We’ve all played or seen the games – the Mario series is one of the most famous series in the entire world and the Mario Bros characters are no less famous. Being a pioneer of the gaming world, they’ve been seen on items around the world such as games, clothing, coffee tables, memorabilia, and now – amusement and theme parks. With his first appearance in Donkey Kong, Mario began shedding light in the world of gaming in 1981. Starring in the franchise owned by Nintendo, Mario has been seen in over 200 games since the launch of his character.
Hailing from the Mushroom Kingdom, his goal during his adventures revolve around the wonderful Princess Peach – who’s kidnapped by Bowser. If you’ve ever played Super Mario, you’d know that you have to battle all sorts of creatures and use the surrounding ground to aid in your journey. Along with health mushrooms and Yoshi as your second set of legs, Mario’s brother Luigi helps assist him with his mission in saving Princess Peach.
Of course, all of the Mario Bros characters characters like Bowser, Waluigi, Mario, Princess Peach, Daisy, and dozens more come together to race against each other in the infamous Mario Kart series. Although, there are other sports series featuring the clan including Mario Golf and Mario Tennis. Don’t forget about the wonderful role playing games like Paper Mario, and the RPG Super Mario that was released alongside the educational games Nintendo has released.
Is His Name JUST Mario?
You may be wondering, “but what’s Mario’s last name?” After all, he’s a highly-respected plumber – so people MUST know it right? Unfortunately, they hadn’t released his last name for decades. I know, I know – you must be thinking, “who trusts a plumber that doesn’t reveal his last name? He sooo wouldn’t get approved on Angie’s List!” However, after the 80’s, there was a rumour about his last night being “Mario”; yes, “Mario Mario”. Once denied, it hadn’t been brought up again until after the creator’s death in 2015 in which they confirmed his name was “Mario Mario”. It’s easy to remember if you’re trying to pass his name along via word of mouth to those with troubled toilets.
Who’s His Hunky Brother?
Taller in stature and his companion in most, if not all games – is Luigi. “Wait, so is his name Luigi Mario?” It would make sense, right? In a similar situation to his brother Mario, no one had confirmed it, although in 1993, that weird live-action Mario movie with John Legazamo had seen his name as Luigi Mario. It wasn’t confirmed until 2015, in that same year, that he was indeed named Luigi Mario. Sounds more believable than Mario Mario, right?
Where Do Their Physical Attributes Come From?
When video games were first released, they didn’t exactly look like The Witcher 3 or Battlefield One with graphics. In fact, the only reason Mario looks as he does is BECAUSE there were a lack of pixels and access to better tools. Because he was so pixelated in early games, his suspenders, mustache, and hat were all put on his character so the pixels wouldn’t become too blurred and you couldn’t tell what was his face. His mustache allows his face to be clearly defined, his suspenders allow his arms and body to be clearly defined and his hat and hair allow you to see where his head ends. The story of him being a plumber was created off of this, and Luigi was born due to a color palette swap when they had a little more access to better tools.
Luigi was first seen a few years later in 1985 after they were able to change the color palette a bit. While identical in structure and appearance, they decided to make him into a new playable Mario Brothers character post-wild success.
There’s A Lovebug in Town
Okay, so with any good story in any game, there’s a love interest. We’ve seen this virtually every video game, whether they directly mention it or not. In this game series, the plumber is trying to save the Princess, correct? So, who’s Luigi’s love interest? Miss Daisy herself. Although not in as many games as the brothers and peach, Princess Daisy has been seen in over 56 games. She was first seen in 1989, four years after her lover made his debut. Hailing as a princess from Sarasaland, outside of the infamous Mushroom kingdom, she’s in the same situation as Princess Peach – she’s been kidnapped by a character from Mario Bros named Tatanga.
Who Are Their Friends?
Along their forty-year journey, the Mario brothers have met a lot of people on the way – dozens, if you will. In this journey, they meet more than Peach and Daisy; they meet Yoshi and friends, Rosalina, Bowser, Waluigi and his sidekick, and many more.
While not the first friend they meet, Rosalina plays a HUGE role in the Super Mario Galaxy games as an NPC (non-playable Mario Bros characters). While it’s a newer game in comparison with the franchise, she lives within the Comet Observatory – the world inside the game. Good ‘ole bowser had attacked her observatory, and left her stranded in the galaxy without any type of power. Mario’s goal is to help her repower the observatory, but in return, he assists him in his journey to save Peach from Bowser yet again. We know, we know – she’s like Ashley in Resident Evil 4 – she just KEEPS getting kidnapped!
If you’ve ever played the second Super Mario Galaxy, you’d know that the Cosmic Witch has a striking resemblance to Rosalina, but she doesn’t appear until later on when Mario is done defeating the rude creature Bowser himself. She’s also noted as an unlockable character in the Mario Bros WiiU game: Super Mario 3D World.
Toad and Toadette
Toadette is the female version of Toad (duh), and makes an appearance in a plethora of spin-off games that Mario has been featured in. These games include Mario Kart, and Mario Party. If you’ve ever played Mario Kart: Double Dast! On Gamecube, you might have seen her as Toad’s counterpart in their racing adventures. Those who have dabbled into Mario Party6 or 8 have seen Toadette as a non-playable Mario character. It wasn’t until Mario Party 10 where you could actually unlock Toadette and begin using her as a playable Mario Brothers character.
If you’re cultured in the international versions of this Mario Bros character, you know that Birdo is known as Catherine in Japan. She’s adorably pink and is a anthromorphic creature. She has a big red, and very distinct bow on top of her head and she even shoots eggs of fire! First appearing as a bold enemy to Mario in a heavily Japanese version of the game, Yume Kojo: Doki Doki Panic, you may have seen this in America in the English version known as: Super Mario Bros. 2. Yes, it sounds much better in Japanese terms than it does English. She’s been a consistent reoccurring character in many of the spin-off games, and has been quite a hit.
Notable as Donkey Kong’s friend, Diddy Kong is also seen in Mario games. However, Donkey Kong is who Mario needs to thank. Since Mario originally first appeared in a Donkey Kong game, and blew up from there, Donkey Kong is an important character. Also an anthromorphic, Donkey Kong is a type of gorilla that has been seen in numerous franchises across the board in both DK and Mario. Being one of his first opponents in the entire game series, he has remained a pivotal character for Mario, and is playable in quite a few spin offs include Super Smash Bros and Mario Kart. You may also recognize him from their battle games such as Mario vs. Donkey Kong.
Name Thy Enemies…
Bowser as an enemy is no secret, but with the amount of spin offs there are of the game and side games, there are a TON more enemies that should be named. Whether you know Waluigi from Mario Kart or not, you’re still missing out on a number of his non-allies. Mario and Luigi have a plethora of enemies including:
The primary enemy from the brother’s game: Mario & Luigi: Dream Team. From the nightmare/Bat species, his latest appearance as a villain includes Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam. While only a cameo, they still weren’t on the greatest of terms. Antasma’s eyes are on the prize of the Dark Stone, which he had stolen. He wasn’t always a villain, though, as he was a normal bat on the beautiful Pi’illo Island – until the nightmares of the island preyed on him.
Okay, so we know all about Bowser and him stealing the princess, right? Bowser Jr. is the little cute demon spawn of Bowser himself. The Jr was first seen in Super Mario Sunshine, and doesn’t say or do much other than to follow his father. Being in a number of spin offs including Mario Kart (as a sidecar character to his father or playable Mario Brothers character), he has no interest in anything other than providing service to his father and doing everything in his power to do what his father wants.
Another character from the aforementioned Mario Bros series, Mario & Luigi, he’s one of the most psychotic villains in the game. However, he’s not the great and powerful one, as he’s typically the sidekick. Who knows, maybe this is why Fawful is so crazy – but he first appeared in the Superstar Saga as a servant sidekick to Cackletta. Much like the Little Mermaid, Cackletta and Fawful took away Princess Peach’s voice in order to wake up the Beanstar for wish granting.
Ahh, that little crazy wizard Kamek. Kamek is a type of Magikoopa that is basically the many (man + nanny) of Bowser when he was a child. Acting as a caretaker to him many moons ago, he’s actually an enemy to one of Mario’s greatest friends: Yoshi. In return, he’s obviously an enemy to Mario, especially since he worked in a household that was SO against Mario’s love interest… He’s a very magical being, and can do quite a bit of magic including teleportation and duplication of himself. You may have seen him in Partners in Time, Yoshi Touch and Go, and even Super Princess Peach as a main boss.
Speaking of Koopa, Kammy is an elder of the Magikoopa race, and is also a caretaker or babysitter of sorts to Bowser in specific video games. You may have seen him babysitting that gremlin in one or two Paper Mario games. Kammy Koopa is a female, contrary to popular belief, and is even in the infamous Thousand-Year Door. Known as one of the weirdest Mario Bros characters in the entire franchise, she’s also one of the most underrated – or so we thought.
Yes, this Kid has relation to Kammy Koopa, but is seen as minions to Mister Gremlin himself: Bowser (We feel like this is a rich family or two rich families that aid each other in conquering the kingdom, like in the real world or like the Prescotts in Life is Strange. As long as winning or money is involved the other evil party will assist other evil in winning). You may have only seen them in the first Mario Party series, and that’s it.
Rounding Up the Anti-Heroes…
Wait, aren’t these enemies? Sort-of, but if you’re looking to get technical…anti-heroes sums them up perfectly. If you’re wondering what exactly an “anti-hero” is, they’re pretty much arch-rivals of Mario or Luigi in some way, without kidnapping and harming anyone. We wouldn’t say they’re directly related to Bowser, or on that level, which is why they aren’t a hero, but someone going against the hero and the “establishment” of the Patriarchy government that Bowser holds over the kingdom so well.
If you thought he was primarily Mario’s rival, you’re sadly mistaken. In fact, Waluigi is another plumber looking type of Mario Brothers character that’s actually against Mario’s brother, Luigi (hence the name). Practically an evil Luigi, his sidekick Wario (yes, like Mario but with a W), accompanies him in a variety of games. You may have seen them in Mario Kart, the primary Mario series, and even Mari Tennis. He likes to create havoc amongst the coveted Mushroom Kingdom using hypnosis through Music Keys.
You guessed it! He’s the arch rival of Mario, and is shorter and plumper in stature, just like Mario. First seen in 1992 during Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins, he’s the epitome of the opposite and literally defines ‘bad’ in Japanese. Being a primary anti-hero in games like Warioware and Wario Land, you may have also seen him in a specific Kirby game. Yes, he does look like Spike, but isn’t him – we promise! More like a characiture of Mario himself, he also wreaks havoc upon the world of the Mushroom Kingdom using bombs. While he is portrayed as villainous, it was noted by the development sector of Nintendo that he isn’t really a villain, and it wasn’t their intention to create him in such a light. Because of his quick-alternating behavior, he’s an anti-hero and one of the more confusing Mario Bros characters at times. Because of this abundance of information and him being an arch-rival of the main good character, you’d think he’d be the primary, but Waluigi may be a bit more known.
Back to the Superstar
Now that you have a rundown on primary Mario Bros characters, heroes, and the anti-villains, you may be wondering more about the personal life of mister Mario Mario himself. Known original as a 2D sprite, as mentioned before, he lives with his brother Luigi in the coveted Mushroom Kingdom. Although, you may have heard television state that they’re plumbers who originate from Brooklyn. While we don’t know much about Mario’s childhood, we do see him as a baby in Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island. Both of the brothers play babies in another game: Partner’s in Time, that we’ve mentioned briefly in this article.
Mario and his brother are both plumbers, as noted millions of times on the internet, although this goes against his occupation in his original debut of Donkey Kong, where he was a carpenter. While he has had numerous occupations over the span of the entire game series, you may have also seen him has a doctor, archaeologist, an athlete, and even a race car driver. While the general hobby is saving Princess Peach, we’re sure he has a bit more dimension than that (no pun intended).
Twins? Or Just Brothers…
The quick answer is: they’re fraternal twin brothers, which is why they’re inseparable when two are being played, and they dress so similarly. The aforementioned may be why Wario and Waluigi exist as the bad versions of them – twins in a not-so-parallel dimension. Anything can happen in the world of Mario and the Mushroom Kingdom.
Mario’s Kick-Butt Abilities
Primarily known as “Jumpman” in Donkey Kong, it was established pretty early on that one of his primary abilities was to jump rather high for the plump short man that he is. As a back story, NPC (non-playable Mario Bros characters) asked Mario to jump in order to confirm that he was who he said he was. With all of the magic in the land, they couldn’t be too sure.
Mario has a plethora of power-ups throughout the entire game series including the original hammer that you may have seen in Donkey Kong. The three basic power ups included in the original games included: the super mushroom, Starman, and Fire Flower. If you’ve ever played the original Super Mario (and let’s be real, who hasn’t), then you have most definitely seen all three of these. The Super Mushroom turns him into a taller being, allowing him to jump places that he normally wouldn’t be able to because of gaps, the Starman which made him invincible for a short duration, and the Fire Flower, which put him in another type of suit and he could shoot fireballs to deplete enemies of their health or to break blocks and walls that were in his way.
Depending on the other games you’ve played, you may have seen another quite popular power-up of his that allowed him to flight. While he didn’t flap his wings like a bird, he wore a jumpsuit that allowed him to glide through the air.
If you’ve ever wanted to see an older short and fat plumber turn into a cute racoon, you can find it in Super Mario Bros: 3, where the Super Leaf would grant him a racoon suit, also known as the Tanooki Suit. With origins in Japanese from the racoon dog, this suit was adorable and allowed Mario to be that much more powerful with this ability.
These aren’t the only power-ups, as Nintendo has increasingly provided power-ups throughout new games that they have released with Mario in it. While they all paid tribute to original power-ups, some newer, revamped power-ups included the Ice Flower, which is the exact opposite of the infamous Fire Flower ability. The aforementioned Ice Flower ability allowed him to shoot ice at people, freezing enemies in their tracks so he could get by safely in dangerous areas. Other newer abilities include the Propeller Mushroom, and the Penguin Suit.
Let’s not forget Mario’s Boomerang Flower, which enabled Mario to be able to throw boomerangs at enemies to take them down. If you’ve ever played the 3D world of Super Mario, you may have noticed new abilities like the Super Bell and Double Cherry. Specifically, the Super Bell allowed him to turn into a cat (which a lot of girls now-a-days wish they had), and the Double Cherry, which allowed him to self-duplicate much like Kammy Koopa. While Kammy isn’t in this game, he pays homage to one of his long-time enemies with that slap-in-the-face.
In the End…
Mario always wins (if you finished the game), and his critically reception has been astounding, despite how simplistic his abilities and the playstyle of games are. His brother is his partner in crime and they always put princesses and toilets first – ahead of themselves.