Wiki: Mario

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Article by: Alex Stuart (Linearity)
Pictured from: Super Mario 64
Created by: Nintendo
First appearance: 1981


Mario is possibly the most widely known video game character today. He is Nintendo's official mascot and is an icon of the modern era of video games.

Mario first appeared in 1981 as the protagonist of the arcade game Donkey Kong. Here he is a carpenter who must save his girlfriend from his escaped pet gorilla by making his way through a course of obstacles. In this game much of Mario's appearance as it stands today was defined; incidentally, technological limitations played a significant role in how he looked. For instance, his trademark hat eliminated the difficult task of animating hair.

In Mario's first console game, Super Mario Bros. for the NES, his character changed, and he has remained for decades as he is in this milestone title. Mario is a plumber who, with his brother Luigi, must rescue Toadstool, the princess of the Mushroom Kingdom, from captivity. She is held by Bowser, the king of an invading tribe of turtles called the Koopa. Princess Toadstool is the only person who can undo the Koopa's black magic that transformed the people of the Mushroom Kingdom into stones, bricks, and plants. To save her, Mario makes use of his facility with plumbing and pipes to adventure both above ground and below it.

This game produced a long-running series of sequels in which Mario again and again must foil the Koopa and their malicious operations in ever-expanding ways. The Super Mario series has also branched repeatedly into multiple types of games, from racing to party games, from spectator sports to role-playing games. Mario and his supporting characters have been featured in a myriad of different places throughout over two decades of his history, and they have had an indelible influence and presence in video gaming since the 1980s.

Mario appears here wearing a Wing Cap, a special hat that he can find in Super Mario 64 that allows him to fly.


"It's-a me, Mario!"

Selected game appearances


  • Donkey Kong (1981)
  • Mario Bros. (1983)


Game Boy

Super NES

Nintendo 64


  • Super Mario Sunshine (2002)

Nintendo DS



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