The Mushroom Kingdom is full of great characters and some are the most famous faces in videogaming. However, we're going to give a bit of love to the unsung heroes of Mario's world. These are the guys who might not get the same amount of attention as the likes of Mario, Luigi, Bowser and Wario but deserve bigging up. So here's our eight unsung heroes. Take a look and let us know if there's anyone you think we have missed out!
Most gamers love Toad, that cheeky chap with the strangely gruff voice. Some even like Toadette, even though she looks just like Toad with some pink mushroom braids. But poor old Toadsworth, despite being one of the smartest characters in the series, rarely gets a look in. It's a shame, but nerds never get the love they deserve.
Wart was the ruler of Subcon, the dream world that was the setting for Super Mario Bros. 2. He was a tough cookie with one weakness - he hated the taste of vegetables. Some well-aimed turnips in the mouth and Wart was defeated. It's been 21 years now and Wart's still never returned, maybe because he was never a 'real' Mario character - he was left over from the Japanese version of the game, Doki Doki Panic.
Another Super Mario Bros 2 character, Pidgit was a pigeon with a vicious attack pattern. It would fly forwards and backwards high above Mario on a magic carpet, then swoop down every now and then to try and do the poor chap damage. When you eventually beat Pidgit and claim the carpet for yourself, it seems a great deal harder to control. This can only mean one thing: Pidgit in fact a supernatural demon ninja.
We'll give Tatanga credit for one thing. While Bowser was always trying to kidnap Peach, he was the only one bored enough to go for Daisy instead. Daisy's a bit rubbish but a princess is a princess so Mario had to go and beat Tatanga and rescue her anyway. Bizarrely, the final battle with the weird little purple devil dude was a side-scrolling shooter with Mario in the Sky Pop. We want Tatanga back!
We know Birdo does get more exposure than the other characters in this section (he's showed up in a few Mario spin-offs), but she/he's still not as popular as we'd like. There's always room for a bizarre cross-dressing dinosaur character in the Mushroom Kingdom, and though attempts have since been made to cover it up, we'll always remember this quote from the Super Mario Bros. 2 manual: "He thinks he is a girl".
Another character who, like Birdo, does get his face shown a lot but never really gets his share of the limelight like Goombas and Koopa Troopas do. For the last 24 years Lakitu has been swooping around on his cloud performing his fair share of both good and nasty deeds. Whether he's chucking Spinies or helping the player with the camera in Super Mario 64, he's always been a hard worker.
We're not entirely sure at which point the sport of American football was introduced to the Mushroom Kingdom, but these Koopas decided to take to it like a Cheep-Cheep to water. Appearing in Super Mario World, they would do everything to stop Mario reaching the goal, from charging at him to chucking American footballs. And then they never appeared again.
The Baby Penguin
One of the early missions in the classic Super Mario 64 sees Mario having to find a lost baby penguin in the Cool, Cool, Mountain stage and returning it to its mother. Although these days it's a really basic-looking 3D penguin, back when the game first came out we got really attached to the little fella. There were plenty of penguins in Galaxy but was he among them? We may never know