Mario's endless supply of costumes

Despite being some of the best selling games of all time, Mario's early adventures on the original Game Boy, in lovely spinach vision, have been largely forgotten by the gaming populace. For this reason some of the powers seem a little silly. Really, rabbit ears? That has zero dignity when compared to a bumble bee. But we still look back at them fondly.

Admittedly the submarine and the airplane aren't really costumes, though we like to consider that he's wearing those vehicles when in them, so there. And first image is just Mario throwing the bouncing ball that replaced fire in the first Mario Land for some odd design choice.

Above: He throws a fireball underhand? What a wuss

Meanwhile, the Mario Land 2 costumes make a little more sense, like the astronaut apparel he had to wear when going into outer-space, though by Mario Galaxy he had apparently learned to go without it in the airless, soundless void. And don't laugh at the feather that looks out of Mardi Gras. Can you think of a better way to indicate a fire power-up without using color? We think a feather isn't the worst way.

Outside of all these in-game changes in the plumber's appearance, we found some even more obscure images of Mario's change in uniform in cameos and merchandise.

Above: Why does it look weirder to see Mario as a cop than to see him with an animal's tail?

Apparently, early in Super Mario's success, his company drew several on model, though out of left field, images of Mario engaging in sports such as racing, skiing, and cowboy shooting. Mostly these were used on stickers and can be found all over the place on eBay. Out of all these, we're really creeped out by the tennis playing Mario, mostly because it's one of the very few times he shows any skin. It's practically pornographic by his standards.

Why these goofy hobbies instead of baseball or golf? Well, at the time Mario was already playing those in the wittily named Baseball and Golf. So it may have been a business decision to separate these wackier images of Mario from the real deal. Perhaps Nintendo figured "we'll never have Mario star in any games like these."

Above: Or maybe they were just planning ahead

But sometimes Mario likes to dress up for special occasions, be it deep sea diving, hosting a collection of his games, or coming to your house to personally fix your NES.

Above: No matter what, the "M" is a constant. Mario's just classy that way

In parting we leave you with this amazing image we found on the website Deviant Art. As we were writing this feature, we stumbled upon this piece of art that seemed to have been stolen from our minds of what a perfect image would be for this article.Click here to go directly to Makotron’s site to see a bigger version and check out the artist's other great work while you’re there.

Feb 24, 2009

A unique look at Nintendo’s mascot he would rather you forget

From flickering to first-person suicide, we examine gaming’s insatiable death wish

Taking fandom to dangerous new heights