Geek History- Mario Brothers Through the Years

Mario Image Belongs to Nintendo

In the year 1889 in Kyoto, Japan a man by the name of Fusajiro Yamauchi founded a little company called The Nintendo Playing Card Company, that produced and marketed a type of playing card called Hanafuda or Flower Cards, these are the humble beginnings of what would become a giant in the video gaming industry down the road. Fast forward to the mid-seventies, Nintendo would branch out into the emerging video game market. Nintendo’s first few games were not very successful a young Shigeru Miyamoto who is still with the company today then developed Nintendo’s first smash hit; Donkey Kong lit the world ablaze with its simple but addictive gameplay. But just who was that fellow gamers controlled? A comically short mustachioed man that could only jump and sometimes wield a hammer to navigate the mazes and save the girl? The man who would eventually become the most recognizable marketable and successful video game character ever originally had no name at all in the Japanese release of Donkey Kong. The American instruction booklet named him Jumpman and sales brochures called this character Mario when Nintendo of America was doing the English release for Donkey Kong one day the landlord of the building they operated in came in demanding rent a heated argument ensued that ended with assurances the landlord, Mario Segale would get the money. Miyamoto and the people over in japan must have liked the name as the little red plumber has been named Mario ever since! Mario started out as a carpenter and a plumber, but he has had many occupations over the years. He was the referee in the World Video Game Boxing Association overseeing matches by some absolutely absurd fighters; he was the referee for every fight in the Bronx born Little Mac’s improbable rise through the ranks of the WVBA and victory over Kid Dynamite Mike Tyson himself! Mario likes to throw parties featuring wild mini-games and dastardly means to undercut the opposition he has shown to be good at driving go-karts, baseball, snowboarding, basketball, the list goes on. Mario shows no signs of slowing down, from having no name to becoming the mascot of Nintendo and helping restore people’s faith in the medium after the disastrous crash of ’83 the beat goes on for the cheery man in red to this day. Luigi is still the better brother, though!

Published by TheOddPast by Matthew A. Perry

Writer, teacher, broadcaster, and podcaster from West Virginia. I write about and discuss the wacky and weird side of history on my website and my podcast "The Odd Past Podcast" available everywhere

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