Nintendo continues to celebrate Super Mario’s 25th anniversary. Shigeru Miyamoto, the creator of Mario, made an appearance at the Nintendo World Store in New York City this weekend. While there, the renowned game maker also sat down with USA Today to talk about the big Italian plumber. The interview was quite extensive, but we’ve pulled a few interesting quotes below.
Why Mario resonates with players
“When we create games, the gamer really is the main character,” said Miyamoto. “In that regard it may not really matter who the main character is onscreen. But you know, Mario is someone who has become very familiar and I think it is that people are comfortable with becoming Mario. … Mario really has grown and changed and evolved with the evolution of digital technology. The new technology is fresh and exciting and the next thing you know it becomes familiar and Mario follows that. He’s a familiar character, but he is also fresh because he is always doing new things based on what the technology allows him to do.”
How Mario became Italian
“As a kid, I was a big comic fan and I liked foreign comics as well,” said Miyamoto. “So I drew some characters that had more western type features with a little bigger noses and what not. Now with Mario, I think with Mario Bros. we had a setting of course that was underground, so I just decided Mario is a plumber. Let’s put him in New York and he can be Italian. There was really no other deep thought other than that.”
One thing about Mario even fans might not know
“…[When] we were working on the original Super Mario, we had on our original planning documents a lot more actions for Mario. We were thinking about flying through the sky, riding on clouds, doing a whole bunch of different things and we were still working on the control functions…. the original spec was for Mario to jump using the plus control pad. That’s probably something most people don’t know,” said Miyamoto.
Shigeru Miyamoto is the creator of many signature Nintendo franchises including Donkey Kong, Super Mario, The Legend of Zelda, Star Fox, and Nintendogs, among others. His favorite Mario game: Super Mario World.