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Mario Logo

The Mario series is a popular video game series that was created by Nintendo. It's one of the best selling video games franchises of all time.

Donkey Kong[]

Donkey Kong arcade

Donkey Kong's gameplay.

Donkey Kong was Mario's first appearance (named as "Jumpman"). It was released in the arcades in 1981 and on the Famicom in 1983 (NES in 1985). Mario (Jumpman in the arcade) has to rescue his girlfriend Pauline (named as "Lady") from Donkey Kong who has taken her to the top. The game itself became a huge success in the arcades. The arcade version has many bootleg clones that were released in North America and in Europe. The Famicom version removes 50m due to Nintendo not having enough memory at the time. The game had two sequels. Donkey Kong Jr where you have to save Donkey Kong by climbing vines and other things and avoiding Mario's traps and Donkey Kong 3 where you take control of Stanley and stop Donkey Kong from causing ruckus in the greenhouse. The Famicom version of Donkey Kong and its sequels have appeared on many multicarts due to its small size.

Super Mario Bros.[]

Super Mario Bros

Super Mario Bros.' title screen.

Super Mario Bros. is a platform video game released on the Famicom on September 13, 1985, and on the NES in November of 1985. The player plays as Mario (while the second player plays as Luigi) and has to run through the Mushroom Kingdom, getting through Bowser's forces and saving Princess Toadstool. He can stomp on enemies, collect coins and go down pipes in the levels. Power-ups can be gained by hitting the ? Blocks that are found throughout the levels. Super Mario Bros. was one of the best-selling video games of all time and it sold about 40.241 million copies worldwide and has been held with very high acclaim. Due to the game's popularity and small size, it can be found on a large number of multicarts, either hacked or still the same. Some known bootleg hacks have been produced, such as Pandamar, Pocket Maero (sic), and Super Simpsons as well as another hack which replaces the graphics with those from the Japanese Super Mario Bros. 2. The game was ported to the Mega Drive under Super Mario Bros. 2 and Sonic Jam 6. The first couple of Super Boy games were based off this game.

Super Mario Bros. 2 (Japan, known in the US as Super Mario Bros: The Lost Levels)[]

Mario - The Lost Levels

Super Mario Bros. 2 is the sequel to Super Mario Bros. released on the Famicom on June 3, 1986. It plays very much like the original but with the option to choose either Mario or Luigi, with the latter being able to jump higher but has less traction. The sequel adds some new things such as Poison Mushrooms, Warp Zones taking you backward, red Piranha Plants (still go up and down even if you're near them), etc. It was never released in North America due to the difficulty as well as being too close to the original Super Mario Bros. The game itself has been unofficially ported to the Famicom.

Super Mario Bros. 2 (Western, known in Japan as Super Mario USA)[]

Super Mario Bros
Super Mario Bros

Even though the Japanese version of Super Mario Bros. 2 was considered to be released in America, it was ultimately canceled due to its difficulty and the fear that it could be considered outdated when it was released due to the graphics. Instead, Nintendo took Yume Kōjō: Doki Doki Panic, a Japanese-exclusive game they made and originally contained several elements from the Mario series, and released it as Super Mario Bros. 2 in the west. Here, Mario, Luigi, Peach, and Toad need to free the dreamland Subcon from Wart's control. It's noted as being quite a departure from the series due to its gameplay; notably, when you jump on enemies, you stand on them and then you can pick them up and throw them around. Despite selling about 10 million copies in the USA and even getting a release form the Famicom under the name Super Mario USA, this game didn't show up on bootleg copies often probably due to the fact it was harder to obtain compared to the Japanese Super Mario Bros. 2. However, it was seen released as a pirate copy under a title hack of the original USA version called Super Mario Bros. 5 (referred to on the cart as Super Bros. 5: Super Wonderful Mario).

Super Mario Bros. 3[]

Super Mario Bros

Super Mario Bros. 3 American Box NES.

Super Mario Bros. 3 is the third Super Mario Bros. game released in Famicom on October 23, 1988, and the NES in 1990. Mario and Luigi have to save each king of the seven kingdoms from Bowser and his kids. This game has some new power-ups such as the Raccoon Leaf which gives you a raccoon tail that lets you float and fly. It managed to sell 18 million copies worldwide, making it the best selling game not bundled with a console. This game has been unofficially released on the pirate market. Mario's sprites in this game have been used in bootleg hacks and games such as Somari and Super Mario World. Super Bio Man 4 for the MSX is a Mario game with SMB3 elements in it. It has been ported to the Game Boy Color under Super Mario Special 3 by Makon Soft Studios.

Super Mario World[]

Super mario world gameplay

Super Mario World's gameplay.

Super Mario World is the first Mario game that was released on the Super Famicom and the SNES. It was released on November 21, 1990, for the Super Famicom and September 13, 1991, for the SNES and was a pack-in title for both. Mario and Luigi have to save Dinosaur Land from Bowser in this game. This game includes the cape power-up and Yoshi who became a very popular Mario character. This game was later ported to the Famicom by Hummer Team and to the Mega Drive under Super Mario World 64 by an unknown company (possibly Gamtec.) Super Boy 4 on the Master System was closely inspired by this game.

Super Mario Kart[]

Super Mario Kart Gameplay

Super Mario Kart's Gameplay.

Super Mario Kart is the first entry in the Mario Kart series. It was released on August 27, 1992, for the Super Famicom and September 1, 1992, for the SNES. The player can play as either Mario, Luigi, Toad, Princess Toadstool, Yoshi, Koopa, Bowser, or Donkey Kong Jr. and race against CPUs or another player, or play Battle Mode where players have to pop each others balloons. It was responsible for creating the kart-racing sub-genre and popularized spinoffs as a whole. Although never ported to the NES, Kart Fighter, by Somari Team, uses the characters from the game. A hack of Top Rider, called Mario Rider, was also released for the Famicom which plays similar to Mario Kart.

Super Mario 64[]

Super Mario 64 Cover

Super Mario 64 Box N64.

Super Mario 64 is a first 3d platform game released in Japan on June 23, 1996 , and the NA in September 29, 1996, Although never ported to the Game Boy, Super Mario 4, uses Japan box art from that game.


Due to the official Mario games being highly popular, the series have been a target for pirates. Super Mario Bros. and the Donkey Kong games have appeared on many multicarts, thanks to the small memory. Super Mario Bros. 3 can also be found on multicarts, although this is nowhere near as common generally due to the size of the game. Super Mario Bros. and Super Mario Bros. 3 have been released unofficially as well. Some carts generally edit Mario out of official art or modify his head due to fear of copyright issues. There are hacks that replace the main character with Mario, usually using sprites from Super Mario Bros 3. Some of these are Super Bros. 10: Kung Fu Mari (hack of Jackie Chan's Action Kung Fu) and Super Mario 14 (hack of Kid Niki 3). These hacks often refer to Mario as "Mari" or "Mali", which comes from his Chinese name 瑪莉, or do not use the Mario name at all, probably to avoid Nintendo's trademarks.

Super Mario Bros. has been ported to the MSX by Zemina under Super Boy I which has many sequels including Super Boy II (Super Boy I with altered level design, a somewhat similar approach to how the Japanese version of Super Mario Bros. 2 was made), Super Boy 3 and Super Boy 4 (both Mario games with Super Mario World elements). Also on the MSX, Super Bio Man 4 by Zemina is a Mario game using SMB3 elements and Dr. Hello is a port of Dr. Mario. Mario has been on the Mega Drive in Super Mario Bros. 2 (port of Super Mario Bros), Super Mario World 64 (port of Super Mario World) and Super Mario World (hack of Squirrel King). Someri Team/Hummer Team made a few games involving Mario that have remained as some of the more notorious bootleg games: Somari (Sonic The Hedgehog on the NES with Mario instead of Sonic), Kart Fighter (fighting game with Super Mario Kart characters) and Super Mario World (port of the original Super Mario World to the NES). Mario has also appeared in World Heroes 2 as one of the fighters and in Street Fighter V 20 Peoples in Blanka's stage, both games by Cony.

In Taiwan, there's a kind of gambling machine known as Xiao Mali (小瑪莉) which generally translates to "Small Mari". This is possibly due to the fact these machines generally have Mario artwork on them. [1] These gambling machines have been replicated in video games; one notable example being Dian Shi Ma Li for the Famicom. Xiao Ma Li is also a replication of the original machine and may even show up as "Small Mary" or "Small Mario" on some multicarts but despite the name and gambling machine's origins, this game has no relation to the Mario series.