The History of Mario: From Donkey Kong to Super Mario Galaxy 2


It sounds like a fairytale. In the early eighties
A small italian plumber met an unknown but ambitious gaming company called nintendo.
Nintendo seemed to really like this guy with his italian accent and wild mustache and offered
him a once in a lifetime career opportunity. Mario decided to work only for nintendo from
now on. Three decades later he became the most successful franchise in gaming history.
But how was this possible, let’s find out! The first time Mario appeared was in the year
1981 in the arcade game classic Donkey Kong. In this game Mario had to rescue a damsel
in distress called Pauline, who was kidnapped by Donkey Kong. If you think this story sounds
like a typical mario story, it may surprise you, that this game originally wasn’t created
for Mario. It was created for Popeye, the Sailorman. One year earlier Nintendo planned to release
an arcade-game, where Popeye had to rescue his kidnapped girl friend Olive Oyl out of
the hands of a bully called Bluto. But Nintendo wasn’t able to get the license to publish
a Popeye-game, so Shigeru Miyamoto the responsible game designer was instructed to exchange the
characters. And Miyamoto created instead of Bluto – a giant ape called Donkey Kong,
instead of Olive Oyl a blond girl called Pauline and of course instead of Popeye, he created
Jumpman. But wait, who is Jumpman? Well Mario was not always known as Mario.
Until he got his actual name, Mario had two other names: Mr. Video, while Donkey Kong
was developed and Jumpman when the game was released. So while Mario didn’t have his (ei) iconic
name in the first adventure, he wore a very similar outfit to the one he wears today.
Surprisingly: Mario’s outfit had nothing to do with the weird things people wore in
the eighties. It had to do with the strict graphical limitations of the arcade hardware:
Miyamoto clothed Mario in red and blue, because this colors contrasted each other and the
background clearly. He gave Mario a mustache and a red cap, because this was easier for
him to create than a mouth and a hairstyle. Finally Miyamoto created Marios big nose,
so Mario became the unique, distinctive game-character we all know today. And Donkey Kong became a very successful game.
It sold 100.000 units worldwide, so Nintendo earned 280 Million dollars. Unsurprisingly:
Nintendo made a sequel one year later: Donkey Kong Jr. But while nowadays hardly anybody
remembers this game, we can be sure Mario remembers: Because Donkey Kong Jr was the
only game, where Mario was the bad guy – he held Donkey Kong captured in a cage – and
more important in this game he finally got his actual name: Mario, named after Mario
Segale, the landlord of the Nintendo of America headquarters. So the early eighties were a good time for
Mario. In 1983 he got his first job as a plumber in Brooklyn – New York. Mario also met his
younger fraternal twin-brother – Luigi, for the first time. The brothers investigated
the sewers of New York after strange creatures appeared their. Together they had to fight
native sewer monsters like shellcreepers. And the Mario brothers were so successful
in beating these creatures that Nintendo named a video game after them: Mario Bros. After that Nintendo was impressed by Marios
skills, in fact so impressed, that the company decided in 1985, that the plumber was ready
for a new mission. A mission – even harder than to clean up New Yorks sewers: The plumber
should help to sell Nintendos new gaming-console: the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES). And Mario did a great job: His first home
title, Super Mario Bros sold more than 40 million copies and was the best selling video
game until 2006. The NES became also the best-selling console of its generation with 60 million
units sold. But why was the whole world so crazy about
Super Mario? Well there were many reasons: First of all
– Super Mario Bros revolutionized platform games, it was based on a side-scrolling-technology
– before that platformers were limited to a static screen. The players made new, breathtaking
experiences like walking on clouds or swimming in water. The whole game looked awesome and
maybe had the most recognizable music in gaming- history. But the most important reason was:
Super Mario Brothers was the first game, that had the typical Mario feeling. Like today, players had to jump on the heads
of Goombas, Koopa Troopas and Hammer Bros to rescue Princess Peach from Bowser. Super
Mario Bros. also introduced useful Power Ups like the Super Star and the Super Mushroom,
which transformed Mario into Super Mario. And while the NES-cartridges didn’t have
much storage – the clouds and bushes in Super Mario Bros. are actually the same sprite in
different colors – Nintendo was able to create a timeless and colourful graphic-style. Thanks to this game: Super Mario became Nintendos
strongest brand in history. And because Super Mario became such a strong brand, the japanese
company made some very controversial decisions: They put Mario in a white shirt and blue pants
to sell their golf simulation. They made him sit on a referee chair to sell their tennis
game. They even made him invisible to sell their formula one game. So it was no surprise, that after some time,
players got a little bit impatient – and asked for a real Mario game again. Luckily: For
christmas 1988 – three long years after Super Mario Bros. – Nintendo released the sequel
Super Mario Bros. 2 in the U.S. But when the game was released many players were not sure,
what to think about the new look and the different gameplay. In Super Mario Bros. 2 the players had to
pluck vegetables from the ground and throw them at enemies. While some gamers liked this
idea and also liked the possibility to choose between four characters Mario, Toad, Peach
or Luigi. Others criticized the antagonist Wart, an evil frog, and the new enemies like
shy guys, bob ombs and birdos. But why was Super Mario Bros. 2 so different
from his prequel? Well, Super Mario Bros 2. originally was not
a mario game. Actually Super Mario Bros. 2 was just an overworked version of a japanese
game called „Yume Kōjō: Doki Doki Panic“, where the four characters Imajin, Lina, Mama
and Papa had to save the twins Piki and Poki. Nintendo took the original game and changed
its look, story and characters, to sell this game under the mario brand on the U.S.-market.
A clever idea: Super Mario Bros. 2 sold more than 10 million copies. But only two years later the huge success
of Super Mario Bros.2 was exceeded by Super Mario Bros. 3, which sold nearly 20 million
units. No wonder, that Super Mario Bros. 3 ranks among the best Mario games ever created. Since Super Mario Bros. 3 gamers could play
as Frog-mario and Tanookie-mario. Interestingly there were many young enemies in the game
like Baby Bloopers and micro gumbas. Even Bowser had seven kids in Super Mario Bros.
3. There are assumptions that the game developer Shigeru Miyamoto created so much kid enemies
for this game, because he himself became father at this time. But we don’t know for sure. What we know for sure is that times became
harder for Mario in the early nineties. That was not only thanks to wario, who appeared
as marios new antagonist in the Gameboy game Super Mario Land 2, and also not due to these
fearsome little fellows who sadly never made it into any other mario game. It was mainly because of Sonic the hedgehog,
Segas new mascot, whom gamers seemed to like as much as Mario. Sonic was named Sonic, because he was able
to run at supersonic speed. This ability was given to him by sega to demonstrate the power
of their new 16-bit console: the Mega Drive. And after Sega convinced many kids in the
early nineties to buy a Mega Drive, Nintendo had to answer and they answered with the Super
Nintendo and Super Mario World. But was Super Mario World good enough to beat
Sonic the hedgehog? If we look at the number of games sold, we
can say: Yes it beat Sonic the hedgehog. But Marios success was only possible because the
game included – like the other mario games before – tons of groundbreaking ideas: In
Super Mario World Mario learned to spin attack, to break blocks beneath him, he found new
items like the cape feather or the power balloon and for the first time in his life Mario was
able to ride on T. Yoshisaur Munchakoopas, his very best friend, also known as Yoshi. So while the game was getting very positive
critics, there were some segafans, that criticised the slow speed of Mario. But who says, that
Mario could never be as fast as Sonic? All that Mario needed was a kart beneath his feet.
Luckily Nintendo released the first Super Mario Kart in 1992. A game that worked exactly
the same way as today: You choose a class, you choose a driver, you wonder why yoshi
never pulls back his tonge, you choose a cup race and then you wait for a red shell: Good
Bye Toad. The only thing different from todays Mario
Kart, was the fact, that all racing tracks in Super Mario Kart had to be flat, because
the hardware couldn’t simulate height. Four years later Nintendo solved this problem in
Mario Kart 64 because – their new console – the Nintendo 64 was able to create 3D-graphics. And the technology was not only used for Mario
Kart, it also changed the Super Mario Series: With the release of Super Mario 64 in 1996
Nintendo revolutionised the platform genre. For the first time players were able to explore
an open mario-world, where their plumber wasn’t forced to follow a linear path. Super Mario
64 also included more puzzles than earlier Mario games. With this concept Nintendo defined
the way 3-D Jump and Runs work until today, exactly like Super Mario Bros. defined 2D
sidescrolling platformers in the eighties. So before we end our history of Mario lets
take a short look at the Mario-titles, that were released after the 3-D revolution. In
Super Mario Sunshine for the Gamecube the plumber took his first vacation on the tropical
island Delfino, but couldnt enjoy his vacation, because a villain, known as shadow mario appeared
and plastered the whole island with graffiti. And in Super Mario Galaxy and his sequel Super
Mario Galaxy 2 for the Wii our plumper had to travel between galaxies to release Princess
Peach out of bowsers hands. If we look back and compare the story of Super
Mario Galaxy 2 with the story of the first mario adventure Donkey Kong it seems that
nothing has changed in Marios life. He still tries to rescue his beloved princess. But
if we look at the franchise itself we can see the real revolution, that took place in
the last thirty years of video gaming. Oh, and there is a last shocking story, that
i forgot to tell you. During the thirtieth anniversary of Super Mario in 2012 the game
developer Shigeru Miyamoto stated, that Marios full name is Mario Mario and Luigis full name
is Luigi Mario. And thats why everyone calls them the Mario brothers. I hope you enjoyed the video, if you enjoyed
the video leave me a thumbs up and maybe you feel especially historical today and want
to hit the subscribe button as well. I hope you have a wonderful day and to see you soon.


100 Responses

  1. Nevan Webb

    June 6, 2016 4:55 am

    Hey I Heard You Were Playing Some Levels So Just Thought I'd Give You This Awesome Challenging Level!
    Trampoline & Doughnut Parkour" B7AC-0000-01BC-91A3

  2. Team Awesomeness

    June 8, 2016 1:13 pm

    actually,ceave,jumpan was mario's father and pauline is mario's mother. also,the donkey kong from the game "donkey kong" is now known as cranky kong.

  3. Small Tiger

    June 8, 2016 5:49 pm

    Did you know that if you put a piranha plant in a bullet bill launcher it does not shoot out anything. So Mario can't get those lovely lives from all those coins

  4. Gaming Goblin

    June 8, 2016 7:25 pm

    Ceave I've been subscribed when you had 34 subs if it was ok with you could you play my level 4DBC-0000-0252-52D3
    And 40C7-0000-0251-C37B

  5. Frederick

    June 9, 2016 1:51 pm

    I have a theory.
    Donkey Kong(or "Cranky Kong") is Jumpman's(Mario's "Father") class bully, and when he heard that Jumpman was getting married to Pauline, D(IC)K grabbed Pauline and started climbing up a WIP Building and started teasing Jumpman.

  6. Aethus

    June 10, 2016 1:22 am

    Makes me sad because I love the history of Mario, but you never mentioned Super Mario RPG, which is the first time Mario has ever teamed up with Bowser, and also the second time Peach has been on an adventure.

  7. Cryokine

    June 11, 2016 1:14 am

    "Ground breaking ideas…" Hahaha. You show a clip of the smashers that smash the ground and Mario spinjumping on the turn blocks. Clever.

  8. Fission1H

    June 12, 2016 11:10 pm

    What about Yoshi's Island and Super Mario RPG and Superstar Saga and Bowser's Inside Story and Partners in Time? Luigi's Mansion series, Mario is Missing, Doctor Mario… There's a lot more.

  9. KarmaStar

    June 20, 2016 12:10 am

    your still missing some games. 3D land, 3D world, and more. Im not trying to criticize but still. missing a lot of titles bro!

  10. Jordan Griffin

    June 27, 2016 7:25 pm

    when u said groundbreaking a platform smashed against the ground
    was that joke intentional

  11. A completely normal youtuber

    January 5, 2017 4:59 pm

    And that's why dr. Mario is called dr. Mario because Mario is called Mario Mario

  12. Aaron Baker

    February 26, 2017 2:52 pm

    DON'T FORGET KILL THE PLUMBER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  13. The blue zoura

    May 17, 2017 12:59 am

    i honestly like sonic better i have a sega genisis but noo nes or snes i like sonic alot more

  14. CockroachTheFoul

    May 25, 2017 2:01 pm

    His mother's name is Mama Mia Mario, and his father's name is Papa Pia Mario.
    I'm not kidding.

  15. Woomy 125

    July 3, 2017 4:03 pm

    just to know jump is not Mario in the end Jumpman dies but ay thats how the vid is goin so who cares if Jumpman is Mario or not

  16. Mario fan 13648

    March 14, 2018 4:32 pm

    A nover part of the story is super mario odasty what jumbled them all together good work netendo

  17. ZerbaNation45

    July 3, 2018 3:47 am

    If I made this video:

    Talks about Super Mario Bros.

    Talks about Super Mario Bros. 3

    FANS: "What about Super Mario Bros. 2?"


  18. 9090fighter

    August 12, 2018 12:25 am

    Ehhhh.. Sonic isn’t as popular as it was now.. still Sega and Nintendo collaborate for the Olympic games

  19. Pinguino del Rio

    August 18, 2018 4:48 am

    Funny thing is, in the original Donkey Kong, while Mario didn’t have a name yet, Pauline didn’t have one either. Mario was called Jumpman, and Pauline was just called Lady.

  20. Damn this is a Bad Name

    October 13, 2018 1:49 pm


    2018 people: fOrTnItE aNd UnDeRtAlE iS tHe BeSt!

  21. coco cat is an idiot

    October 19, 2018 10:36 pm

    I'm pretty sure SMB3 was released in 1988, the same year as SMB2… I may be wrong, though.

    EDIT: Apparently, in Europe, SMB3 came out in 1990.

  22. Gengarzilla

    March 11, 2019 3:00 pm

    People, please drop the rubbish "Jumpman is Mario's dad" theory. Nintendo is the final authority on these things and they've said it's the same person. Let it die like every other falsehood already.

  23. Tony Lomeli

    June 5, 2019 4:39 am

    If you ask me super Mario Galaxy is one of the best games and its on the Wii I worship the wii

  24. Nocberry

    August 8, 2019 8:15 pm

    At least one thing they did correct in the movie… the names… Mario Mario and Luigi Mario.
    But i have to say, the movie maybe trash, but i still like it xD

  25. K W

    October 2, 2019 8:24 pm

    9:04 yeah, but Sonics definitely faster, heck, he's the fastest thing alive! (I'm more of a sonic fan now.)


Leave a Reply