Mario Turns 25

BY Andrew Miesner / September 13, 2010

It was on this day, 25 years ago that Super Mario Bros. was released in Japan. Mario has proven to be the biggest gaming series of all time, spanning over 200 instances of the Mario character, either appearing in his own game, or as a cameo in others. The game, for decades, as been a must-play that makes memories for all that do.

Mario was created by Shigeru Miyamoto and appeared in the game designer’s first ever title, the 1981 arcade platformer, Donkey Kong. Miyamoto was hired as a graphic artist by Nintendo in 1977, and was given the task of designing a game after several of the company’s early coin-ops had failed to make an impression on the lucrative arcade market. Donkey Kong was created using the hardware behind an older arcade title named Radar Scope, which sunk without a trace in the US. Miyamoto ditched the shooting theme and added an ape and rolling barrels.

Mario was originally known as Jumpman. However, when Nintendo’s US office were trying to think of a better name in time for the American release of the game, they were interrupted by their landlord Mario Segale, after whom they christened the character.

To celebrate this occassion, Nintendo has developed a 25th Anniversary site. The site is in full Japanese but navigation is relatively easy. Check out the site by clicking here.