Mario has been on enough adventures in games like Super Mario 64 and Super Mario Galaxy that you’d think he’s definitely a man nearing his 40s. However, in a 2005 Nintendo interview that recently resurfaced, Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto said that the Italian plumber is only 24 or 25 years old (via Ars Technica).
According to Miyamoto, almost nothing about Mario is clearly defined, meaning he’s free to evolve and change through each and every one of his games. The only thing that won’t change is his age.
“I think it was fortuitous that we didn’t put any restrictions on Mario as a character,” he said. “Normally when you create a character and present him to the world, all the details get filed in: what’s his favourite colour? what kind of food does he like to eat? But aside from the fact that he’s about 24-25 years old, we didn’t define anything else.”
What’s really surprising about this news is that Bob Hoskins was in his fifties when he played the 24 year old Mario in 1993’s Super Mario Bros. It just goes to show how good of an actor he really was. It puts a whole new light on the movie we all thought was terrible, when actually, it was truly inspirational.
As for the video games, it’s worth noting that Mario has appeared as a baby in multiple instances. These include Yoshi’s Island, the Mario Kart series, and several Mario sports games.
The Mario character made his first appearance 35 years ago in the original Donkey Kong. The first Mario Bros. game came in 1983, while Super Mario Bros. introduced the classic Mario platforming in 1985.
Mario’s next adventure is in Super Mario Run, his first appearance on iOS devices. The game is in the style of an endless runner, though it features levels with a definitive end. You control Mario by tapping on the screen to make him jump, behaving differently depending on when and how you tap. It launches on iPhone and iPad in December, with a release on Android devices coming later.