Mario is such a global phenomenon and well-known character today that it can be hard to remember or imagine that it wasn’t always the case. Yet the Italian plumber became famous in the most chaotic of times and his fate was less than certain when he was first introduced to the world. He is a character that not only saved the princess but also, arguably, the video game industry all together. He is the fruit of everything Nintendo does best, in combination with brilliant marketing tactics.
So how did he become so successful? What role did the NES play? And how did Nintendo first market Mario?