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Friday, November 25, 2005 Bookmark Now! | Email to a friend  

How many different video games has Nintendo's Mario appeared in?

After dropping a few quarters at The Video Game Nostalgia Zone, I jumped over to Nintendo Land's exhaustive catalog of Mario sightings. The dexterous, mustachioed plumber made his first appearance in 1981's Donkey Kong. In the Japanese version of the game, he was referred to as "Jumpman." Jumpman came to America and became Mario. So how did Nintendo settle on Mario? It turns out that the name came as a tribute to Mario Segali, the Italian landlord of the Nintendo of America building in New York. The character's full name, however, is Mario Mario.

Donkey Kong was a huge arcade hit, selling over 65,000 machines in the U.S. Its sequel, Donkey Kong Jr., was the only Mario game to feature Mario as a (gasp!) bad guy. Mario really hit his stride in 1983's Mario Bros. That game also marked the debut of his trusty sibling, Luigi.

All told, Mario has appeared in about 77 games, including everything from educational titles like "Mario: Fun with Numbers" to "Mario Golf." He is truly the everyman of the video game world. Long live the little guy.

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