From Mario to Sonic these iconic video games have lived on through the 80’s & 90’s, maintaining the place in our little gamer hearts that they fell in. Although pretty much all of these listed below dawned before I did, these gems still hold up even for the later generations. So buckle up for a ride of good ole nostalgia, and enjoy! Make sure to let me know what you think in the comments below.
1. MARIO (Super Mario Bros)
Over half a BILLION people play them. You love em, I love em. Video games. The graphics plot lines, and consoles we use to play them have evolved with us. Originating from wayyy back 1958 from good ole’ Higinbotham, Nintendo video game developer, I wanted to shine a light on some of our favorite and most famous characters, and how they have evolved with the field that is gaming. Enjoy!
From Fire Mario to Metal Mario & Baby Mario to Ice Mario, the feature created by Shigeru Miyamoto this Italian plumber with a never ending love for Princess Peach. His main objective chasing to rescue her through the Magic Kingdom from Bowser, he has gone through a few renovations. As you can see below.
First appearing in Donkey Kong as a Jumpman in the arcade game he was set out to save a different girl Pauline. Coining the name Mario a year later in the 1982 game Donkey Kong Junior. Then making a personal debut in the specialty made game for the Nintendo Entertainment System Super Mario Bros. Mario’s career as a plumber by day hero to a Princess by night was far from over. Appearing in over 200 games since including brand named ones, Super Mario Land, Mario Kart editions, Super Mario Worlds, and most recently Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash.
The original Super Mario Bros didn’t feature Mario in its debut. Original Super Mario Bros starred a 16 by 32 pixelated box , as a filler character. That didn’t last long obviously because Takashi Tezuka, the co-director of SMB at the time, suggested to Miyamoto that Mario could replace the
Miya said “i guess”.
We all know how that played out ;).
Here’s an extra rewind for Princess Peach
2. PIKACHU (Pokémon)
Spawning in 1996 from the illustrations of Ken Sugimori, Pikachu stands to be one of the most recognizable fictional characters of the Pokemon franchise.
As you can see from the illustration of Pikachu through the ages you can identify the pigment increase and sleeker lines to the character. Making for a more simple for clarified character. Appearing to also be thinner, possibly a nudge to the gamers appealing to Pikachus abilities better.
Since it’s appearance in Red & Blue(1996) , Pikachu’s has gone on to be apart of several video games ranging from Super Smash Bros to Pokemon Channel & recently PokePark Wii: Pikachu’s Adventure.Pokemon is also a member of the Nintendo clan, more specifically an amiibo character.
“Pika” is the Japanese onomatopoeia d for the noise of electricity crackling. “Chu” is how the Japanese describe the onomatopoeia a mouse makes.
3. LINK (The Legend of Zelda)
As one of Nintendo’s leading titles, The Legend of Zelda, has maintained it prominence since its debut in 1986 specially made for the NES (Nintendo Entertainment System). Paralleling with Super Mario Bros which was also created exclusively for the NES.
The main objective of the game is for the leading character Link to defeat all the odds to save Princess Zelda in the land of Hyrule from the evil antagonist Ganon.
Link, the protagonist of the game, has made very long strides within his teenage boy in green graphic animations. Going from few pixels high by few pixels wide and progressing to detailed cross and bow bearing character that he is today.
You may have noticed a lot of parallels between Super Mario Bros & The Legend of Zelda along with each of their protagonists. This can be largely due in part to that fact that both were created by Shigeru Miyamoto. Miyamoto had Zelda int he works at the same time he had Super Mario Bros gearing up for release for the NES. The NES was believed to be discontinued at the time, but these games were the catalysts for its boost in brand recognition, importance, and sales. Made by the same man, the same year, for the same console, in the same marketing ideal parallels upon parallels.
TLOZ was part of breakfast cereal with the Super Mario franchise.
As a marshmallow based cereal, it was all part of the Nintendo focused 80’s. Allowing video games to ride on the marketing train everything from clothing, shoes, anime and yes, cereals.
So right after you spend and inhumane amount of hours alternating between Zelda and Mario , you can head down to you kitchen for the midnight breakfast of a nice, borderline diabetic cereal :).
From the days of joysticks and unsalable game-play everyone’s favorite ghost eater logged time time of everyone from middle school kids hanging out at the arcade room to cubicle hermit crabs in their mid 30’s. PacMan (Pakkuman) is a time killer, stress reliever, and overall pure joy to play. PacMan isn’t just a game it’s an icon of culture in not the general gaming world that has lasted over 30 years. Simple enough to be played by almost all ages , PacMan is versatile is a multitude of ways.
We can all that Toru Iwatani and pizza. Well, he was eating a pizza, noticed two slices missing which resembled that shape of what PacMan looks like today. So the idea for a eating oriented game spawned in 1979 by Iwatani, who was also an employee at Namco. The name for PacMan comes from the Japanese Onomatopoeia for the sound a mouth make when opened wide and closed. Video games have some major parallels in the fact that a lot of the OG’s are tilted due to Japanese onomatopoeia.
With expectations to be eclipsed by rival arcade games Space Invaders and Asteroids, Itawani’s creation made over a billion dollars in quarters within in the first 12 months and gaining a player ship of over 30 million joystick groovers within its first 2 years of existence.
First appearing on Atari’s 2600 system the world’s favorite kawaii ghost munch went on to appearing on several platforms from an animated series to the 1999 spawn of 3-D Paccy for Pac-Man World for the PlayStation.
In my opinion, I think the retro look is much more appealing, but to each their own.
With original title for the Western audience as “Puck-Man”, the name was soon altered to what we know now as “Pac-Man”. This was in fear that some the neighborhood hoodlums would vandalize the ‘P’ with an “F”
5. SONIC (SONIC THE HEDGEHOG)
As my personal favorite this one might be in biased spirits. I consider my entire childhood a blur, but what stands to be crystal clear is constant and seemingly endless playtime of Sonic Adventures & Sonic Heroes with a lot of Chuck-E-Cheese on Sundays for some reason.
Making his debut Sonic the Hedgehog (1991) was first game appearance as a playable character is in his self titled game for the Sega Genesis.
All in jealousy to Nintendo’s mascot Mario , Sonic was born.
His supersonic speed allows him to curl into a ball to dodge and duck while also attack his enemies –
darn you EggMan!
Designed by former Sega employee and designer Naoto Oshima & Hirokazu Yasuhara, Sonic had a contrasting destination or success than the previously mentioned video game characters. Instead of being stumbled upon from late night pizza or attempts to save the ever failing NES, Sonic was created to combat Nintendo’s mascot of Mario. The basis of his objective also isn’t it save a damsel in distress but to make it to the next levels and defeat different enemies, predominantly Eggman.
You can also see Sonic in animated form , well in 1993 the Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog was born chronically the adventures of good ole Sonny and his sidekick-esque Tails. There is also a very popular series titled Sonic X, it is an anime series released in 2003 the plot followed Sonic’s constant attempts to keeps the sacred Chaos Emeralds from the evil always conniving EggMan.
Sonic the Hedgehog’s outfit and personality was inspired by Michael Jackson, Santa Claus, and Bill Clinton. Yup. In an interview from Gamasutra with Naoto Oshima the reasoning behind Sonic’s palette resembling ‘Murica’s flag is told. The blue derives from the original colors of Sega, the company that supports Sonic’s products and character. While the only apparel he was wearing – shoes- were inspired by the cover of Michael Jackson’s single Bad which also gave a vivid resemblance to the Western Santa Claus . Plus, Naoto thought the red shoes would be a stellar choice for the visuals of Sonic quick feet.
That’s All Folks!
Video game shave had an amazing impact on my since 1999 aka when i was born. Even though many (all) of the games and characters mentioned in this post were born before me, but their legacy and impact still stand tall today. Not Only for me but , over half a BILLION people in the world today and that number continues to grow with the amazing advances in gaming technology we have flooding through the gates.
From Atari Arcade Machines to Oculus Rift Gaming Has Come A LOOONG Way, and I Can’t Wait to See What’s Next.
QUESTION OF THE POST
What video game screams your childhood?
let me know in the comments! Thanks for reading 🙂