Japan – The most famous character of video game history has turned 30 years old and the Japanese giant Nintendo plans on celebrating the occasion with a special release of Super Mario Maker.
The red-capped plumber has become a star character of pop culture since its release in 1985 obtaining more than 310 million units sold through the years. In its original adventures, Mario comes to the rescue of Princess Peach, but the hero has also been inserted into formats featuring football, golf or karting. Nevertheless, the Italian has remain recognizable with his blue overalls, red cap and fulsome moustache.
“When Super Mario Bros. hit shelves, video games were in dire straits. Revenues were down nearly 97%, from $3.2 billion in 1983 to $100 million in 1985. Atari, which not long before had been the fastest growing company in U.S. history at the time, had filed for bankruptcy. And mall arcades were moving past their heyday” Fortune Magazine recalled.
Mario’s plain appearance is attributed to the limitations of the hardware at the time, with a limited number of pixels and restricted range of colors, but it has possibly helped increase his longevity in a competitive sector of entertainment.
“I drew him with a big nose and a mustache so that players could recognize his face. (At first) Mario wore a white shirt and red overalls so his arm movements would be clearly visible,” Mario’s creator Miyamoto said in an interview released by Nintendo.
As part of the 30 year anniversary, Nintendo is planning on going further on their Mario Bros Maker, which was a milestone for the franchise that allowed its players a more creative level of fun. Super Mario Maker is a game that explores on the learning aspect of video game, asking for creative exercise out of its users. They will be provided with all the items needed to create a unique full game resembling the Super Mario usual challenges.
Nintendo has released a new patch for Wii U that now includes the play-to-unlock approach instead of the usual timed unlocks. Until now, players could bypass the time locks by changing the date setting of their Wii U consoles. With the new release, players will no longer be able to do so but will have to play to gain access through the time restrictions, said Irish Examiner.
Arab Mario Bros.
A Syrian artist named Samir al-Mutfi has created a version of Super Mario Bros. video game simulating the Syrian conflict. The “Syrian Super Mario” reflects a dangerous journey over borders and across seas. The character grabs a suitcase, withdraws his savings and attempts to flee to safety facing armed soldiers who solicit bribes in his way to the refugee camp.