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.

Disney+ Lands Oscar Isaac on Marvel’s Moon Knight Show

oscar isaac is moon knight
(Getty/Francois G. Durand Marvel)

Last year, in the aftermath of Endgame and the end of the Infinity Stones saga, Marvel Studios laid out their plans for the future of the MCU.

Aside from the various movies that are still yet to see the light of day (Black Widow, The Eternals), and Thor and Dr. Strange sequels, they announced the WandaVision, Falcon and Winter Soldier, and Loki TV shows for Disney+. We know now that Hawkeye and Nick Fury are getting shows too, but not everyone on Disney+ will be from the movies.

Marvel also announced shows for lesser-known characters like She-Hulk and Ms. Marvel, which were recently cast, and someone called Moon Knight, a fan-favorite character who is a mercenary/vigilante/consultant (?) and is also a conduit for an Egyptian god named Khonshu.

Keanu Reeves was rumored to be in the running, but it looks like the former Resistance member, Oscar Isaac, is in. The Star Wars star has signed onto Disney+’s Moon Knight series, and aside from Samuel Jackson joining the platform, Isaac may be the biggest star Disney+ has.

Isaac is a talented actor who was nominated for an Oscar for the Coen Brothers’ Inside Llewyn Davis and has split his time between the Star Wars trilogy and prestige projects from respected directors like Alex Garland, JC Chandor, and Denis Villeneuve, with whom Isaac made the forthcoming Dune.

Isaac isn’t the first movie star to move to television, and he surely won’t be the last. Over the past decade, the divide between the TV and movie ecosystems has all but disappeared, and with the future of movie theaters in doubt, thanks to the impact of the coronavirus and the explosion of streaming, more and more box office stars may be taking refuge in TV projects.

As long as the people doing TV are as bad-ass as Oscar Isaac, I don’t have a problem with it. It’s also easy to see a future in which Isaac takes Moon Knight from Disney+ to the big screen, if and when movies come back. It’s hard to believe they’d grab such a big name for a minor character and keep him corralled to the small screen.

No word yet on when production will start.

He’s Back: Arnold Schwarzenegger Recovers From Second Heart Surgery

Arnold Back after Second Surgery
(Twitter/Schwarzenegger)

“I’ll be back.” The iconic phrase was made famous by Arnold in 1984 while playing a time-traveling robot assassin. He went on to use it in 7 other movies and then in real life after waking up from his first heart surgery in 2018.

He’s clearly a man of his word.

Arnold revealed on social media over the weekend he’s feeling “fantastic” after having an aortic valve replacement. The legendary actor and former politician thanked the doctors at the Cleveland Clinic for their work and posted a thumbs-up pic of him in the hospital recovery room. It won’t be long before he’s back Terminating trolls.

“I feel fantastic and have already been walking the streets of Cleveland enjoying your amazing statues. Thank you to every doc and nurse on my team!”


The heart surgery was a planned follow-up to the one he had in 2018 to replace a pulmonary valve. Both surgeries stem from Arnold’s congenital heart defect. Schwarzenegger also posted a few pictures of him walking around the city after his procedure, drawing some warnings from his kids in the comment section.

His son, Patrick, begged his dad not to work out. “❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️PLEASE DONT GO WORKOUT TODAY!!” he commented on the post.

His daughter Katherine showed her support with hearts, and his youngest son Joseph also sent his support, “Love you dad! How are you already hitting a lat spread???” he wrote on Instagram.

It wasn’t just his family sending good vibes his way, as even his co-star from the 2008 blockbuster hit True Lies (ok it was 1994, the real date just makes me feel old), Jamie Lee Curtis shared a sweet sentiment for her former co-star.

NASA Found Water on the Moon

Moon Water
(Twitter/NASA)

NASA revealed some major news Monday, announcing they have discovered water on the moon. And, possibly, like, a lot of it. This news was blasted across the NASA communication matrix, including an emoji-filled tweet, which doesn’t feel like the most authentic way to broadcast a major scientific discovery but hey, it is 2020.

It’s been a terrible year on Earth, but a cool year for space. We got confirmation the Pentagon recovered “off-world vehicles” and a chicken nugget became the first of its kind to reach space.

And now we have moon water.

In a press conference, NASA discussed the two groundbreaking studies and the accompanying data to back up the discovery of water on the sunlit side of the moon, along with the possibility that there is much more water than previously believed (or hypothesized) on the moon.

“For the first time, water has been confirmed to be present on the sunlit surface of the moon,” said the director of the astrophysics division at NASA’s Science Mission Directorate during the press conference.

“We had indications that H2O — the familiar water we know — might be present on the sunlit side of the moon. Now we know it is there. This discovery challenges our understanding of the lunar surface and raises intriguing questions about resources relevant for deep space exploration.”

The agency detected the water with the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy airborne telescope. The SOFIA is basically a plane with a huge telescope in it. And it has space geeks excited that water can exist in the harsh circumstances on the surface of the moon and the possibility we could use more of the moon’s resources in future explorations.

Not only could we drink the moon water, if we were ever seriously planning to colonize the moon, having a source of water is absolutely essential for the splash park (no society can exist without one).

Monday’s announcement also included data from a second study that hypothesized many dark pockets on the moon could be filled with moon ice (some of these have been in darkness for billions of years). Further study needs to be done to map out just how much water is on the moon, but from a science standpoint, it was a big breakthrough for NASA.

Frozen Foods Company Makes History by Sending the First Chicken Nugget to Space

Nugget Launched into Space
(Facebook/Iceland Foods)

One small trip for a chicken nugget, one giant leap for the only food my kids will eat. A frozen-foods company made history this year by launching the first chicken nugget into space. The nugget now joins the elite class of various astronauts and assorted animals as the first of their kind to leave the planet.

Iceland Foods was the British company that celebrated their 50th anniversary by launching it into space. It’s been a great year for space, with the news the Pentagon had recovered off-world vehicles and the NASA dads making their trip outta here in a SpaceX vehicle. And now, this:

The company used a space-marketing company (which…is a thing that exists, I guess) to launch their nugget, which was secured to a weather balloon and cameras during its ascent miles into the atmosphere. It reached an altitude of 111,000 feet, which the company said translated into about 880,000 nuggets. The best part is you can watch it float away, and then come crashing back down to earth (at a speed of 200 mph) as all dreamers do eventually.

The nugget looked to be in good shape, especially as it hit temperatures approaching negative 100 degrees, but there is no word yet on what “out of this world” tastes like.

Father of Three Decorates Thousands of Lunch Bags With Dad Jokes

Dad decorates sandwich bags with dad jokes
(Instagram/sandwichbagdad)

Dave Blumenthal, a 44-year-old father of three knows how to make lunch memorable for his daughters. It’s not what’s inside the paper lunch bags that make his daughters’ school lunches special, but oddly enough, it’s what’s on the outside that counts. Though he has no formal training, Blumenthal is an artist – an artist that combines his love for his daughters with his never-ending supply of dad jokes. For over 8 years, Dave Blumenthal has been turning his daughters’ lunch bags into hilarious works of art.

It all started with a sandwich when Dave and his wife’s first daughter went off to school. “We had a newborn in the house at the time so my wife tried to make our first born feel special by cutting some shapes in her school lunch sandwiches,” Dave explained.

Dave soon took over the sandwich-cutting duty, carving the bread into shapes of cartoon characters and letters of the alphabet much to the delight of his daughter and her classmates. Once the bread-carving became too time-consuming, Dave decided to draw directly on the bags themselves – and he hasn’t stopped since.

 

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The bag reveal became a highly-anticipated moment in the school day for both teachers and students, sparking conversations, and even helping Dave’s oldest daughter overcome her shyness. Despite their success in the classroom, Dave didn’t have any intention of expanding his lunch bag project. That is, until his daughter’s teacher convinced him to share his hilarious jokes with the world. Shortly after, Sandwich Bag Dad was born.

 

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“I am honestly still amazed that my humble little bag drawings have attracted so much attention,” Dave marveled. “I seriously never expected to gain any followers – other than my family – when I first started posting. My kids still shake their head that there are so many people who voluntarily choose ‘the sandwichbagdad experience.’”

 

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It’s immediately evident why Dave’s sandwich bags have attracted almost 7,000 Instagram followers – between the unique take on dad jokes, the impressive art, and the fact that he does it all for his kids, it’s a truly wholesome undertaking. Though some people find it hard to believe, these entertaining sandwich bags do indeed fulfill their intended purpose.

 

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Dave explained, “The bags are absolutely and positively genuine lunch bags which my kids take to school! All my posts are just the ‘before’ pics. While some end up being hung up on their classroom walls, the vast majority end up coming home crumbled and very much worse for wear after holding a sandwich in them for a few hours. Most end up being tossed into the recycling!”

Though Dave is often encouraged to expand his “sandwichbagdad” empire, he has no plans to do so at this point in time. “At the moment, I’m just happy making people smile and knowing my dadjoke superpowers are being used for good not evil!”

 

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For a concentrated dose of dad jokes, follow him on Instagram.

UFC GOAT Retires After Victory Citing The Loss of His Father

khabib nurmagomedov retires
(Twitter/UFC/ Instagram/khabib_nurmagomedov)

One of the greatest mixed martial artists in UFC history is stepping away from the sport at his pinnacle, and he’s citing the loss of his dad and coach earlier this year as the reason for his retirement. Make no mistake, unbeaten UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov is the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world, and he retires unbeaten with a perfect 29-0 record. He announced his retirement immediately after defeating Justin Gaethje in a title match on Saturday. A match he won despite BREAKING HIS FOOT before the fight.

“This is my last fight. There’s no way I’m going to be back without my father,” he said. “ I spoke to my mother. She don’t know how I fight without father, but I promised it’s going to be my last fight, and if I give my word, I have to follow it.”

His dad, Abdulmanap, passed away in July from COVID-related complications. His dad was his longtime trainer and coach, and Khabib will walk away from the Octagon rather than continuing to defend the title without a key member of his team.


As word of his retirement spread, UFC stars poured in tributes to Khabib, who will go down in history as one of the greatest ever. Dana White was quick to call him the best pound-for-pound fighter in the game right now. He went even further, calling him the GOAT in the sport’s history.


Any mention of the word “GOAT” and of course, there’s going to be a debate, but no one can really challenge that he was the greatest lightweight champion the sport has ever seen. And he was the best fighter his dad worked with, but not the only, as the UFC now has a number of fighters that got their start in Russia thanks to him.


He was emotional in the Octagon after his win, and while it may seem crazy to some to walk away in your prime, it doesn’t to those who how close the two were.

Khabib learned the sport from his dad, and even his trainers acknowledge the major presence he had on his son. In fact, Khabib’s relationship with his dad seemed stronger than most, as he even called his dad his best friend and once told a reporter after a win that his advice for youngsters would be “respect your parents.”

Sister Creates Disney at Home After Little Brother’s Trip Was Canceled by COVID

Sister's at home disney experience
(The Dad Break)

In the grand scheme of what COVID-19 has done to our country, a missed vacation may not seem like a big deal. But to an 8-year-old desperately looking forward to a trip to DisneyWorld, it’s everything. And his older sister was determined to give him that trip, even if it meant making it happen without leaving the house.

10-year-old Ella’s goal was to give her little brother with Down syndrome the best at-home Disney trip possible, even if it meant the rides would be virtual. Other families have done the at-home Disney thing on a smaller scale during the pandemic, but none quite as well as Ella pulled it off. Her mom told Good Morning America she spent six weeks planning it for him, and included four ride experiences, an ice cream cart with Mickey Bars, and even nailed the perfect background music.

As you can see in the video, shared by The Dad, he had an awesome time. It’s the type of heartwarming gesture you hope to see in your own kids someday.

It’s just the best. That’s all you can really say about it. The type of thing that restores your faith in humanity, and the type of content that makes you feel a little bit better about how people are taking care of the loved ones in their world.

Father Figures: All of the Things

“This my dad. He has done such a good job raising me and my brother as a single Dad.

He put my hair up in a ponytail when I was little; he found a pad for me when I got my first period – when we were in an airport! (after that he made sure to pack pads in first aid kits just in case); he took me to get my eyebrows done for the first time when my eyebrows were getting really bushy with puberty…

He did all of the things!

He worked late into the nights so he could be around to coach my high school softball team, and he was so proud when I graduated from Notre Dame, where he went to school.

He is the best and I love him so much.”

– Rachel Twist

Daniel Kaluuya From ‘Get Out’ Wants to Make a Dark Barney Movie

Dark Barney
(Getty/Samir Hussein/New York Post Archives)

It’s Halloween season, which, in my house, means Spooktober season, which means we watch almost nothing but scary movies all month long.

Recently, a list came out in which a website used a scientific approach to rank scary movies, ranking their effectiveness by way of measuring the elevated heart rates they produce in audiences. There were a lot of recent movies, a handful of classics, and a few wildcards.

They may have to redo the list in a few years after Daniel Kaluuya’s “dark Barney” movie is released.

That’s right, the star of ‘Get Out’ is hellbent on making a live-action movie about Barney the lovable, once-ubiquitous, always obnoxious purple dinosaur and his terrible theme song. But Daniel Kaluuya isn’t just making a kids movie version of the children’s TV staple, he plans to make it darker.

In a recent interview with EW to promote his forthcoming movie about Fred Hampton and the Black Panthers, Kaluuya explained why he wants to make a Barney movie, and where he plans to take it.

“Barney taught us, ‘I love you, you love me. Won’t you say you love me too?’ That’s one of the first songs I remember, and what happens when that isn’t true?” Kaluuya said. “I thought that was really heartbreaking. I have no idea why but it feels like that makes sense. It feels like there’s something unexpected that can be poignant but optimistic. Especially at this time now, I think that’s really, really needed.”

Okay, so maybe it won’t be a straight-up horror movie (although any grown adult who’s seen Barney on TV might say he’s already a terrifying monster), but it definitely sounds like Kaluuya wants to explore something beyond the dinosaur’s insipid jingle and cloying kindness.

Whether that means we’re getting a drama about the death of childhood, a gritty, R-rated take on the challenges of being the man inside the suit, or some kind of horror flick in which the dinosaur comes to life and terrorizes children and adults alike is yet to be seen.

Either way, this thing needs to come out around Halloween!