Super Mario has long been a household name. To most people, he’s the down-to-earth plumber who wears blue overalls and a red hat. He travels up and down pipes and fights turtles to save Princess Peach.
But Nintendo, the Japanese video game company that invented the character, recently re-introduced Mario using his recent roles of tennis player and car-racer, leaving his old job in the past. “As a matter of fact, he also seems to have worked as a plumber a long time ago,” the company wrote on its website.
This statement caused many discussions among Mario fans around the world. People are already missing the neighborly plumber Mario.
Yet according to Shigeru Miyamoto, Mario’s creator, there’s no need to be upset, as this isn’t the first time that Mario has changed his “job”.
The truth is that Mario didn’t even start as a plumber – he was a carpenterin the 1981 game Donkey Kong, as the game’s setting was a construction site. He only started to be a plumber in the 1983 game Mario Bros. to fit that game’s setting of underground pipes. After that, Mario continued to jump between careers – including a doctor in Dr Mario and a cleaner in Super Mario Sunshine – as long as the storyline needed him to.
“One important principle has guided the Mario series for nearly forty years: Mario transforms,” wrote Rolling Stone editor Matthew Walden on its website.
The job changes were also partly driven by technology. For example, in the days when TV screens were small and game consoles weren’t very powerful, there weren’t many ways that designers could give Mario cooler skills. But after consoles became more advanced, Mario was made into a 3-D character and given new abilities, such as being able to fight off enemies with a water gun.
“He’s a familiar character, but he is also fresh because he is always doing new things based on what the technology allows him to do,” Miyamoto said in an interview with USA Today.
While some internet users may want to always remember Nintendo’s most famous character as a plumber, maybe we should all take a more open-minded attitude toward his job changing. After all, if we really are so attached to Mario, we should be happy to see him leading a rich life and wish him all the best, shouldn’t we?