ClassicRadar: The many faces of Mario

The Donkey Kong Junior Era

As Donkey Kong quickly became one of the most successful games of all-time, a sequel came pretty fast, only this time Mario was the villain. And he reveled in it, probably because it was the only chance he ever got to be evil. He is constantly seen with whip in hand, ready to abuse the caged Donkey Kong while trying to kill DK's son.

Above: This child approves of animal cruelty 

Despite Nintendo's official characterization of Mario as a short, fat, round, scared coward in the Junior artwork, once again he ended up even more lost in translation in the home console ports. Perhaps Nintendo got in the console game just to stop Mario from looking so weird.

Above: Is that Mario or Snidely Whiplash? Also, why is he referred to as "little Mario?"

Above: Fisher-Price Mario taunts handicapped monkey, news at 11:00 

Above: Mario is Gargamellian in his evil here 

The only real constant is that Mario’s a total dick and Jr often looks more mentally handicapped than childlike. But none can compare to this next piece of merchandise for sheer incompetence at drawing Mario.

Above: Is the puzzle how this got on the cover? (Image from 

Special Bonus Weirdness

Even that puzzle book at least got Mario’s outfit right, while this commercial seemed to just assume what the villain of the game looked like after playing it for a second and then spinning around in a circle five times. Still, this live action recreation has some cute, surrealistic touches, even if Mario’s a Carnival Barker for some reason.

Above: Save Papa!


  • bosox - March 13, 2011 9:52 p.m.

    ~FIRST~ MARIO!!!
  • philipshaw - March 13, 2011 10:19 p.m.

    I can't believe this was posted so long ago, still good
  • bugmenot - March 13, 2011 11:16 p.m.

    Mario's not holding the controller sideways, it's a very early Wiimote!
  • MercurialForce - March 14, 2011 12:56 a.m.

    Articles like this are ones that make me wish I had been a kid in the eighties.
  • Gnilres - March 14, 2011 2:45 a.m.

    I remember the first time I read this article. Great job, GamesRadar! Here's to another 5 years! (Or more, I hope)
  • AuthorityFigure - March 14, 2011 7:56 a.m.

    Before regulated artistic styling, any interpretation seemed welcome. It ain't like that no more.
  • PhantomDave - March 14, 2011 9:08 a.m.

    Seems whenever news in gaming takes a slow day there's always a "Many Faces of Mario" article to fill the gap....even old ones. LOL
  • VvSch - March 14, 2011 10:27 a.m.

    Is that James Earl Jones doing the voice-over in that commercial? Imagine the following line in Vader's voice: "Now on your breakfast table, Donkey Kong brand cereal!"
  • jmcgrotty - March 14, 2011 10:53 a.m.

    You got this wrong. The cover of Nintendo Power #1 is the perfect example of what Mario needs to look like, and influenced every other version in any game ever. Even the games that came out before Nintendo Power 1
  • MikeT - March 14, 2011 1:33 p.m.

    "No it's a blue shirt and red coveralls! ahh forget it!"
  • StealthEagle - March 14, 2011 4:23 p.m.

    That very first mario in black and white seen to have some resemblance to mickey mouse and the elastic style of cartoon characters. Is that chuck norris in realistic mario cover?
  • Ariaka - March 14, 2011 7:12 p.m.

    Another Happy Birthday for GR. I remember when this first got posted XD
  • megagiantsharktopus - March 14, 2011 9:34 p.m.

    I remember all of this stuff from when I was a kid. I guess I never really paid Nintendo Power #1 that much mind. Or maybe I was just a stupid kid, and thought that there was an alternate Mario costume or something. Great article!
  • nomnom52 - March 14, 2011 10:57 p.m.

    Holy shit. I actually remember reading this when it first released... GR, you guys are awesome, what with Pokemon Monday... and the FUCKING awesome articles... I love it all! (The reCaptcha's are getting out of control, though.)
  • Revanjd - March 15, 2011 3:33 a.m.

    Good stuff!

Showing 1-15 of 15 comments

Join the Discussion
Add a comment (HTML tags are not allowed.)
Characters remaining: 5000