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Tuesday February 20, 2024

Why is Mario Nintendo's most important character?

Funny thing about Mario's significance to Nintendo is that Mario was initially made possible by Nintendo's inability to secure the Popeye licence

By Web Desk
March 11, 2023
Without a doubt, Mario is Nintendos most significant character.— AFP/file
Without a doubt, Mario is Nintendo's most significant character.— AFP/file

Super Mario Odyssey was released on October 27, 2017, for the Nintendo Switch. Although it is hard to imagine, this was almost five and a half years ago. We haven't got a true follow-up despite that five-year gap, and Nintendo hasn't felt any pressure to create a sequel or successor because Mario is such a successful franchise. 

Super Mario is well into a red-hot operational temperature and only requires a steady stream of fuel to remain incredibly effective. It functions like a huge steam boiler. Without a doubt, Mario is Nintendo's most significant character, and the executive editor of IGN Commerce would contend that nothing else comes close.

The funny thing about Mario's significance to Nintendo is that Mario was initially made possible by Nintendo's inability to secure the Popeye licence. Consider this for a moment: 

Olive Oyl, Popeye's love interest and rival with Bluto, changed to "Lady," and Popeye was replaced with a moustachioed commoner by the name of... Jumpman. Mario was never meant to be much more than a recognisable side character who would appear in upcoming Nintendo games as a theme running through all of the studio's creations.

While the hardware constraints at the time led to Mario's design, the moustache, red dungarees, and cap that resulted from those constraints now characterise Nintendo as a whole. Anyone with even a passing interest in video games could put the pieces together if you took any one component of that original design and showed it to its modern version. In Super Mario Odyssey, Mario's helmet alone became a supporting character. Will the next game centre around a sentient moustache? Hope is all we have.

Mario has more merchandise than any other Nintendo character. Not one Pokemon has the scope of Super Mario, despite the fact that Pokemon is a huge brand with tonnes of stuff. Mario's amazing range is a huge asset. Mario fits in wherever Nintendo puts him, whether it's in 2D or 3D, an RPG or sports, a kart race or a brother-smashing competition.

Undoubtedly, some of this is due to his low beginnings as a replacement sprite for a licence agreement gone wrong. Mario's character had a very limited past, which allowed for nearly endless character development. We had a "story" about Mario and his exploits in the Mushroom Kingdom, but Mario's primary incentive in video games was to accomplish a goal because he had no actual reason to jump over barrels and fires to get there.

Compare its open-endedness to Link, another of Ninteno's most well-known characters. Naturally, Link appears in Super Smash Bros. and Mario Kart, but Link is and will always be a different version of the "Hero of Time" in all of the Legend of Zelda games. Although he is a fantastic character with a level of openness that allows players to use him as a stand-in for themselves, his adherence to certain conventions and tropes makes him less evident as a fit for radically experimental usage.

Mario Day

Mario Day is celebrated on March 10 each year and why is it Mario Day? Simply because it is written as "Mar10".

Mario is said to outsell other well-known rivals like Pokémon as the most popular video game franchise. More than 200 different games have included Mario.

Mario Day is a day to celebrate everyone who is a part of the Super Mario World universe, not just famous characters.

Since it honours the Mario franchise's continuing appeal, Mario Day has special significance in the gaming world.