So what does Mario do for a living exactly? Doctor, race kart driver, both professional football and tennis player. Is there anything this guy can’t do? Mario is famous for being able to take up any role his designers come up with.
Last year, however, Nintendo of Japan’s official character profile no longer described Mario as a plumber. The uproar on social media was immediate. It seems many love the fact, that despite all his talents, he is also relatable as an average Joe. Mario the Plumber. It is of course how many were first introduced to Mario; either in the early Super Mario Bros. game with its famous green pipes everywhere, or possibly in the pretty terrible 1993 movie with its truly terrible acting and scary sets everywhere. To many, Mario will always be, first and foremost, a plumber. Funnily enough, he didn’t start out in that profession.
Back in 2010, while talking to Game Hunters, Mario’s creator Shigeru Miyamoto explained that Mario’s first job was dependent on the setting he found himself in. For his first appearance – 1981’s Donkey Kong (then as Jump Man) – Miyamoto says:
… the game’s stage was a construction site, so we made him into basically a carpenter...
Mario the Carpenter, then.
Yup, only later, he moved underground in Mario Bros and Super Mario Bros. Miyamoto adds:
…we made him to fit that setting and, we decided he could be a plumber.
Err, so back to Mario the Plumber, correct? Well, it seems Nintendo has finally relented. Spotted by Super Mario Wiki, it seems the profile has been ‘updated’ once again. Visit the profile page today, and a quick Google translation tells us that ‘Mario’s occupation is once again a plumber, but his activities are not limited to this field’. You can say that again. I mean has anyone actually ever seen Mario… uh… plumb?
As a side note, something I only found out today when visiting the site above is that you can hear three unique voice clips of each of the major characters in the Mushroom Kingdom, including Luigi, Toad and Bowser. Not saying I spent much time playing them today, but…