It's a-me! Jumpman!

We at Zelda Universe have to give credit where credit is due. While he may not be our favorite “child” of Shigeru Miyamoto, he certainly was the first born. And like many an older brother out there he’s won more awards, is more popular, and dated that one cheerleader you were really into. Wait. What?

Anyway, September 13th marked Mario’s birthday! The original Super Mario Bros. was released on this day in 1985, before many of you were born! He turned 25, and still has that typical 25 year old hipster mustache.

The Mario franchise is the best selling video game franchise in the world, with over 210,000,000 units sold!

And what many people don’t know is that he almost never existed. Back when he was designing Donkey Kong, Mr. Miyamoto had originally intended to create a similar game based on the Popeye cartoon. When he was unable to acquire the licence for the three characters he wanted to use (Popeye, Olive Oyl, and Bluto), he replaced them with “Jumpman” (later to be renamed “Mario”), Pauline, and Donkey Kong. Just imagine that alternate history for a moment… Super Popeye Galaxy 2? Yikes.

Regardless, today we give tribute to Mario (and his green-clad brother, Luigi) and ask ourselves: what sort of bash will Nintendo throw on February 21, 2011 for the real star (in our eyes, at least)?

  • ILiekZelda

    Lol First Comment, also i wonder what kind of Mario games we will have in 2035?The world many never know……until then

  • LegendOfHyrule31

    Happy Birthday! Hey, how old is Mario in each game? Does anybody really know. I wanna find out.

  • Ferisan

    My birthday is on february 21 O:! Oh man, I think Mario is second favorite in my list of favorite Nintendo icons (first one is Link, obviously) Want to play Mario Galaxy 2 so bad :<

    • I think February 21 is Link's birthday, and today is Mario's birthday. Lucky.

      • Ferisan

        Yup, the first Zelda game was released a february 21st 1985 or something :>

        • James Slater

          1986, according to Wikipedia. So, next year will be Zelda's silver anniversary.

          Wouldn't it be neat if Skyward Sword or OOT 3DS was released to coincide with it, eh?

  • Ok why dont all these people have a Wii and happy birthday Mario!

  • Happy Birthday, Jumpman!

  • Keith

    Man, its amazing to think of much the Mario series has evolved. From 16-bit graphics and only able to jump and shoot pixelated fire balls at enemies, to now doing all sorts of crazy stuff like become a freakin' BOULDER! Or a ghost. Hell he can act like a helicopter (NSMBW). Happy birthday, MARIO! 8D!

  • ChainofTermina

    Happy Birthday, Mario. remember back in those days, when all Mario did as jump over stuff with the occasional power up, and now it's grown and evolved into………….jumping over stuff with the occasional power up in better graphics…………yeah. here's to another 25 years of jumping over stuff with the occasional power up!

    • Probably why they added a jump button in Skyward Sword. 8D

  • ashmic

    oh no, does this mean in future games mario will jump and then yell "OOOH my back!" XD

  • Muskiok

    Nintendoland said that Japan is going to get a Super Mario collection in celebration, but there's no word on what it will contain or if it will make it over state-side. Here's hoping! Happy birthday Luigi!

    • bastian

      The Mario collection of which you speak is a re-release of what we had in the States on the SNES as Super Mario All-Stars along with the short video retrospective seen on Nintendo's site.

  • zfragger

    It’s funny that 25 years a ago the gaming industry was almost destroyed and it took a fairly obese plumber to bring it back from the edge. So today I salute you Mario for reviving the gaming industry from the edge of death, giving people a reason to avoid sun light for hours, and giving parents time to themselves for 25 years. Thank you Mario for 25 years of gaming.

  • elementary

    Totally would've played Super Popeye Galaxy 2.

  • A4darkness

    What’s with these nintendo birthdays? I can’t afford having to buy Mario, Luigi, Peach, Bowser, Ganon, Link, & Zelda some Birthday presents! T_T

  • Guest

    This is actually incorrect.

    this first appearance of a named Mario (not including Jumpman) was on June 1, 1983 in the original "Mario Bros"… making him about 27 years old.

    • TrustMe

      Wikipedia isn't all that reliable.

    • Common Sense

      well done genious :S.. that's the "arcade version" not the actual released "household" version

  • Nintenfan81

    Mario is still brawling with Link for my favorite game series, but I must say if it's only his birthday and not a new game I'm more exited for the day AFTER that, the 14th. Haaaaaaa… Halo Reach *drools*

    What? I can't like the Xbox too?

    • nindentobox

      I dont blame u, halo reach will be awesome but mario has always been a game that i buy 4 no reason but love.

  • Victor George

    "A day over 40?" Mario looks like he's in his 30s to me.

  • Dewii

    I think February 21 will be a perfect date to release Skyward Sword! 😀 That's the best way to celebrate Link's 25th anniversary!

    • SKL

      Perhaps that is the releases date. Nintendo did say early 2011

    • therush

      February 21 is way too far away.

      • That might mean that it would only go out to Japan, and later to the U.S., so probably not.

  • Link

    Super Popeye Sunshine now eat your spinach! lol. Now, when will Link and Zelda's 25th birthday happen anyone know?

    • Exactly next year on Febuary 21st.

  • X x7

    There's a party at my house on February 21st, 2011! Who's coming?

    • Aquanam

      I'll be there!

      With my stale Nintendo cereal and N64 controllers with Ocarina of Time and the NES with the original Legend of Zelda, of course 😀

      • Sorry man, I can't come. I'm having a Zelda-based party at my house, at the other side of your street!

        Come one, come all,
        This party'll be a ball!

        • X x7

          OOOOHHHH so it's the battle of the parties eh?

  • Valdek

    epic, more importantly, halo reach comes out at midnight that night, or should i say did, since its the 15th…. so yeah. i was an idiot and didn’t preorder halo reach BTW. so now i suffer the consequences.

  • James Slater

    Or maybe the original arcade version of Donkey Kong on VC, perhaps?

  • LoZymugglegater

    Super Popeye Galaxy 2.Yeah,scary thought.Anyway,Happy Birthday Mario!!You are amazing!:D