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ardly any other video game character is as well known as Super Mario. The little fat plumber with the moustache is the absolute pride and joy of his Nintendo creators. Mario has been jumping, running and making his way through his adventures, and straight into the hearts of entire generations of gamers.
Whether you play on a console or PC, shooting, strategy and jump ‘n’ run are the order of the game. Every true fan has their own memories of spending an afternoon playing the game with Mario, Luigi, Wario, Bowser and Co.
In 2005 he got his very own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and very well deserved too, given that the countless games, series, films and of course merch have made Mario a cult figure.
A legend is born
Trivia question: In which game did Mario make his first appearance? True gamers will of course know the answer: not Mario Brothers nor Super Mario. No, the first appearance of the plumber with the moustache was in Donkey Kong.
Shigeru Miyamoto, Nintendo’s head genie developed the game for arcade machines in 1981 where the chubby handyman had to free his friends from the hairy grip of a gorilla.
According to original storylines, Super Mario wasn’t a plumber but a carpenter. Thanks to Mario, Donkey Kong enjoyed massive success and became the second most successful arcade game after the legendary ‘Pac-Man’. And that was just the beginning…
Mario takes shape – and gets a brother
In 1983, Nintendo brought out its first game ‘Mario Brothers’ centred around Mario. For the first time, gamers could play his slimmer, taller brother Luigi who was dressed in green in contrast to the blue and red of his brother. He is to this day Mario’s loyal companion.
In the same year, the game ‘Super Mario Bros’ was released which signalled the turning point for the future of the franchise. Princess Peach of the Mushroom Kingdom and of course Mario’s arch enemy Bowser came together to complete this game. In this game, Mario must free Princess Peach from the jaws of the reptilian king of Koopa Land.
Things also changed technically. Super Mario for the FamiCom and the NES was the first Jump ‘N’ Run game for Mario and Co., a genre which is still the core of the Mario franchise to this day.
A true milestone of the gaming world followed on from two sequels in 1988. With sales of the Super Nintendo Entertainment System, SNES for short, just beginning, Nintendo released ‘Super Mario World’ which immediately became a bestseller and even today is ported over to numerous other Nintendo Systems. The unmistakable music and the colourful 16 Bit look have become icons of the gaming world and many gamers can play the first few levels blindfolded.
Gaming together, against each other
‘Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island’ gave us the clever dinosaur and baby Mario as the first of many new interpretations of the franchise heroes, during which Nintendo released two more classics.
‘Super Mario Kart’ from 1992 for the SNES and ‘Super Mario Kart 64’ from 1997 for the brand-new Nintendo 64 allowed players to not just play together, but against each other for the first time. Who knows how many friends fell out racing each other, to then make up minutes later thanks to the infamous red tanks. But even that couldn’t trump the success of ‘Super Mario’.
Mario everywhere, in every way
Every new Nintendo console from the NES through to the Wii U received at least one Mario title as a launch pad. Mario and Friends (and enemies) appeared alongside Run and Jump ‘N’ Run games in roleplays, sports games, quizzes and more.
Almost 300 million Super Mario games have been sold so far. There has also been half a dozen animated and reality series and a film all about the little plumber. Mario is now not just a video game character, but a cultural phenomenon.
So, what do true fans need? You guessed it, Super Mario merch! What about a Super Mario T-Shirt or a cap?
Your merch is not in another castle
At the EMP online shop, you’ll find everything a Mario fan could want. Here you can have a good browse and buy Super Mario fan merch online from the comfort of your own home, maybe whilst enjoying a brew.
So, every day, at a convention or with fellow gamers and friends (and enemies) you can show your loyalty to your favourite hero. Unlike Mario, you don’t need to zig-zag through to find what you’re looking for. At the EMP online shop, you’re guaranteed to find the right Super Mario merch for you.