A Super Mario History Lesson

Geek Culture

Mario Timeline (Image: Nintendo)Mario Timeline (Image: Nintendo)

Mario Timeline (Image: Nintendo)

I was just reading about a new Mario advert and getting ready to scoff at the marketing ploy, when I realized they are actually kind of right.

The new advert from Nintendo celebrates 25 years of Mario games, since it was on September 13, 1985 that Super Mario Bros. was first released in Japan. They have a range of celebrities involved to share their Mario memories. Famous faces including Jonathan Ross, Ant & Dec, Jamie Cullum, Ashley & Peri from Diversity, Jamie Redknapp, Lawrence Dallaglio, Jodie Kidd, Iain Lee, Sarah-Jane Crawford and Patrick Moore.

Although I’m not usually partial to this kind of drum banging, Mario actually does have a special spot in my family’s life. Having grown up in the 80′s enjoying Super Mario Bros in the arcades as well as on my NES at home, I’ve often tried to get my kids to understand how different it was back then.

It’s great to see them working their way through the likes of Mario Kart, New Super Mario Brothers and most recently Mario Galaxy 2. What struck me seeing the different Mario’s all laid out was how consistent this world is. The music, architecture and characters perpetuate from the 80′s right through to 2010. So much so that I could almost tell a Mario game by just listening to it.

My kids have been inspired to go back and play some of the old games that “dad” used to play when he was little — courtesy of the virtual console. I’ve also decided to go and fill in some of my Mario gaps – those years when I was studying and not able to play. So they have just started on Super Mario Bros, and I’m dipping my toe into Super Mario Sunshine.

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