Why isn't Mario's (character) actual anniversary celebrated?

winstein

Justice is not limited, it is a universal quality
First of all, I have to clarify something: This topic is regarding Mario's anniversary, not the Super Mario Bros. anniversary. I feel I need to clarify this so nobody misunderstands.

For most other franchises, it's easier to pinpoint their anniversary since the character debuts in the same game as them, so for example, Kirby debuts in Kirby Dream Land, so to celebrate Kirby is to also celebrate his original game. The same could be said for Legend of Zelda, Mega Man, and even Sonic. Mario is a special case since his celebration is from a game that debuts later than his character.

Concerning anniversaries, Mario's will always be based on Super Mario Bros.', which meant that it was celebrated at important benchmarks, back in 2005 and 2010, and now 2015. If you know about Mario, you would know that this is actually not the first game he starred in, as Donkey Kong was the first game he starred in, meaning that Mario's true anniversary took place based on the year 1981. It's understandable that the anniversary is based on the game since it's called the "Super Mario Bros. anniversary" after all, but wouldn't it be appropriate to celebrate this hero's anniversary based on his original debut?

One might argue that Donkey Kong (game) is not as popular as Super Mario Bros., but the thing is, Donkey Kong is also influential in that it create a pop-cultural icon and saved Nintendo from the financial disaster that is Radar Scope, so it meant something to the company. Perhaps one reason is due to the name of the game "Donkey Kong", which contains a title that doesn't have "Mario" in it. Even then, the elements found in said game are still referenced today in some way such as the hero's signature jumping ability, so the influence is still there, such as Mario's appearance. From another angle, Donkey Kong as a title meant that the game is more associated with the ape rather than the carpenter (or plumber as he is now), similar to how it is easy to disregard Wario's Woods as a Toad game even though Toad is the hero. Probably because the title sells the game, and thus, the titular character is strongly associated with the game rather than the playable character. Another possibility is that Mario wasn't called Mario, but still, Mario never looked different from the past (and even then, his key characteristics are the same as they were then, if comparing the official art betwene then and now).

Still, there is one game that held the Mario moniker before then, and it's the oft-overlooked arcade game Mario Bros., released in 1983. The game may not be as influential as Donkey Kong, but it's still a good game at that time, and contains elements that will be used in Super Mario Bros., such as Luigi (as a second player). Thing is, sometimes when Mario Bros. is mentioned, some people thought it's Super Mario Bros., such as the Iwata Asks interview on Wii U's controller when they played Mario Bros. to test Wii U's prototype controller (Ibuki: Yes. But after last year's E3, we heard it was difficult to use. We played the NES version of Mario Bros. game on the Wii U GamePad and realized we couldn't do it very well.). Certain retellings might have thought "Super" was there all along, so it would seem that Mario Bros. was overlooked as well. It didn't have any anniversary for it either, although it's more understandable compared to Donkey Kong since that game wasn't as popular or influential.

Funny thing is, the Year of Luigi coincides with Mario Bros.' 30th anniversary, which was when Luigi was introduced. I did mention that there is a relation, but I came to the conclusion that it's just a coincidence because Nintendo's developers never mentioned Luigi's anniversary when they developed all those games putting Luigi in the spotlight (Luigi's Mansion, New Super Luigi U and Mario & Luigi: Dream Team). Not only that, there were no signs of a Mario Bros. re-release so far, though Luigi Bros. in Super Mario 3D World is as close as you can get. Rather, Year of Luigi is a result of a coincidence between game developers planning to release games starring Luigi on that year. Still, his anniversary is acknowledged. To make it clear: Mario Bros. (the game) anniversary is celebrated through Luigi, even as just a coincidence.

When looking for stuff that commemorate Mario's 30th Anniversary, the only one that is of a grand scale is the Mario's 30th Anniversary Medley, composed by fans. Other than that, there are some fans who acknowledged Mario's first game such as fanart. I suppose Super Mario 3D Land is some consolation to that, but it would be nice if the head company acknowledged Mario's first game as his starting point too.

Recently, Super Mario Maker was announced as a Super Mario Bros. 30th Anniversary. Note the wording: "Super Mario Bros.". Even then, some sites cited it as Mario's (not Super Mario Bros.) 30th Anniversary, and applying this logic meant that Luigi is older than Mario since Mario Bros. is sometimes mentioned as Luigi's 30th anniversary, which is plainly not true.

My question to all of you is simple: Why is it that as a character, Mario's official anniversaries don't use 1981 (or 1983) as a starting year? (If there was an official anniversary using 1981/1983 as benchmark years, I am all ears)

Sorry if this is long, but this is something I am bugged with, so I would love to hear opinions on.

Thanks for reading. I appreciate it.

(Fun fact: This draft was first made in 2011/2012, but I didn't post it until now because I wasn't familiar with others so I wasn't sure how others reacted to this topic)
 

Mcmadness

The idiot who puts things in the wrong board.
Because deep down it's actually a celebration of the creation of Bowser and he was born in SMB.



In actuality I don't know, I think it's because of how much of an important game SMB is to Nintendo. It was their first huge mega hit title where as most games before it did, respectably well in a struggling market.
 

Dr. Baby Luigi

Mushroom Kingdom's Most Adorable Doctor
The character himself isn't even that important at all. We all remember Mario because of his gameplay and his consistently good titles, not because of his fun personality or character traits. Mario the character isn't really anything special. Hell his entire creation was based around getting past graphical limitations rather than actual design.
 

DragonFreak

Everything that drowns me makes me wanna fly!
Personally, I think it is better and best to celebrate it with SMB. Because that is the game that is the most memorable, most influential, and practically the savior to games after the video game crash. I would rather have SMB be the one celebrated instead of Mario's true first inclusion.
 

winstein

Justice is not limited, it is a universal quality
You all have a point that Super Mario Bros. is the more important and influential title, which in turn makes it worth remembering. After all, most of the aspects Mario is known for today comes from that game. I do feel that despite this, his older titles shouldn't be forgotten since they are Mario's building blocks to success. Sure, those games weren't as popular as Super Mario Bros., but there are some fun to be had in those titles.

That brings up a question: why do some places cite Mario's (the character) anniversary as 1985, when used in the context of Super Mario Bros.' anniversary?

Baby Luigi said:
The character himself isn't even that important at all. We all remember Mario because of his gameplay and his consistently good titles, not because of his fun personality or character traits. Mario the character isn't really anything special. Hell his entire creation was based around getting past graphical limitations rather than actual design.
If that were the case, then celebrating Donkey Kong as Mario's anniversary is fine since that game is good. After all, Mario's first appearance in a good game allows him to propel to the heights of popularity. Anyway, although Mario may not seem anything special on the personality front, his character design is quite memorable and he is the face of the titles he is playable in (Donkey Kong the game is an arguable case, but Mario's playable, so it counts). As a mascot for Nintendo, I'd say he is as much of a character as a playable "avatar". I would be surprised if Mario's 50th anniversary in 2031 is not celebrated in some form.

Thanks for reading.
 

Dr. Baby Luigi

Mushroom Kingdom's Most Adorable Doctor
winstein said:
That brings up a question: why do some places cite Mario's (the character) anniversary as 1985, when used in the context of Super Mario Bros.' anniversary?
Super Mario Bros. was the catalyst for what Mario has become today. It basically established the series as we knew and established a lot of our recurring characters. It's a bit like why we celebrate Independence Day on the 4th of July rather than the day the US was founded.

Baby Luigi said:
If that were the case, then celebrating Donkey Kong as Mario's anniversary is fine since that game is good. After all, Mario's first appearance in a good game allows him to propel to the heights of popularity. Anyway, although Mario may not seem anything special on the personality front, his character design is quite memorable and he is the face of the titles he is playable in (Donkey Kong the game is an arguable case, but Mario's playable, so it counts). As a mascot for Nintendo, I'd say he is as much of a character as a playable "avatar". I would be surprised if Mario's 50th anniversary in 2031 is not celebrated in some form.

Thanks for reading.
The matter is, Donkey Kong has always been Mario's origins, but it wasn't as influential as Super Mario Bros. We see more elements of Super Mario Bros. far more than Donkey Kong.

If Mario didn't become the mascot of Nintendo, nor if he starred in a good game then I guarantee he wouldn't be memorable in the slightest, just as any other NES characters who weren't as lucky as him.

Nintendo continues treating Mario as an avatar so I will continue seeing him as nothing but a shell of a character.
 

Dr. Mario

Mushroom Kingdom's OG Woo Meister
Baby Luigi said:
Super Mario Bros. was the catalyst for what Mario has become today. It basically established the series as we knew and established a lot of our recurring characters. It's a bit like why we celebrate Independence Day on the 4th of July rather than the day the US was founded.
I kind like that analogy. I don't think there's a solid date when the U.S. is founded, but you'd probably look at a British perspective and their official charters and all...

I do agree that Super Mario Bros. is the game that launched the Mario series. It is arguably the most influential game in the Mario series, with Super Mario Kart right behind it.
 

yoshiking14x

Retired
Do you want a game similar to Sonic Generations or a Year of Mario(even if he appears in almost in every game with Mario related characters)?
 

winstein

Justice is not limited, it is a universal quality
yoshiking14x said:
Do you want a game similar to Sonic Generations or a Year of Mario(even if he appears in almost in every game with Mario related characters)?
I wouldn't mind either of those.

I am not sure how Mario would have a game similar to Sonic Generations, but I think one where the different gameplay styles are explored would be cool. From his earliest appearance in Donkey Kong to even 3D games, it could act like a sort of walk down history lane.

Thanks for reading.
 

The Ultimate Mario Fan

Mario isn't a game, it's a way of life
This always bothered me too, I'm glad someone made a thread about it. I recognize 1981 as the birth of Mario and we really should have celebrated his 30th anniversary in 2011 (I know I did, and his 25th in 2006). Now I know Super Mario Bros. is the most influential and iconic video game of all time, but Donkey Kong was pretty dang amazing and influential in its own right. It set the foundation of everything that was to follow and gave Nintendo the bare materials they needed to create Super Mario Bros. One of the biggest hits of the arcade era, it was the start for Mario, and that's what we should celebrate when it comes to the character and the series overall.

But who am I kidding, I treat these celebrations as the 30th anniversary of Super Mario Bros., not Mario, which was a game so incredibly monumental that it deserves its own anniversary gala anyway.
 

Dr. Baby Luigi

Mushroom Kingdom's Most Adorable Doctor
1995 will always be the most important date to me, for two reasons.

Well we did celebrate Super Mario Bros.'s 25th anniversary but we all know it was a piece of crap. The game that we got was miserable and the soundtrack, half it was ----ing sound effects.

I think the reason we don't celebrate Donkey Kong is that it wasn't the catalyst for the Super Mario Bros. series. It was like, it's own thing. yeah it did set the groundwork, but Super Mario Bros. was like the BIG BANG of the Mario series.
 

The Ultimate Mario Fan

Mario isn't a game, it's a way of life
If you are using "Big Bang" to refer to the start of something, that was Donkey Kong. Super Mario Bros. was a game that was desperately needed and came at the perfect time, saving home video games from becoming extinct. But, Donkey Kong sparked the series, and was also massively successful. Most people don't remember just how successful it was because they weren't around then. It wasn't anywhere near SMB levels, but it wasn't a drop in the bucket either. Donkey Kong is such a landmark title that it really deserves its own anniversary as well, which would then encompass the entire series.

I think they both should have anniversary celebrations. Like, celebrate 30 years of Super Mario in 2015, then 40 years of Mario in 2021, then 40 years of Super Mario in 2025, then 50 years of Mario in 2031, etc. You got the spread right there.
 

Dr. Baby Luigi

Mushroom Kingdom's Most Adorable Doctor
No, I'm using Big Bang as a catalyst. The sudden expansion of matter is a good analogy to Super Mario Bros.'s success. Like, yeah, the things were already there, but Super Mario Bros. was THE catalyst to what the Mario series is today. I'm not denying Donkey Kong's importance, but most things the Mario series is known for came from Super Mario Bros. This is why they celebrate the game that has more in common to do with the entire Mario series than the parent game that started it all, but not as important.
 

The Ultimate Mario Fan

Mario isn't a game, it's a way of life
I know why they do it (I think everyone does at this point) but I still think it makes less sense. Anniversaries celebrate the beginning of things, not the "explosion" of things. My opinion stands.
 

winstein

Justice is not limited, it is a universal quality
I feel that this one of the things that we have to ask the creators, mainly because we don't know the exact reason Mario's anniversary isn't celebrated from Donkey Kong. I recall that there was a certain dispute with Ikegami (the original programmer of Donkey Kong arcade), which might be a major factor in the Donkey Kong game being low key in acknowledgement.

Thanks for reading.
 

Dr. Baby Luigi

Mushroom Kingdom's Most Adorable Doctor
The Ultimate Mario Fan said:
I know why they do it (I think everyone does at this point) but I still think it makes less sense. Anniversaries celebrate the beginning of things, not the "explosion" of things. My opinion stands.
Depends on how you interpret "beginning". Super Mario Bros. "started" the Mario series as it is today. That's a perfectly valid interpretation of the word "beginning".

When you celebrate your birthday, you aren't exactly celebrating the day where you became a zygote.
 

Dr. Baby Luigi

Mushroom Kingdom's Most Adorable Doctor
Well, whatever gets my point across more clearly, lol
 

winstein

Justice is not limited, it is a universal quality
I don't agree with the zygote analogy. The reason is, game development is not an instantaneous process. In this perspective, when game developers are in the planning stages from a concept they want to build, then that's the "zygote". When game development progresses, it's like the foetus forming, and the release of the game is like a baby. Using the analogy I used, you don't celebrate the day (much less know about) the exact date Sakurai made his round blob character out of clay, but when Kirby of the Stars (Japanese version of what Kirby's games are called) was released. Going back to Mario's example, the zygote stage is essentially when Miyamoto planned on how to design Mario to be an identifiable character in pixel form. This implies that Donkey Kong is an incomplete game (which at that time of release is not the case).

If you really want an analogy on how Mario's birthday is celebrated through Super Mario Bros. rather than Donkey Kong, then perhaps using the example of a professional career is a better analogy. Some people didn't start out famous doing one thing, but when they do something else, then they got their fame. I do not know if this is a good example, but Jim Carrey didn't start out as an actor (which he's known for), but as a janitor.

Thanks for reading.
 

Dr. Baby Luigi

Mushroom Kingdom's Most Adorable Doctor
You're missing my point. I meant to say Donkey Kong is the start, aka fetus, and then Super Mario Bros. is the baby.
 

Dr. Mario

Mushroom Kingdom's OG Woo Meister
Baby Luigi said:
You're missing my point. I meant to say Donkey Kong is the start, aka fetus, and then Super Mario Bros. is the baby.
The ideas and concept arts would be the exchange of DNA. The zygote is the result of that.
 

The Ultimate Mario Fan

Mario isn't a game, it's a way of life
This thread just took a turn for the weird. :???:

Genetics aside, either interpretation makes sense in its own way depending on how you look at it. Donkey Kong (arcade) definitely needs some more love though.
 
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