‘The real Super Mario’ dies aged 84


Super Mario, Mario
Mario Segale

Mario Segale, the man after whom video game hero Super Mario was named, has died aged 84.

Mr Segale was a successful Italian-American property developer from the US state of Washington.

In the 1980s, he leased a warehouse to Nintendo of America who decided to name the star of their new video game after him.

Mr Segale joked to the Seattle Times in 1993 that he was “still waiting for my royalty cheques”.

Super Mario was originally called Jumpman until Nintendo decided it wanted to give the character a proper name.

Mr Segale said it was Minoru Arakawa, who had been tasked with setting up Nintendo of America, who told him the video game hero carried his name.

Super Mario, Mario
Mario Segale

Super Mario Bros was a platform video game developed and published by Nintendo. The successor to the 1983 arcade game, Mario Bros., it was released in Japan in 1985 for the Famicom, and in North America and Europe for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) in 1985 and 1987 respectively. Players control Mario, or his brother Luigi in the multiplayer mode, as they travel the Mushroom Kingdom to rescue Princess Toadstool from the antagonist, Bowser. They must traverse side-scrolling stages while avoiding hazards such as enemies and pits with the aid of power-ups such as the Super Mushroom, Fire Flower and Starman.

The game was designed by Shigeru Miyamoto and Takashi Tezuka and was initially planned as a farewell salute to cartridge games on the Famicom, in anticipation of the forthcoming release of the Famicom Disk System, drawing technical influence from several of the console’s previous games. It was designed with ease of access in mind, with the first level, World 1-1, designed to introduce the core mechanics. The music was composed by Koji Kondo, and is considered influential in making music a larger aspect of video games.

Super Mario Bros. is frequently cited as one of the greatest video games of all time, with praise going towards its precise controls. It has sold over 40 million physical copies, also making it one of the bestselling games of all time. It is credited alongside the NES as one of the key factors in reviving the video game industry after the 1983 crash, and helped popularize side-scrolling platform games. It began an expansive franchise including a long-running game series, an animated television series, and a feature film. Ports and remakes of the game have been released for most of Nintendo’s future systems. Alongside Mario himself, Super Mario Bros. has become a prominent aspect of popular culture.


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