ClassicRadar: The many faces of Mario

The Mario Bros Era

When entering the last part of pre-NES Mario lore, we are greeted with one final helping of multi-platform Mario madness.

Still sticking with the pudgy coward look Mario officially had on DK Jr art, he appeared in the first game to bear his name looking basically the same. Sure he's now a plumber instead of a carpenter/animal whipper, but just so you're clear it's him, they provided a helpful arrow. That was helpful, because you might get him confused with Luigi, as Mario Bros was the first time his fairly identical twin showed up.

Above: At least they were able to get their noses under control

Sing-a-long time!

Here's a one-two punch of classic, strange ads which don't feature Mario, but Luigi. The red one's absence is felt as Luigi screams for his assistance like the gutless invertebrate we all know him to be. First here's the ad that appeared in tons of comic books in the early '80s:

We only found out recently that this print ad had a companion TV commercial, which we present to you now in its YouTube glory. Sing along now that you know the words.

Above: The proto-Luigi's Mansion

A very important message

Speaking of old commercials, we came upon this other one for Nintendo's Game & Watch games. G&Ws were simplistic games mixed with a plain LCD clock, which was killer entertainment in the early 80s. You never know when playing Manhole you'll want to know the time. Mario Bros even had their own G&W title:

Above: The first DS 

Though it's pretty differnt from the arcade classic. Of course that game was included in this now controversial commercial:

In case you missed its shocking revelation in the first few seconds, here's a still image:

Not only does Donkey Kong's barrel-throwing humiliate Mario in front of his girlfriend, it makes it look like he's been secretly bald all these years. Well, we want you to know this isn't true. Instead, this is probably the biggest blunder ever in official Mario art history, as it appeared in a fully animated, expensive commercial. Believe it in your hearts children, Mario has a full head of hair. Just look at this conclusive proof:

Even when flashing his t'aint to a Goomba, Mario loves to show off his real hair. Now some could argue that his change in hair color from black to brown proves it's a hair piece, but don't listen to them, they're just bitter Sonic fans. The war is over guys!


  • Revanjd - March 15, 2011 3:33 a.m.

    Good stuff!
  • 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.)
  • 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!
  • Ariaka - March 14, 2011 7:12 p.m.

    Another Happy Birthday for GR. I remember when this first got posted XD
  • 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?
  • MikeT - March 14, 2011 1:33 p.m.

    "No it's a blue shirt and red coveralls! ahh forget it!"
  • 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
  • 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!"
  • 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
  • AuthorityFigure - March 14, 2011 7:56 a.m.

    Before regulated artistic styling, any interpretation seemed welcome. It ain't like that no more.
  • 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)
  • 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.
  • bugmenot - March 13, 2011 11:16 p.m.

    Mario's not holding the controller sideways, it's a very early Wiimote!
  • philipshaw - March 13, 2011 10:19 p.m.

    I can't believe this was posted so long ago, still good
  • bosox - March 13, 2011 9:52 p.m.

    ~FIRST~ MARIO!!!

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