It seems even game characters need to level up—career wise. The gaming world was surprised after Nintendo fans found out that its iconic red-jumpsuited plumber, Mario, has undergone a career change. As Nintendo’s most famous character, the Japanese gaming giant thought it best to update his CV.
It was Kotaku that noticed the change in the character’s profile on Nintendo’s official Japanese-language website, where it states that Mario used to be a plumber. His description in English now translates to: “All around sporty, whether it’s tennis or baseball, soccer or car racing, he does everything cool. As a matter of fact, he also seems to have worked as a plumber a long time ago.”
But then, it seems Mario has not always been a plumber. Creator Shigeru Miyamoto shared that the character used to be known as “Jumpman,” and was “basically a carpenter” in 1981’s Donkey Kong, which took place on a construction site.
In a previous interview with USA Today, Miyamoto said that he based his characters back then on a 16-by-16 inch screen. With a screen so small, compared to the technology existing today, it was the best fit back then to have a small guy with a big nose and a mustache that would stand out in that medium.
“With Donkey Kong, we have this gorilla who grabs this gal and runs away with her and you have to go chase the gorilla down to save the lady. And the game’s stage was a construction site, so we made him into basically a carpenter,” Miyamoto said. “With (1983’s) Mario Bros., we brought in Luigi and a lot of the game was played underground so we made him to fit that setting and we decided he could be a plumber.”
Miyamoto further revealed that the technology at the time dictated how Mario turned out. In fact, his red hat was more of a convenience, as putting hair on him would have required more work. With a red hat, they did not have to draw eyebrows and a forehead as well, and they could focus more on the more important aspects which is how to make the game exciting.
As to his career as a plumber? Miyamoto said that when he was a kid, he was a big comic fan who liked foreign comics as well, so he drew characters that had western type features. With the setting that they had which was underground, the Mario creator didn’t really have any poetic or sentimental thought as to why Mario is Mario.
“I just decided Mario is a plumber. Let’s put him in New York and he can be Italian. There was really no other deep thought other than that.”
Nintendo fans aren’t too happy with this “career change” though, with some blaming it on millenials and Brexit.
One tweet read: “Mario isn’t a plumber anymore. He’s driving an Uber in New Donk City, bc this is the gig economy & millennials are killing stuffed toilets.”
However, for some fans, it really only comes down to this. Whatever Mario decides to do, the bottom line is he does his ultimate job of saving the princess.
[Featured Image by Christian Petersen/Getty Images]