ByMatthew Bailey, writer at Creators.co
Husband. Father. Gamer. Cinema Lover. Mix it all together, and there I am. I love all things pop-culture and coffee; but coffee is the best.
Matthew Bailey

For the last 35 years Mario has been one of the most iconic video game characters to ever grace a gaming screen. Since 1981 has led the charge for characters who are just too ingrained in pop-culture to ever fade into non-existence.

Followed closely by Sonic The Hedgehog, Pac-Man, and several others these characters have survived the console wars and have remained significant in the ever-changing landscape of next-gen systems and the mobile revolution.

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Mario in particular seems to have always found new ways of staying current and relevant over the last few decades, especially considering that he's recently made the official transition to Apple devices thanks to Super Mario Run and the recent announcement of Super Mario Odyssey but even though he's so well loved there are still so many mysteries surrounding the lovable Italian plumber.

Here are the 9 things that you probably didn't know about Mario.

9. He Was Supposed to Be a Badass

Back in the day, Mario wasn't supposed to be the gentle hero with a thick mustache that we know now. Originally Mario was designed to traverse a standard action game and Mario was supposed to carry a rifle and a beam gun.

Across the various levels that were already designed, Mario was to have an even balance of on-foot stages where he ran around, and stages where he rode in the sky on a cloud or a rocket as a side scrolling shooter.

In line with his more badassified shooter, the control scheme was also nothing like what we have now as the standard 2D control scheme. Mario would have been made to jump by pressing up, run with B, and attack with A.

8. Mario Copied Parts Of 'The Legend of Zelda'

But wait, you say, how can that be? Zelda arrived years after Mario. Well, it all boils down to the godfather of game developers, Shigeru Miyamoto working on both Mario and Zelda at the same time. It's why he's one of the greatest gaming legends ever.

Miyamoto took some small elements from The Legend of Zelda, as it was progressing more quickly than Mario during the development period. The most notable element are the iconic firebars in all of Bowser's castles were actually created for The Legend of Zelda.

7. In Japan Mario Can Visit A Very Different Minus World

Now, if you're reading this and you don't know about one of the most famous game glitches in gaming history, then I'd suggest you go read about the Minus World first.

Okay, now that you've done that. The Japanese version of Super Mario Brothers was remade for the Famicom Disk System, which was intended to be the next step of consoles for Nintendo but never made it across the ocean to North America.

But that's a moot point, because the remake of SMB, did indeed have the Minus World intact, but it allowed you to swim through the air surrounded by numerous Princess toadstools, and a headless Bowser floating around. Also, the new version of the Minus World could be completed, and once done would return you to the Main Screen with hard mode unlocked. Hard mode usually is only unlocked after defeating the entire game.

6. Mario's Developers Are All About Recycling

And, I'm not talking about being a green company, although I'd bet Nintendo is very energy efficient. When Mario was being created the entire landscape was recycled. If you pay attention you'll notice that the bushes and the clouds are the same sprites, as well as the castle that appeared before the Bowser levels was simply a mashup of smaller castles.

Along the same vein, the sound design was recycled too. You'll notice that the sound of Mario getting hit, and going down a pipe are the same exact sound.

5. The Infinite 1-Up Was A Feature, Not A Glitch

Back in the '80s the 'glitch' of jumping on a turtle as it descended the stairs would likely allow you to bounce on it ad nauseam, and rack up 99 1-Ups while doing so.

Many gamers believe for a long time that they had discovered a legitimate glitch, or possibly just an oversight in the development of Super Mario Bros, but in fact this technique was put in the game on purpose.

4. Mario Was Based on Popeye

Nintendo tried really hard to develop a Popeye game, but Shigeru Miyamoto was unable to do that, which quickly was transitioned into the first Donkey Kong game.

Originally Donkey Kong was to be Bluto, and Mario was to be Popeye and the whole idea was that Popeye needed to save Olive Oyl. Because of that programming change, Mario, Donkey Kong, and Peach were born and he's never looked back.

3. Mario's Back Story Is Actually Dark, Like REALLY Dark

The original Super Mario Bros instruction manual laid it all out, and it's just straight up weird. In essence, Bowser and the koopas are actually black magic wielding wizards who turned everyone in the kingdom into bushes, blocks and mushrooms. The goombas are corrupted citizens of the Kingdom who have been turned into tiny little chestnut men.

So basically, when you really think about it, whenever you break a block, crush a goomba or anything in between you're outright murdering someone. Then considering that even though you rescue the Princess, everyone remains trapped in their mushroom headed bodies, you really didn't reverse the damage that Bowser brought down, now did you?

2. Mario Is A Man of Many Careers

Outside of the obvious primary career as the Princess recurring hero, Mario has been depicted as holding countless other jobs over his 30 years of experience. Mario has been a soldier (Mario's Bombs Away), a referee (Mike Tyson's Punch-Out), a doctor (Doctor Mario), and he was even initially considered a carpenter rather than the happy plumber we all know and love.

1. Mario Has 2 Porn Parodies

Mushrooms added because this was VERY NSFW
Mushrooms added because this was VERY NSFW

Apparently, porn parodies are the sign of making it to the big time, just ask Lara Croft or any of the Overwatch character or even Minecraft characters, and they'll tell you the same thing. Mario is no different from all the other video games turned porn parodies, as both Super Hornio Brothers and Super Hornio Brothers 2 were released around the same time as the ill-fated movie adaptation.

The adult films tell the story of two men who were sucked into a video game during a power surge. Nintendo quickly bought the rights to both to stop their distribution, which means that Nintendo technically holds the rights to Mario porn.

How many of these did you know about our beloved Mario?

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