Super Mario series
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The Super Mario series (alternatively known as the Super Mario Bros. series or simply the Mario series) refers to the overall franchise comprised of a number of series and games based off of the Super Mario Bros. platforming games, and is Nintendo's primary flagship franchise, with new Mario games appearing on all of Nintendo's systems to date since the Nintendo Entertainment System.
The Super Mario series is typically used to refer to the platforming games, on which all other games are based, though the overall franchise also includes series and games such as Mario Kart, Paper Mario, Mario & Luigi, Mario Party and others. With over 200 games and 500 million copies sold between all subsets of the franchise, the Super Mario series is the best-selling video game franchise of all time, with the platforming games alone selling over 310 million units.
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The Super Mario series began with the creation of the 1981 arcade game Donkey Kong, which involved Mario trying to rescue his girlfriend, Pauline, from the eponymous ape and established the platforming aspect prevalent in much of the series. The character of Mario was originally referred to under the title of Jumpman, and would receive his current name of "Mario" after Nintendo of America's warehouse landlord, Mario Segale.
The Donkey Kong game would later go on to receive two sequels: Donkey Kong Jr. and Donkey Kong 3, which would be spun off into a distinct franchise of Donkey Kong games. After his role as the antagonist of Donkey Kong Jr., Mario would later star in the 1983 arcade title Mario Bros..
The Super Mario series would begin in its current form in 1985, when the first side-scrolling platform game in the series, Super Mario Bros., was released for the Nintendo Entertainment System. Selling over 40 million copies, Super Mario Bros. would go on to spawn a number of successors. In 1991, Super Mario Land, the series' first handheld installment, was released for the Game Boy, directed by Gunpei Yokoi rather than Miyamoto. The series would later transition into 3D in 1996 with Super Mario 64. Later, after the release of Super Mario Sunshine, the series would return to the 2D gameplay style with the New Super Mario Bros. series, currently spanning four games across four platforms.
The platforming titles have also spun off into their own distinct series. In 1992, Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins was released, which introduced Wario, a rival character for Mario. Wario would go on to be the star of the game's sequel, Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3, with future sequels using the Wario Land moniker. In addition, Yoshi, Mario's dinosaur partner in Super Mario World, would be the starring character in a number of puzzle games before the 1994 game Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island, which spawned the Yoshi's Island series of platforming titles.
In 1996, Nintendo released Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars. Developed by Squaresoft, the game is a turn-based role-playing game that also features elements of Super Mario platforming games, and features pre-rendered 3D graphics. The game features Mario on a quest to find the seven Star Pieces and restore the Star Road, so that One notable feature of the battle system compared to other games is the addition of "timed hits"; by pressing a button at the right time, the player will be able to deal more damage then normal while attacking, or take less damage when an enemy attacks. While a sequel was never released, two spiritual successor series would later be developed.
Paper Mario is a series of role-playing games set in a "pop-up book"-style world, featuring 2D incarnations of the characters in 3D environments. Since the release of the original Paper Mario in 2000, five games have been released in the series to date, with most of them featuring a distinct style of gameplay. Similar to Super Mario RPG, the games generally use a simplified turn-based battle system and feature an "action command" system similar to timed hits.
Starting with Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga in 2004, the Mario & Luigi series marks the second role-playing series. The games use a more stylized, hand-drawn appearance compared to other Mario games, and generally feature a more comical tone compared. The primary gameplay has players controlling both Mario and Luigi using individual buttons (A and B, respectively). Since the original game, five Mario & Luigi titles have been released, each of them featuring their own individual gameplay gimmicks.
In 1994, Philips released Hotel Mario for their Philips CD-i media player. Developed by Fantasy Factory, Philips was able to obtain the rights to the Mario license as part of a deal between them and Nintendo to create a CD add-on for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. The game features Mario traveling across a series of hotels, in which the goal is the close all the doors on each stage. Two additional games, a Super Mario World pseudo-sequel named Super Mario's Wacky Worlds and an FMV edutainment game Mario Takes America, were also in development for the system, but were cancelled.
Television / animation
Mario's first animated appearance would be in the 1983 animated series Saturday Supercade, produced by Ruby-Spears Productions and featuring cartoons based on various popular arcade games. One of the show's segments is based on Donkey Kong, which stars Mario and Pauline as they travel across the country chasing the escaped Donkey Kong.
Between 1989 and 1991, animation company DIC Entertainment would produce three animated cartoon series based on the games. The Super Mario Bros. Super Show! aired for 65 episodes between September and December 1989. The show featured both live-action segments starring Mario and Luigi as plumbers in Brooklyn, and animated segments loosely based on Super Mario Bros. and Super Mario Bros. 2 showing the brothers' adventures in the Mushroom Kingdom; on Fridays, however, an episode of The Legend of Zelda cartoon would air as that episode's animated segment. Between September and December 1990, The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3 aired for 26 episodes, more directly based on the game. Fully animated, the show features Mario and Luigi defending the Mushroom Kingdom from King Koopa and his seven Koopalings. Finally, Super Mario World originally aired from September to December of 1991 for 13 episodes, and showed Mario, Luigi, and Princess Toadstool's adventures in Dinosaur Land, alongside newcomer Yoshi.
A live-action film adaptation of the series simply titled Super Mario Bros. was released in theaters in May 1993. Produced by Lightmotive and starring Bob Hoskins as Mario, John Leguizamo as Luigi, Samantha Mathis as Daisy, and Dennis Hopper as King Koopa, the movie involves the brothers discovering a parallel universe where the dinosaurs lived and evolved, with King Koopa seeking to merge the two dimensions back into one by reuniting a shard of the meteorite with the rest. The shard, however is kept by Daisy, who is actually the rightful princess of the alternate world. The film was critically panned, with Rotten Tomatoes reporting that 15% of critics gave the film a positive review, and a financial failure, grossing only $20 at the box office on a budget of $48 million. However, it would later develop a cult following.
Several Super Mario characters appear as playable characters within the Super Smash Bros. series. Mario and Luigi have appeared since the original title, Peach, Bowser, and Dr. Mario were introduced in Super Smash Bros. Melee, and Rosalina and Bowser Jr. were introduced in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U. (While other series regulars such as Yoshi, Wario, and Donkey Kong also appear, they are counted as characters from their own franchises.) A number of stages and items based on the various aspects of the franchise also appear.
Games published by Nintendo
The Super Mario series on other NIWA Wikis:
- Super Mario Maker has sold 1 Million units around the world. Nintendo (September 30, 2015). Retrieved April 14, 2016.