Super Mario celebrated its 35th birthday on September 13.
Nintendo launched the now-classic game Super Mario Bros in 1985. The game originated as a spinoff of 1981’s arcade smash Donkey Kong, where, in the series, a character named “Jumpman” turned into the prototype for the princess-saving plumber.
Although Mario’s first job was actually carpentry, plumbing eventually became canon. In many of the franchise’s games, the character travels through a series of pipes. Created by Japanese video game designer Shigeru Miyamoto, who also made Donkey Kong and Zelda, Mario is one of the most recognizable figures in pop culture.
“We have to pass away. We’re all human beings. But when it comes to characters, they can just go on. And I think it’s a good thing,” Miyamoto told the Associated Press in 2011. “Right after I started working on the character called Mario in the Super Mario game or Mario game series, people started to compare Mario with, for example, Mickey Mouse. And of course, Mickey Mouse is a character that has been growing with the technological evolution of the animation.”
Mario Bros. is still the best-selling video game franchise of all time. Over 490 million units have been sold since 1995. To celebrate the anniversary Nintendo has launched several new games on its Switch console including Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit, Super Mario Bros. 35 and Super Mario 3D All-Stars.
“We look forward to everyone joining us on a Mario journey 35 years in the making,” said Nintendo of America President Doug Bowser in a press release. “We are marking this significant milestone with a wide variety of games and experiences that all generations of Mario fans, from here to the Mushroom Kingdom, can enjoy together.”
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