15 Crazy Facts You Don’t Know About Super Mario

15 Crazy Facts About Super Mario
(Twitter/forestillusion)

Despite making his professional gaming debut way back in 1981’s arcade classic Donkey Kong, there are still quite a few things that people don’t know about everyone’s favorite high-flying, mustachioed plumber.

We’ve done a seriously deep dive into Super Mario Bros history to bring you some information that, honestly, probably would have gotten our butts shoved into a locker back in high school. Fortunately, this is a safe space, and if you somehow already knew all ten of these deep-cut Nintendo nuggets, you definitely hold a special place in my nerdy little heart.

1. Super Mario Bros. had a cheat for infinite lives

Early video games were notorious for being difficult. Battled your way to that final boss only to lose your last life before finishing him off? Start over from the beginning, pal. You’re further than you’ve ever gotten but your mom says it’s time for dinner? No save files here, buckaroo.

Super Mario Bros. was no different… or wasn’t it? Most folks think it’s back to ol’ World 1-1 when your lives drain down to zero, but what they don’t realize is that by holding the A button and hitting Start, you can start back at the beginning of the World in which they died. What?!

It’s true. It says so right in the Official Nintendo Player’s Guide. Seven-year-old me is furious.

Nintendo Manual Code
(Nintendo)

2. “Yoshi” isn’t Yoshi’s Full Name

Just because Yoshi gets roped in as a tool for Mario’s bidding immediately following being hatched from an egg (as a fully-grown, shoe-wearing adult, I might add), doesn’t mean we shouldn’t give him the courtesy of acknowledging him by his full name.

Rediscovered by Blake Harris back in 2014 via an internal character guide, the bipedal green dino’s actual name is “T. Yoshisaur Munchakoopas.” No word yet regarding what the ‘T’ stands for yet—Tyrannosaurus? Transportation? Tanner?

If it stands for Tanner, I don’t even feel bad for tossing him into that pit.

(Nintendo)

3. Jackie Chan indirectly influenced Super Mario Bros.

Designer Shigeru Miyamoto has previously said how much the game Kung-Fu influenced his work on Super Mario Bros. The games’ bright colors and smooth side-scrolling are clearly reminiscent of each other, but most people don’t know the Jackie Chan connection.

While the US version of Kung-Fu featured a random guy named Thomas (cue the eye-rolls), the Japanese version was directly licensed under the Jackie Chan film Spartan X (known in America as Wheels on Meals). Unfortunately, the face-punching wasn’t one of the things added to Mario’s repertoire of moves.

4. Mario was originally going to shoot guns and ride a rocket

Just because punching guys Jackie Chan-style wasn’t ever really in the works for Mario, that doesn’t mean there wasn’t a much more badass version of him in development at one point in time. Before he was the turtle-stomping, mushroom-eating hero we know and love, Mario was less ‘plumber’ and more ‘John McClane.’

Early concepts of the game armed our hero with a beam gun and rifle and split the game between on-foot stages and shooting stages in which Mario rode on a rocket or cloud. This likely inspired aspects of the shooting stages in Super Mario Land on the Gameboy.

5. The Warp Zones exist solely because of Excitebike

Have you beaten the original Super Mario Bros? Okay, okay… but have you beaten is without warps?? If not, you owe your success to a certain motocross game on the NES.

Excitebike was Shigeru Miyamoto’s last game before hitting it big with Mario and Zelda, and the game featured a course selection screen that the game designer really appreciated. If you wanted to try your luck on the hardest course on your first try, there was nothing stopping you.

Miyamoto wanted to implement a similar feature in Super Mario Bros but was worried people would skip right to the end before honing their jumping skills in earlier levels. The solution: Warp Zones… but not before getting a feel for the game in Worlds 1-1 and 1-2.

6. The firebar was taken from Legend of Zelda

If you’ve ever taken a stroll through one of Bowser’s many, many castles (seriously, who is this guy’s real estate agent?), you’ve undoubtedly noticed these spinning fiery death traps.

What you might not have realized was that the same obstacle can be found in 1991’s A Link to the Past. Originally created for 1986’s The Legend of Zelda before both Mario and Zelda were either in the public eye, the firebar eventually made its way from Hyrule to the Mushroom Kingdom to give us even more grief.

7. All Toads are genderless

Probably something none of us ever really needed to know, but it’s true. The squat little citizens of the Mushroom Kingdom cannot be identified by any specific sex despite the traditional gender norms you might associate with their colorful headgear.

In an interview with Gamespot, Nintendo producer Koichi Hayashida revealed that “Toads are a genderless race that take on gendered characteristics.” Furthermore, he clarified that Toad and Toadette are not romantically involved at all, but are simply the closest of friends and “adventure pals,” which is pretty damn beautiful, too, right?

(Nintendo)

8. Bowser and Peach boozed it up in Super Mario Kart

There isn’t a lot of censorship that occurs in modern Nintendo releases, but some of the initial games that made their way across the Pacific to Western audiences included a few tweaks—one of which is a big fat NO to alcohol.

Apparently, worried about the backlash should they include booze in any of their G-rated games, Nintendo changed the victory animations for Bowser and Peach from guzzling champagne to something a bit more kid-friendly. Sure, I can fall into a deadly pit of lava or get completely crushed by a thwomp but a little bubbly is simply too much.

(Nintendo)

9. Goombas were the last enemy added to Super Mario Bros.

That’s right, the first baddie you ever encounter from Bowser’s army was, in fact, the last one added. In the final stages of production, Miyamoto decided the game needed a simple enemy that could be defeated with one hit. With very little memory left on the cartridge, developers created what was basically a little brown blob with eyes and one giant eyebrow, and the infamous goomba was born.

Bonus facts: In Japan, Goombas are referred to as “Kuribo,” which roughly translates to “Chestnut People.” So, imagining them roasting on an open fire is technically festive! And did you know Goombas have arms?

10. If you wait long enough, the Hammer Bros will chase you down

I wish I was lying. If you wait long enough, these hammer-wielding Koopas will eventually get sick of your shit and go straight into a berzerker-rage mode. Word to the wise: Don’t make the guy tossing around giant metal tools angry.

11. Mario’s full name is Mario Mario… kind of

It sounds like a joke a 5-year-old would make up, but it’s actually true. True Mario fans will remember the ridiculous line from the aptly named 1993 cult classic Super Mario Bros film when Bob Hoskins’ Mario claims his full name to be “Mario Mario.” Apparently, the joke tickled Miyamoto so much, he decided to roll with it.

“I heard this and laughed rather loudly,” he said in an interview with Game Informer. “Of course, this was ultimately included in the film. Based on the film, that’s [how] their names ended up. But, just like Mickey Mouse doesn’t really have a last name, Mario is really just Mario and Luigi is really just Luigi.”

12. A copy of Super Mario Bros. recently sold for over $100,000

Who says video games can’t pay the bills? This mint copy of Super Mario Bros is one of two “sticker-sealed” copies of the game produced between 1984 and 1985 specifically for test markets in New York and L.A., making it the rarest of rare.

Past games have reached five figures in various auctions but this bad boy was the first to break $100k.

(US Gamer)

13. The beta version of Super Mario Kart had very different music

Sure, it was just a placeholder before the final kickass version of the Mario Kart 64 theme was created, but it’s pretty fun to think about just how many versions of these games are produced before we finally get our greedy little hands on them.

Twitter user Forest of Illusion shared an alternate version of the intro music that was created for a prototype titled Mario Kart R.

14. Super Mario Bros. is stored on a 256-kilobit cartridge

Yes, kilobits. And 256 kilobits is the equivalent of 32 kilobytes. This means you could fit roughly 250,000 cartridges-worth of Super Mario Bros on your 64 GB smartphone if you wanted to. But that would be silly and pointless so don’t do that. I said DON’T.

15. The Mario backstory is actually dark as hell

If you were one of the few who actually read the Super Mario Bros instruction manual, you were treated to one weeeeeeird narrative that few people know about. Apparently, Bowser and the Koopas are black magic-wielding wizards who have turned the denizens of the Mushroom Kingdom into bushes, blocks, and mushrooms. The remaining townsfolk were gruesomely transformed into the evil thrall-like chestnut men.

That means every block you smash and brick you shatter is actually an innocent person getting straight-up murdered. Congratulations! We’re all monsters.

(Nintendo)

These crazy facts are a part of our dad trivia series, where we drop some pop-culture science you can impress your dad pals with at the next BBQ.

Watch a Hero Cop Save a Man Stuck on Train Tracks, With Milliseconds to Spare

hero cop saves man stuck on tracks
(Twitter/ABC)

This is the most dramatic video you’ll see all week. A cop in California was driving near train tracks when she spotted a man in a wheelchair who got stuck trying to cross the tracks. The disabled man was unable to free the chair, and the officer’s body-cam captured her dramatic attempt to rescue the man as the train comes bearing down.

The bodycam footage shows Lodi, California police officer Erika Urrea jump out of her squad car and run to the man as the oncoming train relentlessly hits its horn. She pulls him out of the chair and they both fall to the ground just milliseconds before the speeding locomotive destroys the wheelchair.

It does not get any more dramatic than that. The man, in his mid-60s, suffered a leg injury but was spared from certain death thanks to the rescue. He is now in stable condition at a local hospital.

In a statement released to the media, Lodi police praised Erika’s heroic act.

“Officer urea risker her own life to save another, and her actions prevented a tragedy. We are extremely proud of Officer Urrea and her heroism.”

Rescuing someone stuck in train tracks feels very 1880s, but hey, it’s 2020, so of course, there’s going to be something as heart-stopping as this save. There is no denying the officer is a bonafide hero.

Runaway Pig!

Students Raise $12k for Charity With a COVID Coloring Book

Covid Coloring Book
(Instagram/Be The Change Coloring Co)

Talking to your kids about COVID-19 can be tough. None of us have lived through a global pandemic before, so there’s not exactly a playbook for this. Four high school students in California are trying to make it easier, as they created a COVID Coloring Book to help kids understand the basics of the coronavirus.

The four students, Lauryn Hong, Ella Matlock, Sofia Migliazza, and Erin Rogers, created a business plan for a hypothetical book as part of an economics class project. After some encouragement from their teachers, they turned it into a real thing.

“We knew we wanted to do something for kids,” said Lauryn Hong said to the Washington Post. “We also knew we wanted to give back to the community. We considered doing a mask-decorating kit, but we decided on a coloring book because we wanted the kids to learn something. Covid is really confusing, even for us, and the coloring book is a way to keep them entertained and help them learn.”

 

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Thank you for all of the orders! Your books will be delivered sometime next week. 🐊💚💛 #SomeGoodNews

A post shared by Al E. Gator 🐊 (@bethechangecoloringco) on

They started ‘Be The Change Coloring Co.’ to create and sell the book. They expected to sell a couple of dozen to friends and family and planned to donate 40% of the proceeds to charities. They have since sold more than 7,000(!) books and donated more than $12,000 to charities including the CDC Coronavirus relief fund and local hospitals.

“I never thought that we would be at this stage in the business. I didn’t really think we would really have a business at all because it was supposed to be just a school project,” Rogers told a local news outlet. ”It’s really amazing to know that we’ve gotten to reach out to so many people.”

 

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We created a little video with a summary of what our business is about, please watch! 💛 + Erin’s editing with Sofia’s nonexistent feet

A post shared by Al E. Gator 🐊 (@bethechangecoloringco) on

According to their website, their main goals for the project are to educate young kids on the extreme issues of today and to give back to the community. The characters Al E. Gator, Wally the Narwhal, and Sam the Snail help kids entertained and informed about what’s going on.

You can buy a COVID Coloring Book for your kids at bethechangecoloringco.com

Order a “Tony Hawk Burrito” and Get Early Access to Pro Skater 1+2

Tony Hawk Burrito
(Chipotle/PlayStation)

There’s not a ton of great news these days, so when Tony Hawk gets his own burrito at Chipotle and gives us a chance to get it for free, yeah, we’re gonna be on board. In a big way. Like, as big as a 2,000 calorie burrito for lunch way.

It’s tough to undersell this collab, as we are big Tony Hawk fans here (and the feeling is mutual), and everyone loves Chipotle. The two announced a special promotion where the first 2,000 people to order the “Tony Hawk burrito” before August 14th would get a code to access the Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 and 2 warehouse demo for PS4, Xbox One or PC.

So, not only do you get a burrito, but you also get access to one of the most highly anticipated games. What is the Tony Hawk burrito? Good question. The recipe is as follows: brown rice, black beans, chicken, tomatillo-red chili salsa, cheese, and guac. It’s nothing revolutionary, but Hawk said it’s his go-to order to “refuel after long skate sessions.”

For those of you who like the idea of the burrito, but don’t like the idea of paying for the burrito, there’s something for you too. Chipotle’s Twitch page is being taken over this Friday, August 14, at 11 a.m. EST by Hawk, Jagger Eaton, and Finn Wolfhard, who will be playing the THPS 1 and 2 Warehouse Demo. During the stream, they are giving away 5,000 vouchers for a free burrito.

Pro Skater 1 and 2 are now nearly two decades old, and the new release is a re-master and those and the first new title in the PS franchise in more than five years. Hawk is a big Chipotle fan, and you would be too if, like Hawk, you had one of the celeb VIP cards that entitles him to free Chipotle and free catering. He said he’s all on board with the partnership.

“It’s a blast to see the enthusiasm for Chipotle, skating and video games continue to grow and inspire a new generation,” he said. “Whether you’re a veteran THPS player or new to the game, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 and 2 has something for everyone.”

Last Blockbuster in Existence Is Becoming a 1990s-Themed Airbnb

Blockbuster Airnbnb
(Airbnb)

There may be the occasional pop-up shop but there’s only one true Blockbuster remaining on the planet, and it’s about to (temporarily) become the closest thing to a time machine we currently have. The last store standing for the iconic movie rental franchise is in Oregon, and for three nights in September, it’s turning into the coolest Airbnb ever.

The store announced this week that it will be listing the store on Airbnb for three one-night stays in September. The press release described it as a perfect “end-of-summer sleepover.” If you’ve ever wanted to sleep in the 90s, this could be your best shot.

Each stay includes an unlimited movie marathon, as the store’s owner has gone out of her way to recreate the perfect 90s at-home viewing experience (including a giant, clunky TV with a VCR). And the price is a pretty reasonable $4, which is only a penny more than the price of a rental at the store.

The store is turning into a rental as part of a promotion to say thank you to the community that has kept them in business, even as Netflix has eradicated the franchise from the rest of the globe.

“It’s our 20th year as a Blockbuster, we were hoping to celebrate that this year, but with Covid throwing a wrench into everybody’s plans, we were really excited to be able to pull this off,” manager Sandi Harding told CNN.

While the store will become available on the rental site on August 17th for the September stays, they will be keeping the living room décor up for awhile for customers that want to see what it looked like. And if you aren’t lucky enough to get to book the sleepover in the past, you can avoid the late fees and still grab some nostalgic merch from the store’s website.

Connery Voted Top Bond, Craig Doesn’t Even Make Top 3

Sean Connery Voted Top Bond
(Getty/Michael Ochs Archives)

Years ago, when Daniel Craig landed the plum role of the most famous secret agent in history, fans were outraged. How could a blond man portray James Bond?! All the previous Bonds had had dark hair, and despite the fact I – and the majority of 007 movie fans, probably – have never read a single one of Ian Fleming’s books about the super spy, I assume he has dark hair in those too.

What’s cool about living in the modern age is that there is such a thing as hair dye. Eventually, after seeing the gritty new Bond Craig portrayed in Casino Royale and several more films (including the pandemic-delayed No Time to Die, supposedly the actor’s final Bond flick), most fans agreed that the formerly blond actor acquitted himself quite nicely.

But not nicely enough, it seems.

In a recent poll conducted by Radio Times, fans didn’t even rate Craig as a top 3 Bond!

Over 14,000 people cast votes in the poll, with Sean Connery immediately eliminating Craig in the first round, garnering 56% of the vote to Craig’s 43%, and Pierce Brosnan crushing George Lazenby, the only Bond portrayer to appear in just one flick (On Her Majesty’s Secret Service), 76% to 24%. The biggest upset was when Timothy Dalton, who took up the mantle between Moore and Brosnan, defeated Roger Moore 49% to 41%.

The final round saw Connery defeating both Brosnan and Dalton, with Dalton coming in second. The final numbers saw Connery securing 44%, Dalton 32%, and Brosnan 23%. No shocker that Connery took the crown, but Dalton coming in second after starring in two largely forgotten outings was surely a surprise.

Radio Times readers also mentioned their preferences for the next Bond, should Craig’s promises to leave the role prove out. The front runner was Sam Heughan, from Showtime’s Outlander series, earning almost 30%, with Tom Hardy (14%), Henry Cavill (11%), Idris Elba (10%), and Tom Hiddleston (5%) rounding out the top five.

After Saving His Sister From a Dog Attack, Bridger Has His Smile Back

Bridger Update
(Instagram/NicoleNoelWalker)

Bridger Walker became a worldwide inspiration when he selflessly stepped in to save his little sister from a dog attack. The boy suffered injuries requiring 90 stitches in the process, but as he later told family members, he thought “if anyone had to die, it should be me.”

As he was recovering from his injuries, his aunt shared the story on Instagram, and it quickly went viral. Bridger received messages from his “superhero” idols, including most of the Avengers. Strangers from around the world sent tributes and some even made fan art.

To the family’s credit, those who reached out inquiring about how to donate to his recovery were directed towards charities helping veterans. Bridger helped shine a spotlight on the Wounded Warriors Project and Mission 22. And since then, his family started the Bridger Strong website to share their story and the positivity around it.

There have also been a few other updates surrounding the story. The dog involved in the attack was put down, at the request of the owner. Bridger advocated for the dog, and his aunt said the family that owns the dog has been nothing but nice to the family.

Bridger did end up getting Brett Michaels’ guitar. His aunt said he was nearly in tears that Michaels said he was gifting him his guitar, because he was worried Michaels wouldn’t have one left and because Bridger doesn’t even know how to play. Somehow, I think Michaels will be OK.

Others have shown their appreciation for his story as well. His aunt said they weren’t sure if he’d ever be able to smile again, but that he hasn’t stopped smiling for weeks because of all the goodwill people have extended. He was a VIP at a local air show, got a care package from WarnerBros. With an awesome Flash figurine, a new camera from Canon, and a candy shopping spree.

 

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This is another gratitude post: When Bridger went in for his initial surgery, we weren’t sure if he would be able to smile again. The thought of my nephew’s smile being taken away was emotionally crippling. But, as I hope you can see from his photos, he has not stopped smiling for two weeks. He’s looking great, and I hope that all of you understand the role that you played in his recovery. Your kind words and letters and gifts—the use of your time and talents—have assisted in the healing of this sweet little hero. And these same things have restored my own faith in humanity. The world is not only full of good people, it is full of good people who are willing to do good things for one another. And, after all, I guess that’s what Bridger’s story is all about. Description of pictures: 1-3. Bridger was a VIP guest of @f22demoteam at a local air show. Maybe he’ll be a geologist and a pilot someday? 4 . Bridger received a care package from @warnerbrostv that was bigger than he is. His favorite was the Flash figurine. 5 . Bridger is going to love taking pictures of his growing rock collection with his new camera from @canonusa. 6 & 7. Bridger has a bigger sweet tooth than any kid I’ve ever known, so he was beyond excited to get a candy shopping spree with his family from @itsugar.

A post shared by Nikki Walker (@nicolenoelwalker) on

He also got a shoutout from Mr. Beast, his favorite YouTube personality, and a visit from Batman himself (well, the Batman of Spring Hill, which is close to the real thing!).

His family did make one request on the Bridger Strong website. According to their statement, this was their hope for what his story may accomplish:

After Bridger’s actions, our family has settled on a simple request: may we each actively strive to bear one another’s burdens; stand up for and protect those that are weak, oppressed, or those whom the world might forsake; mourn with those that mourn, comfort those that need comfort, and love one another. May we follow Bridger’s example, approach the world as a child, and bring greater peace to our own homes, communities, states, and countries.

Bridger’s bravery captivated people around the world, but his actions have clearly touched far more people than the 4-year-old sister he saved.

Zac Efron Headlining Remake of Three Men and a Baby for Disney+

3 Men Remake
(Touchstone)

Back in the 80s, a little movie about three bachelors who are suddenly saddled with caring for an infant – who may or may not be one of theirs – became a blockbuster. Starring Tom Selleck, Ted Danson, and Steve Guttenberg (the eighties were WILD), the movie blew up and even spawned (get it?) a sequel (Three Men and a Little Lady).

Along with everything else that you’ve ever held dear or even simply flipped by on HBO when you were a kid, Three Men and a Baby is now being remade for modern times, with a modern star: Zac Efron.

The former High School Musical star has slowly but surely been testing his range over the years, from starring in raunchy comedies alongside Seth Rogan, portraying notorious serial killer Ted Bundy, and starring in a new ecologically minded Netflix reality show, Efron is now taking on his biggest challenge yet: fatherhood. At least on screen. It won’t be easy with someone with that many abs to convincingly portray a character with a dad bod, but if Efron has proven anything over the past decade of his career, it’s that he’s game for anything. (He even got pee’d on in The Paperboy.)

According to The Hollywood Reporter, this version of the movie – which was itself a remake of a French flick – is being developed for Disney+. In the original, not only did Selleck, Danson, and Guttenberg have to learn how to care for a baby, they had to keep her safe from drug dealers who were trying to harm her for some reason. Honestly, all I remember about it is the urban legend that there was a ghost in the background of a scene (spoiler alert: there was not).

No word yet on how the plot will be updated for 2020 or who will costar alongside Efron, but I sort of hope it’s Danson and Selleck again. It’s Three Men and a Baby, so who really cares? Just go nuts. I’m sure Efron is up for it!

Fresh Prince Rebooting as Drama Thanks to Viral Gritty Trailer

Fresh Prince Gets a Gritty Upgrade
(YouTube/Sun Squared Media)

A year ago, we shared a trailer for a fake reboot of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.

Unlike most fan-made trailers that reimagine and/or update beloved shows and movies, this trailer was made by a bona fide filmmaker, and the finished product was slick, professional, and provocative. It took the characters and basic fish-out-of-water set-up of the classic 90s sitcom that made Will Smith a household name and helped him crossover from the music industry into dramatic roles. The “gritty reboot” is old hat, but Cooper’s version was far more legitimate than most, and it got people thinking.

That thinking has coalesced into something real, and now Cooper’s vision is coming true. THR broke the news that Cooper was co-writing the script to a series reboot, and this time the Fresh Prince will be a drama.

Apparently, this project has been in the works since the four-minute trailer went viral last March and Smith caught wind of it. Suitably impressed, he got his production company involved, and now the show is in development.

THR describes the new series as “an hourlong dramatic retelling of the beloved ’90s sitcom that leans into the original premise of Will’s complicated journey from the streets of West Philadelphia to the gated mansions of Bel-Air. With a reimagined vision, Bel-Air will dive deeper into the inherent conflicts, emotions, and biases of what it means to be a Black man in America today, while still delivering the swagger and fun nods to the original show.”

Cooper is both co-writing and serving as executive producer, and as a filmmaker and Fresh Prince superfan, he struck gold.

Stay tuned for more news as the project develops, and check out the trailer that started the whole thing: