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  HOME | Science, Nature & Technology

‘Super Mario Bros.’ Celebrates 35 Years of Innovation



TOKYO – “Super Mario Bros.” celebrates its anniversary on Sunday, marking 35 years since the most famous mustached plumber in video games leaped to fame and helped build a multidisciplinary empire that still continues to delight adults and children.

“Super Mario Bros.” went on sale on Nintendo’s gaming console in Japan on Sept. 13, 1985 and revolutionized the industry with its side scrolling, an innovative technique previously introduced without much impact by Alpha Densi’s “Jump Bug” (1981) and Namco’s “Mappy” (1983).

Since then, the Kyoto-based company has built an empire around the iconic plumber with a millionaire franchise across genres as diverse as consoles, puzzles, car racing, sports and role-play games.

Mario and company have published a new game in their main series on almost all Nintendo consoles (with the exception of Game Boy Color and Game Boy Advance), in which they introduced innovative mechanics, without forgetting their origins.

In a surprise 10 days before the anniversary, the Japanese company released a special Direct video on its network revealing a set of launches for the big day, including several old editions, a “battle royale” with up to 35 players and a peripheral for kart racing through augmented reality.

One of the most nostalgic products is a special edition of the iconic Game & Watch handheld consoles – created by the late Gunpei Yokoi (1941-1997), the brain behind the Game Boy – which included a single game and which also celebrates its 40th anniversary.

The first devices were launched in Japan in 1980 and the release of the Game & Watch: Super Mario Bros. commemorative model decades after it ceased production resulted in the company’s online stock in Japan selling out in a day.

The console, which will be released on Nov. 13, includes the title “Super Mario Bros.,” released in 1985 for Famicom (Nintendo Entertainment System, or NES, outside of Japan), and “Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels,” released in Japan as “Super Mario Bros. 2” a year later for the same platform.

The device, which will be sold until March 31, 2021, includes a special edition of the game “Ball” (also known as “Toss Up”) with Mario as the protagonist and a digital clock function that includes animations of characters from the series.

It was on this device, in its innovative “Mario Bros.” edition (in which two screens were placed horizontally next to each other for the first time), where the skittish Luigi made his first appearance.

Although many believe that the game was first launched on the arcade machine with the same name, it actually made its debut on the handheld device in Japan on March 14, 1983, four months before it hit the arcades.

Nintendo has chosen to adapt the device to a model from the 1981 Gold series, rather than the original Silver, perhaps because it was more aesthetically liked by the public.

Speculation has already begun around with the new console, which can be found for re-sale on platforms such as Amazon for 25,000 yen ($235), about five times its launch price.

In addition to making the leap to augmented reality with “Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit” and presenting a competitive online game apparently in the purest “Tetris 99” style, “Super Mario Bros. 35” (available from Oct. 1 to March 31, 2021 for those with “online” service), Nintendo has prepared a nostalgic reissue.

Under the title “Super Mario 3D All-Stars,” the company has adapted three iconic titles from the franchise for its Switch console.

First is “Super Mario 64,” an original title from 1996 that marked the leap of the series into three dimensions. The game can boast of having marked a before and after in the saga, with a control system maintained since then in 3D titles.

“Super Mario Sunshine,” released in 2002 for the GameCube, introduced, among others, a function that allowed regulation of the water pump pressure with the triggers of the controller.

Many competing games would later introduce a similar feature to this, which will apparently be lost in the reissue of the classic after its adaptation to the Nintendo Switch Joy-Con controllers.

The “Super Mario Galaxy” game was the first Mario game for the Wii, so far the company’s best-selling desktop console, with more than 101 million units.

The groundbreaking freedom of movement based on a point-centered field of gravity was thanks to the franchise’s designer, Shigeru Miyamoto, whose imagination took off as he cared for a friend’s hamster and wondered how cool it would be for Mario to run freely like the rodent.

 

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