Here are 10 things you may not know about our favorite video game character Mario:
- Mario was first seen in the video game Donkey Kong, but he was called "Jumpman." He was also a carpenter then, not a plumber.
- Mario was named after Mario Segale, the landlord of Nintendo of America's office, who barged in on a company meeting demanding an overdue rent.
- Shigeru Miyamoto drew Mario as wearing a cap because he found drawing hair difficult. He also drew in the moustache, because it was easier to see than a mouth in the crude video game screen resolution back then.
- Mario and his younger brother Luigi are known as the "Mario Brothers." This means that Mario's last name is also Mario, so his full name is Mario Mario.
- Mario is voice-acted by Charles Martinet, who crashed the audition for "an Italian plumber from Brooklyn" character. Here's an interview with the man:
- Mario's nemesis is Wario (a combination of "warui", the Japanese word for bad, and Mario). Similarly, Luigi's rival is Waluigi. Both are also voiced by Charles Martinet.
- Mario has appeared in over 200 video games so far, has sold over 193 million units of games (all of the Mario series) and even has his own TV cartoon show. Super Mario Bros. 3 alone grossed over $500 million in USA.
- TV Schmeve, you're nothing till there's an opera done on you. In 2003, Jonathan Mann of California Institute of Arts created The Mario Opera, a rock opera:
- Super Mario Bros. theme music, written by Koji Kondo, is known worldwide. It has inspired countless fan-renditions, including one played by Zack Kim on two guitars (viewed over 4 million times on YouTube!), played by Jean Baudin on 11 string bass, beatboxed by Greg Patillo on the flute, and played by the Oregon Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra on the trombones.
But my favorite is this one by Play! symphony orchestra:
- Mario is the most famous character in the history of video games, and perhaps is the most famous character ever. In a 1990 poll by Marketing Evaluations, Mario was found to be more popular (and recognizable) among children than Mickey Mouse.