Mario is one of the most recognizable figures in video game history. I mean, the mustachioed plumber is right up there with Donkey Kong and Pac-Man.
But did you ever wonder where Mario got his iconic name and look? Shigeru Miyamoto, the man who created the legendary character, recently explained the origin of the turtle-squashing plumber we’ve controlled in arcades, on televisions, and on handheld devices for almost 40 years.
When Miyamoto was designing the character, he wanted to distinguish Mario’s nose (tough with so few pixels), so he gave him a big mustache. And Miyamoto gave him a hat because hair was difficult to draw. The character was originally called “Mr. Video” – then, because of his jumping skills in Donkey Kong, Mr. Video became “Jumpman.”
When Nintendo released Donkey Kong in the US in the early 1980s, the company rented a warehouse in Seattle from a man named Mario Segale. Miyamoto thought Segale bore a striking resemblance to the Jumpman character he had created and that Mario had a nice ring to it. “I thought it was a nice name, and it might work,” Myamoto said.
After Donkey Kong, Mario embarked out on his own in the video game world and has since become an icon.
All because of a guy with a mustache and a cool name in Seattle!
Watch the video below to see the interview with Miyamoto and get more info on Mario’s history: