2007 Schools Wikipedia Selection. Related subjects: Computer & Video games


For over 25 years, Mario has been
Nintendo's official mascot.
Game series Mario series
First game Donkey Kong (1981)
Creator(s) Shigeru Miyamoto
Character designer(s) Shigeru Miyamoto (Donkey Kong),
Yoichi Kotabe (Super Mario Bros. series),
Shigefumi Hino (Super Mario World)
Voice actor(s) (English) Peter Cullen ( The Saturday Supercade) (1983-1985),
Lou Albano ( The Super Mario Bros. Super Show) (1989-1990),
Walker Boone (later DiC cartoons) (1990-1991),
Mark Graue ( Hotel Mario) (1994),
Charles Martinet (games) (1995-present)
Voice actor(s) ( Japanese) Tōru Furuya
Motion capture actor Bob Hoskins (1993)

Mario (マリオ ?) is a video game character created by Japanese game designer Shigeru Miyamoto and is the official mascot of Nintendo. Mario was originally portrayed with two-dimensional sprites, but in later games he is a three-dimensional, polygonal model. Because of the common reference to him and his brother Luigi as the "Mario Brothers," it has been speculated his full name is "Mario Mario," and in certain non-game sources (comic books and the Super Mario Bros. film), this is the case. However, Nintendo of America stated in the 1980s that Mario and Luigi do not have last names.

Mario is depicted as a short, pudgy, Italian plumber who lives in the Mushroom Kingdom, where he is regarded as a hero; he is best known for constantly thwarting the plans of the evil King Bowser to kidnap Princess Peach and subjugate the Mushroom Kingdom. He is well known for his plucky personality, enthusiasm and spirit in the face of enemies, unexpected physical agility, cooperation with his brother, Luigi, and his close relationship with Princess Peach whom he has repeatedly saved. He has an evil doppelgänger by the name of Wario.

As Nintendo's mascot, Mario is one of the the most famous characters in video game history, and his image has become synonymous with video games. Mario games, as a whole, have sold more than 285 million units, making the Mario series the best-selling video game series of all time. Outside of the platformers with which he is traditionally associated, Mario has appeared in video games in different genres, including the Mario Kart racing series, Nintendo's arcade sports games (such as the Mario Tennis and Mario Golf series), and Nintendo's series of Mario role-playing games (including Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars, the Paper Mario series, and Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga and its sequel, Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time). Outside the original games, television shows, film and comics, he spawned a line of licensed merchandise.

Conception and creation

Mario first appeared in the video game Donkey Kong. The game was surprisingly successful, and when the Nintendo Entertainment System was released, Mario was given the starring role in the revolutionary Super Mario Bros..

Mario's distinctive look is due to technology restrictions in the mid-1980s; with limited pixels and colors, the programmers could not animate Mario's movement without making his arms "disappear" if his shirt was a solid colour, they did not have the space to give him a mouth or ears, and they could not animate hair, so Mario got overalls, a moustache, sideburns, and a cap to bypass these problems. Mario's creator, Shigeru Miyamoto, has stated when interviewed that Mario wears a cap because he finds it difficult to draw hair.

When Mario was first conceived, he looked, more or less, as he does today; a short, stubby man with the trademark hat, brown hair, black mustache, and overalls. He normally wears blue overalls on top of a red shirt, but such was not always the case. Originally, he wore red overalls on top of a blue shirt — exactly opposite what he wears now. The American Super Mario Bros. 2 was the first appearance of his modern outfit (the box had the red overalls-on-blue shirt, but the game itself had a blue overalls-on-red shirt);The boxart of Super Mario Bros. 3 has Mario's blue overall, red shirt and red hat combo; however, it was Super Mario World that standardized today's blue overalls-on-red shirt outfit. Incidentally, the original Super Mario Bros. has neither in-game; Mario wears a brown shirt with red overalls. (In the SNES remake of Super Mario Bros. as part of Super Mario All-Stars, Mario wears the original red overalls and blue shirt.) In the animated series, Mario was always depicted as having red overalls and a blue shirt. In the arcade Mario Bros., he wore a blue hat instead of a red one.

Mario's standard outfit rarely changes, though he's known to change it on occasion if the situation calls for it. For example, in Super Mario Strikers (Mario Smash Football in Europe), Mario wears an Association Football (soccer) outfit as opposed to overalls. In Super Mario Sunshine, Mario wore a red T-shirt with his hat and overalls rather than a long-sleeved shirt. (It was possible to for him to put on sunglasses and a Hawaiian-style Shine Sprite shirt.) In some Mario games, Mario can transform into different forms, each with a different costume. These include Tanooki Mario, which allows him to fly and turn into a statue to hide from enemies, and Raccoon Mario, which allowed Mario to Fly for a limited time or until he got hit.

Miyamoto created many of the elements in the Mario world from ideas he had seen in other media. One of his most recognizable contributions to the Mario universe is the Super Mushroom, which enlarges Mario until he is damaged by an enemy. There is also a Poison Mushroom, which is darker than the Super Mushroom and featured in the Japanese Super Mario Bros. 2, and consequently in the western Super Mario All-Stars and Super Mario Bros. Deluxe. When Mario takes it, he is either returned to small Mario (if he is Super Mario) or killed. The item makes an appearance in Super Smash Bros. Melee, wherein it shrinks combatants that touch in, with a resultant loss in power and weight.

These ideas were derived from the "Eat me" cakes and "Drink me" potions in the Lewis Carroll story, Alice in Wonderland, after Miyamoto was forced to shrink the original sketches of Mario because they were too big. The concept behind warp pipes, colored tubes which sometimes transport Mario to another area, was inspired by Star Trek.

The surname "Mario" (which would make his full name Mario Mario) was first used in The Super Mario Bros. Super Show, and then in the 1993 feature film Super Mario Bros. This was meant to explain how both Mario and his brother Luigi could be known as the "Mario brothers". This surname theory has never been employed in official Nintendo games or media, however, and it is broadly accepted that Mario and Luigi are collectively called the Mario Bros. simply because Mario is the headliner of the pair.

Mario has taken on the role of mascot of Nintendo and has since been extensively merchandised. Mario's major rival was Sega mascot Sonic the Hedgehog who debuted in the early 1990s; the two mascots competed head-to-head for nearly a decade afterward, until around 2001 when a Sonic game showed up on a Nintendo console due to Sega's new third party status, ending a lengthy rivalry.


In video games

Mario made his debut in the arcade game Donkey Kong in 1981 under the name "Jumpman". In Donkey Kong Junior, made in 1982, he was the villain, and in the ending cinematic, he is knocked out (although he is not dead because he is in future games). The games were so successful that he carried over into an arcade spin-off, Mario Bros. in 1983, which boasted a simultaneous two-player mode and introduced his taller yet younger brother Luigi. His next appearance was in Super Mario Bros. for the Nintendo Entertainment System. The game sold over 40 million copies (pack-in copies included) making it the best-selling video game ever, and the game has been ported to numerous Nintendo consoles since.

Overall, Mario games have sold approximately 285 million copies worldwide, with Super Mario Bros. 3 holding the record for most copies of a non pack-in video game sold, selling well over 18 million copies. Mario and his friends also appeared in the later Game & Watch games. Mario has explored almost every genre of video games. Aside from action platformers, he has starred in puzzle games, racing games, sports games, fighting games, role-playing games, and even educational games. He has not yet appeared in a strategy game, however.

Mario has appeared in both Super Smash Bros. and its sequel, Super Smash Bros. Melee, and will appear in Super Smash Bros. Brawl. He is considered the most well-rounded character in the series.

Appearances on non-Nintendo platforms

Nintendo holds the copyright to Mario in many nations and retains these rights for its own use with few exceptions. However, Mario appeared in educational PC titles in the United States such as Mario Teaches Typing and in very early games for non-Nintendo systems such as the Atari 2600 and the Mattel Intellivision. Philips made games, such as Hotel Mario, featuring Nintendo characters for its ill-fated CD-i console which was the result of a compromise with Nintendo over failing to release a joint CD-ROM product. Mario Is Missing!, another PC game, was later ported to the NES and SNES, along with its sequel, Mario's Time Machine. Super Mario Bros. Special, the first sequel to Super Mario Bros., was also on a non-Nintendo platform.

Cameos and allusions

In the days of the NES and Game Boy, Mario made cameos. In sports titles, he was often depicted as the referee (e.g. Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!! and Tennis); sometimes, however, he was a playable character (e.g. Nintendo's early Golf title). Some of his other cameos were more bizarre, such as in the Breakout clone Alleyway, which featured Mario on the game's box-art and as the "pilot" of the paddle. He was also featured on the Game Over screen for the Game Boy version of Qix. Allusions to or parodies of Mario feature in a number of other video games, including World of Warcraft.


Mario is a plumber motivated by a sense of justice, though at times he has been depicted as a doctor and numerous other professions. His distinctive appearance was defined somewhat by the limitations of early video game hardware. Though he began with the ability to jump high, in subsequent games, he received additional powers such as throwing fireballs ( pyrokinesis) and flight, and additional playable versions, including Frog suit Mario, Tanooki suit Mario, and Metal Mario, through the use of power-ups. In adventure games, he uses various techniques for defeating enemies and solving puzzles in his games, both by using his own abilities and the properties of items or abilities of allies he encounters.

Mario's appearance has frequently altered ever since his first appearance. He originally wore red overalls over a blue shirt but that has changed to the inverse. However, Mario is depicted with red overalls over a brown shirt in the original Super Mario Bros.. His hair has also changed a bit. In promotional artwork for Super Mario Bros. 3 and Super Mario World, he has very light brown hair. More recent depictions show it to be a darker brown. Over the years the promotional artwork style has changed, too. In the art released alongside early games he was shown in 2D. With the advent of the Nintendo 64 this changed, and he was rendered in 3D. Since then, successive 3D renders have depicted him with more detail and improved texturing. The Super Smash Bros. series has depicted him with still more detail, including a noticeable denim texture on his overalls.

Mario's height has been of much debate in the fanbase. Nintendo Official Magazine in Europe produced a pack of cards stating that Mario is 135 centimeters (4 ft 4 in) tall. However, a Japanese shopping site known as Trend One announced a limited run of life-size Mario statues with a height of 155 centimeters (5 ft) licensed by Nintendo with claims that this height was based on actual background story. Fans believe Mario is usually "super" in his 3-D games based on his size compared to other characters in the game.


Mario is always portrayed in games and other media as being a kind-hearted and brave hero, known to fight "to the bitter end," as Paper Mario states. He helps those in need without hesitation. Despite his status as a great hero, Mario is very humble. His cheerful personality and love of life make him a very approachable video game character. He has a love of pasta and pizza, as the stereotypical Italian does. This idea was started in the American cartoons, but soon afterward, Nintendo supported the idea by having Mario dream of pasta. Not much else is known about Mario's personality, as much of it remains hidden due to the fact that the character never openly converses in the games.

Mario's cheerful personality is reflected in his voice, which, since Super Mario 64, has been provided by Charles Martinet. Although often limited to simple exclamatory noises ("Woo!", "Woohoo!" etc.), he often enthusiastically announces the titles of his games. A famous catchphrase used by Mario is "It's-a me, Mario". Although he largely speaks in English (with a thick Italian accent), he has been known to sporadically break into Italian (for example, in Super Mario Sunshine he occasionally says "arrivederci" upon losing a life), and naturally says "Mama mia!" when in distress.

Occupation and hobbies

Despite Mario's given occupation as a plumber, he is almost never seen doing plumbing in his games. The closest Mario came to doing plumbing was clearing pipe levels of enemies in Mario Bros. and fixing pipes in the Mario & Luigi games. Pipes have, however, remained a mode of transportation in most Mario games. Mario was most often seen plumbing during the animated series. He was very knowledgeable about tools and fixing pipes in the movie. Both Mario and Luigi seemed to love their job as plumbers no matter how grueling it gets and have a deep passion for it as revealed in both the animated series and movie.

The Super Mario Bros. Super Show delves deeper into Mario and Luigi's characters. It is revealed that Mario and Luigi are fans of Nicole Eggert and Baywatch, as well as Elvis Presley and the All-American sport of Baseball, and despite his age (by his looks, he is considered middle-aged), Mario is a fan of the cartoon series Inspector Gadget (most likely an inside joke since DiC Entertainment produced both shows). Mario considers himself the biggest fan of former WWF (now WWE) wrestler Captain Lou Albano (another inside joke since Albano himself was the one who portrayed Mario in the live action segments and provided his voice in the cartoon).

Beginning with the Dr. Mario series of puzzle games which first debuted in 1990, Mario has been occasionally depicted as a medical physician as well. He fights various germs by throwing pills into an infected jar matches the color of the specific germ. When a certain number of colour-matching pills hit the germ, it is destroyed. In 2001, Mario appeared in Dr. Mario 64, an updated version of the original puzzle game (fighting an epidemic with Megavitamins that a scientist steals, and either Dr. Mario or Wario try to get it back.) Mario was in doctor form as a secret character in the Nintendo GameCube hit, Super Smash Bros. Melee. Dr. Mario was parodied in WarioWare, Inc.: Mega Microgame$! for the Game Boy Advance in a minigame called "Dr. Wario", an unlockable remake of the original game replacing Mario with Wario, using slightly different character designs for the viruses, and only the "Chill" music.

His most time-consuming activity seems to be saving Princess Peach, the Mushroom Kingdom, and surrounding kingdoms from villains such as Bowser. As seen through character interactions in his role-playing games, Mario has achieved a level of fame among the kingdoms' populations due to his heroic deeds.

However, Mario earns most of his money through the profits from his Mario Toy Company, which produces Mini Mario figures, which, as of Mario vs. Donkey Kong 2: March of the Minis, has expanded to include similar versions of other characters, including Mini Peach.

Mario and his friends are highly skilled in sports. The Mario franchise has spun off into games involving go-kart racing, soccer, baseball, tennis, golf, basketball and dancing. In most of these games where different characters may have varying levels of skill, Mario is typically the most balanced character in classes such as weight, speed, power, or other abilities.

Baby Mario

Baby Mario is the infant version of Mario. Although he has paradoxically appeared alongside his older self in Nintendo sports titles such as Mario Golf, Mario Tennis, Mario Superstar Baseball and Mario Kart: Double Dash!!, these games are generally accepted to be outside the continuity of the main Mario series, and therefore do not suggest that Mario and Baby Mario are separate characters in the main storyline. An alternative solution is that the babies were present via time travel, as was the case in Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time. Like the older Mario, Baby Mario is voiced by Charles Martinet.

Baby Mario first appeared in the Super NES game Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island where the Yoshis saved his brother Luigi from Kamek the Magikoopa. In Yoshi's Island, Baby Mario has a rather passive role, essentially being carried around by different Yoshis for most of the game. However, in some levels, a power-up resembling a starman allows him to transform into "Super Baby Mario", giving him very high speed, relative invincibility, and the ability to float for short distances (thanks to the Super Mario World yellow cape). Other than this, Baby Mario is remembered for his boisterous sobs whenever Yoshi ran into an enemy. When Yoshi took a hit, Baby Mario would float within a bubble while bawling loudly, and the player controlling Yoshi would have between 1-30 seconds to recover Baby Mario and hitch him safely on Yoshi's back. If the time ran out, he would be kidnapped by Kamek's Toadies and Yoshi would lose a life.

Baby Mario also appeared in Yoshi Touch & Go and Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time for the Nintendo DS. In Yoshi Touch & Go he reclaims the role he held in Yoshi's Island; Baby Mario falls from the sky, this time held up by balloons, as the player guides him by drawing clouds down to the ground where Yoshi waits to catch him. He then rides on Yoshi's back for the rest of that level of the game. In some game modes, Baby Mario can again find the power-up that turns him into Super Baby Mario, making him temporarily invincible. In Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time, he appears alongside his adult counterpart, along with both respective versions of Luigi. The pair of brothers team up in order to save Princess Peach (the grown-up version) from a group of alien invaders known as the Shroobs.

The Japan-only game Bio Miracle Bokutte Upa is sometimes referred to as "Mario Baby" due to that name being applied to a ROM hack of the game.

In Yoshi's Island, Baby Mario was shown wearing just a diaper and his hat, but in games since then (except Yoshi Touch and Go, probably because it takes place at the same time as Yoshi's Island), Baby Mario has worn a red shirt and blue overalls—the same outfit he would wear later in life. Another side note is that his red "M" cap is the same size and is rather big for Baby Mario's head.

According to the information revealed about Yoshi's Island DS at E3 2006, Baby Mario was preschooled on Yoshi's Island. When a mysterious island appeared and kidnapped most of his schoolmates, he teams up with Yoshi, Baby Peach, and even Baby Bowser, Baby Donkey Kong and Baby Wario to save them.

Baby Mario made a cameo alongside Baby Luigi in the first picture of the opening and ending intro of Mario Power Tennis.


Ever since his first game, Mario usually has the role of saving the damsel in distress. Originally, he had to rescue his girlfriend Pauline in Donkey Kong from the clutches of DK. Pauline did not last long as a character and was soon replaced by new damsel in distress, Princess Peach, in Super Mario Bros. (She was initially referred to as Princess Toadstool in North America until the late 1990s). Pauline returned in the Game Boy remake of Donkey Kong and the recently released Mario vs. Donkey Kong 2: March of the Minis, although their relationship is now merely that of friends.

Mario has rescued Peach multiple times since Super Mario Bros., often receiving a kiss as a reward. Although the true nature of their relationship is never revealed (as is typical of most characters in the Mario-based games), it is evident that there is a mutual affection between the two characters. It has been revealed that Mario's nemesis Bowser is in love with Peach, which explains why he constantly steals her away from Mario. Oddly enough, in Super Princess Peach, the roles Peach and Mario usually have are reversed, and Peach gets to act as the hero.

Mario once rescued Princess Daisy in Super Mario Land on the Game Boy, at the end of which Mario received a kiss. Additionally, the Japanese-only album Super Mario Compact Disco mentions Daisy as Mario's number-one girl (Peach does get a mention, but only once during the song "Super Mario USA"). In sports titles, though, Daisy frequents with Luigi more often, leading to some fan speculation that she may be romantically inclined toward Luigi rather than Mario. In Super Smash Bros. Melee, the text on Princess Daisy's trophy states that "after her appearance in Mario Golf, some gossips started portraying her as Luigi's answer to Mario's Peach."

In the GameCube game Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door, it is revealed that Mario is quite popular with the female characters. After Mario rescues Goombella from Lord Crump and his X-Naut soldiers at the beginning of the game, she rewards him with a kiss. Also, when Mario and his companions return Flurrie's necklace to her, she forcibly gives him a kiss. Another character who seemed to have a crush on Mario is [[List of characters in Vivian, one of the three Shadow Sirens. When Mario's name and body are stolen and he is turned into a shadow of himself, he helps her search for a bomb she needed, and she is touched by his kindness, even though she becomes aware that he has worse problems than her. Another recurring character, Ms. Mowz (who is an optional partner) is instantly smitten by Mario when she first meets him and his companions, and continuously flirts with him and kisses him before she leaves every time she runs into them, much to the dismay of Goombella, Flurrie, and Vivian. Even Beldam of the Shadow Sirens expressed that she found Mario attractive as well when she and her two sisters were glancing at the sketch of him that was given them to Grodus for them to find Mario and his friends.

Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins for the Game Boy saw the arrival of Wario, Mario's demented and greedy alter ego. Though there is no official, tangible relationship between the two, some say Wario is Mario's cousin. It is clear that Wario is designed to act, in a way, as an anti-Mario, similar to the relationship between Bizarro, a Superman comic book character, and Superman himself.

Abilities and techniques

During the development of Donkey Kong, Mario was known simply as "Jumpman", named for his keen ability to jump exceptional heights. This ability is still described as Mario's greatest talent in most forms of media in which he is portrayed, and jumping—both to access different areas of a level and as an offensive move—remains a core element of gameplay in most Mario games, especially in the Super Mario Bros. series.

Mario's most commonly portrayed form of attack is jumping to stomp on the heads of enemies, first employed in Mario Bros. (but his main attack in this game was to hit the floor underneath the enemy, flipping them up-side-down) but better known from the later Super Mario Bros. game and its sequels. This jump-stomp move may entirely crush smaller enemies on the stage, and usually deals damage to larger ones, sometimes causing secondary effects as well. Most notably, this attack often enables Mario to knock the turtle-like Koopa Troopas back into their shells, which may slide across the stage, damaging other enemies, or Mario. Mario can kick or toss these shells at enemies or barriers in many games.

Beyond this core mechanic, subsequent games have elaborated on Mario's jumping-related abilities. Super Mario World added the ability to spin-jump, which allows Mario to break blocks beneath him. Later, the Game Boy remake of Donkey Kong allowed Mario to jump higher with consecutive jumps, and perform a back-flip. Super Mario 64 continued the use of these abilities as well as a long jump, a sideways flip called a Side Somersault, and a ground pound. It made jumping off of walls much simpler to accomplish, and named it the "Wall Kick." Super Mario Sunshine then re-introduced the spin jump, but changed its function; in Sunshine, the spin-jump makes Mario jump a little bit higher and fall more slowly than after a normal jump.

Mario makes use of a wide array of items in most games in which he appears. The most prominent and best known of these is the Super Mushroom, which allows Mario to grow to twice his size. In this form he is usually labeled "Super Mario", and receives an additional hit-point; sustaining damage from most enemies will only cause Super Mario to shrink back down to "regular Mario" size. Mario is apparently stronger in his Super form, too, having the ability to break bricks with his fist (or even head). Additionally, in many games collecting a Fire Flower transforms Mario into Fire Mario and allows him to throw fireballs at enemies ( pyrokinesis), and a Starman renders Mario temporarily impervious to harm. In addition, Super Mario Bros. 3 introduced a Racoon Leaf which transforms Mario into Racoon Mario allowing him to fly for short distances. Super Mario World introduced Mario's dinosaur friend Yoshi to the game series, whom Mario can ride. When riding Yoshi, Mario can clear spiky terrain and stomp foes that he otherwise cannot. Various other Mario power-ups have been included, for example the Rare Suits forms: Frog Mario, has improved jumping and swimming abilities; Tanooki Mario has the same abilities as Racoon Mario and can become a statue; and Hammer Mario can throw hammers and protect himself from fireballs by ducking ( Super Mario Bros. 3). Other power-ups are the Cape Feather, that gives Mario a cape (Cape Mario) and allows Mario to fly, the Power Balloon, allows Mario to float upwards for a brief time ( Super Mario World) - a similar ability returned, except via the Power Flower, in Super Mario 64 DS (in Super Mario Bros.3: Super Mario Advance 4, Mario could become Cape Mario, by using a card-e reader with the GBA); a Power Carrot that made Mario sprout rabbit ears (Bunny Mario) allowing him to float down from high places ( Super Mario Land 2); and a Blue Shell that allowed Mario to transform into Shell Mario, and thereafter skid around levels in a manner similar to a kicked Koopa shell ( New Super Mario Bros.). New Super Mario Bros. introduced the Mega Mushroom, too, which causes Mario to grow to screen-filling proportions, and allows him to not only crush enemies, but even destroy level scenery; and the Mini Mushroom which makes him shrink into a very small size, allowing him to run over the water and pass tiny gaps.

Originally, Mario could swim underwater indefinitely, but in Super Mario 64 and Super Mario Sunshine, he takes damage underwater, although he will instantly regain health when he reaches the surface. The lack of a separate underwater health gauge allows Super Mario 64 players to recover health by diving under water then returning to the surface, reducing the game's difficulty in some places. In addition, in these two games, unlike in other games, Mario has either 6 or 8 hit points and regains health by collecting coins, running through a spinning heart item, or collecting a Star or Shine Sprite.

Mario's hat is very important. In Super Mario 64, Mario will take an extra point of damage if he is attacked without his hat, and in Super Mario Sunshine, Mario will automatically take damage after a few seconds when his hat is stolen. In addition to this, Super Mario 64 features different boxes with hats (or 'Caps') inside that, when donned by Mario, offer him different abilities; the Wing Cap, for example, allows him to fly for a limited amount of time (in Super Mario 64 DS, he uses a Special Feather to become Wing Mario), the Metal Cap transforms him into Metal Mario, and the Vanish Cap into Vanish Mario. Mario can also join the Metal Cap and Vanish Cap, transforming into Ultimate Mario, whose abilities are similar to Metal Mario and Vanish Mario together.

In Super Mario 64, the Metal Cap is found in Hazy Maze Cave, where there is a pool of swirling metal which holds a new area. Once a switch in that area is pushed, Metal Caps become available. Metal Mario is completely invulnerable. Similar to Sega's Super Sonic, Metal Mario can harm enemies by simply running into them. The ability has a time limit. When Metal Mario is hit, he will sometimes flinch, but will not lose health. Along with this, he does not have to breathe, which allows him to walk in noxious gas and water. His heavy weight allows him to be able to sink in water, helping in some missions. He loses the ability to speak (which, while not having significant impact on overall story or gameplay, only serves to show that Mario became composed entirely of metal). In the enhanced remake, Super Mario 64 DS, the ability to turn into a metal being is granted to Wario instead.

In Super Smash Bros, Metal Mario makes a return appearance as a sub-boss. In Super Smash Bros Melee, the sequel to Super Smash Bros., Metal Mario returns, and after unlocking Luigi, there is not only Metal Mario with which to contend, but the "Metal Bros." There is a power up that will turn any character into metal.

Metal Mario also appeared as a secret unlockable character in Dr. Mario 64 and Mario Golf. In Mario Golf he is very strong, having an even longer drive than Bowser.

Although Mario is not usually portrayed using weapons in games, one exception is the use of hammers as weapons in some games, including Super Mario Bros. 3, the original Donkey Kong, Super Mario RPG, Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga, and the Paper Mario series. In Super Mario RPG and the Paper Mario series, Mario uses his hammer to hit switches and solve puzzles as well as to hit enemies. In the Wrecking Crew series, Mario wields a hammer to break bricks. The other times that Mario uses weapons is in the Super Smash Bros. series, where he can wield weapons, such as bats, hammers, and laser guns.

In popular culture

Mario in Kungsbacka, Sweden
Mario in Kungsbacka, Sweden

Since his creation, Mario has established himself as a pop culture icon having starred in three television shows, comic books, and in a feature film where he was played by Bob Hoskins. Nintendo of Japan produced a 60-minute anime feature starring Mario and his friends in 1986, although this film has never been released outside of Japan. He has appeared on lunchboxes, t-shirts, magazines, commercials, in candy form, and as a plush toy. The animated series The Super Mario Bros. Super Show featured a live-action series of skits starring former WWF manager "Captain" Lou Albano as Mario and Danny Wells as Luigi. There was even a book series, the Nintendo Adventure Books. In 1990, a national survey found that Mario was more recognizable to children in the world than Mickey Mouse. In addition, Mario made history in 2003 by becoming the first video game character to be honored with a wax figure in the legendary Hollywood Wax Museum. In 2005, Jonathan Mann even wrote an opera based on the character, and performed The Mario Opera at the California Institute of the Arts.

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