Super Mario has been around for a long time, yet the name remains dominant in the gaming industry. The game has retained its prominence for decades and generations, and only a few other games can boast of this achievement. The fascinating thing is that Super Mario has progressively evolved through time, acquiring more fame over the years instead of fading away.

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With its tremendous popularity, there will hardly be a person who wouldn’t have heard at least one thing about Mario, the plumber and his brother Luigi and their exciting adventures in the Mushroom Kingdom. Even if you are unfamiliar with the background story of the name, it is almost guaranteed that you’ve heard of it somehow.

History of Super Mario

Only the big fans of the game may know that ‘Mario’ wasn’t the initial name of the game’s character, nor was he a plumber at first. The character was initially called ‘Jumpman’ because he had to jump over many obstacles to save a young woman in danger, who would eventually be called the princess in the game’s subsequent versions.

The character debuted in the groundbreaking game Donkey Kong in 1981 as Jumpman, the carpenter. Since then, Mario has been in more than 200 video games and has also been mentioned in about 100 other games. By the early 1990s, the game had become a household name in the gaming industry.

Evolution of the Game

Before Mario was officially the face of its own game in 1983, Nintendo, the game producers, in the 1970s produced the earlier version, Jumpman. Before that, Nintendo used to manufacture gambling cards in 1889 under the leadership of Fusajiro Yamauchi, the company’s owner. However, everything changed in 1956, when Hirochi, Yamuchi’s grandson, took over the company and sought to multiply its income sources. After trying his hand at many businesses, he eventually found success in the electronic toys market. This inspired him to delve into manufacturing video games entirely in the 1960s. 

Nintendo experienced a significant setback under Hiroshi in 1977 when it was left with an oversupply of unsold devices. The company had previously achieved considerable success by selling over 3 million pieces of the company’s Pong version. This success prompted them to develop other arcade game versions in the hopes of getting into the US market, a mission that eventually failed because the Nintendo game was judged too identical to the US Space Invaders arcade game.

However, their failure spurred them to build a game that Americans accepted In 1981. Fortunately, the game’s debut coincided with the arrival of Japan’s Family Computer, which was subsequently adopted in the United States. This also helped Nintendo gain access to the US market in 1986.

The Evolution of Mario

Nintendo has developed various versions of the Mario game throughout the years, most of which were massive hits. We’ve included a few that commemorated significant milestones.

  • 1981 – Donkey Kong 
  • 1982 – Donkey Kong 
  • 1983 – Mario Bros. 
  • 1992 – Mario is Missing! 
  • 1995 – Mario’s Tennis 
  • 2003 – Mario Kart: Double Dash 
  • 2008 – Mario Kart Wii 
  • 2011 – Super Mario 3D Land 
  • 2012 – Mario Tennis Open 

Nobody could have predicted that it would turn into something monumental when Nintendo introduced the Jumpman version in 1981. Mario had gone a long way since then and had made big waves in the gaming industry in different variations, including sports games, party games, and many other niches. The Mario character moniker has become a classic and is renowned among gamers even to date.

Game Play

In Super Mario, the player controls the character Mario and starts with a specific number of lives that can be lost anytime damage is taken. As Mario, you must conquer several foes and obstacles and collect coins through the Mushroom Kingdom. These coins are scattered around the game in various areas. You can gain extra coins or rare items by striking unique bricks while collecting coins. You must also fight the Bowser at the end of each stage and reach the flag pole to complete the game’s aim of saving the maiden in distress.

When moving around the mushroom kingdom, the most popular approach to defeating enemies is jumping on them. Eating a mushroom transforms Mario into Super Mario, doubling its size and increasing its ability; however, when enemies hit him while in this condition, he reverts to its normal state. Apart from super Mario, it can also transform into various forms; for example, when Mario eats a sunflower, he transforms into fire Mario, who can launch fireballs. It can also transform into Star Mario if it comes into touch with a bouncing star, and while the ability is short-lived, there is nothing that can damage him in this state.

Enemies, on the other hand, respond differently when you leap on them. Koopas shrink inside their shells, Goombas flatten, and Buzzy Beetles transform into shells. The game’s last stage is in a castle, where Mario has to face Bowser atop a suspension bridge.