Mario (franchise)

Last updated

Mario emblem.svg
The emblem on Mario's hat is iconic in the Mario franchise
Created by Shigeru Miyamoto
Original work Donkey Kong (1981)
Owned by Nintendo
Print publications
Comics Comics list
Films and television
Film(s) Films list
Animated series Animated series list
Traditional Electromechanical games list
Video game(s)
Original music Music list
Theme park attraction(s) Super Nintendo World
Official website

Mario [lower-alpha 1] is a Japanese media franchise, published and produced by video game company Nintendo, starring the fictional Italian character Mario. It is primarily a video game franchise, with the franchise's other forms of media including several television series and a feature film. It was originally created by game designer Shigeru Miyamoto with the arcade game Donkey Kong , released on July 9, 1981. The games have been developed by a variety of developers including Nintendo, Hudson Soft, and AlphaDream. Most Mario games have been released for Nintendo's various video game consoles and handhelds, from the third generation onward.


The main series in the franchise is the Super Mario series of platform games which mostly follows Mario's adventures in the fictional world of the Mushroom Kingdom. These games typically rely on Mario's jumping ability to allow him to progress through levels. The franchise has spawned more than 200 games of various genres and series, including Mario Kart , Mario Party , Mario Tennis , and Mario Golf .

The Mario series is one of Nintendo's most renowned and successful franchises; many games in its series, specifically the "Super Mario" portion, are considered to be some of the greatest video games ever made. By 2011, the core Super Mario video games had grossed an estimated US$12 billion in sales. [1] More than 600 million copies of Mario games have been sold, making it the best-selling video game franchise of all time. It is also the 9th highest-grossing media franchise of all time, with an estimated revenue above $36 billion.


Video games

Origin games

Donkey Kong

A replica of a Donkey Kong arcade cabinet. Donkey Kong arcade.png
A replica of a Donkey Kong arcade cabinet.

After the commercial failure of Radar Scope , Nintendo's company president referred to Shigeru Miyamoto to create an arcade game to save the company. Miyamoto came up with the idea of a game in which the playable character has to make his way through an obstacle course consisting of sloped platforms, ladders and rolling barrels. Miyamoto named the game Donkey Kong , and its main protagonist "Jumpman". Donkey Kong is an early example of the platform genre. In addition to presenting the goal of saving Pauline, the game gives the player a score. Points are awarded for finishing screens; leaping over obstacles; destroying objects with a hammer power-up; collecting items such as hats, parasols, and purses (presumably belonging to the Lady/Pauline); and completing other tasks. The game was surprisingly successful. [2] "Jumpman" was called "Mario" in certain promotional materials for the game's release overseas; [3] [4] his namesake was Mario Segale, the landlord of Nintendo of America's office/warehouse, who barged in on a meeting to demand an overdue rent payment. [5] Eventually Jumpman's name was internationally and permanently changed to Mario. The success of the game spawned several ports, and a sequel, Donkey Kong Jr. , which is Mario's only appearance as an antagonist. Donkey Kong 3 did not feature Mario.

Mario Bros.

The Mario branding was used for the first time in a later arcade game, Mario Bros. , which introduced Mario's brother, Luigi. The objective of Mario Bros. is to defeat all of the enemies in each phase. Each phase is a series of platforms with four pipes at each corner of the screen, and an object called a "POW" block in the center. [6] [7] The mechanics of Mario Bros. involve only running and jumping. Unlike future Mario titles, players cannot jump on enemies until they are flipped over; this can be accomplished by jumping under the platform they are on or by using the "POW" block. Both sides of every phase feature a mechanism that allows the player to go off-screen to the left and appear on the right, and vice versa. [7] The game has since reappeared in various forms, including as a minigame in Super Mario Bros. 3 and the Super Mario Advance series, and reimagined as Mario Clash .

Game & Watch

Nintendo has released several Mario and Donkey Kong LCD video games for the Game & Watch line. Eleven were released between 1982 and 1994. Nintendo also licensed the release of six LCD games for Nelsonic's Game Watch line between 1989 and 1994. Many remakes of Game & Watch games have changed the protagonist from a generic Mr. Game & Watch character to Mario.

Platform games

Super Mario series

Mario then became the star of his own side scrolling platform game in 1985, titled Super Mario Bros. , which was the pack-in game included with the Nintendo Entertainment System console. It was also later sold in a package with Duck Hunt . In Japan, a game titled Super Mario Bros. 2 was released in 1986, but a different game with the same name was released internationally in 1988, followed by Super Mario Bros. 3 later that same year. The Japanese version would subsequently be released in the United States in 1993 under the title Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels as part of the Super Mario All-Stars title for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System, a console that also features iterations of the game known as Super Mario World . While Super Mario Land and two sequels were the Game Boy installments in the series, the Game Boy Advance did not receive any original entries, only remakes. Super Mario 64 debuted as the launch title for the Nintendo 64 console in 1996. Super Mario Sunshine was the series' entry for the GameCube, and Super Mario Galaxy and its sequel continued the franchise for the Wii. Super Mario 3D Land was the series' flagship title for Nintendo 3DS. The Wii U saw the release of Super Mario 3D World . Super Mario Odyssey would be the first original game in the series to be released on the Nintendo Switch, and was released in 2017. [8]

In 2006, a sub-series with retro gameplay called New Super Mario Bros. was inaugurated on the Nintendo DS, featuring the mechanics of the Super Mario Bros. games. It continued on the Wii as New Super Mario Bros. Wii , on the 3DS as New Super Mario Bros. 2 and on the Wii U as New Super Mario Bros. U and New Super Luigi U , with a port titled New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe on the Nintendo Switch in January, 2019. Super Mario Bros.-styled gameplay is further offered by the level creator game Super Mario Maker , released on Wii U in 2015. A new version, Super Mario Maker 2 , was released on Nintendo Switch in June 2019.

In 2016, the team behind New Super Mario Bros. released Super Mario Run , Nintendo's first real smartphone game and one of the few instances a Mario game was developed for non-Nintendo hardware. [9]

Puzzle games

Dr. Mario series

The Dr. Mario series logo. Dr. Mario series logo.png
The Dr. Mario series logo.

Dr. Mario [lower-alpha 2] (stylized as D℞. Mario) is a series of arcade-style action puzzle video game originally developed by Nintendo Research & Development 1, and later developed by Arika and produced by Nintendo Software Planning & Development. The first in the series, Dr. Mario , was launched in 1990 on the Nintendo Entertainment System and Game Boy to critical and commercial success. [10] [11] In the Dr. Mario series, the player character Mario, who assumes the role of a doctor, is tasked with eradicating deadly viruses. The player's objective is to destroy the viruses populating the on-screen playing field by using falling colored capsules that are dropped into the field, similarly to Tetris . The player manipulates the capsules as they fall so that they are aligned with viruses of matching colors, which removes them from playing field. The player progresses through the game by eliminating all the viruses on the screen in each level.

There have been 4 Dr. Mario games released for home consoles and two portable games, for a total of six original titles. As the series has progressed, each new game has introduced new elements in order to keep the gameplay fresh such as new game modes. In 2001, Dr. Mario 64 for the Nintendo 64 introduced new game modes such as a Story mode, Score Attack and Marathon, Wario as a playable character and four-player multiplayer. After a seven-year hiatus, in 2008, Dr. Mario Express for the Nintendo DSi's DSiWare service re-introduced the series to the portable gaming market. Also in 2008, Dr. Mario Online Rx for the Wii's WiiWare service introduced online multiplayer to the series. In 2013, Dr. Luigi for the Wii U's Nintendo eShop introduced Luigi as the playable character as well as a Operation L game mode in which all capsules assume the shape of the letter "L".

Mario's Picross series

This series is a collection of nonogram logic puzzles involving a grid with numbers for every row and column, which refer to the amount of marked squares within the grid. The games features Mario as an archaeologist who chisels away to form images on the grid.

Mario vs. Donkey Kong series

Mario vs. Donkey Kong [lower-alpha 3] is a sub-series of the Mario and Donkey Kong series, based on puzzle video games, making the return of Donkey Kong, Pauline, and the former's rivalry with Mario. The sub-series introduces the Mario-like toys known as Mini-Marios, who later replace Mario as the sole playable characters in all future installments starting with March of the Minis onward.

Racing games

Mario Kart series

The Mario Kart series logo since Mario Kart DS. Mario Kart logo.png
The Mario Kart series logo since Mario Kart DS.

Mario Kart [lower-alpha 4] is a series of go-kart-style racing video games primarily developed by Nintendo Entertainment Analysis & Development. The first in the series, Super Mario Kart , was launched in 1992 on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System to critical and commercial success. [12] In the Mario Kart series, players compete in go-kart races, controlling one of a selection of characters from the Mario franchise. One of the features of the series is the use of various power-up items obtained by driving into item boxes laid out on the course. These power-ups include Super Mushrooms to give players a speed boost, Koopa Shells to be thrown at opponents, and banana peels that can be laid on the track as hazards.[ citation needed ]

There have been five Mario Kart games released for home consoles, one enhanced port, three portable games, one game for smartphones, and three Namco co-developed arcade spin-off games, for a total of thirteen. As the series has progressed, each new game has introduced new elements in order to keep the gameplay fresh such as new courses, new items, and new playable characters. In 1996 and 1997, Mario Kart 64 for the Nintendo 64 introduced 4-player racing and 3D graphics. In 2001, Super Circuit for the Game Boy Advance introduced the ability to unlock retro tracks from previous installments. In 2003, Double Dash!! for the GameCube introduced co-operative LAN multiplayer and two-player karts. In 2005, Mario Kart DS for the Nintendo DS introduced dual-screen play and online multiplayer via Wi-Fi. In 2008, Mario Kart Wii introduced motion controls, 12-player racing, motorbikes and playable Mii characters, [13] as well as three new items: the POW Block, Mega Mushroom, and Thunder Cloud. In 2011, Mario Kart 7 for the Nintendo 3DS featured optional stereoscopic graphics, introduced hang gliding and submersible karts, an alternate first-person perspective, and kart customization. In 2014, Mario Kart 8 for the Wii U introduced anti-gravity racing, ATVs, uploading highlights to YouTube via Mario Kart TV, up to four local players in Grand Prix races, downloadable content, and is the first in the series to boast HD graphics. In 2017, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe for the Nintendo Switch was released as an enhanced port of the Wii U version, featuring an improved battle mode and several new characters including the Inklings from Splatoon .

Possibly the most popular spin-off series in the franchise, the Mario Kart series began in 1992 and is currently the most successful and longest-running kart racing series, having sold over 150,000,000 copies worldwide. [14]

Role-playing games

The first role-playing game in the Mario franchise was Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars . It has since expanded to the Paper Mario and Mario & Luigi series.

Paper Mario series

The Paper Mario series logo. Paper Mario series logo.png
The Paper Mario series logo.

Paper Mario [lower-alpha 5] is a spin-off series of RPG video games developed by Intelligent Systems and produced by Nintendo Software Planning & Development. The first game in the series, Paper Mario , was launched in 2000 on the Nintendo 64 to critical and commercial success. [15] [16] In the Paper Mario series, the player controls Mario in a mixture of 3D environments and 2D characters who look as if they are made of paper. Mario can jump and use his hammer to overcome physical obstacles placed in the game's overworld. Additionally, the player accumulates partners as they advance into different locations, who each have a specialized skill required for progression in the game. [17] These characters assist Mario in the game's turn-based battles. Damage inflicted to the player reduces the amount of HP. [18] Attacks in the game are similar to those in traditional RPGs, although the player can influence the power of a move when attacking or defending by timing a button-press accurately or performing some other action command as required. [15] Mario and his partners have a finite capacity to perform special moves, with each of these consuming a particular number of flower points (FP) when performed. Such statistics can be increased by earning Star Points (experience points) in combat to level up. [18] [19] [19] [20] Progression through Paper Mario depends upon interaction with the game's non-player characters (NPCs), who will often offer clues or detail the next event in the storyline. As in other RPGs, the player can find or purchase items from NPCs to help in and outside of combat. [19] Badges can be obtained that yield bonuses ranging from added moves to gradual health restoration during combat; each consumes a set number of Badge Points (BP), meaning Mario can only equip a limited number of badges at a time. [15]

There have been five Paper Mario games released for home consoles and one game on 3DS. As the series has progressed, each new game has introduced new elements in order to keep the gameplay fresh such as a new story, new partners, and new gameplay mechanics. In 2004, The Thousand-Year Door for the GameCube introduced the ability of Mario turning into and folding up into a paper airplane and/or a paper boat to interact with the overworld. In 2007, Super Paper Mario deviated into the 2D action RPG genre and introduced the ability to "flip" into a 3D perspective in which the level rotates to reveal a hidden z-axis, placing Mario in a 3D environment. In 2012, Sticker Star for the Nintendo 3DS introduced the use of stickers in both the environment and in turn-based battles. They can be found and peeled off from various areas in the overworld, and can be purchased or received from non-playable characters. In 2015, Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam also for the 3DS where all the Paper Mario world enters the real one. In 2016, Color Splash for the Wii U was announced that introduced the use of colors in both the environment and in turn-based battles, just like in Sticker Star. [21] [22] In 2020, The Origami King was announced on the Switch with the use of origami. [23]

  • Paper Mario
  • The Thousand-Year Door
  • Super Paper Mario
  • Sticker Star
  • Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam (A Mario & Luigi crossover)
  • Color Splash
  • The Origami King

Mario & Luigi series

The Mario & Luigi spin-off series, developed by AlphaDream, is formed exclusively throughout handheld consoles. The series began with the release of Superstar Saga for the Game Boy Advance in 2003. In 2017, Superstar Saga + Bowser's Minions for the Nintendo 3DS introduced a remake of the original game with added graphics, an improved map allowing players to place pinpoints, and an additional mode called Minion Quest: The Search for Bowser, which provides a storyline that allows you to take control of Bowser's Minions to search for their leader, facing many obstacles in their way. In 2005, Partners in Time for the Nintendo DS introduced their younger selves: Baby Mario, Baby Luigi, Toadsworth the younger, Baby Peach and Baby Bowser. In 2009, Bowser's Inside Story also for the DS introduced Mario, Luigi and the others inside of Bowser's body. In 2018, Bowser's Inside Story + Bowser Jr.'s Journey for the 3DS introduced a remake of the original game with added graphics, an improved map allowing players to place pinpoints, and an additional mode called Bowser Jr.'s Journey. In 2013, Dream Team for the 3DS introduced Dreamy Luigi, where Luigi sleeps in the Dream World in celebrating the Year of Luigi. In 2015, Paper Jam also for the 3DS also included Paper Mario as a playable caracter when Luigi knocks over the book containing him.

  • Superstar Saga
    • Bowser's Minions
  • Partners in Time
  • Bowser's Inside Story
    • Bowser Jr.'s Journey
  • Dream Team
  • Paper Jam (A crossover with Paper Mario)

Party games

Mario Party series

In 1998, the Hudson game Mario Party was released for the Nintendo 64. Following this, 9 numbered sequels have since been released, making for 10 numbered titles, along with two non-numbered main series titles, Mario Party DS and Super Mario Party . The series also has four spins offs that differ in gameplay, including Mario Party Advance , Island Tour , Star Rush , and The Top 100 . Mario Party is a multiplayer party game featuring Mario series characters in which 4 human- or computer-controlled characters compete in a board game interspersed with minigames.

Sports games

There have been numerous sports games in the Mario franchise.

Mario Tennis series

The first appearances of Mario in tennis games were as a referee in Tennis for the NES and Game Boy. These games did not use the Mario branding and only featured Mario in the capacity of a cameo. He then appeared in Mario's Tennis for the Virtual Boy. After this, Camelot Software Planning released Mario Tennis for the Nintendo 64. They would subsequently develop other games in this series: Mario Power Tennis for the GameCube and Wii, Power Tour for the Game Boy Advance, Mario Tennis Open for the Nintendo 3DS, Ultra Smash for the Wii U, and Aces for the Nintendo Switch.

Mario Golf series

The first use of Mario's likeness in a golf game was that the golfer in Golf for NES and Game Boy featured a mustached man resembling Mario. Later, NES Open Tournament Golf was released. It featured Mario and Luigi as the golfers, with Princess Toadstool and Princess Daisy as their caddies. Mario Golf was released for the N64 in 1999. It was followed by Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour for the GameCube, Mario Golf: Advance Tour for the Game Boy Advance and Mario Golf: World Tour for the Nintendo 3DS.

Mario Baseball series

Mario and Luigi were team captains in Baseball for the Game Boy. Mario Superstar Baseball was released for the GameCube and Mario Super Sluggers for the Wii.

Mario Strikers series

The game of football was introduced in one of the minigames in Mario Party 4 as "GOOOOOOOAL!!". The Mario Strikers series (Mario Football in Europe) made its debut for the GameCube with Super Mario Strikers in 2005, developed by Next Level Games. Mario Strikers Charged was released for the Wii in 2007.

Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games series

In 2008, Mario and his friends appeared alongside the characters from Sonic the Hedgehog in the sports game, Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games , developed by Sega as the crossover series. A follow-up, Olympic Winter Games , was released in 2009 and Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games was released between November 2011 (Wii) and February 2012 (Nintendo 3DS). On November 15, 2013, a third sequel called Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games was released exclusively on the Wii U, with a fourth sequel, Mario & Sonic at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games for the Wii U, Nintendo 3DS and arcade in 2016. A fifth sequel, Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 , was released on Nintendo Switch in November 2019.

Educational games

In the early 1990s, many educational games were released in the Mario series. Few of these games were platformers; most sought to teach skills such as typing, mathematics or history. They are officially licensed but not officially recognized by Nintendo. The games were developed independently by Software Toolworks, Interplay and Brainstorm. Nine educational games were released from 1991 to 1996.

Games not published by Nintendo

This section covers games developed by other companies without Nintendo involvement. These games are officially licensed but not officially recognized by Nintendo.


Hudson Soft released two games based on Mario Bros. and another similar to Super Mario Bros.

Mario Bros. Special is a video game released in 1984 for the Japanese computers NEC PC-6001mkII, NEC PC-6601, NEC PC-8801, FM-7 and Sharp X1. It is a remake of the original Mario Bros. , with new stages, mechanics and gameplay.

Punch Ball Mario Bros. is a video game released in 1984 for the Japanese computers NEC PC-6001mkII, NEC PC-6601, NEC PC-8801, FM-7 and Sharp X1. It is similar to the original Mario Bros., but featured a new gameplay mechanic of "punch balls", small balls which Mario and Luigi can kick into enemies to stun them, instead of hitting them from below, as in the original.

Hudson Soft was originally responsible for the Mario Party series until Mario Party DS in 2007, but as of March 2012 this has been taken over by Nd Cube since Hudson has become a part of Konami. [24] Many of Hudson's employees now work for Nd Cube.


Three games were planned for development by Philips Interactive Media for use on its CD-i machine: Super Mario's Wacky Worlds , Hotel Mario , and Mario Takes America. Only Hotel Mario was released; Super Mario's Wacky Worlds and Mario Takes America were eventually cancelled. Philips was given permission to use Nintendo characters in CD-i games due to their taking part in developing an unreleased add-on for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES). [25] Hotel Mario did not gain much success, with Nintendo rarely acknowledging it as part of the Mario series. [26] [27]

Super Mario's Wacky Worlds is a cancelled video game planned for the CD-i, developed by NovaLogic, which attempted to duplicate the gameplay of Super Mario World . Though the game sprites are based on those in Super Mario World, the level design is based on Earth locations rather than Dinosaur Land. Due to the limitations of the CD-i, several features could not be included in the game, such as large numbers of sprites on the screen, and many visual effects. The nature of the pointing device controller provides difficult controls for Mario, as the game has the default controls of running and jumping.

Mario Takes America was proposed about Mario's trip to Hollywood to make his own movie. The game's concept initially impressed Philips, but was cancelled due to the company being unsatisfied with the game's development progress. [28]

Hotel Mario is a puzzle game developed by Fantasy Factory and published by Philips Interactive Media for the CD-i in 1994. The primary characters of the game are Mario and Luigi, who must find Princess Peach by going through seven Koopa Hotels in the Mushroom Kingdom. Every hotel is divided into multiple stages, and the objective is to close all doors on each stage. The game has been criticized as one of the worst Mario-centered games, mainly because of its cutscenes and simple gameplay. [29] [30]


Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle is a turn-based tactical role-playing video game developed by Ubisoft Milan (Ubisoft's Italian studio division) for the Nintendo Switch. The game is a crossover with Ubisoft's Raving Rabbids franchise, and features both singleplayer and cooperative multiplayer gameplay. The game's story sees players controlling Mario, his friends, and a group of Rabbids dressed as them, dealing with the aftermath of a sudden invasion by a group of Rabbids, who have accidentally misused a powerful invention that has brought chaos to the Mushroom Kingdom. Shigeru Miyamoto was initially impressed by the prototype of the game, that was presented to him by creative director Davide Soliani in 2014, which later caused Nintendo to greenlight the game for a Nintendo Switch release. It was released in Europe and North America on August 29, 2017, and was met with generally favorable reception from critics, who praised its gameplay, depth, and graphics.


Electronic Arts developed and released NBA Street V3 and SSX on Tour in 2005, both of which included Mario, Luigi, and Peach as playable characters in the GameCube versions.

Other media

The Mario franchise includes many comics, manga and TV series based on the games. Most were released in the late 1980s to early 1990s, and have since become obscure. Mario, Luigi and Peach have made cameo appearances in two sports games, including the GameCube version of NBA Street V3 . The series launched two films, the anime Super Mario Bros.: Peach-Hime Kyushutsu Dai Sakusen released in 1986 and the live action film Super Mario Bros. in 1993. The latter lost a large amount of money at the box office and was widely considered to be a failure. [31]


Saturday Supercade was an animated television series produced for Saturday mornings by Ruby-Spears Productions. It ran for two seasons on CBS, beginning in 1983. Each episode comprised several shorter segments featuring video game characters from the Golden Age of Arcade Games. Donkey Kong, Mario and Pauline (from the Donkey Kong arcade game) were featured in the show.

The Super Mario Bros. Super Show! is the first American TV series based on the Mario NES games. It was broadcast in syndication from September 4 to December 1, 1989. The show was produced by DIC Entertainment and was distributed for syndicated television by Viacom Enterprises (full rights have since reverted to DiC through Nintendo).

King Koopa's Kool Kartoons was a live action children's television show broadcast in Southern California during the holiday season of 1989-90. The show starred King Koopa (also known as Bowser), the main antagonist of the Mario series. The 30-minute program was originally broadcast during the after-school afternoon time-slots on Los Angeles-based KTTV Fox 11.

The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3 is the second TV series based on the Mario NES games. It aired on NBC from September 8 to December 1, 1990. Based on the Super Mario Bros. 3 video game, the cartoon shows Mario, Luigi, Princess Toadstool and Toad fighting against Bowser and his Koopalings, who went by different names on the show (Hip, Hop, Kooky, Kootie Pie, Big Mouth, Cheatsy, and Bully). Like the previous Mario cartoon series, the animation was done by Sei Young Animation Co. Ltd, however this show was co-produced by Reteitalia S.P.A., hence the slight differences in character design.

Super Mario Challenge was a show which aired on The Children's Channel. It ran from 1990 to 1991 and aired at 4:30 p.m. every weekday. The presenter, John Lenahan, was a lookalike of Mario, and dressed in his clothes. Two guest players had to do tasks, all of which involved playing the Mario video games Super Mario Bros. , Super Mario Bros. 2 and, after its release in 1991, Super Mario Bros. 3 . Rounds included challenges to see which player could complete a level in the fastest time and who could collect the most gold coins on a certain level.

Super Mario World is an animated television series based on the SNES video game of the same name. It is the third and currently last Saturday morning cartoon based on the Mario series. The show was originally aired on Saturday mornings on NBC in the 1991–92 season. It was featured in a half-hour time slot with a shortened version of Captain N: The Game Master . Episodes of Super Mario World were later shown as part of the syndication package Captain N and the Video Game Masters. Afterwards, the series was split from Captain N altogether and shown in time-compressed reruns on Mario All-Stars.


Super Mario Bros.: Peach-Hime Kyushutsu Dai Sakusen! is a Japanese anime film released on July 20, 1986. Directed by Masami Hata and produced by Masakatsu Suzuki and Tsunemasa Hatano, it stars Mario and Luigi, who get stuck in a Famicom video game, in which they must save Princess Peach from Koopa. A manga adaptation of the film was published in Japan around the same time as the film's release.

A series of three OVA episodes titled Amada Anime Series: Super Mario Bros. , based on Momotarō , Issun-bōshi and Snow White , were released on August 3, 1989. These generally featured Mario as the hero, Peach as the damsel and Bowser as the villain, with other Mario characters playing supporting roles. [32]


Super Mario Bros. is an American 1993 adventure family comedy loosely based on the video game of the same name. The film follows the exploits of Mario (Bob Hoskins) and Luigi (John Leguizamo) in a dystopia ruled by King Koopa (Dennis Hopper). It was the first live-action major motion picture to be based on a video game. The film's plot features Mario and Luigi as the main protagonists, Mario leading the team with Luigi developing a romance with Princess Daisy.

The film grossed $21 million on a $48 million budget. [31] On the television show Siskel & Ebert , the film received two thumbs down and was written off as a box office flop. [33]

Bowser and the Super Mushroom had a cameo in the 2012 Disney computer-animated film Wreck-It Ralph . Mario was mentioned but not seen in the film.

Upcoming animated film

In December 2014, emails leaked through a hack revealed that Sony Pictures was in negotiations with Nintendo to create a fully-animated film based on the Mario franchise. [34] This deal did not come through. [35] In November 2017, it was reported that Nintendo would instead be teaming up with Universal Pictures and Illumination to make the animated Mario film. [36] [37] [38] Nintendo President Tatsumi Kimishima stated in January 2018 that a deal had not been finalized, but that an announcement would come soon. [39]

By the end of January 2020, Nintendo affirmed that the animated film with Illumination would be moving forward, with Shigeru Miyamoto and Chris Meledandri co-producing. [40] Miyamoto stated in 2020 that the idea of doing a film had come from bringing their older games to the Virtual Console and other services; such transitions took time for the company, and Miyamoto recognized that "our content business would be able to develop even further if we were able to combine our long-beloved software with that of video assets, and utilize them together for extended periods." [41] Miyamoto knew that the process of making a film was far different from that of making a video game, and wanted a film expert to lead the effort. In Nintendo's work with Universal Parks & Resorts to create Mario-based attractions, Miyamoto had met Meledandri, and they had several discussions. Miyamoto found Meledandri's creative process similar to his own, and decided he would be the proper lead for a Mario film. They had started more earnest discussions of the film as early as 2016, knowing that if they realized it wasn't working that they could easily walk away. However, by the time of the official announcement, Miyamoto said that they have good discussions over the screenplay and feels good progress to a proper film. [42] Meledandri stated that the film was a "priority" for Illumination and that it will most likely come out in 2022. He added that Miyamoto will be "front and center" with creating the movie. [43] Shuntaro Furukawa, Nintendo's president, announced that production for the film has begun as of February 1, 2019, with the film being set to be released in 2022. [44] In January 2020, Furukawa provided an update stating that the film is "moving along smoothly" with the film aiming for release in 2022. Furukawa also stated that Nintendo would own the rights to the film, and that both Nintendo and Universal would fund its production. [45]

Comics and manga

Super Mario-kun [lower-alpha 6] is a manga series written by Yukio Sawada [lower-alpha 7] and published by Shogakukan. It is serialized in CoroCoro Comic. It contains many characters and scenarios from Mario games, such as Super Mario World and Paper Mario . Having just hit its 41st volume, Super Mario-kun is the longest-running Mario series manga to date. It continues to release new volumes to date. Another consistent manga series based on various Mario games is a work written and drawn by Hiroshi Takase [lower-alpha 8] and published by PikkaPika Comics that is, somewhat confusedly, also called Super Mario-kun [lower-alpha 9] . It is currently at five volumes and stopped due to the author's death in 2006.

The Nintendo Comics System was a series of comic books published by Valiant Comics in 1990 and 1991. It was part of a licensing deal with Nintendo, featuring characters from their video games and the cartoons based on them. Valiant's Super Mario Bros. comic books were based on the three main Mario games on the Nintendo Entertainment System, as well as The Super Mario Bros. Super Show . The Mario line was renewed for 1991 with two different books—Super Mario Bros. and Adventures of the Super Mario Bros.

The Nintendo Adventure Book series was published from 1991 to 1992 by Archway books, and Mammoth books in the United Kingdom. There are twelve in all. They are formatted like the popular Choose Your Own Adventure books, where the reader makes decisions that change the outcome of the story. Ten of the books are about the Mario Bros.' adventures in the Mushroom Kingdom and are based primarily on the Valiant comics published for the Nintendo Comics System imprint.

Super Mario Adventures [lower-alpha 10] is an anthology of comics, drawn in a Japanese manga style, that ran in Nintendo Power magazine throughout 1992, featuring the characters from Nintendo's Mario series and based loosely on Super Mario World .

Immediately following the end of Super Mario Adventures, Nintendo Power concluded the epic with a ten-page story based on Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins titled Mario VS Wario , which ran in their January 1993 issue and was later reprinted in the graphic novel.

At one point, Archie Comics made a pitch to Nintendo for a new Mario comic similar to its Sonic the Hedgehog series, but it was turned down. [47]

An encyclopedia based on Super Mario Bros. was released in Japan in October 2015. [48] In February 2017, Nintendo announced that the encyclopedia would launch in North America and Europe in June 2017. [49]

Another encyclopedia based on the series up until Super Mario Maker was published by Dark Horse Publishing on October 23, 2018. [50]


A Mario-themed Nintendo DS Lite. Nintendo DS Mario Edition.jpg
A Mario-themed Nintendo DS Lite.

Mario has appeared on lunch boxes, T-shirts, jeans, [51] magazines, commercials (notably, in a Got Milk? commercial), [52] in candy form, on shampoo bottles, cereal, badges, and as a plush toy. [53] In 1992, Gottlieb created a Super Mario themed pinball machine. [54] A Monopoly board game based on the Mario franchise has been confirmed by the website USAopoly. [55] In April 2017, a board game developed by USAopoly titled Super Mario Level Up! was announced for release. [56] In early 2017, a Super Mario-themed pop-up bar known as "The Cherry Blossom Pub" opened up in Mockingbird Hill, Washington, D.C.. The interior of one side of the bar has been transformed into "a Nintendo dream world". The Washington reported in an interview with Derek Brown, the bar's owner, that the bar had become so popular that there was a two-hour long line outside the bar. [57] The cocktails in the bar cost $13 and are all Mario-themed. On the menu there's the “It’s a Me, A-Mario” (sweet vermouth, Don Ciccio & Figli Carcafio, Aperitivo, and spicy ginger ale), “What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Smaller” (vodka, mandarin orange, pomelo and apricot soda) and the “King Koopa Cup” (Two James Johnny Smoking Gun whiskey, “popcorn” tea ginger, and lemon). [58] Another Monopoly-inspired board game called Monopoly Gamer was released in August 2017. [59] In addition, Monopoly Gamer adds a Mario Kart version with courses from Mario Kart 8 serving as properties. LINE released four voiced Mario sticker sets. Mario-themed Lego sets are set to be released in August 2020. These sets feature an electronic Mario figure that interacts with other parts of the set. [60]

Concerts and performances

The Super Mario Bros. theme has been featured in many concerts, including "PLAY! Chicago", [61] the Columbus Symphony Orchestra, [62] the Mario & Zelda Big Band Live,[ citation needed ] Play! A Video Game Symphony, [63] and others.

The Video Games Live concert featured the theme performed by Koji Kondo. [64]


The Mario series has received a very positive reception from critics and audiences. A 1996 article in Next Generation declared that "The evolution of the Mario series led the rest of gaming by the hand, blazing a trail, and teaching lessons in game mechanics, structure, and sheer playability to any who would study its secrets".


Most of Mario's games are set in the fictional Mushroom Kingdom , but there are other settings which explore more details of the Mario Universe.

The places introduced in the Mario franchise are:

Impact and legacy

Mario has been featured in 256 games of various genres (including sports, puzzle, party, racing and first-person shooter), and the Mario franchise is the best-selling video game franchise of all time. [65] At least 31 different Mario games have sold more than a million copies each since 1995. This includes the core Super Mario series, which alone has sold over 262 million units worldwide, [66] as well as the Mario Kart series which sold 78 million units, [67] the Mario Party series which sold over 32 million units, [68] Donkey Kong which sold over 125,000 arcade machines [69] and six million Coleco cartridges, [70] and Mario Bros. which sold 1.72 million Famicom cartridges. [71]

See also


  1. Japanese: マリオ Hepburn: Mario
  2. Japanese: ドクターマリオ Hepburn: Dokutā Mario
  3. Japanese: マリオVSドンキーコング Hepburn: Mario tai Donkī Kongu
  4. Japanese: マリオカート Hepburn: Mario Kāto
  5. Japanese: ペーパーマリオ Hepburn: Pēpā Mario
  6. Japanese: スーパーマリオくん Hepburn: Sūpā Mario-kun
  7. Japanese: 沢田ユキオ Hepburn: Sawada Yukio
  8. Japanese: 嵩瀬ひろし Hepburn: Takase Hiroshi
  9. Japanese: スーパーマリオくん Hepburn: Sūpā Mario-kun
  10. Japanese: SUPER MARIO ADVENTURES マリオの大冒険 Hepburn: Mario no daibōken, [46]

Related Research Articles

Mario Kart is a series of go-kart-style racing video games developed and published by Nintendo as spin-offs from its trademark Super Mario series. The first in the series, Super Mario Kart, was launched in 1992 on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System to critical and commercial success.

<i>Super Mario Kart</i> 1992 racing video game

Super Mario Kart is a 1992 kart racing video game developed and published by Nintendo for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System video game console. The first game of the Mario Kart series, it was released in Japan and North America in 1992, and in Europe the following year. Selling 8.76 million copies worldwide, the game went on to become the fourth best selling SNES game of all time. Super Mario Kart was re-released on the Wii's Virtual Console in 2009, and on the Wii U's Virtual Console in 2013. Nintendo re-released Super Mario Kart in the United States in September 2017 as part of the company's Super NES Classic Edition.

Koopa Troopa Fictional race of turtle or tortoise-like creatures from the Mario series

Koopa Troopas, or Koopas, known in Japan as Nokonoko (ノコノコ), are a fictional race of anthropomorphic turtle-like creatures from the Mario series, as well as its sister Yoshi series. Although the term 'Koopa' is a blanket term for the entire species of anthropomorphic tortoises in the series, to which creatures such as Lakitu, Hammer Bros. and Bowser belong, the term is often used to refer colloquially to this particular enemy. First appearing in the 1985 Nintendo Entertainment System game Super Mario Bros. along with the Goomba, the Koopa Troopa is among the oldest recurring enemies in the series, and have appeared in some form in all of the main games, and most of the spin-off games. When defeated, Koopas may flee from or retreat inside their shells, which can usually be used as weapons. Koopa shells are a recurring weapon in the series, particularly popularized in the Mario Kart series, in which they can be fired as projectiles against other racers. Despite making up the bulk of Bowser's army, known as the "Koopa Troop", Koopas as a species are often shown to be peaceful, some teaming up with Mario. An undead Koopa Troopa becomes a Dry Bones.

Shigeru Miyamoto Japanese video game designer

Shigeru Miyamoto is a Japanese video game designer, producer and game director at Nintendo, where he serves as one of its representative directors. He is the creator of some of the most acclaimed and best-selling game franchises of all time, such as Mario and The Legend of Zelda.

<i>Mario Bros.</i> 1983 arcade game

Mario Bros. is a platform game published and developed for arcades by Nintendo in 1983. It was designed by Shigeru Miyamoto and his coworker and Nintendo’s chief engineer Gunpei Yokoi. Italian-American plumber Mario and his brother Luigi exterminate creatures emerging from the sewers by flipping them on their backs and kicking them away. The original versions of Mario Bros.—the arcade version and the Family Computer/Nintendo Entertainment System (FC/NES) version—were received positively by critics.

Luigi Video game character

Luigi is a character featured in video games and related media released by Nintendo. Created by designer Shigeru Miyamoto, Luigi is portrayed as the slightly younger but taller brother of Nintendo's mascot Mario, and appears in many games throughout the Mario franchise, often as a sidekick to his older brother.

Mario Fictional video game character from Nintendos Mario franchise and the companys mascot

Mario is a fictional character in the Mario video game franchise, owned by Nintendo and created by Japanese video game designer Shigeru Miyamoto. Acting as the company's mascot, as well as being the eponymous protagonist of the series, Mario has appeared in over 200 video games since his creation. Depicted as a short, pudgy, Italian plumber who resides in the Mushroom Kingdom, his adventures generally center upon rescuing Princess Peach from the Koopa villain Bowser. Mario's fraternal twin brother and sidekick is Luigi.

Yoshi Nintendo character

Yoshi is a fictional dinosaur who appears in video games published by Nintendo. Yoshi debuted in Super Mario World (1990) on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System as Mario and Luigi's sidekick. Yoshi later starred in platform and puzzle games, including Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island, Yoshi's Story, Yoshi's Woolly World, and Yoshi's Crafted World. Yoshi also appears in many of the Mario spin-off games, including Mario Party and Mario Kart, various Mario sports games, and Nintendo's crossover fighting game series Super Smash Bros. Yoshi belongs to the species of the same name, which is characterized by their variety of colors.

Princess Peach fictional character from the Mario franchise

Princess Peach is a character in Nintendo's Mario franchise, created by Shigeru Miyamoto. She is the princess of the fictional Mushroom Kingdom, which is constantly under attack by Bowser. She often plays the damsel in distress role within the series and is the lead female character. She resides in her castle along with Toads. In Super Princess Peach, Peach was the protagonist and player character, and she is occasionally a supporting playable character in mainstream games, such as Super Mario Bros 2 and Super Mario 3D World; she also appears in most entries of the Super Smash Bros. series as one of the lead female Nintendo characters, along with Princess Zelda and Samus Aran. In 2007, Princess Peach landed on Forbes magazine's Wealthiest Fictional People list, with a fortune upwards of $1 billion. She is ranked tenth in Electronic Gaming Monthly's list of the top ten video game politicians.

Bowser (character) fictional character from the Mario franchise

Bowser, or King Koopa, is a fictional character and the main antagonist of Nintendo's Mario franchise. In Japan, the character bears the title of Daimaō. In the United States, the character was first referred to as "Bowser, King of the Koopas" and "the sorcerer king" in the instruction manual. Bowser is the leader of the turtle-like Koopa race, and has been the archenemy of Mario since his first appearance, in the 1985 video game Super Mario Bros.

Donkey Kong (character) fictional ape from the Donkey Kong series

Donkey Kong (DK) is a fictional gorilla character of the Donkey Kong and Mario video game franchises, as Mario's rival. A popular character, DK has appeared in many video games, along with his friend Diddy Kong. Donkey Kong appeared as Mario's first opponent in Nintendo's popular 1981 arcade game, Donkey Kong. Soon becoming more friendly, he has starred in his own Donkey Kong series, starting with sequels of the arcade game and 1994's Donkey Kong Country for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES). He remains an important ally in the Mario series, such as the Mario Kart games. DK debuted at the same time as Mario, and he still appears with the plumber on occasion, appearing as a playable character in the Mario Kart and Super Smash Bros. series, and is the primary antagonist in the Mario vs. Donkey Kong games starting in 2004.

<i>Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels</i> 1986 video game developed by Nintendo

Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels is a 1986 side-scrolling platform game developed and published by Nintendo as the first sequel to their 1985 bestseller Super Mario Bros. The games are similar in style and gameplay, apart from a steep increase in difficulty. Like the original, Mario or Luigi venture to rescue the Princess from Bowser. Unlike the original, the game has no two-player option and Luigi is differentiated from his twin plumber brother with reduced ground friction and increased jump height. The Lost Levels also introduces setbacks such as poison mushroom power-ups, counterproductive level warps, and mid-air wind gusts. The game has 32 levels across eight worlds, and five bonus worlds, each of which also has four levels.

Koopalings group of fictional characters from the Mario franchise

The Koopalings are a fictional group of seven childlike characters in the Mario video game franchise by Nintendo. Their individual names are Larry Koopa, Roy Koopa, Lemmy Koopa, Wendy O. Koopa, Iggy Koopa, Morton Koopa Jr., and Ludwig von Koopa. Originally depicted as the children of the series antagonist Bowser, they first appeared as boss characters in the 1988 game Super Mario Bros. 3. They have since appeared in subsequent Super Mario games and spin-off Mario games.

Characters in the <i>Mario</i> franchise Wikimedia list article

The Mario franchise is a series of video games developed and published by Nintendo that features an extensive cast of characters.

Bowser Jr. Fictional character from the Mario franchise

Bowser Jr. is a video game character who appears in Nintendo's Mario franchise as an antagonist. He is the son of the series' main antagonist, Bowser. Since his debut in Super Mario Sunshine, Bowser Jr. has been a recurring character in the Mario series and has been made playable in several spin-offs, such as Mario Superstar Baseball, Mario Strikers Charged, and Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. He shares his father's desire to kidnap Princess Peach and defeat Mario. Bowser Jr. is generally not considered one of the Koopalings.

<i>Super Mario</i> Platform video game series created by Nintendo

Super Mario is a platform game series and media franchise created by Nintendo and featuring their mascot, Mario. Alternatively called the Super Mario Bros. series or simply the Mario series, it is the central series of the greater Mario franchise. At least one Super Mario game has been released for every major Nintendo video game console. There have also been a number of Super Mario video games released on non-Nintendo gaming platforms. How many Super Mario games there are has been debated. There are currently twenty-one similar games and one cross-series game that may or may not be included as part of the series.

Donkey Kong is a series of video games featuring the adventures of a gorilla character called Donkey Kong, conceived by Shigeru Miyamoto in 1981. The franchise consists mainly of two game genres, but also includes additional spin-off titles of various genres.

Toad (Nintendo) fictional character in Nintendos "Mario" franchise

Toad, is a fictional mushroom-like humanoid who primarily appears in Nintendo's Mario franchise. The character is created by Japanese video game designer Shigeru Miyamoto, and is portrayed as a citizen of the Mushroom Kingdom and is one of Princess Peach's most loyal attendants, constantly working on her behalf. He is usually seen as a non-player character (NPC) who provides assistance to Mario and his friends in most games, but there are times when Toad takes center stage and appears as a protagonist, as seen in Super Mario Bros. 2, Wario's Woods, Super Mario 3D World, and Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker.

<i>Super Mario Bros.</i> 1985 platform video game

Super Mario Bros. is a platform game developed and published by Nintendo. The successor to the 1983 arcade game, Mario Bros., and the first in the Super Mario series of platformers, it was released in Japan in 1985 for the Famicom, and in North America and Europe for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) in 1985 and 1987 respectively. Players control Mario, or his brother Luigi in the multiplayer mode, as they travel the Mushroom Kingdom to rescue Princess Toadstool from Bowser. They must traverse side-scrolling stages while avoiding hazards such as enemies and pits with the aid of power-ups such as the Super Mushroom, Fire Flower, and Starman.


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