is a fictional character in his eponymous video game series, created by Japanese video game designer Shigeru Miyamoto. Serving as Nintendo's mascot and the main protagonist of the series, Mario has appeared in over 200 video games since his creation. Though originally only appearing in platform game, starting with Donkey Kong, Mario currently appears in varied video game genres such as racing, puzzle, role-playing, fighting, and sports.
Mario is depicted as a short, pudgy, Italian-American plumber who lives in the Mushroom Kingdom. He repeatedly stops the turtle-like Bowser's numerous plans to kidnap Princess Peach and subjugate the Mushroom Kingdom. He also has other enemies and rivals, including Donkey Kong and Wario. Since 1995, Mario has been voiced by Charles Martinet.
As Nintendo's mascot, Mario is arguably the most famous character in video game history, and his image is commonly associated with video games. Mario games, as a whole, have sold more than 210 million units, making the Mario series the best-selling video game series of all time. Outside platform game, he has appeared in video games of other genres, including the Mario Kart racing series, sports games, such as the Mario Tennis and Mario Golf series, and role-playing game such as Paper Mario and Super Mario RPG. He has also inspired television shows, film, comics, and a line of licensed merchandise.
Mario was created by Shigeru Miyamoto in his attempts to produce a best-selling video game for Nintendo, after previous titles, such as Sheriff, had not achieved the same success as other titles such as Pac-Man. Originally, Miyamoto wanted to create a video game that used the characters Popeye, Bluto, and Olive Oyl.
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Official Site: Nintendo
Links: Wiki Entry Super Mario Brothers HQ Super Mario 128 central