Super Mario Bros. box
Here’s the box that Super Mario Bros. came in if you didn’t get it bundled in with the NES.

On September 13th, 1985, Super Mario Bros. made its debut for Nintendo’s Famicom (the Japanese equivalent of the NES) in Japan and the world of gaming got its premiere mascot. This megaton of a game sold over 40 million copies world wide, and that’s not including any port, re-release, or Virtual Console download. It’s good reason too, because Super Mario Bros. had such a great balance between graphics, music, and gameplay.

Super Mario Bros. World 1-1
The gameplay, the graphics, the music: all completely unforgettable.

There are very few gamers around today that back then did not fall in love with Super Mario Bros. at first site. From the start of the game, the Mario sprite was cool and big (for the time), the enemies were neat (Goombas, Koopa Troopas, Piranha Plants), the power ups were awesome (Fire Flower, Invincibility Star), and the level of World 1-1 had secrets that in other games might have been glitches, but here, were actually intended to be there (like the 1-Up Mushroom early on in the first level).

Super Mario
Mario was the main star of Super Mario Bros., but the title wasn’t named after his first name, but rather his last. The Bros. part is plural because Mario didn’t go it alone…

…Luigi has been around for many of the Super Mario Bros. adventures and has even starred in a few of his own titles, including Nintendo GameCube’s Luigi’s Mansion.

The Super Mario series in total has now sold over 240 million copies world wide, which boils down to the plumber selling an average of 9.6 million games a year. This number does not include Mario Bros. which came out in 1983 (the Italian Plumber’s first game with his own name on it where him and his brother Luigi played side by side). Even that game wasn’t our mustachioed hero’s first forray into gaming, because that title goes to Donkey Kong.

Donkey Kong
Yeah, he still feels kinda guilty, but can you blame him? He probably got it from King Kong.

In Donkey Kong, Mario was a carpenter (before being a plumber) set out to rescue his first girlfriend, Pauline (way back in 1981…nearly 30 years ago).

Pauline wasn’t a part of Super Mario Bros., because by then, Mario moved on to someone else far more special…

Princess Peach
…Princess Peach: Mario’s main squeeze for 25 years.

Here’s a little recap and tribute to what makes Super Mario Bros. the most important video game in history.

Nintendo’s first home video game console was the Famicom. This baby blew away Japanese gamers and housed not only the Mario series, but Zelda, Metroid, Dragon Warrior (our Dragon Quest), and Final Fantasy to mention a few. If it wasn’t for this system coming out, Nintendo probably wouldn’t be doing what they’re doing today.

Nintendo Entertainment System
The NES was the console Nintendo released in the United States and Europe. Yes, it was this grey and black box that brought Super Mario Bros. to millions more around the world. And as a matter of fact, in large thanks to the NES’ remarkable sales in the western world, Mario shot up right next to (and even surpassing) Mickey Mouse and Superman in terms of fictional character popularity.

Satoru Iwata, Paul Gale, and Shigeru Miyamoto at E3 2005
The man on the far right is Mr. Shigeru Miyamoto, the creator Mario and Super Mario Bros. Mr. Miyamoto has been a part of the world of Nintendo for 3 decades and is also responsible for creating the Zelda and Donkey Kong series, in addition to Nintendogs, Pikmin, Wii Sports, and Wii Fit (he knows what he’s doing, doesn’t he?)

Paul Gale and Koji Kondo at E3 2006
Koji Kondo composed the soundtrack for Super Mario Bros. The main music in World 1-1 is perhaps the most recognized melody in all of videogaming. Even the underground and underwater themes are ridiculously popular. His work doesn’t stop there though, as he’s also the music man behind The Legend of Zelda, Pilot Wings, Star Fox, and plenty of Mario sequels.

Paul Gale and Charles Martinet at E3 2010
Charles Martinet has been the voice of Mario ever since Super Mario 64. Even though Mario didn’t have a voice back in 1985, I’m sure that Charles would have been up for the roll if the technology was there to allow it and if everything else fit in place as well.

Super Mario Collection Special Pack

How is Nintendo celebrating Super Mario Bros.’ 25th Anniversary? Why they’re doing so by releasing “Super Mario Collection Special Pack”

The game is coming out in Japan on October 21st for ¥2,500 ($30). There is no current announcement for the North American or European markets, but I wouldn’t be surpried if Big N is already planning a release date for this game in time for the holidays. This Collector’s Box comes with the following:

A Wii disc called Super Mario Collection, a booklet covering the past 25 years of Super Mario history, unseen artwork and development materials behind the series, and a soundtrack CD containing music from the first Super Mario Bros. up to Super Mario Galaxy 2.

How am I celebrating Super Mario Bros.’ 25th Anniversary? I’m re-releasing my classic “A Tale of StarMan” video!

In addition to laughing at my 2007 production, I will also be playing some Super Mario Bros. on my Nintendo Entertainment System, later tonight. Mama Mia, here’s to you Mario!

2 thoughts on “On this day, 25 years ago, a legend was born: Super Mario Bros.”

Leave a Reply