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I spend most of of my time watching let's-plays, eating chocolate, and cosplaying. Blog: samanthaleablog.wordpress.com

Anybody who's ever spent five minutes in the section of GameStop knows that the series is easily their biggest and most popular line of games. It's been around the longest, it's gotten the most crossovers, and generally it's got the most recognizable music and characters out of any known video game today. And since in just turned 30 last year (and I'm kind of a geek about Mario and his pals), I decided to dig up ten fun facts that aren't common knowledge yet.

See also:

1) Luigi made a cameo in Castlevania

Easter egg found in Castlevania: Lords of Shadow--Mirror of Fate
Easter egg found in Castlevania: Lords of Shadow--Mirror of Fate

If you've ever played this game, then maybe you've discovered just what kind of clientele relies on the Mario Bros. to fix their toilets for them. In the 2013 release of : Lords of Shadow, there are multiple Skeleton Knights with notes attached to them, this being one of them. (And given the fact that this note was found on a skeleton, I'm guessing gave those dodgy mushrooms a chance.) One of the least-likely places I'd expect to find a Mario reference.

2) The Super Mushroom was modeled after an actual hallucinogen

The poisonous mushroom Amanita Muscaria
The poisonous mushroom Amanita Muscaria

So, yeah, I guess all those jokes about Mario being high on shrooms weren't so stupid after all. The Super Mushroom power-up that appears in every Mario game was designed after the poisonous Amanita muscaria. According to its Wikipedia page, this mushroom is noted for its hallucinogenic properties, and was used as an intoxicant and entheogen by the peoples of Siberia. This at least debunks the myth that Mario's constant consuming of shrooms is based off of Alice in Wonderland's "Eat Me" cake, but it's still not very comforting to know that the entire game franchise is basically one huge drug trip.

3) Mario was supposed to ride a rocket and carry a gun

Early concept designs of a cloud-riding level in which Mario toted a rifle
Early concept designs of a cloud-riding level in which Mario toted a rifle

And speaking of drugs, did you know that Mario was supposed to be a gunslinger, too? Early designs of were "more of a straight-up action game, with Mario wielding a beam gun and a rifle." Early concepts also had the game being split up between on-foot levels and levels in which Mario rides a cloud and fires his gun and/or rocket launcher at foes. That sure as hell would've made those fights a lot easier.

4) Miyamoto didn't initially like the idea of Super Mario Galaxy

The Good Egg Galaxy - http://gamewise.co/games/36802/Super-Mario-Galaxy/Stages/Terrace
The Good Egg Galaxy - http://gamewise.co/games/36802/Super-Mario-Galaxy/Stages/Terrace

Apparently, if it weren't for GameCube designer Yoshiaki Koizumi, one of Nintendo's most highly-accredited games wouldn't have existed at all. was inspired after a tech demo showing a crowd of tiny Marios walking around on a slightly curved surface that was shown at the 2000 Nintendo Space World Event, and it inspired Koizumi to pitch the idea of spherical world design in a Mario game to , but he was apparently unconvinced at first. Later, Koizumi pitched him some demos, and decided to give it a shot. Thank God he did, too.

4) The first seven Bowsers you fight in Super Mario, Bros. are just other enemies in costumes

Mario unmasking Lakitu in World 5 - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1nNHembxo2Y
Mario unmasking Lakitu in World 5 - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1nNHembxo2Y

If you didn't have the Fire Flower during each final boss fight when you played Super Mario Bros. as a kid (I know I didn't), then you may not know that the first seven Bowsers you fight are actually some of his minions dressed up in costume. By shooting Bowser to death in the first seven stages, you actually reveal which enemy is hidden underneath! You can find the full list of which enemy is posing as King Koopa here.

5) Mario Party cost Nintendo 80 million dollars in gloves

The original Mario Party and its five special controllers
The original Mario Party and its five special controllers

Almost everyone knows as one of the most fun Nintendo mulitplayer games that simultaneously destroys your friendships, but did you know it also lost in court? In 2000, a lawsuit was filed against Nintendo for a injuries caused by a joystick spinning game in Mario Party. Nintendo lost, and they had to drop a huge chunk of change distributing gloves to all of the players who had been injured by the game. Really makes the whole McDonald's coffee lawsuit look like child's play.

6) Nintendo cut corners by reusing the same graphics in Super Mario Bros.

See? - http://en.rocketnews24.com/2014/07/09/more-mario-trivia-than-you-can-fit-in-king-koopas-castle/
See? - http://en.rocketnews24.com/2014/07/09/more-mario-trivia-than-you-can-fit-in-king-koopas-castle/

Since the game was only 32 kilobytes (which, believe me, is practically microscopic), Nintendo had to save space somehow. One of their methods was reusing the cloud graphics for the bush graphics in all levels. I never noticed it as a kid, but I'll never stop being able to notice it now...

7) Super Paper Mario allows you to be a total jerk

A scene from Super Paper Mario - http://lazyreviewzzz.com/2010/05/03/super-paper-mario/
A scene from Super Paper Mario - http://lazyreviewzzz.com/2010/05/03/super-paper-mario/

So, not gonna lie, Super #PaperMario is actually my favorite Mario title of all time, which is why I was surprised to learn that there are two "endings" to this game where the world ends because you're a selfish prick. At the beginning of the game, when the wizard Merlon begs you to take the Pure Heart and save the world, you can get a game over by refusing to help him three times, thus dooming the universe to destruction. Also, at the end of the game, Dimentio will ask you to join him in helping to take down Count Bleck. If you say yes four times, Dimentio will enslave you and all of the other characters, winning you - guess what? - a game over.

8) Super Mario Sunshine is proven to make kids more helpful

A scene from Super Mario Sunshine - http://the-void.co.uk/games/perfect-summer-game-super-mario-sunshine-395/
A scene from Super Mario Sunshine - http://the-void.co.uk/games/perfect-summer-game-super-mario-sunshine-395/

It's not that surprising that a game all about cleaning up a polluted environment would make kids more empathetic and helpful. In response to the frequent blaming of comics, movies, and video games inspiring violent behavior among kids, a psychological experiment was conducted in 2009 in which one group of kids played video games deemed prosocial - one of which was - and another group played games deemed antisocial. Afterwards, each kid was given an unrelated partner and told to help them solve a series of puzzles ranging from easy to hard in exchange for a $10 gift card. Overwhelmingly, the evidence showed that the kids who had played the prosocial games were friendly and helpful, whereas those who had played the antisocial games were much meaner and nastier when their partners struggled. Who said video games never taught anyone anything?

9) Super Mario Bros. inspired the first Sonic the Hedgehog game

A scene from Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 1 - http://www.allaboutgames.co.uk/reviews/X360/Sonic+the+Hedgehog+4:+Episode+1/393/
A scene from Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 1 - http://www.allaboutgames.co.uk/reviews/X360/Sonic+the+Hedgehog+4:+Episode+1/393/

They say we sometimes create our own enemies, and no one knows it better than Mario. In an interview, creator Yuji Naka stated, "Back then, games didn't allow you to save your progress. So when you wanted to play Super Mario Bros., you always had to start from World 1-1. You could use the Warp Zones to skip many of the other levels, but you always had to play through World 1-1. Doing so eventually became kind of tedious, so I always tried to get through the level as fast as I could. And that inspired the initial concept for Sonic The Hedgehog." I guess that explains why Sonic's "gotta go fast."

10) Super Mario Bros. can be finished in less than 5 minutes.

That is, if you're some wicked-awesome speedrunning champion. The current world-record is 4:56:878, according to speedrun.com. And it's pretty freaking insane to watch. Check out his stream!

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