The Complete Guide to All Things Mario: Part 1–History(Games)

August 17, 2008

Hey, everybody!  I am going to talk about Nintendo’s biggest gaming franchise, and the face of the company, Mario!!!  In this post, I’ll go over the games in the Mario series (not including the spinoffs, which I’ll save for later).

Mario Games

The character, Mario, has changed over time with new systems, technology, and graphics.  From his gaming debut, the arcade game Donkey Kong, where he is known as Jumpman, to the latest game, Super Mario Galaxy, Mario has sparked fun in every game he’s been in, new and old.  He has become known by his blue overalls, red M hat, white gloves, brown shoes, and his amazing mustache around the world.  Not bad for an Itallian plumber!

In this series of posts, I’m going to go over the major games, characters, enemies, spinoffs, history, powerups, his future, and everything you can imagine!  Also, I’m going to keep this updated, so when you look at it, it will be fully updated and in tune with any changes in the Mario universe.


Donkey Kong- Mario’s first appearence, although he wouldn’t be known as Mario until four years later, when his own series of games started.  He was known as Jumpman, and was a carpenter.  The Princess Peach was actually known as The Lady!  Anyways, Mario was the breakthrough Nintendo needed to get into the gaming market of America.  Shegiru Miyamoto designed the game with others help to be different than the usual game of the day.  He used cutscenes to advance an actual story, and made it fun, challenging, and different.  The story starts when Jumpman mistreats his pet, so he in turn steals Jumpman’s girl.  It’s up to him to save The Lady from the King Kong-like creature.  When you win, the game starts over, but harder.  Nintendo had trouble communicating the name Jumpman to Nintendo of America, so they named him Mario, after their landlord.  It was the perfect match, and the game became very popular.

Mario Bros.- In 1983, Nintendo released the first game in the mario bros. series, Mario Bros.  It didn’t have Donkey Kong, and was another arcade game.  The game was based around Mario and his brother Luigi, two plumbers, who fight enemies coming out of pipes.  It was later made a game playable on other home systems.

Super Mario Bros.- The video game market was dry when Miyamoto and Nintendo released another Mario game, Super Mario Bros., for the Nintendo NES.  It is the top bestselling game of all time, selling forty million copies!  It got two direct sequels, and is credited for making the NES popular.  It is a side-scrolling adventure, in which Princess Peach gets kidnapped by King Bowser.  Mario must fight his way through the Koopas and rescue the princess!  If two are playing, Luigi becomes the second character.  You must go through eight worlds, each with their own castle and boss battle.  This game set a lot of consistencies throughout the series, including collecting coins, jumping on enemies, kicking shells, hitting ? blocks, and more.

Super Mario Bros. 2- Super Mario Bros. 2, released in 1988 in the U.S., had some changes in the game.  You could play either Mario, Luigi, Princess Peach (who wasn’t captured this time!), and Toad.  By squating, your character would flash, and when you jumped, it would be extra high.  Also, you could actually pluck objects from the ground, and throw certain ones at enemies.  It also used a real life meter, in which if you collect hearts, you can be hurt multiple times without dying.  Anyways, the story goes when Mario has a dream where he here’s a voice telling him to save their kingdom from the evil Wart.  He talks to his friends, and they go on a picnic together.  They see a cave, enter, and go up a staircase and through a door like in Mario’s dream.  They see a completely new world, and must save it.

Super Mario Bros. 3- Super Mario Bros. 3, released in 1990 in the U.S., intoduced a map screen, powerups, enemies, minigames, and even Bowsers kids, the Koopalings.  This game is called one of the best of all time, and was even promoted by McDonalds!  Mario and Luigi must go through several worlds, rescuing kings in order to save Peach from Bowser.  In each castle, they fight a Koopaling (boss), and take back the kings magic wand.  This game, along with the other classic Mario games, have been remade for newer systems, and many are on the Wii’s virtual console.

Super Mario Land- Super Mario Land, released in 1989 for the gameboy, was very similar to the last two.  In this game, Mario must defeat Tatango, and save Princess Daisy.  There aren’t any other playable characters in this game, though.  Also, in a couple of levels, Mario rides a submarine and airplane that can shoot for the whole level.  Tatanga captures Daisy to marry her, and sends his minions to defeat him, some who pretend to be Daisy to fool Mario.  The game did OK because many thought that every game was almost exactly like the one before it, with only small changes and different stories.

Super Mario World- Super Mario World was bundled with the Super NES, and is the bestselling game for that system.  Released in 1991 in the U.S., it has been remade for the gameboy advance (like the other Mario games), and is popular on the virtual console for the Wii.  It was probably the biggest game thus far in the Mario series, and had secret exits, secret worlds, and lots of other secrets that made it fun to go through and play a second time around.

Super Mario Land 2- Released in 1992 for the Gameboy, Super Mario Land 2 was one of the largest games for the Gameboy.  It had secret zones, levels, exits, and even kept track how many enemies you killed.  It also was the first game to feature Wario.  It also had a few minigames, sort of like the old Kirby games.  It takes place after Super Mario Land.  When Mario leaves, Wario takes over and calls it Wario Land.  He brainwashes all of the creatures and makes them believe that Mario is evil.  Mario must collect all six coins to open Wario’s castle and defeat him.

Super Mario 64- Super Mario 64, released in 1996, was a revolution in the gaming history.  Instead of a 2D sidescrolling game, Super Mario 64 was a grand 3D adventure, and is the seventh best-selling game in the U.S.  It has been rereleased, remade for the DS, and is on the Wii’s virtual console.  A sequel was actually planned, but was cancelled eventually.  In this game, Princess Peach invites Mario over for cake, but when he gets there, he finds Bowser and his minions have captured her and have taken over the castle using the Power Stars they stole, and dispersed over the castle, and hidden in paintings that lead to other worlds.  Mario must get the stars, unlock more of the castle, search for hidden stars, and defeat Bowser multiple times to rescue Princess Peach.  This game is one of my faves, and it’s even better knowing even after you get Peach, there are still lots of stars you can go back and collect to completely finish the game.  It has a great storyline, fun, good challenges, and you really have to think to solve puzzles and challenges.  What makes it even better is that YOU get to decide where you want to go and what you want to do.  You can explore the castle, go to certain levels, replay certain levels, and have an amazing time doing it.

Super Mario Sunshine- Super Mario Sunshine, released in 2002, was the “sequel” to Super Mario 64, although they aren’t very alike.  Two sequels had been cancelled already: Super Mario 64 2, and Super Mario 128.  When Super Mario Sunshine came out, critics were definitely pleased, but didn’t think it was one of the best Mario games, like they had expected after waiting for six years.  It takes place in Isle Delfino, where Mario and Peach are taking a vacation after the events in Super Mario 64.  A character known as Shadow Mario comes, vandalizes the town, and blames it on Mario.  The sun sprites, the stars that give the island energy, go away.  He has to clean up, while going after Shadow Mario who has kidnapped Princess Peach, and collect the sun sprites.  The major theme in this game is the FLUDD, or the backpack Mario has.  He got it to help him clean up the graffiti and pollution, and uses it to get up high, go fast on land or water, break down doors, and many other actions.

New Super Mario Bros.- Released in 2006 for the DS, New Super Mario Bros. was like a blast from the past, only fresh and new.  It has the usual storyline, where Peach is kidnapped, and Mario must travel through eight worlds to rescue her.  It is very similar to the old games, with very similar controls, enemies, storyline, ect.  It is the bestselling DS game with only one version (unlike Nintendogs and Pokemon).

Super Mario Galaxy- Super Mario Galaxy, released in 2007, is one of the most stunning and mindblowing games on the Wii.  You can check my post on Super Mario Galaxy for more details and pics.  It takes place in outer space, after Bowser kidnaps Peach at a festival, and Mario is blasted into outer space.  He is rescued by Rosalina and her ship full of Lumas, or stars.  They say that Bowser stole the stars that powered the ship, and they are unable to fly, so they can’t reach Bowser to rescue her.  Mario must travel to different galaxies through the ships several observatories, collect stars in order to power the ship to rescue Princess Peach.  Again, for more details, visit my post on Super Mario Galaxy.  The game sold amazingly, and was the best rated Mario game since Super Mario 64, over ten years earlier.  A sequel has been mentioned, and at E3 2008, Shigeru Miyamoto, announced that the sequel is being worked on, along with Zelda and Pikmin.


Thank you for reading The Complete Guide to Mario: Part 1–History(Games).  Next time, I’ll go over all of the major and minor characters, followed by the enemies.  Stay tuned!

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