New Super Mario Bros. Wii is still riding high in the charts and with the fun four player game being designed to appeal to families, the plumber may have found a whole new audience. So, for those who don't know their Jumpman from their Mr Video here are ten fascinating facts about our favourite videogames character.
The name game
During development of the Donkey Kong arcade unit, the game's director Shigeru Miyamoto referred to his new creation as Mr Video. Why? God only knows. Luckily it never stuck! When the game finally hit arcades, he simply became known as 'Jumpman', for obvious reasons. However, while Donkey Kong was being localised for America, a Nintendo employee had an altercation with the warehouse landlord, Mario Segale. Jumpman was renamed in his honour.
Why does Mario have a moustache?
To avoid having to make his mouth move, Miyamoto hid it under a rather stylish moustache.
What? Jumpman couldn't jump?
Miyamoto originally designed Donkey Kong as a game that would only need a joystick to control. Mario couldn't jump. The ability to make him hop was only added because the arcade cabinet that it was being built for had a single button.
Super Mario Bros. is tiny
The Super Mario Bros. NES cart contains a miniscule 40kb of data. To put it into perspective, that's smaller than the Microsoft word document that this feature was originally written on. By comparison the average mp3 file is 3,500kb, a trailer for New Super Mario Bros. Wii is 12,000kb while Super Mario Galaxy is 3.5 million kb.
What's the Super Mario Bros. world record?
Did you know that it is possible to complete Super Mario Bros. in 5 minutes and 8 seconds? That's how long it took the current speed run world record-holder Scott Kessler to complete Super Mario Bros. on 20 September 2006. ONM's Chris Scullion can do it in just under seven minutes. What's your best time?
Head in the clouds. Or should that be bushes?
Like we've already found out, Super Mario Bros. has a tiny file size. To save space, Miyamoto and his team reused items. Check out the screen to the left. The clouds and bushes look awfully similar, don't they?
Mario is murder
Next time you gleefully headbutt a block, remember this. According to the Super Mario Bros. instruction book, when the Koopas first invaded the Mushroom Kingdom they turned its people into blocks and stones. So, next time you destroy one, you're actually committing murder...
The Kids are alright
The Koopa Kids are all named after some of the development team's favourite celebrities. Roy Koopa was named after Roy Orbison, Iggy Pop provides the inspiration for Iggy Koopa, little Lemmy Koopa is named after Motorhead's lead vocalist Lemmy, 80s TV host Morton Downey Jr gave Morton Koopa Jr his moniker, Ludwig Van Koopa is named after Beethoven, US talk show host Larry King inspired Larry Koopa while someone's favourite celeb is obscure shock rock legend Wendy O Williams - hence Wendy O Koopa.