Mario is one of the most recognizable characters in video game history, with few mascots standing the test of time more firmly than him.
This character has been adored by fans since before he even made his way to home consoles, like the Nintendo Entertainment System.
What started as the grandfather of all platformers has become a multi-genre franchise that has appeared on Nintendo’s home and portable consoles for generations, paving the way toward continual gaming innovations.
How Tall Is Mario?
Mario is considered to be 5’1” by most Nintendo fans, despite the world around him making him look much smaller.
This beloved Italian plumber’s height has been called into question throughout the many games in this decades-long franchise, especially with the massive proportions of the Mushroom Kingdom.
Mario the Italian plumber was first introduced to the world in the arcade classic Donkey Kong in 1981.
This game was created by Shigeru Miyamoto, who would later go on to create Mario’s first game titled after him.
At the time of his release, Mario wasn’t even known by his first name and was instead featured as Jumpman.
Mario earned this name because all he did in the 1981 arcade game was jump, with his only power-up being a red sledgehammer that can still be seen in the Super Smash Bros. series.
Originally, Shigeru Miyamoto wanted to create a video game based on the classic cartoon Popeye in which Jumpman and his princess were replaced by Popeye, his love interest Olive, and Brutus the brute.
However, Nintendo was unable to get the rights to use Popeye’s likeness, and the characters of Donkey Kong were the result of Nintendo not wanting to waste the base game Miyamoto had already created.
Since Mario’s popularity has flourished, he has become more than just a plumber who can jump.
For over 35 years, Mario has been the star of more than 250 different games and has held a dozen different jobs.
From his work as a plumber and carpenter to becoming a professional racer and Olympic athlete, Mario has a professional portfolio that even rivals the infamous career history of Mattel’s Barbie.
Mario has been amassing fans for generations, further proving the unrivaled staying power of the family-friendly gaming company Nintendo.
How Tall Is Luigi?
Luigi is 5’9”, making him eight inches taller than his slightly older brother.
While nearly everyone knows that Luigi is the cowardly younger brother of Mario, the Mario brothers are actually fraternal twins who are frequently in sync with one another.
Luigi was first introduced in 1983 and started as a mere palette swap of Mario without any other defining features.
As the world of Mario expanded, Luigi was eventually fleshed out into his own character with unique abilities that separated him from his twin brother.
For the first few generations of Nintendo consoles, Luigi was only seen as the less popular clone of Mario and was forced to live in his brother’s shadow.
While Mario was becoming the face of Nintendo, Luigi remained the same fearful plumber.
Being afraid was so baked into Luigi’s character that Nintendo decided to use it to their advantage by creating the Luigi’s Mansion series.
This GameCube original game was meant to be Nintendo’s response to the rise of games like Resident Evil while remaining family friendly.
As Luigi’s character has been explored through his spin-off series and the main Mario line and Super Mario games, fans began to see this easily spooked plumber as a reluctant hero who just needed some confidence in order to live up to the expectations left behind by his brother.
Modern Nintendo fans now love to root for this underdog hero, with some even preferring him to his more popular brother.
His fear, lack of confidence, and constant struggle to get out of Mario’s shadow have made Luigi one of the most relatable characters in the franchise.
Luigi may not be the bravest hero, but his timid nature and clumsy tendencies are what his fans love the most about him.
Why Does Mario Eat Mushrooms To Power Up?
Mario eats mushrooms to power up through his games because Shigeru Miyamoto was looking for a way to shrink and grow Mario, which he originally felt was achievable through magic mushrooms.
Although Miyamoto previously stated that it was a similar effect to when Alice eats mushrooms in Alice in Wonderland, he also clarified that Mario wasn’t fully inspired by Alice in Wonderland.
Throughout both literary and mythological history, mushrooms have always had a connection with magical realms.
This may have to do with some mushrooms’ psychedelic attributes, which is the same reason that Miyamoto may have wanted to distance his family-friendly game from the classic story known to be commonly associated with the experiences of different substances.
For the creators behind the Mario franchise, mushrooms were seen as the gateway to a fantasy world where an Italian plumber could become big enough to simply stomp on the variety of magical enemy creatures that block his way.
To help players see that the mushroom power-up was helpful rather than hurtful like the mushroom-shaped Goomba enemy, Shigeru Miyamoto decided to use the colorful Amanita muscaria mushroom as the inspiration for Mario’s boost of power.
The Amanita muscaria is a poisonous mushroom that grows natively all over the world, including in Japan.
Similar to their in-game appearance, the real-world Amanita muscaria has a top that is red with white spots and an all-white stem.
Eating a small amount of Amanita muscaria has led people to have intense hallucinogenic experiences, at the risk of also experiencing seizures and extreme nausea.
Due to their poisonous qualities, eating large amounts of this type of mushroom can lead to death.
Although they may have some hallucinogenic qualities, Amanita muscaria isn’t typically considered to be the type of “magic mushroom” sought out by those who are looking for psilocybin.
Who Is The Voice Of Mario?
Charles Martinet is the voice behind Mario and has been the actor portraying Mario since he was first given a voice in 1995.
Martinet is proud to be the voice behind Nintendo’s most well-known character and loves recounting the unlikely story of how he landed the role.
Nintendo was originally looking for voice actors at a Las Vegas trade show that was meant to be an invitation-only event.
Despite Martinet not receiving an invitation, a friend of his managed to convince him to go.
Charles Martinet arrived at the trade show late and only arrived as the audition crew was packing up their recording gear.
Desperate to find the right voice for this iconic character, the audition crew allowed Martinet to use a bit of their audio tape.
The only instruction that Martinet received before his audition started was that he was an Italian plumber from Brooklyn named Mario who was going to be in a Nintendo game.
At first, Martinet planned to give Mario the stereotypical, harsh New Yorker voice, but then he remembered that this game was going to be targeted toward children.
Martinet decided to bring the pitch of his voice up and soften his tone, in order to appear friendly and less frightening as an adult.
The voice actor improvised his lines and was able to talk continually until the audio tape ran out.
Of all the audition tapes that had been recorded at the trade show, Martinet’s audition was the only recording that the audition crew sent back to Nintendo headquarters
He was an immediate hit among both American and Japanese Nintendo officials.
They considered him perfect for the character that Nintendo hoped would become an international star.
Charles Martinet holds the record for the most video game voiceover performances as the same character.
Does Mario Have A Last Name?
No, Mario and Luigi do not have last names, despite what the 1993 film Super Mario Bros. tried to tell the audience.
In the live-action film starring Bob Hoskins as Mario, viewers are told that Mario and Luigi are known as the Mario Bros. because Mario is their last name.
By the film’s logic, that would mean that the iconic plumber brothers would be Luigi Mario and Mario Mario.
Although creator Shigeru Miyamoto found this part of the film to be comical, he has gone on record to state that the film Super Mario Bros. is not considered to be canon by him or anyone at Nintendo.
Instead, Miyamoto believes that Mario and Luigi are like characters such as Mickey Mouse, who lack last names.
Throughout the franchise, the typically quiet Luigi has even taken issue with the idea that he and his brother are the Mario Bros.
One of the few characters to actually have a last name is Princess Peach, who was previously only known as Princess Toadstool.
Although some fans have considered Princess Toadstool and Princess Peach to be different characters due to the character’s changing hair color, Princess Peach Toadstool is the character’s full name.
Nintendo decided to begin calling Princess Toadstool by her first name as the personality of her character began to become more clear.
Her first name is based on the idiom “to be a peach,” meaning someone who is likable, attractive, and a generally good person.
Princess Peach Toadstool’s name would switch between regional changes to the Mario franchise.
She would officially begin going by her first name internationally in Mario 64 when the character began signing her name as simply Peach in her letter to Mario.
Peach is now one of the most popular female characters in video games.
Is Mario A Real Doctor?
No, Mario is not a real doctor and is not even licensed to be a practicing medical professional in the Mushroom Kingdom.
This may be why Mario continued to be a plumber alongside multiple other blue-collar jobs rather than focus on his career as a doctor.
According to his creator Shigeru Miyamoto, Mario’s medical practice is “maybe, in some way, not necessarily legitimate.”
Even Mario’s creator is admitting that Nintendo’s iconic mascot is a quack doctor.
Nintendo has officially stated that Mario currently has seven different careers, which include being a plumber, a professional racer, a highly trained martial artist, a basketball player, a soccer player, and a baseball player.
Mario’s professional portfolio has previously included being a carpenter, a golfer, a brewery worker, a cement factory worker, an artist, a toymaker, a theme park owner, a boxing referee, a chef, a marine biologist, and even a conductor.
The majority of Mario’s most obscure jobs have been through his appearances in the Game & Watch series, where has served as a factory worker and submarine pilot.
Mario’s most wild career change during the original Game & Watch era was when he became a soldier in Vietnam for Mario’s Bombs Away in 1983.
In this game, Mario must transport bombs from one side of his camp to the other without being hit by gunfire coming from the nearby trees.
This 1983 offering is considered to be the bleakest game Mario has ever appeared in, which is part of the reason this game may not ever get a digital re-release unlike other classic spin-off games from the franchise.
Some of Mario’s other strange job titles have occurred thanks to his appearances in games outside of his franchise, such as Punch-Out.
Although Little Mac may be the star of Punch-Out, Mario is equally iconic as the referee.
Is Mario Human?
Yes, Mario is human despite how different he looks from the citizens of New Donk City as seen in one of his most recent hit games, Mario Odyssey.
Although Mario may be the most realistic-looking character in the older games, seeing Mario next to the hyper-realistic residents of New Donk City has caused fans to question Mario’s canonical height and species.
According to Mario Odyssey director Kenta Motokura, the reason Mario looks so different from the other humans seen in New Donk City is that “In the world, there are many different types of people.”
Although New Donk City is a part of the same universe as the Mushroom Kingdom, New Donk City is considered to be in a different part of the world from the Mushroom Kingdom.
While the Mushroom Kingdom has Princess Peach as its leader, New Donk City is run by Mayor Pauline.
Mario may be considered to have average height and features in the Mushroom Kingdom, his unique look sets him apart from the tall, suit-wearing citizens of New Donk City.
Despite their physical differences, Mario is no less human than anyone else.