Gaming Flashback – 25 years of Mario
It’s 25 years today since the first Super Mario Bros game was released on the NES console on 13 September 1985 so we thought we’d take a look at the rotund Italian plumber’s achievements.
Brainchild of Nintendo game designer Shigeru Miyamoto, Mario made his first appearance in 1981 in the arcade game Donkey Kong as "Jumpman" – a carpenter battling through a construction site to save his ladyfriend Pauline from the big, angry, barrel-throwing ape Donkey Kong. From this point on, Mario hasn’t had any better luck with easily-kidnapped girlfriends...
It was in 1985 that Mario made his first appearance under his own name on the NES console in the game Super Mario Bros, alongside his younger brother Luigi who was destined to forever be in Mario’s shadow. This was also the game that introduced the world to Mario's strange world of giant pipes, agressive tortoises and magic mushrooms.
In 1989 Mario made the jump to the world of handheld gaming, in the launch title for the Game Boy, Super Mario Land. The 2D side-scrolling action and blocky graphics translated perfectly to the smaller screen.
Mario's first outing on the SNES was in Super Mario World in 1991. This was also Yoshi's first appearance. The cute, rideable dinosaur soon became a regular feature in Mario games.
Wario (Mario’s evil alter-ego) made his first appearance in the GameBoy title Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins in 1992.
Mario tried his hand at motorsport for the first time in 1993 in Super Mario Kart on the SNES. Making the most of Mode 7 graphics, it managed to give the impression of 3D amidst its fast and furious on-track battling. Watch out for those banana skins...
Mario exploded into true 3D in 1996 in Super Mario 64 on the N64, taking advantage of the console's improved graphics capabilities and adding another dimension to Mario's capers.
On the Wii in 2007 Mario reached for the stars in Super Mario Galaxy. Exploring big and small planets alike, and meeting some pretty intimidating flora. This was followed up by Super Mario Galaxy 2 this year - Mario's most recent appearance, but we have a feeling it won't be the last we see of our favourite plumber.