It's National Mario Day!

Today we celebrate the iconic Italian plumber.

By TAYLOS, Posted 11 Mar 2017

Today is National Mario Day! This is an annual holiday that celebrates the famous well-known plumber Mario, on March 10th. This date is special today because if you look at the date (MAR 10) looks like the name "Mario". 

The event was created by Nintendo in 2016 when they released a hilarious video about a regular workday at the Nintendo headquarters. 

There is only one way to celebrate a day like today and that is to start playing! Climb through your closet or attic and dust off that old NES and fire it up! If you were one of the lucky ones, plug in your new NES Classic Edition consoles and play in HD! 

You don't have to play the classic consoles, but you can play any of the retro systems that feature a Mario game. To celebrate today, we would like to share our Top-12 most memorable Mario moments.

1. Mario makes his first video game debut in Donkey Kong (Atari)

I have a feeling that all gamers would agree that we had no idea this would become the most defining moment in video gaming history. Despite being released on Arcade in the early '80s by Nintendo, Mario actually made his first console debut on the Atari 2600 in the Donkey Kong game. He later got his own game titled Mario Bros. and the rest was history. One would also note that his first video game girlfriend that he rescued from Donkey Kong was not Princess Peach (a.k.a Princess Toadstool). In fact, it was his first lover, Pauline. *Cues the dramatic music*

2. Warp Zones (NES)

Long before the invention of cheat codes and Game GenieSuper Mario Bros. featured their own in-game cheats and that was to skip levels by introducing Warp Zones. That's right. Upon further exploration Nintendo placed several hidden areas within the game that would allow you to skip forward to higher levels of the game. Not only was this a genius move by Nintendo, it made players want to explore every part of the level to see what they could find. This would be the defining moment that displayed the incredible ingenuity that Nintendo had to offer. 

3. Mario returns in a big way with Super Mario Bros. 3 (NES)

Let's be honest, there were a few of you who played Super Mario Bros. 2 and thought to yourselves, even as kids, "WTF is this!?" Now that we're all much older, we can appreciate what Nintendo was trying to do in being creative. Even through SMB 2 didn't get the warm welcome that its predecessor received, Nintendo quickly went back to the drawing board and created one of their most popular and biggest sellers ever, Super Mario Bros. 3. This was the first Mario game to implement bonus stages and a map of the overworld that allowed players to pick what levels and routes they wanted to take to eventually reach each world's boss. This was also the first time players were able to collect power-ups hidden within certain levels and store them for later use, including a magical flute. When selected, Mario would play a classy tune that would summon a tornado and swoop him up, taking him to the warp world selection. Super Mario Bros. 3 in 1988 was gaming nirvana. (Trivia: SMB 3 was the first game in the series that introduced King Koopa's kids, the Koopalings.)

4. Mario gets his doctorate degree and becomes Dr. Mario (NES)

Mario has had quite a few jobs in his day but nothing would top his addicting Tetris alternative, Dr. Mario. This was a game that I would not become familiar with until my later years, but the premise of the game was simple, yet addicting. Match up different colored pills that would land on color-specific viruses and eliminate them, thus ending the that level to continue on to more challenging puzzles. If you had two controllers, two players could battle each other competing in separate fields. The obvious goal was to clear out the viruses before your friend did. However, if you weren't clearing those pesky viruses fast enough, the game would throw additional capsules in your playing field and screw up your entire strategy. The first player to win three games, wins overall. 

5. Mario meets Yoshi for the first time (SNES)

Every plumber needs a best friend, right? Well, this is when Nintendo decided that Mario shouldn't be alone and would be accompanied by his new best bud, Yoshi (Sorry Luigi). Yoshi is a cute looking green dinosaur that was first introduced in Super Mario World. The introduction of Yoshi introduced a completely new element of the gameplay. He could power stomp bigger enemies, gulp down several objects and power-ups, had a long tongue that would give Mario the advantage to catch things far beyond his reach. Reluctantly, Mario could also use Yoshi to avoid certain death by ejecting off his dino sidekick's back, thus sacrificing Yoshi. (I always thought that was kind of messed up, but it worked!) 

6. Mario gets his driver’s license in Super Mario Kart (SNES)

My my my... They grow up so fast don't they? Before you know it, Mario and friends would get their license to drive and would go romping around the streets on their go-karts in Mario's first driving game, Super Mario Kart. This 16-bit hit would feature Mario and friends in a 3D racing game driving around a track, collecting various power ups that would either help fend off opponents or allow one to gain first place. This was always a party favorite growing up. (Ahh the memories...)

7. Mario gets the RPG treatment (SNES)

Super Mario RPG is one of Nintendo's more bold moments in Nintendo's history. This game would see Mario stepping into the RPG genre for the very first time. This was also one of the last few games to be released near the end of the SNES console cycle. Unfortunatly, that would lead the title to go under the radar to most preparing for the Nintendo's next console. However, this would later become one of pop-cultures more popular Mario titles and one of the more rare and expensive games to buy through various auction-based websites. (Trivia: The game featured some pretty awesome Easter eggs, including cameos from Metroid's Samus and Link from The Legend of Zelda.)

8. Mario gets his first television show (DiC Entertainment)

Who can forget the catchy tune of the intro to The Super Mario Bros. Super Show?! It was a good time to be a kid in the '80s when Mario had his small screen debut. He along with his brother Luigi featured a combination of animated and live-action scenarios from each episode. The show featured Mario being played by the iconic Captain Lou Albano. The show became so popular that it spawned a live-action movie in 1993 that featured Bob Hoskins as Mario and King Koopa being played by Dennis Hopper. Despite the game's popularity, the movie did not win fans over and is widely known as a flop by many movie reviewers. 

9. Mario enters the world of 3D in Super Mario 64 (N64)

The introduction into the 3D world brought many opportunities for our Italian plumber when Nintendo bundled Super Mario 64 with its newest console, the Nintendo 64. With its release in 1996, this game would see our super hero explore a beautiful 3D over world that featured the Princess Toadstool castle in all its glory. The game's premise was quite intriguing and refreshing. The introduction featured Princess Peach writing a letter to Mario inviting him to the castle only to discover upon arrival that the Princess had been kidnapped. Throughout the several of the corridors and courtyards within the castle lie several paintings on the walls that were disguised as levels. In a attempt to find Peach, Mario would jump into magical paintings and collect stars to solve the mystery of what happened to Princess from King Bowser. During different sections of the game, Mario would be pitted against Bowser in a battle royal, to which Mario had to grab Bowser by the tail and throw him into exploding mines placed outside the perimeter of the ring. The game featured several beautiful environments and vistas that Mario could explore and would become one of the most iconic 3D games ever made. (Trivia: This whole time gamers kept wondering, "where the hell is Yoshi?" Only later do you find out once you discovered all 120 stars in the game, the front castle grounds spawns a cannon to which you could shoot to the top of the castle and tada.. you've found Yoshi! Upon talking to Yoshi, he would award Mario with 99 lives that he could use to further explore the castle and included a more efficient triple jump!)

10. Mario and friends duke it out in Super Smash Brothers (N64)

"Me and you and you and me. No matter how they toss the dice, it had to be. The only one for me is you, and you for me. So happy togetherrrrr!

Don't you remember that hilarious commercial that Nintendo created when they introduced Super Smash Bros.? (If not, click this link to watch it on YouTube.) Needless to say, the world of Nintendo was tired of being so cutesy and decided to finally get physical. The game featured several of the superstars from Nintendo's greatest games and forced them to duke it out in various arenas inspired by many of the character's games. The game would go on to become one of Nintendo's more wildely popular titles that would eventually produce several sequels and introduce flagship characters from other consoles such as: Sonic the Hedgehog (Sega), Snake (PlayStation) and eventually Pac-Man (Atari). Finally, the age-old question could be answered of who was the best amongst fanboys of the Sega, Nintendo and Sony consoles. 

11. Mario meets Sonic for the first time at the Olympic Games (Wii)

The '90s was a very interesting and memorable time when Nintendo's rival (Sega) would stick it to Shigeru Miyamoto and crew every so often. Eventually, Sega would release their console version of Mario named Sonic the Hedgehog. This speedy blue dude with attitude would eventually give Nintendo a run for its money and produced some very memorable titles in the early '90s and later on Sega's final console, the Dreamcast in 1999. These two would eventually meet up later in a place where all great challengers and athletes of the world face each other to test their athletic abilities, the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. This would be the first time in a video game that would feature the one-rivaled mascots in a crossover sports/party game on the Nintendo Wii. (Trivia: Even though the game debuted on a Nintendo console, the game was actually developed by Sega with the permission from Nintendo to include Mario.)

12. Mario shoots for the stars in Super Mario Galaxy (Wii)

Mario has always been grounded in most of his games but in this version, our favorite plumber would take to the skies and reach the farthest of galaxies in his first intergalactic title, Super Mario Galaxy. This game featured an often-used premise where Mario gets invited to the castle from his beloved Princess Peach only to find out that King Bowser and son have hijacked the castle using a fleet of airships and a UFO. With no apparent options in sight to save the princess, he is contacted by a mysterious creature called a Luma. This creature eventually hooks Mario up to meet an emo-looking version of Princess Peach named Rosalina (To which left several gamers still wondering... Is she Mario and Peach's secret love child??). To get back his lady love, Mario must to travel throughout the far reaches of space to collect power stars that are used to power up a spaceship in order to reach Bowser and save the day. However, this game was not for the faint of heart, and for those with motion sickness were not fans of the game. This game introduces gravity and physics, not known or seen in any Mario title and was an absolute joy to experience and play. Even though Nintendo has been often criticized for producing underpowered consoles, it wasn't bad looking by any means. In fact, Super Mario Galaxy had some of the best looking graphics that the Wii could crank out. The title featured several beautifully composed songs to accompany each level that were inspired from variety of different Mario games. (Trivia: Super Mario Galaxy's soundtrack was produced mostly by a live symphony orchestra called the Mario Galaxy Orchestra.)   

Now that we've taken a trip down memory lane, how do you plan to celebrate today? What are your favorite Mario moments? Sound off in the comments below!

Tao Dawkins, NoobFeed

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