Everyone’s favorite plumber wearing overalls and a signature red hat turned 35 this Sept. 13. Super Mario Brothers, Nintendo Entertainment’s flagship video game character, celebrates a long life with a trip through Mario’s most classic moments.
In a recent CNN interview, Shigeru Miyamoto, Mario’s Japanese creator, said he chose to create a character that might be more relatable instead of a “superhero.”
“We wanted him to be someone who might live near you,” Miyamoto said. “No matter what worlds he takes on, Mario remains Mario. Maybe this is strange, but I find that fact very comforting.”
This design choice seems to have been the right call, as Mario is one of the most profitable video game characters of all time. Its most recent title, “Mario Odyssey,” sold more than 18 million units as of June 2020.
In celebration of the 35th anniversary, Nintendo is re-releasing popular Mario content for its current generation system, the Nintendo Switch, as well as hosting multiple events, all of which can be found at supermario35.com.
“We look forward to everyone joining us on a Mario journey 35 years in the making,” said Doug Bowser, Nintendo of America’s president, in a statement. “We are marketing 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.”
“Super Mario 3D All-Stars” is a collection of three of the most classic Mario titles: “Super Mario 64,” “Super Mario Sunshine,” and “Super Mario Galaxy.” Each of these games, originally on older Nintendo gaming consoles, are only available on the Nintendo Switch until the end of March in 2021 when the product will no longer be sold.
Some of the anniversary events include a “Super Smash Bros. Ultimate” tournament, new furniture in “Animal Crossing” and a “Splatoon 2” event. Nintendo even created a small hand-held device to play the original “Super Mario Bros.” on the go.
Tanner Dubyak, sophomore communications major, spent his early years playing “Super Mario Bros” with his cousin. He said that the competition
it fostered was a bonding moment.
“Mario means a lot actually,” Dubyak said. “It has held a lot of great memories that I will forever hold dearly.”
Dubyak is not the only college student who can reminisce about Mario games. Nathan DeRisio, sophomore criminal justice major, remembers that Mario games were difficult as a kid, but still an incredibly fun experience.
He said he is even considering buying Nintendo’s Switch system to play the anniversary re-releases because of the memories these games hold.
“Mario is very nostalgic for me,” DeRisio said. “It is always going to be one of those classic games I could always pick up and play.”
For many, Mario is more than just a video game character. He is the symbol of hours and hours of fun. Who knew a simple plumber could change our lives and impact the world of gaming so much?