - Mario (AKA Jumpman) appears in the original Donkey Kong standup arcade console in the area called Frantic Factory.
- Super Mario Bros. DX (Game Boy Color) - Game Boy Color port of original SMB; contains extra goals, Game Boy Printer pictures, and a hidden SMB2:LL.
- Game & Watch Gallery 3 (Game Boy Color)
- Mario Golf (Game Boy Color, Nintendo 64)
- Mario Tennis (Nintendo 64, Game Boy Color) - not related to VB game
- Super Smash Bros. (Nintendo 64)
- Mario Party 2 (Nintendo 64)
- Paper Mario (Nintendo 64) - Mario's second RPG, this time in true 3D, but with 2D characters.
- Mario Party 3 (Nintendo 64) - 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, as the press release points out.
- Mario Kart Super Circuit (Game Boy Advance) - Kart gaming
- Super Mario Advance (Game Boy Advance) - pixel-perfect port of Super Mario Bros. 2 from Super Mario All-Stars, featuring voice samples and a save feature, plus an upgrade of the original Mario Bros.
- Super Mario Advance 2: Super Mario World (Game Boy Advance) - Slight update of SMW for the Game Boy Advance.
- Luigi's Mansion (GameCube) - Mario is the man you must save in this "Ghostbusters-esque" title.
- Super Smash Bros. Melee (GameCube) - largely a facelift of SSB with a new Final Fight-style side-scrolling brawler; this was also the first game featuring Mario to be given a "T" (Teen) rating from the ESRB
- Dr. Mario 64 (Nintendo 64)
- Super Mario Sunshine (GameCube) - First Mario platform game for Nintendo's GameCube
- Mario Party 4 (GameCube)
- Super Mario Advance 3: Yoshi's Island (Game Boy Advance) - Slight update of Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island for the Game Boy Advance, with voice added in for Yoshi and extra levels.
- Game & Watch Gallery 4 (Game Boy Advance)
- Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros. 3 (Game Boy Advance) - Update of SMB3, with new levels and items to unlock with the use of the Card e-Reader.
- Mario Party 5 (GameCube)
- Mario Kart: Double Dash!! (GameCube) New features include 2-drivers system, and the support of 16 players playing at the same time, using GameCube's LAN feature.
- Mario and Luigi: Superstar Saga (Game Boy Advance) - Mario's third RPG.
- Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour (GameCube)
- Mario vs. Donkey Kong (Game Boy Advance)
- Mario Golf: Advance Tour (Game Boy Advance)
- Super Mario Bros. (Classic NES Series) (Game Boy Advance)
- Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door (GameCube) Sequel to Paper Mario.
- Mario Pinball Land (Game Boy Advance)
- Dr. Mario (Classic NES Series) (Game Boy Advance)
- Mario Power Tennis (GameCube)
- Super Mario 64 DS (Nintendo DS) New version of Super Mario 64, in which Mario, Luigi, Wario, and Yoshi are all playable characters. This is the first Mario game for the Nintendo DS.
- Mario Party 6 (GameCube)
- NBA Street V3 (GameCube) Mario, Luigi and Peach are playable characters as the "Nintendo All-stars" team in the GameCube edition of this game.
- Mario Party Advance (Game Boy Advance)
- New Super Mario Bros. (tentative title) (Nintendo DS) (To be released)
- Mario Kart DS (Nintendo DS) (To be released)
- Mario Baseball (GameCube) (To be released)
- Dance Dance Revolution with Mario (GameCube) (To be released)
- Super Mario 128 (tentative title) (GameCube or Nintendo Revolution) (To be released)
Here is a list of different Mario series franchises:
- Dr. Mario
- Mario Kart
- Mario Party
- Mario Paint
- Mario's Picross
- Mario Tennis
- Mario Golf
- Mario Baseball
- Super Smash Bros.
- Paper Mario
In Super Smash Bros. and Super Smash Bros. Melee, Mario is a balanced character (as he is in many games featuring other playable choices). 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 (unlike Luigi's fireballs). Also, Mario's fireballs are red in color, whereas Luigi's are green.
There are ten trophies of him in the game: three Mario ones, three Dr. Mario ones, one as he appeared in Paper Mario, one Racoon Mario, one Metal Mario, and one Baby Mario. In Japan, there is another trophy, showing Mario on Yoshi's back.
In Mario Kart: Double Dash!!, his weapon is the fireball. In Super Mario Kart, the computer controlled Mario has unlimited invincibility. In Super Mario Bros. 2, Mario is an average jumper and second only to Toad in lifting ability.
- Mario's World (Nintendo Official Site)
- The Mushroom Kingdom
- The Evolution of Mario History of Mario Sprites
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