Super Mario: the legend of the top plumber

  As a classic character in the history of the game, Super Mario has been in existence for more than 35 years and its popularity has not declined for a long time. What magic power does this little plumber have that can fascinate the majority of players?
  Almost every video game player with a handle has played at least one Mario series game. Whether it is the red and white consoles of the 1980s, the N94 consoles of the 90s, or the Wii consoles of the 21st century, this happy plumber has been jumping around. He moved every generation of players and also benefited all generations of Nintendo consoles. So far, the Mario series of games have sold more than 373 million copies, which means that brothers and sisters in tens of millions of households are working together to overcome special levels in Super Mario: World; tens of thousands of commuter employees Kill the tram time in “Super Mario 3D: Mainland”; countless parents and their children travel in space in “Super Mario: Galaxy” together.
  | The Mystery of Evergreen Games|
  This type of action game brings players an intuitive and refreshing game experience by controlling characters to run and jump in a gorgeous abstract space. The reason why the Mario series can stand out in this type of game lies in the character’s excellent action skills and reaction ability. The wonderful jump, the slight forward movement caused by the inertia, the acceleration of the sprint before the run… all these turn into the pleasure of the game. Controlling Mario’s continuous forward adventure, gradually discovering the tricks of backflip, flying over the wall, and double jump in each level. It is an exceptionally fulfilling process of enjoyment. It is also a Mario series of games for children and even adults in 35 years. The secret to staying strong and attractive. The designers of Mario knew how to hide these small details in the corners of the game.
  Shigeru Miyamoto joined Nintendo at the age of 24 and was the first Mario game designer. In his opinion, even if Mario has evolved from a pixel villain to a superstar in the galaxy, the joy of sports is still the soul of this character. “Mario can make you feel the joy of progress when you try every jump with your heart. You can constantly learn new skills and think about how to use it in the next level.” Miyamoto said, “Players understand and operate the game itself. Attempts are fundamental to interactive games.”
  Takushi Tezuka, who worked with Miyamoto, participated in the development of 2D Mario games in the 1980s and 1990s. He further explained: “The basic premise of this game is to be able to enjoy Mario’s actions easily. At the technical level, 2D and 3D may have many differences, but the starting point of the game design is the same. When playing games, if We are unable to pass the level due to the problem of the game mechanism itself rather than our own operational errors, so we definitely don’t want to continue playing. In other words, if players think that they can pass the level by jumping a little earlier, they are definitely willing to play again.”
  | A brief history of Mario World|
  Before the official release of Super Mario Bros. in 1985, Mario had already appeared in the 1981 arcade game Donkey Kong. He is called “Jumping Man” in the game, and his main task is to save his lover from a gorilla. Miyamoto called him “Mr. Electronics”. Later, the employees of the Nintendo branch in the United States discovered that the game character’s chunky figure and distinctive beard were very similar to the company’s warehouse landlord Mario Segalai, and began to call this character “Mario”. Miyamoto liked this nickname very much and adopted it later. So, in another arcade game “Mario Bros.” in 1983, “Jumping Man” officially debuted as the Italian plumber “Mario”, and his poorer brother with a lesser fame came out at the same time. Luigi.
  The limitations of the video game technology itself in the 1980s-dot matrix pixels and limited colors, together created the classic combination of Mario blue overalls and red shirts, and also achieved the unique aesthetic style of the Mario series of games today: with eyes Clouds, small turtles with round eyes, living stones, trees and mushrooms. “I try to design the features that best fit the functions of these characters. In other words, players can know their functions at a glance through the appearance of these little guys, without any extra explanation, just like you scan the surrounding environment when you walk.” Miyamoto said, “There are two reasons for using pipes as a visual theme: First, it fits the Mario Brothers game mechanism very well. The enemy can get into the water pipe at the bottom of the screen and disappear, and then drill out from the water pipe at the top of the screen; Secondly, it gives a theatrical effect of “something always pops up from the bulging pipes” in the comics. In addition, I always see water pipes on the way to work at Nintendo headquarters.”
  Tezuka added: “Many games in the 8-bit console era use pure black as the background. In order to highlight the effect of Mario’s constantly moving forward scene changes, we used limited colors to design on a pure black background. Palace. This book simply outlines the shapes of super mushrooms and super stars, and naturally adds eyes to them. Therefore, the clouds and mountains in “Super Mario Bros. 2″ naturally have eyes.”
  | Experimental spirit: from 2D to 3D |
  In the 2D Mario game from 1985 to 1996, the mysterious treasure chest that gave the character random super powers made the game more colorful. From the classic super mushrooms to the leaves that make Mario grow raccoon ears and tails, to the feathers that make Mario fly, the treasure chest is full of surprises. In 1996, “Super Mario 64” took the first step towards 3D transformation. This is an epoch-making work that laid the foundation for Mario to soar into space. Due to technical limitations, most early 3D games are currently unable to run normally, but “Super Mario 64” has miraculously appeared on the current mainstream game platforms.
  Koizumi Hunaki, who is mainly responsible for the development of “Super Mario 64”, “Super Mario: Sunshine” and “Super Mario: Galaxy”, said that Mario’s huge breakthrough in action at present should be attributed to the many faces when designing 3D running and jumping actions. challenge. “When 3D technology was used for the first time in Super Mario 64, we were keenly aware that it is very difficult for Mario to jump onto the enemy in 3D space. Therefore, we designed many things besides jumping New actions to adapt to the 3D environment, such as running in circles, paddling and spinning… At that time, I was very excited to be able to develop games with new technologies. We did not simply 3D Super Mario, but in Create a new game mode.” Koizumi said.
  Nintendo’s early attempts to 3D Mario still left a trace of regret for Miyamoto. He had to give up the plan of Mario and his brother Luigi’s dual operation. “When we tested the 3D function on the host platform, we found that Mario was the only controllable character. After the test, we decided not to let Luigi appear on the stage and started from scratch. Start to design a new game mechanism.”
  The famous open screen of “Super Mario 64” is also the painstaking effort of the developers overcoming difficulties in the 3D design process. “When I first tried 3D, there were too many new situations to deal with. It was at a time of struggling that the designers came up with ideas that allow players to enjoy themselves outside the game-allowing players to be on Mario’s big head Make a fuss, such as twisting Mario’s cheeks and pinching his nose to make him make all kinds of funny expressions.” Tezuka said.
  | Art comes from life |
  Miyamoto loves swimming-this is also the source of Mario’s iconic breaststroke. Mario’s other game designers also continue to draw inspiration from daily life, such as Koizumi, “When I was a child, I always dreamed of jumping around on the roofs of every house like a hero, so in “Super Mario: In “Sunshine”, players can control Mario to climb up the house and run around on the roof. The water gun that Mario is equipped with is also derived from my childhood memories of playing with water. The cold water splashed on the skin and it feels really cool “In
  recent years, the game supervisor of the Mario series, Kenta Motokura, is a Nintendo game designer who was heavily influenced by early Mario games. “Super Mario Bros. 3” is my favorite Mario work. Many kingdoms in “Super Mario: Odyssey” are derived from it. The experience of playing Mario games when I was a child has affected my current game. The design has a very big impact. I used the principles of human motion in skiing and other projects as a reference for Mario’s action design, and found that adding environmental factors such as terrain can also improve the game’s fun. In addition, players in “Super Mario: Odyssey” “You can also see a lot of amazing and interesting landscapes, just like traveling in Mexico or New York.” Motokura said.
  Today, the first level of the original Mario game has become a classic case of college game design courses. Game elements such as jumping dodge, magic mushroom, and question mark treasure chest have become compulsory courses for designers. Each generation of Mario games follows this design principle: let the level itself become a game tutorial, give players multiple opportunities to try to pass the level, and satisfy the curiosity of the players. The new generation of Mario game designers benefited a lot from it. “I told the team members that the most important thing is to think about how the players will play.” Tezuka said, “We ran across a certain section of the road, met enemies, and avoided them. Then, we might want to know that there is something on the platform on the left. What, then go left-this is where we should design a hidden brick. This mode of thinking is as natural as a child playing role-playing.”