There are many iconic video game characters that have stood the test of time. Pac-Man and Pikachu are familiar yellow friends, while Sonic the Hedgehog is a blue speedster well-known for his recent movie adaptations. But perhaps one of the most memorable characters for many both young and old is Mario, the star of the Nintendo company.
March 10 is Mario Day, because writing out the date’s abbreviation looks like the character’s name – “MAR10”. He’s instantly recognizable with his bushy mustache, red hat and blue overalls. But how has this jumping plumber changed over the years?
Mario’s first appearance was in the 1981 Donkey Kong arcade game. Referred to simply as “Jumpman”, he hopped over barrels to rescue Princess Toadstool, who would become Princess Peach in later years. It wasn’t until the 1983 arcade release of Mario Bros. that he was the star of his own game, playing alongside a green lookalike who would later be known as his brother Luigi.
Mario didn’t reach international fame until 1985. Super Mario Bros. was a smash hit on the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES). The massively successful franchise has inspired many sequels and brought a colorful cast of characters – Yoshi, Bowser, and Waluigi, to name a few – to players around the world.
You can borrow Mario games for the Nintendo Switch and other consoles from the Yonkers Public Library. You can also check out some great books about Mario, Nintendo and the history of video games!
Alison Robles is a part-time page at the Crestwood Library. She is an avid reader with a passion for YA lit, history and science fiction. A Yonkers native, she graduated from Iona University in 2020 with a dual-degree in Marketing and Public Relations.