Today marks the official 30th Anniversary of the release of arguably the greatest video game franchise ever created, Super Mario Bros. Although, technically Super is a spin-off of the Mario Bros. game, there is no denying that SMB is a franchise all its own.
Through the years, there have been lots of rumors, myths, and assumptions about the origins of major SMB details and characters. Much has been said, and now we can clear some of that up.
Many people are aware that in his original incarnation, Mario was named “Jumpman” as that was his primary role while trying to rescue Paula in the original Donkey Kong. Mario’s name was later changed, and as the story has been shared in the past, we have found out that he named after someone associated with Nintendo of America at the time. It appears that was only a part of the story, though.
In what’s become one of the more iconic stories from video-game history, everyone’s favorite Italian plumber was almost named “Jumpman.” Minoru Arakawa, the first president of Nintendo of America, had clashed with the company’s landlord over several months of unpaid rent. Recounting the tussle with his colleagues, Arakawa reportedly joked that their irascible landlord bore some resemblance to the protagonist of the company’s latest arcade game,Donkey Kong. So first in office lore, and then in subsequent games, “Jumpman” was rechristened in honor of their landlord’s given name: Mario.
In addition to his naming origins, though, there have been lots of other fantastic things going around about the iconic character, as well. During a fairly recent interview with Eurogamer, Mr. Shigeru Miyamoto and Mr. Takashi Tezuka revealed several of their developer ideas behind the creation of our very first look at the original Super Mario Bros. in World 1-1.
Who would have thought that was how we got Goombas?!
Want more trivial fact-checking? A few days ago, Nintendo of UK posted the answers to all of the burning questions for Mario fans, as delivered by Miyamoto-san, himself.
Earlier today, to commemorate the 30th Anniversary of the release of Super Mario Bros., Nintendo of America released a very special interview. In this video interview, we get to see a much younger Miyamoto-san. Enjoy.
Super Mario Bros. has always been so closely tied to what Nintendo is to video game fans, whether they are Nintendo fans or not, and going forward we can rest assured that as is the case with Nintendo as a whole, we can count on them to continue to evolve the franchise. Nintendo has never been the company to become complacent, despite the perception of some in the market. As I pointed out in this past Monday’s amiibo Mini-Series Mondays post, it’s in the nature of the company to challenge themselves.
As always, gaming is meant to be fun, so keep gaming!!
HAPPY 30th ANNIVERSARY, MARIO!! To many many more!