“Mario” is a name that goes a long way in the gaming industry. Every single person in the industry is familiar with the red-capped Italian plumber, and gamers and non-gamers around the world know of at least his name and his famous image. He has starred in a plethora of games, with a main series branching off into many spin-offs, many of which act as a series in themselves (take Mario Party, for example).
Since his creation, Mario has followed a wonderful path, becoming one of the most, if not the most, famous video game characters in the world. It is no wonder, then, when a company focused on video games, such as IGN, decides to pay a tribute to the beloved plumber.
Yesterday, IGN posted an article in which some of the gaming industry’s important members shared memories about the plumber and discussed his legacy. The article highlights the memories of people such as Cliff Bleszinski, a co-creator of Unreal and Gears of War, and Jim Merrick, former technical director at Nintendo of America. The most touching praise for Mario, though, came from Keiji Inafune, the creator of Mega Man. He only had super things to say about Mario and his creator, Shigeru Miyamoto, going as far as to say that Mario is “the anchor that grounds almost all games.” You can see the rest of what he had to say about Mario below.
“If any creator has not played Mario, then they’re probably not a good creator. That’s something I can say with 100 percent confidence. Mario is, for game creators, the development bible. There are so many hints about good design, about cute characters, about innovation in using an existing gameplay system. It’s something you have to constantly look at and examine and take hints from as a game creator. It’s the anchor that grounds almost all games.
I have total respect for Miyamoto, to the point where… It’s very strange that there are national cultural treasures – they’re traditionally sportsmen. I think it’s very strange that somebody as famous as Miyamoto hasn’t been designated one of those people. He’s talked about in all different countries. Lots of people know him. He’s pushed forward Japanese culture and interest in Japan all over the world. He’s somebody that deserves everyone’s ultimate respect, and a lot of that is due to being able to create Mario. And Super Mario Bros. 3, of course, within that, was a fantastic game.” — Keiji Inafune
This is some pretty high praise coming from the creator of another highly recognizable video game character, and it speaks volumes to Mario’s, and Miyamoto’s, relevance in the industry, even after all this time. The rest of the article is very touching and gives great tribute to Mario, so it is definitely worth a read. The link can be found below.
Leave your favorite Mario memory in the comments below!