It feels like only yesterday that Nintendo was half-heartedly celebrating the 25th anniversary of Super Mario Bros., and before that was the unusual “Happy! Mario” event marking the 20th anniversary. And, of course, we’re still hot on the heels of what Nintendo dubbed the “Year of Luigi” – celebrating the 30th anniversary of Luigi’s debut in the original Mario Bros. Well, here we are again, just a couple years later, and we’re graduating up from Mario Bros. to Super Mario Bros. and its 30th anniversary. Mamma mia!
You know the game, you’ve seen it, you’ve played it, you may very well have every secret memorized; but we’re not here to discuss Super Mario Bros. in-depth today. You can look forward to that in an upcoming entry in the Retro Rewind series, so stay tuned. Instead, with the 30th anniversary now upon us as well as this year’s of Super Mario Maker, now is a prime opportunity to reflect on the lengthy and lasting, hopping, bopping legacy of the franchise spawned by that quintessential video game, and its pair of plucky plumbers.
We’re not entirely sure when Super Mario Bros. was released in North America – what precisely the 30th anniversary marks other than the latter months of 1985. The game was released for the Famicom in Japan on September 13th. This dating appears likely what Nintendo’s going with given Super Mario Maker‘s near world-wide date earlier this year.
A common assumption is that Super Mario Bros. was a launch title for the North American release of the NES on October 18th, 1985. However, information from the United States Copyright Office implies that the game was released on October 31st, separate from the other launch titles. In any event, the Nintendo Chronicle section of Super Smash Bros. Brawl lists the release date for the game simply as October, 1985. Lastly, to make things even more confusing, advertising from the time indicates a release date of November 17th as part of the New York City trial run for the NES. But regardless of when it was released, we know it was thirty years ago this past autumn season, and that should be enough reason for celebration.
Super Mario Bros. would go on to become the best selling game of all time until the release of Nintendo’s Wii Sports. Since its release, Mario has stomped on his fair share of Goombas, collected an incredible number of coins, and navigated a good amount of plumbing fixtures. Growing up during the height of Mario Mania in the earlier 1990s, I have played a heck of a lot of Super Mario games over the years. As a kid, I would play them incessantly. Every game was a treat. And playing them exposed me to a lot of different genres – platforming, puzzles, RPG, sports…art, even. Mario can’t seem to keep a steady job.
I am still a big Mario fan. I have my own personal favourite titles (and I’ll leave it at that, I’m not ranking them), with my own sense of what makes Super Mario, well, Super Mario. While your favourite games might not be on this list, I encourage you to leave a comment or share your favourites and memories in our forums! Mario means something else to everyone.
Okay, paisanos? Now, let’s-a-go!