Accidental birth of a superstar: Super Mario Bros


The face of gaming changed eternally  when Nintendo released Super Mario Bros. on September 13, 1985. The game quickly became one of the most popular video games of all time. It eventually sold more than 40 million copies for the original Nintendo Entertainment System. 
Shigeru Miyamoto first created the moustachioed hero’s character as the protagonist of ‘Donkey Kong’ the 1981 arcade game where a carpenter tries to rescue his girlfriend from a giant ape. The hero was initially called ‘Jumpman’. 
One night  in Seattle, while Miyamoto’s team was busy working at the storage facility of the company, their landlord arrived out of the blue demanding past due rent. The landlord’s name was Mario, the accidental inspiration behind the protagonist’s name. He’s even documented to have resembled the character. 
Miyamoto reportedly wanted to make the protagonist into a character like Popeye’s but Nintendo wasn’t able to land the rights. So he opted for another blue collar profession, a carpenter. 
Eventually after the success of ‘Donkey Kong’, Miyamoto created a brother for Mario- the green clad Luigi. In 1983, the pair debuted in the arcade game ‘Mario Bros.’ It was primarily distributed in Japan only. 
Two years later, Nintendo released ‘Super Mario Bros.’ as the centrepiece game for its  Nintendo Entertainment System home-gaming console and it became a global sensation selling over 60 million units. A survey of American children in the 90s found that Mario was more recognisable than Mickey Mouse. 
The heroic plumber has multiple entries in the Guinness Book of World Records. It also appeared in the promotional videos of the Tokyo Olympics. He has many tv shows and even a feature film. Next feature film is reportedly into production and will be released in 2022. 


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