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25 Facts You Didn’t Know About Mario

How can you make a top 25 Facts You Didn’t Know About Mario list? Mario is perhaps the most popular video game mascot of all time. Surely we know everything about him, right? Wrong! There are tons of hidden factoids about Mario and his games. Dinosaurs, drugs, advertisements, and transgendered egg beasts are all here in full force. Mario’s past might be stranger than you realize. These are the 25 Facts You Didn’t Know About Mario, the one and only.

Optimus Prime

Mario Was Once Voiced by Optimus Prime


Mario has had a lot of voice actors over the years, from Charles Martinent, the current voice of the icon, to Captain Lou Albano on the Super Mario Bros. Super Show. However, Mario was once voiced by Peter Cullen, the voice of Optimus Prims, when he showed up in the 1983 show Saturday Supercade’s Donkey Kong shorts.


Mario Lent His Name to Other Iconic Nintendo Characters


Wario, is a portmanteau of Mario and Warui, the Japanese word for bad or evil. In English, he is very obviously just Wario with the M flipped upside down. More obscure, Captain Olimar from Pikmin is just a backward spelling of Mario in Japanese. Ma-Ri-Oh. Oh-Ri-Ma. Try saying it out loud and you will hear the similarities.


Wart Showed Up in a Zelda Game


Wart, the villain from Super Mario Bros 2, only showed up in one other notable Nintendo game. That game was The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening. There, he went by his original Japanese name Mamu and actually aided Link in his quest by teaching him a song!

Super Mario Land

Shigeru Miyamoto Had Nothing to Do With Super Mario Land


We normally think of Shigeru Miyamoto as the father of Mario, but one of the earliest Mario games wasn’t made by Miyamoto at all. Instead, Super Mario Land, the first Mario game for the Gameboy, was made by Gunpei Yokoi, the Gameboy’s original developer.

Inverted Wardrobe

Mario’s Wardrobe Has Been Inverted


When Mario was first drawn, his overalls were red and his shirt was blue. This has been changed to blue overalls and a red shirt in his sprite for Super Mario Bros 2., but oddly enough not his box art.


The Starman Was the First Mario Power-Up to Have Eyes


It’s not that strange to find mushrooms and flowers with eyes on them throughout the many strange worlds that Mario travels these days. However, the very first power-up to have eyes was the Starman. Every other power-up in the original Super Mario Bros. was blind.


Birdo is Transgendered


The original manual for Super Mario Bros. 2 states rather clearly that Birdo is guy who thinks he is a girl. Then again, sex and gender must be a sticky subject for a species of reptile who lays eggs by spitting them like projectiles through its mouth.

Doki Doki Panic

Super Mario Bros. 2 Is Actually Doki Doki Panic


Super Mario Bros. 2 wasn’t originally a Mario Bros. game at all. Instead, it was an American adaptation of the Japanese title Dream Factory: Doki Doki Panic. The game starred four characters with Arabian themes to their character designs. The characters were Imajin, Lina, Mama and Papa who had to travel through a dream world. The “real” Super Mario Bros. 2 is what we know as The Lost Levels.


Super Mario Bros. 2 Defined Luigi’s Character


The Lost Levels, the Japanese version of Super Mario Bros. 2, was the first game to give Luigi higher jumps than Mario. The American Super Mario Bros 2 was the first game to draw Luigi as taller than Mario. Luigi replaced Mama from Doki Doki Panic, who had high floaty jumps because he was given higher jumps in The Lost Levels. Mama was a taller sprite than Imajin, who would later become Mario, though it’s unclear whether or not this eventually influenced Nintendo’s decision to increase Luigi’s height.

Chain Chomp

Chain Chomps Are Modeled After a Traumatic Childhood Event


These black chomping balls at the end of chains were actually inspired by a traumatic event in Shigeru Miyamoto’s childhood where a neighbor’s dog chased him before being yanked back by a chain attached to its collar.


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