Super Mario Bros., an iconic, fan-favorite video game that has since spawned multiple variations, was first produced in 1986.
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It features two brothers, Mario and Luigi, who live in the Mushroom Kingdom and are charged with rescuing Princess Toadstool, who has been kidnapped by Bowser, the king of the Koopa. Complete with a recognizable theme song, Mario has remained a popular character among fans for decades.
According to the narrative from the original instruction booklet, the kingdom of the peaceful Mushroom People had been invaded by the Koopa, a tribe of turtles who turned the “quiet, peace-loving” Mushroom People into stones, bricks and plants. The only person who can reverse the magic spell is Princess Toadstool, the daughter of the Mushroom King.
In the game, players guide Mario on a quest to free the princess and save the kingdom of the Mushroom People. He navigates eight levels filled with giant mushrooms, menacing turtles and other strange obstacles.
“You are Mario! It’s up to you to save the Mushroom People from the black magic of the Koopa!” the original instructions tell players.
Since Super Mario Bros. debuted, the brothers have been featured in numerous games, saving new lands and rescuing more princesses, including Super Mario Sunshine, Super Mario Galaxy and Super Mario Odyssey. The most recent, Super Mario 3D World, was released in February for the Nintendo Switch system.
Mario’s presence expands beyond the video game world, too.
In March, Super Nintendo World opened at Universal Studios Japan in Osaka. Visitors can walk through the familiar green pipe at the park’s entrance, explore Princess Peach’s castle and eat burgers inside a giant mushroom, all with the Mario theme song playing in the background.