It’s that time of year again, Mar10! The day we get to celebrate all the fun Mario games, merchandise, and Nintendo culture! So, to celebrate this epic day we are taking a look at 10 fun facts about our favorite little plumber and the franchise.

Mario Wasn’t Always His Name

Mario’s first appearance in video games came with Donkey Kong. But did you know that the character you played as wasn’t known as Mario. His name was, Jumpman! When Nintendo brought the game the US, they tried to find a better name for him. They settled on Mario after they were interrupted by their landlord, Mario Segale.

The Many Careers of Mario

Fans of the series know Mario best as a plumber. But many don’t know that he has had many different jobs over the years. In the original Donkey Kong, he was a carpenter followed by his stint as a doctor in Dr. Mario. But it doesn’t stop there. Mario has been a tennis pro, a golf pro, a racing pro, an artist, a toy maker, and even a theme park owner. The list honestly seems pretty endless.

Mario Isn’t Alone in the World…Technically

I am not talking about his colorful cast of friends or even his enemies, though they do help fill what seems to be a pretty empty world. But did you know that the Mushroom Kingdom wasn’t always the vast empty wasteland it is today. In fact, when the Koopas invaded they turned all of its inhabitants into the floating blocks! Makes you think twice now when you are just smashing your way through a level.

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Ghostly Boo Was Inspired by a Woman

Ghostly Boo, one of my favorite enemies, was inspired by the wife of co-game designer Takashi Tezuka. She was always a quiet and demure woman but one day blew up on Tezuka about the amount of time he was staying away from home to work on the game. Therefore, he designed Ghostly Boo to be shy when Mario and friends are facing them but grow menacing when they look away.

Mario and Luigi Have Had the Same Voice Actor for 25 Years

They may only say a few words, but nothing is more iconic than, “Its-a me, a Mario!”. And the voice that brought the line to life in America is none other than voice actor Charles Martinet. He has been voicing the duo since 1995 and continues to do it today along with other characters from the franchise. Martinet has voiced Mario in over 100 video games and doesn’t look to be stopping anytime soon.

Mario Was a Bad Guy!

Mario may be Nintendo’s fan boy, but at one point he was the bad guy. That’s right! In Donkey Kong Jr, Mario kidnaps and keeps Donkey Kong locked up in a cage. With the roles reversed, Donkey Kong Jr. must set out to free his father from the evil Mario. To make him look even more menacing, game designers styled his iconic mustache to look menacing.

The opening scene for Donkey Kong Jr.

Mario Isn’t From NYC

Fans of the cartoons and movie may think that Mario and Luigi are two brothers from NYC (I mean just listen for that accent). But according to Nintendo the two brothers, who are twins, were born in the Mushroom Kingdom. At the very end of Yoshi’s Island, a stork drops off the two bundles of joy to a toadstool house.

Bowser is a Turtle!

When Mario was initially released, there was a lot of speculation of what animal Bowser actually was. Nintendo confirmed that he is, of course a turtle, but that wasn’t always true. Initial sketches of the character from game designer Shigeru Miyamoto actually portray him as an ox. In animation, Yoichi Kotabe mistook him for a turtle. The two worked together to mix the two ideas together.

Mario’s First Live Action Portrayal Was Done by a Wrestler

Before the Super Mario Bros film found its way into our homes in the early 90s, there was the first live action portrayal of Mario on television. Captain Lou Albano a professional wrestler stared as the red clad plumber in Super Mario Bros. Super Show. The idea was simple. Kids loved Nintendo and kids loved wrestling. So why not bring the two together? The series also featured cameos from Rowdy Roddy Piper and Sgt. Slaughter.

Be Sure to Thank Popeye

When Nintendo originally started designing Donkey Kong, they wanted the main protagonist to be nonother than Popeye. However, due to licensing issues they were unable to use him. This led to the creation of Jumpman who would later take on the name of Mario. Had Popeye been available for use, things might have been very different for Nintendo.

Mario excited and fist pumping.

What other exciting facts do you have for Mar10 Day? Let us know on Twitter and in the comments below.

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Julia Roth
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