Trivia Corner: Super Mario Bros. (25 Fact Special!)

In order to show you that I don’t completely hate Nintendo and its ‘wonderful’ systems and games, I’m going to present you with more facts that you probably already know.
Nevertheless, they interest me because I don’t care enough to search these things on a daily basis. I’m not really winning the Nintendo fans back here am I? Well read on gorgeous, amazing, wonderful people as I prepare to ramble some more about Super Mario Bros! So obviously everyone in the world has seen or heard about these wonderful brothers (here, just in case you’re a Martian or something and don’t want to admit that you’re some sort of social outcast.) Already, the music is getting on my nerves and I only watched the first few seconds. I mean… “I love it so much!!1!!one!!!”  Because I don’t know and don’t really give a damn about the Wii version, I’m going to attempt to keep it retro. Because retro is cool. And I’m cool… Love me? Anyway, let’s
just move on shall we?


1. Super Mario Bros. was so popular that they made a breakfast cereal called the ‘Nintendo Cereal System’ which also included Legend of Zelda cereal. The coloured crunchy corn bits were in the shape of Mario, Koopa Troopa, Goomba, Bowser and a Super Mushroom. Chomp! I wonder if it tasted any good? Eating chubby plumbers doesn’t sound like my ideal way to start the day…


2. Nintendo weren’t happy with just having a breakfast cereal (and an energy drink) so they opted to introduce him to the television set in a brand new way… as a TV program. It started in the late 1980’s and starred Lou Albano as Mario and Danny Wells as Luigi as well as having animated cartoons four times a week. What did they do? Get high on fungi for little kids to watch?


3. Obviously Nintendo didn’t name the character after the guy who had to come and install their kitchen sink but do you know who he really got his name from? A man named Mario Segale who was an Italian-American landlord situated in Seattle. I’m
guessing he came and did tricks for the company in order to seize their interest, I mean, that’s hardly an outstanding job is it?


4. As we found out in Banjo Kazooie, people who make games are lazy. How lazy I hear you cry? Let’s take into account Mario’s moustache and hat shall we? If you
look around Italy, I doubt you’d see many people flaunting this type of appearance, so why Mario? Well honestly, it’s because the developers decided it was too much trouble and would use up too much of their time to draw hair and animate a mouth. Now it’s his trademark look. Go figure.


5. Before the useless casual block named the Wii came out, the original Super Mario Bros. was the best selling video game of all time. In 1999, 40.23 million units had been sold worldwide. So why is it that coin collecting is seen as a boring thing? I mean, that’s all he was good at.


6. Originally, the first SMB. game came free with your brand spanking new NES along with the Zapper Light Gun and (amazing) game Duck Hunt. Since then it’s been sold for $20,100 (okay, so that also included two other games and was the Nintendo Campus Challenge cartridge of which only one was created… but shush! It’s supposed to look impressive!)


7. I’m going to assume that you all know that Super Mario Bros. 2 just replaced the
characters from Doki Doki Panic with the ones you recognise each and every day.
Because of this, Mario and Luigi are no longer only differentiated by a change in colour; instead, Luigi gets the growth spurt that he’s famous for and Mario shrinks and gets chubbier. I wonder how that happened so quickly…


8. If you take any notice at the cover to the game at all, you’ll notice that Mario is wearing a blue shirt and bright red dungarees. Obviously they realised how unfashionable and silly this made him look because as soon as you turn the game
on, poof! He switches back to the typical red shirt-blue dungarees outfit.


9. Super Mario Bros. 2 had a boss in the form of a crab, which, if you think about it,
is one of the more normal enemies you meet in the series. This crab was creatively named Clawgrip, however, due to a typo or translation error, he’s noted in the credits as “Clawglip”. Apparently, developers loved this mistake way more than they loved the original name as they never fixed it in Super Mario All-Stars. This is either the definition of lazy or that of crazy. Hey! That rhymes!


10. The US version of this game also decided that a great big evil turtle shouldn’t appear and so kicked King Bowser out. While he was sat in the gutter outside the pub (or what I assume he did at this point), fans cried themselves to sleep and so no other Mario game has followed this bad example. Yay! Let’s kidnap the princess again!


11. Across the ocean, the Japanese had a completely different version of SMB2 to the rest of the world. Their version had much harder levels and enemies. However, the rest of the world is dreadful at gaming compared to the people with possibly no lives and so couldn’t handle this. Instead, they stole Doki Doki Panic (as mentioned so many times before now) and slapped a Mario title on it. However,
if you wish to punch your screen into tiny shards, try playing the original; Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels. Have fun.


12. Did you know that Nintendo can’t use proper English? Well, okay, so the people who wrote the script to be specific. What started as a simple typo of using ‘your’
rather than ‘you’re’ as Toad is instructing you on how to play a game, became a
real palaver. They decided to change the game so that they didn’t lose any pedantic grammar nerds but found that they didn’t have any room to do so. The text box was too small and so instead of just making it a couple of characters larger, clever Nintendo decided to just rewrite the script. Can I call a new definition of laziness?


13. Do you know the cute little Koopa kids? (okay, so I’m a girl… so what?) Well if you only owned the Japanese version of the game, you probably have no idea what to call them. That’s because the writers for some unknown reason, completely skipped over the whole naming them part. If you owned the American version, however, you will have met Iggy, Lemmy, Ludwig, Wendy and Roy who are all named after famous musicians (guess who!). Morton and Larry were also named after talk show hosts. Is this complete admiration or complete unoriginality?


14. In game, Mario can pick up an item called the ‘Warp Whistle’ which transports him to a new area. When he uses this item, the tune played is identical to that heard in Legend of Zelda. I’m going retract my former statement of Nintendo showing their fanboy side and stick with calling them lazy.


15. You may have heard about the speed run of Super Mario Bros. 3 being held at 11 minutes. Actually, the video that shows this is frame-by-frame game states that the editor assembled to show off their flawless run. The editor finally confessed
and told everyone that it took around two years to make. It probably would have
been quicker to create a perfect run through.


16. One day, many years ago, the big shots of Nintendo sat in their luxurious office and decided that they just didn’t have the right sort of fanbase. They needed to
reach out to the people who shut themselves in their room for days on end in order to win a small competition and maybe a trophy. Now what’s better to do so
than to advertise SMB3 in the movie The Wizard? Well apparently the answer to that was ‘nothing’ because that’s exactly what they did.


17. So you most likely know that Japan received this game two years before America. Don’t worry, that’s not my interesting fact because, honestly, that’s just plain boring. The fascinating part of this is that, despite being released elsewhere in 1990, the copyright still reads ‘Copyright 1988 Nintendo’. Interesting enough?


18. On to Super Mario World. Technically this game doesn’t fit into the title of the article but I really don’t care very much. Did you know that the game took
approximately 29,000 hours to program? Now that requires some dedication.


19. My best friend, the one who was mentioned in our (first) podcast. The one who created Mario? Yeah, that guy. From the very first Super Mario Bros. game, he wanted Mario to ride an animal if the player so wished but had one major problem. The Famicom had graphical limitations so large that there was no possible way to
make it clear what animal he was riding. Finally, in Super Mario World, Yoshi was born and the world’s problems were finally over. Yippee!


20. Remember in fact number 6 I mentioned that SMB came free with your new NES? Well this time, the SNES presented itself with SMW free. So that’s how they managed to sell so many units. Boy, that’s a lot of abbreviations.


21. So how many units is a lot? Around 17 million to be not-so-precise. This shot it up to first place on the list of best selling SNES games and also on the list for best selling 4th generation console games. Whoa!


22. In game, the lovable company that we name Yoshi has orange arms. Whether the rest of the dinosaur-creature was red, blue or green, his arms were always orange. “So what?” I hear you cry “What if that’s what they planned?!” If you look on the box art or inside the manual, you’ll only see the green Yoshi with matching
green arms. Maybe he wanted to stand out more?


23. Quick fact! In the 1990s, an official survey found out that Mario was far more
recognisable than Mickey Mouse. In the words of Mickey ‘Oh boy!


24. Here’s a little trick for all of you who own the game. If you beat a hidden star shaped area in game, you get taken to some new levels in a dark sky. These are all part of the Star Road that you’ve probably heard of elsewhere. If you manage to survive through these areas, you get sent back to the familiar land of Mario, but wait! This isn’t how we left it! The season has changed, Koopas are wearing Mario masks, Bullet Bills are black birds. Please game, send me back, I didn’t ask for Halloween to come early!


25. Last one is the Minus World and for this, we’re heading back to the original SMB, World 1-2 to be exact. There’s a hidden warp zone somewhere within this level which will teleport you to World -1. This world isn’t any harder, it just has no ending. Once you complete the level, you get sent back to the beginning until you lose all of your lives. If you have the Japan edition, you’ll end up underwater to begin with, complete with multiple sprites and strange colours. You can then head over to World -2 and World -3. So an alternate universe does exist!


Phew, I think it’s time to grab a cup of tea and put my feet up. That was hard work!
Where have those chocolate biscuits gone..?


Share this post

Sian Bradley

Sian is a co-founder of Cubed Gamers, having been around since 2011. When she isn't helping to manage the site, she's exploring every nook and cranny in games to create guides you didn't know you needed.