Gamers the world over can agree that video game culture over the past 30 years can be traced back to a simple plumber, who got mixed up in a world of magic mushrooms and flying turtles.

Super Mario is gaming culture. He represents the past, present and future of home console games.

We know Mario made video game history, but what else was going on in the world when he and his brother Luigi were introduced to North America? What was happening on the days Mario Bros 1-3 were released?

Super Mario Bros
Super Mario Bros redefined home console history in 1985.

SUPER MARIO BROS – October 18, 1985

According to Nintendo, Super Mario Bros was released in North America on October 18, 1985. The actual release date is something of a mystery to NES fans to this day, with some arguing the game did not appear on American shelves until 1986. However, for our purposes, we are going with the ‘official’ release date.

On this day in Mario history…

– According to the Billboard Hot 100 charts, Ready For the World’s Oh Sheila was on top of the world, replaced the very next day by Aha’s classic and Take On Me.

– South African poet and accused murderer Benjamin Moloisi was executed by hanging.

– The Cosby Show was the most popular television program in America. History weeps.

– NBA Commissioner David Stern officially bans Air Jordan 1 shoes from the NBA court for not matching Chicago Bulls dress code.

Super Mario Bros 2
Super Mario Bros 2 was released in North America in 1988.

SUPER MARIO BROS 2 – October 9, 1988

The sequel to Super Mario Bros was a huge departure from the original NES game. Mario had the ability to pick up and throw items and enemies, and square off against a variety of bosses. SMB2 also introduced Princess Toadstool and Toad as playable characters, and replaced Bowser with Wart, the evil dream king.

Super Mario Bros 2
Mario history was made when Super Mario Bros 2 allowed players to choose Toad or Princess Toadstool as playable characters.

On this day in Mario history…

– Def Leppard’s Love Bites topped the Billboard charts.

– The Cosby Show was still the most watched television program in America.

– The Oakland Athletics swept the American League championship over the Boston Red Sox in game four of the ALCS (with sidearm legend Dennis Eckersly getting four saves).

– South Koreans endure their final Daylight Savings Time adjustment, switching over to Korean Standard Time.

-Felix Wankel (who developed the Wankel rotary engine), died in Germany.

Super Mario Bros 3
Super Mario Bros 3 altered Mario history with the ability to fly.

SUPER MARIO BROS 3 – February 12, 1990

Mario 3 brought yet another new dimension to the franchise – the ability to fly! In addition to Raccoon Mario, Nintendo’s poster boy also had the option to become a swimming frog, a stone statue tanooki bear, and a hammer brother. The graphics on this game were revolutionary, as were the hidden gems like coin ships, mini games and even Toad’s hut of Strange and Unusual Things.

Super Mario Bros 3
Mario history was made in 1989 with the addition of mini games in Super Mario Bros 3.

On this day in Mario history…

-South African anti-apartheid legend Nelson Mandella enjoys his first full day as a free man, being released from prison the day before. He spent 27 years behind bars.

-Teenagers in Hagersville, Ontario, start a massive tire fire that took 11 fire departments 15 days to extinguish. Hundreds of people were relocated due to pollution.

– Cheers replaces the Cosby Show as the number 1 television program according to the Nielsen Ratings.

– Paula Abdul topped the Billboard 100 with Opposites Attract.

SUPER BONUS MARIO

Super Mario World SNES
August 13, 1991 was an eventful day in history, not the least because of the release of Super Mario World for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System.

Super Mario World was released in North America on August 13, 1991 for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. Everyone’s favourite egg-swallowing dino, Yoshi, made his Mario Bros. title debut. Gone were the animal suits of the SMB 3, replaced by Mario’s flying cape and different abilities gained when Yoshi eats different coloured shells.

On this day in Mario history…

-Bryan Adams, was enjoying the sixth of his seven week stay at the top of the Billboard charts with (Everything I Do) I Do it For You, a song from the Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves soundtrack.

-X-Men Volume 2 #1 was the top-selling comic (costing from $1.50-$3.95).

-Mattel toy designer Jack Ryan, who invented Barbies’ joints in her waist and knees and Hot Wheels dinky cars, passed away.

-Mr. Bungle released their first album, Mr. Bungle. Opening track Quote Unquote was originally called Travolta, however it was changed to avoid legal troubles.

Meanwhile, in addition to the more than 200 games he already appears in, more Mario titles continue to be produced each year. Since Mario came to this continent, consoles have come and gone, and games went from cartridge to disc to download.

No matter the changes in gaming technology, Mario will continue making history long into the future.

2 COMMENTS

  1. “Anyone else remember a little game called Secret of Evermore? It was Secret of Mana Perfected. It still ranks as, in my opinion, one of the greatest RPG’s with a fantastic setting, characters and some wonderful gameplay.
    It was simple, fast to pick up and almost impossible to put back down.

    No?
    Just me?
    Alright.”

  2. Sorry to say but Donkey Kong Country is NOT better than its sequel, Diddy’s Kong Quest. Everything that was done well in the first game was done EVEN BETTER in the sequel. Also, Super Metroid is leagues ahead of some of the choices above it, such as DKC, Mario World, and ALTTP (my opinion on those last 2, it is definitely better than DKC). However I think DKC 2 is better than Super Metroid, but they are my favorite and second favorite games respectively.

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